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05-10-2014, 04:47 AM   #1
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Pentax 1.4TC with Sigma 500 4.5

I would appreciate feedback for those using the Pentax 1.4 TC with the Sigma 500 4.5 lens.
How does the auto focus perform and what is your opinion of IQ?

I haven't figured out how to search the forum for comments about the TC with the Sigma 500.

Thanks

05-10-2014, 11:22 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by RockvilleBob Quote
I would appreciate feedback for those using the Pentax 1.4 TC with the Sigma 500 4.5 lens.
How does the auto focus perform and what is your opinion of IQ?

I haven't figured out how to search the forum for comments about the TC with the Sigma 500.

Thanks
This isn't news or a rumor; please post your question in the appropriate forum (the lens forum) next time. I've gone ahead and moved your thread.

I don't think there are any discussions about this combo yet, but based on the solid performance of the TC I'd say it's probably a good match for the 500mm.

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05-14-2014, 05:41 AM   #3
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Just received the new Pentax 1.4x Rear Converter today and have had a bit of a play with the Sigma 500 f4.5 and K3 this evening in my family room using both flash and just the room lighting. Focus was pretty snappy under some fairly awful conditions and the results look as sharp as I have come to expect from this combination with the Sigma 1.4x TC. Now looking forward to getting into some birds on the weekend.
05-14-2014, 09:30 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by AdrianM Quote
Just received the new Pentax 1.4x Rear Converter today and have had a bit of a play with the Sigma 500 f4.5 and K3 this evening in my family room using both flash and just the room lighting. Focus was pretty snappy under some fairly awful conditions and the results look as sharp as I have come to expect from this combination with the Sigma 1.4x TC. Now looking forward to getting into some birds on the weekend.
You have both the Sigma 1,4 x TC and the Pentax one?
Would be really interesting to hear whether there is any noticeable difference in IQ.

05-14-2014, 03:10 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by AdrianM Quote
Just received the new Pentax 1.4x Rear Converter today and have had a bit of a play with the Sigma 500 f4.5 and K3 this evening in my family room using both flash and just the room lighting. Focus was pretty snappy under some fairly awful conditions and the results look as sharp as I have come to expect from this combination with the Sigma 1.4x TC. Now looking forward to getting into some birds on the weekend.
Same comment as PePe
If the Sigma is as good it makes the decision tougher. Since I also have the DA*300 I'll probably favor the Pentax even though it is far costlier. With the 300 it gives me a more flexible walk around system. However if the Sigma TC is as good at half the cost new and probably a third the cost used - it certainly makes the chose harder.
05-15-2014, 01:24 AM   #6
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My first shots posted. Taken in my family room this evening. K3, Sigma 500 f4.5 APO DG EX, HD Pentax-DA 1.4x AW rear Converter. Av mode, ISO 640, 1/180th. Flash had 'Rogue Safari' flash extender. Uncropped JPEGs at 90% quality, with ~1000 pixel crop converted to JPEG at 100% quality. Shots taken in RAW DNG. Only post-processing on the original shot is to resize, no sharpening. First shot taken wide open (camera shows f6.7), second shot with camera showing f8.

---------- Post added 15-05-14 at 18:29 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by PePe Quote
You have both the Sigma 1,4 x TC and the Pentax one?
Would be really interesting to hear whether there is any noticeable difference in IQ.
In my quick estimation, no discernable difference in IQ. Both are delightful in their quality. The shake reduction now works properly with the TC fitted, and the below shots were taken hand-held. I also find the Pentax RC more solid in its connection to the camera and lens - much less flexing. I have also found the Sigma TCs to be very weak structurally - I have a trail of broken ones. Of course I do not have enough experience with the Pentax to confirm whether it is better in that respect, but it feels more solid.

---------- Post added 15-05-14 at 18:35 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by RockvilleBob Quote
Same comment as PePe
If the Sigma is as good it makes the decision tougher. Since I also have the DA*300 I'll probably favor the Pentax even though it is far costlier. With the 300 it gives me a more flexible walk around system. However if the Sigma TC is as good at half the cost new and probably a third the cost used - it certainly makes the chose harder.
As you have identified, the Sigma TC does not work with SDM, so not able to be used on the DA*300 - you would need either the Kenko 1.5x Pz-AF or Tamron 1.4x Pz-AF TCs for that lens if you didn't want to buy the Pentax, and those options don't adjust the shake reduction. I have both Kenko and Tamron TCs - they are excellent, but, in my humble opinion, don't work as well on the 500 f4.5 as the Sigma TC. A friend of mine got his Pentax RC today and is about to send me some photos taken with the DA*300 - he told me he was very impressed. I will also try out the DA*300 with the Pentax RC on the weekend if I get a chance.
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Last edited by AdrianM; 05-15-2014 at 01:30 AM.
05-15-2014, 03:02 AM   #7
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Thank you for taking the time to post your insights Adrian. Still leaning toward the Pentax RC.I tried the Tamron TC and did not get good results with my lenses, including the 300. Fortunately I was able to return it.
05-15-2014, 03:52 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by RockvilleBob Quote
Thank you for taking the time to post your insights Adrian. Still leaning toward the Pentax RC.I tried the Tamron TC and did not get good results with my lenses, including the 300. Fortunately I was able to return it.
My pleasure, Bob. I got exceptional results on the DA*300 with the Tamron and Kenko, but the Sigma was clearly a better choice for the 500 f4.5 until now. I have just been looking at a whole album of shots taken today by a friend with DA*300 and the Pentax RC on a K5 - sharpness is just delightful. He was really happy.

05-15-2014, 04:02 AM   #9
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... and here is the same shot but with the Sigma 1.4x TC under same conditions and post-processing as before. Aperture wide open so showing f4.5 on the camera (equivalent to f6.7 with the Pentax RC). All of the shots were hand held, by the way. In my view, nothing between the two optically. I also have a 0 focus adjustment in place for the lens and Sigma TC. Haven't checked focus adjustment for the Pentax RC, but initial results suggest no change.
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PENTAX K-3  Photo 
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PENTAX K-3  Photo 

Last edited by AdrianM; 05-15-2014 at 01:06 PM.
05-16-2014, 12:22 AM   #10
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A shot taken this afternoon out in the real world of a Superb Fairy-wren. These are tiny creatures are a real challenge because they rarely sit still or in the right spot. I have also attached a 100% crop to show the level of fine feather detail I am getting.

K3, Sigma 500 f4.5 APO DG EX, Pentax 1.4x RC, Metz 58AF-2 flash, Better Beamer FX-3, tripod. M mode, ISO 640, 1/400th, f9 (corrected aperture as shown on the camera), flash in PTTLHSS mode at 0EV bias.

The full size shot has had noise removed from the background (not the bird), then resize and sharpen in Photoshop CS5. The 100% crop has no noise reduction or sharpening. Both JPEGs are 100% quality.

I'm pretty happy!
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PENTAX K-3  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-3  Photo 
05-16-2014, 03:05 AM   #11
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Some more shots from today.
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View Picture EXIF
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PENTAX K-3  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-3  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-3  Photo 
05-16-2014, 03:44 AM   #12
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Thanks Adrian
".....In my view, nothing between the two optically" - makes the decision a little tougher.
05-16-2014, 04:36 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by RockvilleBob Quote
Thanks Adrian
".....In my view, nothing between the two optically" - makes the decision a little tougher.
If you are only going to use the RC/TC with some of the older Sigma lenses with 'screw drive' focus, then the Sigma would be the way to go.
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