Pentax K-30 & Sigma 150-500mm Lens


I was at Conwy RSPB Reserve today carrying out some tests of my new Pentax K-30 with the big zoom lens. The weather wasn’t great with a threat of rain and I could see it was already raining over the mountains in Snowdonia. The RSPB reserve is a natural haven for  wild birds, so it’s perfect for testing the camera. For this little exercise I used Shutter Priority and set the shutter speed  to 1/1000 second. I left the ISO on Auto ISO letting the camera choose whatever was best for the sceneLittle Egret

Now I’m not that great at identifying birds but I find they are a good challenge to photograph. However, I’m almost certain this is a Little Egret

The Sigma 150-500mm lens is not a macro lens but it does allow me to take close-ups of insects.

Hovering Bee

Combined with the high shutter speed of the Pentax K-30 I’m able to freeze the motion, well almost, those little wings must be really going some. I read somewhere it’s about 180 beats a second.

Here’s another one. I wonder if I set the shutter speed to 1/6000 second could I freeze the action.

Hover

I’m really liking this camera, it’s so much better than my old one. I’d never have been able to capture the three photographs above so easily. Right, moving on.

Diving

I caught this young gull diving into the river for fish. I prefer to photograph the young gulls because their plumage is so much more interesting than the boring white and grey of the adult. The downside is the beak is dark and doesn’t stand out as much.

Staying on birds flying. That Little Egret that I started with didn’t hang around long and I managed to catch it as it flew off across the lake.

Little Egret Flight

In some ways I was a bit disappointed. There weren’t too many interesting birds around and it was beginning to rain quite heavy. The Pentax K-30 is weather proof but the Sigma lens is not and by now I was out on a really exposed part of the reserve with no shelter nearby. Fortunately I always go equipped for the vagaries of the British summer and was able to cover up the lens and camera.

Me! I got wet, it’s not the first time and probably won’t be the last. Just as quick as the rain came off the mountains the sun came out and pretty soon I was getting dried out. Time for another photograph.

Goldcrest

This little Goldfinch was standing on a branch fluffing the feathers out to dry off. Directly beneath it were another two making use of one of the bird feeders which are dotted around the reserve.

Gulls In Flight

I’ll finish with this photo of two young gulls taking off from the lake. You can see the splashes in the water just behind the lower gull as it lifts off.

I hope you enjoyed this short photo set with me. If you have any questions about the Pentax K-30 or any of the photographs, please feel free to leave a comment or contact me. I’ll do me best to answer you as soon as possible, but I’m off to the Olympic Games again, so there might be a slight delay in me replying.

Advertisements

14 comments

    • Mike Hardisty

      Thanks Patti. The Pentax K-30 is an amazing camera. I’m still getting used to it because it’s unlike my old Samsung/Pentax GX-10. It’s far more responsive, especially in focusing and colours are good. I shot a sunset a couple of nights back and using the in-camera viewer compared the real thing to what the camera recorded. My son and I both agreed there was no noticeable difference.

      That young gull was an afterthought. I’d finished in the reserve and decided to walk along the estuary to see if the cormorants were there. Instead I found the young gulls diving for fish in the marshes.

      Like

  1. Nick Milner

    I found this while Googling as much as I could on the K-30 (which I hope to purchase this evening). Really happy to have found this post and congrats on those great shots!

    Like

  2. Frank J. Casella | Pictures People Listen To

    Mike, I switched to Pentax ( from Nikon ) when I went digital. I have never looked back. I’m sure you’ll do the same! Also, I like you blog theme and how you have it all laid out.

    Like

  3. Robert!

    Hello Mike, Im about to buy a Canon 60D. I will be performing the same sort of photography as you. Do you have any tips on what sort of lens i should buy? I dont want anything smaller then 200 or 300 mm. I had a eos 400 before, and i had a 18-200 lens with that. But i want more zoom, but still be able to get easy snapshot from my kids when needed.

    Like

    • Mike Hardisty

      Hello Frank

      For the wildlife photographs I use a Sigma 150-500 mm lens. It’s not the fastest by any means but is good enough for what I want. Whether it would be good for children I don’t know. It’s a big lens and heavy as well, nearly 2 kilos in weight and about 32 cms when fully zoomed to 500mm. For general photography I used to use a Sigma 18-200 mm but with the Pentax k-30 I bought a weather resistant 18-50mm lens to go with the camera.

      Sigma do a 50-500 mm as well, but like the 150-500 it’s big, it’s nickname is the “Bigma” for some reason

      Hope this helps

      Mike

      Like

  4. Kleijn

    I mis

    The iso and the apature of the photo’s and are the make handheld??
    They look great

    Like