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Old Apr 13, 2006, 2:43 PM   #1
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I currently own a KM7D, and mainly use this for aviation photography, and I am interesting in purchasing a new telephoto lense.

I currently own two telephoto zoom lenses, the Sigma 28-300 and a 70-200 (F4-5.6) - I know I have an overlap!

I have had interesting results with sharpness, and havestop'd using the 28-300 asthe weight was resulting in poor pictures on the from around 200 onwards (it is not always pratical to have a tripod).

I have had some sucess, but this was after some sharpening using Photoshop 7..!

http://www.airliners.net/open.file/1028358/M/

There are a few lenses that have caught my eye, and wondered if they would suite the type of photo subjet matter. They are the

50-500mm f/4-6.3 EX DG HSM

70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM (the HSM currently no available on the Minolta mount)

I have seen the review at http://www.dpreview.com/news/0602/06...sigma70200.asp

The 120-300mm f/2.8 EX DG HSMis kind of out of my price bracket

I was thinking the 70-200mm would be good, and hoped the f/2.8 would provide a better type of picture (that you see all the time on airliner.net!). The only problem is that I would of liked it to go to 300mm and still have a 70mm start (105mm on digital). Also, the HSM is not available on the Minolta, so presume all current lenses for a Minolta advertised will be the old ones. Is it worth waiting for the HSM and this new lense?

Any thoughts as to what I should aim at?

I also read about +1 sharpening on a 5D, and was confused. I have not checked my manual, but wondered what it was.

I have also read about focusing problems, and also wondered if my camera could be suffering from that (I normally have the image stabilisation to ON, but still have some blured images, so probably as I am not using a tripod?)

I have uploaded a picture (pict0002.jpg) where I would of thought the quality would be better than it was. It was taken through glass, but the glass was clean.

I have also attached pict00036.jpg which was on landing - weather no brilliant, but again, was close enough to the aircraft to warrant a good picture.

Any help appreciated

Rick





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Old Apr 13, 2006, 2:44 PM   #2
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Old Apr 13, 2006, 3:15 PM   #3
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Those don't look too bad (from what I can see from the downsized images), especially in weather that bad.

Shooting at smaller apertures may help some (most lenses are not at their best until they're a few stops down from wide open). But, you'd need to keep an eye on shutter speeds if light is poor.

As for sharpening, I keep it set to +1 in my camera when shooting raw + jpeg (so that I have a sharper jpeg image straight from the camera). But, if you plan on post processing jpeg images, you may want to leave it set at normal or lower.

DSLR models don't process the images as much as non-DSLR cameras do. So, you often need to use a bit of USM on them to bring out their best.

As an alternative, you may want to shoot raw+jpeg. That way, you can have a ready to use jpeg image, as well as a raw image you can convert using a variety of different tools, tuning the image for optimum results.

If you're running Windows, try the free Raw Shooters Essentials

If you're using the GIMP, the UFRAW plugin (based on David Coffin's dcraw.c ) also works (and there is a Windows version of UFRaw, too).

Eric Hyman's Bibble Lite and Bibble Pro products are also worth looking into (available for Mac, Windows and Linux).

There are more converters around, too. Each one has pros and cons.

As for lenses, most of the 70-300mm variety are not going to be quite as good as lenses with a less ambitious focal range from wide to long. But, quality is always subjective.

If you're not in a hurry, you may want to wait and see what Sony has in store for us (I don't know what to expect but they should be introducing new DSLR models for this summer).

My guess is that we'll see some new lenses, too. If they're smart, they'll include Minolta's SSM (Supersonic Motor) focusing to attract a wider market, since faster focus speed would be desired by many users.

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Old Apr 13, 2006, 3:46 PM   #4
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My understanding is that the 70-200 f2.8 lenses are generally very good, more so than 100-300 and other long zooms. You could get a 1.4x teleconvertor to bring you up to almost 300mm and only reduce your max aperture to f4. Perhaps someone expirienced with this setup will comment.

That 70-210 4-5.6 lens you have is pretty dismal compared to the really good glass, I had one for a while and couldnt stand the results. I now have a 100-200 f4.5 lens (~$60 used) that I like much more. Its also small and light, unlike the popular 70-210 f4 "beer can" lens (~$200 used).

I'd like to echo the comment to watch your shutter speed, 1/250 or better is probably needed. That shot on airliners.net is nice, the others could use some post processing but don't look too bad given the circumstances.
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Old Apr 13, 2006, 4:03 PM   #5
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Why are you considering Sigma lenses only? Here in Germany the "White Giant" ("Wei├čer Riese") is considered as the dream lense, see http://www.mhohner.de/minolta/onelen...f70-200f28gssm . It can be nicely combined with a tele converter. If you don't have that much money, you may also look at the more affordable 100-400mm APO, i.e. http://www.mhohner.de/minolta/onelen...f100-400f45apo . I personally have the much cheaper Tokina 80-400mm/4.5-5.6 for such purposes. However, that lense is weak at 400mm. You always have to substract 20% from the tele end of the zoom range of a cheap lense.
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Old Apr 19, 2006, 11:57 AM   #6
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Many thanks for the replies

I will probably go for the 70-200 f2.8, and look at the 1.4x teleconvertor

Will the HSM come out for this lense at some point?

Rick
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Old Apr 20, 2006, 6:21 PM   #7
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Hey Rick,

I have the 5D and took these with my new sigma 70-300mm APO DG














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Old Apr 20, 2006, 7:30 PM   #8
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That Sigma looks really soft especially at 300mm:shock:
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Old Apr 21, 2006, 8:04 AM   #9
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nooner wrote:
Quote:
That Sigma looks really soft especially at 300mm:shock:

The original high res pictures look much better, especially when printed on glossy 6x4 paper. Don't forget, I would have had to reduce the images for web usuage and that tends to soften the image even after using the 'sharpen' tool in Paint Shop Pro X.

Also, I had it on auto focus and in the middle picture, the player in the foreground will have been focussed on so the player with the ball is less sharp and more akin to the supporters in the background. I could have messed around with sharpen for the players and gaussian blur for the spectatorsto get better definition but I prefer to leave pictures as they are taken.



Here is the same image with the spectators and advertising hoardings blurred;


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Old Apr 21, 2006, 4:41 PM   #10
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Believe me I understand photography. Nothing personal, but spare me the lessons. If 4x6 pics are what you need I'm sure that lens will do the job. There are better lenses.
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