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07-18-2008, 10:02 AM   #1
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Bigma vs. Tamron 300mm + 1.7x AFA

Help, Having got back from the cottage I learned I am very unhappy with my long end. I used to have a 135-400mm but sold it as it was very soft, I was planning to upgrade, but didn't get a chance. Why out of the water I lost a couple of perfect opportunities.

So I now am looking at some better glass for the long end, so far I'm thinking either a Tamron 300mm 2.8 with the 1.7x AFA (figure about $1200 total). OR the Bigma (50-500mm).

The Tamron is faster, even with the AFA it will be 510mm /4.5, so I can stop that lens down to f4 to get the same shutter speed as the Bigma wide open.

Has anyone used both, or seen comparisons, I know the Bigma is best at f8, and about 480mm.

This is tripod/monopod shooting, so also any other suggestions would be appreciated, 300/4, 70-200 2.8 + 2x TC?

NOTE: My wife would have a fit if I spend more than $1200ish, so the Sigma 500mm /4.5 is right out. Unless some one wants to part with one for $1200

07-18-2008, 10:05 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by omega leader Quote
Help, Having got back from the cottage I learned I am very unhappy with my long end as it was very soft
07-18-2008, 10:12 AM   #3
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Wow, I walked into that one, glad I could brighten your day.
07-18-2008, 10:54 AM   #4
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I have looked on and off at a tamron 300 F2.8. I know where one is, for sale, and I already have the 1.7X af TC.

why haven't I jumped yet?

I tried this out and found that there was much more CA with this combo than there is with my 300 F4 and 1.7X and I could not see parting with the cash for one stop.

the other reason is that I have an origonal sigma APO 70-200 F2.8 EX and it gives amazing results also with a 2X sigma APO EX DG teleconverter.

So as I already have two really good options that are only 1 stop slower I find it really hard to justify.

Woould I like something faster, you bet, however there is another thing to consider here. As sensors improve, is there any value going for something faster than what I have already, or do I just bump the ISO when a better body comes along?

I would really like something auto focus in teh 600mm range, but at what cost.

07-18-2008, 11:07 AM   #5
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Well I have the Sigma 500/4.5 and IMHO nothing with a Pentax mount comes even close at that focal length.

I cannot prove it but I have the feeling that the Tamron with the TC will be slightly sharper than the Bigma. Maybe the results will be even better with the Tamron/Kenko 1.5x or 1.4x converter.

Mind you, I have owned the Bigma and I liked it a lot. But it was a little soft at 500mm, and since I only used it at 500mm... So I got me a Sigma 500/4.5 instead. The difference is night and day with regards to sharpness.

Maybe it's time for another wife then, one that understands your deepest photography desires
07-18-2008, 11:22 AM   #6
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What's the 500 sigma worth?
07-18-2008, 11:28 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
What's the 500 sigma worth?
forget what it is worth, Asahiflex suggests getting another wife, what'll that cost

I think the sigma 500 F4.5 is about $4500 US.
07-18-2008, 11:38 AM   #8
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Sweet jebus.

07-18-2008, 11:39 AM   #9
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My wife has a Naim audio system, compared to that my toys are cheap.
07-18-2008, 11:43 AM   #10
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I have not used the Bigma, but have been out with my Tamron/1.7x TC combo a couple of times.

I posted a few pictures that seemed pretty CA free:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/25110-lba-bif-moon-shaky-landing.html
I can supply full sized copies of these images, if you'd like.

I have gotten shots with this combo that show lots of purple fringe, usually with darker animals against a hazy or slightly overcast sky. In general, though, I'm pretty happy with the results I've gotten.
07-18-2008, 12:29 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by dkittle Quote
I have not used the Bigma, but have been out with my Tamron/1.7x TC combo a couple of times.

I posted a few pictures that seemed pretty CA free:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/25110-lba-bif-moon-shaky-landing.html
There is a little Purple fringe int he first one
QuoteQuote:
I can supply full sized copies of these images, if you'd like.

I have gotten shots with this combo that show lots of purple fringe, usually with darker animals against a hazy or slightly overcast sky. In general, though, I'm pretty happy with the results I've gotten.
that was the problem I saw. I took a shot of a red and black sign in bright sunlight and there was a lot of purple fringe into the black that surprised me.

As I said at the onset, the cost of the lens, given the performance, for only one F stop over my 300 F4 didn't seem to be justified, but if someone does not already have a good combo to get to 500mm, that is a different story
07-18-2008, 12:56 PM   #12
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I actually got lucky, my Tamron was pretty 'beat up' looking with some (very small) nicks in the front element. Because of that, I got it quite cheap, only a little more than the cost of my 1.7x TC so. For me it's pretty economical 500mm f/4.x combo.

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
As I said at the onset, the cost of the lens, given the performance, for only one F stop over my 300 F4 didn't seem to be justified, but if someone does not already have a good combo to get to 500mm, that is a different story
07-18-2008, 02:43 PM   #13
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I purchased the Bigma simply for the 10x focal range and great reviews it has. I couldn't live with a fixed focal length.
07-18-2008, 04:55 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
forget what it is worth, Asahiflex suggests getting another wife, what'll that cost

I think the sigma 500 F4.5 is about $4500 US.
QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
Sweet jebus.
Hi Alfisti,

Lowell's on the mark here. The lowest price for the Sigma 500/4.5 is around $4200, and occasionally it will dip to around $4000 during a promotion at Dell's site, but I'd not go that route. Stick with a camera store if at all possible. I can attest to this lens being VERY SHARP. I just wish they would bring out an HSM version in Pentax mount. I had the good fortune to use one for free for 2 months in Canon mount.

Be advised that this lens (given it's cost) is not normally stocked on the shelves. It's too much for a retailer to keep on the shelf. Normally they will manufacture the lens to orders. Therefore the turnaround time could be around 30 days. That is directly from the manager at the store Chris (codiac2600) works at, speaking with his Sigma rep. I had an opportunity to buy one (new) at less than that in Pentax mount (sorry, no details will be disclosed), but it didn't pan out. I wanted the HSM version (if they ever make one!). Besides, I got to use a Canon mount version for free, so why spend money where I didn't need to...

I'm considering other super telephoto lens options, but I can clearly state that the Sigma 500/4.5 is a fine, fine lens! To truly get the most out of it in terms of the Sigma 1.4x APO TC, etc. you need the Mark II or Mark III body. Sorry, the 40D didn't have all functions... no AF... . I'll post samples if you need them.

Cheers,
Marc
07-19-2008, 11:14 AM   #15
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Decided

I think I have decided on a third option.

The 300mm DA* /4, it will cost more, but I think I will get better images, and it is 50% the wight of the Bigma and 40% of the Tamron + AFA so I may end of using it more often. I figure when the new teleconverter comes out I can get that too.

I did briefly consider the Sigma 100-300 /4 but I think the DA is a nicer lens.

Thanks to all who helped. BTW there is a Tamron 300mm 2.8 at KEH now, I was going to get it, but canceled my order this morning.

Thanks
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