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03-10-2011, 01:00 PM   #1
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Sigma 70-300mm 1:4-5.6 DL - looks pretty awful.

I just bought this lens
Sigma 70-300 1:4-5.6 DL Macro Auto Focus Lens Reviews - Pentax Third-Party Lens Review Database
for about 95EUR.
My first impressions are pretty bad. I hope I do not know how to get the best out of this lens. But I am afraid it isn't any good at all. Mostly anything over 100mm is kind of poor detail, noisy and fringy. I could get relatively acceptable shot after heavy RAW correction, but I hoped for bit better of the lens rated 8,5.
If somebody have some tips how to use it I would carry on trying. Otherwise I have to start looking for this zoom range again.

03-10-2011, 01:47 PM   #2
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Honestly in that price range, it's hard to get good results out of a slow zoom. Best thing to do is stop it down to around f/8, turn up that ISO if need be to get a good hand holdable shutter speed, try to avoid flare and cases where CA can look ugly, and hope for the best.

Of course, it's possible that you have a below average sample of the lens. Care to post examples of the poor performance over 100mm?
03-10-2011, 05:09 PM   #3
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Perhaps you got a bad copy? I don't own that version of the sigma I have the apo version and I found that anything below 200mm produced fairly decent results the image quality dropoff really is noticeable after 200mm. I would post some pictures as samples so we could give some feedback. Afterall it is a budget lens and it will definitely not give you super sharp images compared to a da* or quality glass lenses. But reasonable images definitely. I would also stop it down to 6.3 or 8 it usually gets better. Just be sure the shutter speed is fast enough general rules is 1/focal length is minimium.
03-10-2011, 05:21 PM   #4
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I used to use this lens, it wasn't too bad, bit warm but fairly sharp when stopped down to f8. My copy suffered from zoom creep quite badly.

03-10-2011, 08:21 PM   #5
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I have the original version.

A recent image. Taken at 240 mm



An image taken right before it with the DA*60-250 at 250mm



The image is a little warmer, but, this lens can give you some images. A few weeks ago I did some test shots with the DA 18-135 a Sigma 120-400 and the Sigma 70-300 and the best image at 135 mm came from the 70-300. A lot of people sell this lens short. In my experience, it can give you a top quality image. It's not going to be comparable at 300mm to a 300 prime, but if you don't have one of those, it's not really going to be an issue is it?

ANother issue I've been meaning to look into with regards to these images, the image of the bird at 240 on the Sigma looks bigger than the image of the DA* at 250. I'm pretty sure they were in about the same location. I'm thinking maybe 250mm Sigma isn't the same as 250mm Pentax. One of those questions yet to be answered.
03-10-2011, 08:48 PM   #6
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Well, you're approaching long-lens territory there and I found that takes some getting used to--and attention to technique. Are you shooting hand-held or with support?
03-10-2011, 10:03 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by vanakaru Quote
but I hoped for bit better of the lens rated 8,5
From my experience with it, I would agree that a lens review rating of 8.5 is misleading.
03-10-2011, 10:27 PM   #8
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Samples are needed. Please post an awful shot with some 100% crops in awful areas and EXIF info.

03-11-2011, 12:59 AM   #9
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One of my favorite photos I've ever taken was taken with a Quantaray 70-300mm lens which looked exactly like my sigma 70-300 lens so I'm assuming they are the same lens. anyways, here's the photo I got out of it and I love it.

Quantaray 70-300mm on my Samsung Gx-1s at 300mm 1/250 ISO 200:




Sub-par lens on a sub-par camera = great results? I think so. Only paid $75 for the lens so no complaints here!
03-11-2011, 01:17 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by vanakaru Quote
... but I hoped for bit better of the lens rated 8,5.
Those ratings are very subjective. Or you might have a bad copy.

And as said, post bad examples with exif info. We might be able to help you better
03-11-2011, 01:35 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by epqwerty Quote
Perhaps you got a bad copy? I don't own that version of the sigma I have the apo version and I found that anything below 200mm produced fairly decent results the image quality dropoff really is noticeable after 200mm. I would post some pictures as samples so we could give some feedback. Afterall it is a budget lens and it will definitely not give you super sharp images compared to a da* or quality glass lenses. But reasonable images definitely. I would also stop it down to 6.3 or 8 it usually gets better. Just be sure the shutter speed is fast enough general rules is 1/focal length is minimium.
The APO version is better because it has the better "APO" glass, but still its just a basic entry level zoom. But in saying that, great results can still be acheived.
03-11-2011, 01:53 AM   #12
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The APO version is definitely worth the money and is capable of some sharp results. Gotta stop down a bit though.
03-11-2011, 10:44 AM   #13
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if you don't mind...I'd like to share some more photos that I've taken with my copy of the lens, branded as Quantaray.





















:shrug:
03-11-2011, 03:01 PM   #14
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I shall try to get some samples tomorrow.
I see some good shots here. Are these hand held or off the tripod (ISO 80 F8) but it is too gloomy and wet today to go out for real . I did get somewhat better result with tripod.
Over the weekend I try to test more.
03-17-2011, 05:43 PM   #15
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Bought it yesterday

First post! Well I got a bargain for the DL at $25 including hood, both caps and a lowepro lens case. After a few shots I know it's worth much more. He wanted $100 for it initially though.

We just have to remember, it's not a prime, it's not a gazillion dollar lens and it's dirt cheap. What it is I'm happy with.
With a steady hand and the right settings you'll get a decent enough image as any lens in the higher $'00 bracket.

At low light the auto focus will search...and it probably won't get there until you focus on something not black! So get in an area with better lighting or focus on a lighter image close by.
Autofocus is also noisy. Just don't take photos next to sleeping babies especially in low light coz that zip zip sound will keep going until you realise, yep it's not going to focus on whatever black mass you are trying to focus on in the dimly-lit room.

I was already psyched to sell it off on ebay from all the online comments but after playing around with it, I am definitely keeping it on my next overseas trip.

cheers!
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