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10-07-2011, 05:29 PM   #16
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Bob, we popped down to the farm on Wednesday after finally getting access permits. The place was almost over run by migrants being sandpipers.
Must go there when the orange belly parrots are visiting.

10-07-2011, 06:30 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by AdrianM Quote
Don't eat your words too much, Rawr. There are more than enough unreliable characters out there who will try to keep you on the hook even though they haven't got a hope of satisfying an order. Because I knew this wouldn't be a lens that would be held in stock by retailers in Australia, I checked with CRKennedy first and they confirmed availability and delivery time with Sigma in Japan before I ordered it.

By the way - I have been having fun playing despite the weather, but haven't felt like getting the lens too wet yet, so have confined my playroom to the front veranda. I checked it out with a Kenko 1.5x TC, and although it is slow to focus (it is a rather dull and wet day here), it is just superb with the TC attached - so 750mm here I come. I also did some checks for CA and even with massive glare and backlighting from the sky, there were no obvious defects in the shots I took.

First impressions: (1) heavy - make sure that your spouse works on her muscles so that she can carry it for you I also suggest a monopod or tripod.
(2) Delightful optically
(3) Works with a 1.5x TC even in low light but slower focus
Great shot, Adrian.

I have been looking into this big lens myself. I tought it would be "handheld-able", but likely not !!

Monopod would do the job you think? I hate carrying a tripod around, especially where I go: wooded trails, ricky escarpments, slippery rocks, ...

JP
10-07-2011, 10:03 PM   #18
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A Rainbow Bee Eater from about half an hour ago. This is about a 60% crop from the original, then resized and sharpened. K5, Sigma 500 f4.5 APO DG EX, 1/640th, f5.6, ISO 250, on monopod.

I had a bit of trouble with the focus on this preliminary attempt. The lens might be backfocusing a small amount, but I found a bit of inconsitency as to whether I hit the target. It might just be the idiot behind the camera, but I have also got some results that I am really delighted with, so I'll work on it and find out.

With respect to sharpness, at f4.5 the lens is a little soft, a definite improvement at f5 and from f5.6 it gets really sharp. I have started to put together a review with photos.

JPZK - in response to your thoughts on monopods, my answer is that it is hand-holdable, but you don't want to be doing it for long unless you are Mr Universe. My monopod is a Leki extendable hiking stick with a camera mount on the top, plus the head of a tripod that screws onto that so that I have a 'bendy' joint at the top. This is light, generally unobtrusive and useful for general trail walking as well.
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10-07-2011, 11:35 PM   #19
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Adrian - great work in dull light. Colours are unreal. What are you going to do to protect the lens? I suspect a filter is not an option. I was thinking to get a hood from B&H. I was going to get the rest of the armour, but some of it is stick on which isn't going to stick long the way I use cameras.

10-07-2011, 11:40 PM   #20
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xjjohnno I can see Cheatham wetlands from where I live. I hope the avocets are still feeding in a pond I can access.

The lens I have been waiting for is now in Sydney. I was phoned to pay the duty. I will have ended up paying about the same for the lens as if I had purchased it In Aus but I don't have an Aus warranty.
10-07-2011, 11:49 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bob from Aus Quote
Adrian - great work in dull light. Colours are unreal. What are you going to do to protect the lens? I suspect a filter is not an option. I was thinking to get a hood from B&H. I was going to get the rest of the armour, but some of it is stick on which isn't going to stick long the way I use cameras.
Bob, at the moment I was only thinking about being rather careful. When walking around, I noted that I was carrying the lens at full arm stretch so I was more likely to bang into something than with the 'high carry' I would have done with lighter equipment. Not sure what you mean about a hood (the lens has a substantial 'hood' that should protect the front lens from knocks), but I had been thinking vaguely about armour. I have seen other people create their own armour with thin rubber and velcro and it didn't look too bad and had potential (make sure you go to the second page of this link - the first attempt wasn't very flash):.
Cheap home made lens coat!!
10-08-2011, 12:33 AM   #22
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Adrian, A link to B&H and a lens hood cover, that goes across the lens hood. I think this one is specific to the Sigma 500. It is also possible to get the same material that wraps around the lens to protect it. Read reviews from several similar designs to get a full appreciation. There are about 6 different colours each with separate reviews. I will probably go for the cover, but I am open to other ideas.
LensCoat X-Large Hoodie Lens Hood Cover LCHXLFG B&H Photo Video

LensCoat X-Large Hoodie Lens Hood Cover (Forest Green Camo)
10-08-2011, 12:41 AM   #23
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Sorry Adrian I should have looked at your link first. same product, but may not have the same issue with the hoody if there is no screw. In any case, I need something that goes on and off quickly. Ant way a great idea as I have wife with a giant laundry that is equivalent to a boys shed except she has girl tools a plenty.

10-08-2011, 03:27 AM   #24
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Yep, the avocets are still there, surrounded by sandpipers of late.
As for Cheetam, popped by there a few times recently + the bird hide, great spots for coastal birds of prey as well as a myriad of tiny birds.
As for Adrian's rainbow bee eater, great pic , they should be down this end rather soon, Brisbane Ranges I here is a good spot to see them locally.
No nech strap with the 500 f4.5?
10-08-2011, 04:01 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by AdrianM Quote
(1) heavy
Anyone surprised by this? ;~)

I've got an order in with B&H so I'm anxiously waiting to hear that it's been shipped (but dreading the charge to my credit card.)
10-08-2011, 05:55 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bob from Aus Quote
Adrian, A link to B&H and a lens hood cover, that goes across the lens hood. I think this one is specific to the Sigma 500. It is also possible to get the same material that wraps around the lens to protect it. Read reviews from several similar designs to get a full appreciation. There are about 6 different colours each with separate reviews. I will probably go for the cover, but I am open to other ideas.
LensCoat X-Large Hoodie Lens Hood Cover LCHXLFG B&H Photo Video

LensCoat X-Large Hoodie Lens Hood Cover (Forest Green Camo)
Bob, the lens comes with a similar item, (perhaps a bit more solid) with a velcro closure. Fits over the hood whether extended or retracted.
10-08-2011, 06:00 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
Anyone surprised by this? ;~)

I've got an order in with B&H so I'm anxiously waiting to hear that it's been shipped (but dreading the charge to my credit card.)
Wow - just pulled it up on the B&H site and shows in stock!

Now if I could only talk my wife into seller her car so I could afford it..........
10-08-2011, 10:05 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
Wow - just pulled it up on the B&H site and shows in stock!

Now if I could only talk my wife into seller her car so I could afford it..........
Car, wife - whatever it takes ...

Here is a shot taken today(would have loved to be closer, this is about a 50% crop). I feel a bit more comfortable with the focus point of the lens after dialing in a +5 and today's results were a bit more consitent. What I found is that the focus point can be really sensitive to small movements and being able to hold the lens steady is much more critical to geting good focus than on any of my other lenses. I guess there is nothing surprising in this, but it means that holding and shooting is not necessarily a success track. Maybe after I build up my strength ...

K5, TAv mode, 1/640th, f71, bias +0.7, ISO 640
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10-08-2011, 10:32 PM   #29
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Adrian keep rolling out your experience with your new lens. It is really useful. I might have a question or 2 or some observations if my lens arrives tomorrow. I have never had a top notch long lens and have got away with murder using second best so I need to rethink some of the things I do. At least the lens is in the country.
10-09-2011, 12:22 AM   #30
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A picture from this afternoon from my back yard - I have retained the +5 focus adjustment. Uncropped, resized and sharpened in Photoshop CS5.

K5, TAv mode, 1/640th, f5.6, ISO 400, no bias, hand held.
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