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08-31-2015, 05:31 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kath Quote
Stunning! Well, that's it. I'm gonna have to go find me a Cedar Waxwing.
derekkite's second photo features Bohemian Waxwings, proving the versatility of the Sigma


I'm thinking I might go hide where our waxwings congregate and lie in wait for an unsuspecting photographer with a giant telephoto...

08-31-2015, 06:10 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
derekkite's second photo features Bohemian Waxwings, proving the versatility of the Sigma


I'm thinking I might go hide where our waxwings congregate and lie in wait for an unsuspecting photographer with a giant telephoto...
There were so many around this year that I got bored with them. Now I'm looking for things that eat waxwings.
08-31-2015, 06:12 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
lie in wait for an unsuspecting photographer
with a fog horn i hope
08-31-2015, 07:58 AM - 1 Like   #34
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I started a similar thread a few months ago, but I was on the fence between the FA* 600 and the 560. In the end, the 560 won and I'm glad it did. I couldn't imagine my 3 hour hikes with the 15 lb 600 + camera body + grip + heavy duty tripod + gimbal head. Sharpness from the 560 is unbelievable wide open, colours are insane, rich, vibrant. I've heard a few people mention that the sigma is smaller, therefore hand holdable, but at that weight I'm not sure you'd really be able to hold it for long while tracking birds.

While it may take longer to find a buyer to drop $$ for the 560 if you choose to sell it later, it'll retain it's value more than an off brand. The downside that no one even brought up when I was looking, the 560 is exactly the length for carry on baggage. If you plan to travel with it, be prepared to either part with it while it goes off in to nowhere land under the plane or put up a stink about the 1" it's over while nestled in it's case.

I shoot tons of shorebirds and absolutely love using the 560. If you can make it up to Seattle, Glazers has had the 560 in.


08-31-2015, 08:25 AM   #35
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Thanks @Kameko. Shore birds are great to photograph, aren't they?

Thanks for the tip about luggage, too. I wonder how often the airline folks hold people to that 1". Watching those guys out the window throwing luggage onto the plane... Ay!

---------- Post added 08-31-15 at 08:28 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Glorfindelrb Quote
I found an used DA560 for a good price last week and I did pull the trigger. It's still on its way but I'll share my first impressions. I'm currently using a Sigma 120-400 so i'll be at the beginning of the learning curve. Even if it's not a FF lens, I hope it'll get a 1.1 ou 1.2 crop factor on the FF.
It was ~3k (taxes incl.) with 6 months warranty
Nice! Looking forward to your samples.
08-31-2015, 08:40 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kath Quote
Stunning! Well, that's it. I'm gonna have to go find me a Cedar Waxwing.
Those are Bohemian Waxwings...
08-31-2015, 08:42 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
Those are Bohemian Waxwings...
Know it all...

At least I knew it was some kind of Waxwing.
08-31-2015, 09:43 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Know it all...

At least I knew it was some kind of Waxwing.
I wish I could even see one let alone get a photo of one. They flock up in the winter and are seen in northern NY, but not in places I would go to in the winter...

08-31-2015, 09:54 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Know it all...

At least I knew it was some kind of Waxwing.
Ha! Busted by the Birders! And I was feeling pretty proud of myself for about three minutes there.

Sure would love to see these in person. Beautiful birds!
08-31-2015, 10:50 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kath Quote
Ha! Busted by the Birders! And I was feeling pretty proud of myself for about three minutes there.

Sure would love to see these in person. Beautiful birds!
Get yourself a long lens, then book a trip up this way. I'll show you around. There are certain times when it is almost guaranteed that you will see something interesting.

We have both the Cedar and Bohemian waxwings, at different times. We had Cedar's nesting near our place. If I looked one way there were cedar babies, the other way osprey chicks. In another month the shore spawn starts for the Kokanee, and the loons show up. So morning is watching the loons before leaving to find the grizzlies that come down to feed on the Kokanee on another creek.

Having a good quality long lens has been enormous fun.
08-31-2015, 11:33 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by derekkite Quote
Get yourself a long lens, then book a trip up this way. I'll show you around. There are certain times when it is almost guaranteed that you will see something interesting.

We have both the Cedar and Bohemian waxwings, at different times. We had Cedar's nesting near our place. If I looked one way there were cedar babies, the other way osprey chicks. In another month the shore spawn starts for the Kokanee, and the loons show up. So morning is watching the loons before leaving to find the grizzlies that come down to feed on the Kokanee on another creek.

Having a good quality long lens has been enormous fun.
Wonderful idea! Your access to the natural joys of living in the North country is enviable. I feel lucky living here on the river, where I'm writing from now, with my head on a swivel following all the wildlife right from our livingroom. I run out on the deck and try to catch whatever is flying by or, when I have more time and the weather is cooperating, sit for hours setting things up just right. The world is a wondrous place.
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08-31-2015, 06:26 PM   #42
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From the look of your setup you should get one of both. Just swap chairs.
08-31-2015, 09:53 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by derekkite Quote
From the look of your setup you should get one of both. Just swap chairs.
09-01-2015, 03:10 PM - 2 Likes   #44
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I have owned the Sigma 500/4.5 for about 18 months and now have had the DA560 for about 9 months.
Both are great lenses, but also very different lenses, in handling as well as image rendering.
Let's list a few of their differences, although other posters have already done so as well.

-The Sigma 500 is a relatively compact, short lens, with the tripod foot pointing backwards (towards you)
The DA 560 is a relatively long lens with the tripod foot pointing forwards (away from you).
This makes handling the lenses very different, but both are fairly easy to shoot handheld with some getting used to and practice. They way almost exactly the same, just over 3kg.
-The sigma has a max. aperture of f4.5 and is 500mm long. It works relatively well with the 1.4tc's either the Sigma or the Pentax (colors/contrast are better with the Pentax version of the 1.4tc), although the AF is a challenge, with no real confidence about getting spot on AF, so you miss a lot of shots if you care about proper AF.
The Pentax has a max. aperture of f5.6 and is 560mm long. The scale tips the other way i.m.o., and it is really better shooting the DA560 without a 1.4tc. On the one hand, 560mm is nearing the point where you won't really want to extend the length any further for handheld shots, on the other hand, the DA560 has a truly remarkable ability to resolve fine detail and this takes a more noticeable hit than the IQ of the Sigma, that is very sharp, but does not really resolve as fine detail. I've completely stopped using the 1.4tc since getting the DA560mm, where it was on the Sigma 500 most of the time.
-The Sigma has screw drive AF, that is accurate as long as you don't use the 1.4tc, but that can make a lot of objectionable noise depending on your use of the lens. Birding with c-af is no joy due to the noise alone..
The DA 560 has almost silent AF that is not really fast, but that is silent and very accurate, and moreover: also very consistent. If you have really gotten into shooting this lens, you will not miss very many shots due to less than perfect focus. Still, for c-af, the AF is really too slow.
-The Sigma has a "vintage style" color rendition, and a very smooth bokeh. Contrast can be low, leading to washed out colors. It is sharp, but does not resolve very fine detail.
The Pentax DA has lively, modern style colors, and tremendous contrast in practically all circumstances. It is very sharp and resolves very highly. It can be very rewarding to not shoot jpeg's with this lens, but use a good raw converter and work a bit more on the images, because there's lot's of detail.
-The Sigma is black, the Pentax DA is white. I don't see a very large white lens as very practical, so I use a black lens cover from lenscoat.
-The Sigma is compact and will fit in many bags, the Pentax is long, few bags will hold it with the camera attached. I use a long lens bag from lenscoat.

Good luck deciding. Both are very special lenses.
Chris
09-01-2015, 10:05 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chris Mak Quote
I have owned the Sigma 500/4.5 for about 18 months and now have had the DA560 for about 9 months.
Both are great lenses, but also very different lenses, in handling as well as image rendering.
Let's list a few of their differences, although other posters have already done so as well.

-The Sigma 500 is a relatively compact, short lens, with the tripod foot pointing backwards (towards you)
The DA 560 is a relatively long lens with the tripod foot pointing forwards (away from you).
This makes handling the lenses very different, but both are fairly easy to shoot handheld with some getting used to and practice. They way almost exactly the same, just over 3kg.
-The sigma has a max. aperture of f4.5 and is 500mm long. It works relatively well with the 1.4tc's either the Sigma or the Pentax (colors/contrast are better with the Pentax version of the 1.4tc), although the AF is a challenge, with no real confidence about getting spot on AF, so you miss a lot of shots if you care about proper AF.
The Pentax has a max. aperture of f5.6 and is 560mm long. The scale tips the other way i.m.o., and it is really better shooting the DA560 without a 1.4tc. On the one hand, 560mm is nearing the point where you won't really want to extend the length any further for handheld shots, on the other hand, the DA560 has a truly remarkable ability to resolve fine detail and this takes a more noticeable hit than the IQ of the Sigma, that is very sharp, but does not really resolve as fine detail. I've completely stopped using the 1.4tc since getting the DA560mm, where it was on the Sigma 500 most of the time.
-The Sigma has screw drive AF, that is accurate as long as you don't use the 1.4tc, but that can make a lot of objectionable noise depending on your use of the lens. Birding with c-af is no joy due to the noise alone..
The DA 560 has almost silent AF that is not really fast, but that is silent and very accurate, and moreover: also very consistent. If you have really gotten into shooting this lens, you will not miss very many shots due to less than perfect focus. Still, for c-af, the AF is really too slow.
-The Sigma has a "vintage style" color rendition, and a very smooth bokeh. Contrast can be low, leading to washed out colors. It is sharp, but does not resolve very fine detail.
The Pentax DA has lively, modern style colors, and tremendous contrast in practically all circumstances. It is very sharp and resolves very highly. It can be very rewarding to not shoot jpeg's with this lens, but use a good raw converter and work a bit more on the images, because there's lot's of detail.
-The Sigma is black, the Pentax DA is white. I don't see a very large white lens as very practical, so I use a black lens cover from lenscoat.
-The Sigma is compact and will fit in many bags, the Pentax is long, few bags will hold it with the camera attached. I use a long lens bag from lenscoat.

Good luck deciding. Both are very special lenses.
Chris
What a great comparison, Chris. Thanks for really useful imformation.
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