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Telephoto Lenses with focal lengths longer than 60mm.

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  #16  
Old 23rd February 2008
tom
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Re: Sigma "Bigma" 50-500mm tale of woe with a happy ending!

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Originally Posted by PeterD View Post
John, Phil, Its only since the very interesting 'getting better' thread of last weekend that I was seriously looking for more reach. Nick's comments regarding image size versus detail etc clinched it for me. Whilst I like the 70-300 very much, I have been looking at my options. Should I go for the x1.4 or x2.0 converter in conjunction with this lens or not or, should I go for something bigger? This thread made me look towards this lens. It is also capable of working with a 2x converter! Not sure if the 4/3 fitting lens works with af or not. If anyone has info on this I would appreciate it.

One thing for sure is that I must invest in a monopod. John, as I recall santa gave you one this year. Any feedback you can give me will be very much appreciated. I already have permission from 'she who must be obeyed' to buy one.

Cheers

PeterD

Peter

I have a Bigma and use the EC-14 converter with it almost all of the time. The AF works fine with this combination on my E510 unless you ask it some really hard low-light questions - but then the Bigma isn't much use in such conditions anyway because it's not really fast enough. But in reasonable light it is capable of some great results. If you get one - especially teamed with a 1.4 or 2.0 converter - you'll become addicted. You have been warned
Not sure about the monopod though. At full reach, you are way, way over 1000mm full-frame equivalent and I've found that only a tripod gives enough support at such extremes. But maybe your hands are a bit steadier than mine!

Tom
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  #17  
Old 23rd February 2008
PeterD
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Re: Sigma "Bigma" 50-500mm tale of woe with a happy ending!

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Originally Posted by tom View Post
Peter

I have a Bigma and use the EC-14 converter with it almost all of the time. The AF works fine with this combination on my E510 unless you ask it some really hard low-light questions - but then the Bigma isn't much use in such conditions anyway because it's not really fast enough. But in reasonable light it is capable of some great results. If you get one - especially teamed with a 1.4 or 2.0 converter - you'll become addicted. You have been warned
Not sure about the monopod though. At full reach, you are way, way over 1000mm full-frame equivalent and I've found that only a tripod gives enough support at such extremes. But maybe your hands are a bit steadier than mine!

Tom
Thanks for your reply Tom. Some very useful info there. The more I think about it the warmer I feel that this is the way to go. The latest version comes with SWD so I guess this will speed up focussing somewhat.

I am now glad I hung onto my E500 as, with it fitted with the 12-60 lens and the E3 with a Bigma it will give me a terrific focal range. I use the above combination at the moment but with the 70-300 lens. I am finding that more often than not I am using the telephoto at 300mm and still not getting close enough.

I have a tripod but with the weight of the E3 and Bigma, I am not sure it is going to be steady enough.

Thanks again Tom

PeterD
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  #18  
Old 23rd February 2008
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Re: Sigma "Bigma" 50-500mm tale of woe with a happy ending!

This thread has been interesting reading. I have the 70-300 which I'm very happy with.
At the moment we are looking to book soon a safari holiday for later in the year. Of course the camera's will be going with me. So I have been looking recently at my options regarding lens. I like the 70-300 but how will it perform with either the 1.4 or 2x converter? So my thoughts turned to the 50-200swd which is a faster lens than the 70-300 and as it is a pro lens better quality. I could use this with either the 1.4 or 2x converter. But then I read this thread, I had never considered the Sigma 50-500mm. This lens I think would give me more than enough reach with out the need for teleconverter. Now I've another lens to consider
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  #19  
Old 23rd February 2008
Jim Ford Jim Ford is offline
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Re: Sigma "Bigma" 50-500mm tale of woe with a happy ending!

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Originally Posted by PeterD View Post
I am finding that more often than not I am using the telephoto at 300mm and still not getting close enough.
Reading this and your previous postings on telephoto lenses, and the fact that it looks like you want to photograph birds, I don't think you'll find a lens long enough to make the job easy and fill the frame with a small shy bird from a distance that won't alarm it. Your expectations are probably too high and if you get (say) a 'Bigma', after a short while it still won't be powerful enough!

Jim
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  #20  
Old 23rd February 2008
PeterD
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Re: Sigma "Bigma" 50-500mm tale of woe with a happy ending!

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Originally Posted by Jim Ford View Post
Reading this and your previous postings on telephoto lenses, and the fact that it looks like you want to photograph birds, I don't think you'll find a lens long enough to make the job easy and fill the frame with a small shy bird from a distance that won't alarm it. Your expectations are probably too high and if you get (say) a 'Bigma', after a short while it still won't be powerful enough!

Jim
Thanks for the friendly warning Jim. You are correct of course and that is why I am being cautious.
I suppose the fundemental problem for me is not the focal length but the fact that I take my dog with me and hence it is impossible to get close enough with the 70-300. I cannot do anything about the dog as he is the reason for me going out for a couple of hours in each busy day and he (like me!) needs the exercise.
My first stage in this is to purchase either the 1.4 or 2.0 converter. If this fails, I still have not lost anything as these will work with the Bigma and I can sell the 70-300. From what I have read though, the quality of the Sigma lens is better than the 70-300 anyway (although at a price) so it would be a true upgrade. For instance, some Canon (wash my mouth) users have compared the lens quality favourably with their sacred L glass.
Anyway I look at this the Bigma is a serious contender for my cash. We shall have to wait and see.

Cheers

PeterD
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  #21  
Old 24th February 2008
Ellie Ellie is offline
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Re: Sigma "Bigma" 50-500mm tale of woe with a happy ending!

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I am finding that more often than not I am using the telephoto at 300mm and still not getting close enough.
It sounds exactly like my first efforts with the 70-300, trying to take a picture of a Buzzard I could barely see and then I tried to take more pictures of birds I could only just make out in the distance.

Since then I've only taken the lens out a couple of times and was more realistic with expectations, and it has helped me identify birds without resorting to binoculars. I know I wouldn't be able to handle (or carry for any length of time) a bigger, heavier, lens and am actually very pleased with the results from the 70-300 and I now also know I can use it without a tripod if I'm careful. Mind you, I might one day think about getting a teleconverter.
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  #22  
Old 24th February 2008
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Re: Sigma "Bigma" 50-500mm tale of woe with a happy ending!

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Originally Posted by PeterD View Post
<snipped - extremerly heavily>

Nick's comments regarding image size versus detail etc clinched it for me.

PeterD
Peter

Forgive me for so heavily snipping your post.

I'm not a great birder, but I think I've posted some reasonable shots of common birds. I've also said the trick is not reach, but getting close enough and remaining still enough so that the birds 'fill' the frame. You already posses more reach with 70-300 than I have with my 50-200 ec1.4 combination.

I would love the sigms 50-500 but it's a lot of money to pay for a non-weathershielded lens and it's a big hunk to carry and I'm really not sure that it'll solve your problem.

Others may disagree, but my view is, if you want to photograph small birds you need to get close enough. If you want to get close enough then the trick is to put yourself in the right position and move slowly (if at all).

If I had the 50-500 then I wouldn't use it to get shots from further away, but to get more detailed shots from the same distances.

Maybe you need to engineer some dog free time, at least to try it, before you fork out on the 50-500 as your solution.

Nick
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  #23  
Old 24th February 2008
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Re: Sigma "Bigma" 50-500mm tale of woe with a happy ending!

Dear Nick,

For me you make a very interesting point indeed. I myself have noticed almost by accident that the more I develop my bird snapping style I have found the Zuiko 50-200mm lens fitted to my body more amd more. Like you suggest I have simply moved closer to the subject. I am a very big fan of the 50-200mm lens which has become one of my favourites which often amazes me with the IQ that it produces. I did buy the EC-14 but very rarely use it as I find that the cost of being forced to shoot at higher F stops makes life difficult.

Mind you as you will realise from this thread my Bigma has yet to become a reliable tool in my collection. But again I have a feeling that you hit the nail on the proverbial "head" that when those lovely guys at Sigma have fixed it I will be interested in getting more detailed head shots rather than shooting from further away.

Cheers

Chris
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  #24  
Old 24th February 2008
Jim Ford Jim Ford is offline
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Re: Sigma "Bigma" 50-500mm tale of woe with a happy ending!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterD View Post
Anyway I look at this the Bigma is a serious contender for my cash.
If you're set on a 'Bigma', SRS in Watford had one in the 2nd hand section in their window a couple of weeks back. I didn't look too close as I might have been tempted!

SRS are here, but they don't list their 2nd hand items:
http://tinyurl.com/28wbzx
Of course, they may not still have it in.

I've noticed that there are quite a few 2nd hand listed on Ebay - maybe this is a bad sign because perhaps they're from disapointed owners! There's a 4/3rds one here:
http://tinyurl.com/2p2ng3

Jim
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  #25  
Old 24th February 2008
PeterD
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Re: Sigma "Bigma" 50-500mm tale of woe with a happy ending!

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Originally Posted by Jim Ford View Post
If you're set on a 'Bigma', SRS in Watford had one in the 2nd hand section in their window a couple of weeks back. I didn't look too close as I might have been tempted!

SRS are here, but they don't list their 2nd hand items:
http://tinyurl.com/28wbzx
Of course, they may not still have it in.

I've noticed that there are quite a few 2nd hand listed on Ebay - maybe this is a bad sign because perhaps they're from disapointed owners! There's a 4/3rds one here:
http://tinyurl.com/2p2ng3

Jim
Thanks Jim. I shall keep watch. The models on ebay do not have HSM which has only hust been introduced. All other aspects, as far as I know, are the same.

PeterD
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  #26  
Old 24th February 2008
PeterD
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Re: Sigma "Bigma" 50-500mm tale of woe with a happy ending!

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Originally Posted by CaptainD View Post
Dear Nick,

For me you make a very interesting point indeed. I myself have noticed almost by accident that the more I develop my bird snapping style I have found the Zuiko 50-200mm lens fitted to my body more amd more. Like you suggest I have simply moved closer to the subject. I am a very big fan of the 50-200mm lens which has become one of my favourites which often amazes me with the IQ that it produces. I did buy the EC-14 but very rarely use it as I find that the cost of being forced to shoot at higher F stops makes life difficult.

Mind you as you will realise from this thread my Bigma has yet to become a reliable tool in my collection. But again I have a feeling that you hit the nail on the proverbial "head" that when those lovely guys at Sigma have fixed it I will be interested in getting more detailed head shots rather than shooting from further away.

Cheers

Chris
Chris,

That is precisely my objective, getting more detailed shots, but in my case from the same sort of distance that I am taking them now. I have not seen a negative quotation on this lens and the aperature size matches the 70-300 except at the 500mm end where it is f6.3 against f5.6.

Hope yours comes out of repair soon and then you can let us know of your experience.

PeterD
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  #27  
Old 24th February 2008
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Re: Sigma "Bigma" 50-500mm tale of woe with a happy ending!

I have found the discussion here very helpful. I have wondered about getting a longer lens than the 50-200 for 6 months (I tend not to make quick decisions!) and it is helped by these sorts of debates.

I have been surprised how close I can get to many birds and how quickly they accept I am there when they are feeding and I would like to try some hide work to improve on that. But 200 still seems to short. I am developing my stalking and agree with Nick that this is the best option (as it is with close/macro work)

......Teleconverters seem to be better than they were in my film days....based on Nick and others good experience. And they could help with other lenses. I waited for the 2.0 teleconverter and am studying the views closely. It seems to be a fairly level spread, with fans and doubters.

.......My best mate in photography has a sigma 135-400 and it seems excellent (sony fit so can't swap it). But doesn't seem much different to the 50-200 plus the 2.0 teleconverter and I love the sharpness on the 50-200. That seems to swing my thinking to reject that one.

.......Musicman, PeterD and others get great results with the 70-300. It would complement the 12-60 and mean one less to carry but has a huge overlap with the 50-200 and is a lower grade lens. That seems an easy decision to pass too.

The bigma seems in a different space if you can use the 500 end. But clearly this would not have any use handheld and suggested not even a monopod. So I would need to adopt a tripod style I don't currently have (I have two tripods from the past but prefer to use my nice monopod). The weight would mean I would leave it behind more than take it out. This seems to be a luxury purchase or a second hand bargain only.

So I come back to not actually making a clear decision. If Olympus had a shop near me that allowed you to try them out...they would make a lot more sales.

Anybody else have some clarity for me. Please.

Peter
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  #28  
Old 24th February 2008
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Re: Sigma "Bigma" 50-500mm tale of woe with a happy ending!

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Originally Posted by PeterD View Post
The models on ebay do not have HSM which has only hust been introduced.
This one does:
http://tinyurl.com/2p2ng3

Jim
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  #29  
Old 24th February 2008
Jim Ford Jim Ford is offline
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Re: Sigma "Bigma" 50-500mm tale of woe with a happy ending!

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Originally Posted by PeterD View Post
From what I have read though, the quality of the Sigma lens is better than the 70-300
I'm not so sure that the Bigma is better than the 70-300 - there were quite a few negative comments on image sharpness in dpreview shortly after the Bigma came out.

Jim
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  #30  
Old 24th February 2008
PeterD
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Re: Sigma "Bigma" 50-500mm tale of woe with a happy ending!

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Originally Posted by art frames View Post
I have found the discussion here very helpful. I have wondered about getting a longer lens than the 50-200 for 6 months (I tend not to make quick decisions!) and it is helped by these sorts of debates.

I have been surprised how close I can get to many birds and how quickly they accept I am there when they are feeding and I would like to try some hide work to improve on that. But 200 still seems to short. I am developing my stalking and agree with Nick that this is the best option (as it is with close/macro work)

......Teleconverters seem to be better than they were in my film days....based on Nick and others good experience. And they could help with other lenses. I waited for the 2.0 teleconverter and am studying the views closely. It seems to be a fairly level spread, with fans and doubters.

.......My best mate in photography has a sigma 135-400 and it seems excellent (sony fit so can't swap it). But doesn't seem much different to the 50-200 plus the 2.0 teleconverter and I love the sharpness on the 50-200. That seems to swing my thinking to reject that one.

.......Musicman, PeterD and others get great results with the 70-300. It would complement the 12-60 and mean one less to carry but has a huge overlap with the 50-200 and is a lower grade lens. That seems an easy decision to pass too.

The bigma seems in a different space if you can use the 500 end. But clearly this would not have any use handheld and suggested not even a monopod. So I would need to adopt a tripod style I don't currently have (I have two tripods from the past but prefer to use my nice monopod). The weight would mean I would leave it behind more than take it out. This seems to be a luxury purchase or a second hand bargain only.

So I come back to not actually making a clear decision. If Olympus had a shop near me that allowed you to try them out...they would make a lot more sales.

Anybody else have some clarity for me. Please.

Peter
Hi Peter

Like you I have been completely bewildered by the choices available. I love the 12-60 Lens but its not really up to taking detailed bird images as the little things tend to dissappear long before I get close enough to them. But, wait until the spring/summer and the butterflies and other creatures are about. Thats when it will come into its own.

I have been toying with the x1,4 and x2 converters with the 70-300 lens and still am open to them.

The Bigma is a better quality glass than the 70-300 and would therefore be an upgrade as I have said earlier in this thread. Reading some of the reports people have used this lens at 500mm, hand held, with success. Some say that a heavier kit is more stable and, when you think about it, within limits of course, that makes sense.

I am reluctant to spend too much money on this but from my point of view, and the type of photography I am attempting, a longer focal length is of benefit. I would hate to have to leave the dog behind.

PeterD
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