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05-29-2013, 07:16 AM   #16
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I had the same feeling for a while Norm. I had tried the Pentax 1.7x TC with my then Tamron 60B 300mm 2.8 lens, and wasn't very happy with the results. While this comparison is with a different lens and TC combo, I was pleasantly surprised with my results. I think a lot of it has to do with long lens technique which I am learning slowly as I go. I think my technique has improved somewhat over the couple of years since I tried that first combination.

05-29-2013, 07:30 AM   #17
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I adjust my camera to -0.5EV with the Kenko 1.5X mounted, because it tends to expose a bit hotter compared to the lens alone. From these samples, it looks like maybe the Vivitar is similar.
05-29-2013, 08:49 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I adjust my camera to -0.5EV with the Kenko 1.5X mounted, because it tends to expose a bit hotter compared to the lens alone. From these samples, it looks like maybe the Vivitar is similar.
That's a great idea - I'll have to experiment with that.
05-29-2013, 09:57 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
I had tried the Pentax 1.7x TC with my then Tamron 60B 300mm 2.8 lens, and wasn't very happy with the results.
I had the same experience (although it was the 1.7x AFA and a 360B). I found the adaptall TCs (the 140F and 200F) to be much better suited to that 300mm/2.8! I'm still surprised at how well your 300+1.4x combo is working out... I guess some lenses just work better with some TCs! I'd really expect more from the Bigma...

05-29-2013, 10:07 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
I guess some lenses just work better with some TCs!
Lens resolving power is the key here. The TC that stan is using is labeled Vivitar, it is however the Tamron AF TC [exactly the same] but without HSM contacts.
05-29-2013, 11:38 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by GaryH Quote
Another Idea would be to check the Bigma at 300mm vs the FA without the converter.
I'm not even going to do that comparison - the FA* will win without even checking since I can hold the FA* but can't hold the Bigma.
05-29-2013, 02:38 PM   #22
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Interesting comparison you started here!
When you will compare IQ as you say you plan to do, it would be nice to see the pictures cropped to same size. What I would find the most interesting would be bigma@500mm, than the FA*300 with and without TC cropped to corresponding size. That way you can really compare which setup gives the best 500mm equivalent IQ.

Will follow!
05-29-2013, 06:56 PM   #23
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You have to remember that cropping loses pixels. Cropping is fine for email and Internet sharing but you need pixels for printing. Especially for printing larger prints. I like the extra focal length over cropping because even at a 500mm focal length, I still may crop the image. It seems to be human nature to try to get the maximum magnification out of a longer lens. Especially when photographing wildlife. Not that I print every image but if I ever want to, I will have a larger file to work with than using say a , 300mm and cropping vs using a teleconverter with the same 300mm lens or using a 500mm lens.

05-30-2013, 02:04 AM   #24
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I generally agree with you Gary. You do ofc get an extra leverage with a longer lens and ability to crop closer/loosing fewer pixels. But I also believe that the resolution and general IQ of the lens is important because it will allow better crops. Not always will you shoot as far as possible (even if that is kind of the purpose with tele as you pointed out). As Stan said (if I understand it correctly), the FA is better when both are shot @300mm which is probably no surprise. What I wonder is at what focal length the advantage of the longer lens becomes apparent, you know what I mean? Of course Stan may choose to compare IQ the way he wants, I just gave a suggestion that I personally find interesting!
Cheers
05-30-2013, 08:51 AM   #25
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eww, no Bigma for me.
05-30-2013, 09:46 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by GaryH Quote
You have to remember that cropping loses pixels. Cropping is fine for email and Internet sharing but you need pixels for printing. Especially for printing larger prints. I like the extra focal length over cropping because even at a 500mm focal length, I still may crop the image. It seems to be human nature to try to get the maximum magnification out of a longer lens. Especially when photographing wildlife. Not that I print every image but if I ever want to, I will have a larger file to work with than using say a , 300mm and cropping vs using a teleconverter with the same 300mm lens or using a 500mm lens.
I tried a Sigma 150-500 OS HSM. At 500mm the Sigma was not sharp enough to support much of a crop. With a 300mm f4 and TC, I am able to crop to 100% and remain satisfied with the result. As shown above, the fields of view at 420mm vs. 500mm are not as different as one would think, due to the loss of range of the Sigma Internal Focus design.

The Sigma zooms cover a lot of focal lengths, especially the Bigma, but the often dim level of natural light in my part of the world makes 300mm @ f4 a necessity at times. The Sigma zooms are I believe at least a stop slower at 300mm. AF clearly favours a Sigma zoom, but I have high hopes for the roadmapped Pentax TC.

Maybe if I had tried a Bigma instead of a 150-500 I would have been satisfied with the results. It appears to do at least a little better than the 150-500. I would not try a 50-500 now. I am comfortable that the DA*300 is best my needs.
05-30-2013, 10:05 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I tried a Sigma 150-500 OS HSM. At 500mm the Sigma was not sharp enough to support much of a crop. With a 300mm f4 and TC, I am able to crop to 100% and remain satisfied with the result. As shown above, the fields of view at 420mm vs. 500mm are not as different as one would think, due to the loss of range of the Sigma Internal Focus design.

The Sigma zooms cover a lot of focal lengths, especially the Bigma, but the often dim level of natural light in my part of the world makes 300mm @ f4 a necessity at times. The Sigma zooms are I believe at least a stop slower at 300mm. AF clearly favours a Sigma zoom, but I have high hopes for the roadmapped Pentax TC.

Maybe if I had tried a Bigma instead of a 150-500 I would have been satisfied with the results. It appears to do at least a little better than the 150-500. I would not try a 50-500 now. I am comfortable that the DA*300 is best my needs.
I am currently using a Sigma 300 2.8 with the matched Sigma 1.4 DG TC and am pretty satisfied with the results even after cropping that down when needed to adjust composition. I would love to get the Sigma 500 4.5, it is however out of my price range.
05-30-2013, 10:17 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
eww, no Bigma for me.
Huh.....I thought the Bigma held up pretty well. Also, this was not an IQ test but merely a focal length test. For an outright IQ test I would have setup on my heavier tripod with gimbal, not had the tripod setup on a wooden deck, and had done it in much better light conditions.
05-30-2013, 12:20 PM   #29
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[quote/] Maybe if I had tried a Bigma instead of a 150-500 I would have been satisfied with the results. It appears to do at least a little better than the 150-500. I would not try a 50-500 now. I am comfortable that the DA*300 is best my needs.[/quote]

I actually have had the DA*300 and both the old and new Bigma. When I was able to photograph wildlife more, I was generally happy with the iq of the older Bigma. However, if you have not tried a New Bigma, you are missing out on its Improvements over the previous model. The IQ at 500 was much improved over the previous model. But the best thing about having the versatility of the Bigma was its ability to take a head shot of gators then zoom out and take full length shots. I only had to carry around the camera,lens and monopod. It also has decent close up ability as does the DA300.
Overall, I think the Bigma holds up pretty well and offers a little extra reach without a teleconverter along with some other conveniences. I really like the DA 300 also but I also realize that the next step in IQ from these lenses is going to be $3000 up and are in a whole different ballpark in regards to peripherals and technique to get the best out of them. Sigma 300 f2.8 and 500mm f4.5 for example.

Regards
05-30-2013, 07:26 PM   #30
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Thanks for posting this! I've been trying to decide between tele options considering I have the 50-135, deciding between sig 150-500, or da300 + tc, or da300 + cropping. The thing that I never see being discussed is dof. I love that very long glass look that only seems to come from a 500 wide open. And always was curious if the dof from a 300+tc was dependent on the aperture the lens was set to, or the value of the lens + tc. i.e, your FA was set to f8, so it seemed to have the dof of f11, whereas the sigma retained the slightly shallower dof of f8?

I dunno, maybe I've had to much burbon tonight.....
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