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03-04-2009, 07:08 PM   #1
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Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3 EX DG or DA* 300mm F4?

They`re about US$1k now. since Pentax has no plans for a super telephoto of super range, guess thats the only choice.

want to ask users, lets say use the 300mm to take picture and then crop to give the effect of 500mm, will there be obvious differences vs using a zoom lens at 500mm?

How about a Sigma 100-300/4?

03-04-2009, 07:29 PM   #2
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I don't have the Bigma so I can't speak for that. I do have the DA*300 and coupled with one of the TCs that work with SDM it is great.

I use with the Kenko 1.5x TC.. here are a couple of examples (sorry to everyone that has seen these before):

Pentax K20D ,Pentax smc DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM
1/200s f/8.0 at 450.0mm iso400 (with Kenko 1.5xTC)


Pentax K20D ,Pentax smc DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM
1/100s f/5.6 at 450.0mm iso1600 with Kenko 1.5xTC


Pentax K20D ,Pentax smc DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM
1/640s f/5.6 at 450.0mm iso800 with Kenko 1.5x TC
03-04-2009, 08:45 PM   #3
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There was a recent thread on this.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/52292-pentax-d...ma-lenses.html

Lots of good discussion and pix. I say get 'em both!
03-04-2009, 11:42 PM   #4
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okay thanks..

looks like the bigma since with a 1.5x tele can get 750mm which is very serious range for around the same money as a DA* 300mm.

03-04-2009, 11:57 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Reportage Quote
okay thanks..

looks like the bigma since with a 1.5x tele can get 750mm which is very serious range for around the same money as a DA* 300mm.
I don't know, but my guess would be that 50-500's MTF results would blow at the long end...and you'd probably get wacky levels of barrel distortion. So go and find some serious reviews before you blow your cash. There are great zooms, but 10x sounds suspicious. Also, with a 1.5x tc you'd slow down and blur your turtle of a lens even further. EDIT: I keep forgetting something: variable aperture zooms are evil.
03-05-2009, 12:02 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Reportage Quote
okay thanks..

looks like the bigma since with a 1.5x tele can get 750mm which is very serious range for around the same money as a DA* 300mm.
Remember that it will be 750mm with the loss of autofocus. The minimum aperture of the Bigma is 6.3 @ 500mm. With the 1.5 TC, that becomes about 9.45 which means that AF will be very iffy if it works at all. Not a problem if you're comfortable with manual focus. Very nasty if you're trying to track small and fast subjects like the smaller birds.
03-05-2009, 01:07 AM   #7
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Yeah, Reportage, the Bigma/1.5x TC combo is going to need quite bright light to AF reliably, and the MF alternative will suffer from a relatively dark viewfinder in poor light. Lots more weight to haul around than the DA*300 and a 1.4 or 1.5 TC. I'm not saying don't do it (I considered a Bigma myself a few months back); just consider the pros and cons in a balanced way before you purchase.
03-05-2009, 06:45 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Reportage Quote
They`re about US$1k now. since Pentax has no plans for a super telephoto of super range, guess thats the only choice.

want to ask users, lets say use the 300mm to take picture and then crop to give the effect of 500mm, will there be obvious differences vs using a zoom lens at 500mm?

How about a Sigma 100-300/4?
That depends on what you'll shoot, I guess. If its surf or motorsports or other outdoor action where you'll use the lens stopped down to f/8 or f/10 without problem the bigma is supposed to be VERY sharp up to about 450mm.

If you're going to need the wider aperture for indoor sports or birds I'd go with the prime.

03-05-2009, 06:46 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by christinelandon Quote
Yeah, Reportage, the Bigma/1.5x TC combo is going to need quite bright light to AF reliably, and the MF alternative will suffer from a relatively dark viewfinder in poor light. Lots more weight to haul around than the DA*300 and a 1.4 or 1.5 TC. I'm not saying don't do it (I considered a Bigma myself a few months back); just consider the pros and cons in a balanced way before you purchase.
The amount of light doesn't matter. AF stops working because of the width of the light cone reaching the sensor, which has to do with aperture and lens rear element design, no amount of light will make AF work.
03-05-2009, 07:07 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by kristoffon Quote
The amount of light doesn't matter. AF stops working because of the width of the light cone reaching the sensor, which has to do with aperture and lens rear element design, no amount of light will make AF work.
There are people using the Bigma with a 1.4x TC and having AF work in good light. If I remember correctly they all say it is slow and hunts but it works.

Just a real quick seach turned up two threads on dpreview about using the bigma with TC and AF:
Re: I'm on my second!: Open Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
Re: The Bigma has to go :o(....: Olympus SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

I'm sure the OP cold find more examples.



John
03-05-2009, 08:26 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by HawaiianOnline Quote
Remember that it will be 750mm with the loss of autofocus. The minimum aperture of the Bigma is 6.3 @ 500mm. With the 1.5 TC, that becomes about 9.45 which means that AF will be very iffy if it works at all. Not a problem if you're comfortable with manual focus. Very nasty if you're trying to track small and fast subjects like the smaller birds.
I've used the Bigma with the matching 1.4x TC and it focuses okay in good light. I don't like the TC because it softens the image, though others have good results with it.

You won't find a better value at 500mm than the Bigma. The shorter range is also useful.
03-05-2009, 10:26 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Reportage Quote
okay thanks..

looks like the bigma since with a 1.5x tele can get 750mm which is very serious range for around the same money as a DA* 300mm.
With a 1.5x tc you get a 750/11! And than you have to close the aperture, first to improve IQ and secondly to get some depth of field. I would say, that the DA300 (Which I don't have, only other 300mm lenses) and the 50-500 are complimentary lenses. Palmors photographs with the 300+tc are exceptional, but I personally try to use my lenses without a tc, to get max. performance (except the Tamron 300/2.8, which works very nicely with a tc). So I do compromise, when I choose a zoom over a prime, because of its convenience and versatility.

What lens is best for you, depends on your applications and preferred style of shooting. If you use the longer end (400-500mm) mainly, the Bigma would be a sensible choice. If you prefer the medium focal length, the 300mm will probably be a better investment, as it is smaller, more light weight and faster.

If you are into birding or shy wildlife a lens can hardly be too long, so that there is a slight advantage with the Bigma. You just have to be aware, that there is a noticeable contrast loss, increasingly between app. 420mm and 500mm fl, which you should correct in post-processing. (But the sharpness is still there.)

If you use the Bigma with a tc, go for the matched Sigma Apo 1.4x-tc, which can be used with the Bigma from 100mm fl onwards (there is a lock on the lens, which prevents useage of shorter fls, because that might damage the rear element or the tc's protruding front element. But I personally would not use it with a tc.

Ben
03-05-2009, 05:00 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by rfortson Quote
The shorter range is also useful.
What's the point of 50mm-100mm on this monster? Are you going to do portraits or wedding photography with this? ...hand-held?

03-06-2009, 02:33 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by asdf Quote
What's the point of 50mm-100mm on this monster? Are you going to do portraits or wedding photography with this? ...hand-held?
I don't think anybody would do that - but it is simply handy, if you don't need to change lenses, if you are waiting for the deer on the other side of the valley to appear and then a squirell sits in front of your hide, only a meter away...

Ben
03-06-2009, 03:30 AM   #15
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I would recommend the sigma 100-300mm f/4 APO, it focuses VERY fast. I use it alongside my 1dsMKIIN and in good light, the focus isn't far behind the 1Ds. Also it's image quality, to my eyes is superb. And as far as manual focus operation is concerned it has a short focus "throw" which helps with manual focusing plus the focus ring on the sigma 100-300mm is smooth as butter.. plus the sigma 100-300mm f/4 doesn't change physical length when zooming, or focussing - it's all internal. Did I mention that the sigma is a constant f/4 zoom? constant aperture lenses in my experience, have superior bokeh when compared to lenses with variable apertures...besides try focussing a 500mm f/6.3 accurately on a moving subject in late afternoon light...enough said.

Image sample: K10D+Sigma 100-300 f/4 APO @ 250mm ISO 200 f/5.6 1/320s

Last edited by Digitalis; 04-07-2009 at 06:05 PM.
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