Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
07-27-2012, 05:29 AM   #16
Veteran Member
Frogfish's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 4,490
QuoteOriginally posted by oeriies Quote
I've owned the Sigma 4.5 500mm for almost a year. I frequently shoot it hand held, but my preferred arrangement is with a carbon fiber monopod. I find that if I carry the lens on a Black Rapid shoulder strap with the monopod attached but unextended, the monopod provides a brace just behind my shoulder that keeps the lens from bouncing around when I'm walking. I can walk a couple of miles with the lens so situated without much strain. I also shoot off of a tripod with a gimbal head, but that's pretty much limited to around the yard of my house. Walking and taking pictures go together for me so the monpod setup is best.
This is almost exactly what I like to do (except I have the gimbal installed on top of the monopod), so it's great to hear that the 500mm can also be used like this.

07-27-2012, 05:44 AM   #17
Pentaxian
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,314
QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
I only use my little finger As you know I am trying to increase that load !!
I know, i hope you stay in the family.

as for the gimbal, when properly centered on the camera + lens mass, the whole concept is that because you have the center of mass at the center of the pivot, you can actually leave the locks all loose on the pivots and nothing moves when you let go.

In reality the hardest thing to center is the vertical CofG because most gimballs have fixed increments. The Jobo Jr for example can have the CofG either slightly below, or slightly above the CofG for my Tamron lens but not exactly at it. therefore I need just a little drag on the vertical pivot, but not a lot. In this situation, you are better to have the lens CofG below the pivot, so that the tendency is to return to level, as opposed to being unstable and tipping forward or back. If I play with a spacer between the acra plate and the lens, i can probably make it perfect, but......
07-27-2012, 11:24 AM   #18
Site Supporter
jpzk's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Québec
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 6,981
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by imtheguy Quote
Ok, my 2 cents.

I too tired of waiting for the 560mm and have no regrets on my Sigma 500 so far. The build seems a little flimsy to someone coming to it from the A*400/2.8 howitzer but when I realized i could actually carry and shoot it hand-held I was thrilled. Sometimes with a carbon fiber monopod but in a pinch its not too heavy to hold and unlike DadiPentak, I am no Charles Atlas.
I am gald to see that it can be handheld and I sure am not Mr Universe (or Atlas) myself!
Filters; it comes with a clear and a CPL which you can rotate from outside the barrel. Although the filter is part of the optical formula (take it out and what was sharp is now blurred), I see no difference when using AF with or without filters so I never use them.
So, that is why it has that feature. I thought at first it was only to make some WB changes, special effects ... etc.
Balance seems pretty good with an arca-swiss plate that runs the length of the grip and balances evenly with a k-5+grip+TC+flash+betterbeamer.
So, I suppose my Acratech ball head will be able to handle the load. Another plus!
I picked up a new Sigma 1.4x TC that mates well with the lense and although its advertised as MF only, the AF works just fine for me.
Do you loose IQ at all with that
No complaints on sharpness although might not be as good as the A*400/2.8, I have some bird shots, especially the close ups at 5m, where every single fiber and fine hair is sharp.

My only negative on it does not affect shots and that is the build does not seem like a $5k piece of machinery. But the shots do. Unless the Pentax 560mm is a lot less than $5k, it will trouble competing with the f4.5 that autofocuses with a TC at 700mm.

--end of 2 cents

edit - Dadipentak knows more about the Sig 500mm than the designers. Lots of shots posted in the 300mm+ thread.
Thanks a bunch for the feedback.
Much appreciated.

JP
07-27-2012, 11:26 AM   #19
Site Supporter
jpzk's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Québec
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 6,981
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by PePe Quote
I have been using the Sigma 500/4,5 for a couple of years now. The very latest version of the lens may have a different paint finish, but basically it is the same as mine with the DG coatings.
All in all I am more than pleased with the lens. Of course it is big and heavy, but this cannot be a surprise to anyone considering its focal length and speed. I have used it handheld, but most of the time I use it either on a monopod or a beanbag. Optically it is good, and can very well be used wide open. Stopping down half a stop improves contrast.
Mechanically it has proven to be a solid construction. My lens has been to the wilderness in northern Finland, tiger-hunts in India, rain forests in the Amazon etc without any major problems.
About the only complaints I have are:
- the hood is all too short and does not provide sufficient protection against flare when shooting against the sun. However, this can easily be corrected by taping some cardboad on the hood.
- lack of focus range limiter

I also have the Sigma 1,4 x and 2 x teleconverters. AF does work with the 1,4 converter, but slows down considerably. The 2 x converter turns it into a MF lens. Use of teleconverters always comes at a cost. For good sharpness you need to stop down somewhat.

I have written more about this in the lens review section on this forum. There are quite a few shots with it in both my gallery on this forum, and my pages on the Pentax Photo Gallery.
Thanks for the info !
That makes it one more point in favour of that lens vs. waiting for a yet-to-be-released Pentax 560mm.

Cheers.

JP

07-27-2012, 11:29 AM   #20
Site Supporter
jpzk's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Québec
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 6,981
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
JPZK - Thanks for starting the thread ! I am currently eyeing one of these for US$3,000 and may well jump on it. I've just got to check on which version it is and find out if there is any difference in performance (optically or mechanically - HSM) between the versions.
No problem!
I realize that there have been a few discussion on the subject already but I wanted to get some feedback from users of that lens with a Pentax camera.
I hope you<ll get this lens ... apparently, I didn<t see that during my searches.

Cheers.

JP
07-27-2012, 11:53 AM   #21
Loyal Site Supporter
dadipentak's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,073
Sorry to be responding so late but I'm just back from my safari in the steamy wilds of Quebec.
First, let me clarify a few points:
QuoteOriginally posted by imtheguy Quote
unlike DadiPentak, I am no Charles Atlas.
I'm actually in better shape that Charles Atlas (inasmuch as he died in 1972.)
QuoteOriginally posted by imtheguy Quote
Dadipentak knows more about the Sig 500mm than the designers.
Pure disinformation! All I know about lenses is that really good ones cost big bucks but I buy them to compensate for my inadequacies as a photographer.

Now, about the lens:
Like oeriies, I like to wander about the countryside (and streambeds) with a monopod in search of wildlife and, like Imtheguy, I tried the A*400/2.8 but found it seriously unwieldy. The Sigma 500/4.5 is really great for these purposes.I bought mine last August and have had zero problems problems (and I should note that Sigma provides a long warranty periods and my experience with their service department has been very good.)

I've used it hand-held (at short range) with decent results but I don't make a habit of it (especially since I usually have it mounted with the Sigma 1.4x TC) and while it's ok wide-open, it's certainly best at f5.6 & above. The AF is quick & sure when mounted directly on the K-5 but I've found it frustratingly unsure with the TC at times (wish the lens had a focus limiter.) I'm going to give it a try with my A 2x-S TC--a preliminary test (just now) of catch-in-focus with that TC shows promise.

QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
Check out Ken Goh's bird shots in the 300+ club thread. It is an AWESOME lens.
I second that recommendation--adding that Ken is an amazing photographer!
07-27-2012, 12:13 PM   #22
Site Supporter
jpzk's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Québec
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 6,981
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by oeriies Quote
I've owned the Sigma 4.5 500mm for almost a year. I frequently shoot it hand held, but my preferred arrangement is with a carbon fiber monopod. I find that if I carry the lens on a Black Rapid shoulder strap with the monopod attached but unextended, the monopod provides a brace just behind my shoulder that keeps the lens from bouncing around when I'm walking. I can walk a couple of miles with the lens so situated without much strain. I also shoot off of a tripod with a gimbal head, but that's pretty much limited to around the yard of my house. Walking and taking pictures go together for me so the monpod setup is best.
I have a good quality monopod, but not carbon ... and a good monopod head able to support the large lens and camera.
Nice to see that you too are using this handheld, as I do all of my bird- wildfile shoots walking a lot.
I leave the filter in at all times, as instructed by the owners manual. A clear uv filter and a polarizer come with the lens at no extra cost.

I sometimes use a Tammy 1.4 pz-af teleconverter. It autofocuses without problems and produces only a slight hit on IQ. I also occasionally use a Sigma 2x TC. That's limited to use with a tripod and a subject that isn't moving. It will still autofocus in decent light.
I suppose there are times when one needs a TC but I tend to use them less and less as I am used to the IQ quality of my DA*300-4.
I've given this lens a lot of work, have traveled with it extensively, and have never had any problems with it or been anything but pleased. The comparable setups with Nikon or Canon are heavier (and more expensive). so for my uses this lens on a K-5 is the best that is available.
That is what I wanted to read.
The first 300 or so shots in the following gallery were taken with this lens. The shots are there to show off the birds, but many of them also show off the wonderful sharpnesss and contrast that can be produced with the Sigma 500mm 4.5. I highly recommend it.

http://photobucket.com/albums/i436/oeriies/ducks and birds
Thanks a bunch for all of the pertinent info.

JP
07-27-2012, 12:21 PM   #23
Site Supporter
jpzk's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Québec
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 6,981
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
Sorry to be responding so late but I'm just back from my safari in the steamy wilds of Quebec.
First, let me clarify a few points:

I'm actually in better shape that Charles Atlas (inasmuch as he died in 1972.)

Pure disinformation! All I know about lenses is that really good ones cost big bucks but I buy them to compensate for my inadequacies as a photographer.

Now, about the lens:
Like oeriies, I like to wander about the countryside (and streambeds) with a monopod in search of wildlife and, like Imtheguy, I tried the A*400/2.8 but found it seriously unwieldy. The Sigma 500/4.5 is really great for these purposes.I bought mine last August and have had zero problems problems (and I should note that Sigma provides a long warranty periods and my experience with their service department has been very good.)

I've used it hand-held (at short range) with decent results but I don't make a habit of it (especially since I usually have it mounted with the Sigma 1.4x TC) and while it's ok wide-open, it's certainly best at f5.6 & above. The AF is quick & sure when mounted directly on the K-5 but I've found it frustratingly unsure with the TC at times (wish the lens had a focus limiter.) I'm going to give it a try with my A 2x-S TC--a preliminary test (just now) of catch-in-focus with that TC shows promise.


I second that recommendation--adding that Ken is an amazing photographer!
Thanks for the feedback.

I hope your trip went well and that you took loads of great shots!

As you can see from this thread, I am very close to make this Sigma lens part of the arsenal.
I am still trying to forget how big a hole this will make in the wallet ... but, I have been waiting long enough for Pentax to release a lens with similar focal length ... nothing, not even hints of what they will (or not) do.

Nice to read stuff from users and not just reviews.

Cheers.

JP

07-27-2012, 02:04 PM   #24
Loyal Site Supporter
dadipentak's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,073
QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
As you can see from this thread, I am very close to make this Sigma lens part of the arsenal.
I am still trying to forget how big a hole this will make in the wallet ... but, I have been waiting long enough for Pentax to release a lens with similar focal length ... nothing, not even hints of what they will (or not) do.
I can understand your hesitation--it is a big gulp purchase for sure. As I'm sure you've gathered, my style--especially at this point in my life--is to "go for it now." In my view, there's really no lens currently available that offers the Sigma's combination of focal length speed and portability. There is certainly a case to be made for waiting (if you can ;~) for the release of the Pentax 560 before making a decision. I really hope it turns out to be a winner but, even if it is, I doubt it'll make me regret having bought the Sigma.

And yes, J'aime Quebec--photos to follow ;~)
07-29-2012, 02:35 AM   #25
Veteran Member
Frogfish's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 4,490
QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I know, i hope you stay in the family.
Thank you Lowell. I certainly have zero intention of selling off my lovely K5 and most loved primes ! The D800 is an augmentation not a replacement.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
filter, k-mount, lens, pentax, pentax lens, pentax mount sigma, sigma, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New 500 f5.6 in Pentax mount WPRESTO Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 20 10-04-2011 03:13 AM
IQ for 150-500, 50-500, 120-400 Sigma's? saladin Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10 07-30-2011 04:57 PM
Sigma 50-500 vs 150-500 vs 170-500 juanraortiz Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 19 10-30-2009 03:32 PM
For Sale - Sold: FS: Sigma 500 f7.2 APO KA mount K10Perry Sold Items 3 02-10-2008 05:37 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:28 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top