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12-09-2012, 04:57 AM   #1
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What long lens after 70-200?

Hi

So I'm close to pulling the trigger on a sigma 500

I currently have a tamron 70-200 and am wanting to get started on birding around Asia

I'm wondering
- if anyone feels the sigma 500 is the next right step, or
- would a 300 2.8 with tc be a better option?
- Is the gap between 200 and 500 that significant that I may require something to fill this gap? Or a 1.5 TC should suffice on the 70-200?

Also if anyone can share their birding/ wildlife lens setup that would be great to get your experiences

Thanks all!

12-09-2012, 05:26 AM   #2
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Getting a sigma 500/4.5 or 300/2.8 is an expensive way to start thinking about birding.

You could try something a little more affordable, and start with any of sigmas zooms that go to 500mm, or get a 300/4 and 1.7x AF converter

Although inferior to the lenses you mention, they cost a lot les for someone trying to get into birding. After all you may not like it. If you can Learn the process with a lesser lens the skills you learn will pay off in spades for a bit lens.
12-09-2012, 06:12 AM   #3
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Buy a Q and an adaptor. That'll give you a 385-1100 f2.8 for about $500. Easier to carry too
12-09-2012, 11:31 AM   #4
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If you have the cash to burn, the 2 Sigmas you mention would do an excellent job. Lowell's suggestion of the DA 300/4 and the 1.7TC is a much more practical place to start. Don't rule out MF lenses either. Very often, I have to manual focus an AF lens because of brush, grass, and tree branches in the frame and causing the AF to focus on something other than the bird.

12-09-2012, 06:56 PM   #5
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Go for Sigma50-500OS, you will not regret.

You can also go for 300/2.8 with TC, or FA*250-600
12-10-2012, 07:42 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by chickenandavocado Quote
Hi

So I'm close to pulling the trigger on a sigma 500

I currently have a tamron 70-200 and am wanting to get started on birding around Asia

I'm wondering
- if anyone feels the sigma 500 is the next right step, or
- would a 300 2.8 with tc be a better option?
- Is the gap between 200 and 500 that significant that I may require something to fill this gap? Or a 1.5 TC should suffice on the 70-200?

Also if anyone can share their birding/ wildlife lens setup that would be great to get your experiences

Thanks all!
If you feel that a 300/600 combo fits your needs, a 2.8/300 with a 2x TC is compact, lightweight and you will not sacrifice image quality assuming you are buying Canon or Nikon - sorry guys, Pentax is not in the game here. Pentax has no 2.8/300 in its lineup and no TC. The Sigma 2.8/300 combo is not that great and the 2x TC really makes things worse. Pentax does offer a DA300, probably not what you want at f/4. The Sigma 500 is MUCH smaller than the Pentax 560. It will be tough to get the Pentax 560 in a carry on bag...

If you are really into birding switch brands. A Canon 2.8/300 with 2x TC has much more to offer than any (dedicated) Pentax lens. I am sticking with Pentax and birds because I like the small footprint of the DA limited lenses and I am not giving up hope that Pentax may present a TC or a decent long lens in the future. The Sigma 4.5/500 is on my list, but why on earth should I buy such a lens for a system with uncertain future - i.e. no lenses in that reach. A 2.8/300 and a 2x TC would have made so much more sense for Pentax than the recently presented 5.6/560mm.
12-10-2012, 09:43 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Getting a sigma 500/4.5 or 300/2.8 is an expensive way to start thinking about birding.

You could try something a little more affordable, and start with any of sigmas zooms that go to 500mm, or get a 300/4 and 1.7x AF converter

Although inferior to the lenses you mention, they cost a lot les for someone trying to get into birding. After all you may not like it. If you can Learn the process with a lesser lens the skills you learn will pay off in spades for a bit lens.
He's from HK and probably has the funds to do so.
12-13-2012, 08:19 AM   #8
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If money is not an option the Sigma 500mm looks to be a great lens. I would love one.

However, if funds are an issue, might I suggest another manual option for the beginning birder on a budget. Personally, I like the 400mm length. The old Pentax A or M series 400mm offer good value for the money. Both can be found on EBAY or sometimes here on the Forum. While AF is great it is often defeated by the twigs and leaves in which your subjects often hide. They will require a lot of focusing practice and you will miss a lot of shots initially but it is worth the effort. Check the forum reviews for further details on these optics.

Here are a couple of my efforts from the SMC Pentax M 400/5.6





Tom G.


Last edited by 8540tomg; 12-13-2012 at 05:18 PM.
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