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04-11-2008, 02:54 PM   #16
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I'm going to suggest a Sigma 135-400mm. I've been using one for the last few weeks and its been wonderful. Zero CA/purple fringing. Pretty sharp wide open. Just a good all around lens for wildlife/outdoors. Cheap too. 400-500 US

04-11-2008, 03:04 PM   #17
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Hmm...judging by the Tamron shots, I'm glad I haven't given them any money. I haven't had much experience with my 80-320 yet (rain, cold, snow...still!). Regardless, IMO, the softness and rampant PF just isn't worth the exchange of low price.

The shots from the *300 are very nice. More expesive, yes...but if you're looking for a wildlife lens, a premium should be paid. I use mine only to dink around with. If I got more serious about the long end (I'm a wide angle person), quality > price.
04-11-2008, 03:10 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
I will document fully how the amateur in me fight with PP. There is a pfree photoshop plugin that is available to download. Yeah, I know, the poor man don't want to buy photoshop. And I go one step further in not getting pirated copy either. But the hidden gem come when some free photo editors support photoshop plugin. I know one and two. One I used before is called xnviewer and I combine it with pfree photoshop plugin and voila, it has worked magic for reducing PF pictures for me.

Again, I don't have a blog post with all the links, but the above keywords on 'pfree', 'xnviewer', 'irfanview' (spelling) should get the interested something to search about. I will be updating this thread on how I fixed PF in my shots in the past with reasonable success. Of course, the best will be when you have a capable editor such as the photoshop.
I used Uleads PhotoImpact for a while before switching to photoshop. Its a $49 program that has a great feature set (including CA correction). Its like the tammy, a lotta bang for the buck and you can try before you buy. Buy program $49 + Tamron 70-300 $129 = $178 for a sharp lens and CA solution plus xtras. If you are a budget shooter or just a newbie, its hard to pass up to determine if you really want to shoot wildlife. I started with a phoenix 100-400mm, decided i really liked shooting birds, tried a sigma 400mm apo macro and jumped to the f*300mm.

Digital imaging software: PhotoImpact - Comparisons

Last edited by ivoire; 04-11-2008 at 03:21 PM.
04-11-2008, 04:16 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by ivoire Quote
I have the pentax f* 300mm 4.5 and am more than satisfied with it. the resolution and bokeh is superb and using a 1.4x converter does not degrade the images very much.
Those shots are insanely good. The butterfly and doves... how long did that take???!

04-11-2008, 05:19 PM   #20
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For about $1000:

You are looking at a used F/FA*300/4.5
or
New DA* 300/4
or
Sigma 100-300/4, add a 1.4X.
or
NEW Sigma 50-500/4.5-6.3.

There is also a 150-500 Sigma to be release any day now, final price and optical quality is unknown at the present time. It might be worth waiting for; it is supposed to replace the 170-500 which is a 15yr old design.

If you are looking at the 70-300 in Tamron or Sigma you should wait for the DA 55-300 which has been relased in Japan already and it is advertisied under $400. So they should be popping up anytime.

The manual focus manual aperature sleeper bargain of all time is the SMC 500/4.5 selling used for $4-600. In the 1970-80 Nikon and Canon shooter were adapting this lens to their mounts.

My LBA for this type of wildlife shootingis the FA*250-600/5.6. Last used one sold on eBay for $6200. I tested it when it was introduced early this century. The sharpest long zoom for Pentax ever and I have the K25 chromes to prove it.
04-11-2008, 05:44 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by ivoire Quote
I have the pentax f* 300mm 4.5 and am more than satisfied with it. the resolution and bokeh is superb and using a 1.4x converter does not degrade the images very much. you can usually find one for about $1000. The new da* 300mm is about the same price (someone posted that it is available in canada). on the aps-c sensor this equate to a 450mm lens. plenty of reach in my opinion. I also have the tamron 70-300mm which is very sharp to 200mm and gets soft at 300mm plus it suffers from CA big time in high contrast scenes. Its been hawked to death in this forum (by me too). These were shot with the F*300mm:
Those are beautiful shots ivoire. I'm keeping an eye on the new 300mm f4, if it's as sharp as the f* I think I'll try it. right now I'm happy with my tamron 300mm f2.8 and 1.7afa but for best results I'm at f11 or f13. (1.5 stops for the tc) especially if cropping and it's a lot of lens to lug around Do you use the auto selection AF for BIF shots? That would be another plus for the f* or da* as the 1.7afa only gives you the center point. Here's a crop with the tamron 360b and 1.7x

04-11-2008, 06:33 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by borno Quote
Those are beautiful shots ivoire. I'm keeping an eye on the new 300mm f4, if it's as sharp as the f* I think I'll try it. right now I'm happy with my tamron 300mm f2.8 and 1.7afa but for best results I'm at f11 or f13. (1.5 stops for the tc) especially if cropping and it's a lot of lens to lug around Do you use the auto selection AF for BIF shots? That would be another plus for the f* or da* as the 1.7afa only gives you the center point. Here's a crop with the tamron 360b and 1.7x

Borno, i was using the K10d when i shot those pics between f4.5 and f8, aperature priority. the camera was set to the AFC position for bird in flite, 0ev or -1ev, no tc. I like the da* and am waiting to see how the lenses compare. the da* should have much faster autofocus which is a real plus. I was going to wait on buying, but i got a deal for $730 for the f*. Thanks for the comment, your eagle pic is a great bif also. i'm hoping to get to western illinois as theres a ton of eagles along the mississippi. I searched long and hard for the Tamron you have but could never find one!
04-11-2008, 06:55 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Those shots are insanely good. The butterfly and doves... how long did that take???!
Thanks for the comment. They are 2 different shots from about 6 months apart. I was fooling around in photoshop and noticed that the colors and depth were so close that they might look good together. took about 20 minutes to clean up the image and voila! I am constantly amazed at what comes out of that lens. the real surprise is that the el cheapo tammy is so close in resolution to a little over 200mm. i plan on having that around for when birds are coming at you like this one:


Last edited by ivoire; 04-12-2009 at 10:29 AM.
04-11-2008, 07:15 PM   #24
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For the Tamron's 70-300 PF, the only thing I found that worked well was Helicon Filter...other apps seemed to only partially work...
04-11-2008, 08:06 PM   #25
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Here is the Sigma 135-400APO




This one will go down as one of my all time favs...This duck was literally 10 feet away from me...
04-11-2008, 08:09 PM   #26
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Here is the sigma 70-300APO with Tamron 1.4tc










04-11-2008, 08:13 PM   #27
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And here is the Pentax FA 80-320MM



04-11-2008, 08:51 PM   #28
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Nice pics all around. really liked the duck in flite (my favorite captures), reworked it a bit. adjusted to lab color, apply image, screen at 55%, go back to rgb color, sharpened 1.8 pixels at 23%, smudged the water, did a selection on the grass and adjusted color, used blur to smooth out the grass, water, concrete, an adjustment layer for saturation and hue (very minor adj) flatten, did a little cloning, added a slight s-curve to lighten. the 80-320 is a surprise. that lens never gets a very good review but that cormorant pic changes my opinion of it.

Last edited by ivoire; 04-12-2009 at 10:29 AM.
04-11-2008, 08:55 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by ivoire Quote
Nice pics all around. really liked the duck in flite (my favorite captures), reworked it a bit. adjusted to lab color, apply image, screen at 55%, sharpened 1.8 pixels at 23%, smudged the water, did a selection on the grass and adjusted color, used blur to smooth out the grass, water, concrete, did a little cloning, added a slight s-curve to lighten
Thank You!!!!!!very much..It looks great..I normally do not spend time in PP , but i need to. I downloaded your image. I will see if I can duplicate it. Thanks again!
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