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03-03-2009, 03:43 PM   #1
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Advice on Sigma lens

Hi, I have recently bought a K20D and am looking for a long Tele lens that would be a good buy as a starter. I cannot afford to pay for the top end lenses yet and have seen a used Sigma 135-400mm f/4.5-5.6 APO (not the DG version).
Would this be a good buy as I have read mixed reports of softness at the 400mm end and a problem with lens creep?

I intend to use it for wildlife so would probably be more at the 400mm end. This would be my first purchase so I would appreciate feedback. I am new to this having just upgraded from a basic compact DSLR (Fuji Finepix S9600). Thanks

03-03-2009, 03:58 PM   #2
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I am not sure about the softness, you would need to see comparative posts with different lenses.

I use a sigma 70-200 F2.8 also non DG with a 2x TC and get excellent results.

I think if you can get the lens at a good price, <$500 for example, you probably will be pleased
03-03-2009, 04:21 PM   #3
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Thank you. I am also looking a the Sigma 70-300 APO lens. Do you think the 70-200 would be a better buy with the 2x converter?(not F2.8 as yours though).
03-03-2009, 10:57 PM   #4
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I have the 70-300 and have had mixed results. Mine is the non APO. It's soft at above 220 unless you're shooting at f11 on a bright sunny day. I am seriously considering the Pentax 55-300. The forum is loaded with lots of real nice shots from that lens and the price is very reasonable.

03-04-2009, 03:37 AM   #5
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Thanks for that. I will check it out.
03-04-2009, 04:12 AM   #6
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I can recommend the Pentax 55-300 (and comment on the Sigma 135-400).
I bought my wife the DA 55-300 new at a good price. It is a fine lens for average shooting. It is reasonably small and light, so easy to carry. It takes fine pictures easily.

I just bought a Sigma 135-400 APO DG used for a little over $400 through ebay. It arrived and appears almost brand new (I think I was the first person to attach a monopod to it). It takes fine pictures from what limited testing I have been able to do with it so far. If it works, see this thread I started a short while ago about this lens. ( ) (my first time trying to link to a different thread on this list). The Sigma lens without the zoom lock has ZOOM CREEP that will astound you. If that's a problem, depends on you.
03-04-2009, 04:47 AM   #7
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Just a quick note on the 70-300, the lens review database here rates the Tamron version rather more highly than the Sigma - even the APO version. I have the Tamron and have been very impressed for the price <100, but I haven't used the Sigma equivalent, so can't compare.
03-04-2009, 05:22 AM   #8
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Maybe the Tamron gets a better rating than the Sigma due to more users. I have the Sigma 70-300 APO and I'm pleased with it. I'm not bringing down the Tamron lens, I just think they are both good lenses given the price. The weaknesses of one are the strong point of the other. If you are interested by any one of those two lenses, you should go to a store and try them both wide open at the long end with regular lighting and backlighting, then decide about what you see.

03-04-2009, 09:20 AM   #9
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I don't want to imply that the SIgma is a bad lens either because I have had many very good photos from that lens. On the shorter end of the zoom range mine is very sharp and the close up "macro" mode works very well. I just don't think this lens is best suited for wildlife or bird shooting. Its an excellent buy for the price (i've seen it as low as 129$). I got mine as a package deal when I bought my camera. If I was to buy a new lens today I would get the 55-300. I have tried out a friends and I was quite impressed.

Don't rule out getting a used manual lens or 2. You can save a fortune and quality of the older glass is as good or better than anything made today.

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