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Old Jul 9, 2004, 9:39 AM   #41
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eric s wrote:
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I have the 28-135 IS. For casual stuff it fits the bill very nicely. Not the sharpest lens on the planet, but for what I use it for it doesn't need to be. It's fairly light, not too big and with IS you can do good stuff without a tripod.
Hmmm, because this range lens would be for all my "other than wildlife" stuff and I'd rather not be toting around a tripod for most of that stuff (panos are an exception there), perhaps the IS is something I ought to elevate in importance. You gotta grab family shots when they occur, under whatever lighting conditions (hey - I didn't say total darkness!).
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And as you pointed out, it fails for macro work. I know nothing about the other lenses, so I can't say how well they will work. An odd sounding solution is a close focusing dioptic lens.
It's not odd sounding. I have a set of Hoya close focusing lenses (only 49mm though) and they do their job as advertised. Possible interim solution there. I've done macro work, mostly handheld, which works for bright lighting conditions (barely). But, you are correct about the tripod being handier (almost essential) for lots of macro subjects, the only problem being the ability (or not) of getting the subject to be stationary.

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The big mama is a good lens. Its only downside is that it's f6.3 at 500mm. As you've seen from the posts here, with good light that isn't a problem and you're all set. If you don't have the light you need to provide it or use higher ISO. There is no other choice. I often shoot at sunset so when my max fstop was f5.6 I fought it all the time.
To do much better than the Bigma for aperture at 500mm means spending even more money, something that definitely is not an option for me. If it's the choice between not having any gear to even start taking the bird pictures I'd like to, versus having gear that will do the job but only in appropriate lighting conditions, I guess I'd opt for the latter.

Thanks for your input. It's much appreciated and very informative.

Geoff
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Old Jul 9, 2004, 10:01 AM   #42
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but....at f6.3, won't you also get more DOF, which is needed sometimes anyway?

you'll have to excuse me if i missed some points, i haven't read all the posts in this thread...yet...

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Old Jul 9, 2004, 11:54 AM   #43
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Ya, I meant to say that I need to improve the lighting. It won't effect the focusing, but it could effect the reading. But I really don't think it was that bad that you couldn't tell the difference between the numbers. I hope to do some more tests (at a larger aperture, if I can) and then I'll try to get more & better lights. the problem is that I'm running out of them!

And yes, there is a slight bow in the tape measure. I didn't use it for focusing, so it won't effect that (as I'm sure you are aware) and it isn't bowed that much. And it's consistant across all the pictures. So while it isn't perfect, it won't differe between the shots. I don't own a tsquare... I don't believe. Humm.... <eric puts on thinking cap> No, I don't believe I do, but know where to check. It would be a decent alternative to the yard stick (which would be best, since their numbers are usually printed on and not etched in. The only tsquare I've had was metal and had the marks etched into it.)

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Old Jul 9, 2004, 12:25 PM   #44
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Well, I was just thinking that the T-Square would be easier to balance on top of the cereal box because of the counterweight of the portion of it hanging down. My T-Square is metal with etched rulings so that might not be as good.
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Old Jul 9, 2004, 12:45 PM   #45
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... missed this whole thread while on vacation :-)

There's a big difference between f/4 - f/5.6, and f/5.6 - f/6.3:
o f/4 - f/5.6 is a full f-stop, ie twice the area of the lens barrel!
o f/5.6 - f/6.3 is only a 1/3 stop, barely noticeable and not within the adjustment range of the camera @ default (unless you set for it, ie change from a 1/2 to a 1/3)
To see the brightness difference, even with the 28-135 IS, put the camera in Av mode and dial in the desired aperture and press the stop-down button on the left side of the camera.

Now on a long tele that extra 1-stop translate in a very hefty lens/optics, and we are talking about several magnitudes here in both pounds and $$$. As to the DOF difference it's in the noise! :idea:
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Old Jul 9, 2004, 4:11 PM   #46
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Eric, I came to the conclusion (about my 100% crop of your shot) that it was indeed much beyond 30 feet, since my Waxwing was 30% and I filled the image at 100% crop. So probably you were like at 50 feet, which gives you a DOF of 3.6 inch. Most importantly, I sincerally believe the "not sharp" 100% crop was due to a slight blur induced by you. Either there was a slight movement when you paned while re-composing, or while you pressed the shutter. Or a combination. This lens is one of the sharpest of them all, it should outclass my Bigma easily by a factor of 2 in terms of sharpness and resolution.



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Old Jul 9, 2004, 4:20 PM   #47
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I have to reply about non L lens for zoom telephoto. The Sigma 50-500 is a nice lens with 2 doublets to kill Chromatic Aberation, which it does nicely. It's also sharp stopped down starting at F/8. Always consider DOF when shooting up close on tiny birds, under 20 feet, F/8 is already at 1.6 inch DOF, at F/11 we're at 2.2 inch DOF, a lens capable of doing F/5.6 will give you 1.2 inch. Unless the bird is posing like in profile, then you will see the entire bird inside the DOF, but if he's facing you, part of the bird will be outside DOF.

So for me, F/4 , F/5.6 is not even an aperture I would use, even if I needed more lights for small birds under 20 feet. But for bigger ones at 40-50 feet, yes F/5.6 would be interesting.

Read on the previous page what I mention about "shoot to the right", the key is even at ISO800 with a Canon CMOS, it's quite feasible to do nice noise free shots if only if you employ my post-processing method :homey:LOL

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Old Jul 9, 2004, 10:37 PM   #48
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I would not be surprised if it was me that contributed to the less than sharp focus. It was my first time out with that lens, after all. I really posted the picture because it was sharp enough and I liked the pose.

But it's been a very enjoyable discussion (as they usually are here.)

Eric Can, I do have to correct you though. The 50-500 is f6.3 at 500. So while the camera reads f5.6, the lens lies.. so when doing DOF calculations use f6.3 to get the proper values. (oops, a reread shows me you didn't *really* say the big mama can do 500 f5.6, you just said that you wouldn't if you could.)

And the real benefit of the f4 on the 500 & 600mm is so you can use a teleconverter. I have learned quickly that f4 is not used that often. It can be (especially if you have a professional grade AF systems that does better placement within the DOF) but I don't. Simple as that.

Eric
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