For wild life and sports lenses


NSANTOS

Link Posted 09/03/2013 - 22:07
hello.
I am undecided in choosing a lens for sports and wildlife.
The lens:
Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM
Pentax DA 60-250mm f / 4 ED SDM
I would like to know your opinion about these lenses.
Also would like to know what they think about the future of Pentax, always will launch a full frame, and if it is worth continuing with this brand so charismatic, that greatly appreciate, and have taught me much in the picture.
I hope your opder have an opinion.
best regards

piotro

Link Posted 09/03/2013 - 22:32
As mentioned number of times on the forum, *60-250mm is a very slow focusing lens, it is going to be frustrating at times.
Also 200/250mm will often be too short for wildlife - if we are not talking about heavy cropping (of course that depends what wildlife and how are you going to be prepared ), on Nikon/Canon people usually pair 70-200 f/2.8 with 1.4TC and that usually works well for them (one of the answers about Pentax - where is that TC after so many years)
--
http://piotr.zenfolio.com
Last Edited by piotro on 09/03/2013 - 22:33

NSANTOS

Link Posted 09/03/2013 - 22:38
it is true, where CT is the Pentax never released any more, and I think sometimes two if I should continue with the Pentax because of this factor to find a few lenses on the market, even the Pentax or other brands.

best regards .

davidstorm

Link Posted 09/03/2013 - 22:39
I can give you some unbiased advice on the Sigma 150-500 lens, although mine is the 'non OS' version, but I believe the optics are the same and the HSM motor is the same.

I find the lens very good and optically is far superior to the Sigma 50-500 I previously owned. Focussing is reliable, not massively quick, but fast enough and locks on well with my K-5IIs, K-5 and K-x. The lens is very sharp, particularly between 200 and 450mm, it's a little softer at 500mm, but still very good. Colour rendition is beautiful, very clean and realistic, a little 'cooler' than Pentax colours but this is not a criticism as I like the Sigma's colours.

I have no idea about the future of Pentax, but I am not worried and I don't think they are about to close down! Regarding Full Frame, I think it is likely in the next year or so, but this doesn't interest me at present as I am delighted with the performance of my Pentax APS-C cameras.

I hope this is helpful.

Regards
David
Flickr

Some cameras, some lenses, some bits 'n' bobs

PeterKR

Link Posted 09/03/2013 - 22:42
You can't go far wrong with the Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8.

I got mine initially for bird photography but have also used it as a general 'walkabout' lens. It performs well taking 'falcons' in flight using the K-r's 'rapid fire' but its main problem is 'hunting' on auto focus near infinity.

I used it today on a Golden Eagle shoot and you will see the results over the next few days. The shot posted today is a 'portrait' shot at 55mm but I took lots more at 150 - 300mm including flying shots.

Peter

davidstorm

Link Posted 09/03/2013 - 23:26
I would disagree to some extent with PeterKr's views on the 55-300. It is nowhere near as good as the Sigma 150-500 as a wildlife lens, even when you disregard the focal length difference. The 55-300 is a fantastic lens - very sharp and contrasty, but is poor for wildlife simply because it does not focus fast enough or quietly enough. I does tend to 'hunt', although this is much less on the most recent bodies such as the K-5IIs. I find it much more suitable as a walkabout lens.

Regards
David
Flickr

Some cameras, some lenses, some bits 'n' bobs

stub

Link Posted 10/03/2013 - 08:41
Im afraid the answer is simple. For sport and wildlife. At present, Change Brands. Though it pains me to say it. The Pentax systems dont focus anywhere near fast enough. Hopefully this will be rectified in the future.
K-1Gripped K-1 ungripped K-5ii K7 Various lenses

Stuart..

NSANTOS

Link Posted 10/03/2013 - 09:06
Hello
Thanks for the advice and comments on this topic.
Actually the Pentax system is good in photo landscape pictures and the like, in the wild is a bit behind the competition,.
Actually I am very pleased with my k5, and my questions regarding brand sometimes makes me think I should change ..
But yet I was already pretty clear here with comments about the Sigma 150-500mm lens will be my next purchase.
Thank you all for your support ...
best regards

wvbarnes

Link Posted 10/03/2013 - 09:40
Hi, I too would like the big Sigma BUT I have to say that whatever Pentax did in their last firmware update (for the 560mm I believe) on the K5 it has certainly improved the telephoto AF of the 55 - 300 DA. Mine only rarely hunts now in a high contrast sky in spot focus and not at all against land backgrounds.

The Pentax lens at 450mm full frame equivalent is a remarkable lightweight bit of kit compared to bulky offerings from other brands, you just have to get closer

Stuey

Link Posted 10/03/2013 - 15:04
I don't get the 'change brand thing' for years sports and wildlife were photographed without af - are people just admitting to not wanting to improve and merely just to point and shoot off as many frames as possible hoping that one may be ok

Now I'm not the most acomplished tog but I prefer to use my mf lenses for wildlife and my occassional sport photo is with an af lens but what's the big 'I want' with having it all done for you isn't that part of the fun improving technique

What next cars that park themselves - oh yeah we can already have those

Good choice with the 150 - 500
K10D, K5 plus plenty of clueless enthusiasm.

My Flickr site link

Blythman

Link Posted 10/03/2013 - 15:43
Stuey, what is wrong with someone wanting better tools? Are you still cooking the rabbit, that you caught with a trap made from stripped tree bark and a branch, on a fire that you lit by rubbing sticks together?
Alan


PPG
Flickr

NSANTOS

Link Posted 10/03/2013 - 16:14
Blythman wrote:
Stuey, what is wrong with someone wanting better tools? Are you still cooking the rabbit, that you caught with a trap made from stripped tree bark and a branch, on a fire that you lit by rubbing sticks together?

PeterKR

Link Posted 10/03/2013 - 21:26
davidstorm wrote:
I would disagree to some extent with PeterKr's views on the 55-300. It is nowhere near as good as the Sigma 150-500 as a wildlife lens, even when you disregard the focal length difference. The 55-300 is a fantastic lens - very sharp and contrasty, but is poor for wildlife simply because it does not focus fast enough or quietly enough. I does tend to 'hunt', although this is much less on the most recent bodies such as the K-5IIs. I find it much more suitable as a walkabout lens.

Regards
David

My reasons for mentioning the DA55-300mm are two-fold :

Firstly, and more importantly, because it is the only long telephoto that I have, and
Secondly, I guess it is somewhat lower cost than the 'faster' Sigma's ?

I used it yesterday for a Golden Eagle photoshoot when we did action shots in the afternoon, so I've now posted one on the Gallery.

Unfortunately the weather was not too good with poor overcast skies and a bitter cold wind which gave me the 'shivers'. All told not the best conditions for long range action shots - especially with birds that can fly extremely fast !

As I'm a relative newcomer to this activity the results were not exactly something to be proud of and I realised too late that I should have selected Shutter Priority and a fast shutter speed. However, if you compare the standing figure with the moving bird I don't think the LENS performed too badly (only the photographer !)

Peter

Stuey

Link Posted 10/03/2013 - 21:34
Blythman wrote:
Stuey, what is wrong with someone wanting better tools? Are you still cooking the rabbit, that you caught with a trap made from stripped tree bark and a branch, on a fire that you lit by rubbing sticks together?

You have a point guys it's not the fact of better tools I don't get its for the reason of a hobby I don't get - by this I mean, for example when fitting a solid wood door I may well take the electric sander along the edges for the sake of speed but for the parts that require accuracy and a better finish I take my time with a sanding block which is similar to me to photography in that taking my time produces better results which is why I like to take my time and try to get it right not rush things

It is similar to cooking I like to take my time with this as well as painting etc etc which gives better results than the quick let it all be done for you option.

Photography is my slow down or my time out as such and I prefer to take my time to learn the technique and get 'the' shot not 20 and hope one is ok

Yes I have tried the machine gun approach and at times af is indispensible but the bit I don't understand is the seemingly inherent thought that a camera with better af will make a person better it doesn't it is the camera doing the work - add in the differences in af accuracy and does a camera with a faster system make things better you could have more shots with focus errors and nothing else and I know people who have and do have this issue

It is horses for courses but surely there should be more people wanting to improve their technique to get the shot they want rather than hoping a change of system may help - just my opinion so of course it may well not be true.

If I were a pro tog at a sports venue a 4,000 camera and 10,000 lens would probably make my work easier and bring home more cash - the issue is I am not, will probably never be and as such the need for better tools is not there what I have is good enough - for example how many of us drive a 400bhp car so we may get to work quicker but never enter a race or have a top of the range 400+ coat to walk from the office car park to the office and never climb a mountain - as such as hobbyist togs why is it so many want a couple of 100ths of a second quicker af when in truth what we have works - that is what i just dont see the need for
K10D, K5 plus plenty of clueless enthusiasm.

My Flickr site link
Last Edited by Stuey on 10/03/2013 - 21:38

Blythman

Link Posted 10/03/2013 - 22:23
Stu, I've told this story before. I nearly switched after seeing my first ever cuckoo late last summer. Myself and two other photographers both got shots of it sitting on a post. It then flew to the left. The two guys I was with got excellent in flight shots. I got a blur. I have no doubt that if I'd had the Canon that one of them had, or if I'd had the Nikon that the other guy had, then I too would have got excellent shots. Incidentally, I don't machine gun. Accurate and fast AF is one thing Machine gunning is something else altogether. Try machine gunning with a Pentax shooting RAW, and you'll miss more than you catch, while your buffer is being emptied.

Are you suggesting that in the instant when it unexpectedly took off and flew left I should have tracked it with manual focus and managed the in flight shots that I was after. My view is that with manual focus I would have had a choice. Take the pictures on the post OR choose to gamble where it would fly and pre-focus there. Would I guess right or left. Would I guess that it would fly perpendicular to me, or would it move nearer to me or farther away.

The gear we have today has made the photography of wildlife so much more accessible than it has ever been before. There are undoubtedly more people taking quality wildlife pictures than at any time. And many more of those photographs are action photographs taken by ordinary people with full time jobs, who can only get out at the weekend.

If all you want to do is take a photo of a bird on a stick, then you will do fine with manual focus. If you want to get quality action shots the I'm afraid you need to either use AF, or give up work, and spend your week guessing whether the bird is going to fly right, fly left, or towards you and pre-focus. This will be in the knowledge that you've nothing better to do all week. Of course the cuckoo is due to fly to Africa. So, it might not stay with you all week

There are times when you can stack the cards more in your favour. Know the flight path of a bird. Pre-focus. Use an aperture of f8 or smaller to maximise depth of field. I've done this for flight shots of blue tits, house sparrows, greenfinches, etc. Be interesting if you were to give this a try and see what percentage of keepers you get. This is an instance when AF will not help, so its a level playing field across all systems.

As to the analogy of sanding a door. That is nice and slow. Maybe useful in a comparison with landscape photography, but not with action photography. However, having both an electric sander and a block sander you do use both. You use the tool that is best for the particular job. If the door was going to fly off, you'd maybe use the electric sander a bit more

Of course cost comes into it if changing systems. I could get a 2nd hand Canon 7d body for 700, probably less. I could get an old version of the Sigma 120-300 f2.8 for 800. A 1.4x TC for less than 100 and a 2x TC for another 140 or so.
Alternatively, I could get a Pentax fit Sigma 300m f2.8 for 2300 in the hope that the reported fast AF is in fact a reality. Although, it probably just means fast compared to other Pentax fit lenses and is actually still not on par with Canon or Nikon. Not to mention the prime is reputed to be inferior to the 120-300 zoom. Still need the TCs of course. Unless I were to go for the Sigma 500mm f4.5 which is 3999

So, changing systems is potentially a much cheaper option. Has to be said wildlife photography is expensive. Hobby or not. Its a case of what a person wants to spend disposable income on. Having decided not to change systems for now at least, I'm doing it on the cheap with a Sigma 150-500 and a DA*300. Still at over 1000 if I'd already had the Canon 7D the the 120-300 and TCs wouldn't have been any more expensive.
Alan


PPG
Flickr
Last Edited by Blythman on 10/03/2013 - 22:27
Add a Comment
You must be registered or logged-in to comment.