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05-04-2009, 11:05 AM   #1
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Sigma 500/4,5 test shots

After a long consideration I placed an order for a Sigma 500/4,5 at the end of January. The lens turned out to be a special order item with no stock even at the factory. The lens shipped from Japan mid-April arriving here late last week. During the weekend I took it out for the first set of test shots. I enclose some of these snapshots.

After such a long wait I was really anxious to see whether the lens is capable of delivering the kind of image quality I was hoping for.
So far so good

The wait may pay off one day...

The flamboyant swan was shot with the Sigma EX DG 1,4 x teleconverter attached, providing a total focal length of 700mm.


Last edited by PePe; 12-29-2016 at 11:01 AM.
05-04-2009, 06:58 PM   #2
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i'm always interested as to why people buy supertele glass for pentax.
how come you didn't jump over to Canon or Nikon for this type of work?
05-04-2009, 10:49 PM   #3
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Looks like a decent 500mm lens there.
As for why folk don't go over to the "dark side"? Wash your mouth out with soap thank you.
It's a shame there are such limits on available Pentax glass for super tele.
05-04-2009, 10:51 PM   #4
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Sharp Photos!

05-05-2009, 11:56 AM   #5
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These shrunk down versions do loose a lot of their original punch and tones. I am quite pleased with the image quality. At least for the time being. Later on will probably write a more comprehensive verdict in the lens review database.


QuoteOriginally posted by k100d Quote
i'm always interested as to why people buy supertele glass for pentax.
how come you didn't jump over to Canon or Nikon for this type of work?
For wildlife shooting supertele glass is very convenient, no matter which camera brand you are using. I just want to be able to use my Pentax bodies the same way I do with shorter focal lengths.
The Sigma definitely looks like a keeper. Nevertheless,it is a shame Pentax currently does not really have anything to offer in this range. They are obviously aware of this, as there is an indication of a "super telephoto" on the lens roadmap. Whatever that may indicate...
05-06-2009, 12:52 AM   #6
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Those pics look very nice to me--thank you for posting. I do not think I have seen anything with this lens before this.

QuoteQuote:
PePe These shrunk down versions do loose a lot of their original punch and tones.
LOL--I agree, %100. One of the only things in owning a powerful DSLR camera which sometimes bothers me is the humbling you get every time you downsize an awesome image and e-mail it to someone. I often think, heck, at that size it is hard to distinguish my beautiful K20 and lens combo from my P & S.
05-06-2009, 04:03 PM   #7
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I got mine last week.

I received mine last week. Went to the park to test it out. Heard planes overhead and was able to get off 2 shots.
Attached Images
       
05-06-2009, 05:21 PM   #8
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Those are quite good indeed, I hope that the soon to be released Pentax supertele will be in that focal length and IQ.

05-09-2009, 05:26 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by PePe Quote
The flamboyant swan was shot with the Sigma EX DG 1,4 x teleconverter attached, providing a total focal length of 700mm.
What are your feelings about the difference in IQ with & without the 1.4x tele? I am contemplating choosing between this lens vs the Pentax 600mm & the Sigma 800mm and I'm trying to decide if the extra cost for the 600mm or 800mm would be worth it or not.

best,
John
05-10-2009, 04:48 AM   #10
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I like with 1.4

I like it with the 1.4, very sharp and good color. Work well in af mode. As for the 2x af will hunt to lock on. Need to spend more time with 2x tho. I really like the lens.
05-10-2009, 01:19 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jem Quote
What are your feelings about the difference in IQ with & without the 1.4x tele? I am contemplating choosing between this lens vs the Pentax 600mm & the Sigma 800mm and I'm trying to decide if the extra cost for the 600mm or 800mm would be worth it or not.

best,
John
I did also consider the Pentax 600 as an option for quite a while.

I have now had the Sigma 500 for some 10 days, and shot maybe 100-200 images with it. With this limited experience I dare to say the lens has exceeded my expectations.
Generally speaking I have always been a bit suspicious about teleconverters. The truth is that no TC ever improves image quality. However, combining an optically sound lens with a good TC may still give you good results.
The Sigma EX APO 1,4 x seems to do a pretty good job with only marginal image degradation both in terms of sharpness and contrast. AF seems to work well, at least in daylight. I have not had a change to test in low light so far.
As usual with teleconverters, the 2 x TC cannot live up to exactly the same standards. Image degradation is more profound, and AF function is impaired. This is hardly surprising for anyone familiar with teleconverters. The Sigma 2 x TC can be very useful provided the user realises it cannot defy the laws of nature.
Both these TCs are definitely among the better ones on the market. I remember seeing an article comparing a Sigma supertele+TC combo with a Canon counterpart. The outcome was very favourable for the Sigma set.

The Pentax 600 would have cost me almost 4 x the price of the Sigma+TCs. I am willing to pay a certain premium for Pentax gear, but could just not justify spending this much more. If I were to choose again, I would definitely go the same way. The other thing was compatibility with my existing gear. I have a 300/2,8 lens, and having nothing between 300mm and 600mm was not really conceivable.
But these questions everyone has to work out for himself.
05-10-2009, 02:36 PM   #12
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Thanks for the superb images The assorted styles do provide a great visual interest.
05-10-2009, 05:13 PM   #13
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PePe, Barry, thanks for your input and insight on your new lens. It has been helpful to hear and see your first-hand impressions on what I would consider to be a significant purchase. It sounds and looks like the Sigma 500mm is a rock solid lens by itself. With the matching 1.4 tele, it allows me an option that is reasonably close to the quality of the Pentax 600mm & Sigma 800mm to satisfy my requirements for now. Since I currently cannot reasonably justify buying 2 lenses at this price level, I am leaning toward ordering the same lens as well along with the 1.4 tele.
Thanks again!
John
05-16-2009, 03:33 AM   #14
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PePe, Barry, I have been comtemplating the same purchase for a while, but have had a couple of concerns. What is the AF like - is it fast, how does it go in low light? I have been wondering if it was worthwhile waiting until Sigma gets around to upgrading the 500mm to HSM or for the roadmap's Super Telephoto when we find out what it is and it is released. One advantage of the screw AF is the lens will last longer with the motor in the body being replaced regulary as I upgrade (no worries of HSM/SDM failing), so it might be better if the AF is as quick, only disadvantage is the noise.

Do you use SR with the TC? With it reporting 500mm rather than the actual 700mm (1.4TC) does it degrade the image? This will not be a problem when we finally get the new Pentax TC or if the K7 allows us to adjust the SR length.

Given the cost of the jump, it is great to get feedback from owners.
05-16-2009, 05:56 AM   #15
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I think it works great

The sound of the af not a big deal. Yes it is fast af, very good with 1.4. Had no issues in low light, only using the 2x tc. The plane shot, I pointed and started firing away. I heard them and turned and went with it.
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