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Old Sep 2, 2009, 6:00 AM   #1
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Default Sigma 135-400mm w/ EC-14 telecon

I had a chance to go out yesterday, to Old Sandwich Harbor Creek, a saltmarsh located in Sandwich-the town I live in, to try a few more shots with the Sigma 135-400 APO DG lens mounted to the E-30 and an EC-14 telecon.

First off, I like this lens. The sharpness is good. Not as good as the 50-200mm but combined with the Ec-14 telecon that gives me 567mm of focal length or 1134mm @ 35mm equiv.That is a LOT of focal length.

Second, I've read that the sweet spot for this lens is between 200mm and 300mm and I happen to think that this is pretty much correct- it is for mine.

Third, I took all the shots yesterday hand held and the IQ and sharpness suffered as a result. This is- for me anyway- a lens that needs to be mounted to a tripod. If you have steady hands, your images should be sharper.


I purposely didn't do any sharpening or other post processing so that you can see the results unedited. I have to go back again and, this time, use a tripod to compare results.

Here are a few of the better images I got yesterday. On the 3 Heron shots, I didn't do any PP. These are straight out of the E-30:







This one was cropped only.



Gulls at 567mm focal length:





The 2 photos of the gulls were taken about 30ft away while the Heron was about 120ft away. I was also able to steady the camera on a railing which improved the sharpness a bit.

Last edited by zig-123; Sep 2, 2009 at 6:06 AM.
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Old Sep 2, 2009, 7:51 AM   #2
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These are quite good for showing the camera/lens capabilitiy at distance and with added sharpness if tripod mounted these would be excellent IMO.

This looks to be a good setup Zig .
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Old Sep 2, 2009, 4:56 PM   #3
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Looks good but unless you're way younger than I am, telephoto shots need to be stabilized. Think about a monopod - it gives you more flexibility but still stabilizes the images. I don't shoot any long focal length images without a monopod. In fact I rarely shoot the 35-100 F/2 without a monopod. But that's just me...

Ted

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Old Sep 3, 2009, 4:50 PM   #4
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Looks like you're working things out. These aren't bad at all.

All this talk over here and another one I participated in over on DPReview now have me thinking about the EC20 for use with my 50-200 SWD, especially after looking at this image and one or two others in the same folder shot with that setup (the whole folder of images from Iceland is outstanding, check it out)..

http://www.pbase.com/eaaseth/image/116139469

http://www.pbase.com/eaaseth/image/116139464

http://www.pbase.com/eaaseth/image/116139478

http://www.pbase.com/eaaseth/image/116139520

http://www.pbase.com/eaaseth/image/116139531

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Old Sep 4, 2009, 5:28 AM   #5
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Hi All,

Thanks for your comments and input.

Ted,

Thanx for the monopod suggestion. I've thought of getting one before but I've never acted on it. I think it might be time for me to pick one up. It's the perfect answer to when you don't want to cart around a tripod.

Greg,

Thanx for the heads up on the Iceland photo gallery. It's funny how people's impressions differ. After looking at that gallery, I now want to get a 7-14mm WA lens

Actually, I also have considered the EC-20 telecon but when the Sigma 135-400mm came up on EBay, it ended up being less money than the EC-20. So, I took the chance. And, since I already have the EC-14 to add to the Sigma, it just seemed to make sense.

One thing is sure that fellow who took those photos of Iceland really knows how to operate a camera. Inspiring gallery.
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Old Sep 4, 2009, 6:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zig-123 View Post
Hi All,

Thanx for the monopod suggestion. I've thought of getting one before but I've never acted on it. I think it might be time for me to pick one up. It's the perfect answer to when you don't want to cart around a tripod.

Zig
I should have added that you also want a quick-release. Put one side of it on the monopod and the other on the lens (I assume it has a tripod mount), and you can set up to shoot pretty quickly.

Ted
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Old Sep 4, 2009, 8:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zig-123 View Post
Hi All,


Greg,

Thanx for the heads up on the Iceland photo gallery. It's funny how people's impressions differ. After looking at that gallery, I now want to get a 7-14mm WA lens


Zig
The 7-14 f4 is an awesome piece to work with. In an already heavy bag with the 14-54 or 12-60, 50-200, flash and accessories the 7-14 is one more pretty darn heavy lens. That's the only negative I can think of. You feel it (at least I did) even using a slingshot-type bag, and forget shoulder bags. If I were ever to own it again, I'd be back to using backpacks.
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Old Sep 4, 2009, 5:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkurkowski View Post
I should have added that you also want a quick-release. Put one side of it on the monopod and the other on the lens (I assume it has a tripod mount), and you can set up to shoot pretty quickly.

Ted
Hi Ted,


Just for a frame of reference, I use a 3001 manfrotto tripod with a 3030 head. They happen to make a good product (IMHO). I was thinking of getting a monopod made by Manfrotto.

It sounds like you've done some research on monopods. Any suggestions?
Thanks in advance.
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Old Sep 4, 2009, 7:06 PM   #9
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I use a Velbon Neo Pod 7 - a carbon fiber monopod that's very light weight and reasonably priced compared to the manfrottos, etc. I really like it.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search...o+pod%22+7&N=0

My friends who are pro photogs tend to go for the heavy duty, expensive ones but they need them to be reliable under extreme conditions, far away from stores. You and I don't...

Ted

PS: I still haven't settled on a quick release I really like and feel will carry real weight but is affordable. I'm using a Slik right now but it doesn't feel sturdy enough for some $4K of equipment (an E3 and the 35-100 F/2). I'd love to hear suggestions.

But a monopod doesn't need an expensive ball head, just a quick release head - a ball head is kinda silly on a monopod.

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Old Sep 5, 2009, 4:59 AM   #10
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Hi Ted,

Thanx for the suggestion. I ordered one today. As for the quick release head, I got the 3229 manfrotto tilt swivel quick release head for 35 bucks on Amazon.com. I have the 3030 model on my tripod and really like the way it secures the camera/lens.

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