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10-23-2017, 03:41 PM   #1
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Sigma 500mm 4.5 vs. FA* 300mm 2.8 with 1.5x TC

Hi everyone,

i am getting more and more into wildlife photography. Currently I have a K-1 with a F* 300mm 4.5 lens as my telephoto prime. I realize that I don't have sufficient reach with it to get the pictures I want and that too often I have to crop rather heavily.

So I am in the market now for a super telephoto lens. I have written down the important criteria for me :

- at least 400mm on the long end
- at least as fast AF like the F* 300mm
- at least f-stop 4.5
- at least as sharp as the FA* 400mm 5.6

So my idea is to combine the FA* 300 with an 1.5x TC to get an FA* 450mm 4.2 with focus limiter and fast AF.
An plus for the FA* would be the integrated lens correction profiles with the K-1.
Also it's lighter, smaller, better available and cheaper (used). But how does it compare in AF speed and image quality (sharpness/resolution, contrast, CA) to the Sigma 500mm 4.5 ?

Since the Sigma has no focus limiter, how does AF speed compare to AF* 300+TC ?
And how about sharpness wide open?

Since the Sigma 500mm is out of production and not available new or used anymore in EU, tendency goes to the FA*


Last edited by angerdan; 10-24-2017 at 02:25 AM. Reason: Sigma 500mm is out of production
10-23-2017, 04:20 PM   #2
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I don't know about the FA*300/2.8 with a TC, but I can recommend the Sigma 300/2.8 for use with both the 2x and 1.4x Sigma teleconverters, they are matched optics, I like the versitility of having a 300mm/f2.8, a 420mm/f4 and a 600mm/f5.6, as well as a 840mm/f11**. (**but you shouldnt stack converters they say. But I have) .

As far as focus and speed, I have shot surfing with the 300 +1.4 and had no problems with catching focus and sharpness and that was on my K-5. I had a few threads that had heaps of pics, but p-bucket has them for ransom,
10-23-2017, 06:54 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by angerdan Quote
Hi everyone,

i am getting more and more into wildlife photography. Currently I have a K-1 with a F* 300mm 4.5 lens as my telephoto prime. I realize that I don't have sufficient reach with it to get the pictures I want and that too often I have to crop rather heavily.

So I am in the market now for a super telephoto lens. I have written down the important criteria for me :

- at least 400mm on the long end
- at least as fast AF like the F* 300mm
- at least f-stop 4.5
- at least as sharp as the FA* 400mm 5.6

So my idea is to combine the FA* 300 with an 1.5x TC to get an FA* 450mm 4.2 with focus limiter and fast AF.
An plus for the FA* would be the integrated lens correction profiles with the K-1.
Also it's lighter, smaller, better available and cheaper (used). But how does it compare in AF speed and image quality (sharpness/resolution, contrast, CA) to the Sigma 500mm 4.5 ?

Since the Sigma has no focus limiter, how does AF speed compare to AF* 300+TC ?
And how about sharpness wide open?
I don't have the F 300, but shot the DA*300 with the 1.5 tc on a K3. It was good but was very prone to shutter shock. That limited the low light capability, as a < 1/1000 shutter speed was difficult to get anything sharp. Plus the TC seemed to swallow light. I can't comment on a 2.8 300; I suspect it would be a nice combination. I shoot with the Sigma 500 f4.5 on the K1 and find the focus good. I don't find it doing the in out focus very much even without the limiter. The quality is very nice even wide open. A bit low contrast but sharp; f5.6 is the sweet spot. I don't think you will complain with this combination except for the weight.

I recently purchased the 150-450 for a bit more flexible and light package, and so far am enjoying it. I haven't enough use to have a firm opinion; it takes a bit of time to learn the strengths and weaknesses of a combination, but so far am optimistic.

The K1 makes a very nice wildlife body. The low light capability with a reasonably fast lens allows you to shoot at dusk and dawn. Quite impressive.

This is the K1 with the Sigma



This is the K1 with the 150-450. One of the first shots I got with it. Not quite as good as I like, but not the lens's fault.


Last edited by derekkite; 10-23-2017 at 07:00 PM.
10-24-2017, 05:38 AM   #4
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I have both the FA*300/2.8 and Sigma 500/4.5 and use both on the K-3 with (and without) 1.4x TCs. Also, on occasion, the AF 1.7x.
My take is that both are very sharp and deliver good results. On the downside, the FA* is somewhat prone to fringing while the Sigma bokeh can be a bit distracting in some situations.
My choice of which to use really comes down to portability: at my advanced age, the Sigma is a bit much to take on an extended hike.
I've gotten decent results (also crap) hand-holding both but of course, at these FLs, support is always a good idea.
I really can't speak to focus speed (it's just not something I have a feel for) except to say that the absence of a focus limiter on the Sigma is frustrating at times
Bottom line: If I were at a point where I needed to sell one, I'd keep the Sigma: it's about reach.

10-25-2017, 03:24 PM   #5
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Thanks for your opinions!
Hard decision anyway
10-10-2019, 12:33 PM   #6
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Finally a FA* 300 2.8 did find it's way to me.
FA* 300mm 2.8 ED IF - thread collection - everything about the FA300/2.8 - PentaxForums.com

So currently i'm waiting for the FF TC from Pentax.
FF TC - full frame teleconverter - PentaxForums.com
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