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10-08-2007, 12:39 PM   #1
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500mm plus

Everyone talks about the Bigma for its clarity but I was wondering...

If one (read ME, I guess) wants to get a long lens for birding lets say. I don't really need a zoom (or do I?) I just want to get up close and social like but, without disturbing.

I would like clarity because the ones I've tried so far just didn't do it for me. What do you recommend?

Thanks

10-08-2007, 12:54 PM   #2
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A lot of people (myself included) went with the Bigma because it has the reach and does it at a price most can afford with a little saving.

There is no question that a 500(+)mm prime is better, but then, those can cost up to 5x more then a Bigma.
10-08-2007, 02:21 PM   #3
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hi,

the zoom is nice when you need to drop back to say 300-400mm.

There is not many options for 500mm, the bigma is pretty much considered the best of the zooms (not sure if tamron 200-500 is better but it is not available for pentax anyway) other than that I think your looking at the sigma 500m f4.5 for around $4000 or trying to find a fa* 600mm which is more expensive again. (any other options anyone?)

Phil

Phil
10-08-2007, 03:38 PM   #4
roy
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if you don't mind a tripod and no zoom then pick up a used tak500/4.5.. it's an amazing piece of glass. ask anyone that has one.

10-08-2007, 05:17 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by roy Quote
if you don't mind a tripod and no zoom then pick up a used tak500/4.5.. it's an amazing piece of glass. ask anyone that has one.
I second the Takumar 500/4.5, which is a huge piece of glass. For about the same price, a little bit smaller, there is also the Tamron Adaptall SP 200-500/5.6, which is very good and a bit faster than the Sigma at the long end. Of course, neither of these lenses has autofocus (it's not even possible to use the 1.7x AF adapter due to the limited maximum aperture) and they are much bulkier than the Sigma, but the build quality is better and you can get them for less than half the price of a new Sigma -- right now Keh is offering a Tamron 200-600 for sale in EX condition for $429.

Cheers!
10-08-2007, 06:08 PM   #6
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I have tried various 300mm lenses (Tamron 300/2.8, Super-Tak 300/4, Pentax 300/4), with and without the 1.7x Teleconverter - and while they all work none of them are getting you the quality of a 500mm/600mm prime.

I think it depends on what you want to get, and how 'into' it you are. A close friend of mine is one of the best birders on the US East Coast and he walks around with a 600/4 and most times his 2x attached. For so many shots, it's all about reach, reach, and reach. Most of his good shots of the elusive birds use fill flash as well.

When we go out together, I almost have no need to take a long lens at all, because while some of mine may be decent, his are always more decent.

If you want to check his site out, you can find it at: Bill Hubick's Photos.
10-08-2007, 06:37 PM   #7
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Bill Hubick's Photos is a great link. I've added it to my favorites. Thanks

CN
10-08-2007, 06:43 PM   #8
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The 500 mm mirror lens...

What's wrong with the 500 mm mirror lens? They seem to be easily available and at a modest cost........................................


FLASH

10-08-2007, 07:26 PM   #9
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Donut highlights and f8 are a standard with mirrors.

I own one, and it does take fairly good photos, but a tripod is a must, thereby limiting its usefulness.
10-08-2007, 08:28 PM   #10
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For my own clarification, which one is the 'Bigma'? The 50-500 or 170-500?
I went with the 170-500. It's about $200 cheaper. I have been told that the less zoom, usually the better quality. That was another reason. I have been happy with the 170-500, but have seen photos from the 50-500 which are amazing. The that could be because of skill (or lack there of on my part .
10-08-2007, 08:55 PM   #11
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The 50-500 is the Bigma. It is part of Sigma's EX lineup of higher grade lenses.
10-09-2007, 04:14 AM   #12
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Original Poster
Thanks for the replies so far. Please don't let my reply keep you from more comments and feedback.

- I have tried mirror lenses and I am NOT pleased with the results.
- If it was just $200 cheaper I think I would rather save for the more "accepted" Bigma.
- It would seem that there are many Bigma aficionados here

Do any of you know of a Sugar mama? The problem is, stores don't have it in stock and therefore I can't take it for a test drive to see whether its what I really want.

Please keep 'em coming. Thanks
10-09-2007, 04:35 AM   #13
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Hi, I'm considering the Bigma too, but in the meanwhile I picked up a used (but flawless) Beroflex 500 mm f/8 telelens, which comes with a T2 adapter, so it can be fitted to almost every SLR. It may not be the best of lenses, but for 25 euros, it was deal I couldn't resist.
So far, the results are quite good. Perhaps you can find a similar lens (google: wundertuete) and experiment with it at little or no cost.

Sure, zoom is nice to have, but if you combine for example a 70 - 300 mm with a prime at 500 mm, you are quite flexible and it will save you a lot of money. The half stop extra the Bigma brings at the 500 mm end, comes at a hight cost!

Roger.
10-09-2007, 05:41 AM   #14
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Hi JC. People kept giving me the mirror advice too, even after I bought my 500/4.5 Takumar. It's not the easy answer folks, there is a lot of compromise in those designs, they're not for everyone.

I've seen some absolutely wonderful results from thet bigma. If I wanted an AF lens to get to that range, it would be between a Sigma 500/4.5 or a Bigma, and frankly with the results I've seen, the bigma would probably win. Keep in mind, lenses aren't like cars that lose 50% of their value when you drive them off the lot. If you pick one up and try it for a year, you can always liquidate your assets and try something else if it's not what you're looking for. But do give any new lens a chance. It takes time to figure out the strengths and weaknesses of a given lens, and I think many people, especially with tele's, get discouraged. A tripod is a great tool.

That being said, I am kind of thinking about getting a mirror for a travel tele. Is there a 'farrari' of the mirror world to look out for? Something you can spend a little (or a lot) more money on and get superior results?

All the best!
10-09-2007, 05:50 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by d.bradley Quote
That being said, I am kind of thinking about getting a mirror for a travel tele. Is there a 'farrari' of the mirror world to look out for? Something you can spend a little (or a lot) more money on and get superior results?
Hi Damian, good to see you.

The Ferrari of mirror lenses is without a doubt the Pentax K 1000/11 Reflex.

Generally well-regarded is the Tamron Adaptall 500/8. A neat mirror lens (made from solid glass - no fungus on these guys!) are the Vivitar Solid Catadioptric lenses.

Finally, for the Eastern Bloc fans (myself included, although I don't have a mirror lens) are the former Soveit mirror lenses.
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