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Old Jun 26, 2005, 5:12 PM   #11
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I've been using the Sigma 70-300 APO for a couple of years, and recently got a *ist DS to go with it. It is a great lens, although a bit slow (at f5.6) at the long end. Since I got the DS it is the lens I have used with it the most.

The macro is good (though I prefer my Sigma 105mm macro - much faster) though I find it a bit stiff to engage. You have to be sure to get it right out to the 300mm setting before switching to macro.
I also use a Sigma 170-500 APO (even slower at the long end!) but great for wildlife. I imagine it would be good for staying well clear of the bears, but as we have none I just use it for the birds. Here is a Greenfich.
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Old Jun 27, 2005, 12:19 AM   #12
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Just for "Devil's Advocate" discussion: the 70-300 DL Super Macro version is rated at 2.9 on the Photodo.com (resolution test) site; the APO version was given a 2.4 (the old Pentax F 70-210 measured at 3.4, as one comparison). Of course, it all depends on how good a sample they had, and how comparable a sample we each get (Sigma is famous for tons of variance from one example to the next). It's best to buy one you can return - sometimes you need to try two or three Sigmas to get a good one. I have a DL Super that seems to make the 2.9 at Photodo.com about right, as to sharpness. On the other hand, the APO probably has less chromatic aberration, so it also depends on what you expect to beshooting with the lens... Obviously, some great shots are being made with both of them.
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Old Jun 27, 2005, 1:04 AM   #13
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Lovely shot of the Greenfinch!

I think the new version of the lens might allow macro at anything above 200mm. It will be interesting to see if it is still stiff.

Unless, I get a very good deal on one of the other choices, I think this may be the right one for me. I don't think I can afford a constant F4 telephoto at this time.

PS with bears, one needs to be "fast" on the shot in an entirely different sense of the word. More seriously, a trail runner near Calgary was killed by a bear a couple of weeks ago. No one is "fast" enough to outrun a bear. The best shot might be out a car window.
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Old Jun 27, 2005, 5:59 AM   #14
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problem with bears is that not only do they run fast--they also climb trees.. think i'll pass on the bears!!!
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Old Jun 27, 2005, 6:05 AM   #15
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Not koala bears like what I have. They are nice and fluffy :-)
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Old Jun 27, 2005, 5:48 PM   #16
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67Cup wrote:
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Lovely shot of the Greenfinch!

I think the new version of the lens might allow macro at anything above 200mm. It will be interesting to see if it is still stiff.

Unless, I get a very good deal on one of the other choices, I think this may be the right one for me. I don't think I can afford a constant F4 telephoto at this time.

PS with bears, one needs to be "fast" on the shot in an entirely different sense of the word. More seriously, a trail runner near Calgary was killed by a bear a couple of weeks ago. No one is "fast" enough to outrun a bear. The best shot might be out a car window.
you're right about the newer version, it's also f3.5 instead of f4 and 62mm ring instead of 58.
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Old Jun 27, 2005, 11:15 PM   #17
igo
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I'm really star'n ta like bugs.
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Old Jul 5, 2005, 8:47 PM   #18
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Well, I'm ready to pull the trigger on buying the 70-300mm APO, based on what I'm seeing all around in reviews and photos.

I'm baffled, though - when I Google around trying to find the newer F/3.5-whatever / 62mm filter version mentioned on this thread, I can't find it, other than being discussed here on this board. Where the heck can such a thing be bought (in Pentax mount), at least here in the USA?

When I got my Pentax *ist DS, I was very confident in the quality of my 1973 Vivitar Series One 70-210, but... After enough times having to set the aperture manually, the focus manually and so forth, it got real old fast. Not only that, the lens came out TERRIBLY (contrast-wise) in my amateurishly-run bench tests.

My 1970's thinking has to move forward, and I want to get the best replacement I can without raising any warning flags on my VISA bill :->
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