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11-16-2010, 11:13 PM   #1
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Sigma 300 & 500mm lenses

Thought I would give my views on the two fowling lenses. Took these photos while out in the field this morning. I think with the K-x and now the k-5 we may be seeing many birding fanatics like myself using Pentax in the field.

Both of these lenses are tack sharp. And both take the 1.4.t.c. with ease. Two amazing pieces of glass for birding.

The 500 is so sharp out of the gate it is just a joy to use.

The 300 is just as sharp. BUT!!! I have had it in the shop 3 times in less than a year. I hope it is finally fixed for good this time. For the price i demand perfect optics with my cameras. Now last month Sigma finally came out with a R/W chip. Now adj. are a breeze and very fast.

Too compair the two is easy for me. I shoot every day with these lenses. For birding only.

The 300 is my favoriate. It is sharp from 3.5 onward and really is sharper than the 500 in those ranges. Takes the 1.4T.C. wonderfully. Without much loss. Also I recommend sending it in, or making sure it is calibrated to your camera. This makes a world of difference with this lens.
It is light and small compared to Nikon and Canon. Just a joy to use. And with Pentax IS wht can i say. Just great.
Problem: with the 300 compared to the 500 is autofocus. With pentax cameras, if you have a small bird in the center focus and it coverse say 3/4 of the circle. The AF just has fits. Very frustrating. Once you learn how to tell when it is focused it is much easier. But many time i have to hit the button 5 or 6 times. If this is improved on, then it will win hands down.

The 500 with the ability to use the 1.4 T.C, at 700mm this is a wonderful lens. Now objects will be bigger and usually fills the center circle so focus is fassssst and sharp verrrrry fast. At f4.5 it is very good and goes on from there. Not gaining sharpness from there up. ( in my copy anyway). Contrast yes. Still if you fill the circle only 3/4 it will hunt the same as the 300. So you will see your keeper rate go up dramatically.

With Pentax IS, which I may add makes the difference between a fair shot and an excellent shot a breeze. It really does work. And so damn important. For crisp and sharp photos. Pentax is a shoe in for this glass.

I know of one other guy that is buying the 500 this month. You will be seeing his shots appearing. A fantastic wildlife photographer.

Sigma 300mm f2.8 lens.


Sigma 300mm f2.8 lens.


Sigma 500mm 4.5 lens.


[ISigma 500mm f4.5 lens.


If time permits please drop by and view my bird photos at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/avianphotos/
Everyshot with Pentax gear and the two lenses above.

I wish the k-5 drops in price soon. I really want one. I am thinking the new k-5 will renew interest in glass. Hint Hint Pentax...


Last edited by garyk; 11-17-2010 at 08:11 PM.
11-17-2010, 12:20 AM   #2
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I checked out your flicker site...I must say its quite something..I loved the heron in flight as its wings just dip on the water..great stuff.....that tripod is a mansized beast...still Id imagine that's a few Kgs of weight there ?
11-17-2010, 12:41 AM   #3
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Tommot, It gets pretty heavy on long hikes for sure... But ..... It is smaller and lighter than the nikon and canon lenses. And I think IQ is there also....
Thanks for the compliment. That was the last shot of the day. With light fading he flew away and i caught him in the sunset.
11-17-2010, 06:48 PM   #4
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I see a camera, and I see the tripod heads, I don't see any lenses...
Mind posting a few shots without the lens covers?

11-17-2010, 08:03 PM   #5
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I have your lens! It has the same paint and everything! lol

Seriously tho, great shots! I've been dreaming about the Sigma 500 for a while now. It's great to not only see a happy customer, but also some incredible shots.
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