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Old Jan 27, 2007, 12:58 AM   #11
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Will, I have the DG version. It is approximately 7" retracted and 10.5" extended, (both measurements do not include the lens hood). The AF is not any more noisy than my Tamron 28 - 300 mm lens. All three pictures were hand held. I haven't noticed any IQ differences at any settings, 135 thru 400. I have tried the lens with a Tamron 1.4 tele converter but the AF didn't work well with it, however the images were sharp when I used MF. The 3 pictures above were taken not using the tele converter. It is possible to use the lens without a tripod or monopod but it becomes heavy quickly! I have only had and used the lens for a few days now but so far I'm happy with it and feel it is capable of very IQ once I become more familiar with it and using the correct settings on the camera, when using it! I think for aircraft and birds in flight my Tamron 28 - 300 mm will become my lens of choice, but only because it is lighter and easier to manuver, plus the teleconverter seems to work better on that lens! Regarding the IQ of picture #1 I think it would have turned out much better if the light hadn't been slightly behind him. Hope I've answered all or most of your questions. Jim
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Old Jan 27, 2007, 1:28 AM   #12
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tiger98 wrote:
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Hope I've answered all or most of your questions.
Yes, I think so. Thanks, Jim.

After some more soul-seaching this evening, I've decided in the short term to replace my Pentax 75-300 with a Tamron 70-300 which gets very good reviews and is remarkably affordable (under $200). I expect I can sell the Pentax lens (which is excellent) for about the same amount, so it will be an even trade. And then I'll save up for something longer. Your Sigma seems to be the only lens available right now for Pentax that is over 300mm and under $1000, so I'm pleased to see your excellent photos and hope to see more of them.

Thanks again for sharing the pix.

By the way, for anybody who cares: I'm pretty sure Jim's bird #1 and #2 are the same bird or at least the same species - cactus wren. Here's a picture that's not nearly as good as either of Jim's:

http://www.avesphoto.com/website/NA/...s/WRNCAC-1.htm

Like the curve-billed thrasher, cactus wrens are pretty much local to Jim's corner of the planet - southern Arizona, southern New Mexico and southwestern Texas, and a bit into the desert area of southeastern California. Hope to be back in Arizona next year and will be on the lookout for these guys, which I have never seen here in Dallas.

Will
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Old Jan 27, 2007, 4:49 AM   #13
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I must say I think the backlight makes #1 what it is. The composition and the pose of the bird more than makes up for the very tiny technical shortcomings in focus and contrast. If it was my shot, I'd put it on the wall!

"Try outs"? If that is the case, what will your pictures be when you master this lens?:|

Kjell
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Old Jan 27, 2007, 5:22 AM   #14
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Jim, again some great shots,

seeing you use a sigma 135-400, I'cant help but wonder what your next lens will be

Ronny
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Old Jan 27, 2007, 9:50 AM   #15
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Jim,
nice shots. i think #1 would be better if shot at f8. it's a little soft wide open. of course you would probably need a tripod for that. bokeh is fantastic..
have you ever been down to organ pipe NM in the spring when the desert is in bloom. i HIGHLY recommend it!!!!! i was there in '01 and it was one of the most magnificent places I'd ever seen and I've been around.. just go when all is in bloom. i had no cam then.

will, i can't wait to use your new lens.

roy
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Old Jan 27, 2007, 10:06 AM   #16
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Kjell, Thanks for the super comments! Jim
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Old Jan 27, 2007, 10:08 AM   #17
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Thanks Ronny, I think I'll wait a while before any more lens! I'm anxious to try these at an air show! :-) Jim
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Old Jan 27, 2007, 10:12 AM   #18
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Thanks for the comments Roy. I have been to Organ Pipe, back around 1988 when I first moved out here, wasn't in the spring so the desert wasn't in full bloom. Your right it's a neat place with a lot of photo ops, especially in the spring. When we get a little rain during the winter the flowers really pop out in the desert all over! Jim
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Old Jan 27, 2007, 10:13 AM   #19
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Great shots. I like all of these, as the detail in the feathers is so sharp. Not sure I would be capable of hand-holding such a lens yet, but gradually getting better.



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Old Jan 27, 2007, 10:16 AM   #20
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Thanks for viewing and commenting Darren! Jim
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