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05-13-2013, 07:08 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
i think there are really a couple of issues here that need to be addressed, not just how to get to 500mm or how many zooms you think you need.

I shoot a lot of wildlife, and have multiple long lens options, but the one that I always come back to is the following

Sigma APO 70-200/2.8 EX (Non DG, Non Macro) plus either 1.4x or 2x Sigma APO teleconverters.

My zoom lens is the original 70-200. it does not have Digital coatings on the rear element (but i have never had an issue with reflections off the sensor) . Unltil perhaps the latest OS-HSM II lens from sigma it is the sharpest both wide open and at 200 mm of all the lenses. The macro versions all got soft at maximum focal length and maximum aperture.

with this lens plus TCs I have the best of all worlds. F2.8 between 70 and 200mm, and have options with the TCs over ultimate length and speed. Heavy, perhaps about 1.7 kilos for the lens alone, but well worth it. I would hazard to say sharper at 400 (using the 2x TC) than any of the sigma 500mm zooms.

the down side, you need to buy on the used market to get the lens, since newer HSM lenses do not work with the older sigma TC and sigma does not yet have (to my knowledge) a 2x TC which supports HSM

the other options in the 300Plus are all primes. the lightest and lowest cost prime lens method to get to 500mm is the DA300/4 and the SMC-F 1.7x AF converter. this is a TC with its own focusing elements, which when used with a long lens gives AF in a range selected by the lens manual focus collar .

I use this TC with the K300/4 as well and it can produce results but the older lenses suffer from some CA.

the real point is, do you want just a long 400-500mm lens, or a zoom, which covers several ranges?
As I said I have the DA300 & Pentax AF 1.7TC, is the sigma TC better? if it works on the DA
so is the newest sigma 70-200 OS HSMII as good as the old one you have?

05-13-2013, 07:23 PM   #17
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Another note..when talking to a rep at B&H about these 4 lenses,he said the Sigma 70-200 was the best choice..not sure if he make more on Sigma sales?? but they seem to be a large retailer in the states who may know what he's talking about.....
05-13-2013, 09:08 PM   #18
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I don't see why the Sigma is the 'best' choice. The 50-135 is excellent wide open, whereas the Sigma 70-200 is not very sharp wide open. The Tamron 70-200 on the other hand is sharper wide open than the 70-200 - its only disadvantage (if considered as such) is the screwdriven AF mechanism noise (speed is almost the same, however the Tamron has a closer minimum focusing distance, which makes the focus throw longer than that of the Sigma).

See my thoughts on the two lenses here:
05-14-2013, 07:02 AM   #19
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Hi Ash no images as removed on your link? Sigma service says the older Sigma is better at 2.8 than the newer model....
is the screw drive noise very loud? like would it scare animals away by chance?


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