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Old Apr 10, 2013, 5:20 PM   #1
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Default New lens for wildlife

After much research I decided to buy a new and non Pentax lens. It's a Sigma 150-500mm.

I bought it, as I do a lot of wildlife photography particularly in the winter months...which up here often stretch out to 5 1/2 months plus. In fact we still have about 2-3 deep worth of snow on our yard.

I recall the moment, I thought that it was time to consider a longer telephoto. In February, I was out in the south eastern part of the province I live in, taking some photos of Great Gray Owls, Northern Hawk Owls and a Pileated Woodpecker with my Pentax 55-300 mm. I could get the Owls and the Pileated...but I had to crop more than I would of preferred. At the time I was thinking if only I had a 500 mm.

I've had the 55-300 lens since June 2008...when they first came out and I really like it. Light and although it's only a consumer level lens....my copy at least is very sharp.

But I'm finding that the 'reach' is not quite enough for me.

Hopefully the Sigma 150-500 will address this issue.

I've only had it out once so far at a local shopping mall...testing it on commercial signage.

Took about 90 photo's....from F 6.3 on....tried Aperture priority and shutter priority.

So far I've found that while F 6.3, F 8 are fine....F 11 really seems to be the sweet spot for this lens.

I'm looking forward to using it for wildlife...also I think it will be good at the car and motorcycle racetrack.

I also know now....why many in photography refer to these lenses as 'Bigma's'.......it's quite a size and weight for an old codger like myself.

Les

Last edited by lesmore49; Apr 10, 2013 at 5:22 PM.
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Old Apr 10, 2013, 6:17 PM   #2
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Les,

I've been pleased with my Sigma 150-500..works well for aviation photography. It is a heavy bugger and can tire your arms if used hand held for extended periods of time. I purchased a gimball type mount for it and that seems to work very well.

Let's see some images soon

Jehan
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Old Apr 10, 2013, 6:38 PM   #3
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Les,..colour me jealous!..I bet you are going to have great fun with it. Especially now with all the birds slowly coming back to our part of the world.I really noticed alot of red tailed hawks this week.I have been driving thru the marshland north of Gladstone and everyday I see some new arrivals.Still 3 ft of snow there though..I sure hope it warms up soon as those poor guys must be hungry.Coming home tonight I saw blue heron sitting forlornly in the snow along the riverbank.I tried to get some pictures but he was too far away.Your new lens would have been handy..I really look forward to seeing your photos from it!
lisa
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Old Apr 10, 2013, 8:47 PM   #4
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I enjoyed this lens alot, the only thing that got to me was the high ISO needed at f8 with the high shutter speed needed for wildlife in the dark canadian winters..
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 10:15 AM   #5
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I am envious, I spent a long time agonizing over a new long lens looking for more reach but everything but old manual focus lenses were way out of my price range. I decided to go with a Pentax Q with a crop factor of 5.5 and the old lenses I already had. I got more than the reach I was hoping for, lots of fun and my 55-300 is now a 1650mm

Hans
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 12:57 PM   #6
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I love my 150-500. I have had it for about 1 1/2 years and am not that put off by its weight. I shoot a lot hand held (About 90% of the time). I carry it with a Camdapter wrist strap. All that being said I just purchased a gimbal head and will begin using the tripod more frequently in the future.

Lou
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 8:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wingman View Post
Les,

I've been pleased with my Sigma 150-500..works well for aviation photography. It is a heavy bugger and can tire your arms if used hand held for extended periods of time. I purchased a gimball type mount for it and that seems to work very well.

Let's see some images soon

Jehan

I've admired your airplane work Jehan. I intend to try the Bigma with aircraft.

We generally just get the typical airliners....but also some Hercules, CF18's and the occasional Globemaster...mostly Royal Canadian Air Force. During the Falklands war we had some British Royal Air Force Harriers and one Vulcan Bomber came through. I didn't have any camera equipment with me though.....and that was a long time ago.

Last edited by lesmore49; Apr 11, 2013 at 8:54 PM.
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 9:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kashka View Post
Les,..colour me jealous!..I bet you are going to have great fun with it. Especially now with all the birds slowly coming back to our part of the world.I really noticed alot of red tailed hawks this week.I have been driving thru the marshland north of Gladstone and everyday I see some new arrivals.Still 3 ft of snow there though..I sure hope it warms up soon as those poor guys must be hungry.Coming home tonight I saw blue heron sitting forlornly in the snow along the riverbank.I tried to get some pictures but he was too far away.Your new lens would have been handy..I really look forward to seeing your photos from it!
lisa
I'm looking forward to bird photos with the 150-500. This winter in Southeastern Mb . was wonderful for birds of prey.

Great Gray Owls....got photo's of five....Northern Hawk Owls...over wintering Bald Eagles...all in the Hwy. 15, old Hwy. # 15 and the Seven Sisters- Pinawa area.

Snowy White Owls in Western Mb. were plentiful.

I meant to go to the Mb. Escarpment this winter...some of the side roads off Mountain Rd....but unfortunately didn't get out that far west. Never thought of the Gladstone area ...will have to check that out....maybe when the ice melts...for GBH.

I'm not terribly adept with computers (old codger ) and even though my kids have tried to show me how to post photo's...so far no success.

Les


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Old Apr 11, 2013, 9:10 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by dane/dawg View Post
I enjoyed this lens alot, the only thing that got to me was the high ISO needed at f8 with the high shutter speed needed for wildlife in the dark canadian winters..
I found myself using high ISO with my K-5 with this lens also. I hope to keeo the ISO down around the 800-1600 range.

Fortunately I'm based in southern Manitoba...so the winter weather usually although cold....has a lot of sunny days....although this winter had a lot of cloudy days .

I'm happy to hear that you liked this lens.

Les
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 9:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by hnikesch View Post
I am envious, I spent a long time agonizing over a new long lens looking for more reach but everything but old manual focus lenses were way out of my price range. I decided to go with a Pentax Q with a crop factor of 5.5 and the old lenses I already had. I got more than the reach I was hoping for, lots of fun and my 55-300 is now a 1650mm

Hans

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Wow....1650 mm ! That must be something to have such a great range.

I think my 150-500 @ 500mm....35mm equivalent...on the K-5, K10D...is about 750-775 mm. I'm not sure which.

Les
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