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12-01-2007, 10:46 PM   #1
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Sigma Tele-zooms?

Hi Everyone,

I'm the market for a longer zoom. I have the DA50-200mm and have found that I'm really enjoying wildlife and birding. My budget isn't suited for a FA*300 or similarly priced lens, meaning around $1000 hopefully less.

I've been looking at the Sigma 50-500mm and the 135-400mm. I've seen some great long shots with the Bigma but I don't think I'm going to use the 50-200mm as I'm pretty happy with the DA lens, at least until I get good enough so that the glass will make the difference rather than me.

I haven't found too many reviews of the 135-400mm, just wondering if anyone has had any experience with this lens. Optically and build-wise is it as good as the Bigma? Also are there other ultra-teles I should be looking at?

Many thanks for the help.

Last edited by ccranfie78; 12-01-2007 at 10:51 PM.
12-01-2007, 11:00 PM   #2
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I bought the 170-500 Sigma, and was unhappy with it. It was soft compared to my ancient SMCP-M 400/5.6, so I sold it (at a loss, of course). You can see what the M 400/5.6 will do into the winter sun at the URL below. I shot this today to test the lens on the K10D.

Flickr: Photos from Albert Pentaxian

The last M/K 400/5.6 I saw on sale was C$325, sometime earlier this year.
12-03-2007, 05:48 PM   #3
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Original Poster
Thanks Albert. I've seen copies of the 400 appear here and there. I'll take a closer look after seeing your shots. Nice!

Though I'm still curious does anyone have experience with the 135-400mm?

Thank you!
12-05-2007, 04:31 PM   #4
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A link for sample photos lies "within"...

Dear Ccranfie78:

The PIPE Here...and if you check my post here at PentaxForums, specificially at ...someone HAS been doin' some shootin' with the lens I've nicknamed the "Li'l Bigma"...their photos are viewable at the link I've given...

...hope you can check some of those out!!!

Yours Sincerely,

The PIPE...hoping to get myself a "Li'l Bigma" before next summer...!!!

12-05-2007, 08:22 PM   #5
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Ah ha....I swear I searched before posting.... .....swear it...

This helps a lot thank you!

12-05-2007, 08:41 PM   #6
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Did you see the review on photozone? It's for the Canon mount though...

Sigma AF 135-400mm f/4.5-5.6 APO Aspherical RF - Photozone Test Report / Review
12-06-2007, 06:46 AM   #7
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I have the same issue, to an extent, but have a head start. I already had a collection of pentax lenses for film, and used my 300mm F/4.0 plus the 1.7x AF TC.

This works very well with my *istD, and I also had the good fortune to purchase a Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 shortly after I bought the *istD (i.e. when the fast Sigma zoom was available in stores) At that time I also bought the 1.4x TC giving me a 100-300 f/4.0 autofocus zoom.

Both combinations have been used to great success on my *istD, with the 300 + 1.7 x TC giving me 500mm F6.7. I also use flash for birding quite a bit, and had built my own flash extenders. (I have also bought the Better Beamer flash extender with fresnel lens)

Where I ran into trouble is that the K10D, uses p-ttl flash, and I cannot use the 300mmF4 lens with P-TTL (yet, I have put 3-4 different suggestions into pentax service as to how P-TTL could be made to work with K mount lenses, and am hoping they have the good sense to adapt one of them)

As a result, I was limited to the sigma zoom plus 1.4x TC on the K10D. Although it is good for big birds, (herons etc.) it is just not long enough for smaller birds.

In the interim, I have opted to get the sigma APO 2x EX DG teleconverter, and at least stretch my 70-200mm zoom out to 400 mm. (edit note: I took the DG version, because I also have a PZ-1 and although I don't shoot film as a primary medium, I am attempting at this point to keep all my lenses compatible with the PZ-1 also as a back up)

It is not the final solution, and I am hoping at some point to get either a 300 f2.8 AF lens plus a matched TC, or something similar but longer with no TC, but for now it will have to do,

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