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A Day at the Zoo With An Oddity of a Lens (includes squirrel!)
Lens: Sigma 75-300 APO Macro F4-5.6 KA Camera: Pentax K5iis Photo Location: Albuquerque 
Posted By: jeffshaddix, 01-18-2016, 10:05 PM

These were all shot at the Albuquerque Zoo with a Sigma 75-300 APO Macro F4-5.6 KA mount that I picked up at a camera store going-out-of-business sale. I must say I'm quite impressed with this lens. Typically Sigma APO zooms of this era are not all that great, but this one seems to hold it's own, even close to wide open, which most of these were shot. We have a user review section for it, but it appears to include both APO and non-APO versions (Sigma 75-300mm F4-5.6 DL Macro Lens Reviews - Sigma Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database). I'd love to find out some more info on this lens if anyone has anything, the web searches are failing me.

I also just picked up the DA* 60-250, so I'm looking forward to a return trip with the new lens to get a feel for the comparison.
























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01-18-2016, 10:33 PM   #2
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Great expression on the giraffe. The squirrel looks as though it is about to tell a story. Very nice.
01-18-2016, 10:37 PM   #3
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Nice series!
01-18-2016, 10:38 PM   #4
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some very enjoyable compositions. shooting at the zoos can make for some boring shots, but I really like these. well done

01-18-2016, 10:50 PM   #5
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Very nice shots! Well done!
01-19-2016, 03:50 AM   #6
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Great shots. That lens has some good reviews. Your shots confirm its abilities (and your abilities, too, of course!)
01-19-2016, 04:48 AM   #7
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That is certainly a sharp lens, great close-ups, the detail is fantastic!
01-19-2016, 08:32 AM   #8
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Looks like you got a great lens and know how to use it. Well done. You captured the eyes so well too.

01-19-2016, 09:53 AM   #9
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Otis, legendary Art Critic, evaluated all your photos here and the best one by far was the handsome squirrel! His pick didn't really surprise me.

It got his approval!



He liked the other shots, but said you could have saved card space and time by just shooting the handsome squirrel and nothing else.

Regards!
01-19-2016, 02:46 PM   #10
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That first pix of the cougar behind bars ...excellent. Great series.
01-19-2016, 03:27 PM   #11
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A very sharp series of images indeed, well done.
01-19-2016, 06:09 PM   #12
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Jim P Quote
Great expression on the giraffe. The squirrel looks as though it is about to tell a story. Very nice.
Thanks - yeah the giraffe was a hoot. I had a double take when he winked at me. When I saw the squirrel, I immediately thought of Rupert and Otis and had to capture him.
QuoteOriginally posted by noelpolar Quote
Nice series!
Thank you!
QuoteOriginally posted by wibbly Quote
some very enjoyable compositions. shooting at the zoos can make for some boring shots, but I really like these. well done
Yes, I agree; zoos are a mixed bag. I'm a big fan of the mantra that the elements excluded can be just as important as the elements included. I was hesitant to even process the cougar pic at first, but in the end the bars themselves were not detractors.
QuoteOriginally posted by redpit Quote
Very nice shots! Well done!
Thank you sir!
QuoteOriginally posted by PJ1 Quote
Great shots. That lens has some good reviews. Your shots confirm its abilities (and your abilities, too, of course!)
Indeed it does have some skill, as for my own - well you didn't see the other 300 shots that didn't make the cut.
QuoteOriginally posted by robgski Quote
That is certainly a sharp lens, great close-ups, the detail is fantastic!
Yeah I'm looking forward to giving it a go on the K-1 whenever it finally gets released (and I have the wherewithal to buy it).
QuoteOriginally posted by slowpez Quote
Looks like you got a great lens and know how to use it. Well done. You captured the eyes so well too.
Thanks! For each of these images there are usually 5-10 more with the eyes not quite there. I think more than the "eyes are a view to the soul" adage, the eyes are just naturally where I look when we see the animal in real life, and it just seems off-putting to my brain to see the focal point anywhere else.
QuoteOriginally posted by Rupert Quote
Otis, legendary Art Critic, evaluated all your photos here and the best one by far was the handsome squirrel! His pick didn't really surprise me.

It got his approval!

He liked the other shots, but said you could have saved card space and time by just shooting the handsome squirrel and nothing else.

Regards!
Aw Rupert & Otis, thank you! I thought of you two when I first spied the handsome creature. I thought - a ha - I found Otis' long lost cousin at last, now he's here to tell us a story of how he got separated from his family, set sail in search for a better life, shipwrecked, picked up by an African Swallow and deposited in the White Sands desert in New Mexico, slogged through endless sand dunes, got his tail run over several times before successfully attaching himself to the undercarriage of a car on I-25, got lost in Albuquerque until receiving a telegram from Road Runner informing him of his wrong turn, and finally how he ended his journey with a successful career as a zoo squirrel - the ultimate life of luxury.
QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
That first pix of the cougar behind bars ...excellent. Great series.
Thank you, I thought the "caged" gave a nice contrast to the "unpredictable & dangerous". I had the rest of the head in the shot, but liked the look of half the head - gave more of a "fear of the unknown, let your brain fill in the rest" vibe.
QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
A very sharp series of images indeed, well done.
Thank you sir. Now if only I could make it to the highlands of Scotland...that would be a treat indeed. Mayhap the Hound of the Baskervilles or even the C Sth would make an appearance in the local zoo? I've met this beast sans cage, and survived to tell the tale (though he tried to eat my monopod...seriously):


Last edited by jeffshaddix; 01-19-2016 at 09:39 PM.
02-02-2016, 09:38 PM   #13
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A very good series of images. Well taken photographs.
02-03-2016, 02:50 PM   #14
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Magnificent portraits! I gotta tell ya, that peacock is amazing!
Beautiful work!!
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