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Old Jun 1, 2005, 10:26 AM   #21
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Normcar wrote:
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Re: BIGMA - I didn't use an extender on the Bigma because that's not what I personally use it for. I never put extenders on zooms, no matter what they are, because the results are just not usually that acceptable IMO (and I stress, IMO), and I use a zoom for flexibility and not distance so much. That's why I love the 50-500, because it affords good reach without extenders, and at both ends of the spectrum. This same day I threw an extension tube (not to be mistaken for a tele-extender)on the Bigma and got the photo below, the thing that the blackbird was feasting on. I highly recommend using this lens with a monopod or a tripod, though. I use it the correct way now, with a monopod, whereas before I was using it handheld, getting decent shots but not the sort that I'm getting now on a monopod. However, half of the shots above are handheld sore arm shots because I had to hold the lens for 2 or3 minutes at a time, then relax. Eventually I got the monopod, but some of the above shots are the handheld ones.Here's what came from the other end of the lens with the extension tube on monopod:
Thanks for the info Norm but reading this brings up several other questions in my mind...

1. Extension tubes... can you use the same set of extension tubes on the Sigma lenses as you can on the Canon lenses (ie: a set of Kenko tubes)?

2. The monopod - I bought the Feisol carbon fiber monopod in January ($60, quite light and convenient) but have yet to purchase a head for it. What's your setup? Also, the one time I borrowed a friend's head for use with the monopod I found that my steadiness using the monopod was worse than handholding so I know my monopod technique must be atrocious. How do you utilize the monopod for max stability?
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Old Jun 1, 2005, 10:58 AM   #22
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Thanks WM and Houston for the really nice comments, glad you got something from the post.

No problem with the Kenko set, that's what I have. They work perfectly on all canon EF lenses.

My monopod setup is cheap and effective for me personally (but I'm used to handheld shooting so a cheap monopod is a huge advantage over that in steadiness). I use a thick and inexpensiveVelbon (don't know the ident number). I had another thinner model but it was useless. This one is thick and extends way up for higher shots. It's perfectIMO. It was $65 Canadian, which is about as cheap as it comes, and I used a Manfrotto 484 ball head with these shots, which worked fine.I have a larger manfrottoball head but don't find I need it for monopod activity.

For steadiness on the monopod I use the same technique I'd use with a tripod: left hand over the lens, pushing down slightly on the barrel, and squeezing the shutter with a soft easy motion rather than slamming it down or even pushing. If I want extra steadiness I might rest the pod against my legs but don't find that to be too necessary. With a faster shutter and high ISO (if necessary to get high shutter)plus the pod I think this lens rocks.


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Old Jun 2, 2005, 11:00 PM   #23
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Great stuff Normcar. They should start paying you commissions on all the Bigma sales you are generating. I agree the versatility of the lens cannot be beat. It rarely leaves my camera. I opted for the tripod. I carry it with the legs together at just the right height so I can use it like a monopod if I need a quick shot. When I have timeI always extend the legs and use the tripod. I don't mind the extra weight, I would imagine there is a huge difference in the steadiness of a tripod of a monopod.

Great work again on the YHBB.!!
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Old Jun 2, 2005, 11:34 PM   #24
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I do the same thing with my tripod, zoomn. In fact, with these shots I was doing just that come to think of it. I had my tripod with me that day, not my monopod, but I was using it monopod style, as you say. As for sales, well, it's a lens that needs to be used properly or it won't perform, as you well know because you have learned how to make it perform over the past number of months. And, I might add, you have been one heck of a good learner.
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