View Full Version : Sigma 70-200 f2.8 with an EC-14 or 70-300mm

Ralph Harwood
8th May 2013, 01:36 AM
Hi there!

I was lucky enough to win an auction a few days ago for a Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 (with lots more letters after it) but basically sigmas top of the line SWD type lens.

My question is would I be better getting an EC-14 to get some extra length for wildlife shot (zoo mostly) or would I be as well to get an olympus 70-300mm instead. I know the question has been raised before with the olympus 50-200mm and that seems to win with an EC-14, but I was wondering if anyone has used the Sigma with an EC-14, and if so how it fares. Second hand prices for both seem pretty similar, and the EC-14 would also work with my 14-54mm f2.8 to give me some overlap with the sigma lens in the mid-length range.

All information and opinion greatfully received,



9th May 2013, 12:35 PM

Unlike EC-20, EC-14 is working fine on any lens.

Recently I tried EC-14 on 70-300. It worked fine, except that I had to stop down the aperture to F/11 to have reasonable sharpness.

Sigma 70-200 is a PRO lenses and performs much better than 70-300.
I do not expect any problem when you mount EC-14.
With EC-14 mounted, probably you have to stop down the aperture a bit to get maximum sharpness, but you will still have a fast lens.
So you will use the combo in this range F/5.6....F/8.0.

And 70-200+EC-14 must be better than 70-300.

9th May 2013, 09:43 PM
I have the combo of Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EXII APO and use it regularly with the Oly EC-14 with no noticeable problem. I needed something for my aviation photos especially plus wildlife and have found it a near ideal combo for the price (unfortunately I had to buy mine but got it at a good sale price!) - I'll try and find some photos to upload if you want.


10th May 2013, 05:38 AM

Thank you for your comment !
Would be great if you can post some samples.
Any extra-comment will be more than welcomed :
-how this combo performs wide-open ?
-how much you have to stop down the aperture to have maximum sharpness ?
-did you had the chance to compare this combo with other lenses ?

Tx in advance !

10th May 2013, 05:53 PM
Examples of Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EXII APO used with the Olympus EC-14 teleconverter:
283mm is the maximum zoom combination of the two used together. The shallow depth of field when used at f/2.8-4 is fabulous and I have tended to use the Sigma lens by itself almost as a standard lens. I rate this as a fabulous lens alternative to the more expensive Olympus and have had no obvious issues with it to-date.

Image 1 - bird 1/500th, f/4, ISO 320, 283mm
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/P1267802_resize.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/60273)
This is a crop by about one third of the original image

Image 2 - Hercules aircraft 1/500th, f/5.6, ISO 200, 191mm
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/P2258392_resize.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/60274)
This is a crop to about 3/4s the original

Image 3 - Pave Hawk helicopter 1/250th, f/19, ISO 200, 141mm
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/P2258508_resize.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/60275)
This is a crop to about 3/4s the original

Image 4 - Pave Hawk helicopter 1/350th, f/9.5, ISO 200, 283mm
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/P2258673_resize.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/60276)
This is a crop of nearly a half

Image 5 - Helicopter and buildings 1/350th, f/9.5, ISO 200, 283mm
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/P2258697_resize.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/60277)
This is full width but cropped top and bottom

I hope those give a reasonable idea of the Sigma/Oly teleconverter possibilities,


10th May 2013, 06:52 PM
Thank you for the samples !

According to the first picture, this combo is soft wide open. Needs to be stoped down to F/5.6.
The rest of the pictures looks nice (sharp). Very nice samples.

Ralph Harwood
10th May 2013, 09:39 PM
Hi everyone!

Thankyou Catkin for you fab photos - I can see that I will be able to get some great shots from this lens with some more practice!

Thanks Katran for your comments as well! I was wondering if the first shot might be a little soft beacuse of the lens being at full zoom, as well as wide open? I'll see if i have any images which are soft even without the EC-14 at full zoom / wide open to see if it is an issue with the lens or the combination.

Looks like i need an EC-14 then!



15th May 2013, 09:34 AM
Sorry, been away for a few days so coming back to this late. I think that the theory of minimising use of the extreme aperture settings of any lens tends to hold good especially when using a teleconverter. However, in the case of my first shot and in defence of the combo, there are a few issues that I can spot looking at the posting

I haven't posted a very good edit of the image, and it is too light, which seems to soften the overall image, so I will revisit the original and maybe redo!
The focus point is on the mid body/wing area of the bird, with the head being slightly out of focus and foreground suet being out of focus. This combined with the shallow depth of field and with the lightness of the overall image especially the foreground makes the resulting image seem slightly softer
If I redo the image and we then concentrate on the area of focus, I think that it should look at lot crisper albeit mainly in the shallow area of focus.
So poor image perhaps but lens combo still good!


15th May 2013, 10:28 AM
Following on from my last post, here is a re-edit and re-crop of the bird image, which as a starting point is perhaps not the ideal image but does at least give an idea of the capabilities of the Sigma lens and Oly teleconverter combo.

I have re-cropped so that the eye isn't fooled by the large expanse of white out-of-focus background and foreground, and to zoom in a bit more to the focus point part of the image.
At f4 the depth of field with this combo is very small and very sensitive to any movement of the photographer and of the bird if used with a slightly slow shutter speed - so in this case, 283mm x 2 =566mm lens (35mm equiv) used with a 1/500th shutter setting and IS on
The image is further degraded by cropping / magnification, and noise reduction.
With this crop the zone of focus is slightly more obvious as being towards the rear of the bird, whereas the head would have been the ideal
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/P1267802_2_resize.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/60441)

This image shows the crop used compared to the original image
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/P1267802_screenshot_resize.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/60443)

Hope that reassures a little re use of the combo with a wide open aperture