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05-10-2008, 07:13 PM   #46
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I want it to be compatable with other lenses. I would probably go sigma since I have a sigma 17-70 also and really like that but The Tamron seems to go with all lenses and I don't know what the future holds. I am waiting for a purchase from ebay Tokina atx 80-200 f2.8 so I don't know if the Sigma will work on that either.

05-10-2008, 11:24 PM   #47
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Sigma 100-300mm dl

Not sure if anyone mentioned the Sigma 100-300mm DL.i ve got some pretty good results with the lens .Cost me $60 used and seems to do a pretty good job.Attachment 12051

Attachment 12052

Attachment 12053

Attachment 12054

Last edited by trumpyman; 05-10-2008 at 11:32 PM.
05-10-2008, 11:39 PM   #48
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sigma again

Just some wildlife shots with the same lensAttachment 12055

Attachment 12056

Attachment 12057

Last edited by trumpyman; 05-16-2008 at 04:35 PM.
05-12-2008, 07:47 PM   #49
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Having taken up birding and I mean trully taken up birding, I can tell you that there is nothing more frustrating than having a slow lens (the best shots are in the early morning or late evening) and a lens that is too short and soft...
300mm is the minimum...
Check my profile for my lens collection but I use basically two lenses.
My Sigma 100-300 F/4 and 1.4Sigma TC and my Sigma 135-400 F/5.6@400...
I just ordered the Sigma 500 F/4.5 and will have it wed...

I tried using the bigma, but is plain to slow for birding...The glass is too heavy for the screw drive motor...

Now I realize these lenses are pricey and unless your serious, ignore this...

Now there is another really good option. The Sigma 70-300 APO with Tamron TC You will have 420mm total focal length that is sharp and quick...Because this lens uses a 58mm filter it also means it is light and so the screw drive motor hauls butt....This particular set up is always with me hooked unto a K100D super...Light and sharp as a tack...

05-12-2008, 10:01 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by jgredline Quote
I just ordered the Sigma 500 F/4.5 and will have it wed...

Oh man am I jealous!

congrats, great lens! Let us know how it goes. I'm curious how well it works with a 1.4x tc



John
05-13-2008, 04:47 AM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by jgredline Quote
Having taken up birding and I mean trully taken up birding, I can tell you that there is nothing more frustrating than having a slow lens (the best shots are in the early morning or late evening) and a lens that is too short and soft...
300mm is the minimum...
Check my profile for my lens collection but I use basically two lenses.
My Sigma 100-300 F/4 and 1.4Sigma TC and my Sigma 135-400 F/5.6@400...
I just ordered the Sigma 500 F/4.5 and will have it wed...

I tried using the bigma, but is plain to slow for birding...The glass is too heavy for the screw drive motor...

Now I realize these lenses are pricey and unless your serious, ignore this...

Now there is another really good option. The Sigma 70-300 APO with Tamron TC You will have 420mm total focal length that is sharp and quick...Because this lens uses a 58mm filter it also means it is light and so the screw drive motor hauls butt....This particular set up is always with me hooked unto a K100D super...Light and sharp as a tack...
I don't disagree that speed is everything for birding, and I envy anyone with either a 300mm F2.8 or 500mm F4.5, but have you considered using a flash?

I have used one successfully for years, because even in mid day, birds are in shaded spots usually, not out in the sun for everyone to see. Check out this link

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/106132-post4.html

As for the sigma 70-300 APO, if it has a 58 mm filter the best it can realistically be is F5.6 at the long end.

As I posted earlier, I use either a sigma 70-200 F2.8 with 1.4x or 2x TCs or my SMC 300mm F4 and 1.7x AF TC.

Although I give up 1 full stop to your newly planned arrival, I have not yet made the leap to go this route. In fact someone made an observation the other day that was quite interesting. With the newer sensors, and greatly improved high ISO ratings, do you really need fast glass any more? Not really to be discussed for this thread, but it would make for an interesting discussion. I guess the real issue with fast glass for nature is the ability for AF to work. Regardless of the sensor image quality, if the light level is too low for the AF to work, you're out of luck.
05-13-2008, 05:54 AM   #52
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I'm pulling my hair out trying to decide which way to go.
When I first started this thread I said I had a budget of $500 that I could stretch.
Well, I plan to easily double that
The two lenses I am trying to decide on are the Sigma 100-300 f/4 or the DA* 300. Of course a TC will be added.
I am also looking at a Tamron SP 300 f/2.8 that has the 1.4x tc but I just sold my only P/KA adapters. This one goes for $900 in demo condition. I think that may be just a tad steep.

I am waiting for a Tokina 80-200 f/2.8 MF that should arrive friday. And if this proves to be a good lens I will lean more toward the DA* 300 since the Tokina covers some of the range the sigma does.

Anyway, my real dilema is that I am going to Yellowstone Park after M-Day so I am kind of pressured on time. I want to have a good tele to take on the trip.

I could save a lot of money if I got the budget Sigma 135-400? How is the IQ compared to the 100-300 and the DA* 300?

Lowell, how is your smc 300 and 1.7. Thats a pretty compact setup compared to most of these. Seems like it would be pretty sweet, but no AF

Last edited by OrenMc; 05-13-2008 at 06:04 AM.
05-13-2008, 08:34 AM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by palmor Quote
Oh man am I jealous!

congrats, great lens! Let us know how it goes. I'm curious how well it works with a 1.4x tc



John
John,
I am anxious myself. From everything I have read, seen and heard it is rated a 10... One thing I did not consider and it is something I can pick up locally at one of the pro shops, is a killer tripod with full swivel capabilities. I did not factor that ($$$) into my budget, so basically it means I will not eat for a while, but I need to loose weight anyway.

05-13-2008, 08:53 AM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I don't disagree that speed is everything for birding, and I envy anyone with either a 300mm F2.8 or 500mm F4.5, but have you considered using a flash?
I am firm believer in flash ''even'' in daylight...Fill flash is a great tool. The problem is that often times the flash simply can't reach. For example, this past weekend I went birding to the San Gabriel river where there are many marshes and Islands that I simply can't get to. Even with a 400mm lens I was having trouble keeping focus...My eyes are not what they used to be and so manual focus is tough for me as well...I will post up some pics in a second to show the conditions I was in.

QuoteQuote:
I have used one successfully for years, because even in mid day, birds are in shaded spots usually, not out in the sun for everyone to see. Check out this link

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/106132-post4.html
I saw those images. That first was very impressive. How far where you from the bird roughly?

QuoteQuote:
As for the sigma 70-300 APO, if it has a 58 mm filter the best it can realistically be is F5.6 at the long end.
Agreed, but for the money, IMO, I beleieve it is hard to beat and even though is f/5.6 at 300 it still does work quite well with a Tamron 1.4tc and ISO set to a min of 400-800
QuoteQuote:
As I posted earlier, I use either a sigma 70-200 F2.8 with 1.4x or 2x TCs or my SMC 300mm F4 and 1.7x AF TC.
You have an excellent combo. I myself have been looking for a 70-200 F/2.8 but no cigar and the used ones out there are simply to expensive considering that both Tamron and Sigma have them on the way....Well Sigma's has been delayed a year..Don't know about the Tamron
QuoteQuote:
Although I give up 1 full stop to your newly planned arrival, I have not yet made the leap to go this route. In fact someone made an observation the other day that was quite interesting. With the newer sensors, and greatly improved high ISO ratings, do you really need fast glass any more? Not really to be discussed for this thread, but it would make for an interesting discussion. I guess the real issue with fast glass for nature is the ability for AF to work. Regardless of the sensor image quality, if the light level is too low for the AF to work, you're out of luck.
Yes, you bring up excellent points. It would make a great thread as well...
As an example. My Bigma when used at 400-500mm, regardless of how much light was outside, I would use an ISO range from 800-1600 usually at about a 1000....No problem for the K10D and K20D....Which brings up another point. This past weekend I went birding last minute so I used what I had in my car. My K100D and Pentax 80-320mm along with my 135-400 Sigma ...While many of my pictures came out pretty ok, what I was most disappointed in was that the 6.1MP did not provide enough resolution for much cropping. Had I been able to get closer, this would not have been a problem...I determend that 10MP should also be the minimum, atleast for me when going birding.
05-13-2008, 09:06 AM   #55
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The Pentax 1.7 teleconverter makes manual focus lenses into autofocus lenses. If you try to use it with a * lens, you may not be able to accept the softness. I couldn't. Never tried it with a consumer lens, perhaps the softness won't be as noticeable with non-pro glass? Lots of folks currently raving and raising value of the 1.7, but it's not so good if you need publication quality shots.

Do yourself a favor and get the DA*300 or any other EDIF 300/4. Then maybe add a 1.4x teleconverter. If you go clear to 2x, the softness will likely be unnacceptable.
05-13-2008, 09:14 AM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by OrenMc Quote
I'm pulling my hair out trying to decide which way to go.
Yep, get use to it.

QuoteQuote:
When I first started this thread I said I had a budget of $500 that I could stretch.
Well, I plan to easily double that
Yep, get use to it.

QuoteQuote:
The two lenses I am trying to decide on are the Sigma 100-300 f/4 or the DA* 300. Of course a TC will be added.
I have them both. at 300mm, I can't tell the difference in image quality. The only reason I am not sending the DA*300 BACK is because of its weather sealing...This is important to me because I am in the desert allot with fine sand and even though it does not rain much here, I am planning some trips this summer to where bad weather might be an issue.

QuoteQuote:
I am also looking at a Tamron SP 300 f/2.8 that has the 1.4x tc but I just sold my only P/KA adapters. This one goes for $900 in demo condition. I think that may be just a tad steep.

I am waiting for a Tokina 80-200 f/2.8 MF that should arrive friday. And if this proves to be a good lens I will lean more toward the DA* 300 since the Tokina covers some of the range the sigma does.
Decisions

QuoteQuote:
Anyway, my real dilema is that I am going to Yellowstone Park after M-Day so I am kind of pressured on time. I want to have a good tele to take on the trip.

I could save a lot of money if I got the budget Sigma 135-400? How is the IQ compared to the 100-300 and the DA* 300?
The 135-400 is not in the same league, but for the money tough to beat...
05-13-2008, 09:25 AM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by OrenMc Quote
I'm pulling my hair out trying to decide which way to go.
When I first started this thread I said I had a budget of $500 that I could stretch.
Well, I plan to easily double that
The two lenses I am trying to decide on are the Sigma 100-300 f/4 or the DA* 300. Of course a TC will be added.
I am also looking at a Tamron SP 300 f/2.8 that has the 1.4x tc but I just sold my only P/KA adapters. This one goes for $900 in demo condition. I think that may be just a tad steep.

I am waiting for a Tokina 80-200 f/2.8 MF that should arrive friday. And if this proves to be a good lens I will lean more toward the DA* 300 since the Tokina covers some of the range the sigma does.

Anyway, my real dilema is that I am going to Yellowstone Park after M-Day so I am kind of pressured on time. I want to have a good tele to take on the trip.

I could save a lot of money if I got the budget Sigma 135-400? How is the IQ compared to the 100-300 and the DA* 300?

Lowell, how is your smc 300 and 1.7. Thats a pretty compact setup compared to most of these. Seems like it would be pretty sweet, but no AF
The 300F4 and 1.7x AF TC does have auto focus, the pentax AF TC provides that. I use this combo with my *istD and a flash mostly, since the *istD has TTL flash and can give good flash exposures with K mount lenses. Only the D and DS can do this with K mount lenses, because all other cameras are P-TTL only and need to know maximum apature for flash metering.

It is a good solution and light weight, but not much lighter than my Sigma 70-200 F2.8 and 2x TC. Note also I had to make a custom tripod mount because the 300 has none.
05-13-2008, 09:27 AM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Boggs Quote
The Pentax 1.7 teleconverter makes manual focus lenses into autofocus lenses. If you try to use it with a * lens, you may not be able to accept the softness. I couldn't. Never tried it with a consumer lens, perhaps the softness won't be as noticeable with non-pro glass? Lots of folks currently raving and raising value of the 1.7, but it's not so good if you need publication quality shots.

Do yourself a favor and get the DA*300 or any other EDIF 300/4. Then maybe add a 1.4x teleconverter. If you go clear to 2x, the softness will likely be unnacceptable.
I think the issue withthe 1.7x AF TC is not so much that it can't do publication shots, but there are only a few limited lenses where you would want to use this TC. the 300F4 that I use it with is one of them.

I don't disagree, you might be better off with other options but also note you can always stop down. I find the sharpness and contrast quite acceptable.
05-13-2008, 09:34 AM   #59
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Birding is so much fun. It is very rewarding. look at it like hunting, but with out killing...( I have nothing against real hunting so long as it is done with a purpose like eating and not simply for sport) ..It has become a hobby that my Son and I enjoy very much. We have a few books of birds and as we shoot them, we check them of the book...I tell you this is exciting stuff....Here are a few images from this past weekend...Gosh, I wish I would have taken my K10D or K20D, but oh well....

















All of these where taken with the K100D super and Sigma 135-400 lens. (the two of my son where with a P&S...) Also this was the middle of the day with very harsh light...I will be going back this weekend better prepared.
05-13-2008, 09:41 AM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by jgredline Quote
I am firm believer in flash ''even'' in daylight...Fill flash is a great tool. The problem is that often times the flash simply can't reach. For example, this past weekend I went birding to the San Gabriel river where there are many marshes and Islands that I simply can't get to. Even with a 400mm lens I was having trouble keeping focus...My eyes are not what they used to be and so manual focus is tough for me as well...I will post up some pics in a second to show the conditions I was in.
look into a "better beamer" flash extender or using a "snoot" to get more distance, also consider upping the ISO.
QuoteQuote:
I saw those images. That first was very impressive. How far where you from the bird roughly?
the photo of the chickadee is about a 10% crop (i.e. the image is 90% of origonal) I was pretty close when you consider magnification ratio and object size. probably 20 feet as a guess. I have done lots from 30-50 feet as well and used 400 ISO and flash extenders to get the light out that far with no problem, Remember many times there is no issue of ambient light because it is either too early in the morning, or you are under the cover of the forest.
QuoteQuote:
Agreed, but for the money, IMO, I beleieve it is hard to beat and even though is f/5.6 at 300 it still does work quite well with a Tamron 1.4tc and ISO set to a min of 400-800
You have an excellent combo. I myself have been looking for a 70-200 F/2.8 but no cigar and the used ones out there are simply to expensive considering that both Tamron and Sigma have them on the way....Well Sigma's has been delayed a year..Don't know about the Tamron

Yes, you bring up excellent points. It would make a great thread as well...
As an example. My Bigma when used at 400-500mm, regardless of how much light was outside, I would use an ISO range from 800-1600 usually at about a 1000....No problem for the K10D and K20D....Which brings up another point. This past weekend I went birding last minute so I used what I had in my car. My K100D and Pentax 80-320mm along with my 135-400 Sigma ...While many of my pictures came out pretty ok, what I was most disappointed in was that the 6.1MP did not provide enough resolution for much cropping. Had I been able to get closer, this would not have been a problem...I determend that 10MP should also be the minimum, atleast for me when going birding.
I will, with this last comment toss another stone into the pond to see where the ripples lead to. I think earlier in this thread, I demonstrated that you could get great shots with a 28-105 and some luck. If you look at the chickadee, you can see that there is no substitute for getting close and patience, as it is not really significantly cropped. I guess the real point is when birding, and as my life list is approaching 300 species, I can make this observation, I believe there are two types of photos,
- one is simply for the purpose of identification, where you see something, it is far far away, and you can only get a couple of shots of it before it is gone.
- the other is one where you take the time, get in close, and get really good shots that yoou would print. These shots may be really niocely posed, display some unusual behavior, or a really characteristic position, like the chickadee upside down as I took it.

The two are quite different.

I try, but am not always successful, as you have also indicated because you simply can't get close enough. BUT, I will also comment that even if you had a 1000mm lens the possibility to get a useable shot. Life is like that. Normally when I go out, it is with my 70-200 F2.8 and 2xTC. That by itself is quite imposing, and for last minute shots or spur of the moment type shots works well.

If you are going to go out with any longer combination, and I do have a 1000mm F11 spotting scope with T mount as well, you are in to taking a tripod along and it is much more deliberate to take photos. In fact, I usually have one body on teh mirror, and another still set up with either my 400mm equivelent combo or my 500mm equivelent combo just in case something interesting floats by.

Last edited by Lowell Goudge; 05-13-2008 at 09:51 AM.
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