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Old Aug 5, 2006, 1:26 PM   #1
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A few weeks ago I bought a Sigma EX 100-300/F4. I use this lens with a Nikon D50, mainly to photograph airplanes. The pictures taken so far have disappointed me. When I photograph non-moving objects, the images are razor-sharp, but moving planes in the air are almost never 'spot-on' sharp, especially when using 300 mm.This happens when using fast shutter speeds (1/1000, 1/1250 etc) and and different apertures.

I am quite frustrated and almost wanting to switch back to my 'old' Sigma 70-300/4,5-5,6 which cost about 25% of my new one, but gave better results...

Anybody any ideas or advice?

Gerben.


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Old Aug 7, 2006, 6:33 AM   #2
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I had one Sigma 100-300 F4 and still have a Sigma 70-300 APO DG, alltough I don't shoot airplanes I shoot birds and my conclusions are the same as yours.
I had (still have) better results for moving targets at 300mm with the 70-300 than with the 100-300.

My conclusion, the AF on the Sigma 100-300 while moving very fast isn't very accurate, I can get spot on focused pics from my 70-300 and my Tokina ATX400 but with the 100-300 is a bit hit and miss.

This is probably a sample variation thing, but on my lens was very easy to see what was wrong, setting the lens on a tripod, and taking a series of shots of any object, the lens focus on diferent spots some of the times, like it couldn't decide where to focus and sometimes it just locked on the wrong place. While on a static subject it's easy to see that the pic is bad focused on flight subject is not that easy.

For me this was a disapointment on this lens, a 900€ lens shouldn't have this issues, the 70-300 only cost me 210€ and is way more consistent.


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Old Aug 8, 2006, 1:59 PM   #3
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Hello Fernando,

thanks for your reply! That gives me something to think about. What did you do with your sample? Did you sell it again?

Gerben


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Old Aug 8, 2006, 3:23 PM   #4
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Yes, I sold it.
The person who bought it never complained about it but he was using a D2x, I wonder if the inferior AF system on the D70/50 has something to do with it.

This though also comes to my mind because a Canon user on DPReview was using this lens on a 10d and according to him he hated the lens with the 10d, then he bought a 1DmkII, from this day forward his shots were spot on focused and supersharp, according to him. Probably it's a similar issue and shows this lens needs a good AF system to work at it's best... this is just a though obviously.
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Old Aug 8, 2006, 4:23 PM   #5
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gerben1972 wrote:
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Anybody any ideas or advice?
The AF mode on the camera is quite critical too...

-> I've found that the single shot AF works better (i.e. more accurate) than when the camera is 'predicting' in any of the servo modes tracking the subject for example - Most of the time my camera (Canon) is guessing wrong on a moving target.

The AF on the 100-300 f/4 is much faster than on the 'old' Sigma 70-300 f/4,5-5,6 because of the HSM, and this may explain why the older lens works better because it did not track, but lock-on right to the subject after the initial shutter release.

This lens is the sharpest Sigma makes (according to test results from Photozone): http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...c.php?id=91064
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Old Aug 11, 2006, 1:07 PM   #6
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Thanks a lot for sharing your experiences!

Gerben
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Old Aug 18, 2006, 11:04 PM   #7
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I use this Sigma with my D50 and achieve excellent results, I would say perhaps you need to get more practice, I took this today with a 1.4 Sigma TC on it as well:



And here are a couple MX riders coming straight at me:

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Old Aug 20, 2006, 7:25 AM   #8
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Well, I'm making airplane pictures since 1987, so I hink I practised some time already. As I said, I got perfect results wih my budget Sigma 70-300/f4.5-5.6.


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