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08-05-2011, 01:09 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
Ok - I hear what you are saying - I would have a greater possibility to get better IQ out of my current lenses being I would be gaining ~2 stops performance with a K-5.



I took a look at your 170-500 shots in your album - very nice! You seem to be getting as good results with yours as I do with mine.

And I tend to agree about the DA*300 - I am very close to buying one, but also feel that being a fixed focal length would be very restrictive for how I shoot. I've found that whenever I setup to shoot something, another critter or something comes along behind and close to me.

I did just purchase a K-x mostly for my wife to use - I'll have to try my longer lenses on that to get an idea of what you are talking about.
I might be getting as good results as you, but I can't reliably do 1/180s as you apparently can - bravo!

I wonder how you'll find the K-x/Sigma combo in terms of handling. The K-x is smaller & lighter than the K20D, so it will handle differently. I'm used to it, but I wouldn't mind a slightly larger and heavier camera.

08-05-2011, 01:50 PM   #32
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Sharpness tests using tripod, remote, & mirror lockup? I wonder only because that Tamron SP 500 mirror is real sharp when in focus. Focusing handheld is challenging, at least for me, I can't, accurately.
08-05-2011, 02:13 PM   #33
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There was thread in other part of forum recently about 'wildlfe & birding' len's.
A couple members mentioned using refracting telescopes with extension tubes.
Those things truly do have the capability of producing outstanding images.
Hoya glass and coatings very much a player in the game.
Triplets with fluoro ED element at app. 70mm-90mm apeture(diameter)
and focal lengths of app. 600mm can be had for well below $1K.
Magnification in range of 150x very do-able.
Two sides for every story though.
Have pretty much fixed apeture.
Fixed focal length also,very unique prime.
Faster sensor's and noise reduction software are rapidly evaporating speed argument.
None are auto-focus,(without a AF1.7x).
Close focusing is restricted too.Having another body/lens
dedicated for that purpose certainly viable.(Why I like my film stuff)
Weight and portability can be restrictive.Takes a high quality,beefy mount and/or
tripod to settle those things down.Lot of astromony folks say worry more about
spending on tripod than on tube.(Get spectacular moon shots too!)
Really have the feeling we'll see some outdoor types drifting in that direction.
Price's are coming down almost quarterly with inverse increase in quality.

Overall,very specialized,very capable,technique critical, option.

Last edited by BillM; 08-05-2011 at 02:23 PM.
08-05-2011, 02:46 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
OK, I was just going by hearsay, including what I've read on this forum. I don't have either camera.
I understand.

QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
I would think, though, that when you normalize the photos - that is, resize them so they have the same dimensions - that K-5's noise advantage would increase a bit.
dxomark does such normalization. They're pretty good at what they are doing, although some people don't take the time to understand their results and then tend to be dismissive (I know because I was one of those people until I decided to spend some time and read about what dxomark is doing ).

08-06-2011, 04:00 PM   #35
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Having way too much time to think about all this.....

I am going to go through my testing tomorrow - more of a justification process for myself than anything.

I'm going to try both lenses, both tripod mounted and hand held at various focal lengths and apertures, both on the K20D and K-x. I'm sure my mind will be more twisted after all that.

But after rereading this thread, and looking at some of my successful shots with the Sigma lens, I think I may be looking for something that I already have. I know the lens is capable - the shot I posted of the chipmunk is acceptable sharp to me, and that was hand held.

So, I got to thinking what luftfluss posted in this thread about the K-5. I think going with a K-5 would give all my lenses a 2 stop advantage over what I have now. This is huge in my opinion. Then with the slow long lenses, I could shoot in TaV mode and think I would have a lot more success that way. At first I just couldn't get my brain around the concept he was talking about, but I think now this might be a good interim solution instead of buying/trying more glass.

So, I guess it might come down to - faster glass, or faster camera?

I'd like your thoughts on getting a K-5 instead of buying some expensive glass at this point.
08-06-2011, 04:40 PM   #36
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I have a k-5 and both the da*300 and sigma 170-500.
A short while ago I did some quick comparisons of the sigma vs the da300 with a kenko 1.5x tc.
I used a far off utility pole as a target.
When the sigma was dialed in for accurate focus at 450mm I felt it had better resolution than the 300 tc combo.
This could be a fault of the kenko as I am not sure how it compares to the pentax tc.
08-06-2011, 07:26 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
Having way too much time to think about all this.....

I am going to go through my testing tomorrow - more of a justification process for myself than anything.

I'm going to try both lenses, both tripod mounted and hand held at various focal lengths and apertures, both on the K20D and K-x. I'm sure my mind will be more twisted after all that.

But after rereading this thread, and looking at some of my successful shots with the Sigma lens, I think I may be looking for something that I already have. I know the lens is capable - the shot I posted of the chipmunk is acceptable sharp to me, and that was hand held.

So, I got to thinking what luftfluss posted in this thread about the K-5. I think going with a K-5 would give all my lenses a 2 stop advantage over what I have now. This is huge in my opinion. Then with the slow long lenses, I could shoot in TaV mode and think I would have a lot more success that way. At first I just couldn't get my brain around the concept he was talking about, but I think now this might be a good interim solution instead of buying/trying more glass.

So, I guess it might come down to - faster glass, or faster camera?

I'd like your thoughts on getting a K-5 instead of buying some expensive glass at this point.
Hmm, well, Laurentiu Cristofor has shown me that I overestimated the K-5's noise advantage, so it's more like 1 stop over the K20D. That said, the K-5 also has significantly better dynamic range, so you'd be better able to pull out dark fur detail, for instance.

Additionally, there are two other cornerstone advantages for the K-5 compared with the K20D: faster AF and quieter shutter, both helpful for capturing dem critters!

Last edited by luftfluss; 06-08-2016 at 08:24 AM.
08-07-2011, 04:14 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
I need long and want sharp - options?
Saw this and thought of pointy stick or spear.

08-07-2011, 05:36 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
Additionally, there are two other cornerstone advantages for the K-5 compared with the K20D: faster AF and quieter shutter,
+1 ! With a HSM lens attached to the K20D that shutter click starts to sound like a gunshot.. especially at 12am in a quiet neighborhood!!
08-07-2011, 05:25 PM   #40
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Well folks, I think I am over my LBA attack - it was kind of like a 3 day flu......

I spent most of the day shooting with what I have and made a couple decisions.

For one, I am keeping the Sigma, and the Tokina is up for sale (sale pending already!). I know I can produce some very nice images with the Sigma and did just that today.

While I was shooting, I picked up my favorite lens, and one that I haven't used much since obsessing over these 400+ lenses - my DA 55-300. Once again I am just so happy with the images it produces. I even had a couple today, that when you are at your monitor looking over your pics, you just say.....WOW.

So I have a nice range. I also worked with my DA 16-45 a bit and got some stunning images with that also. 16-45, 55-300, 170-500 and a nice sharp DFA 100 macro - what more do I really need?

Also, I had a K-5 with grip in my cart for the last 3 days - came very close to pulling the trigger on that also. But after working with my K20D with my ISO range set 100-400, I am still very happy with that.

I want to thank everyone for their participation in my LBA attack - as always, I learn a lot from you all. When I told my wife that everything is fine with what I have, and that I am not buying anything right now, she just rolled her eyes, and I can just hear her thinking, "yeah, until next week!"
08-07-2011, 06:11 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
16-45, 55-300, 170-500 and a nice sharp DFA 100 macro - what more do I really need?"
A fast normal. I have a K20D (and K-x), 16-45, 55-300, 100 macro and some others. I've enjoyed reading your thread.

I've been tormented by the DA*300 for a long time, but 300mm just didn't seem enough. I bought a Kenko 1.5X PZ Teleplus, thinking I would use it when I got the 300mm. Unfortunately the TC has been disappointing. It loses resolution and contrast when used with the D FA 100 and focussing is not terribly reliable. WIth the 50-135mm I borrowed, focus accuracy was just plain terrible.

I recently ordered a Sigma 150-500mm, mainly for its long range. HSM is a nice feature, I hate AF noise when shooting wildlife. Rumour has it that OS should be better than SR at 500mm. My only concern now is that I get a good copy. Test results and personal experiences seem to point to high variability between copies. Hopefully I'll be one of the lucky ones. It should be here in about a week.
08-07-2011, 07:31 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I recently ordered a Sigma 150-500mm, mainly for its long range. HSM is a nice feature, I hate AF noise when shooting wildlife. Rumour has it that OS should be better than SR at 500mm. My only concern now is that I get a good copy. Test results and personal experiences seem to point to high variability between copies. Hopefully I'll be one of the lucky ones. It should be here in about a week.
I just went through the same thing. I bought a new 150-500 to end my quest. As it turns out, the lens went back and I am keeping my 170-500.

The 150-500 would not focus properly for me. Now I don't consider myself an expert at all, so I didn't want to call it defective - I just sent it back saying it didn't live up to my expectations. I really wish it had though - the HSM was so smooth and quiet, and the lens OS was a great feature. Just this copy I received, when auto focused, was way off. I suppose I could have attempted some AF adjustment with my K20D, but I was kind of put off and felt that after spending over $1K on a lens, I shouldn't have to do that.

I just wanted you to be aware to check yours out. I've read many great reviews on that lens, so I'm pretty sure I just received a bad copy. I hope you receive a good one. If you would, could you let me know (via PM if you like) how yours is when you get it - I just might try another copy.
08-07-2011, 07:39 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
I just wanted you to be aware to check yours out. I've read many great reviews on that lens, so I'm pretty sure I just received a bad copy. I hope you receive a good one. If you would, could you let me know (via PM if you like) how yours is when you get it - I just might try another copy.
I do check my lenses when I get them. I learned this lesson the hard way. I'll let you know how my 150-500 does.
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