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11-08-2017, 02:30 AM   #1
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DFA 150-450 vs Sigma 150-500

Hi all,

I'm in the market for a super tele for wildlife shooting, not much birding, more of bigger animals (just got back shooting black bears in Canada this summer, wonderful experience...)
I was obviously leaning towards the Pentax DFA 150-450 for its image quality, weather sealing and all the cool features, but, I've come across a Sigma 150-500 APO HSM for 1/5 of the Pentax price...needless to say I'm very tempted, even though I have gone through other posts of comparisons between the two here on the forum.
The Sigma loses a half step of aperture in both short and long range and it's not weather sealed, which, for the type of shooting I'd use it for could be an issue, although a neoprene cover could do in that regard...
Those of you who had the opportunity to try them both, or had experience with one of them, do you think I'm loosing much going with the Sigma?
I shoot a K1 system, and this would be my first very long lens for wildlife (except the Sigma 70-200 I already have), so please advise accordingly.

Thanx


Last edited by gerax; 11-08-2017 at 02:36 AM.
11-08-2017, 02:55 AM   #2
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I have the Sigma 150-500 and I can say it is very good. Not the best though in terms of IQ.

The in lens stabilisation is a great addition and makes a massive difference. While IQ lags slightly behind the F*300mm + 1.4xTC/ Sigma 100-300 f4 + 1.4xTC combos, it beats the methoned combos in usability (here I refer to the in lens stabilisation). Your 'keeper' rate will increase with the Sigma 150-500!!!

But if you are an advanced tele user then the combo's will probably appeal to you more.
11-08-2017, 03:04 AM   #3
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Thanx for the reply.

And then comes my second question: given the shorter range, will a Sigma 70-200/2.8 + Sigma APO EX 2x teleconverter (which would effectively give me a 140-400/F4) be a better option...or the 150-500 is better anyway even at 1 stop less?
I'm not familiar with teleconverters, are they wort it? Am I losing more than aperture wth them?
11-08-2017, 03:32 AM   #4
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I suspect the 150-500 will be better 'IF' the following is true:

1. Your tele lens experience is low
2. Your cameras ISO performance is not the best

The K-1 has very good ISO performance. The 2x TC is going to have a substantial impact on IQ, more so than the 1.4x tC. I would be edging towards the 150-500mm.

---------- Post added 08-11-17 at 09:33 PM ----------

Opinions sought: Sigma 100-300mm f4 + TC OR Sigma 150-500mm?? - PentaxForums.com

11-08-2017, 03:39 AM   #5
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I see, thanx for the advices.
Considering the 150-500 I came across is selling used for 350€ I think it's a steal...
I'll have to evaluate it's general quality, although the seller states it's in perfect working conditions...
I may go for it...
11-08-2017, 03:43 AM   #6
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Yeah, that is a good price.

Make sure the lens focuses within the AF adjustment range for your camera. Some Sigma copies are capable for serious forward/ backward focusing. Just saying.
11-08-2017, 03:46 AM   #7
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I've used both and sold the Sigma 150 - 500 for the Pentax 150 - 450, imo, better IQ, wetherproffing etc.


Don't forget the Sigma is known to cause a little scratch / nick in the underside of the K1's ( what would be the ) flash housing unless the mount has been changed by Sigma.


Chris
11-08-2017, 03:49 AM   #8
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it is hard to know what you have reviewed to this point, although you do say that you have

" . . . gone through other posts of comparisons between the two here on the forum. . . . "

I am not sure if that refers to the photo threads or more so here is some links just in case:

Pentax-DA 1.4x AW AF Rear Converter Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews

HD Pentax-D FA 150-450mm F4.5-5.6 Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews

HD Pentax-D FA 150-450mm F4.5-5.6 Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews [full frame review ]

Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 DG HSM APO Lens Reviews - Sigma Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

11-08-2017, 06:34 AM   #9
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You might look at images posted by PF member noelcmn. He uses a Sigma 150~500mm extensively for wildlife (in So. Africa, the lucky guy).
11-08-2017, 07:09 AM - 1 Like   #10
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Buy it, use it, if it doesn't meet your needs re-sell it for a bit more than you paid.
11-08-2017, 07:17 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
Buy it, use it, if it doesn't meet your needs re-sell it for a bit more than you paid.
Sounds like a solid advice...

I may have to send it in to update the FW to make it compatible with my K1...besides, I'm not wildlife expert, just getting into it, so I think it's a justified expense and the DFA 150-450 could be the next step once I understand if that kind of shooting is for me...
11-08-2017, 07:34 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by gerax Quote
Thanx for the reply.

And then comes my second question: given the shorter range, will a Sigma 70-200/2.8 + Sigma APO EX 2x teleconverter (which would effectively give me a 140-400/F4) be a better option...or the 150-500 is better anyway even at 1 stop less?
I'm not familiar with teleconverters, are they wort it? Am I losing more than aperture wth them?
The Sigma 70-200 and 2X gives you 400 @ƒ5.6, not ƒ4, The Sigma and @x from what i've heard is a very functional combination. I consistently run stacked TCs for a total of 2.4x on my DA*200 and the results are quite good. So, I'm the guy who comes on when people are going on about not suing TCs saying "don't listen to those guys." The Sigma TC matched to the 70-200 is quite good, but there are bad ones out there.

I'd be waiting for someone who has the 150-450 to come on. You have to remember, the 150-450 can also be used with a TC. My guess is the 150-450 is better enlarged than the 150-500 ate the same size, and with the 1.4 on it will probably clean it's clock, but that's just my impression gained by reading the posts. I'd like to here from someone who has shot them side by side.

In your situation I'd just buy the matched Sigma TC. I know several serious wildlife photographers who use that combo. IN many wildlife situations, I've shot with my DA*60-250, often you won't need the TC. And when you don't ƒ2.8 is the way to go for some images.

Last edited by normhead; 11-08-2017 at 07:39 AM.
11-08-2017, 07:42 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
The Sigma 70-200 and 2X gives you 400 @5.6, not 4.
You are damn right...I didn't multiply aperture X2...

In that case I'm not sure...I'd get less of a FL for the same aperture than with the 150-500, and I seem to remember that stacking TCs gives lots of vignetting...isn't it?

L.
11-08-2017, 08:20 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by gerax Quote
You are damn right...I didn't multiply aperture X2...

In that case I'm not sure...I'd get less of a FL for the same aperture than with the 150-500, and I seem to remember that stacking TCs gives lots of vignetting...isn't it?

L.
Depends on the combo. When I stack the 1.4 and 1.7 on the DA*200 I use the K-3 so no vignetting. I also have tried the same stack on my Tamron 300 2.8 and it seriously degrades IQ. There are variables in lens design and construction which affect the use of TC and Tamron actually says you shouldn't use stacked TCs on the 300, and they're right.

So, you do need some knowledge to make this work. In my case I already owned both the 1.4 and the 1.7x so, it was no sweat. I'd hate to buy a TC and have it not work. So my recommendation would be, it you don't already own the TCs, don't buy one hoping it will work. In the case of the Sigma, it's a matched TC and it works great.

To my mind, 400 or 500 for wildlife is not that great a difference, especially since I frequently shoot at considerable less than 500. But 2.8 for wildlife with so many images shot in the mroning or evening 2.8 is really useful.

280mm ƒ5.6


250 mm ƒ5.6


420mm ƒ8


198mm ƒ9


88mm ƒ5.6, shot with the 60-250.

Of the 16 images in my flickr wildlife album only one is shot at 500mm.

Only one was taken at 500mm. And it wouldn't have hurt to have been able to back that out a bit for a bit more context. Tamron 300 ƒ2.8 with F 1.7x AF adapter) (510mm)


Where i do always use the longest glass possible is birds. DA*200 with F 1.7x TC, (340mm) and even then, I don't always use maximum reach.


I frequently use the Tamron 300 and 1.4 TC because I get to keep my auto-focus. I could use the 1.7 for 510, but I rarely suffer IQ wise.
11-08-2017, 09:41 AM   #15
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I have the Sigma 150-500 DG OS. I have shot wildlife, including birds in flight, and sports with it on both my K-5IIS and K-3II, and I have gotten excellent results. I have found that from F8 on that the images show consistent detail. The light needed for those shots is always a factor. I doubt that you would be disappointed if you purchased the 150-500 if it is in fact in excellent condition, but as for myself I would purchase a new Pentax 150-450 if I was in your situation without a doubt. I am also not a user of teleconverters, so I would not be weighing that as a deciding factor. If you got the 150-450, you would be buying into exactly what you described you needed. When I bought my Sigma 150-500, I had basically the same intentions/need as you, so I invested about $1,100 in the new Sigma. This was before the Pentax 150-450 was made/available, so I did not have that option like you do. The Pentax is a newer model, so I would presume it to be advanced technologically somewhat. Sigma now makes a 150-600, but not for the Pentax K-mount. So, the Sigma 150-500 I have is great and I prize it, but I would recommend a new Pentax 150-450 for your type situation as I mentioned before.
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