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Old Jul 26, 2007, 10:12 PM   #11
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Corpsy wrote:
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I'll confuse things more.

Olympus makes cameras with a 2x multiplier (vs 1.5 or 1.6) to get the 35mm equivalent field of view. That would lead to an equivalent of 800mm with the Sigma lens you mentioned. That would be 600mm with the 1.5x camera (Nikon, Pentax, Sony) or 640mm with the Canon xti. They make great wildlife cameras.
The lens doesn't work with Olympus. If you know a similar lens that is available for Olympus then please let us know, I think the E510 would be a nice camera with it's stabilization.

You happen to be incorrect. That lens (135-400 Sigma) is available in 4/3 mount and is fully functional with the Olympus camera.


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Old Jul 26, 2007, 10:38 PM   #12
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Corpsy wrote:
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fldspringer wrote:
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I'll confuse things more.

Olympus makes cameras with a 2x multiplier (vs 1.5 or 1.6) to get the 35mm equivalent field of view. That would lead to an equivalent of 800mm with the Sigma lens you mentioned. That would be 600mm with the 1.5x camera (Nikon, Pentax, Sony) or 640mm with the Canon xti. They make great wildlife cameras.
The lens doesn't work with Olympus. If you know a similar lens that is available for Olympus then please let us know, I think the E510 would be a nice camera with it's stabilization.

The reason Pentax is the most suggested is because for your lens choice and budget it's the only option that includes stabilization. When shooting at 600mm equivalent on a camera without stabilization hand-held, you need to shoot at least 1/600 second to avoid blur. With stabilization on a camera like the K100D, 1/200 would likely be more than fast enough (I'm kinda guessing, I haven't tried anything longer than about 420mm equivalent). If you can use shutter speeds that are 3x longer, that means you only need 1/3 as much light, and can therefore get better results when shooting in the shade, around dawn or dusk and in overcast conditions.

If you expand your budget a bit you can look at the Pentax K10 and the Sony A100, both of which have stabilization, but from what I can tell the K10 is superior in pretty much every way.
I plan on using a tripod though so does this still matter?

Thanks.
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Old Jul 26, 2007, 10:49 PM   #13
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chupicabra30 wrote:
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I'm really confused! I have you all telling me to pretty much buy Pentax and then the other board are telling me to buy the Canon XTi. :?
Both cameras (Pentax and Canon), along with the Oly (and Nikon for that matter) will take excellent pictures - it's the matter of your budget that brings the Pentax up to the front. The lens you are looking at doesn't have IS (sounds like an interesting lens and yes itcomes in the Oly mount). So if you get that lens and want to handhold it, IS/SR could be important. That means your choices would be Pentax (K100 or the more expensive K10), Sony Alphaor Oly E-330 or E-510. The Pentax K100 body is cheaper at B&H than any of the other three cameras (all pricedbody only), plus it has the most backward compatibility to old, used lenses. That means you'd possibly be able to get better lenses on the used lens market than you would if you were just buying new.

If you were to buy the Canon (or Nikon)you wouldn't have any image stabilization with that lens so you would either be forced to use much faster shutter speeds, have to use a tripod with slower speeds or buy the more expensive VR lenses.

But the best camera in the world won't take good pictures if the camera doesn't fit your hands. Try going to a camera store and handling the cameras that interest you to see if they fit your hands well, is the camera too big/too small? Are the controls within easy reach? It's no fun to shoot with something that is too heavy or too light to control.
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Old Jul 26, 2007, 10:50 PM   #14
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Corpsy wrote:
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fldspringer wrote:
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I'll confuse things more.

Olympus makes cameras with a 2x multiplier (vs 1.5 or 1.6) to get the 35mm equivalent field of view. That would lead to an equivalent of 800mm with the Sigma lens you mentioned. That would be 600mm with the 1.5x camera (Nikon, Pentax, Sony) or 640mm with the Canon xti. They make great wildlife cameras.
The lens doesn't work with Olympus. If you know a similar lens that is available for Olympus then please let us know, I think the E510 would be a nice camera with it's stabilization.

The reason Pentax is the most suggested is because for your lens choice and budget it's the only option that includes stabilization. When shooting at 600mm equivalent on a camera without stabilization hand-held, you need to shoot at least 1/600 second to avoid blur. With stabilization on a camera like the K100D, 1/200 would likely be more than fast enough (I'm kinda guessing, I haven't tried anything longer than about 420mm equivalent). If you can use shutter speeds that are 3x longer, that means you only need 1/3 as much light, and can therefore get better results when shooting in the shade, around dawn or dusk and in overcast conditions.

If you expand your budget a bit you can look at the Pentax K10 and the Sony A100, both of which have stabilization, but from what I can tell the K10 is superior in pretty much every way.
Not trying to start a war or anything, but this is what the other board said in regards to a question about a bloke who wanted to get the K10 or Sony Alpha but was worried about noise characteristics of the two. This was one of the responses:

There is no Sigma 100-400mm, Dave - do you mean the Canon, or the Sigma 80-400mm OS?

In any event: I use the Canon 30D and 100-400mm IS, and I've taken to using a Kenko Pro DG 1.4x converter recently.

Image quality is excellent, and I've got 560mm that I can very easily handhold.

A "no-brainer" in my humble opinion, over the Sony/Pentax/Sigma options you're considering - excellent IQ, more reach and great noise characteristics.

There's also the big question of whether in-body IS can really hack it with long lenses. Much of the internet chatter says it struggles, and my gut would agree: but I know in-lens stabilisation works...

Some random odds and sods here, all hand-held. The bearded tit and the ruff are 800 ISO. The ruff hasn't had any NR, but although the bearded tit has, you can still see loads of really fine feather detail. I can name several cameras where if you NR'd a similar picture from them to get the background that clean, there'd be no feather detail left.

The rest are 400 ISO, all of these were with the set up I mention - and as you can see they're sharp, detailed and with fine noise handling.

I should add that not all were at 400mm (really 560mm), but all but one were with the lens at a nominal f/5.6, but I bet you can't tell which by just looking at sharpness (it's the lapwing), and as I say the converter was used with all of these.

Here is a link to the thread with example pictures from the above post:

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread....ght=Pentax+K10

What do you all think?
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Old Jul 26, 2007, 11:17 PM   #15
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The fact is that each of us is going to say good things about equipment with which we have had success. I'm a big believer in in-camera stablization. I use a Pentax K10d for bird shooting with a budget Phoenix 100-400mm AF lens ( $189 at Adorama). Each of the following shots was taken this weekend with that set-up. First, a BIF shot of a Great Egret.
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Old Jul 26, 2007, 11:19 PM   #16
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The second is taken into a thicket under less-than-ideal lighting conditions of a Great Crested Flycatcher.

Both shots were hand-held, and I doubt that I would have gotten either without IS since both were taken at a full 400mm (600mm equivalent).
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Old Jul 26, 2007, 11:33 PM   #17
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chupicabra30 wrote:
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What do you all think?
He's quite a guy.

Here's the E500 at 566mm (35mm equiv) handheld at ISO 100.

What do you think. IQ between the DSLRs is similar. You would have a tough time going wrong with any of them.


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Old Jul 26, 2007, 11:39 PM   #18
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mtngal wrote:
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Both cameras (Pentax and Canon), along with the Oly (and Nikon for that matter) will take excellent pictures - it's the matter of your budget that brings the Pentax up to the front. The lens you are looking at doesn't have IS (sounds like an interesting lens and yes itcomes in the Oly mount). So if you get that lens and want to handhold it, IS/SR could be important. That means your choices would be Pentax (K100 or the more expensive K10), Sony Alphaor Oly E-330 or E-510. The Pentax K100 body is cheaper at B&H than any of the other three cameras (all pricedbody only), plus it has the most backward compatibility to old, used lenses. That means you'd possibly be able to get better lenses on the used lens market than you would if you were just buying new.
Just a quick correction. The Oly E330 isn't stabilized.
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Old Jul 26, 2007, 11:42 PM   #19
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One thing they say over at the other board is that the IS in the camera bodies is buggy especially at the 400mm or the max zoom of the lens range. Do you find this to be true?
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Old Jul 26, 2007, 11:46 PM   #20
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chupicabra30 wrote:
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One thing they say over at the other board is that the IS in the camera bodies is buggy especially at the 400mm or the max zoom of the lens range. Do you find this to be true?
I have had absolutely zaero problems with the IS on my camera through 12-15 thousand shots. I simply leave it on all the time.
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