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03-27-2013, 06:06 PM   #181
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A couple of images (hopefully this will work better tonight with the "manage attachments" feature) of BIF's ...
Darn .... it did it again: tried to upload two images at once ... got the "diagnose connection problem" !! Go figure.
Back to trying again ...

First, a Cooper Hawk in flight; full size and cropped 53 percent versions.
A very slight adjustment in brightness was done; no other PP.
Handheld ... distance to bird was approximately 200 feet + at a 45 degree angle of view.


Last edited by jpzk; 10-16-2015 at 05:40 PM.
03-27-2013, 06:23 PM   #182
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And then this one at 370mm, f8 ... I was sitting in the car along the pier when those goldeneyes went by and there was a fair amount of heat coming out of the window ... that usually causes some "turbulences" and the fact that the zoom had creeped down from 500 to 370mm while I did not notice.(handling the gear from the passenger seat to the window ...)
Also: this is partially backlit to add to the "injury".
Again, no PP except for brightness.

Last edited by jpzk; 10-16-2015 at 05:40 PM.
03-27-2013, 06:31 PM   #183
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Stationary: "castle" at near 1km away ... yes, that far.
No PP except for a little brightening.
Notice the overcast sky again, and this is pretty much the type of lighting I have been dealing with ever since I received the lens, except for one hour of sun for the previous hawk picture.
Can't hardly wait until I get one single, full day of sunshine; I am quite sure that there will be quite a difference in "IQ".

First one is at 27 percent crop; second is at 95 percent crop.

Last edited by jpzk; 10-16-2015 at 05:40 PM.
03-27-2013, 06:34 PM   #184
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
Yeah - JP and I are kind of going through this together. We both have DA*300's and looking to get more reach while trying to keep the best IQ we can. I think if that elusive Pentax TC were available to us, we probably wouldn't be going through all these trials.
Stan ... you know that I do have the DA*300/4 and that TC, right?

JP

03-27-2013, 07:51 PM   #185
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
Stan ... you know that I do have the DA*300/4 and that TC, right?

JP
I was talking about the "rumor" of a new SDM TC from Pentax that is on the lens road (rumor) map........

http://www.pentaximaging.com/files/pdf/lens_roadmap.pdf

Thanks for sharing you testing pics - they help alot even for my own decision making. Funny that you mention the lack of light or sunshine as that is one of my big concerns with these lenses. Where I live, and do all my shooting, I am surrounded by tall mountains that are pretty close to vertical. We call it living in a bowl so to speak. Even in the summer we don't get any direct sun until after 10:00am. Also add to the fact that it is all heavily forested, so I am shooting under a canopy most of the time. Then when I am shooting at the river, of course that @#$% Kingfisher and others will tend to hang in the shadows. So it does concern me if I am going to have enough light with the Sigma lens to do any good. One advantage I have is that I have to shoot any heavy lenses on a tripod, but even with that if I keep my ISO low enough, I will still be shooting at a fairly low shutter speed.

That brings us back to the beginning of this thread - long and fast is very expensive. After saying all that, I am going to give some serious consideration to keeping my FA*300 4.5 and 1.4x TC which would give me 420mm @f5.6.

Somehow or another, I have to decide between these 3 setups of which I will only be able to afford to keep 2 (actually can afford to keep only one, but.........)

DA*300 f4
FA*300 f4.5 + 1.4x TC
Sigma 50-500 f6.3 @500mm (assuming it would be ~f5 @300mm)

That brings a question for you JP - what f-stop are you reading with the Sigma lens @300mm?
03-27-2013, 08:01 PM   #186
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
I am going to give some serious consideration to keeping my FA*300 4.5 and 1.4x TC which would give me 420mm @f5.6.
Actually that's 420mm @ f6.3.
03-27-2013, 08:07 PM   #187
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
Actually that's 420mm @ f6.3.
Yes, you are right - typing faster than thinking........
03-28-2013, 06:51 AM   #188
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
I was talking about the "rumor" of a new SDM TC from Pentax that is on the lens road (rumor) map........

http://www.pentaximaging.com/files/pdf/lens_roadmap.pdf
Sorry, I did not realize that this was the TC in question.
Yess, if this was available, and as you mentioned a while back, we wouldn't be having this discussion!

Thanks for sharing you testing pics - they help alot even for my own decision making. Funny that you mention the lack of light or sunshine as that is one of my big concerns with these lenses. Where I live, and do all my shooting, I am surrounded by tall mountains that are pretty close to vertical. We call it living in a bowl so to speak. Even in the summer we don't get any direct sun until after 10:00am. Also add to the fact that it is all heavily forested, so I am shooting under a canopy most of the time. Then when I am shooting at the river, of course that @#$% Kingfisher and others will tend to hang in the shadows. So it does concern me if I am going to have enough light with the Sigma lens to do any good. One advantage I have is that I have to shoot any heavy lenses on a tripod, but even with that if I keep my ISO low enough, I will still be shooting at a fairly low shutter speed.
The lack of good light is the real problem for all of us doing wildlife photography, or "forest scenes".
I think your area must be difficult to deal with in terms of available light. I understand your concern about what the Sigma lens(es) such as the 50-500 and the 150-500 can offer ... I already have a tough time with the DA*300/4 without a TC (shooting most of the time at f4) so the Siggy's will likely force the camera to bump up the ISO quite high, therefore decreasing the IQ in the end.

That brings us back to the beginning of this thread - long and fast is very expensive. After saying all that, I am going to give some serious consideration to keeping my FA*300 4.5 and 1.4x TC which would give me 420mm @f5.6.
I totally agree with that.
As you could see, I debated (and wanted) first a Sigma 500/4.5 ... way over my budget; then I considered the Sigma 300/2.8 with a TC , again over the budget.
Now that I am putting this 150-500 through its paces, I will soon be able to decide whether this is a keeper or not.

Somehow or another, I have to decide between these 3 setups of which I will only be able to afford to keep 2 (actually can afford to keep only one, but.........)

DA*300 f4
FA*300 f4.5 + 1.4x TC
Sigma 50-500 f6.3 @500mm (assuming it would be ~f5 @300mm)
I read very good reports about the FA*300 4.5 with a TC, actually quite close in IQ to that of the DA*300/4.
I am not sure about the Bigma though: seems to depend if you get a "good copy", according to different reports from users.

That brings a question for you JP - what f-stop are you reading with the Sigma lens @300mm?
I will have to check .... and reports back with an answer.

JP


03-28-2013, 07:41 AM   #189
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
First, a Cooper Hawk in flight; full size and cropped 53 percent versions.
A very slight adjustment in brightness was done; no other PP.
Handheld ... distance to bird was approximately 200 feet + at a 45 degree angle of view.
Looks like your new Sigma is working out pretty well! My only concern is that the "castle" looks awfully magenta in places.

BTW, a brief note about teleconverters (even though you seem pretty happy with 500mm reach): the 150-500 will also AF quite nicely with the Tamron Pz-AF teleconverters (both the 1.4x and 2x!) despite having such a "dim" aperture at 500mm.
It's better than the DA*60-250/4 in that regard, so my guess is that it isn't the AF system giving up due to max aperture, but rather the difference in "activation current" between HSM and SDM motors. Related to this, the Sigma TCs are screwdrive only, but there is a plastic "shroud" inside the back of Sigma extreme tele-zoom lenses for Pentax (that I think reduces the image circle to APS-C for backflare prevention) which prevents the 2x TC (and Pentax "L" converters) from protruding into the lens and working at all. The 500/4.5 I handled didn't have this shroud, but then it also wasn't as sharp as I thought it would be, so no love lost there.

Last edited by panoguy; 03-28-2013 at 07:46 AM.
03-28-2013, 11:18 AM   #190
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
That brings a question for you JP - what f-stop are you reading with the Sigma lens @300mm?
If you don`t mind I can answer that: On the mid of the middle zero of 300 it`s F6.3 (310mm), between the 3 and the first zero it`s F5.6. Which is actually 290mm according to the exif, I can`t seem to get exactly 300mm`s?

QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
I totally agree with that.
As you could see, I debated (and wanted) first a Sigma 500/4.5 ... way over my budget; then I considered the Sigma 300/2.8 with a TC , again over the budget.
Now that I am putting this 150-500 through its paces, I will soon be able to decide whether this is a keeper or not.
JP
Being somewhat in the same position, allready owning a sigma 100-300 F4 (like you have the DA* 300 F4) and obtained the 150-500 later in the same quest for reach with similair thoughts, my conclusion for now is that both lenses deserve their own place because they are completely different.
The 100-300 F4 is a very good piece of glass with allmost prime-like capabilities but it lacks reach. OTOH the 150-500 has great reach and produces nice images but for optimal sharpness you have to use F8 which limits the lens too bright and sunny weather if you want to shoot birds and/or BIF`s and it`s more difficult to get a nice blurry background. My guess is that you will probably feel the same about your DA* 300 and the siggy too.

Last edited by TenZ.NL; 03-28-2013 at 11:42 AM.
03-28-2013, 12:15 PM   #191
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QuoteOriginally posted by TenZ.NL Quote
If you don`t mind I can answer that: On the mid of the middle zero of 300 it`s F6.3 (310mm), between the 3 and the first zero it`s F5.6. Which is actually 290mm according to the exif, I can`t seem to get exactly 300mm`s?


Being somewhat in the same position, already owning a sigma 100-300 F4 (like you have the DA* 300 F4) and obtained the 150-500 later in the same quest for reach with similar thoughts, my conclusion for now is that both lenses deserve their own place because they are completely different.
The 100-300 F4 is a very good piece of glass with almost prime-like capabilities but it lacks reach. OTOH the 150-500 has great reach and produces nice images but for optimal sharpness you have to use F8 which limits the lens too bright and sunny weather if you want to shoot birds and/or BIF`s and it`s more difficult to get a nice blurry background. My guess is that you will probably feel the same about your DA* 300 and the siggy too.
Thanks for the aperture info!

I just did some preliminary comparisons this morning, and with that I agree with your assessment. It's still too cold to spend any time outside yet, but I set up on a tripod inside, opened our sliding glass door, and shot various subjects between our house and river. Also, it was very dark/gloomy/overcast so not a good day for testing, but I just had to get a start. I shot the Sigma 50-500, DA*300, and FA* 300 f4.5.

My initial impression of the Sigma was, well, impressive! I shot it wide open, f7.1, and f8.0. At f8 500mm it was very sharp - much better than I expected. Comparing the cropped image of the same subject with the DA*300, the Sigma wins.

I don't have any images worth sharing yet - will hopefully get more serious next week if it ever warms up. First thing I had to do today was to see if my repaired K-5 was working right.

TenZ's assessment is very good I think. Both the Sigma and the DA* are great performers. In the native image (no cropping) the DA* of course wins, but not by as much as I thought it would. As you say TenZ, both lenses have their place and use. After this first brief comparison, it looks like I am going to have to find a way to keep both!
03-28-2013, 12:16 PM   #192
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Looks like you have a good one there with the 150-500 JP!
03-28-2013, 12:17 PM   #193
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
My initial impression of the Sigma was, well, impressive! I shot it wide open, f7.1, and f8.0. At f8 500mm it was very sharp - much better than I expected. Comparing the cropped image of the same subject with the DA*300, the Sigma wins.
Looks like you have a good one there as well Stan! Any chance your friend will let you keep it?
03-28-2013, 12:20 PM   #194
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
Looks like you have a good one there as well Stan! Any chance your friend will let you keep it?
We're working on a trade deal of sorts - looking good. Now that I've had my hands on it and see its performance, it would sure be hard to give it back!
03-28-2013, 12:41 PM   #195
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
Thanks for the aperture info!

I just did some preliminary comparisons this morning, and with that I agree with your assessment. It's still too cold to spend any time outside yet, but I set up on a tripod inside, opened our sliding glass door, and shot various subjects between our house and river. Also, it was very dark/gloomy/overcast so not a good day for testing, but I just had to get a start. I shot the Sigma 50-500, DA*300, and FA* 300 f4.5.

My initial impression of the Sigma was, well, impressive! I shot it wide open, f7.1, and f8.0. At f8 500mm it was very sharp - much better than I expected. Comparing the cropped image of the same subject with the DA*300, the Sigma wins.

I don't have any images worth sharing yet - will hopefully get more serious next week if it ever warms up. First thing I had to do today was to see if my repaired K-5 was working right.

TenZ's assessment is very good I think. Both the Sigma and the DA* are great performers. In the native image (no cropping) the DA* of course wins, but not by as much as I thought it would. As you say TenZ, both lenses have their place and use. After this first brief comparison, it looks like I am going to have to find a way to keep both!
Good post(s).

Sweet spot on my 150-500 is definitely f9, God knows why. (I did mention that somewhere earlier)
It's OK at F8 but there is a very slight softening there.

Once I get the focus bang on with the Siggy (150-500), things look quite good but the "keeper rate" decreases vs. that of the DA*300/4; that's to be expected, in my case anyway, because I am still learning how to use it and of course the IQ of the DA*300 (native images) is hard to beat.
I am probably expecting too much, after having used the DA* for so long.

It will be nice to see your shots with the Bigma, in unaltered images (I mean: no sharpening).
Looking forward to it.

JP
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