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Tordan58
7th January 2012, 12:49 AM
Today I tested a new combo - Sigma 50-500 + EC20, rendering 1000 mm focal length. Needless to say, use of tripod was a must.

Pictures taken at ~20 meters distance, MF, slightly cropped. Keeper rate with MF about 75% (from a sharpness point of view). What is your opinion regarding the image quality?


#1 Redwing
400 ISO, 1/400s, F13
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1167/Redwing_Turdus_iliacus_.jpg

#2 Waxwing
400 ISO, 1/250s, F13
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1167/Waxwing_Bombycilla_garrulus_.jpg

David M
7th January 2012, 01:44 AM
What is your opinion regarding the image quality?

Pretty poor.

Ross the fiddler
7th January 2012, 05:13 AM
You're probably better off sticking to no more than an EC14 to extend the Bigma. The images are a bit soft, but at least it is good for ID bird photos though.

David Morison
7th January 2012, 06:21 AM
I once had a 50-500 and was very satisfied with the results. However when I eventually bought a EC20 to use with it I was very disappointed. AF, which is almost a must with birds that are constantly moving, actually worked OK as long as I used the lens fully wide open but the IQ was pretty poor with low resolution and especially low contrast. As I was only using the Sigma at full zoom I decided to save up and get the ED 300mm f2.8 (got it brand new from Amazon at for a song). The results were great but when I tried with the EC20 again I was a little disappointed. It works brilliantly with the EC14 though so this teleconverter may give much better results with the Sigma.

David

David M
7th January 2012, 01:31 PM
AF, which is almost a must with birds that are constantly moving

David

Really, how on earth did bird photographers manage before AF?

Greytop
7th January 2012, 05:15 PM
I have to admit they do look on the soft side Tord.

Benedict
7th January 2012, 05:20 PM
Going by the actual DOF on number 2 I have to say I am not impressed.

David Morison
7th January 2012, 05:37 PM
Really, how on earth did bird photographers manage before AF?

Not many tried!

Danny
7th January 2012, 06:00 PM
Far too soft for keepers in my book, but an interesting experiment.

Melaka
7th January 2012, 06:10 PM
In my exerience the Bigma starts to go soft beyond 400mm. The only lenses that perform well at 400mm and beyond are the 300 and 90-250 with EC14 or EC20. Of course the latter two are vastly more costly than the Bigma, which I think delivers very well at the price.

Greytop
7th January 2012, 08:17 PM
In my exerience the Bigma starts to go soft beyond 400mm. The only lenses that perform well at 400mm and beyond are the 300 and 90-250 with EC14 or EC20. Of course the latter two are vastly more costly than the Bigma, which I think delivers very well at the price.

I think my 50-200 and EC-20 combo does well at 400mm, all be it at f/7.1 (so light challenged) :)

Ross the fiddler
7th January 2012, 10:00 PM
I think my 50-200 and EC-20 combo does well at 400mm, all be it at f/7.1 (so light challenged) :)

It becomes a little bit of a light challenge when I put the E14 on the 70-300 too (but still worth trying).

David M
7th January 2012, 10:03 PM
Not many tried!

There were plenty of bird photographers in the days prior to AF. At a rough estimate 98% of my published bird photos were manually focused.

Phill D
8th January 2012, 07:18 AM
Tord with a DoF of about 15 cm I think you are giving yourself quite a task with this combination no matter what the other settings and lens resolution are. It would be good to see the difference you get on images cropped to the same size with and without your EC20 (also with an EC14 if you have one?) and assuming the birds will oblige of course.
Considering what you were trying to do they were probably pretty reasonable shots it's just that in isolation as final images as the others have said they look really soft and don't excite. Not a patch on some of your others I'm afraid.

Tordan58
9th January 2012, 02:31 PM
Thanks for feedback and honest opinions. The two pictures are the best of ~25 shots, with less than 50% keepers (OOF and/or motion blur, it was pretty windy).

Regarding the comments on AF vs. MF - the subjects were reasonably static. The reason for using MF was the lens struggling and often giving up (wide open would be F12.3).

I did test the Sigma with the EC14 last autumn and the results showed signs of softness, although not as pronounced as with the EC-20. I will proceed with the comparison as you recommend (wheather conditions permitting...)

/Tord

Chevvyf1
9th January 2012, 05:52 PM
Tord PeterD gets very good results with his 50-500 and at f10 ISO 1800 to up the speed *chr do have a lok at his Perigrine Falcon shots jun/juk here *chr

Greytop
9th January 2012, 06:11 PM
Tord PeterD gets very good results with his 50-500 and at f10 ISO 1800 to up the speed *chr do have a lok at his Perigrine Falcon shots jun/juk here *chr

Not sure Peter uses an EC-20 or 14 with his does he Chevvy?

Tordan58
10th January 2012, 09:34 AM
Not sure Peter uses an EC-20 or 14 with his does he Chevvy?

Well, if using the lens at F/10 it cannot be with EC20.
/Tord

Chevvyf1
10th January 2012, 04:46 PM
Not sure Peter uses an EC-20 or 14 with his does he Chevvy?

Huw I am pretty sure its naked for PeterD (that is sigma only:) ) *chr

oly_om
13th January 2012, 05:43 PM
I only really use the EC-20 with the 150f2 - this is about the only lens that is so amazingly sharp natively that the results with the EC-20 are still very good. The 300/2.8 is best with the EC-14 (almost no degradation of the image) - with the EC-20, not so great but then an efl of 1200mm is actually tricky to use due to vibration problems. Also, make sure you calibrate the lens combo (E-5, E-620, E-30) - it can make a massive difference.

Andy

Greytop
13th January 2012, 05:57 PM
EC-20 with 50-200 SWD almost wide open...

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/Pensive_Robin.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/41987)

oly_om
13th January 2012, 06:47 PM
EC-20 with 50-200 SWD almost wide open...


Huw - is that (more or less) full frame or cropped?

I find the 50-200 with the EC-20 a bit of a pain as the AF is slower and more hesitant. I used to use the 50-200 + EC-14 a lot, but now prefer the 150/2 + EC-20 as the IQ is better. I also found that stopped down from f4.9 to f5.6 on the 50-200 + EC-14, the IQ is noticeably better.

Greytop
13th January 2012, 06:52 PM
It's a pretty hefty crop Andy, 2008 x 2008 before resizing to 800 x 800.

Since the first try-out of the EC-20 with my 50-200 I have always been very surprised how well it maintains image quality. Yes there is a slight degradation over my EC-14 but it really is very slight.
In good light I find my EC-20 and 50-200 to be quite a weapon :)