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12-07-2018, 06:01 PM - 1 Like   #16
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I used the Sigma 50-500 that belongs to a friend on several occasions and i find it to be a decent lens but the image quality seems to drop quite a bit at the long end and don't forget it is a very large and heavy lens so it isn't something you'll want to carry very long. Everything is a trade off, more reach = larger lenses and one must be willing to sacrifice some image quality for a zoom lens.

12-07-2018, 07:55 PM - 1 Like   #17
Des
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QuoteOriginally posted by Garry Conway Quote
I use a FA* 400 and have had great success with with it. It .... sometimes show up for sale in the form's Market place although their price as a used lens tends to be fairly high.
Last one I saw was $2000 or so. The OP is looking for options around $600.
12-07-2018, 08:08 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by bladerunner6 Quote
As for the 170-500,from what I understand the DG version is much better that the other version.
I had the non-DG version so that's what my comments were based on. But apart from the coatings the optical formula was the same as I understand it. It's f6.3 at the long end and needs to be stopped down, so I would question whether the game is worth the candle.
12-07-2018, 08:58 PM - 1 Like   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
Don't bother with the Sigma 170-500. Resolution drops off a lot above about 350mm - with a 24mp camera you'd do just as well or better cropping from the 55-300.

If you can find a Sigma 400mm f5.6 tele macro (the model with the 77mm filter thread) within budget, that's a good option. At around 1.4kg it's significantly lighter than a Bigma or 150-500.

But the best budget option IMO is a F*/FA*300mm f4.5. The weight and size are very manageable for handholding, and resolution is excellent. Also, unlike the DA*300 f4 which (unless converted to screw-drive) really only works effectively with the expensive DA 1.4x TC, the F*/FA* can be paired with a wide range of more affordable teleconverters, for an excellent 420mm f6.3 combination. Even without a TC, images will withstand a lot of cropping. F*/FA*300 f4.5 lenses were going for around $US650 a couple of years ago, but I've read that the prices have gone up (probably because of the K-1). Still if you can find one within budget, go for it.

I also use DxO and I like to have lenses for which a profile is available. But I wouldn't pass over either the F*/FA*300 or the Sigma 400 for that reason alone. Neither has much distortion or CA or vignetting anyway.
@bladerunner6

I bought ah EX+ FA*300/4.5 in the Marketplace last spring for $650 so I’d say that is still a good target price. They don’t come around often but they’re the best value in IQ and sharpness per money terms out there. Mine at least is the fastest focusing screw drive lens I own. I believe the K-1 / KP / K-70 have an embedded optimized lens profile for this lens (I can’t find the reference so don’t depend on that).

If you are willing to use a manual lens, the A400/5.6 is superb and available in the $300 ballpark. There are wildlife/birding, landscape and Astro sample images on the Review thread HERE.


Last edited by monochrome; 12-07-2018 at 09:07 PM.
12-07-2018, 09:05 PM   #20
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Sad to say, but you are using the wrong system for budget telephoto. All of the third party lenses mention so far are available for far less money for other lens mounts...
12-08-2018, 12:32 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
I bought ah EX+ FA*300/4.5 in the Marketplace last spring for $650 so I’d say that is still a good target price.
Makes sense to me. Given that the DA*300 f4 was available new for around $US800 in the Black Friday sales, seems to me that an FA*300 f4.5 for no more than $650 should be doable.
QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
I believe the K-1 / KP / K-70 have an embedded optimized lens profile for this lens (I can’t find the reference so don’t depend on that).
Thanks for the tip. With the K-3/K-3ii and K-S2, the only FA lenses for which embedded lens correction was available were the Limiteds. But I just looked at the manuals for the KP (I've got one on order) and K-70 and they also include correction for all the FA* lenses, plus 28mm f2.8, 35mm f2 and 50mm f1.4.
QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
Sad to say, but you are using the wrong system for budget telephoto. All of the third party lenses mention so far are available for far less money for other lens mounts...
But to look at it the other way, to get a decent second-hand combination in another mount would be out of reach by the time you bought a body as well, e.g.:
- Canon EOS 7D (mark 1) $300 + 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 (mark 1) $600
- Nikon D7100 $350 + Nikkor 80-400 f4.5-5.6 (non-VR) $500
And the cameras would be generally less featured than a K-70 (no IS for starters).

Last edited by Des; 12-08-2018 at 02:37 AM.
12-08-2018, 08:49 AM - 1 Like   #22
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For lots of reach on a tight budget, how about an old school manual focus A 400mm f/5.6? I have one, it works great. I also have the 1.4x-L converter that goes with it.
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