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03-28-2013, 12:46 PM   #196
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
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.
Thanks!

I am quite happy with the preliminary results actually.

Yeah ... that castle ... awful magenta cast to it and it's supposed to be red! (JOKE ! )
Considering the overcast sky that day, and the distance .... not bad!

I had no idea that this lens would cooperate with the Tamron Pz-AF (which I have); in a way, that's good news if I ever dare mounting that on the Siggy. That would be quite a feat, especially with the available light around here, and where I usually go get "the birds".

Very informative post on TC's with those lenses.

JP

03-28-2013, 12:48 PM   #197
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
Looks like you have a good one there with the 150-500 JP!
Looks like a keeper!

JP
03-28-2013, 02:51 PM   #198
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
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
I am hoping to get outside some on Saturday - if not if looks like it might start getting nicer next week. I'm waiting and waiting to hear the peepers!

One thing to keep in mind JP - you are hand holding while I am strictly on a tripod with the big Sigma lens. There will be a difference in our sweet spots partially because of this. Also I can't wait for you to try the lens OS - I am thinking that might make a difference for you also.

All in all however, it looks like we both might have found what we are looking for in the quest of this thread. I'll be able to tell more once I can spend some time outside. I will have a bunch of images to share once I do. I have a good target that I use to test all my lenses and will run through the aperture range on that, plus get some other more real world shots - the Mergansers are very busy right now - can see them from the house all day long with their courtship completions.
03-29-2013, 04:35 AM   #199
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It is a nice lens. I would also recommend using the OS on the lens when hand holding or using a monopod. JP should also try a monopod if he has not yet. That was the way I used it and kept decent mobility with it. It takes a sturdy monopod though. I was using a Benro MC 98M8 with a Kirk/Manfrotto234 head on it. It makes handling easier if you do not want to use a tripod.


QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
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!


03-30-2013, 03:54 PM   #200
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Finally some decent weather to be outside this afternoon! Man did that feel good to be outside shooting after our 5 month winter!

Played around with the 50-500 a bit today - nothing serious or scientific at all, but I got a feel for the lens a bit. The first thing I did was shoot at my test target to see how the lens acted at different apertures. I think like JP stated about his 150-500 that f9 might be the sweet spot, but f8 was close enough to work great for me. I actually shot a lot @f7.1 (1 stop closed down) to see how it worked - not bad at all.

I was shooting on a gimbal head mounted to a heavy Manfrotto 475 tripod. SR and OS were both off.



First, here are a couple of my test shots. From the top they are f6.3 (wide open), f7.1, f8, and f9. All images are clickable for a larger version:









It was actually a day with full sun, and being early afternoon the light was harsh especially when shooting on the water. We were very lucky to have some temporary migratory visitors while we were out there today - 2 pair of Bufflehead. Distance was ~150' (45m). Pretty long distance for even 500mm but not too bad - f7.1:



Then our regular mating pair of Canada Geese - a bit closer ~100' (30m) also @f7.1:



Then just to check the IQ at a closer subject ~20' (6m) @f7.1:



Overall I am very happy with the lens - it suits me quite well as I have to shoot from a stationary position. 500mm still isn't long enough to reach the middle of the river where the Bufflehead were, but that's the way it goes. Another thought I had as soon as I viewed the pics on the water, is a polarizing filter would have helped a lot. The problem is though that I wouldn't be able to use a hood with one as there is no access to rotate the filter with the hood installed. Other than that the lens is a keeper for me. The HSM is sweet. I was able to balance the rig on my gimbal head with ease - the 475 tripod and gimbal head are a perfect match to the lens and K-5 w/grip attached.

Last edited by photolady95; 04-17-2016 at 02:55 AM.
03-30-2013, 05:12 PM   #201
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Stan,
A polarizer is a grea idea. I actually bought a Vivitar polarizer once and it produced horrible images . So, I think a decent polarizer is a must with the bigma. Your images look great btw.
03-30-2013, 06:20 PM   #202
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
Played around with the 50-500 a bit today - nothing serious or scientific at all, but I got a feel for the lens a bit. The first thing I did was shoot at my test target to see how the lens acted at different apertures. I think like JP stated about his 150-500 that f9 might be the sweet spot, but f8 was close enough to work great for me. I actually shot a lot @f7.1 (1 stop closed down) to see how it worked - not bad at all.
The 50-500 and 150-500mm have different IQ characteristics. Check here for details. This test describes the 150-500 I had perfectly.
- lenses reviews - Lenstip.com

The geese look pretty good, but the buffleheads are showing a horrendous amout of CA. The conifer looks seriously oversharpened.
03-30-2013, 07:30 PM   #203
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
The geese look pretty good, but the buffleheads are showing a horrendous amout of CA. The conifer looks seriously oversharpened.
Sorry about that.............but I wasn't looking for a critique.

04-01-2013, 04:01 PM   #204
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
Finally some decent weather to be outside this afternoon! Man did that feel good to be outside shooting after our 5 month winter!

Played around with the 50-500 a bit today - nothing serious or scientific at all, but I got a feel for the lens a bit. The first thing I did was shoot at my test target to see how the lens acted at different apertures. I think like JP stated about his 150-500 that f9 might be the sweet spot, but f8 was close enough to work great for me. I actually shot a lot @f7.1 (1 stop closed down) to see how it worked - not bad at all.

I was shooting on a gimbal head mounted to a heavy Manfrotto 475 tripod. SR and OS were both off.



First, here are a couple of my test shots. From the top they are f6.3 (wide open), f7.1, f8, and f9. All images are clickable for a larger version:


It was actually a day with full sun, and being early afternoon the light was harsh especially when shooting on the water. We were very lucky to have some temporary migratory visitors while we were out there today - 2 pair of Bufflehead. Distance was ~150' (45m). Pretty long distance for even 500mm but not too bad - f7.1:

Then our regular mating pair of Canada Geese - a bit closer ~100' (30m) also @f7.1:

Then just to check the IQ at a closer subject ~20' (6m) @f7.1:

Overall I am very happy with the lens - it suits me quite well as I have to shoot from a stationary position. 500mm still isn't long enough to reach the middle of the river where the Bufflehead were, but that's the way it goes. Another thought I had as soon as I viewed the pics on the water, is a polarizing filter would have helped a lot. The problem is though that I wouldn't be able to use a hood with one as there is no access to rotate the filter with the hood installed. Other than that the lens is a keeper for me. The HSM is sweet. I was able to balance the rig on my gimbal head with ease - the 475 tripod and gimbal head are a perfect match to the lens and K-5 w/grip attached.
Very nice shots with this 50-500 lens.
Thanks for sharing.

I have "yet" to start using any sort of monopod/tripod with the 150-500 ... still shooting handheld but I made a promise (to myself) that I will at least start with the monopod very soon when the weather cooperates.
It has been rining here and, of course, overcast when not raining.

I agree with the polarizer in your situation with subjects on the water.

Unlike you though, I don't own a Gimgall head (not that I don't want to but I might find the whole "apparatus" becoming very large and cumbersome for the types of terrain I usually hike.
Then again, it is a matter of choice.

My opinion about the shots you have sent: sharper at 500mm at f7.1 than mine with the 15-500, at 500mm at f8 or f9.
As I mentioned earlier though, except for the very far Cooper hawk, all pics were taken under overcast weather (and no monopod/tripod).

JP
04-01-2013, 07:31 PM   #205
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
Unlike you though, I don't own a Gimgall head (not that I don't want to but I might find the whole "apparatus" becoming very large and cumbersome for the types of terrain I usually hike.
Then again, it is a matter of choice.
I never used a "full Gimbal" head, but rather a Wimberley Sidekick (of which I'm sure there are cheaper knockoffs on eBay these days...) because I take my tripod with the ball head with me on most serious "out to shoot days." Thing is, the sidekick fits into the side "accessory pocket" of my gear bag, so there's no issue with bringing it along. I guess it's possible to use this same kind of setup with a monopod if it has a ball head with a 90 degree drop-slot on it, but no idea about stability...
04-01-2013, 08:51 PM   #206
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
The 50-500 and 150-500mm have different IQ characteristics. Check here for details. This test describes the 150-500 I had perfectly.
- lenses reviews - Lenstip.com

The geese look pretty good, but the buffleheads are showing a horrendous amout of CA. The conifer looks seriously oversharpened.
It isn't CA. You get that effect when they are in the sun, even by eye.

04-02-2013, 06:48 PM   #207
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
I never used a "full Gimbal" head, but rather a Wimberley Sidekick (of which I'm sure there are cheaper knockoffs on eBay these days...) because I take my tripod with the ball head with me on most serious "out to shoot days." Thing is, the sidekick fits into the side "accessory pocket" of my gear bag, so there's no issue with bringing it along. I guess it's possible to use this same kind of setup with a monopod if it has a ball head with a 90 degree drop-slot on it, but no idea about stability...
I've read a bit about the Sidekick and it looks like one great accessory.

The ball head I have is an Acratech which does allow for this 90 degrees drop. Great ballhead.
I think it is a bit unstable when on the tripod but better than having no support.
All that being said: I am still lugging the larger lenses "around the neck" and shooting handheld ... I did promise (myself) to carry the monopod though.

JP
04-02-2013, 06:50 PM   #208
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QuoteOriginally posted by derekkite Quote
It isn't CA. You get that effect when they are in the sun, even by eye.
Agreed with the effect(s) you get with waterbirds at a distance when shooting at reflections.

JP
04-02-2013, 07:40 PM   #209
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
I've read a bit about the Sidekick and it looks like one great accessory.

The ball head I have is an Acratech which does allow for this 90 degrees drop. Great ballhead.
I think it is a bit unstable when on the tripod but better than having no support.
All that being said: I am still lugging the larger lenses "around the neck" and shooting handheld ... I did promise (myself) to carry the monopod though.

JP
With these long heavy lenses also comes the extra expense of accessories.

We are a bit opposite in that you move/hike and I sit. That alone makes the support option needs very different for each of us. It's hard to get stable and light weight in the same sentence. But one thing that might interest you is a sling strap - probably the best $20 I spent as far as a low cost but very useful item:

Optech Sling Strap

This makes a huge difference compared to a neck strap. Also, I am thinking that you could carry your setup with a monopod attached in the collapsed position with that strap.
04-03-2013, 04:43 AM   #210
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
But one thing that might interest you is a sling strap - probably the best $20 I spent as far as a low cost but very useful item
+1 on the sling-strap. (I use a Camdapter shoulder strap) Very useful for taking the weight off your neck!
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