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05-07-2012, 03:43 AM   #1
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Sigma 300mm F2.8 APO EX DG

Hi Guys , I've been asked to shoot the Kids sporting events on the weekends and after last weekend of dismal performance by my old and Faithful Sigma 70-300 DL Macro lens in autofocussing and and rather soft images wideopen and a mixed bag of different shots at the same aperture I'm seriously considering a Sigma 300mm F:2.8 Lens , I've looked at the Pentax DA 300 F4 but to be honest the extra Stop makes all the difference , Had a look at the reviews and I'm leaning towards the Sigma. are there any other alternatives in a pentax K-mount in 300mm 2.8 Lens ?

05-07-2012, 04:27 AM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by disco_owner Quote
Hi Guys , I've been asked to shoot the Kids sporting events on the weekends and after last weekend of dismal performance by my old and Faithful Sigma 70-300 DL Macro lens in autofocussing and and rather soft images wideopen and a mixed bag of different shots at the same aperture I'm seriously considering a Sigma 300mm F:2.8 Lens , I've looked at the Pentax DA 300 F4 but to be honest the extra Stop makes all the difference , Had a look at the reviews and I'm leaning towards the Sigma. are there any other alternatives in a pentax K-mount in 300mm 2.8 Lens ?
By most accounts this is a fantastic lens. The price tag is pretty steep but if you can afford to drop that kind of money a 300 2.8 would be capable of some incredible subject Isolation. iwill also give you a bit of resolution for cropping if they are a bit further. Conversely it might force constant lens changes for the action that is a bit close for this beast, something a zoom is very handy for.

You may find a cheaper more viable Sigma Zoom that will give you up to 500mm range. Depending on the sporting event (Ie AFL or Soccer the longer reach would be handy.) Sure you might loose a stop or two, but thats where your K-5 will step in and keep your shutter speed where you want it with a boost in ISO.

Edit:Alternatively you could seek out some of the old pentax FA* lenses in that range.
05-07-2012, 04:37 AM   #3
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I have had this lens for a couple of years now.The lens has seen extensive use in the forests of Finland, tiger-hunts in India, and wildlife shooting in Amazon rainforests. I can recommend it without hesitation. My copy has not required any service or repairs so far. I have heard of some all-new lenses with BF/FF problem needing adjustment, which has been provided free of charge by Sigma. I think I have written about my experiences in the review section.

I am not aware of other new 300/2,8 lenses available for K-mount at the moment. Every now and then there are some rather expensive second hand Pentax FA* 300/2,8 lenses available, as well as MF Tamron 300/2,8 īs for much lower prices.
05-07-2012, 04:50 AM   #4
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I too love this lens, Its a thing a beauty a 300/2.8, so versitle, not just a sports or wildlife lens. But, do remember the 2.8 has very thin DoF, you will be stopping down to get enough, so a DA300/4 is still a very good option. If you want a lens that will also become a stellar 420/4 and a 600/5.6 with the dedicated TC's 1.4x and 2x teleconverters, the Sigma is a stand out lens for Pentax cameras. My copy requires no focus adjustment on my K-5, and the AF is fast and acurate, and the K-5 tracks focus with it suburbly in AF-C mode.

there's a few sporting pics taken with the Sigma 300/2.8 with the 1.4x TC here https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/177740-sports-final-day-...2-50-pics.html

cmohr

05-07-2012, 04:58 AM   #5
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Dunno which version of the Sigma you've got, but only the latest one gets positive reviews in the lens database. Sounds like you've got a dog.

But the 300mm F2.8 is a completely different sort of beast. It's professional grade glass that costs two-and-a-half grand and weighs two-and-half kilos. You'll be using it on a tripod (or perhaps a monopod) and you'll look a complete poseur.

Are you shooting outdoors? If so, you don't actually need the F2.8 (you might want it but that's a different matter). Even indoors you can let ISO take some of the strain so F4 should be good. Are you sitting high up in the stands or standing at the sidelines? If the latter 200mm should be plenty. If the former, you can always crop.

Do you really need a large, fast prime or would the DA 55-300 actually suit your needs just fine?

It seems to me that your needs would be met by something much less extreme.
05-07-2012, 05:12 AM   #6
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@ Chaos_Realm , I've been Looking at the alternatives , but there aren't many choices out there as already mentioned , I've even had suggestion of a change of outfit to a canonikon , but couldn't justify spending the coins on a whole new outfit considering my K-5 purchase is only 3-4 weeks old , The FA series lenses are still holding their Value but don't come by that often. I haven't had any experience with either.

@ Pepe those Images are outstanding. I had a look throught your photoGallery.


@Cmohr , you had mentioned that your copy of the Lens doesn't require any focus adjustments on the K-5 , do they normally require re-calibration to track focussing on a K-5 from Factory?

Edit : I Just Saw Top Quarks post after I submitted mine.
05-07-2012, 05:37 AM   #7
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Sigma 100-300/4 would give you some zoom. I like primes, but long primes can be a pain to work with.
05-07-2012, 05:50 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by top-quark Quote
Dunno which version of the Sigma you've got, but only the latest one gets positive reviews in the lens database. Sounds like you've got a dog.

But the 300mm F2.8 is a completely different sort of beast. It's professional grade glass that costs two-and-a-half grand and weighs two-and-half kilos. You'll be using it on a tripod (or perhaps a monopod) and you'll look a complete poseur.

Are you shooting outdoors? If so, you don't actually need the F2.8 (you might want it but that's a different matter). Even indoors you can let ISO take some of the strain so F4 should be good. Are you sitting high up in the stands or standing at the sidelines? If the latter 200mm should be plenty. If the former, you can always crop.

Do you really need a large, fast prime or would the DA 55-300 actually suit your needs just fine?

It seems to me that your needs would be met by something much less extreme.
Almost all of my sports photography will be done outdoors , so I could not agree more , the needs can be met with something less extreme , I wouldn't find it comfortable carrying a lens that heavy around the park for a few hours to take pictures of the kids sport knowing that it is not critical that my shots would be published in a magazine . the Sigma lens that I have IS 70-300 mm 1:4-5.6 DL Macro Super is now quite a Few years old, Made in Japan. serial number 2003552 if that helps. I would serously consider an F:4 Lens if it had a HSM or SDM motor. it is very likely possible that My style of photgraphy had played a large part in different variations in results from last weekends of Shooting kids Rugby and soccer. I have not as yet onsidered 55-300 or read the reviews as yet but after this post I will have a read.


Last edited by disco_owner; 05-07-2012 at 06:05 AM.
05-07-2012, 05:54 AM   #9
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I don't see the issue at present, other than perhaps AF speed, because the OP is using a K5 which has excellent hith ISO capabilities. THe need to have a 300/2.8 is rapidly falling by the wayside with the K5.

I think as others have mentioned, a zoom is more practical for sports, over a prime, because the distance and hence framing is always changing. A 100-300/4 or even a 70-200/2.8 plus teleconverters would do just fine. Look for an older sigma non macro screw drive 70-200 they are excellent, and i have no issues with AF on my K5 using them
05-07-2012, 06:12 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by disco_owner Quote

@Cmohr , you had mentioned that your copy of the Lens doesn't require any focus adjustments on the K-5 , do they normally require re-calibration to track focussing on a K-5 from Factory?
I've heard some have had issues, my K-7 needed +10 for sharper focus, but its purfect on the K-5 without any adjustment. The Sigma is a cheaper alternative to the FA*300/2.8 , but you can still find examples of it and its little brother the FA*300/4.5 on the second hand market. Have no need for a Tripod or monopod with the 300/2.8, and as with all lenses you have to stop down a few stops for good DoF and sharpness, so with a 2.8 its sharp at 4.5 thru 5.6 and thats still faster than a 55-300 wide open, and will produce sharper images. Yes, its a big investment, and takes a bit of practice to use. The only people that will think a person using this lens is a Poseur, is a someone who is jealous and suffers badly from feelings of envy and inadequacy. Another option is a Sigma 70-200/2.8 (the earlier screwdrive AF version) used with a Sigma 1.4x TC. I say the earlier version, because the newer HSM lenses will not have AF when used with a Teleconverter. The Sigma 100-300/4 is a great lens, but very hard to come by.
05-07-2012, 06:14 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I don't see the issue at present, other than perhaps AF speed, because the OP is using a K5 which has excellent hith ISO capabilities. THe need to have a 300/2.8 is rapidly falling by the wayside with the K5.

I think as others have mentioned, a zoom is more practical for sports, over a prime, because the distance and hence framing is always changing. A 100-300/4 or even a 70-200/2.8 plus teleconverters would do just fine. Look for an older sigma non macro screw drive 70-200 they are excellent, and i have no issues with AF on my K5 using them
I see your point there Lowell, the way I interpret this is that by simple fact of pushing the ISO further up would consquently alter my shutter speed accordingly for correct exposure and so I'd be able to capture action shots more easily with acceptable level of sharpness. would the images still be noisy at higher ISO ? and would the oncamera Noise reduction take care of this at Higher ISO settings ?
05-07-2012, 06:24 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by disco_owner Quote
I see your point there Lowell, the way I interpret this is that by simple fact of pushing the ISO further up would consquently alter my shutter speed accordingly for correct exposure and so I'd be able to capture action shots more easily with acceptable level of sharpness. would the images still be noisy at higher ISO ? and would the oncamera Noise reduction take care of this at Higher ISO settings ?
i guess it depends on what ISO you are shooting at.

I have not done sports for a while, in fact before my K7, let alone my K5, but I shoot wild life, with a variety of lenses that reach out to 500mm.

My fastest options are at 500mm an old tamron 200-500/5.6, but I also use a K300/4 with 1.7x AF TC but my real work horse is a SIGMA APO 70-200F2.8 EX (non GD npn macro) with 1.4x and 2x TCs.. On my K5 i use Tav auto ISO with the upper limit wet to 6400. I usually set the shutter to 1/500 and aperture to F5.6 (with the 2x effective F11)

Grain is not as bad as a blurred image
05-07-2012, 06:29 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by L33tGreg Quote
Sigma 100-300/4 would give you some zoom. I like primes, but long primes can be a pain to work with.
Greg , I just looked at the Sigma website and the Sigma 100-300 F:4 lens is Discontinued

100-300mm F4 EX DG APO HSM - Telephoto Zoom Lenses - SigmaPhoto.com
05-07-2012, 06:56 AM   #14
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I was gonna chime in with the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 but it doesn't come in K mount
05-07-2012, 06:58 AM   #15
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Well there is a sportsimages thread in the K-5 section, so look around overthere.

I only handled the Sigma once on my K-5 and that is with a distance the fastest focussing lens I've handled. Much faster then DA*60-250mm and also the Sigma 70-200mm with HSM lens. It was sharp aswell. So that is on the plus side for purchasing this lens. It is heavy and expensive (not to matter for everyone) on the minus.

You want to do outdoors sports and then I really don't see the point for purchasing this lens unless you also want to use it with a 1.4x TC to get 420mm/f4 as second option. There is most of the times more then enough light to work with.

Alternative I could recommend to buy one of the other optiuons: from Pentax DA*60-250mm/f4 or DA*300mm/f4 and Sigma (next to named 100-300mm/f4) 70-200mm/f2.8 EX DG OS HSM. They all have the advantage for being much smaller and thus more easy to work with.

For just some kids sports the Sigma 300mm/f2.8 is a little overdone, but that is just an opinion, since the picture you are taking do matter more.
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