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01-21-2008, 04:25 PM   #1
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Help on choosing long zoom please.

I just ordered a Sigma 135-400mm zoom lens. But afterwards I wondered if I did the right thing. I know that "Bigma" costs almost double, but I am getting tired of buying, trying, and selling. I want to get the best lens that I can with what the money that I have left.

I managed to intercept the order and Jim (TraderJim) is going to ask for my decision tomorrow. Now, should I buy the relatively inexpensive 135-400mm SG lens, or the 50-500mm EX SG (Bigma) lens?

What do I want in the lens? I want maximum sharpness, contrast, and minimum CA/fringing, especially at 300-400mm. I want as fast a lens as I can afford (that means $1000 or less). I need it for wildlife and outdoor stuff.

I am thinking that I will sell a couple lenses to help in this purchase, my Pentax SMC 300 f/4 and my 400 f/6.3 for starters.

I would like feedback from those of you that have experience with either of these lenses, and expecially those that have tried both.

Thanks in advance!!

01-21-2008, 04:58 PM   #2
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tom

have you considered a 1.7x AF TC on the 300mm F4?

I use that as one combination. The bigma is only 1/2 stop faster. If you are really looking for length it is not a bad opton.
01-21-2008, 05:06 PM   #3
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I do have a 135 - 400, and love it. It's a good lens

Although I don't want to say you should or should not get it. It really depends upon how close you can consistently get to what your shooting.
01-21-2008, 05:06 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
tom

have you considered a 1.7x AF TC on the 300mm F4?

I use that as one combination. The bigma is only 1/2 stop faster. If you are really looking for length it is not a bad opton.
Yes, that thought has crossed my mind, but the idea of new optics with a variable magnification factor is something that I like. Also, the imperfections in the primary lens are magnified by a teleconverter - even the best ones.

01-21-2008, 05:09 PM   #5
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Tom:

I went through the same agonizing as you a few months ago, and finally decided on the Bigma. I knew that if I settled for anything less I would never be completely satisfied with it regardless of how well it worked. Keep in mind that it's a heavy sucker, and you're probably going to need a monopod at least for extended use.

CN
01-21-2008, 05:11 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by little laker Quote
I do have a 135 - 400, and love it. It's a good lens

Although I don't want to say you should or should not get it. It really depends upon how close you can consistently get to what your shooting.
Thanks for the endorsement on the 135-400mm. Do you have a link too photos with a high contrast background - like reflections on water, tree branches on a bright sky, etc.?

I want to save as much money as possible, but I have read some reviews about softness at 400mm and corner CA at 125mm. I would like to get something that I will be happy with. If the "Bigma" is sharper, and has better CA then I don't mind going the extra $400 or so.
01-21-2008, 05:34 PM   #7
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Tom:

Bite the bullet, and buy the Bigma. You'll never regret it.

CN
01-21-2008, 05:37 PM   #8
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G'day Tom,
Here a couple of shots from the 135-400. No pp, converted in Lightroom.
I have no issues with it (other than lens creep, but new model has zoom lock) and would reccommend it.
But, IF money is no object then you have to consider the Bigma.
Goodluck.
Grant


Last edited by Mallee Boy; 02-14-2008 at 02:45 PM.
01-21-2008, 05:48 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clem Nichols Quote
Tom:

Bite the bullet, and buy the Bigma. You'll never regret it.

CN
QuoteOriginally posted by GWP Quote
G'day Tom,
Here a couple of shots from the 135-400. No pp, converted in Lightroom.
I have no issues with it (other than lens creep, but new model has zoom lock) and would reccommend it.
But, IF money is no object then you have to consider the Bigma.
Goodluck.
Grant
Thanks for the pictures. They look fine to me. I like the shot of the eagle at 400mm. Does it hold up well at 100% ? At least I now feel that that the 135-400 will be usable if the order cannot be changed!!

Hmmm.... Here is the bottom line: Is the Bigma much better than the 135-400mm? If it is significant then yes - I will buy the Bigma. If it is negligable then no - I will save a chunk of dough and get the 135-400mm.

I want to make sure that I purchase the best lens in the 100-400mm range.
01-21-2008, 06:22 PM   #10
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Well shoot! Why didn't you tell me that you wanted to sell your 300/4 yesterday? I just bought a 300/4 on eBay. Although you probably don't want to sell yours for $140!

I've heard a lot of great things about the bigma, but much less about the 135-400. If I were you I'd look up every last review and speculation about the lens. Not only in K mount, but in nikon F mount and canon mount and so on, so you can get an idea of which is best before you buy. I have also seen great results from the bigma...
Close Encounter.. pt. I by ~tisbone on deviantART (sorry not my photo)
tisbone's deviantART gallery look for other moose photos (again, not my pictures)
most of those moose photos were taken at like f/9 or something like that so they're optimal quality.
01-21-2008, 06:27 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by TomInJax Quote
Thanks for the pictures. They look fine to me. I like the shot of the eagle at 400mm. Does it hold up well at 100% ? At least I now feel that that the 135-400 will be usable if the order cannot be changed!!

Hmmm.... Here is the bottom line: Is the Bigma much better than the 135-400mm? If it is significant then yes - I will buy the Bigma. If it is negligable then no - I will save a chunk of dough and get the 135-400mm.

I want to make sure that I purchase the best lens in the 100-400mm range.
BH has it for $1000.00. Check these four reviews:

Sigma | 50-500mm f/4.0-6.3 EX DG AF Lens for Pentax AF | 736109
01-21-2008, 07:19 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by KFrog Quote
BH has it for $1000.00. Check these four reviews:

Sigma | 50-500mm f/4.0-6.3 EX DG AF Lens for Pentax AF | 736109
Thanks. In one of the reviews, someone previously had the 135-400mm and moved up to the Bigma and commented that the Bigma "is in another league compared to that lens". That really helps.

I am strongly leaning on getting the Bigma now. I thank everyone for their help.
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