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11-21-2013, 02:48 PM   #1
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Bringing out the best in very good lenses

There was a recent post dealing with extra reach that the K-3 provided with his/her DA*300 lens. I have the DA*300 and the Sigma 150-500. While one outing doesn't prove anything I went out today to Conowingo Dam in Maryland to shoot eagles. The 300 outperformed the 150-500 in terms of detail at about the same distance. Obviously I need to do more testing. I've been limiting the Sigma to 400mm because going to 500 provided more reach but an image that I felt was degraded in quality. Looking at the photos I took today, in cloudy overcast light, the images I got from the DA* 300 provided better detail than those taken with the Sigma 150-500 at 400. These were of birds at approximately the same distance. I feel the extra resolution of the K-3 may bring out more from the 300 whereas the K-5 I was using already maxed out the 150-500. One day, a couple hundred shots, actually 1300. But I need more experience.

On this shoot I consistently got in focus sequences of 20 or more shots of eagles in flight at different flight paths - going horizontally and coming toward me. I never achieved this with the K-5 - getting a couple out of 20 in focus was good.

SO for those with high quality lenses, I am guessing you'll get a lot of extra performance from those lenses to go along with a quantum leap in auto focus performance from the K-5.

So the hunt is on - how to sell my wife on a good 500. I would be interested if those shooting with the Sigma 500 find the a similar perceived bump in lens lens performance.


Last edited by RockvilleBob; 11-21-2013 at 03:19 PM.
11-21-2013, 02:59 PM   #2
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I am guessing that those with the Siggy 500 paired with the K3 will report a boost in performance.

I'll surely watch this thread closely.

JP
11-21-2013, 03:00 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by RockvilleBob Quote
On this shoot I consistently got in focus sequences of 20 or more shots of eagles in flight at different flight paths - going horizontally and coming toward me. I never achieved this with the K-3 - getting a couple out of 20 in focus was good.
I think you meant "K-5" here rather than K-3, Bob. Thanks for your input.

Jack
11-21-2013, 03:19 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbinpg Quote
I think you meant "K-5" here rather than K-3, Bob. Thanks for your input.

Jack
Thanks - made the change

11-21-2013, 03:38 PM   #5
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Subscribed. Hesitated for a while getting a 150-500 and now hesitating to go with the Pentax DA* 300 prime...
11-21-2013, 05:36 PM   #6
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I used a flash heavy handed to overcome the shortcomings of the sigma 50-500. First shot I took with my new sigma 500 prime (no flash) was of a pitch black cockatoo. I was expecting a black smudge and had my socks knocked of when I saw the detail in the black feathers. The sigma 500 is sensational.

I haven't taken that may photos with the sigma 500 and the K3 as I have had lacked the opportunity. Either the K5 or the K3 are great with the sigma 500. I have been more interested in the K3 photographing flying birds and have used both the the sigma 500 and the pentax 60-250. Much easier to get a small flying bird with the pentax. The k3 probably provides 5 times more successful photos of flying birds compared with the K5. the really excellent feature of the K3 is the ability to program different focus combinations as well as other settings into U1, U2 and U3 so I one set for stationary birds, another for flying birds and third for shooting wildlife with a flash - still like using strong fill flash.

Have a look at the african photos (not Chobe - nikon) on my image gallery to see the K5 sigma 500 combo http://www.educatingoptions.com.au/gallery.htm
11-21-2013, 11:03 PM   #7
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@RockvilleBob Are we talking the first generation 50-500 or the current 50-500 OS model which I understand is noticably better at the long end?
11-22-2013, 03:06 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by mamethot Quote
Subscribed. Hesitated for a while getting a 150-500 and now hesitating to go with the Pentax DA* 300 prime...
mamethot,
I've been on three Safaris in the south of Africa in the last three years. The first two times I used a Sigma 50-500 OS and the general consensus is that it's a better lens than the 150-500. I went for the longer focal length and dismissed the DA* 300. I've to say that the 50-500 OS gave me some nice shots that I'm proud of.

This year I finally bought a DA* 300 anyway because I needed a telephoto lens that I can carry on a hike and can shoot handheld quickly. On my K-5 IIs the DA* 300 blew me away. I literally put my Sigma 50-500 OS in the trunk. I never used the 50-500 OS again and now I'm going to sell it. I don't want to put the 50-500 OS down. It has a lot of vesatility and you lose the incredible freedom with a prime lens.

Yes, the DA* 300 has less reach but the detail with the K-5 IIs makes easily up for it. I rather use the DA* 300mm and get pro grade shots and have less flexibility than use the 50-500 OS and get pictures that only sometimes can fool you as pro grade. I'm eagerly looking forward to use a K-3 with this lens in the same circumstances and make use of the extra cropability. I'm positive that the DA* 300 will have enough resolution to give us just that.
Bottom line I highly recommend the DA* 300. It is at a good price for what it is capable of.

If Ricoh could just FINALLY release that DA TC 1.4x in superb quality.


Last edited by aguest; 11-22-2013 at 03:11 AM.
11-22-2013, 03:21 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by southlander Quote
@RockvilleBob Are we talking the first generation 50-500 or the current 50-500 OS model which I understand is noticably better at the long end?
I have the 150-500 OS model but use camera SR - I will need to try lens OS to see if that helps.
I got the impression camera SR was just as good.
11-22-2013, 03:31 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by aguest Quote
mamethot,
I've been on three Safaris in the south of Africa in the last three years. The first two times I used a Sigma 50-500 OS and the general consensus is that it's a better lens than the 150-500. I went for the longer focal length and dismissed the DA* 300. I've to say that the 50-500 OS gave me some nice shots that I'm proud of.

This year I finally bought a DA* 300 anyway because I needed a telephoto lens that I can carry on a hike and can shoot handheld quickly. On my K-5 IIs the DA* 300 blew me away. I literally put my Sigma 50-500 OS in the trunk. I never used the 50-500 OS again and now I'm going to sell it. I don't want to put the 50-500 OS down. It has a lot of vesatility and you lose the incredible freedom with a prime lens.

Yes, the DA* 300 has less reach but the detail with the K-5 IIs makes easily up for it. I rather use the DA* 300mm and get pro grade shots and have less flexibility than use the 50-500 OS and get pictures that only sometimes can fool you as pro grade. I'm eagerly looking forward to use a K-3 with this lens in the same circumstances and make use of the extra cropability. I'm positive that the DA* 300 will have enough resolution to give us just that.
Bottom line I highly recommend the DA* 300. It is at a good price for what it is capable of.

If Ricoh could just FINALLY release that DA TC 1.4x in superb quality.
I am getting close to the same decision about just using the 300 for wildlife photography. One area where I feel I ike the 150-500 zoom function is photographing my grand kids playing sports. The composition aspects of the zoom plus being able to go to shorter focal length as the action gets close to me probably mean I will keep the lens for kids sports and still spend time honing an appeal to my wife for the 500.

If the 1.4TC on the road map works with the DA*300 I may not need to get the 500, I would need to try it out.

The rumors of Sigma coming out with a 400 2.8, a 500 f4, and a 600 f4 Sigma working on super telephoto primes A 400 2.8 if it supports Pentax with the Pentax 1.4 might be a better combination for me.

Either way for the next year I see a diminished use of my Sigma 150-500 lens for wildlife photography.
11-22-2013, 03:37 AM   #11
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I did a lot of testing with the OS (50-500) VS the in body SR. I found that the OS was better than the SR at the long end.
On the other hand the SR works really well with the DA* 300mm. In fact I was surprised how good the shots could be even in less than ideal lighting situations.
11-22-2013, 03:47 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by RockvilleBob Quote
One area where I feel I ike the 150-500 zoom function is photographing my grand kids playing sports. The composition aspects of the zoom plus being able to go to shorter focal length as the action gets close to me probably mean I will keep the lens for kids sports and still spend time honing an appeal to my wife for the 500.
I tried to make up for the reduced flexibility by traveling with three bodies: K-5 Tamron 17-50, K-5 DA* 50-135 and K-5 IIs DA* 300. Changing focal length is of course not at the same speed compared to useing the Sigma all in one lenses. I agree that in a sport situation where players sometimes come very close to you it would be better to have it all in one lens.
And sometimes the gap between 135 and 300 mm was too big. A 70-200 would've been better on the second body.
11-22-2013, 04:10 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by aguest Quote
I tried to make up for the reduced flexibility by traveling with three bodies: K-5 Tamron 17-50, K-5 DA* 50-135 and K-5 IIs DA* 300. Changing focal length is of course not at the same speed compared to useing the Sigma all in one lenses. I agree that in a sport situation where players sometimes come very close to you it would be better to have it all in one lens.
And sometimes the gap between 135 and 300 mm was too big. A 70-200 would've been better on the second body.
I use a second handheld camera, K-5, with the Sigma 70-200 for eagles flying close. I have a feeling the Sigma 70-200 is another lens that would get better with the K-5 but trying to go for tht solution along with a 400 or 500 next year would create war in my home.
11-22-2013, 06:34 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by aguest Quote
mamethot,
I've been on three Safaris in the south of Africa in the last three years. The first two times I used a Sigma 50-500 OS and the general consensus is that it's a better lens than the 150-500. I went for the longer focal length and dismissed the DA* 300. I've to say that the 50-500 OS gave me some nice shots that I'm proud of.

This year I finally bought a DA* 300 anyway because I needed a telephoto lens that I can carry on a hike and can shoot handheld quickly. On my K-5 IIs the DA* 300 blew me away. I literally put my Sigma 50-500 OS in the trunk. I never used the 50-500 OS again and now I'm going to sell it. I don't want to put the 50-500 OS down. It has a lot of vesatility and you lose the incredible freedom with a prime lens.

Yes, the DA* 300 has less reach but the detail with the K-5 IIs makes easily up for it. I rather use the DA* 300mm and get pro grade shots and have less flexibility than use the 50-500 OS and get pictures that only sometimes can fool you as pro grade. I'm eagerly looking forward to use a K-3 with this lens in the same circumstances and make use of the extra cropability. I'm positive that the DA* 300 will have enough resolution to give us just that.
Bottom line I highly recommend the DA* 300. It is at a good price for what it is capable of.

If Ricoh could just FINALLY release that DA TC 1.4x in superb quality.
The more I read from people who own the DA*300, the more I'm leaning toward it. I have seen nice pictures from the Sigmas and frankly I am 100% satisfied with my 70-200 2.8. But lately I have been using primes a lot and I have never had better results.

I've seen great results on threads here with DA*300, from Normhead if I am not mistaken.

I can't wait to try one 300mm on the K-3. Might happen this year for Christmas, hoping Santa is reading.

Thanks for your post!
11-22-2013, 07:05 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by mamethot Quote
The more I read from people who own the DA*300, the more I'm leaning toward it. I have seen nice pictures from the Sigmas and frankly I am 100% satisfied with my 70-200 2.8. But lately I have been using primes a lot and I have never had better results.

I've seen great results on threads here with DA*300, from Normhead if I am not mistaken.

I can't wait to try one 300mm on the K-3. Might happen this year for Christmas, hoping Santa is reading.

Thanks for your post!
My experience with most primes is the same. However, I am one of the odd balls who like to DA* 16-55. So I am hoping the 2014 roadmap DA zoom approaches 400 so I'll have to see how has it is and how good. Since I haven't seen a single 560 review posted this zoom may be the longest practical lens Pentax sells. Let's hope it is a fixed f4 aperture lens, with stellar resolution and works with the 1.4 TC that has been on the road map for many years. A high performance zoom, fixed aperture at f4 and superb optics might be my solution.

I FORGOT TO INCLUDE: FAST FOCUS MOTOR MECHANISM - VERY FAST

Last edited by RockvilleBob; 11-24-2013 at 03:10 AM.
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