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Old May 15, 2009, 8:14 AM   #1
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Default 70/300 with EC14 or bigma

Well since I bought the 70/300 I really like the lens. I still have quite a bit to learn but I'm pickin it up as I go. The one thing I can't do is go beyond 600mm so I have to crop. You can only crop so far and retain the original look of quality. So my question is do I save up for the bigma or add an EC14 to the 70/300 for those long wildlife shots I like to take.
I took this oriole shot at 400ISO and I thought it looked pretty good but when I cropped it to where I wanted it, it lost a lot of the quality.
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Old May 15, 2009, 8:45 AM   #2
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TC's will worsen IQ, and the 70-300 is soft enough as it is. for long shots, i use old primes (180 to 350mm) & a 2xtc reluctantly if needed, tripod & remote. i have a sigma 150 and wont buy another sigma. just my take on it.
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Old May 15, 2009, 8:45 AM   #3
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The 1.4TC will make the long end of the zoom an f8 optic. Chances are, you will lose autofocus once zoomed into the range where f8 is your maximum aperture. f6.3 is pretty much the limit to AF capability. At f8, the screen is going to look pretty darn dark, too.

I can see the need for a lens like the Bigma for bird photography. There have been times at the horse track where a 1000mm effective focal length would have been nice.
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Old May 15, 2009, 8:58 AM   #4
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Not sure if you've already read this but there is a detailed review of the 50-500 Bigma at Wrotniak.net

http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/43/si-050-500.html

He also writes about his take on the 70-300mm lens.

The Bigma article is well worth the read before laying out all that cash. Especially since he goes over aspects such as depth of field and , at a focal lengths between 400 to 500mm, the DOF is razor thin.

Not sure how much shooting your actually going to do at those focal lengths but, if it were me, I'd look at the possibility of getting an 300mm or 400mm used prime lens with a TC.
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Old May 15, 2009, 11:03 AM   #5
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Thanks guys for your help and opinions.
Zig I like your idea on a used 400 prime but Oly doesn't have anything like that that I know of. Is there another make that could use an adapter to link with the 4/3 system. My understanding on this was you were pretty much limited to the 50 200, 70 300, or 50 500, with no primes available, at least none with a price tag under a 1000 dollars
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Old May 15, 2009, 11:15 AM   #6
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Definitely the Bigma. To Zig's point about DOF - you aren't forced to shoot wide open -you can stop down. This is a big reason why many birders use tripods and flash. For the price point I don't think any camera system offers a lens in the same league as the Bigma. And as you've already noticed, you can't crop your way to quality. For birding there really is no substitute for quality reach - no matter what combo you use you'll find yourself working at max focal length so you want a solution that is sharp at that max length.
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Old May 15, 2009, 11:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eharrim View Post
Thanks guys for your help and opinions.
Zig I like your idea on a used 400 prime but Oly doesn't have anything like that that I know of. Is there another make that could use an adapter to link with the 4/3 system. My understanding on this was you were pretty much limited to the 50 200, 70 300, or 50 500, with no primes available, at least none with a price tag under a 1000 dollars
Eric
If you want to maintain all camera functions, then yes, you are limited to what Olympus and Sigma make.

Nikon made a 400mm f5.6ED manual focus Nikkor you can find second-hand from time to time that would probably be a great combination used with a Nikon to 4/3rd's adaptor. You'd be limited to manual focus and either aperture priority or manual exposure modes, but an 800mm f5.6 effective focal length the quality of that Nikkor would be pretty awesome to have.
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Old May 15, 2009, 12:51 PM   #8
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Thanks Greg, I will keep that in mind considering I almost always use either manual or aperature anyway. I'm not real practiced on manual focus but like everything else the more you do it the better you get.
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Old May 15, 2009, 1:09 PM   #9
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Hi,
John G is correct in that, the Bigma has no peer -price wise- in giving good results at a 500mm focal length. At around 1,050USD it's hard to beat.

But, it 's still over 1,000 dollars. If that's within your budget then don't read any further.

As a budget alternative, I was thinking more along the lines of a used Tokina AT-X 400mm f5.6 lens. Started by former Nikon engineers, Tokina makes pretty decent lenses and their AT-X versions are said to be good quality. As Greg, said, you'd most likely would have to get a 4/3 adapter and definitely use it in manual mode. I've seen them being sold on EBay for less than 400 bucks.

BTW, as far as depth of field goes, here's a handy little DOF online calculator that computes just how much is in focus at a particular arpeture and focal length setting. It's pretty neat because it automatically adjusts for the camera body being used. Some of the results may surprise you.

http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html


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Old May 15, 2009, 2:21 PM   #10
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a quick look turned these up:
http://cgi.ebay.com/400mm-f6-3-Telep...3A3%7C294%3A50

http://cgi.ebay.com/Contax-Yashica-4...3A4%7C294%3A50

http://cgi.ebay.com/Astra-Pentax-400...3A4%7C294%3A50

always a crap shoot though

Last edited by gwillys; May 15, 2009 at 2:25 PM.
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