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Old Oct 4, 2008, 12:13 PM   #1
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A lot of Pentax shooters who want to use their cameras for sports shooting have been excited about the release of this lens since it fillsa real need for fast, longer glass, so I couldn't wait to test it in a sports setting. If I wanted a real test, I couldn't have found a much better (worse?) setting in which to test it. The stadium where I shot last night might as well have been lit by a group of parents circling their cars around the field and turning on the headlights. At f/2.8 in AV mode, the max shutter speed I could get was around 1/80th, even at ISO 4000, so I switched to Tv mode, set my shutter at 1/320th, and used my Pentax 540 flash in high speed sync mode. Noise was a factor, so each of these shots has been put through Noiseware and slight sharpening applied.

Focusing was at least as fast as with my Pentax DA*50-135, so I would say that Sigma has done a good job of implementing the HSM

I had hoped to use the 1.4X teleconverter early in the game, when the light was slightly better, but discovered to my surprise that this version of the lens is not compatible with the teleconverter--I suspect the function of some of the contacts have been changed.

Earlier in the week I tried the lens on volleyball in our poorly lit gym. It's really a little long for volleyball, but I wanted to test its handling of available-light shooting. Overall, the results were pleasing.

A lot of anticipation on this lens; overall, I'm pleased.

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Old Oct 4, 2008, 12:31 PM   #2
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Glad you're getting good results from the lens. Looks like the focus is good in the football shotsbut there's still a lot of noise/lost detail.

If you're going to use flash, three pieces of advice:

1. DONT use high speed synch - it really diminishes the output. The flash will freeze the motion.

2. Drop your ISO - there's a tremendous amount of noise left in these and a lot of detail stripped by noise reduction. If you're going to use the flash there's no need to use such high ISOs. Drop the ISO down to 800 and let the flash do it's job.

3. If you don't already have one, get a monopod and mount the flash off the camera to get rid of the red-eye.

The other benefit is the light fall-off will help with backgrounds.

I think you'll be really impressed by the type of results you can get doing the above:

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Old Oct 13, 2008, 2:03 PM   #3
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Hate to say it, but the photos all look a bit misfocused to me, especially the volleyball ones...were you running AF-S or AF-C?
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