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04-19-2008, 07:05 PM   #1
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Sigma 70-300mm APO

Just bought the Lilma today. I'm pleased with the results, very good for a $250 Canadian lens.

4 photos from this afternoon, the lens itself, 2 water fowl and the usual penny macro test.
Semi-overcast today, hoping for sun tomorrow (snowed last night so who knows what will happen)







Original penny is here; Canadian-Penny.jpg photo - metalfab photos at pbase.com



04-19-2008, 07:21 PM   #2
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Nice

I have the opportunity to buy a non-APO version of the Sigma 70-300 from a colleague for $100, and I'm wondering if it is significantly inferior to the APO version, or to the Tamron 70-300. Have you any experiance with the 70-300 non-APO version? Or anyone else?

I posted on another thread about the macro capabilities, but your macro of the penny is impressive for such an inexpensive lens, so that really answers that part of my question.

The main thing I need to know is about the APO vs non-APO versions of this lens.

Thanks in advance
04-19-2008, 07:52 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Derridale Quote
Nice

I have the opportunity to buy a non-APO version of the Sigma 70-300 from a colleague for $100, and I'm wondering if it is significantly inferior to the APO version, or to the Tamron 70-300. Have you any experiance with the 70-300 non-APO version? Or anyone else?

I posted on another thread about the macro capabilities, but your macro of the penny is impressive for such an inexpensive lens, so that really answers that part of my question.

The main thing I need to know is about the APO vs non-APO versions of this lens.

Thanks in advance
Thanks for the comment Derridale.

I haven't used the non-APO version but, I was told to stay clear. Mainly due to it lacking the 2 extra SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements the APO version has (non-APO has 1, APO has 3).

I'm not sure if this helps but, I took a 'contrasty' type photo just now to see if I could get any CA or PF, even at the pixel peeping level I can't see any. Maybe I'm not doing it right or the lens is good at handling it. Here is a link to the full size, unedited 6MP image; (1.27MB) IMGP3840.jpg
04-19-2008, 08:40 PM   #4
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MF - many thanks for taking the trouble to do that. That is most helpful

Your point re the APO vs the non-APO is a good one, with the two extra elements. I might pass on the cheap lens, and go for the APO version - it's not really that expensive, even in Aussie dollars.

I always remember a saying from my Dad, talking about tools - "the quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten". I think I'll bear that in mind...!

Thanks again.

04-19-2008, 09:00 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Derridale Quote
MF - many thanks for taking the trouble to do that. That is most helpful

Your point re the APO vs the non-APO is a good one, with the two extra elements. I might pass on the cheap lens, and go for the APO version - it's not really that expensive, even in Aussie dollars.

I always remember a saying from my Dad, talking about tools - "the quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten". I think I'll bear that in mind...!

Thanks again.
No trouble at all.

I can relate to your Dad's saying. In an indirect way I tried the same saying to the better-half; "Hon, the Bigma will give me all the range I need, and its only $900 (Canadian) more than the 70-300 ...or 2/3rds of a mortgage payment." I didn't get the Bigma for some reason. lol
04-19-2008, 09:11 PM   #6
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This is one of my favorite lenses...It rocks....
04-19-2008, 09:43 PM   #7
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I have the original kit 50-200 lens and would like a little more reach... image quality wise is this sigma better?

As much as I'd like the bigma, it's just not in the cards for a while

Pat
04-19-2008, 09:53 PM   #8
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I did the penny macro in the OP. Here is the other end of the spectrum. As much as I like moon shots the full moon never appeals to me but, it was all I could do tonight.

100% crop with a slight WB correction.



04-20-2008, 07:43 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Derridale Quote
MF - many thanks for taking the trouble to do that. That is most helpful

Your point re the APO vs the non-APO is a good one, with the two extra elements. I might pass on the cheap lens, and go for the APO version - it's not really that expensive, even in Aussie dollars.

I always remember a saying from my Dad, talking about tools - "the quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten". I think I'll bear that in mind...!

Thanks again.
Derridale,

Not exactly in focus, I was playing with MF and forgot the camera was in MF mode. Another zero CA/PF example.

full sized (2.3MB), RAW to JPG, no editing;

No-CA-PF.jpg photo - metalfab photos at pbase.com
04-20-2008, 07:49 PM   #10
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MF - thanks again That certainly shows an impressive lack of PF, for sure.

I guess the other lens to throw into the mixing pot, in addition to the Sigma and Tammy 70-300 offerings is the Pentax DA 55-300 (not the DA* class lens). I see from another thread that this lens is almost completely free of PF and CA as well, and may be sharper than the Sigma at the long end.

It's a problem decision really, isn't it?

Sigma - little or no PF but very soft at the long end, especially at the edges

Tamron - much sharper at the long end, but bad PF problems

Pentax - sharper at the long end than the Sigma, and almost no PF

The main problem now is that the Pentax DA 55-300 is not yet available in Australia, and the next in the DA* series of SDM lenses is nowhere to be seen yet.

I suspect that patience needs to rule at the moment. Continue gathering facts, reviews, and opinions, but not to jump into one or the other too soon.

Thanks again for all the trouble you've taken to help - very much appreciated
04-20-2008, 09:04 PM   #11
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Some hand held 1:2 (300mm setting) macro examples from today...

Resized, from 3000x2000 to 1000x668 ...thats it



04-20-2008, 09:44 PM   #12
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Pete,

Here is a 100x700 crop at 100% at 300mm, hand held, AF was on too ...just posting this for a reasonably sharp example.

04-21-2008, 12:56 AM   #13
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Very nice! I'm glad you have steady hands.... I presume you had SR switched on too...

That really is quite an impressive lens for such a reasonable price, isn't it?

Obviously, the component behind the viewfinder has a lot to do with the quality of the pictures , but for an inexpensive lens, the results are very good.

The reviews that claim the Sigma to be soft at 300mm seem to be a bit off when you see results like that picture you just posted. Most likely explanation is that with the cheaper lenses, the quality control is not so tight, and variation from one copy to another is more marked.
04-21-2008, 01:25 AM   #14
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Pete, I have a Sigma 70-300 DL Macro so this is a few years old now. It can produce nice results. Here's one at 300mm. I'd go for the APO version if I was buying now, as the price is not significantly higher for the chance of a little more IQ. I suspect the difference in IQ will be most obvious in specific conditions though. As with all these lenses in this zoom range I think experimenting to find the optimum settings helps plus technique of course.

Paul


Last edited by channeler; 04-21-2008 at 02:08 AM.
04-21-2008, 02:09 AM   #15
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Thanks Paul - that's also impressive for the non-APO version.

Nice stag, too

Thanks for posting - I'm now even more undecided about which 300 lens to buy. Ivoire suggested the DA* 60-250 is still some way off, so buying either the Tammy or the Sigma now then selling it when the DA* appears makes sense.

All the pictures I've seen on here and a couple of other threads have me totally bewildered as to which lens is the better. So what the heck - I might even buy both and see for myself which is best, as the variation between copies seems to be significant....!

Seriously though - I think I'll go and spend some time at our local photographic superstore, and try both these lenses outside. I'll take my laptop so I can load the pics on there, take them home, then go through them and compare. Then - make a decision!

Thanks for all the help guys - much appreciated
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