Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
06-21-2011, 05:37 PM - 1 Like   #1
Veteran Member
stormtech's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: In the boonies (NW Penna)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,670
Testing 500mm lenses

As I get older, I find decisions much harder to make.

So....in my quest for an affordable 500mm lens, I ended up buying 2.

I never intended to keep the 2, so I did some quick testing over the weekend to try to decided which one to keep and which to sell.

Now it is worse - I like them both for their own reasons!

The lenses in question are a Sigma 170-500 f5-6.3 and a Tamron 55BB f8 mirror.

I find some pros and cons with both but it all seems to equal out for the most part:

Sigma pros - auto-focus (big pro for me), zoom (didn't buy it for the zoom though), aperture control
Sigma cons - a bit soft @500mm

Tamron pros - smaller/lighter (still find it hard to hand-hold)
Tamron cons - fixed aperture, a bit soft (might be my focus abilities), and of course that donut brokeh I catch once in a while.

I did a couple test shots with both - on a tripod using the 2-sec timer. To be fair as possible with the comparison, I shot the Sigma @500mm wide open.

First shots are the Tamron - second the Sigma:


Last edited by stormtech; 06-25-2012 at 07:16 PM.
06-21-2011, 05:43 PM   #2
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ohio, USA/ India
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 474
You are right that they both have their own advantages and like you I would not give up either one. I just have the Tamron and like it for its IQ and light weight, but if I had the other sigma I would hold on to it as well for the ability to control depth of field. Is that not the story of LBA?
06-21-2011, 06:14 PM   #3
Veteran Member
RioRico's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Limbo, California
Posts: 11,264
My similar setup: Lil'Bigma APO DG 170-500/5-6.3 (NOT a budget lens!) and Sakar MC 500/8 mirror (ridiculously cheap). They're both good but the Sigma is 3x as heavy, so guess which gets carried and used more? I used the Sakar for downtown street-shooting in Santa Fe NM a few weeks ago. I wouldn't have dared to whip-out the Sigma in such crowds. Am I cowardly?
06-21-2011, 07:27 PM   #4
Veteran Member
stormtech's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: In the boonies (NW Penna)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,670
Original Poster
QuoteQuote:
I wouldn't have dared to whip-out the Sigma in such crowds. Am I cowardly?
Funny you say that -

My first impulse was to sell the mirror, but after handling the Sigma for a couple days, I thought the same as you - being anywhere with a big lens like the Sigma where there is no wildlife to shoot would definitely draw unwanted attention.

As far as the IQ of both - I need to work on my manual focusing skills with the Tamron. My test images above, at least to my eyes, look pretty close as far as sharpness - I now wonder if I can get a sharper image with the Tamron.

As far as IQ and sharpness, now that I've had my Tamron SP90 Macro for a while, I find myself judging my images against that lens - I need to stop doing that.

06-21-2011, 07:33 PM   #5
Veteran Member
RioRico's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Limbo, California
Posts: 11,264
QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
As far as the IQ of both - I need to work on my manual focusing skills with the Tamron. My test images above, at least to my eyes, look pretty close as far as sharpness - I now wonder if I can get a sharper image with the Tamron.
One acronym: CIF (catch-in-focus). I use CIF with my Sakar 500 (and most other manual lenses) and get spot-on focus, even with my delaminating eyeballs.
06-21-2011, 07:47 PM   #6
Veteran Member
stormtech's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: In the boonies (NW Penna)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,670
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
One acronym: CIF (catch-in-focus). I use CIF with my Sakar 500 (and most other manual lenses) and get spot-on focus, even with my delaminating eyeballs.
Thank you very much for that tip - never even crossed my mind.

Can't wait to try it!
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!
500mm, aperture, bit, cons, k-mount, lenses, pentax lens, pros, shots, sigma, slr lens, tamron
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Testing Wide Angle Lenses mtngal Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 7 03-06-2014 02:19 AM
Sean Reid testing K5 and pancake lenses ChrisAZ Pentax K-5 5 01-15-2011 01:00 AM
Cameras, Lenses and Testing Zubati Kit Photographic Technique 2 11-21-2010 02:36 AM
Photozone is requesting Pentax lenses for testing RaduA Pentax News and Rumors 23 01-13-2010 04:20 AM
Testing some portrait lenses maxwell1295 Post Your Photos! 13 03-20-2008 07:27 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:11 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