Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Mountain Blue Bird & Why I Need a Better Long Telephoto Lens

My wife called me to the window yesterday with great excitement; at first she wondered if she was hallucinating because of how blue the birds were that she saw outside. Remember that being from California, any brightly colored bird is either an escaped pet, or works for Disney. But this bird was intensely blue!

Click to enlarge

Now, you are saying, "Why is Clayton's fancy camera taking such a bad picture?" The answer is that I was using an older 85-205mm zoom lens that I had received when I bought my first SLR, a Pentax ME Super, some years ago. It doesn't have autofocus--hence the bird is intensely blue, but not very sharp--and I don't think it is the highest quality glass, because of the chromatic aberration that you can see when you run it up to the highest magnification.

I really need to get a good autofocus lens for the Pentax K10D. There are 18-200mm zooms available, and even 18-300mm. The trade-off, as usual, is price and weight. On the other hand, if you have an 18-300mm zoom, you don't need to carry a bunch of other lens with you, and that's worth quite a bit right there.

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