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waltonksm

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waltonksm last won the day on 5 April

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About waltonksm

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  • Birthday 1 January

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  • Gender
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  • Location
    Presently in an Eskimo village about 500 miles due west of Anchorage, AK
  • Photographic Interests
    Wildlife, photography, my environment. I love taking photos of birds. And when I can afford to travel (less frequently the past many years) I love taking photos of what I am seeing as I travel. I love the four corners area of the US, and also the area along the Pacific Coast Highway.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/waltonksm/
  • Edit my pics?
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  • Fav. Camera
    Nikon D500
  • Fav. Lens
    500mm F4 P lens
  1. Berries were a bit sparse on this hillside. This is a rocky outcrop with rocks only a few inches down, so not very good for berry picking. The Yukon River is in the background. The photographer likes taking photos as much as she likes berry picking. She frequently does both on her trips across the tundra.
  2. These are very nice. They are in a class far above what I am doing with my closeups.
  3. A few more Mountain Harebell (Alaska Harebell) images with a bumblebee thrown in.... or maybe some bumblebee photos with an Alaska Harebell background.... These are less colorful than the last ones I posted. These will be dead in a few more days. They are less open, too.
  4. Thank you Thor. I occasionally muddle through and get the right result..... But better consistency would be nice. I just was going through a huge number of images taken today, and I cannot believe how badly I continue to handle some situations. I seem to have a slow learning curve, and make the same mistakes, repeatedly.
  5. Dallas: I have to admit that EVERY long lens I have ever purchased (especially the zooms) has been a disappointment to me. This one is no exception. I also have learned by now that it seems you have to study and "learn" each new lens. Years ago i owned the 80-400 Nikkor (version 1). I hated the results. I was convinced I would sell it; but I finally decided to read more reviews and see where I might have gone wrong. And I kept the lens until I started using other lenses much more than the 80-400. Frankly, it was a SUPERB lens. This one is still a work in progress. I do not like very much of what I have gotten so far. I think I need more stability (maybe even a tripod?!) for many of my shots. I have gone to higher ISO's, and faster shutter speeds. This seems to help quite a bit. I think this is a tough lens to use, but the lens is a lot more capable than I at this point. I am not quite ready to put it on the market.
  6. Here are some tufted fleabanes taken with my 100-400 Leica/Panasonic lens. I was researching the name, and found an explanation that claims to have the right word etymology: A "bane" is a poison, so this flower (or the plant?) is toxic to fleas. I have no fleas on me, so maybe it works☺️ I also included a macro shots. I find the shadows cast on the petals a nice plus. This is a fairly common tundra plant in our area.
  7. I am posting a few more tundra shots. Many of these are done with a different "macro" lens. I have been making more use of the Leica/Panasonic 100-400 lens. I am getting further back, stopping down a bit, and taking advantage of the depth of field I cannot get with my macro lenses. Alaska Harebell Alpine Bistorts p
  8. waltonksm

    Pileated Woodpecker

    I just saw this. I read your description before I scrolled down to the photo. So I was expecting " Overcast and flat light." Instead I saw a very nice shot. There is certainly nothing wrong with this shot. I like it. Walton
  9. OK, will do. Remember, I am still mostly under two feet of snow (quite a bit less than last week.) I only shot it enough to see if it was an OK lens, since the eBay seller sort of left a few things out of his description. So far, most of my shots have been of broken down equipment filmed from my porch facing the dock that is loaded with old heavy equipment. Unfortunately, there will be NO MORE Eskimo dancing until next fall. I have to admit, I honestly do not know what my major use for this lens will be. I purchased it to see what you guys were raving about when discussing this lens. Bytesmiths: I did see your event photos. IF you have some guidance for the other uses you have, I would love to hear them. The last "event" we will have is our highschool graduation in about a month. I do not know how you got those beautiful berry photos, since it does not close focus. Was that a crop of a much larger photo? So I will be working on what to use it on. Actually, there are some shots of birds that I think I can use it for that will be fantastic. I should be able to really separate the bird from the background. In fact, now I have several ideas for getting other bird shots.
  10. Bytesmiths Thank you. I was not aware that diffraction was a problem at a bigger stop on MFT... I wil see what I get at f8 or more open
  11. Bytesmiths: Really? You think I will get diffraction even at that setting? Then it must be pretty phenomenal at a larger stop. I look forward to trying it tomorrow afternoon. I did not have time to do more today after spending the time fighting with that cheap filter. Dallas: I have to admit, someone gave me a bit of crap about 5 years ago about buying wonderful Nikkor optics, with color corrected, special coating on lenses, using the lenses with a D700, and then muck it all up by adding cheap pieces of glass onto the front of the lens. I do keep hoods on them for protection of the glass. I read years earlier a short piece in some forum or another, where the guy systematically tested tiffen, hoya, and something else (B&W maybe?), same lens, same tripod shot, and then showed a huge enlargement of the center results. This was in the film days, as I recall. He was not at all snide or snotty about it, but he simply said "here is what I did, here is what I got, and you decide for yourself if the filter makes a difference." I think he said he still used filters, but never cheap filters. I do not think he had even a single rejoinder. In fact, not much comment from anyone. I am not sure that many people wanted to hear what he said. I am not sure how available this stuff is to you through eBay, or other outlets. I bought a ton of step-up rings, and get every small opening stepped up to 52mm, then use cheap lens caps, also from eBay. I think I had to use two rings on a 37mm, or some such tiny lens. I also use another company here that is superb for service, but a little more expensive than most eBay vendors. I have had a few problems with some super cheap rings. They just do not thread on very easily....cheap quality control, and cheap manufacture. I got what I paid for. I will PM a link to you. I have no idea about international prices.... the price should be the same, but they really do a decent job on shipping. I do not think they use shipping as another means of gouging you. I also have some lenses that I stepped up to 72mm (the 12-40, maybe?) I do not remember if I have a 77mm yet. But I can do that if I need to use my 77mm B&W polarizer or other filters. My brother in law sent me some Galen Rowell writings and his extensive use of graduated nuetral density filters. He also used lense that many purists thought wer mediocre. And he made a lot of money off of his mdiocre lenses. His site sells some unbelievable filters..... They make the Cokin filters seem like dime-store items. They claim they are made by Singh Ray, or some such exotic (EXPENSIVE) company.
  12. Since I was yammering along on multiple topics about my new lens, I thought I would say a bit more about Gimbal mounts. My first gimbal was a JOBU Design BWG. They now refer to this as the number 1, I believe (or just the Jr with NO number behind it.) I bought it from a guy who was headed to the Caribbean from Anchorage for a Christmas break vacation. He indicated that his spouse had "suggested" that he needed to get rid of some of his expensive camera gear. I bought it from him for $450 USD. Some years ago on Nikon Gear I showed my converted K&E surveyor's tripod (made of ash, and almost an antique) to a tripod for my gimbal. I used this a lot when taking photos of terns and other birds with my Nikkor 500mm F4.0 "P" lens. It worked great. This convinced me to get something a bit more portable, so when Jobu first came out with the BWG Jr, for $250, I jumped on it. Interestingly enough, this was only available for a few short months, then was suddenly discontinued. Jobu said this Jr. version was good for lenses up to 400mm (or some such number), if only used occasionally for these larger sized lenses. Somewhere along the line I asked Jobu to explain to me what it meant when it said OK for "occasional" use? Was I going to damage something? Wear out some needle bearings? Fatigue the metal? Damge a lens? So they answered "No" to all of these, then asserted that the new Jr.2 was stronger, and could handle these larger lenses for MORE than occasional use. They strengthened the gimbal arm, and made a few more changes (not visible to me;) principal among them being an increase to the base price from $250 to $350. I was amazed at the improvement ( and the price change. Of course, I am sarcastic here.) They now have a version 3 which costs even more than the one or two costs. It must be even more improved. I now use this Jobu BWG Jr on a fairly regular basis on a Manfrotto CF tripod (I have a very lightweight one, and a not so lightweight one.) I have not used my 500mm F4 "P" on this small one, So far I have not worn it out yet! I was going to suggest to other forum members that if you are looking for a high quality gimbal that should handle all MFT equipment, look for the Jobu Jr and see if you can pick it up cheaply. HOWEVER.... I just went to eBay and did a search for the Jobu Jr., and only found ONE of the original versions without the swing arm (mine came with this accessory for free, FROM Jobu, for $250.) The vendor wanted $299 for this same used version without the swing arm. it. I looked at sold listings, and only found a couple of Jr 3 gimbals and NO original or 2 versions in the last few months of sold history. SO..... maybe they did not make many of the originals, so they are not for sale. But it would appear that very few of the Jobu Jr's are sold, used, regardless of which iteration. I think people who buy them, keep them. Two years ago I also purchased an off-brand Gimbal for $100 that I tried, and really liked. But it is heavier than needed for MFT equipment. I finally gave this as a present to a relative who is getting into photography. He loves it. It is no longer available on Amazon, , so no need to include it as a cheap option. I should mention that the year before that I tried another cheap option, and it was TERRIBLE. I was sent back the next day. I really think companies like JOBU have a very real quandry: They make superb products at high prices, so why should a customer come back for more? They really should NOT wear out in a lifetime. They have to come up with "improvements," variations, new designs. I cannot imagine ever buying another one, unless I spring for another cheapo one that I do not mind knocking around in a small camper, or in a boat. I really "baby" both the BWG, and the BWG Jr. I will address two more JOBU products in another post. A couple of results from using my gimbal with a 500mm F4.0 P lens (a MANUAL FOCUS lens.) I always use a cable release or an electric remote so I do not have to touch the trigger and cause some camera shake. I do this even when I have to do manual focusing with the 500mm P lens. My forearm is supported by the gimbal with one finger resting on the focusing ring. This is not a great photo (too much crud in the way,) but you can see how sharp the downy feathers are on the chick and the sharp spiones on the fish, which is only about 3cm in length
  13. I finally got my 35-100 F2.0 in. Of course, it was used, off of eBay. Had KEH had one in, I might have gone that route, but they are always above $1000 USD when they have this lens in stock. The good: VERY, very well packaged! I was nervous about this, especially since the shipper used USPS GROUND.... For those who are not in the US, this is just about the absolute cheapest rate for US mail. The bad: 1. The shipper used USPS Ground. It took 18 days to get here. It went from East Coast (Florida) by rail or truck with many transfers to the West Coast (Seattle, WA) then by barge to Anchorage, Alaska, and finally on a plane to here (500 miles west of Anchorage.) I have had other stuff shipped like this that took as much as 28 days, with 10 days or more between getting on the barge, and then clearing the Anchorage facility. Lots of handling and sorting, and beat-to-hell condition when it arrived here. eBay does not keep track of messages included with the offers, and I was fairly certain that I said I wanted to pay for more rapid shipping..... so maybe I only meant to pay for quicker shipping.... I will never know. 2. The seller said it was immaculate condition, with a filter on it since day 1..... It is a beautiful lens, with the hood. But he failed to mention that the filter cannot come off of the lens, and might as well have been glued in place. So a lens some of you say is the sharpest they have ever used, with a cheap BOWER UV filter (one of the THIN versions) wedded to the front of the lens. Of course, it was almost impossible to grip the lens with a filter wrench, as so little of the filter was above the lens. But I tried for a long time. 3. Just to make sure I was NOT doing something from some sort of false memory, I looked up multiple websites for "how to do it" stuck filter recommendations. I had already exhausted the first 3 or four, depending on web site, and I was up to the more serious options. SO.... I froze it over night while in a large ziplock sealed baggie, and left it in a deep freezer at minus 10 F. At lunch today I took it out, and tried again....NOTHING......NOTHING. I left it outside on my porch in the ziplock bag so it could warm up slowly (it was only 25F today, which is warmer than it should be this time of year. 4. I emailed the seller and explained I would NEVER have purchased this from him had he revealed the filter was stuck on the front. Amazing!!! I have still had no answer from him. I would have expected at least a minor protest, with a statement that he did not realize this problem existed. But NOTHING! 5. Before getting out the pliers, saws, files and dremel tool for the next options, I did some more careful thought, and decided I should give it a few more tries with the filter wrench and the flexible rubber pad for removing tight jar lids. Once I went to hack saw, or dremel tool, I could not return the lens (yes, he said no returns, but I figured eBay wouId have honored an appeal based on it NOT being in perfect condition since a cheap filter was stuck on it.) I have found that eBay really does follow up, and I have won four or five appeals with NO cost to me even for shipping (I have lost none at this point.) And you do not often have problems on eBay like in the 1990's. So I tried for another ten minutes with the filter wrench and the rubber pad, and SUDDENLY it turned freely. From stuck to loose in a fraction of a second. It did not slowly come loose, it QUICKLY went to zero resistance. SO, off to the Jobu Jr. Gimbal mount, and a few photos. I am not sure how to evaluate the results. Perhaps you can decide. I shot at 35mm and 100mm ONLY. I was at f10, and only wanted a quick assessment of quality. I clicked of 50 shots or so in a minute or so. What can I say? I was using Nikon View NX-i and I shot in jpeg mode, not raw. The image was difficult to assess when I went to 400% size; maybe the resolution was not good enough for this size, or maybe it was even my cheap monitor (on other posts, Dallas and a few others have told me they could see things I can't see on my own cheap 19" monitor..... Everything less than 400% was VERY SHARP. So, Sarcasm aside, it IS heavy. It is not quite as big as I thought it would be, and every bit as sharp as Dallas and Bytesmiths said. I was glad I was able to get the cheap Bower filter off of it. Unless this guy jammed this on at the last minute to confirm that he really kept a filter on it since he got it, I cannot imagine anyone using a cheap piece of crap $10 Bower filter on the front of a VERY expensive and VERY sharp lens. I don't know about the rest of you, but I have read and seen some pretty convincing arguments and images showing that there is a reason that most cheap filters are cheap. I have gravitated toward using NO filters unless there is an optical necessity (a need to polarize, or need to get rid of UV.) Now, when I do use filters the cheapest I use is a Hoya, made in Japan, and a higher grade they came out with. I have been slowly replacing all of my filters with a few B&W UV and polarizing filters. I use a lot of step up rings to reduce the number of filters I use. Yes, a long story to conclude that Dallas and Bytesmith are right. Now to see if I am really going to use it. I am anxious to try it at F2, and various zoom settings.
  14. Dallas: I keep coming back to this brief "article" about your using the Pen E-PL5. And I keep looking to find one of them for under $100..... But I have trouble finding them for much under $200, and most are much higher. I think you might have spoiled the used market for the E-PL5 for us buyers. 😉 The M10 is still fairly reasonable, as long as you don't say anything too nice about it. But then, it is still "a lot" larger (requires a bit bigger pocket.)
  15. Thank you for the compliments, but I am not likely to take these photos next year. I am 72 and am far too old to be doing the job that I am doing. Hopefully I will go back to my "old job" before this time next year: retired.
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