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Old Mar 27, 2011, 3:33 PM   #1
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Default Need range...what should you do?

Hi !

Well, I am thinking about buying a Sigma 50-500 or 150-500 but right now I do not have the money and not sure if I want to pay that kind of money for one lens.

So, I have come to a conclusion that I want to do one of the following:

1. buy a mirror lens 500 or 800mm (costs around 150€)
2. buy a 1.4 converter for my 55-300 (is there any that work with autofocus?)

So , which would be a better choice of these two? I do understand that there are quality losses in both alternatives....
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Last edited by CyberTron; Mar 27, 2011 at 5:29 PM.
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Old Mar 27, 2011, 11:46 PM   #2
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If you can live with both lens combinations being approximately f/8, it sounds like a workable plan. I have no idea how much image quality you would sacrifice, but you surely would give up something. Judging from the stunning photos Ed posts frequently, the 150-500 looks like a stellar lens, so it might be worth saving up until you can afford that lens. (Easy for me to say!)
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Old Mar 28, 2011, 4:09 AM   #3
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yes, the 150-500 seems like a great lens! and that is one I proably will buy, but before that I wanna make sure I use the length and the mirror lenses are quite cheap (for a reason I'm sure)
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Old Mar 28, 2011, 9:43 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by CyberTron View Post
yes, the 150-500 seems like a great lens! and that is one I proably will buy, but before that I wanna make sure I use the length and the mirror lenses are quite cheap (for a reason I'm sure)
Hi Michael,

Mirror lenses are neat. Super light and compact, but there are significant drawbacks. I have a Tamron SP 500 f8 Adaptall 2 mirror, which is probably the best of the usually available ones, but rarely use it.

At a fixed f8, they are tricky to focus (all but the KM/Sony version are MF) The DOF is very thin and the VF is pretty dim at f8. I'm not at all good at MF, so take that for what it's worth. . . Mirror lenses produce some pretty strange out of focus areas. Any point sources show as "donuts" as opposed to blobs, and this can be very disturbing. I've been able to process them with some selective Gaussian Blur in PP so there is a work around, but most CAT shooters just pick their backgrounds and avoid the donuts when possible.

I posted a mini review here when I got it:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pe...got-bonus.html

Personally, I use an FA*300/4.5 with a P F 1.7x AFA as my default handheld long lens for birding, a Sigma EX 300/2.8 or FA* 300/2.8 and either a 1.7x AFA, a 1.4x Tamron or Sigma 1.4x, or one of the 1.4x TCs stacked on a 1.7x AFA for more reach (stacked 1.4x and 1.7x on a 300/2.8 gives me 714 f6.7).

The 1.7x AFA is obviously the common denominator, and I and some other Pentax shooters consider this a key to shooting long with Pentax. I also use the AFA with my Sigma EX 180 f3.5 APO DG Macro to make it a great 305mm f6 AF 1.9:1 Macro lens that I can turn around and shoot birds with. With this combo I shoot Macros exclusively using AF-C to focus.

If you look up my nickname on this forum, then look up some of the posts I started, you can get an idea what these lens/TC combos can do. I really concentrate on long tele shooting, so I have quite a few lenses in this class.

Scott
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Old Mar 28, 2011, 3:57 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by snostorm View Post
Hi Michael,

Mirror lenses are neat. Super light and compact, but there are significant drawbacks. I have a Tamron SP 500 f8 Adaptall 2 mirror, which is probably the best of the usually available ones, but rarely use it.

At a fixed f8, they are tricky to focus (all but the KM/Sony version are MF) The DOF is very thin and the VF is pretty dim at f8. I'm not at all good at MF, so take that for what it's worth. . . Mirror lenses produce some pretty strange out of focus areas. Any point sources show as "donuts" as opposed to blobs, and this can be very disturbing. I've been able to process them with some selective Gaussian Blur in PP so there is a work around, but most CAT shooters just pick their backgrounds and avoid the donuts when possible.

I posted a mini review here when I got it:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pe...got-bonus.html

Personally, I use an FA*300/4.5 with a P F 1.7x AFA as my default handheld long lens for birding, a Sigma EX 300/2.8 or FA* 300/2.8 and either a 1.7x AFA, a 1.4x Tamron or Sigma 1.4x, or one of the 1.4x TCs stacked on a 1.7x AFA for more reach (stacked 1.4x and 1.7x on a 300/2.8 gives me 714 f6.7).

The 1.7x AFA is obviously the common denominator, and I and some other Pentax shooters consider this a key to shooting long with Pentax. I also use the AFA with my Sigma EX 180 f3.5 APO DG Macro to make it a great 305mm f6 AF 1.9:1 Macro lens that I can turn around and shoot birds with. With this combo I shoot Macros exclusively using AF-C to focus.

If you look up my nickname on this forum, then look up some of the posts I started, you can get an idea what these lens/TC combos can do. I really concentrate on long tele shooting, so I have quite a few lenses in this class.

Scott
Thanks Scott for sharing!
The 1.7x AFA seems nice, but as you say, I guess you need some better glass to make it work better...but perhaps it is a better alternative than the mirror lens since it may work with later lenses as well...

You have some very nice pictures and as always I love seeing what others do with their kit
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Shooting with a:
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SMC Takumar 50mm/f1.4 (manual)
"unknown" 35mm/f1.8 (manual)
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