Pentax K-x White On Bird with Tokina SD 400mm f/5.6

2010-02-11
Bird photo with Tokina SD 400mm f/5.6 and pentax k-x white, american robinI saw this bird facing backward from me and I had my Tokina SD 400mm f/5.6 at the time with Pentax K-x. I carried the gear with my mono-pod from Dolica left in my trunk. I set up for the shooting while struggling with an lighting problem. The morning light is to the left and most of the bird appearance was under the shadow in back-lit setting.

Upon focusing, the bird turned around facing towards me and seemed not bothered by my appearance. This was an odd encounter for me in the park as most birds would have disappeared into another tree and nowhere to be found in the viewfinder.

1/1000 sec, f/8.0, 400mm, iso 800, 0 Ev
cropped, lightened, off focus
Bird photo with Tokina SD 400mm f/5.6 and pentax k-x white, american robin
I thought it looked like an American Robin though I wasn't sure. I went to stay with AF.A and only use single shot with catch in focus enabled for my manual focus prime. I set f-aperture to be high in f/7.1 and f/8.0. My iso setting is perhaps a bit high in the 400 and 800 range. Shutter speed is in between 1/400 to 1/1000 sec. I was preparing for a flying moment but the bird stayed still for minutes and I was the luckiest photographer that morning.

1/1000 sec, f/8.0, 400mm, iso 800, 0 Ev
cropped, lightened
Bird photo with Tokina SD 400mm f/5.6 and pentax k-x white, american robin
1/640 sec, f/8.0, 400mm, iso 500, 0 Ev
cropped, lightened
Bird photo with Tokina SD 400mm f/5.6 and pentax k-x white, american robin
1/1000 sec, f/8.0, 400mm, iso 800, 0 Ev
no cropping, lightened
Bird photo with Tokina SD 400mm f/5.6 and pentax k-x white, american robin

Impressions & Notes

  • I went too high on the ISO settings, I would have tried lower ISO as in 400 and 320.
  • PF/CA is found on the branches at close examination, not too bad for the Tokina prime
  • Sharpness is great in the setup with K-x. Lots of details of the bird under the shadow are retained. A kudos to K-x for shadow detail.
  • 400mm at 15 to 30 feet shooting distance can still crop the bird in horizontal orientation and I do two things to avoid the cropping. I moved back a bit from the bird and I used vertical orientation.
  • I wish I have the red focal point for a point of reference to the eyes of the bird as I try to nail focus on the eyes
  • The K-x viewfinder is smaller and dimmer than my Pentax K20D. I can't see the hexagon in bright daylight. I can only count on the beep and catch-in focus in make the shutter release for the shot.
  • Unlike moving objects, I prefer to use of AF-S as I can count on the catch-in focus. With AF-C, I lose the catch-in focus and I can't re-compose the shot after focus lock is obtained.
  • The A setting in the Tokina SD 400mm f/5.6 is big plus as a stop-down operation will surely move the focal point causing slower reaction to the scene


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4 comments:

fRANK d said...

very good hin...

Hin Man said...

Thank you Frank.

Miserere said...

Good stuff, Hin. Did you have the hood extended for these shots?

I've found the sweet spots for this lens are f/7.1, f/8 and f/9. You can shoot it wide open if you don't plan on cropping much, but often the DoF is too shallow at f/5.6 anyway.

Have you tried it with the 1.7x AF TC yet?

Hin Man said...

@Mis, I think I have the hood extended. I shoot mostly in f/8.0 and adjust ISO higher. I have not tried the 1.7x TC on the long lens. The long lens does pretty well for me, thanks so much for the recommendation.

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Welcome to Hin's Photo Corner, this is my learning blog on photography, blogging and advertising. And I hope you enjoy your visit. For contact, please comment in blog post or email me directly hintheman at gmail.com.

 

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