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05-05-2012, 10:44 AM - 1 Like   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
You will normally shoot at the longest focal length of the zoom for wildlife in any case.
You might be very wrong there. In my experience you can get very close to animals while traveling by car. While hiking though, the story is different; and if they get close while you're out, you will probably not worry about taking photos

05-05-2012, 11:25 AM   #17
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I returned my Sigma 120-400, after receiving my second copy, in the long end it's not as sharp as the DA*60-250 with a 1.7 converter, but it is a lot more weight. The Sigma 50-500 and 150-500 get much better reviews.

QuoteQuote:
The Sigma 500/4.5 some members use looks like a fantastic lens to me. Just a thought.
I agree, it looks like a great lens if you have deep pockets and don't mind the weight.

My DA*60-250 is all the weight I wish to carry, actually a bit more, it does get left home when it shouldn't on occasion because I'm tired of carrying it. It's so tempting to just throw on the 18-135 and just go with that, one lens fits all. I'd go for the lightest lens that produces the IQ you want, up to 300mm then go with a 1.7 TC to get you up to 450. Just make sure they match. By the way, the Tamron 70-200 2.8 with a compatible TC would be a great set up. Maybe not as long as you want but IQ and bang per buck, I doubt you'd beat it.
05-05-2012, 11:28 AM - 1 Like   #18
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My most used lens is my Sigma 50-500 (Bigma). From the first day I got it, my life has not been the same....and I use it almost daily. A few observations that might help you.

*It's not small and compact, and not light, but not unmanageable either. For a small person or one not used to heavier loads, a monopod would be an easy solution.

* The IQ is very good, not what you would get with a 500mm 5 times its price, but not all that far off either. No purple fringing or other ailments you normally see in a 70-300 mm zoom. Colors are superb, and the Bigma can render some delightful bokeh.

* Shooting handheld with SR is a breeze...at least for me...I never use a tripod or monopod...just not necessary ...for me.

*Shooting wide open to gain some speed renders fully acceptable results most of the time.....stopping down a couple of stops give improvement, but wide open is fully useable.

*It is a durable lens, I have used it for thousands of shots without problems...it's very well made.

*For the price, nothing else comes close to what you can do with the Bigma!

*For wildlife, I find that 500mm is more important than better IQ at 300mm...because at 300mm, you just miss too many shots.

Here are two "Sets" where the vast majority of shots are with the Bigma....some worthy, some not so much, but a good example of what you can expect.....or maybe better, I'm not a superb shooter by any means.

Festus & Friends - a set on Flickr

Yard Birds - a set on Flickr

If I had to live with only one lens, the Bigma would be the one. If you need better IQ, start saving! It will cost you a bundle!

It may not matter much, but it does come with the "Otis Seal of Approval" ......not much in this world get's that!
[IMG] [/IMG]


Best Regards!
05-05-2012, 11:38 AM - 1 Like   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
You might be very wrong there. In my experience you can get very close to animals while traveling by car. While hiking though, the story is different; and if they get close while you're out, you will probably not worry about taking photos
So true! The problem, of course, is that when hiking, I wouldn't want to lug something like the Sigma 500 f/4.5 around... I find the DA 55-300 to be a good compromise; it's light-weight and compact (for hiking), it's mostly short enough for when you get close (preferably in a car), and it still has a reasonably good reach and good quality.

05-05-2012, 12:24 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
I don't want to open the old zoom vs prime debate but why not just get a 400 or 500mm prime lens?
Great advice if you can afford a lens like that. The Sigma tele zooms are a lot more affordable, as is the DA 55-300. And it can take a great deal of skill to master a big super-tele prime like the Sigma 500/4.5, particularly if you're hoping to get your money's worth out of the lens.
05-05-2012, 01:42 PM - 1 Like   #21
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True enough Greg.

With two kids in university I can't afford the big Sigma. Old manual focus telephotos like the M or A series 400mm Pentax lenses can be had at a reasonable cost. The old Tamron SP 400/4 comes to mind as well. Certainly not in the league of the Sigma but a viable alternative none-the-less. The M 400/5.6 is my go-to lens for birding. Takes more effort and patience than a modern lens but every now and then I manage an image or two.





Tom G
05-05-2012, 02:33 PM - 1 Like   #22
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I have not much experience with super teles, but I decided to go for 300/4 + 1.7x tc route (A*300/4 + 1.7x AFA). I was about to buy 150/170-500 sigma but ended this because of the size, weight and the price (I was lucky to find A*300/4 for quite a low price). This combo is only 16cm long and weights about 1kg. The new 150-500 OS version is 25cm and weights almost 2kg. This combo fits nicely to my smaller camera bag, sigma wouldn't have fitted even in my bigger camera bag. After all, the best lens is the one which is always with you, no? Here is the size comparison



And here are some samples:









The biggest problem with this is that it's quite hard to find and may not be much cheaper than those sigma lenses used. May not also be as sharp and is more prone to CA and the AF is not the same level (this combo needs manual pre-focusing and may hunt in lowish light and not lock). But that said, it's quite capable combination and small and light. I would recommend K-5 to go with this as the maximum aperture is only 6.8 and I end up using ISO 1600-6400 a lot.
05-05-2012, 03:40 PM   #23
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Just shot this Woody a few minutes ago...through double pane glass 500mm at 6.7 1/100 ISO 400. Not perfect, but given the distance and circumstance.....I had soap in my eyes from washing my hair too....you can see the possibilities of a more determined shooter not too lazy to get outside and get closer.
BTW- I once shot with a friends DA 55-300 and was very impressed. I thought it rivaled my Bigma in the few shots I took with it, and for the range it is a superb value....well, it was before the price increase, I have no idea how it is priced now?

Best Regards & Good luck on whatever you choose!

Woody
[IMG] [/IMG]

05-05-2012, 04:05 PM - 1 Like   #24
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This has become the post your telephoto images thread? I feel i have to do my part.

DA*60-250, Pentax SMX 1.7x TC



05-06-2012, 07:43 AM - 1 Like   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by jhoppy01 Quote
I have seen this lens on ebay and am unsure if its a k mount - anyone know for sure?
(We dont want to spend a lot of money and get the wrong mount - especially as my other half bought a new K-X today and put an old lens on it which he now cant get off - d'oh!)

SIGMA 170-500 MM 1:5-6.3 APO LENS MADE IN JAPAN INCLUDES ORIGINAL CASE FREE POST | eBay

thanks all! And, I am more than happy to get a legacy lens, and to be honest, we do enjoy using manual focus (once we have a vague idea of what we are doing)
E-mail the seller and verify the mount as being a Pentax K mount. The 170-500 is an excellent lens. 99% of my shooting with the 50-500 is within that range....however, it does a nice job at 50mm if required, which is very seldom.

Bigma 50-500 @ 50mm
[IMG] [/IMG]

Regards!
05-06-2012, 10:39 AM - 1 Like   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by jhoppy01 Quote
I have seen this lens on ebay and am unsure if its a k mount - anyone know for sure?
(We dont want to spend a lot of money and get the wrong mount - especially as my other half bought a new K-X today and put an old lens on it which he now cant get off - d'oh!)

SIGMA 170-500 MM 1:5-6.3 APO LENS MADE IN JAPAN INCLUDES ORIGINAL CASE FREE POST | eBay

thanks all! And, I am more than happy to get a legacy lens, and to be honest, we do enjoy using manual focus (once we have a vague idea of what we are doing)
Picture of mount on ebay looks identical to my K-mount Sigma 170-500 in every way. Bit odd the reference to RF lens for Canon. Looks good, but double check those are pics of the actual lens.

BTW: search forum for stuck lens with Ricoh mount pin locking into AF screw. This might be the problem if old legacy lens.
05-06-2012, 07:06 PM   #27
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New camera taken to shop to get old lens off - they used all their usual tricks & it still wont come off so they have had to send it away to get it off as they havent seen anything like it. Its not on properly BUT they cant put it on or get it off. Frustrating BUT typical of us to do something so stupid
05-06-2012, 07:13 PM - 1 Like   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by jhoppy01 Quote
New camera taken to shop to get old lens off - they used all their usual tricks & it still wont come off so they have had to send it away to get it off as they havent seen anything like it. Its not on properly BUT they cant put it on or get it off. Frustrating BUT typical of us to do something so stupid
Is this with a Richo lens?

Edit: It could possibly be this: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-beginners-corner-q/62194-ricoh-pin...ed-remove.html
05-06-2012, 07:32 PM   #29
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not a ricoh, an old Sears lens. Maybe it had a dent in the metal ring, who knows? We gave them permission to destroy the lens if need be (its seen better days & has major lens creep - wow, I am slowly learning camera language!) BUT they said its a good lens so thats a surprise. Thanks for advice!
05-06-2012, 07:56 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by jhoppy01 Quote
not a ricoh, an old Sears lens. Maybe it had a dent in the metal ring, who knows? We gave them permission to destroy the lens if need be (its seen better days & has major lens creep - wow, I am slowly learning camera language!) BUT they said its a good lens so thats a surprise. Thanks for advice!
I think there were a few sears lenses that had it too. Lets hope they can fix it.
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