Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
02-04-2011, 12:59 PM - 1 Like   #1
Forum Member
Rusty Rat's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Southern Ontario
Photos: Albums
Posts: 71
Long telephoto shooters opinions sought

Haven't shot long telephotos since my film days so I'd like to get some opinions from the experienced wildlife and sports digital shooters here.

I have a choice between going for a 400 or a slightly slower 500, either to be used on a K-7. The 400 is smaller, lighter and can presumably be handheld or monopodded at a somewhat slower shutter speed. Both are optically about the same quality and both need to be stopped down at the long end to get decent results. However, the 400 being a bit faster and easier to handle, likely will end up being used at somewhat slower shutter speeds and smaller apertures that produce better quality. Plus the 400 being a bit faster, stopping down the same as the 500 gets it a bit farther away from the 'bad' wide open situation.

So, given that the 400 is likely to produce more usable images thanks to the better handhold shutter speed + stopping down, is a very good 14 mp image shot at 400 and crop to 500 size likely to be better than the same image shot with the 500 under slightly less optimal aperture and shutter speed conditions?

I'm leaning toward a sharp, reduced aberration, cropped image being better than an uncropped one shot with all of the above being not quite as good. I'm also leaning toward the proportion of usable to unusable images being higher with the 400 vs. the 500.

I realize that there's a lot of 'ifs' in all of this, but generalizing, which way would you lean?

The lenses in question are the Sigma 120-400 vs. either the Sigma 150-500 or 50-500.

02-04-2011, 01:11 PM   #2
Veteran Member




Join Date: May 2009
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 2,869
I haven't had a chance to use either of the longer options you presented. I just picked up a 120-400mm OS HSM version - I haven't put it to any proper use yet (bad/cold weather) but from some brief testing I am satisfied with the lens - it is quite sharp wide open at focal lengths under 300mm, and only slightly soft around the edges at 400mm - stopped down it is quite sharp and a good performer.

The OS is pretty nice too, with the longer focal length getting a stabilized image in the viewfinder is a necessity!
02-04-2011, 01:16 PM   #3
Site Supporter
SpecialK's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: So California
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 14,438
I'm pretty happy with the 150-500. Haven't used the 120-400, though.
02-04-2011, 01:20 PM   #4
Site Supporter




Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Philadelphia, Pa
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 763
I have the 50-500 and a Pentax DA*300. Weather has been bad but I have taken lots of pictures of my backyard birds out of the window with both lenses. Distance is about 10ft. I am really impressed with the quality of the 50-500mm at 500mm compared to the DA. And yes, I have been able to crop DA* images to the size of the 500mm and get great results. Kind of makes me wonder why I need both. The 50-500 is more versatile for framing since it is a zoom.
I think I will probably keep both.


Last edited by GaryH; 02-04-2011 at 01:21 PM. Reason: remove errant character
02-04-2011, 02:47 PM   #5
Veteran Member
icywarm's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Saskatchewan
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,276
I have a 500mm mirror f/8, 400mm f/5.6, 50-500mm, 150-400mm... I am selling the mirror, 400mm and 150-400mm.... so I guess you have my answer...

I find even with a lighter 400mm(about 1/5 the weight) I still get just as sick/tired carrying it around as I do the 50-500mm. And have the range from 50-500mm trumps all for me... i also managed to get the APO 1.4x which when coupled with the 50-500mm is great. Plus for me I can use the 50-500mm on film, which I don't think I could do with the DA* 300mm.

I don't believe lens at 300mm or 400mm are THAT much better, but 500mm is tough to shot at... need a tri-pod, good head, ect... but I did manage a 'fine' indoor shot with the lens in lower light.
02-04-2011, 02:54 PM   #6
Pentaxian
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,314
Check out this post



And also look at the 300mm plus club

I shoot both 300F4 plus 1 .7x AF TC and sigma 70-200f2.8 with 2x tc

Both work well and can be hand held. The shot in the linked thread is hand held 1/40 using a 500 mm lens
02-05-2011, 12:52 PM   #7
Veteran Member




Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 484
QuoteOriginally posted by icywarm Quote
I have a 500mm mirror f/8, 400mm f/5.6, 50-500mm, 150-400mm... I am selling the mirror, 400mm and 150-400mm.... so I guess you have my answer...

I find even with a lighter 400mm(about 1/5 the weight) I still get just as sick/tired carrying it around as I do the 50-500mm. And have the range from 50-500mm trumps all for me... i also managed to get the APO 1.4x which when coupled with the 50-500mm is great. Plus for me I can use the 50-500mm on film, which I don't think I could do with the DA* 300mm.

I don't believe lens at 300mm or 400mm are THAT much better, but 500mm is tough to shot at... need a tri-pod, good head, ect... but I did manage a 'fine' indoor shot with the lens in lower light.
The DA* 300mm is officially rated "designed for full frame" by Pentax patent US7715116, so it should be good for film and a hypothetical future full frame camera.
02-07-2011, 08:55 AM   #8
Veteran Member
icywarm's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Saskatchewan
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,276
QuoteOriginally posted by EricT Quote
The DA* 300mm is officially rated "designed for full frame" by Pentax patent US7715116, so it should be good for film and a hypothetical future full frame camera.
My bad... I always assumed all DA glass was crop...

02-07-2011, 09:01 AM   #9
Pentaxian
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,314
QuoteOriginally posted by icywarm Quote
My bad... I always assumed all DA glass was crop...
there is a thread somewhere that people have checked out "Digital" designs (I.e. cropped sensor designs) on a Full Frame camera.

Most are OK except for the wide and Ultra Wide lenses.
02-07-2011, 10:34 AM   #10
Pentaxian
reeftool's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Upstate New York
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 8,010
I have found that I need a monopod or tripod for reliable results over 300mm and even at that length, hand holding is iffy for me. It's always better to have the longer lens than to crop, assuming that the longer lens is of equal quality. One thing I have discovered is that I always seem to be 100mm too short no matter what lens I have on the camera. I usually have to crop as my budget won't allow me to own the glass I would like. I have a 500mm mirror which is very light but still very difficult to hand hold simply due to the magnification. The same is true for my 200 Tak with a 2x converter on it. For hand held use, I will probably get better results cropping from 200mm. I have recently purchased a M300/4 which I am patiently waiting until spring to put to use. I really don't know if I can hand hold it yet.
02-07-2011, 11:19 AM   #11
Pentaxian
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,314
QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
I have found that I need a monopod or tripod for reliable results over 300mm and even at that length, hand holding is iffy for me. It's always better to have the longer lens than to crop, assuming that the longer lens is of equal quality. One thing I have discovered is that I always seem to be 100mm too short no matter what lens I have on the camera. I usually have to crop as my budget won't allow me to own the glass I would like. I have a 500mm mirror which is very light but still very difficult to hand hold simply due to the magnification. The same is true for my 200 Tak with a 2x converter on it. For hand held use, I will probably get better results cropping from 200mm. I have recently purchased a M300/4 which I am patiently waiting until spring to put to use. I really don't know if I can hand hold it yet.
don;t be afraid to hand hold, see the post I linked above, the real issue is not hand holding, the camera is pretty good at taking shake out of the shot, but shake reduction cannot compensate for subject movement. Regardless of focal length you need a still subject to get a sharp image at low shutter speed
02-07-2011, 11:33 AM   #12
Pentaxian
8540tomg's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Waterloo, Ontario
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 4,444
You can hand hold a 400mm lens, except the A 400/2.8, and get reasonable results from time to time. My results with my M 400/5.6 are pretty spotty unless the light is perfect. As a result I use a monopod almost all the time with the 400mm. I have a tripod but find the monopod just much easier to carry about with a far greater number of keepers than I get with a tripod.

Tom G
02-07-2011, 04:17 PM   #13
Ira
Inactive Account




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Coral Springs, FL
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,218
QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
You can hand hold a 400mm lens, except the A 400/2.8, and get reasonable results from time to time..

Tom G
Not me:

I'm 54.

Anything I get with the 400 that's close to acceptable is pure luck.
02-07-2011, 08:07 PM   #14
Pentaxian
8540tomg's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Waterloo, Ontario
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 4,444
QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
Not me:

I'm 54.

Anything I get with the 400 that's close to acceptable is pure luck.
OK Ira,

I was exaggerating a little.

Tom G
02-07-2011, 08:20 PM   #15
Veteran Member
icywarm's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Saskatchewan
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,276
just finished a series at -30 C handheld... I forgot my mitts... any camera shake is due to the fact that I could not feel my face, hands or toes.... really made me love my 500mm I could go from 100mm - 500mm with the sleds


190


500mm
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
bit, image, images, k-mount, opinions, pentax lens, shooters, shot, shutter, sigma, slr lens, vs
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Opinions on fast prime telephoto? Reportage Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 14 10-26-2010 11:47 AM
Lens choice - opinions sought Naim Khan Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 8 03-18-2010 02:11 AM
FAO: London long lens shooters axl Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 0 10-31-2008 12:19 PM
Opinions sought on 18-55/ 50-200 Pentax lenses lesmore49 Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 9 09-17-2008 08:12 PM
Protracted and boring, but opinions sought please. Spooked Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 4 06-15-2008 10:19 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:50 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top