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09-27-2014, 10:26 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hydnum Quote
I picked one up a couple of weeks ago.
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Thus far, my Sigma DG 150-500mm 1:5-6.3 APO HSM has been a challenge for me. Tripod mounted, or not.
Allow yourself more than two weeks. Anything over 400mm--especially on a cropped sensor body--entails a fair learning curve. For birds, it has taken me about two months of steady use for me to begin creating consistent and acceptable shots using the Tamron 150-600mm at the longer focal lengths. I'm finding that 1/1500 establishes the slower end of a sweet-spot range in decent light. F8-9.5 works quite well for more static stuff.

M

09-27-2014, 10:30 AM   #17
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I have this lens, purchase June 2014. And it has a three position switch on the side for the OS feature. Off, 1, 2. If your version does not have this switch it probably does not have the OS feature.

It doesn't matter whether you use SR, or OS, they both work equally as well in most cases. However if you're using a tele-converter, You'll want to use the OS feature on the lens. Although the SR works good, Stabilizing the image before it gets to the tele-converter is preferable. And this includes any lens with the OS feature.

Note: New cameras can take advantage of the OS feature of the lens. However even though some older cameras has the pens necessary to connect the power to the lens, The OS feature may not be supported.
09-27-2014, 11:15 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hydnum Quote
I picked one up a couple of weeks ago.
From reading other users experiences, I've concluded that in camera (K-5) IS is sufficient.
So, no worry there.
I shoot birds. I am very pleased with the results from a DA 55-300mm, so I thought I'd shoot for more reach.
Thus far, my Sigma DG 150-500mm 1:5-6.3 APO HSM has been a challenge for me. Tripod mounted, or not.
A no-name MC-UV filter came attached. Up until now, I've left it on. Today, I'm leaving it at home and see if there's any improvement.
My wife, who is the most honest critic I know is highly disappointed in my results so far, as am I.
I use my 150-500 for birds, wild animals, drag racing cars in action, etc.

This is what I do.

To begin with, no doubt, it is a big and heavy lens, more so, when coupled to my K-5 with battery grip.

First...settings. I use generally F 10, also 800-1600 ISO . I try for shutter speeds over 1/1000th at least, but I've been surprised when I've got good shots as low as 1/250th. I don't recommend 1/250th or so , though for a lens of this focal length....if you can avoid.

Brace the lens well, when hand holding...I rely on the Sigma handle for a good grip.

I also prefer bright, sunny days with this lens, although cloudy days are not a huge problem.

I use 'spot' for determining my focal point. I aim for the eye of the animal or the bird as the focus point. You get the eye in focus...the rest of the subject will be fine.

Practice, practice, practice is important in learning to work with this large and heavy combo.

To that end I have spent a fair amount of time at a bird feeder in a park that attracts a lot of small, fast flying birds such as Chickadees. I hone my abilities on trying to photograph these fast moving birds. I've found that once I've got my skills up to par to the point where I could nail good photos of small, fast birds....then larger, slower birds like raptors, pelicans, etc, are easier.

I don't use my tripod. It's a very good one, well able to handle a heavy combo. It's an older Leitz Tiltall. But I've found for me, a tripod works better for portraiture, not capturing fast moving birds.

I hand hold, using the Sigma handle and so far that works fine for me. I am bigger than the average.... 6' 3" +, 240 lbs ....maybe that helps. I don't know. I like to be able to move the combo quickly and hand holding does the trick for me.

I also have the 55-300 Pentax lens and that is a consumer lens, that IMO...punches well above it's weight class. It's lighter and smaller compared to the large Bigma* 150-500.

I do find the lighter 55-300 definitely easier to use than the Bigma...because of it's much lighter weight and size. But I've also found that my 150-500 has got 'easier' to use than when I first got it. I've always found that the more I use something, the better it gets.

I also find that when I take the Bigma\K-5 on forest walks...I shift it from hand to hand every so often. Spread the load kind of.

* Yes I know some use different slang to name this lens...I like Bigma.
09-27-2014, 11:44 AM   #19
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In addition to lesmore49's comments, I normally have no problem carrying this lens around, But I find it gets heavy after holding it up for an extended period of time waiting for a bird to do something. In those cases a monopod works good. Either on the ground or hooked in a pocket attached to your belt. You still get good maneuverability for birds in flight with the added support that the belt pocket and mono pod gives you.

09-27-2014, 12:18 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hydnum Quote
Hi TenZ.NL and thank you.
Are you suggesting that although my Sigma 150-500 lens doesn't have a switch for OS, that it indeed does have OS?
No switch, no OS I guess? Hmm, I didn`t even know a non-OS version exsisted
Then the importance of the part about learning curve and good support just tripled. May I suggest this article(click) written by Heie? Most if not all also applies to shooting long glass.
09-28-2014, 09:48 PM   #21
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I would like to thank all for your input regarding the non-OS version of this lens, and a special thank you to Miguel for your encouragement & lesmore49 for your insight and valid points.
I went out with renewed confidence yesterday and today.
I stopped messing around with Tav mode. This position worked fine with the DA 55-300, but was much too confining with the Sigma we're discussing here.
K-5 - full manual. I control this, entirely.
Tripod mounted. I am confident I can hand-hold this lens also, but I needed to confirm that it was indeed me and not the glass.
I'm posting a couple of photos here. Not because they are exceptionally good, but because, for a rookie Sigma/Bigma user, I'm pleased.
The Eastern Bluebird exif is f8 - 1/1000 - ISO 1600 at 370mm
The Sparrow exif f9.5 - 1/2000 ISO 800 at 500mm
Both images are 100% cropped.
PP involved WB adjustment, exposure, noise and sharpness.
The Sigma and I are becoming friends.
EDIT: Non OS version using K-5 IS.

---------- Post added 09-29-14 at 01:00 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by derekkite Quote
The key to good results is to remember that 500mm isn't so you can shoot things far away; it is for shooting things the same distance away as with the 300mm but you will have more in your frame.
Sage advice!!
Attached Images
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PENTAX K-5  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-5  Photo 

Last edited by Hydnum; 09-28-2014 at 09:50 PM. Reason: Non-OS version
09-28-2014, 10:03 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hydnum Quote
I would like to thank all for your input regarding the non-OS version of this lens, and a special thank you to Miguel for your encouragement & lesmore49 for your insight and valid points.
I went out with renewed confidence yesterday and today.
I stopped messing around with Tav mode. This position worked fine with the DA 55-300, but was much too confining with the Sigma we're discussing here.
K-5 - full manual. I control this, entirely.
Tripod mounted. I am confident I can hand-hold this lens also, but I needed to confirm that it was indeed me and not the glass.
I'm posting a couple of photos here. Not because they are exceptionally good, but because, for a rookie Sigma/Bigma user, I'm pleased.
The Eastern Bluebird exif is f8 - 1/1000 - ISO 1600 at 370mm
The Sparrow exif f9.5 - 1/2000 ISO 800 at 500mm
Both images are 100% cropped.
PP involved WB adjustment, exposure, noise and sharpness.
The Sigma and I are becoming friends.
EDIT: Non OS version using K-5 IS.

---------- Post added 09-29-14 at 01:00 AM ----------



Sage advice!!
When you use the Pentax Shake Reduction, you need to shut it off....when the camera is on the tripod. SR should only be on, when hand held.
09-28-2014, 11:19 PM   #23
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Those are framed rather nicely and you are on your way.

Both of the shots look a little over-processed, like you jacked up the noise reduction. Perhaps I'm mistaken--but when the rendition of bird feathers gets a little too waxy and texture-less I realize I have gone too far and have to move the NR sliders leftward. A sharp image strikes a balance between noise reduction and sharpening--you want to see feather detail. On both of these the ISOs are not all that outrageous. In daylight I find that the color NR management is key.

If you are using Lightroom, try moving the Sharpening masking slider out to 25 or so to prevent sharpening artifacts from showing up in the sky. This is assuming you shot RAW, and used Sharpening amount from 35-80, radius .7, and detail 35-75 or so.

Keep posting your improvement.

M

10-13-2014, 08:54 AM - 1 Like   #24
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Thanks Miguel for your insight and tips.
I have used the lens daily since I first bought it, and I really enjoy it. These are hand held shots. I find it very easy to use without mounting it on a tripod or monopod.
Attached Images
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View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-5  Photo 
10-13-2014, 04:06 PM - 1 Like   #25
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Now that you've made the leap this is a good thread where you can post and learn.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122-lens-clubs/55946-300mm-plus-lens-club...ng-lenses.html
10-16-2014, 11:02 AM   #26
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Just an additional note for this thread, Any of the older Pentax cameras, even though they have the power contacts, may not be compatible with OS. Many of the older cameras use those power contacts for power zoom, not OS. On these cameras, power is supplied to these contacts only when the power zoom is activated. Not when you push the shutter release button. This is why some manuals say OS is not available for Pentax. Newer Pentax cameras do not use power zoom, They used the contacts for OS instead..

Also: how noisy is the OS on your Sigma 150 500. Mine is making a fairly loud noise. And i was wondering if anyone else had a similar noise from their OS.
10-16-2014, 11:05 AM   #27
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Mine just had a tiny high pitched hum.
10-16-2014, 11:16 AM   #28
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I notice the OS once in a while. But I really don't pay much attention. The lens makes no where near as much noise as the 55-300 so I really don't care.
10-16-2014, 12:28 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hydnum Quote
Thanks Miguel for your insight and tips.
I have used the lens daily since I first bought it, and I really enjoy it. These are hand held shots. I find it very easy to use without mounting it on a tripod or monopod.
You are welcome. That first shot is quite nice and sharp. I'd just echo Crewl1's recommendation move the show to the 300mm + forum.

M
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