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Old Apr 7, 2006, 9:28 PM   #1
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lousy light this evening, dull and overcast,but i couldn't pass up these shots of a Great Blue Heron having a little snack... 30D with Sigma 80-400 @ 280mm, 1/500, f7.1 @ ISO 400...









and this one was just such a classic profile i couldn't resist the shot, even though the light was going fast...


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Old Apr 7, 2006, 10:34 PM   #2
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Wow!!! great shots!!!

dennis
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Old Apr 8, 2006, 5:41 AM   #3
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Lovely shots - very sharp, nice bokeh and good contrast. Love the composition also. This is one of the lenses on my "short" list . The major complaint on this lens seems to be that it focuses slow. How do you find it? It's supposed to be at least as sharp as the Canon 100-400L, and your photo shows that, at least, your copy is very sharp.
Thanx,
Ron
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Old Apr 8, 2006, 7:36 AM   #4
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I agree. Great shots!
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Old Apr 8, 2006, 10:05 AM   #5
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surfnron wrote:
Quote:
Lovely shots - very sharp, nice bokeh and good contrast. Love the composition also. This is one of the lenses on my "short" list . The major complaint on this lens seems to be that it focuses slow. How do you find it? It's supposed to be at least as sharp as the Canon 100-400L, and your photo shows that, at least, your copy is very sharp.
Thanx,
Ron
i haven't ever used the Canon 100-400L, though by all accounts it's a bit faster to focus. how much? probably not a great deal. the Sigma only seems to have a problem if it's focused at one extreme end of its range, and you try to focus on something at the other, especially if it's against a "busy" background. it's a bit slow in that situation, but still seems to lock on fairly quickly, perhaps a second at most. i find it helpful, since it has full-time manual focus as well, to give it a "nudge" by manually cranking the focus ring in the direction i'm going to focus it as i bring the camera up to my eye. this shortens the distance the AF has to move the lens, and also speeds up both my own target acquisition and the focus of the lens... of course, liks most AF lenses, if you don't have a clearly defined subject (for instance, if you're trying to catch birds in flight against the sky), it hunts a bit till it finds the target, and in a busy background, it sometimes doesn't lock onto the subject you want. using the focus point selector helps a lot for that. once again, sometimes giving the focusing ring a little twist to help find your subject seems to speed things up a little.

i find that sometimes it doesn't track as well as i'd like with moving subjects, but that's a challenge for any lens, and to be honest, i've only had the camera for a bit over a week, and it's entirely possible that most of those problems are "user related". :Gi expect once i learn which modes work best, and get some better light (it's been mostly overcast weather since i got the camera!), i will find it gives me better results in that regard as well.

as for sharpness, i find it very good for a long zoom. i'm accustomed to the lens in my FZ20, which is simply an amazing piece of work, and the Sigma compares very favorably to that. so far, i've been very pleased with the Sigma's optical performance. it works well in low light, and frankly, i haven't had much change to really wring it out in bright, sunny weather! most of my shots with it so far have been in the lower end of the f-stop range, so i am guessing it will give me even sharper images once i can stop it down a bit. also, the image stabilization works! these shots were all hand held, as have been about half my shots with it so far. i've been able to getperfect clarity shooting handheld on still subjects down to 1/100 second at 400mm, which is, frankly, almost absurd when you think about it. for moving targets, obiously, you need more speed, but the OS mode really does make a difference with this lens.

obviously, like any lens this size, it's heavy, and the zoom isn't as fast as the "L" lenses, because it's a twist zoom instead of a push-pull, but that's seldom a real issue except at very short ranges with very fast moving targets which so far, i haven't even tried to get!

is it as good as the Canon "L" lens? i dunno, since i haven't used the "L" lens. those i've talked to who have used both say the Sigma is on a par optically, but a teensy bit slower. but for the $400 price difference, i can live with that, and that's really the only decision you'd need to worry about.
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Old Apr 8, 2006, 12:38 PM   #6
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Wow! Beautiful! You can see inside it's mouth. Tack sharp. What gear? How close were you and how did you get so close? Great job. Woody
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Old Apr 8, 2006, 12:42 PM   #7
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If you look closely you can read the menu. It's a cheap fish and chips place....

Dave
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Old Apr 8, 2006, 12:58 PM   #8
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woodysworld wrote:
Quote:
Wow! Beautiful! You can see inside it's mouth. Tack sharp. What gear? How close were you and how did you get so close? Great job. Woody
i listed the gear -and settings -at the top of the post... :blah:

i was only about 15-20 feet away when these were taken, except for the last one, which was from a distance of about 60 feet. all were hand-held. i was at a local wetland park which is also a wildlife sanctuary, and the herons there are often very "tame", in that they will come very close to the viewing platforms. this fellow seemed to not even notice the 4 people on the boardwalk within 15-25 feet of himtaking photos. oneguy even using a flash didn't seem to bother the bird! :O
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Old Apr 8, 2006, 1:09 PM   #9
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Ooops. My wife says my mind is wandering. Guess she's right...as usual. Great photos. I promise to pay attention for now on...if I can remeber.:? Woody
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Old Apr 9, 2006, 4:56 PM   #10
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Fantastic photos, squirl033! You've done very well.

I like all the photos, especially the third and the last one. The classic profile one is so cool.

Very sharp lens and well done for hand-holding this (as you said OS does help!)

Interesting feathers on it's shoulder area (almost looks like a "bird tattoo"!)

Thanks for sharing.

Paul
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