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04-10-2009, 07:56 PM   #1
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The Bigma... Do i want it?

I'm relatively new to the digital camera game but after reading these forums have already begun what seems like a never ending need to buy new lenses.

I currently own the 18-55 ALII kit lens with my K200d and have since bought a m50 f1.7 and an old Tamron 135mm f2.8 aswell as a pretty dodgy 2x tele converter.

At this stage i'm taking all kinds of photos from bbq portraits of friends to flowers and landscapes, everything really. I was at the beach the other day watching some surfers but in the cloudy weather and long distance i couldn't get much of a decent shot from land with the tele converter and 135mm lens.

I'd love to buy the DA* 50-135mm for weather sealing etc but i dont know if throwing 1500 bucks at that lens will give me the range i want. I'm thinking of buying the bigma and maybe decide after using that if i could see where in it's massive range i'll be taking most of my photos.

Is the bigma just too big to handle, does it give good photos?
All in all would it be smart to be learning on such as enormous lens?

04-10-2009, 08:33 PM   #2
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there's a reason why its called a bigma.... its suggested that if you wanna use it, you buy a monopod as well... unless of course you have GIANT biceps :P
04-10-2009, 09:13 PM   #3
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i have heard it's big and heavy and i know i'll probably need a monopod (or a gym membership). But is it phsically too big to manage or is it usable day to day?

I've read the reviews but i still don't know if its practical. would a sigma 100-300mm f4 with a 1.4 or 1.7 teleconverter be a better option. i've heard you just cant get really sharp shot with a teleconverter.
04-10-2009, 09:54 PM   #4

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I think the bigma is too large to be a walk around lens

anything over 1kg is imo.

04-10-2009, 10:47 PM   #5
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As far as the size of the lenses, they're both about the same size. Here's a shot of both. The one in front is the 100-300.

I haven't handled the 100-300, but I believe it is a little lighter than the 50-500. As for the image quality of both lenses, there are plenty of photos with these lenses all over the net to judge for yourself. You are welcome to take a look at my flickr photostream if you like. I used the 50-500 for most of my photos on there because I mainly enjoy the long reach for wildlife, air shows and motorsports. There are many times though, that I wish it were faster. With either lens, you will get used to the size and weight.

This photo was taken handheld (I wish I would have had my monopod with me that day), from the top row (row 24) of the grandstands at the St. Pete Grand Prix. I used a K10D and I think this shot was at, or very close to, 500mm at f8. I then cropped away about 50% of the photo to get this close-up.

Most of the shots I took that day were around 200 - 250mm focal length. So, either lens would have done a fine job. The advantages of the 50-500 are long reach and versatility (one lens covers pretty much every focal length you'll need). The advantage with the 100-300 is that it's f4. Had it been an overcast day that day, I would have wished I had a faster lens. So, the choice is really yours. I hope this helps...

Last edited by MBrannon; 04-10-2009 at 11:04 PM.
04-10-2009, 11:07 PM   #6
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i didn't realise the 100-300mm sigma is basically bigger than the bigma when not extended. Where in the focal range does the bigma stop up from f4 is it around 100 or more like 150mm? i had a look at some of your photos Michael the quality of both your lenses is very good.

PS how long is it when zoomed to 500mm?
04-10-2009, 11:11 PM   #7
Damn Brit

I thought I wanted one for a long time but I didn't really. If it wasn't nicknamed 'Bigma' I don't think there would be so many discussions about it.
04-11-2009, 12:00 AM   #8
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ive heard nothing but good things about the sigma 100-300 f4. and people also rave about it with sigmas 1.4x tc. that would give you a sharp 140-420 f5.6

04-11-2009, 12:57 AM   #9
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Which i guess would tie in perfectly with DA*50-135. Maybe that is an option but i think a fair bit more expensive... like double the price. but i do want the weather sealing f the DA* lenses. Are there any weather sealed teleconverters?
04-11-2009, 01:32 AM   #10
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If you're not sure what range you'd use yet, why not pickup a DA 50-200 from the marketplace and check the exif after a month or so?
04-11-2009, 05:03 AM   #11
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I was thinking of the 50-500mm too but decided on the 100-300mm f4 after seeing so many nice shots even with a TC. I think I would be happy with either one. I think pentax lenses are more flare resistant and have nicer color though. Here is a shot with the 100-300mm at 280mm + 1.5x kenko.
04-11-2009, 08:27 AM   #12
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Quite honestly, I think you've got it a little backwards. One satisfies needs prior to wants, especially when looking at a $1000+ US lens.

Since you have not been shooting all that long, and it reads like you are just getting a feel for both digital photography and different subject matters, I would suggest purchasing a fairly cheap and versatile zoom. Then when your skills and images improve enough you can justify higher level equipment.

I would recommend the Pentax 50-200mm, or the Tamron or Sigma 70-30mm to start. Optically they are good enough. They are all light enough to not be a burden.

I own the Bigma and use it in very specific situations: birds mostly. Using a sturdy tripod, quick release mount, and a wireless remote helps. You also have to have the right equipment carrying configuration to shlep the thing, especially if you are carrying other lenses and the tripod.

04-11-2009, 12:59 PM   #13
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speaking of the 50-200 I have one lying around not being used. Ill let it go for cheap if youre interested
04-11-2009, 02:23 PM   #14
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While I still owned my M 400, I puchased a Sigma 170-500, thinking it would be a bit longer reach, and yet a zoom. It sounded great, but the images were way soft compared to the M 400. I lost money on it, of course. It appears from the photos that have been posted from the 50-500 that it is good, but I wonder how much better it really is?

Donning asbestos suit, despite the environmental warnings.

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