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12-18-2007, 05:00 AM   #1
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What do you think.....really?

So I posted a thread about 3 weeks ago for help on filters and lenses and it was mentioned to me to get the Sigma 70-300mm APO Macro. The user said that it was an excellent lens. My only worry is that it won't give me the professional quality I want for that price. I'm on a budget right now so i cant spend much more than that but i want a zoom lens that will reach out and touch someone for nature shots!

Examples of what you've done or even just your opinion would be great! thanks alot as usual.

justin

12-18-2007, 05:09 AM   #2
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I guess Sigma 50-500 is your thingie. Great flexibility, excellent picture quality, and it is not as heavy as it may look like. I don't own one, but I tried it once, and definetely will get one for myslef in spring perhaps...
12-18-2007, 05:22 AM   #3
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thanks. keep the suggestions coming!!
12-18-2007, 05:45 AM   #4
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I guess the real question is, what all do you want to do?

if you are looking to get out to 300mm, you can always look at a 300mm F4 form pentax. I have posted several shots taken with this lens used with a 1.7x AF TC. I also know where one is sitting in a store at present.

You can get the lens for much less than a BIGMA, but there are disadvantages.

- it is not a zoom, which is why I asked "what all do you want to do?"
- depending on varient, you cannot use P-TTL flash (I use mine on an *istD)
- you still need to cover the range (perhaps) below 300 mm
- there is no tripod mount.
- if you want to get out to the range of a BIGMA you would still need the 1.7x AF TC and I hear these are getting exzpensive (I have had mine since my PZ-1 and as a result have the benefit of not having to get one now.)

BUT on the plus side, it is one f-stop faster at 300 mm than the 75-300, and in wildlife that is a big advantage. This stop also lets you add the AF- TC to get out further and still have autofocus.

You may need to shop around and look at some different options.

There are also several 500mm+ mirror lenses out there, in either screw mount or K mount. The disadvantegs are, fixed apature, no capability of P-TTL flash, and the out of focus little donuts that appear due to the blocking of the lens centre by the secondary mirror, but they are light and cheap to get 500-1000mm on your camera.

12-18-2007, 06:18 AM   #5
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Lowell makes some good suggestions and I own this lens and TC combo myself. The lens is a reasonable price but the TC's are selling for over $400 used these days if you can even find one. I also own the Bigma and although it's a great lens, it's not cheap at about $1000.00

Here's what I would suggest faced with the same choices.
If the budget is really tight then the 70-300 macro Sigma is the best bet. I did an hour of shooting with a new borrowed one about a month ago (haven't seen a lens I could resist testing). This is a very good lens with sharp images and excellent IQ. The 1:2 macro feature is a real plus since you can get a good distance away from the subject and get a very good close up. Good all around lens.

If you can afford to take it up a notch, then I'd get the Sigma APO 135-400mm F4.5-5.6 DG seen here on Sigmas web site: Sigma - Lenses but can be had here at a much better price:
Sigma | 135-400mm f/4.5-5.6 APO DG Aspherical AF Lens | 727109
This lens has a great range and should be fast enough and long enough for almost any use. If you've seen Tom Lusk or Marc Langille's shots, they both shoot a lot with the FA*300mm f4.5 and sometimes with a AF 1.7 TC. So you can get great results with a "slower" lens as long as the lens is a good one. Someone a while ago asked Tom what settings he used with his FA*300mm and he answered something like " I don't know, I just know how the lens reacts and take the shot" He still shoots seagulls just to stay sharp. Practice with any camera/ lens combo can greatly improve your end results. So if the 70-300 is all you can afford, it will give you great results as long as you practice.

IMO it's simply not worth spending the money on a "it'll do till I can afford..." lens. You will be disappointed and wind up ultimately spending more in total to get what you want. I've learned the hard way that it's worth the wait and saving to get the best you can afford. So skip the manual focus off brand lenses. They are cheap and have the range but you'll be looking for a replacement a week after you get it.

Last edited by Peter Zack; 12-18-2007 at 07:10 AM.
12-18-2007, 06:44 AM   #6
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one additional thing to look at, and I make no claims about the product as I only found this site last night.

M42 (Zenit) Lenses

If you want really long, this might be worth a look. BUT as I said in my initial post, there are some shortcomings with mirrors.

WHat got my attention is 500mm F5.6. That is fast for the focal length.
12-18-2007, 07:20 AM   #7
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I have the sigma apo macro version and I dont think its that great, its an ok lens but nothing great, especially at 300mm, at 200mm its ok, at 135 its not bad, at 70 its good. I am under the impression that the tamron 70-300 is a better lens.
12-18-2007, 03:13 PM   #8
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thanks everyone. very much appreciated. hmmmm quite the dilemma we have now. The sigma vs the tamron 70-300. It just gets deeper and deeper.

12-18-2007, 04:18 PM   #9
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Not really.

I have the Tamron 70-300. It has slightly better IQ then the Sigma but at the cost of a lot more purple fringe. I call mine the Purple Monster. This may or may not affect you as much as it does to me. I took a series of water fowl and each and every one had purple water droplets...argh. The Tamron can make nice photos, but it all depends on the subject matter. A birders lens it is not.


If I had to do it again, I might go the Sigma APO route. I cannot imagine the images are all that bad compared to the Tamron. With the Tamron, the purple fringe may drive you mad.

I suggest you try each lens on the camera and see which one fits you better in a photography store, if at all possible.
12-18-2007, 04:23 PM   #10
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To put my opinion on my sigma differently, its so bad at 300mm that I wont use it there, since that is the case I might as well have gotten the Pentax 50-200 which I view as a very good lens.
12-18-2007, 06:11 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by seymop Quote
So I posted a thread about 3 weeks ago for help on filters and lenses and it was mentioned to me to get the Sigma 70-300mm APO Macro. The user said that it was an excellent lens. My only worry is that it won't give me the professional quality I want for that price. I'm on a budget right now so i cant spend much more than that but i want a zoom lens that will reach out and touch someone for nature shots!
You aren't getting a professional quality telephoto lens for $200.
12-18-2007, 07:38 PM   #12
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It all comes down to the copy you get. My Sigma is plenty sharp at 300mm given it's a $200 lens. Here's a few noob examples: Slide show
12-18-2007, 08:17 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chako Quote
I have the Tamron 70-300. It has slightly better IQ then the Sigma but at the cost of a lot more purple fringe. I call mine the Purple Monster.
I wonder if these pics help qualify mine as a Purple Monster?
(I don't think so but I may be biased on my own lens!)

Tamron 70-300 Di at the Air race: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

Last edited by Kguru; 12-18-2007 at 08:27 PM.
12-18-2007, 08:41 PM   #14
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You definitely have some purple fringe on a few of your photos. The worst is your second photo.

Here are a few examples of what I found with my Tamron 70-300mm copy aka the Purple Monster.

Here is a macro shot taken in August of last summer.


And I took about 80 photos of various mallards cleaning themselves this past October..and each and every shot turned out like this one. I was not pleased to say the least.
12-18-2007, 08:46 PM   #15
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Wow, that is about the worst I've ever seen from any lens, lol.
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