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03-26-2011, 01:46 AM   #1
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K-x and Sigma 500 Enquiry

Hi

Really enjoying my K-x with kit 18-55 and 55-200 lenses but need something longer for birding in the near future.
I have my eye on the Sigma 150-500 OS HSM lens and want to know is that going to be ok with the K-x?
The unfortunate thing is I have heard stories of bad copies and malfunctions.

Here is the lens that I am thinking of purchasing :

SIGMA 150-500 F5.6-6.3 OS HSM - PENTAX -NEW-UK DEALER! on eBay (end time 01-Apr-11 18:11:32 BST)

The Pentax has in built stabilisation so will this be ok with OS turned on etc?

Your thoughts and opinion...

Many thanks

QC

03-26-2011, 02:06 AM   #2
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You shouldn't have SR and OS turned on at the same time - because the two don't know about each other so it'll make your images worse.

So use either SR or OS.
03-26-2011, 02:28 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vylen Quote
You shouldn't have SR and OS turned on at the same time - because the two don't know about each other so it'll make your images worse.

So use either SR or OS.
+1

OS and SR do not work well together.

Further, if you use a tripod, you might not need OS nor SR.
03-26-2011, 03:51 PM   #4
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Mine is fine, even though it is in the serial number range of possible HSM-death. It has a 6-year warranty. Airshows usually, not birds, though I was at the park with it an hour ago:-)

03-27-2011, 01:09 PM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback guys. Is SR a term for in built camera stabiliation?

So I need to turn the OS off on the lens with the K-x?
03-27-2011, 01:14 PM   #6
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Ah

Shake reduction. The next question is obvious then. If I want to shoot my 500mm Siggy handheld do I turn off OS on the lens or the body?

Thanks

QC
03-27-2011, 04:09 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by QuestionableCarrot Quote
Ah

Shake reduction. The next question is obvious then. If I want to shoot my 500mm Siggy handheld do I turn off OS on the lens or the body?

Thanks

QC
Yes SR refers to Pentax in-body Shake Reduction. OS is Sigma's Optical Stabilization. You can use either, not both.

Supposedly OS is better with long focal lengths. I can't tell the difference. I use SR for mainly two reasons:

1. I don't have to remember to switch it on when I change lenses.
2. Changing lenses with the OS on may damage the lens (per Sigma).
03-29-2011, 11:31 AM   #8
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The Sigma 50 - 500mm is reported to be sharper than the 150 - 500mm. if you can afford it, go for that one.

OS covers a larger range than SR so is the better option to use but some have said that the OS system causes the image to jump in the viewfinder as one moves the lens around.

I found the depth of field to be very small at 500mm and handholding it at that FL is a big challenge.

The HSM is very quiet and quick but you will flatten the camera battery very quickly when you use this lens - carry spare batteries!

03-30-2011, 08:22 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by QuestionableCarrot Quote
Hi

Really enjoying my K-x with kit 18-55 and 55-200 lenses but need something longer for birding in the near future.
I have my eye on the Sigma 150-500 OS HSM lens and want to know is that going to be ok with the K-x?
The unfortunate thing is I have heard stories of bad copies and malfunctions.

Here is the lens that I am thinking of purchasing :

SIGMA 150-500 F5.6-6.3 OS HSM - PENTAX -NEW-UK DEALER! on eBay (end time 01-Apr-11 18:11:32 BST)

The Pentax has in built stabilisation so will this be ok with OS turned on etc?

Your thoughts and opinion...

Many thanks

QC
The Sigma 150-500mm works great with the K-x. I've gotten very nice results at 500mm and F/8, which gives me at substantially more reach than I could get with the 55-300mm, which is another good choice, and a good first telephoto lens as well. I tend to use the 55-300mm when hiking, and the Bigma when I'm going out specifically to take photos.

The Sigma 150-500mm down sides for me are that its heavy, and DOF is shallow at close distances, making focus pretty tricky. Also, you need pretty good shutter speeds for small birds, because they're so active, so its harder to use with overcast skies. Also, apparently, some copies are better than others. I'm still learning how to best use the super-telephoto for birding, and what works best for monopod, shutter speeds etc, especially in cloudy conditions. Here is a recent 1:1 crop, sharpened for the web, so this crop is roughly 2650mm film equivalent in focal length, with the photo taken from 50' or 60' away.

(same 1:1 crop before sharpening, Pentax Kx bright settings, straight from the camera, ISO400, 1/640, F/8 http://www.sheltx.com/share_stuff/IMGP4099x.jpg )

Last edited by sheld; 03-30-2011 at 08:35 PM.
04-05-2011, 08:56 AM   #10
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thanks guys and sorry only getting back now.

Sheld I would love to hear more about your K-x history and the Siggy 500

Are you on Flickr? or would you email me?

Alistair
04-05-2011, 09:08 AM   #11
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I too would be interested to know how you are finding the lens now. After a little bit of use. I have a K-x and was thinking of purchasing this lens.
04-05-2011, 09:22 AM   #12
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Alistair,

My 2011 bird photos were taken with the Sigma 150-500mm, and the Pentax 55-300mm. Some of the most recent aren't online yet,
for example, the Mockingbird, IMGP4099 above. They are at, http://www.sheltx.com/year2011/2011Birds.html I've also taken some
very nice moon photos, which are temporarily at: http://www.sheltx.com/year2011/Winter.html

The bird photos taken with the 150-500mm are listed below, underneath the photo. Most were at 500mm, and many were cropped, usually
at 2.67:1, before resizing and sharpening for the web. I need to learn to pay more attention to shutter speed. Also, when taking "back lit"
bird photos, remember to push the exposure compensation to +1 or +2. So getting the optimal camera settings for the lighting conditions
requires constant diligence, especially when switching between shaded bird photos, (ISO1600/ISO3200), to back lit bird photos (ISO400,
+2 compensation). I've learned that 1/50th of a second isn't fast enough, using Sigma's stabilization, even with a monopod, though
1/200th often seems fine hand held. Here is an example, 500mm, F/8 at 1/50th of a second, ISO400, in poor lighting, uncropped, resized
to 1200x800. It could've been a really great photo if I had used ISO1600, to get a faster shutter speed. Also, I should have shot "wide open"
at F/6.3, to get 1/80th of a second instead of 1/50th. Remember to set the Kx to allow 1/3rd step aperture/shutter adjustments.


The ones from http://www.sheltx.com/year2011/2011Birds.html taken with the 150-500mm
http://www.sheltx.com/photos11/bigger/IMGP3386.jpg
http://www.sheltx.com/photos11/bigger/IMGP3396.jpg
http://www.sheltx.com/photos11/bigger/IMGP3408.jpg
http://www.sheltx.com/photos11/bigger/IMGP3421.jpg
http://www.sheltx.com/photos11/bigger/IMGP3436.jpg
http://www.sheltx.com/photos11/bigger/IMGP3457.jpg
http://www.sheltx.com/photos11/bigger/IMGP3574.jpg
http://www.sheltx.com/photos11/bigger/IMGP3685.jpg
http://www.sheltx.com/photos11/bigger/IMGP3687.jpg
http://www.sheltx.com/photos11/bigger/IMGP3695.jpg
http://www.sheltx.com/photos11/bigger/IMGP3704.jpg
http://www.sheltx.com/photos11/bigger/IMGP3711.jpg
http://www.sheltx.com/photos11/bigger/IMGP3736.jpg
http://www.sheltx.com/photos11/bigger/IMGP3739.jpg
http://www.sheltx.com/photos11/bigger/IMGP3742.jpg
http://www.sheltx.com/photos11/bigger/IMGP3745.jpg
http://www.sheltx.com/photos11/bigger/IMGP3750.jpg
http://www.sheltx.com/photos11/bigger/IMGP3780.jpg
http://www.sheltx.com/photos11/bigger/IMGP3784.jpg
http://www.sheltx.com/photos11/bigger/IMGP3788.jpg
http://www.sheltx.com/photos11/bigger/IMGP3868.jpg
- Shel

Last edited by sheld; 04-05-2011 at 09:54 AM.
04-05-2011, 09:52 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by QuestionableCarrot Quote
I have heard stories of bad copies and malfunctions.
Yeah, there are some old school Pentaxians who look down their noses at Sigma and perhaps there was cause back in the day but my experience with Sigma lenses has been very good and Sigma service is really excellent. And
QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
It has a 6-year warranty.
I wish Pentax demonstrated such confidence and commitment to the quality of their products.
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