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03-01-2011, 08:50 PM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote
Sit close with a DA 70.
Good idea! The above shot was taken at 70mm focal length.

03-01-2011, 09:29 PM   #47
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LOL, the DA70 is certainly a lot better focusing than the 50-135, and it's sharp enough to crop a bit (mind you so is the DA*).
03-01-2011, 09:44 PM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
LOL, the DA70 is certainly a lot better focusing than the 50-135, and it's sharp enough to crop a bit (mind you so is the DA*).
I only had the 70 for a short time and I honestly don't recall; how is the AF noise level on the 70? As I recall it was quieter than my 77, but obviously a little nosier than my 50-135.
03-01-2011, 09:52 PM   #49
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Lol, once again thank you all for your observations and opinions, please feel free to make this an open debate... just in case anyone is holding back...

03-01-2011, 09:53 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by selar Quote
Some complain about slow AF on the DA* 50-135, I find it fast enough for dance recitals, posting this shot as an example:
To be honest, a typical dance recital probably wouldn't be the most demanding situation for autofocusing. If the people are on a stage and you're in front of the stage, it shouldn't be too hard since they will stay within a fairly constricted area moving a limited amount from the front of the stage to back. In other words, while executing dance moves (spins, etc) they may stay within a single plane of focus long enough to focus and get a shot.

An activity where the subject is moving at a high rate of speed toward or away from you is where it gets really tricky (and sometimes impossible depending on your gear). I'm thinking of things like gymnastics, football, track, motorsports, etc. It's situations like these where you would probably notice a big difference between a really fast-focusing lens and a more relaxed-focusing lens.

Sports like volleyball, wrestling, swimming, tennis, and curling (ha ha) shouldn't be as tricky, and most any modern autofocus lens should be up to the task.
03-01-2011, 09:58 PM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote
Perhaps it was discontinued for a good reason... Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 II EX DC HSM Lens Review

“The Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 II EX DC HSM Lens delivers average image quality overall if it is focused properly. And that is the big if in my experience.”

The Tamron however is unquestionably a high quality lens, Photozone gave it a glowing review... Tamron AF 70-200mm f/2.8 SP Di LD [IF] macro - APS-C Review / Lab Test IMO after extensively comparing images from the Tamron and the DA* 50-135, the Tammy is the better lens. It's $150 less here in Canada and comes with a much better / longer warranty.
SOrry to question you but....

are there any differences between Canon Nikon, Pentax and Sony mounts when it comes to lenses? If so showing me a review of a Canon mount doesn't help here.

As a side note I have read into the Sigma lens, it seems ok, but its not a DA*...
03-01-2011, 10:00 PM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by selar Quote
I cant imagine going to my daughters ballet recital with either the Sigma or the Tamron cannons, would raise a few eyebrows.
No kidding, that's one of the reasons I decided against a 70-200mm. Besides getting a neck ache, you'd look like a frick'en Paparazzi wanna-be or some kind of perv. When a typical person sees a lens that big they assume that it's some kind of crazy 30x telephoto.
03-01-2011, 10:01 PM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
To be honest, a typical dance recital probably wouldn't be the most demanding situation for autofocusing. If the people are on a stage and you're in front of the stage, it shouldn't be too hard since they will stay within a fairly constricted area moving a limited amount from the front of the stage to back. In other words, while executing dance moves (spins, etc) they may stay within a single plane of focus long enough to focus and get a shot.

An activity where the subject is moving at a high rate of speed toward or away from you is where it gets really tricky (and sometimes impossible depending on your gear). I'm thinking of things like gymnastics, football, track, motorsports, etc. It's situations like these where you would probably notice a big difference between a really fast-focusing lens and a more relaxed-focusing lens.

Sports like volleyball, wrestling, swimming, tennis, and curling (ha ha) shouldn't be as tricky, and most any modern autofocus lens should be up to the task.
And I will be between 90-130 feet from the stage. But after the recital I would like to actually use it outside!

Indy thank you for bringing to light the Sigma the reviews are interesting and the price is riht, but will I get the same out of it as the Da*? If I didn't have the money saved it would be a stronger consideration. and still may be if one pops up in time...

03-01-2011, 10:03 PM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
No kidding, that's one of the reasons I decided against a 70-200mm. Besides getting a neck ache, you'd look like a frick'en Paparazzi wanna-be or some kind of perv. When a typical person sees a lens that big they assume that it's some kind of crazy 30x telephoto.
True!!! But I have permission to be in the projection room for this event, I promised them copies of my files... steep price but I'm no pro!
03-01-2011, 10:19 PM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote
Perhaps it was discontinued for a good reason... Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 II EX DC HSM Lens Review

“The Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 II EX DC HSM Lens delivers average image quality overall if it is focused properly. And that is the big if in my experience.”
I was worried after reading that review, but then when I went to the websites that sold the lens, the vast majority of the user reviews were extremely positive. Unfortunately, now that the lens has been removed from Adorama and B&H, those reviews are all gone. B&H still lists the just the Sigma mount version, and it is rated 5/5 stars by all 5 reviewers.

So I don't know if there were problems with the earliest units, or if the lens just didn't work well at the distances they used in the lab for autofocus testing. But I'm very glad I didn't let that review stop me from taking a chance on the lens.

As I already mentioned, my lens seems to have focus accuracy problems when my subject is closer than 10 feet. But that is not what the lens is designed for, and it's not what I use the lens for, so it's really a non-issue as far as I'm concerned. Every lens is a compromise, and different lenses are designed with different sets of compromises. I believe that Sigma compromised near-focus performance for better focus at all other distances.

At the recent NBA game where I used my 50-150mm, I was in the 5th row from the court (so about 15 feet from the court), and I took a bunch of pictures and I don't believe I got a single out of focus or soft shot that wasn't my own fault. And I was shooting at f/2.8 the whole time.
03-01-2011, 10:30 PM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
No kidding, that's one of the reasons I decided against a 70-200mm. Besides getting a neck ache, you'd look like a frick'en Paparazzi wanna-be or some kind of perv. When a typical person sees a lens that big they assume that it's some kind of crazy 30x telephoto.
This is a very real consideration, and the OP should seriously consider this aspect of concert hall photography when making his decision. I even shoot with the hood off the 50-135 to make it less intimidating.
03-01-2011, 11:42 PM   #57
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Call me stupid, but I've just placed an order for the DA* 50-135mm at B&H.
03-01-2011, 11:52 PM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by Christine Tham Quote
Call me stupid, but I've just placed an order for the DA* 50-135mm at B&H.
Nothing stupid at all. Really, there is currently NOTHING else comparable available to purchase brand-new right now since the Sigma 50-150mm non-OS was discontinued. And even when their new 50-150mm comes online, it won't really be a direct competitor to the 50-135mm since it will be so much bigger and heavier (it's the same size as the full-frame 70-200mm lenses...so what's the point?).

I've never been able to understand why such a useful range has been so neglected in APS-C, just as I never understood why Sigma never did much to promote their lens in that range. Most people weren't even really aware of the 50-150mm f/2.8.
03-02-2011, 12:33 AM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote
“The Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 II EX DC HSM Lens delivers average image quality overall if it is focused properly. And that is the big if in my experience.”
The reviewer's claim that the Sigma 50-150mm produces only "average image quality" doesn't match my experience at all. My main lens is the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8, which is regarded as one of the best APC-C lenses out there. I've shot thousands of images with my Tamron 28-75mm, and I put my Sigma 50-150mm right up there next to it.

So you guys can see that I'm not all talk, I'm posting some shots that I got with the Sigma 50-150mm on my Pentax K-x over the holidays and at a local Native American museum in Indianapolis. All of the shots were made at f/2.8 and are uncropped so you can evaluate edge-to-edge image quality. I always shoot in RAW and make the usual minor adjustments in post processing.

If you click on the image, it should open the full 12-megapixel image for the pixel-peepers out there. Just be aware that they are large image files, so they may take a minute to load. And also keep in mind when pixel-peeping that some of the images, particularly the museum images, were taken at higher ISO levels (800 - 1600), so they won't be as sharp at 100% zoom.

PS. After posting this, I noticed that when I click on the image to open the full-size, it opens both the full-size image AND the smaller image in two separate tabs. It's kind of annoying, but I don't see any way to prevent it.

























Last edited by Edgar_in_Indy; 03-02-2011 at 12:54 AM.
03-02-2011, 12:48 AM   #60
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And as promised, here are some of the shots from the NBA game. Again, I was about 15 - 20 feet from the court. All of the images were shot at f/2.8. For most of the images exposure was 1/500 sec at ISO 1600, but there's a couple that were shot at 1/125 sec at ISO 400 (the picture of the ref and the bench shot).

For most of the shots 1/500 was adequate to freeze the action, but if the players were moving extremely quickly (such as on the jump-ball), there is some motion blur evident when viewed at 100%.

All of the shots are full crops so that you can evaluate edge-to-edge image quality and vignetting. Click on the image to download the full, 12MP image file.

As I mentioned previously, autofocus was spot-on for pretty much all of my shots. This tells me that this is the exact kind of situation this lens was designed for. I was sitting fairly close to the court, which is not always the case for the amateur photographer at professional sports. But at amateur sporting events and performances, where it's usually not hard to get reasonably close to the action, this lens absolutely rules.

Oh, and I apologize for the poor framing of the cheerleader pictures. But it's kind of tricky to get good shots of them when you're sitting right next to your wife.


































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