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Old Mar 26, 2005, 2:20 AM   #1
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Hey all,

I want to visit my Dad in Florida this summer/spring (as in May) and see a space shuttle launch (or attempt there of). I want a high enough power lens to get some shots of the shuttle on the pad and during launch if I can. I don't have much to spend, say $500 to $700. I realize that this will not give me a good piece of glass, but as long as it will give me some fairly decent shots I am willing to sacrifice. I have been leaning towards the Sigma APO 170-500mm F5-6.3 ASPHERICAL RF since it has a high zoom and a good price. I realize that it is probably not the best piece of glass, but for what I can spend and am wanting, is this a good choice? If I had $1000 or more to spend, I would probably get the Sigma APO 80-400mm F4.5-5.6 EX OS (awesome) with a 2.0 teleconverter, but I just can't get that kind of money together that soon. However, if I just cannot make the trip and have to wait until the next scheduled attempt that NASA makes as destroying a shuttle and it's crew, oh sorry, launch, then maybe I can afford the big boy. Does anyone have some good advice for me?
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Old Mar 27, 2005, 10:02 PM   #2
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I would recommend saving another $300 between now and May or whenever. Add that to the $700 and get the lens you really want. Why waste $700 on something you won't be happy with? You'll end up spending even more money down the road, to get the lens you "really wanted".

My .02 cents.. Good Luck!

Ray
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Old Mar 27, 2005, 10:54 PM   #3
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Thanks Ray, I may do that as May is one month away and I have massive bills due in April, the plan to go in May probably is simply not feasible. I guess my main question is, will a 500mm lens give me enough magnification? I think I would actually like the Sigma 170-500 a lot to tell you the truth. As it is, I think I may just wait until the next attempt to destroy, dern it there I go again, launch the shuttle. That way I can get a better piece of glass, teleconverter and tripod, still won't get what I want *ahem*200-400mm f/4G ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor*ahem*, but oh well, I would rather buy a house. Man, $5000+ for a single component, if only! But, given enough time to save, the Sigma APO 80-400mm F4.5-5.6 EX OS is possible. Hey, I wonder, does a teleconverter mess with the VR/OS on a lens? Thanks for your input; I have added it to my equation for sure.

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Old Mar 28, 2005, 10:20 AM   #4
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I have never used a teleconverter. I know they will effect auto focus on some lenses, depending on size of the converter, and brand. Another effect is the lens itself. Some will not work with them at all.

All teleconverters cut the amount of light available. A 1.4 teleconverter will cut the amount of light available by about one stop.

I'm sure it would also have an effect on VR/OS. My best guess!

Lots of folks here would be able to answer this better than I.

Good Luck
Ray
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