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02-28-2013, 10:34 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by derekkite Quote
This is interesting, this combination doesn't seem to be very common. Has anyone had experience with this lens and TC?
It's not common for Pentax.

It is a very common setup in other brands. I personally do not have experience directly with the 1.4TC (specifically the matched one from Sigma), the reason being the Sigma is screw drive AF with Pentax lenses and the matched one TC for the Sigma 300 is HSM (the reason why this exact combo is not common in pentax). I currently have this setup for Nikon and will be shooting it with the D7100 when it's released.

EDIT: Maybe I shouldn't of mentioned the matched TC for this since it won't work with the Pentax bodies. However, a Vivitar 1.4TC for pentax will since it is screwdrive, it is the SAME EXACT teleconverter as the Tamron only less the HSM/SDM contacts.


Last edited by joe.penn; 02-28-2013 at 10:41 PM.
03-01-2013, 05:12 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
Thanks Gary.

I do have the DA*300/4 and the Pentax 1.7X adapter (TC): at eq. 510mm, I get very few keepers.
Now, if the 50-500 is "as sharp as the DA*300/4 + AF-A adapter", I might as well not consider the Sigma, right?

JP
Sounds like you might have an issue with the AFA adapter. I get perfectly good results with the DA*300 with Afa. I have also used it with the Tamron 400mm f4 with Adaptall with fine results. YMMV
03-01-2013, 06:55 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by joe.penn Quote
It's not common for Pentax.

It is a very common setup in other brands. I personally do not have experience directly with the 1.4TC (specifically the matched one from Sigma), the reason being the Sigma is screw drive AF with Pentax lenses and the matched one TC for the Sigma 300 is HSM (the reason why this exact combo is not common in pentax). I currently have this setup for Nikon and will be shooting it with the D7100 when it's released.

EDIT: Maybe I shouldn't of mentioned the matched TC for this since it won't work with the Pentax bodies. However, a Vivitar 1.4TC for pentax will since it is screwdrive, it is the SAME EXACT teleconverter as the Tamron only less the HSM/SDM contacts.
Just poking around with this our of curiosity - I have no first hand knowledge.

According to this Sigma compatibility chart for lenses and TC's, it shows the Sigma TC does work with the Sigma 300 2.8 EX HSM, but in the lower section shows it does not work with the non-EX HSM. Maybe I am reading it wrong?

Teleconverter Compatibility | Sigma
03-01-2013, 07:08 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
it shows the Sigma TC does work with the Sigma 300 2.8 EX HSM, but in the lower section shows it does not work with the non-EX HSM. Maybe I am reading it wro
No, you are reading it correct, the Pentax and Sony mount of this lens is non-hsm:

QuoteQuote:
Large aperture, high speed ideal in low light
Inner focusing system technology
*HSM is not available for the Sony and Pentax
Carrying case, lens hood, front & rear caps
So, to use a TC with the pentax version it has to be a screw drive AF TC.

03-01-2013, 07:13 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by joe.penn Quote
No, you are reading it correct, the Pentax and Sony mount of this lens is non-hsm:
So, to use a TC with the pentax version it has to be a screw drive AF TC.
OK - I understand now. Just wonder why they list the HSM version of the lens to be compatible with TC's when it isn't even available in HSM for Pentax.....Oh well - no big deal - on to the subject at hand.
03-01-2013, 07:25 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
Just wonder why they list the HSM version of the lens to be compatible with TC's when it isn't even available in HSM for Pentax
The only reason why I can think of them non manufacturing this lens in HSM for pentax and sony is cost. They probably produce(ed) only 10% of these for pentax and sony while the other 90% for the big two. [just guessing at those percentage numbers]
03-01-2013, 10:55 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I have an old, by today's standards, SIGMA APO 70-200F2.8 EX (non DG Non Macro)

this was the version of the lens which was available for film at the introduction of the pentax *istD camera,

This lens has been modified / upgraded many times, but except for a non macro DG version (same design but anti reflective rear element coating) and the latest HSM II version with OS, I am not sure any of the intermediate lenses are quite as sharp.

I use it with the 1.4x and 2x Sigma APO - EX DG teleconverters and find the IQ is exceptional.

I am not sure that you can use the HSM lenses with TCs, buit in looking at sigmas website, they seem to indicate that the TCs now support HSM, but this needs to be confirmed.

I like a 70-200/2.8 with TCs because i have much better speed without TCs for short focal lengths.
This set up would have been a strong consideration, had I not already owned a Tamron 70-200/2.8.
I haven't tried a TC on that lens because I had been looking into much longer FL.

Nonetheless, The Sigma 70-200/2.8 keeps getting great reviews.

JP
03-01-2013, 11:03 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by nomadkng Quote
That 500mm mark is tough to get to without spending alot of money.

I've had 2 different versions of the Bigma and sold both becuase at 500mm I found the pictures pretty useless if I had to crop even 25% (i.e. small birds you just couldn't get close enough to or farway subjects like elk/beaver that didn't fill the frame)

I have the Sigma 100-300 F4 now and with a Sigma 1.4x, I can get to 420mm and those images can atleast survive a little cropping, plus my camera bag is literally 5-7lbs lighter and when I'm on the return leg of a 4-5 mile each way hike it's a HUGE HUGE difference w/o the bigma in my backpack.

If you don't like the images from the 300+1.7x, maybe try the 300+1.4x and see what you think of the images after cropping to 500mm FOV.

At 46, I now have to seriously take into consideration the weight of my camera bag, and I don't think even if I could afford the 500 4.5 I could carry it for long in my bag. I know I'll never but a Bigma in again, it's just too heavy.
True enough that to get great IQ at 500mm means big money. As I mentioned earlier, I had been in the "market" for a prime 500mm (Sigma) but unfortunately things didn't quite work out.

I might give another go at the DA*300/4 + 1.4X TC ... see what happens. If I recall from a long time past trial with this combo, the results were less than satisfying.

I had the Siggy 100-300/4 with the 1.4X TC: the lens itself was great but the TC was causing some issues. It was sold not because of poor quality of either, rather the "issues" when both lens+TC were mounted together.

I usually have no problem carrying heavy gear on tricky trails and such. But I will definitely take into consideration that the Bigma is a beast! Maybe I'd have a change of mind if I ever tried it !?

Cheers.

JP

03-01-2013, 11:15 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by joe.penn Quote
There is a lot more to it then just getting a lens and a good camera body - the second thread link you posted is a perfect example of this.

As for the need to get out to 500, most of the time this need can be countered by shooting from portable bird blinds and other creative ways, I have gotten shots of skittish birds that fill the entire frame at 150mm with my Sigma 70-200. For me, I am more about speed of the lens and optical qualities than I am of the reach - the Sigma 300 2.8 with the matched Sigma 1.4 TC is an extremely deadly combo, 420 at f/4 with blazing fast AF that locks as quick as without a TC and still resolves as high with the TC as the equivalent canon and nikon offerings - have you researched that lens?
Thanks Joe.

As a matter of fact, I have just taken a look at the Sigma 300/2.8 ... very interesting indeed.
Looks like quite a monster though!
It never donned on me that this lens would be just as capable (IQ-wise) on its own AND with a dedicated TC. So, I'd be looking at 420mm at F4with great IQ you say?
Do you carry it along on long walks ever?
It weighs 5.3 lbs! Quite a chunk. Mind you, the Sigma 500/4 is heavier at 6.8 lbs.

Yes, that is one serious consideration even if it doesn't give me the "wanted" 500mm reach but I suppose I have to decide once and for all.
What really bugs me is the fact that "maybe" Pentax will eventually come up with a SDM 1.4x TC that would be a perfect match for my DA*300/4 !!
Waiting for that to happen might just be wishful thinking though.

If you could point out some images of this lens + TC (we are talking about the Sigma 1.4X "dedicated" TC, right?) so I can check the IQ at 420mm, it would be much appreciated.

BTW, how about a 2X TC with that lens? What would be the inconveniences of that combo?

Cheers!

JP

Last edited by jpzk; 03-01-2013 at 11:25 AM.
03-01-2013, 11:20 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by ewig Quote
if i were you, i will pick up DA 60-250/f4 combine with TC 2x or 1,4X at the end long throw you can get 500/f8 or 350/f5,6 thats can make your image better, or perhaps you will consider sigma 100-300/f4... that will do, consider you have DA 300/f4
getting extra long super zoom will not enriched the image become more exceptional, its the optical build quality that mattters in end long throw
I've discussed that in a few previous posts and the suggestion is good, no doubt about that.
However, it is becoming more obvious that a prime lens is the way to go, zoom lenses being what they are.
Some folks do have excellent images taken with so-called "soft at the long end zoom lenses ... all the more confusing.

JP
03-01-2013, 11:37 AM   #41
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JP - here are some shots by one of the forum members here with the 300 2.8 plus 1.4TC - this is pretty fast action also, seems to have nailed focus on most if not all. These aren't wildlife images and also looks to be not the best time of day to shoot, he was still able to pull off great shots with this combo:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/177740-sports-final-day-...2-50-pics.html

When I get back to the house later I will send you some reference pics of wildlife shot with 1.4 tc and 2.0 tc...
03-01-2013, 12:44 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
JP - I've been on a similar journey as you in finding the right match for my wildlife shooting. I've tried quite a few lenses/combinations and still haven't found the perfect fit for myself.

My mission is to capture the wildlife that I am surround with where I live. I live in the deep woods along a small river where all types of wildlife abound. But, this wildlife is truly "wild" and as skittish as can be. It drives me nuts when I see images posted of a Great Blue Heron or Wood Duck that fills the frame with a 300mm lens. I beat my head against the wall for a long time until I realized that a lot of these images were being taken a city parks and such where the wildlife is accustomed to people being close. Where I am, if a GBH or Wood Duck even senses that I am within 100 yards of them, they are gone.
I can so relate to that, in some ways. I am lucky enough to have plenty of aquatic birds around that the 300mm is sufficient in most cases but where I do encounter the skittish types is in the small woody hills surrounding the marsh land here: birds of prey! This is when a longer (FL) reach is needed.
I did consider a blind at times, however my very nature of being "skittish" myself (rather: restless) would make this approach very difficult for me.

So, my quest for long reach has been a long and expensive one. I've tried the following:

Tamron 300mm 2.8 Adaptall - fantastic IQ but I struggle with manual focus.
Tamron 300mm 2.8 Adaptall with AF 1.7x Pentax TC - worked great for the auto focus, but lost too much IQ for my likes.
Sigma 150-500 - Fairly soft at 500mm and slow - also didn't like the build quality and terrible zoom creep.
Pentax FA*300 4.5 - Wow - now this is the IQ I've always been looking for - my favorite lens by far. But, tough at 300mm.
Pentax DA*300 4 - bought this for the dedicated tripod mount and to see if it will out perform my FA*300
That's quite a journey!! Mine hasn't been that complicated but I did at some time own a Sigma 100-300 with the corresponding 1.4X TC but that never quite was satisfactory.
That would be the extent of my long-lens experience apart from my DA*300/4 with its fantastic IQ. I am still hoping for a Pentax SDM TC but, as I mentioned earlier, that's wishful thinking!
[/COLOR]


And just to add - because of a recent physical problem, I am now a tripod shooter from a stationary point. There is no more stalking etc. for me. So now I really feel the need for the reach.

I feel the ultimate for me right now would be the Sigma 500 4.5, but just can't afford it. I came very close to buying the used one here last week.
Seriously, I came in too late for this one .... banged my head a few times too!
So what to do now - after a couple years of this mission, the one suggestion as was already pointed out here, is to get closer - period. I am working out some ideas for a blind which is kind of nice in my situation as I shoot only from here at home. And to add to that, as Joe suggests, is to work on the possibility of a 300 2.8 lens possibly with a very good/matched TC.
Yes, that would be one very good option although I am not sure if a 2X TC would give same IQ results vs. a 1.4X TC.[/COLOR]

I've finally come to the point in realizing that I am spoiled by the IQ I get from the FA*300 and DA*300. I did try the Tamron 1.4x TC once, but think I may have discounted it too quickly and sold it. So now my only choice is to get closer, and the only way to do that with my super skittish wildlife around here is to use some sort of blind and be patient. I feel pretty comfortable with my plan. I will be shooting at either 300mm f4 or 420mm f5.6 with what I have. I honestly feel that I will have better results with this than with either Sigma zoom lens. Other than the Sigma 500 4.5, which I can not afford, I may look toward a 300mm 2.8 with a TC that will rival the IQ I get from the FA*/DA* 300.
Same here: totally spoiled with the DA*300/4 IQ and that's probably why I "want" something in a longer FL with the same quality ... another wish.
What TC do you use with your 300mm lens(es)?

Looks like the options are: Sigma 300/2.8 with a great TC to match it, and not loose in IQ, and perhaps a Tamron Adaptall that someone suggested to me . ?
Still hoping for the ghostly Pentax SDM 1.4X (with the DA*300/4).
03-01-2013, 12:48 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
The newest Sigma 50-500 OS I find is sharp at at all focal lengths, so am quite happy with it.
I owned a 170-500 previously and have tried a 150-500 as well, and from my recollection I felt the long end of both of those zooms was not up to my expectation.
Other than the better aperture of the prime Sigma, I think the newest Bigma comes quite close in sharpness.
That being said, if someone wants to give me a Siggy 500 4.5 I will not turn it down

New Bigma at 50mm


New Bigma at 500mm


100% Crop
That's with the newer Bigma ? Wow!
Now, that's complicating things a lot here! ... lots of "reviews" about it being still soft at the longer end: according to your images, that's quite the opposite.
Great shots!
03-01-2013, 12:52 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
I think this will be hard to do, there are a lot of variables.
First when someone does a review of a 50mm lens you assume they are competent to take a picture with it. But with a 500mm there is a learning curve, it is not just point the camera and shoot. It requires real skill, proper stance, proper breathing, proper conditions, good light and low wind, low haze in the atmosphere, proper tripod and head if using one.

Second you are comparing 4 different lenses, which may have had updates or changes over the years that were not announced so different people may be talking about slightly different models.

Third Sigma has a reputation for a lot of sample variation in their lenses, so one reviewer's outstanding lens is just so-so with another lens.

And last you have camera/lens tuning, were the tested lenses AF tuned? Were the cameras used even capable of AF tuning?

I would love to see a controlled test, on the same camera, in the same conditions. But without that I think the reviews are even more unreliable for this type of lens than they are in general because of the inherent difficulty in getting a good image from this focal length.
You've summarized very well why I find it so confusing to even consider either lens for a purchase, and asking tons of questions.
With my luck, or lack thereof, I'd likely end up with the lemon of the group!

JP
03-01-2013, 12:56 PM   #45
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I just tested an older Vivitar 2x TC with the DA*300, and IQ is surprisingly good. (I'm surprised because I got this one really cheap and was planning to gut it to use as a macro extension with contacts.)

The TC has contacts so will pass the aperture info, but is not an AF solution.

With my previous Kenko 1.5 TC the AF was so inconsistent I was having to use manual focus anyway, and ended up selling it.

I will do more serious testing and IQ comparison against the Bigma and post some results when I get a chance.

The DA*300 is such a good lens that I think it can handle really any magnification you want to throw at it well, as it has proven when adapted to the Q.
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