Long Lenses - again! Sigma 300mm v DA*300mm

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MartynUK
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Location: Northants UK
Link Posted 05/01/2012 - 12:24
The more I look into the long lens choice, the more I realise how limited it is. Why didn't sigma bring out the 120-300 in Pentax format!

I current use the sigma 120-400mm non-os and, whilst I get some good images, they're not really sharp unless I use f8 or more and even then aren't often earth-shatteringly sharp. I also wanted a slightly longer reach.

Originally I was considering the 150-500mm os but sharpness etc. in low light was still a problem.

This has lead me to consider two options - DA*300mm f4 + 1.7 tc or Sigma 300mm f2.8 + 2x TC.

The SIGMA is WAY more expensive than the Pentax (it's f2. but as far as I can see it's a much older lens - no os or HSM. And on that basis, I wonder whether it would be really worth the money?

Anybody use one (the Sigma) or made the same choice - ignoring the financial element???

I've started to appreciate why some people move to another brand for this purpose!
Martyn
Martyn

http://www.flickr.com/photos/northamptonshirecouk/
johnriley
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Link Posted 05/01/2012 - 12:41
And when they do they'll be using the same Sigma lenses as the marque ones are way too expensive?

Using long lenses in poor light is just not on really - we need high shutter speeds to avoid camera shake and clear atmospheric conditions to avoid haze. The longer the lens, the worse it gets.

Huge tripods and rock steady technique becomes critical, so it's just practice, practice, practice...in any event for much wildlife photography it isn't essential to have very long lenses, we just need to be in the right place.

I know some people who shott kingfishers, not with a long lens, nothing would be long enough, but with 100mm Macro lenses. If you know where to be and how to blend in then the subjects are within range.
Best regards, John
wvbarnes
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Link Posted 05/01/2012 - 13:35
On holiday to mainland Greece last May we were spoilt for choice with dragonflies and butterflies in every direction.

With my wife and I was a pro photographer friend of 40 years experience getting to grips with a telephoto lens on his 'full frame' sensor DSLR. He's more used to landscapes and our National Gallery paintings. He still won't show me what he produced. He was also hampered by his 300mm not being 450mm equivalent of course!

I was pleased with the results from my Pentax KR but couldn't say I'd yet cracked it yet (I've seen too many fabulous shots on this site to think so!). A prime 300mm would have hopefully been sharper than my 55-300mm but budgets exist for some of us!

I find wildlife photography frustrating but rewarding the same. Practice and patience to get close is as John says what it often takes. The feeders for birds in your garden is a good place to start for practice, not spending a fortune! Getting speed, ISO,exposure and depth of field in balance is an enormous challenge. When I get all that right I'll consider if the gear is what needs upgrading!
Bill
m42geo
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Link Posted 05/01/2012 - 13:39
get the 2.8 if you can. you need the extra stop to produce sharp images at such focal length
Blythman
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Link Posted 05/01/2012 - 13:45
I'm sure John will do him a good deal on his Tokina 80-400 AF AT-X now he realises he doesn't need it.
Alan
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johnriley
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Link Posted 05/01/2012 - 13:55
Quote:
I'm sure John will do him a good deal on his Tokina 80-400 AF AT-X now he realises he doesn't need it

Actually you're not so far off with that. I'm thinking I might move the 80-400mm onwards as I've found I can be much closer to the sort of wildlife that I like to photograph.

A 400mm or longer is not as essential or useful to me as I thought it would be.
Best regards, John
Blythman
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Link Posted 05/01/2012 - 13:58
LOL - always good to help broker a deal
Alan
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MartynUK
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Location: Northants UK
Link Posted 05/01/2012 - 17:31
m42geo wrote:
get the 2.8 if you can. you need the extra stop to produce sharp images at such focal length

The only thing that puts me off the sigma lens (apart from the price!) is that it is a non os and HSM version and I don't know how the autofocus would work under the 'old' system compared to the newer. Any relevant comments welcome!!
Martyn

http://www.flickr.com/photos/northamptonshirecouk/
Frogfish
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Link Posted 05/01/2012 - 18:19
m42geo wrote:
get the 2.8 if you can. you need the extra stop to produce sharp images at such focal length

Mate. The DA*300/4 is eye-bleedingly sharp (except at f2.8 ) !
http://frogfish.smugmug.com/ Pentax. Pentax DA*300/4, Cosina 55/1.2, Lens Baby Composer Pro & Edge 80, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.
Nikon. D800. D600. Sigma 500/4.5, Nikon 300/2.8 VRII, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 35/2.0, Sigma 50/1.4, Nikkor 85/1.8, Nikon TC20EIII, Nikon TC14EII, Kenko x1.4, Sigma 2.0
Last Edited by Frogfish on 05/01/2012 - 18:19
mille19
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Link Posted 05/01/2012 - 18:52
m42geo wrote:
get the 2.8 if you can. you need the extra stop to produce sharp images at such focal length

I use a DA*300mm for most of my wildlife photos and am very happy with it although I am hoping Pentax release a 300mm+ lens soon.

I have borrowed a Sigma 300mm F2.8 and found it a bit soft at F2.8 so it would be better used at F4, I would say it did focus faster than the DA*300mm but was very heavy compared to the DA*300mm so you definitely need to use a monopod.
www.srmillerphotography.co.uk
My PPG Portfolio
Last Edited by mille19 on 05/01/2012 - 18:55
K10D
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Link Posted 05/01/2012 - 19:39
wvbarnes wrote:
He was also hampered by his 300mm not being 450mm equivalent of course!

Apart from any sensor resolution differences, he could crop to give the same FOV since there would be no difference of subject size. Are you sure he was a pro? Then again, maybe it's the result of weak school curriculum nowadays. Why bother teaching basic physics etc.

Pentax users of course are all aware that cropping an image does not affect the magnification factor of a lens.

The Sigma is a good lens but unfortunately is a bit hit and miss when it comes to quality. A good example is very good and others can disappoint.

The Pentax will be well ahead in terms of quality.

I only use Nikon lenses on my Nikon's. What's the point of buying into a system that does produce the lenses you want only to buy a third party offering that may be a good example or a dog?

Best regards
cameradextrous

"time is never long enough for those that need it"

link
beginner
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Link Posted 05/01/2012 - 19:51
DA*300 is a superb lens!,I tend to shoot at F5.6/8 to get the smaller birds fully in focus,and I don't find the 300 limiting,as where there's a will,there's a way!



K20D...ist DS ,DA18/55,DA16/45.DA* 50/135,"A"1.7 50MM..."A" 70/210..M 50mm f2...Tamron 90mm macro,28/300 Tamron,200/500 Tamron 6.9....A Pentax DA*300... Sigma10/20,FA31mm 1.8 Ltd*********,FA 77mm Ltd!
Last Edited by beginner on 05/01/2012 - 19:58
coker
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Location: Wiltshire
Link Posted 05/01/2012 - 20:25
i totally agree with Bill Barnes;

I find wildlife photography frustrating but rewarding the same. Practice and patience to get close is as John says what it often takes. The feeders for birds in your garden is a good place to start for practice, not spending a fortune! Getting speed, ISO,exposure and depth of field in balance is an enormous challenge. When I get all that right I'll consider if the gear is what needs upgrading![/quote]

I "shot" a dunnock the other day, stalked in the garden from, finally, about 10feet.(See my portfolio)
With my 55-300 @300, albeit with limited depth of field, I was very pleased with the result,& consider it my best bird pic. (So far!).

Roger
The more I look, the more there is to see!
johnwhit
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Location: Rainhill
Link Posted 05/01/2012 - 20:26
Another vote for the DA*300 here, although I did use a Sigma 300 f/4 APO Tele Macro for quite some years. The Sigma was very good but not environmentally sealed and had screw drive AF.




John
PPG link

In LBA hiatus.
Last Edited by johnwhit on 05/01/2012 - 20:27
Tyr
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Location: Plymouth, Devon
Link Posted 05/01/2012 - 21:14
DA*300 vote here as well. Not a lens I use often but always gives very good results.
Regards,
Dan

http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/danielfranco
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