Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
10-13-2013, 06:25 AM   #16
Site Supporter




Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Middle of Everywhere
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,169
/
QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
I guess if one really wanted a longer AF lens, it would necessarily mean going to Canon or Nikon...
Since you are probably going to post process, crop and most likely use manual focus to make a successful image, anyway, you might consider a Q7 with PK adapter.

My Q, plus DFA 100/2,8, has the crop factor of a 550mm lens and offers the deeper DOF of a 100mm lens. The kit is very cost effective and light weight (1.15 lbs, incl tripod bracket, battery, strap, SD card, lens hood, etc.). Plus, I don't need a Sherpa, or an SUV, to help carry my gear as I can stuff it all into a jacket pocket and be out the door. While the adapted lens is in-body stabilized and setup somewhat fussy, the biggest challenge is holding a kit this light in weight, steady. In fact, I look for ways to ADD weight. Anyway, if my adapted lens has an FL much greater than 100mm, I find a brace (bean bag, mono-pod, or tripod) helps settle everything down.

...my 2 cents...

Cheers... M

I'll also add that my preferred kit for butterflies/birding/nature is the DA*300/4 paired to a K5IIs. Works great... no problems.


Last edited by Michaelina2; 10-13-2013 at 06:32 AM.
10-13-2013, 07:03 AM   #17
Site Supporter
ramseybuckeye's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Elida, Ohio
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 8,622
See the thread Lenses for Birding ion the Birding Group
10-13-2013, 07:09 AM   #18
Senior Member
mgbirder's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Santa Cruz
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 228
I have a Fa* 300 f4.5 and a Sigma 150-500 HSM OS on a K5, I don’t know about the DA*300 but the FA*300 is really fast to focus and pretty sharp it is my favorite for BIF. The Sigma gives more reach and delivers good pictures under good lightning conditions but the autofocus is pretty slow. For stationary Birds I tend to use the Sigma 150-500 (I kind of feel the OS is better inside the lens than the IS function of the sensor), but for fast focus and easy to follow BIF i would recommend the FA*300 (Da*300), which is also pretty light and compact. I have used TCs (Tamron, Kenko and Promaster) but I always feel that image quality degrades and autofocus gets slowed down a lot.
10-13-2013, 07:19 AM   #19
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Nelson B.C.
Posts: 3,267
I use the DA*300 for lower light conditions and the 150-500 in the summer when F8 is possible. You can crop with the DA300 up to a point; 300mm is just a bit too short. I'll be getting a Sigma 500 f4.5 eventually, as it is long and very nice IQ.

This is with the 150-500 500mm F8


DA300 F4.


Both are cropped. The limit with the 150-500 is light; what you will find is that your limiting factor for IQ is ISO. Stopped down to F8 to get a reasonable shutter speed in any but very good light you are into iso 3200 territory, and you can't crop and get reasonable results. The DA300 is sharp wide open, so you have two stops to play with.

Ultimately you decide how much money you want to spend, get the hardware that it can buy, and go after subjects that you can shoot. If you buy the Sigma, then forget about rain forest or winter shooting. If you buy the DA300 forget about things far off, learn techniques to get close and select targets that you can shoot close. If you want small things far away in low light, expect to spend $6-10K for a lens.

10-13-2013, 07:44 AM - 1 Like   #20
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 4,098
I've been happy with my Sigma 150-500 lens . I find it's very sharp throughout the 150-500 range. I'm very 'persnickety' about sharpness and I'm more than satisfied with the Sigma's performance.

However I do recommend the following:

The Sigma works best around F 10- F 11. I use 800- 1600 ISO...which is not a problem with a modern DSLR like my K-5.

I use spot AF and I aim for the eye of the subject.

I try to position myself so there is sunlight on the subject .

The Sigma 150-500 is a very large and heavy lens. However I use it hand held. With birds I find they move too often and quickly for a monopod or tripod mounted lens/camera. I can usually stay with them...more often...using my photographic equipment hand held.

Before I bought the Sigma I did a lot of research...on Pentax and Canon forums. After awhile of looking at photos (taken with the 150-500) and reading reviews I came to the conclusion that using appropriate camera/lens settings (prev. discussed in my post) made a significant difference to the success. I also came to the realization that many photographers weren't taking care with their settings and were not experiencing success, but then blaming the lens.

But this is not just limited to a large Telephoto...it's the case with any lens.
10-13-2013, 08:39 AM   #21
Site Supporter




Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Northern Wisconsin
Posts: 703
Sigma 120-400 f4.5-5.6 zoom

Does anyone have experience with or opinions on Sigma's 120-400 f4.5-5.6 zoom for birding? On the K5 the 400mm becomes something like a 600mm 5.6 so figure that at 500mm it ought to be reasonably sharp?? For $900 new it looks on paper to be a decent birding lens just slow. Any thoughts?? Thanks
10-13-2013, 09:53 AM   #22
Site Supporter
boriscleto's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Liverpool, NY
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 12,870
QuoteOriginally posted by woodywesty Quote
Does anyone have experience with or opinions on Sigma's 120-400 f4.5-5.6 zoom for birding? On the K5 the 400mm becomes something like a 600mm 5.6 so figure that at 500mm it ought to be reasonably sharp??
It does not become a 600mm. It's a 400mm with the edges cut off.

I use a DA L 55-300, often with a 1.4x tele-converter, for birding. I don't shoot from a blind, I just walk quietly in the woods and hope something comes in range...guerrilla birding. Something longer would be nice, but I value portability over all else.

Beaver Lake May 20, 2013 - a set on Flickr




Great Bear Jun 01, 2013 - a set on Flickr

Great Bear Jun 12, 2013 - a set on Flickr

Great Bear Jun 15, 2013 - a set on Flickr




The only reason I would want a longer lens is for shooting Montezuma. Maybe one day I will be able to afford one. In the meantime I think a Q with a K adapter might work. I'll have to get one before the spring migration.




Montezuma NWR & Audubon May 04, 2013 - a set on Flickr

Montezuma NWR Jun 19, 2013 - a set on Flickr

Aug 11, 2013 - Montezuma NWR - a set on Flickr

Montezuma Aug 31, 2013 - a set on Flickr

Montezuma - Sep 15, 2013 - a set on Flickr



Last edited by boriscleto; 10-13-2013 at 09:59 AM.
10-13-2013, 10:08 AM   #23
Site Supporter




Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Northern Wisconsin
Posts: 703
QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
It does not become a 600mm. It's a 400mm with the edges cut off.

I use a DA L 55-300, often with a 1.4x tele-converter, for birding. I don't shoot from a blind, I just walk quietly in the woods and hope something comes in range...guerrilla birding. Something longer would be nice, but I value portability over all else.

Beaver Lake May 20, 2013 - a set on Flickr




Great Bear Jun 01, 2013 - a set on Flickr

Great Bear Jun 12, 2013 - a set on Flickr

Great Bear Jun 15, 2013 - a set on Flickr




The only reason I would want a longer lens is for shooting Montezuma. Maybe one day I will be able to afford one. In the meantime I think a Q with a K adapter might work. I'll have to get one before the spring migration.




Montezuma NWR & Audubon May 04, 2013 - a set on Flickr

Montezuma NWR Jun 19, 2013 - a set on Flickr

Aug 11, 2013 - Montezuma NWR - a set on Flickr

Montezuma Aug 31, 2013 - a set on Flickr

Montezuma - Sep 15, 2013 - a set on Flickr


OK..... so, if I use a full frame designed lens like the Sigma 400 it remains 400mm in magnification, but if I use a telephoto designed for APS-C like the DA 300mm lens it becomes a 450mm lens on the APS-C camera?? At least this is what B&H are showing on their product descriptions..?

(very nice pictures I might add!)

10-13-2013, 10:22 AM   #24
Pentaxian
Miguel's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Near Seattle
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,726
QuoteOriginally posted by Reptilezz Quote
I print the images and will be printing posters on the good images
It is good to know what your output objectives are because that helps drive the proper tools for the job. If by bird photography you include BIFs, then your choices are fairly limited in the Pentax universe today. There simply aren't any bodies that have the combination of predictive/tracking AF and contemporary 400mm+ lenses in the Pentax world to somewhat match what Canon and Nikon offer. Of course the K-3 may finally obsolete half that statement (and I will compare a K-3 + Sigma 100-300 f4+ 1.4x TC with my Canon 7D + 100-400mm kit within weeks), but Pentax still lacks high quality long glass.

The Bigma I once owned was a mixed bag. The focal range was remarkable, and if you had it on a tripod shooting a stationary object, it was OK at the longer end. But for anything that moved it was too slow and the optics were really consumer level as its price reflects. The DA 300mm is a better quality lens, but again one is hindered by a relatively shorter focal length and less-than-competitive Pentax bodies. The Sigma 500mm lenses are certainly very good but their cost raises other issues. I think you have to decide how important bird photography is and how committed to the best tools you need to be. If I'm spending $5K on a 500mm Sigma lens for Pentax, I'd examine alternatives that may serve me better. I think it may be smarter to get a used Canon 7D or Nikon D300s for $900 and then see what that $5000 will secure. You may be able to score a used Canon first-generation 500mm f4 which is simply better than the Sigma. My 100-400mm f 4.5.6 Canon is noticeably better than the Bigma and you can pickup one of those used for $1250. Additionally, Nikon recently released a much needed second generation of their 80-400mm lens that I hear wonderful things about. I think it costs about $2K and can be used with a D800.

So I guess my point is that at a certain point the need for the right tool transcends the desire to stay with one's existing camera platform. I really hope that Pentax releases the long telephoto zoom listed on their roadmap; if the K-3 is as good as the hype then it should be among their highest priorities.

M
10-13-2013, 10:40 AM   #25
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 4,098
QuoteOriginally posted by woodywesty Quote
Does anyone have experience with or opinions on Sigma's 120-400 f4.5-5.6 zoom for birding? On the K5 the 400mm becomes something like a 600mm 5.6 so figure that at 500mm it ought to be reasonably sharp?? For $900 new it looks on paper to be a decent birding lens just slow. Any thoughts?? Thanks
Two things.

First, the Sigma 120-400 is also big and heavy, albeit somewhat smaller and lighter than the 150-500. But you lose a significant amount of telephoto...400 vs 500 at the top end. With birding photos every mm is important and 100 mm is significant.

Secondly...price isn't much different.

Also...thirdly...I guess.....with a telephoto of this range....I keep away from using F stops such as F 5.6 for reasons of DOF and also clarity of the final pix. Remember with a modern DSLR such as a K-5 you have lot's of clarity even at higher ISO such as 1600.

DOF is important with flying birds...they move quickly and with shallow DOF...they can very easily fly out of that shallow DOF and the result is out of focus bird subjects.

I tend to use at least F 8 and usually F 10- F 11 with my 150-500.
10-13-2013, 10:43 AM   #26
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 4,098
I just noticed the post from the fellow who uses the Pentax 55-300. This is a lens that I feel is often unfairly maligned. It is sharp at 300mm and I've used mine with great success since '08 when I first got one. As the poster says...pre set your focus range and ...voila...you can get some real sharp bird photos.
10-13-2013, 10:47 AM   #27
Veteran Member
Barry Pearson's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Stockport
Posts: 870
QuoteOriginally posted by woodywesty Quote
OK..... so, if I use a full frame designed lens like the Sigma 400 it remains 400mm in magnification, but if I use a telephoto designed for APS-C like the DA 300mm lens it becomes a 450mm lens on the APS-C camera?? At least this is what B&H are showing on their product descriptions..?
An XXXmm lens is always an XXXmm lens! How can changing the sensor change the focal length of a lens?

All those "equivalent" values are trying to convey the "field of view" of a lens on a particular sensor. (So they are really a crude way of comparing angles without mentioning angles). The angle of the field of view of a 300mm lens on an APS-C sensor is nearly the same as the angle of the field of view of a 450mm lens on an FF sensor. But it is still a 300mm lens.
10-13-2013, 11:04 AM   #28
Site Supporter




Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Northern Wisconsin
Posts: 703
It appears that I have been "confused" while reading all the lens descriptions on the B&H web site. Various descriptions like "equivalent to 859mm in 35mm format", "comparable APS-C focal length: 450mm" had me thinking that I would get 450mm of magnification instead of 300mm. Now that I see that I would get no more magnification out of the DA 300mm than my old Super Takumar 300mm I have no need for the DA 300mm. I know I need to have 500mm of real magnification and a 1.4 teleconvertor on on a 300mm will only get me in the range of 450mm. This is a "game changer" as it looks like the Sigma 500mm is the only real option.
10-13-2013, 12:58 PM   #29
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Nelson B.C.
Posts: 3,267
It is what its called digital zoom on p&s cameras. On a full frame sensor you would have an image from the lens, on aps-c it would be as if the for sides were chopped off. If you printed the same sour from either sensor on the same size sheet of paper the aps-c would look more magnified, as if you got a shot with a longer focal length lens.
10-13-2013, 01:06 PM   #30
Senior Member
Reptilezz's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2013
Photos: Albums
Posts: 206
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by derekkite Quote
I use the DA*300 for lower light conditions and the 150-500 in the summer when F8 is possible. You can crop with the DA300 up to a point; 300mm is just a bit too short. I'll be getting a Sigma 500 f4.5 eventually, as it is long and very nice IQ.

This is with the 150-500 500mm F8


DA300 F4.


Both are cropped. The limit with the 150-500 is light; what you will find is that your limiting factor for IQ is ISO. Stopped down to F8 to get a reasonable shutter speed in any but very good light you are into iso 3200 territory, and you can't crop and get reasonable results. The DA300 is sharp wide open, so you have two stops to play with.

Ultimately you decide how much money you want to spend, get the hardware that it can buy, and go after subjects that you can shoot. If you buy the Sigma, then forget about rain forest or winter shooting. If you buy the DA300 forget about things far off, learn techniques to get close and select targets that you can shoot close. If you want small things far away in low light, expect to spend $6-10K for a lens.
Ok from what you said there i think im leaning towards the DA*300 as i could learn to sneak up better on the bird wheres as my limitation with the sigma would be much greater in the way that it would be very difficult to use in a rainforest and places with not much light. Also if i really wanted to i could put a tc on and still get acceptable results.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
da*300, im, k-mount, pentax lens, sigma, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
DA*300 versus Sigma 150-500 RockvilleBob Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12 09-17-2012 08:39 PM
Garden Tests : DA*300 vs Tokina 300/2.8 vs Tamron BB 500, plus TCs Frogfish Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 9 07-19-2012 10:15 AM
Sigma 50-500 vs Sigma 150-500 slackercruster Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 9 04-10-2012 05:33 AM
Sigma 50-500 vs 150-500 vs 170-500 juanraortiz Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 19 10-30-2009 03:32 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:04 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top