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View Full Version : Sigma 135-400 owners, any advice welcome


scanny
28th October 2008, 08:55 PM
Hi all

I had a bigma last year i got for a ludacrisly low price, i owned it for 4 months but sold up as i was concerned about the lack of serial numbers and insurability ect...

I replaced it with a lovely 50-200mm and then got an ec-20 for that when i started to miss the length- it wasnt for me so the ec20 was sold a week later. Ive now picked up a 135-400mm for some change out of £300 and its due here tomorrow.

Any recomended settings that you have found succesfull? From what ive read and the way the bigma was, stopped down to f8 seems the concensuss for sharpness. Ive an e1 which im hopping it will feel balanced on and an e510 with IS so at a push with "scottish light" ill use IS.

Im looking to use it for motorsport and nature work (nothing to quick so after seeing Derek's rally pictures on the 70-300 i hope this lens will cope as admirably).

All advice greatly recieved

Thanks guys and galls

Ian
28th October 2008, 09:02 PM
Hi all

I had a bigma last year i got for a ludacrisly low price, i owned it for 4 months but sold up as i was concerned about the lack of serial numbers and insurability ect...

I replaced it with a lovely 50-200mm and then got an ec-20 for that when i started to miss the length- it wasnt for me so the ec20 was sold a week later. Ive now picked up a 135-400mm for some change out of 300 and its due here tomorrow.

Any recomended settings that you have found succesfull? From what ive read and the way the bigma was, stopped down to f8 seems the concensuss for sharpness. Ive an e1 which im hopping it will feel balanced on and an e510 with IS so at a push with "scottish light" ill use IS.

Im looking to use it for motorsport and nature work (nothing to quick so after seeing Derek's rally pictures on the 70-300 i hope this lens will cope as admirably).

All advice greatly recieved

Thanks guys and galls

This is seems to be a much rarer lens than the 50-500?

Ian

scanny
28th October 2008, 09:35 PM
I thought so too, i seen the images posted up on the other 135-400mm and took onboard the lack of HSM but IQ looks to be as per the bigma so when i seen one on Fleabay i thought id give it a go. Hopefully i can try it out on sunday- i searched to find a bird centre up here with a golden eagle so i found one at Loch Lomond so it should be an intresting test for it it i get to see it fly

PeterD
28th October 2008, 10:22 PM
I thought so too, i seen the images posted up on the other 135-400mm and took onboard the lack of HSM but IQ looks to be as per the bigma so when i seen one on Fleabay i thought id give it a go. Hopefully i can try it out on sunday- i searched to find a bird centre up here with a golden eagle so i found one at Loch Lomond so it should be an intresting test for it it i get to see it fly

Peter (ArtFrames) has one and gets some very good results. I am sure that when he sees this post he will reply to you.

Peter

Nick Temple-Fry
28th October 2008, 10:47 PM
It's a lens I would call acceptably sharp - rather than absolutely sharp.

You need to balance speed/aperture/noise/sharpness and you do need to be able to drive up the iso range (usually 400 + above) in anything other than bright conditions, but is able to produce some good results (I did a thread 'comparing' the 135-400 to the 35mm macro for a drangonfly shot about a month ago).

Closing the aperture down for mid/long shots is certainly worth while. Unfortunately (and lazily) I've never codified what I do, but F6 around mid range and a touch more (say F8) for long seems about right for the best results.

Have fun with it

Nick

blu-by-u
29th October 2008, 05:34 AM
If you find the bigma not up to IQ, then this small ma won't be close. The focus is slow. I used this and the 70-300 in the Formula 1 in Sepang, M'sia and I prefer the 70-300. Easier to pan and lighter. I am not well verse in image quality..but shots from that 70-300 seems better.

Having said that, maybe you should try the EC14 instead of the EC20 with that 50-200. It may give you acceptable results.

scanny
29th October 2008, 05:01 PM
It arrived this morning along with lovely grey skies and pouring rain so i havent had a chance to try it out. I was surprised with the finnish and build quality of it, i expected a tank like creation with the same solid feel to it but unfortunatly it is more akin to the 55-200mm with light plastics used and a sparce feel. It does however feel nice on the e510 so thats an unexpected plus. Now just to wait for better weather....

Ian
29th October 2008, 05:12 PM
It arrived this morning along with lovely grey skies and pouring rain so i havent had a chance to try it out. I was surprised with the finnish and build quality of it, i expected a tank like creation with the same solid feel to it but unfortunatly it is more akin to the 55-200mm with light plastics used and a sparce feel. It does however feel nice on the e510 so thats an unexpected plus. Now just to wait for better weather....

My office LCD (inexpensive 24 inch dabs.com or DGM special) is calibrated but a bit over-bright; there is no adjustment left to reduce the brightness. But your pictures like OK to me using that monitor...

Ian

scanny
11th November 2008, 04:08 PM
Well ive had a few nice days and finally got it out to have a tinker with. First impressions are good, i like it even more than Bigma. it is light enough to handhold and at iso 400 shots are acceptable. Im impressed with it its far easyer to use than bigma. It focuses well and locks on most attempts.

My only niggles just now are my supporting hand catches the focus ring so it needs to be avoided, there is no strap mount as with bigma- its a little too heavy to hang from the mount id think so it needs held whilst walking. A little modification to the tripod collar should allow for a strap

Im looking forward to using it again (whenever this rain dissappears)

Nick Temple-Fry
11th November 2008, 05:09 PM
My only niggles just now are my supporting hand catches the focus ring so it needs to be avoided

Yes - it does. I tend to support it using the tripod mount as a handle (offset by about 30 degrees to the left). But it's a good lens within its overall limitations and quite usable hand held if you keep the shutter speed in a reasonable range.

I tend to partner it with the ec1.4 which drives it a bit harder, but it can give quite good results.

Nick