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03-01-2013, 05:33 PM   #61
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Great comparison shots Larry - a nice addition to our discussion here - and one of my favorite subjects to boot!

The results don't really surprise my a whole lot, but might be partially my own attitude that there is no such thing as a "good" 2x TC. And as I suspected, the Q with the DA*300 is quite the contender here.

03-01-2013, 06:40 PM   #62
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There is no processing on any of these, straight conversion to jpeg from RAW:

DA*300, f/4.5, 1/1600, ISO1250

NO TC


NO TC, Big Crop



DA*300, f/5, 1/640, ISO1250

W/ Tamron 1.4 TC


W/ Tamron 1.4 TC, Big Crop



-------------------

These were handheld - the one with the TC was shot at a 1/640 shutter speed, a 1250+ speed would have produced better. Not much difference at all, very slight difference but again that is due to shutter speed. Also, keep in mind these are zeroed out, no processing and a straight raw conversion - a tap of sharpness would make both of these blistering sharp...
03-01-2013, 06:42 PM   #63
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Hey Lads, Yes, the Sigma 1.4x and 2x both give very acceptable IQ on the Sigma 300/2.8. I prefer the 1.4 as its still easy hand holding, but I do still use the 2x hand held if the light is good. I recently popped a pic in the 300mm lens club thread which is a bout a 50% crop out of a pic I took hand held (AF tracking during a 7fps burst of about 10 -12 photos) an Eagle flying around, I was stacking both the 1.4 and the 2x converters on the 300/2.8, so 840mm. (the pic in that thread is the jepg straight out of the camera, cropped and resized with "Paint" as I don't currently have PS running on my laptop.) As a note all those pics in the suf thread are also the jpeg directly out the K-5. When I'm chasing eagles / hawks I generally have the 300/2x combo on. (exif info always states 300 as a focal length tho) I tend to switch off SR when I'm on the gimbal head, all the pics taken at the surf contest, and that pic (840mm) of the eagle I had SR on..

As a side note, I use my Sigma 2x converter on my FA*200/2.8, I give excellent results as a 400/5.6, AF perfect. and the pictures retain that magic that the FA*200 has. I have also stcked in a "gutted" 2x AF teleconverter as an extension tube with that combo (FA*200/Sigma 2x/ extension tube) and had very fine success as 400mm macro lens, catching Dragonflies in the backyard.
03-01-2013, 06:44 PM   #64
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@cmohr - thanks for chiming in. How good would you rate, from your experience, the 300 2.8 and 1.4x tc combo?

03-01-2013, 06:47 PM   #65
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Interesting also, look at Dave's pic posted in there from the 500 4.5 and a TC, no loss of any detail in his pic:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-clubs/55946-300mm-plus-lens-club-dis...ml#post2296731
03-01-2013, 07:24 PM   #66
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QuoteOriginally posted by joe.penn Quote
There is no processing on any of these, straight conversion to jpeg from RAW:

These were handheld - the one with the TC was shot at a 1/640 shutter speed, a 1250+ speed would have produced better. Not much difference at all, very slight difference but again that is due to shutter speed. Also, keep in mind these are zeroed out, no processing and a straight raw conversion - a tap of sharpness would make both of these blistering sharp...
Stunning examples Joe - I am impressed! I'm very glad I am going to have a chance to give the 1.4x TC another go on my FA*300

And this also brings a question - I have no experience with the Tamron 1.4x MC4 TC on the DA*300 but have heard accounts that the auto focus isn't that great with that combo - a lot of hunting and tough to lock. True?
03-01-2013, 07:29 PM   #67
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
Stunning examples Joe - I am impressed! I'm very glad I am going to have a chance to give the 1.4x TC another go on my FA*300

And this also brings a question - I have no experience with the Tamron 1.4x MC4 TC on the DA*300 but have heard accounts that the auto focus isn't that great with that combo - a lot of hunting and tough to lock. True?
Very true, real jittery, with an overabundance of light it is better, but in average light it does hunt quite a bit.
03-01-2013, 08:50 PM   #68
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QuoteOriginally posted by joe.penn Quote
@jpzk

What do you do with most of your pics/art? Is this something you do as a hobby, make pics and display online maybe print a few for the house? Or, are you shooting, printing, showing in galleries and doing limited edition stuff?

I store most of them and keep separate folders for the keepers. Then, I print a few once in a while, building an ever growing personal portfolio.
Some of the good images are posted on Flickr and Pentax Photo Gallery.
I did, once only, made a relatively small "expo" (gallery) at a local store (around 15 professionally framed prints in the 10" x 12" size); a few were sold and I recup'd the printing-framing costs only.



One thing to remember here, longer is good for wildlife, but at the same time a DA*300 (and the Sigma 300 2.8) will outperform any bigma in almost all situations even after cropping an image made with these 2 lenses to match the extra 200mm of the bigma - this is something that can be seen as fact by mft charts. In essence, if you were to take a bigma and nail the exposure, then turn around and take the DA*300 and name the exposure, there will be a night and day difference in IQ and sharpness when comparing the two side by side. Also, your DA*300 with the 1.7 TC will blow the bigma out of the water. That second link you posted, if @Siluet23 would have captured that same shot (a fantastic shot with the bigma) with the Sigma 300 2.8 or other pro grade lens, it would take that shot from "Fantastic Shot" to "Incredible Nat Geo Shot Status" - even with skilled people behind the shutter, you still hit the ceiling or limits of what the equipment is capable of doing or producing. In short, a bigma would be a pretty big step backwards from the DA*300.

I know the DA*300/4 is hard to beat on IQ but I am still finding quite difficult to believe that this lens + the Pentax 1.7X TC (adapter they call it) will result in great IQ. Most of my images taken with this set up were "acceptable".


- Here are some wildlife pics from the Sigma 300 2.8 -> Sigma 300mm f/2.8 EX APO (chimp through the pictures as these are just randoms gathered up from everyone)
EDIT: Start here on that above link -> IMG_1321.jpg photo - allon kira photos at pbase.com -> use the next button, shows examples of the 300 2.8 with a TC...
Here is one using a Sigma 2x TC with that lens! IMG_1021.jpg photo - allon kira photos at pbase.com

- Check out Ken's work on flickr, his stuff is from DA*300 and also the Sigma 500 4.5 (IQ of the 300 2.8 Sigma is identical) -> Flickr: kengoh8888's Photostream
- Also, check out Gary's work on Flickr, he shoots with the Sigma 300 2.8 and the Sigma 500 4.5 -> Flickr: Gary Chalker's Photostream

Some photos in there are just incredible, to say the least. That makes me think that my technique is not up to par, even with the beloved DA*300/4.
Of course, the Sigma 500/4.5 images are among the best too ... cannot afford this lens.


Again, the bigma is a downgrade from the IQ you are used to seeing, there really is no comparison.
I am taking that in consideration, for sure.

Very informative post and I thank you for the time you take to reply here!

JP

03-01-2013, 08:52 PM   #69
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QuoteOriginally posted by RockvilleBob Quote
What camera are you using? I am considering the Sigma 300 2.8 but need a TC that works with the K-5. I do not think the Sigma 1.4 TC works with the K-5 and am waiting for the long overdue Pentax TC to come out. I have a Sigma 150-500 which is great for taking shots of my grand kids playing sports but is both too slow and the IQ not high enough for wildlife and birds in flight. So I am thinking of the Sigma 300 2.8 with TC or the Sigma 500 4.5.
I have checked the Sigma site for compatibility of their TC's (1.4 and 2 X) with the Pentax mount. Here's the link to the chart:

1.4X Teleconverter EX APO DG | Sigma
Go to "Resources" and click on "details", that will give you the entire chart for all lenses.

You might find this useful.

JP
03-02-2013, 02:13 AM   #70
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QuoteOriginally posted by joe.penn Quote
@cmohr - thanks for chiming in. How good would you rate, from your experience, the 300 2.8 and 1.4x tc combo?
I love the combo, and must admit a rarely use it without the converter. The versions I have are the EX DG versions, these are not the cheap kind of TC's, they are matched optics to the Sigma range. Only thing that does bug me is that when I use the Lens by itself, when I pull the Focus collar back into "Manual Focus" it turns off the incamera AF drive, (which is good) but with a TC on it doesnot disengage the AF drive, so you must turn off the switch on the camera. It does however turn off when I use a Sigma TC on my FA*200/2.8, pull back the collar and the camera disengages the AF drive.


I have had a Tamron 2xTC AF-Pz version (now de-elemented as a AF extension tube) I have the Kenko 1.4 AF-Pz, and use that on my DA* lenses (vary rarely) I have the Pentax 1.7 AFA (I used that on my Sigma 600/8 mirror amongst others. I personally rate the Sigmas twice better than any of the others. With the 1.4 very little to no loss, I see some loss in the 2x, but that could also be just me and my technique.
03-02-2013, 05:03 AM   #71
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QuoteOriginally posted by cmohr Quote
I love the combo, and must admit a rarely use it without the converter. The versions I have are the EX DG versions, these are not the cheap kind of TC's, they are matched optics to the Sigma range. Only thing that does bug me is that when I use the Lens by itself, when I pull the Focus collar back into "Manual Focus" it turns off the incamera AF drive, (which is good) but with a TC on it doesnot disengage the AF drive, so you must turn off the switch on the camera. It does however turn off when I use a Sigma TC on my FA*200/2.8, pull back the collar and the camera disengages the AF drive.


I have had a Tamron 2xTC AF-Pz version (now de-elemented as a AF extension tube) I have the Kenko 1.4 AF-Pz, and use that on my DA* lenses (vary rarely) I have the Pentax 1.7 AFA (I used that on my Sigma 600/8 mirror amongst others. I personally rate the Sigmas twice better than any of the others. With the 1.4 very little to no loss, I see some loss in the 2x, but that could also be just me and my technique.
Thanks for the comments. What camera are you using with the TC? My understanding is that autofocus does not work with the Sigma TC + Sigma 300 2.8 + K5
03-02-2013, 05:52 AM   #72
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QuoteOriginally posted by RockvilleBob Quote
My understanding is that autofocus does not work with the Sigma TC + Sigma 300 2.8 + K5
The big Sigma telephoto primes 300/2,8 and 500/4,5 use screwdrive AF, which is supported by the current Sigma TC´s. With the 300/2,8 AF works pretty well with the Sigma 1,4 x TC, and reasonably well with the 2 x TC.
The 500/4,5 is slower, hence TC´s have a much more profound effect on AF. With the 2 x TC this lens is really a manual focus one.
As usual, there is a cost to pay for increased reach. You always lose some IQ with TC´s, especially with a 2 x one.
03-02-2013, 09:53 AM   #73
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JP - I just came across a long lens discussion which you might want to read - really put a lot of all this in perspective for me.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/groups/161-birding-group/2265-lenses-birding.html?pp=15
03-02-2013, 10:14 AM   #74
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QuoteOriginally posted by RockvilleBob Quote
My interest is getting a lens where I do not need f10 for good resolution. Hence my interest in the Sigma 500 4.5 or the Sigma 300 2.8 with the hopefully soon to be introduced Pentax TC.
The way it looks right now, for me anyway, is that the tendency just might be to stop looking at the "zooms" and seriously consider the Siggy 300/2.8 with the proper TC's (1.4x and 2x).

I have been looking forward to this elusive Pentax SDM TC for quite some time, as many of us here have, but it still seems like a farfetched venture.

JP
03-02-2013, 10:17 AM   #75
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
Great comparison shots Larry - a nice addition to our discussion here - and one of my favorite subjects to boot!

The results don't really surprise my a whole lot, but might be partially my own attitude that there is no such thing as a "good" 2x TC. And as I suspected, the Q with the DA*300 is quite the contender here.
Well, that is likely my technique with the Q + DA*300/4 but I have one heck of a time to get half decent pics with this set up.
I'll try again when it stops snowing here .... quite heavily for the past couple of days with "mushy" snow: not a great time for testing in good light.

JP
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