Pentax 150-450 F4.5-5.6 vs Sigma 500 F4.5 vs Pentax 560 F5.6


karthikv82

Link Posted 18/06/2015 - 21:32
Hello All,

I mainly photograph wildlife and the only camera system I have ever used is Pentax. Most of you who shoot the same might share my frustrations with the limitations to the available range of lenses from Pentax (in production) to suit my needs.
I currently own the Sigma 500 F4.5 and have to say… it is sweeeet but … and it comes with a "BUT", it comes with drawbacks:
1. Not weather sealed – I have been in extreme conditions photographing wildlife in different parts of the world from the rain forests of Rwanda and Borneo to the dry dusty safaris in India and Kenya and needless to say ever so lovely unpredictable British. I have to admit it is a pain to keep the lens covered with the rain and dust coat. However, this is not the biggest minus point. I can live with it
2. Lens movement – That’s the best way I would describe is the lens has a very slight movement (probably 1mm) enough to let the lens start searching (I have attached a pic of what ive seen happen on my 500 and 100-300). I have missed on some of the best action shots because of this. I have had this checked with Sigma and Richo and had the bayonet replaced spending £150. No much luck. The same thing seems to happen just not as much and I know that it will eventually get there. Happens only happens when handheld or on a beanbag. Tripod – no issues.



3. Doesn’t work well with 1.4x TC – well while many might argue that the TC works with the lens, it doesn’t work well enough for me ☺. I rather not use it at all.

Having said that, here are some shots form the 500. When it locks in …it is amazing.



















As much as I love the prime, I do like the versatility of a zoom lens and everything that the 150-450 promises to deliver on the above points. I think no one in this day and age ever uses an image just out of the camera without a crop or a slide of some of the buttons on a photo development software. Therefore, the trade off, if not blatantly noticeable can be made.

So, I have been trolling the interweb to get a comparison between the three lenses and TBH I haven’t found any. The members who have gone out and taken some pics with 150-450 have helped prove that the lens is very good at 150, 350 and every other focal length but the 450 wide open and high ISO. Something very relevant to my needs. And, if it really performs with the 1.4x TC. Therefore, I have decided to do my own. I am heading down to SRS this Saturday and do a back to back to back test on the three.

As for the Pentax 560 – I can’t not do a comparison just to convince myself considering the current price.

Have your say and wish me luck for the Saturday. I will post some comparison photos of the three.

Regards,

Karthik
Karthik
www.kvflick.com

SteveEveritt

Link Posted 18/06/2015 - 21:41
Good luck, I for one will be interested to see the comparisons
My Flickr link

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans" (John Lennon)
Last Edited by SteveEveritt on 18/06/2015 - 21:41

whatsthisbuttondo

Link Posted 18/06/2015 - 21:46
So keeping an eye on this thread

50mpCMOS

Link Posted 18/06/2015 - 22:11
This is one of those ones where I most definitely would not mind Sigma coming out with the Sigma 120-300mm f2.8

Used on any other body outside of the not yet available PK, it's been quite widely accepted as one of the best WR zoom lenses ever built

The Sigma 150-600mm also quite well up there in both optics and unparalleled levels of WR. Sure the aperture could be improved, but look at the price.

Although presently not officially confirmed, Sigma is widely believed to come out with some nine more WR lenses within the next eleven months
Last Edited by 50mpCMOS on 18/06/2015 - 22:14

Daronl

Link Posted 18/06/2015 - 22:24
Could definately help me through a period of frustrating procrastination; I have been
Carrying out a few proving trials over the last two months having spent money on Canon Equipment which frankly didn't do it for me;

1. Done Canon pro lens trials recently
2. Done Nikon with Nikon
3. then Nikon with Tamron,
4. Nikon with Bigma, etc.

By my estimation and examination none of them matched the Pentax 300mmDA* ( with or without the HD1.4x) or 60-250 Da* .

The Canon pro lenses were more than twice the price but did not reflect anything other than arguably comparble IQ.

Nikon D810 trials were arguably not as good as Canon or Pentax

Not brand loyalty from me here; simply, like for like , side by side field trials and results.

I am almost convinced that I should just believe/commit and invest more hard earned dosh in Pentax: nothing from the others in terms of IQ can convince me I shouldn't .

Even a desire for better AF iseems to be based on a SOMEWHAT NEBULOUS CONCLUSION IN THE FIELD - IT REALLY IS , so I am waiting for FF and also a third K3 version with a more appropriate spec' for my needs. ( personally I am not intersted in Astrophotography or GPS.)

Hope your test can add some clarity to this subject.
Daronl

Mike-P

Link Posted 18/06/2015 - 22:53
50mpCMOS wrote:
This is one of those ones where I most definitely would not mind Sigma coming out with the Sigma 120-300mm f2.8

Used on any other body outside of the not yet available PK, it's been quite widely accepted as one of the best WR zoom lenses ever built

The Sigma 150-600mm also quite well up there in both optics and unparalleled levels of WR. Sure the aperture could be improved, but look at the price.

Like most Sigma lenses the 120-300mm f2.8 doesn't take a converter well, I tried one before settling on the Canon 300mm F2.8L IS and at 300mm there is very little in it but slap on a 2x converter and the difference is certainly noticeable.
As for the Sigma 150-600mm sport, again I tried one .. nice lens if you can fill the frame but try shooting anything at distance and the subject turns to mush.
No equipment list here but thanks for taking an interest. My Flickr

karthikv82

Link Posted 19/06/2015 - 00:30
Mike-P wrote:
50mpCMOS wrote:
This is one of those ones where I most definitely would not mind Sigma coming out with the Sigma 120-300mm f2.8

Used on any other body outside of the not yet available PK, it's been quite widely accepted as one of the best WR zoom lenses ever built

The Sigma 150-600mm also quite well up there in both optics and unparalleled levels of WR. Sure the aperture could be improved, but look at the price.

Like most Sigma lenses the 120-300mm f2.8 doesn't take a converter well, I tried one before settling on the Canon 300mm F2.8L IS and at 300mm there is very little in it but slap on a 2x converter and the difference is certainly noticeable.
As for the Sigma 150-600mm sport, again I tried one .. nice lens if you can fill the frame but try shooting anything at distance and the subject turns to mush.

Agreed. Sigma make good lenses and have a good reputation "BUT" the PK mounts are $h!T..!! I have had to change both the bayonets on the 100-300 and the 500 and trust me I do not use them half as rough as my C and N friends. Thats one that that is really putting me off third party lenses
Karthik
www.kvflick.com

McGregNi

Link Posted 19/06/2015 - 22:03
Those are beautiful wildlife images karthik, amazing creatures and great captures in exotic safari mode! Good luck with your comparison shots .... Are you going off to the local duck-pond to try out the lenses I too look forward to your further informative feedback
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
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50mpCMOS

Link Posted 20/06/2015 - 01:28
I've recently added a Canon EOS 5DS R to my collection.

I have the Sigma 300 for PK, and have never had one single issue with it; with thousands of photographs taken with it, in most every type of lighting, etc... Got to even borrow one in the Canon lens mount, basically identical.

Have the entire existing Sigma WR line in Canon lens mount, nothing short of epic. About the only glass made that can beat it is in the range of the Canon 200 f2.o or Zeiss. It's sad that Sigma makes these even for Sony but not for Pentax.

ilovesaabs

Link Posted 20/06/2015 - 09:23
karthikv82 wrote:


Agreed. Sigma make good lenses and have a good reputation "BUT" the PK mounts are $h!T..!! I have had to change both the bayonets on the 100-300 and the 500 and trust me I do not use them half as rough as my C and N friends. Thats one that that is really putting me off third party lenses

Funny you should mention the 100-300. PK mount in classifieds go for £700-800 while EF or F mount go for less than half that amount... Between you and Mike-P I might be forced to sell my rather good Sigma 150-500 and go for the D-FA...
AKA Welshwizard/PWynneJ
Assorted Pentax/Nikon/Mamiya stuff

Mike-P

Link Posted 20/06/2015 - 14:39
Unfortunately I can't see that the comparison will be of much use unless you take the time to do AF adjustment on the 150-450mm and 560mm (presuming you have already done it on the 500mm). From the shots in my thread I was more than happy with my 150-450mm even wide open at 450mm but I bought a new tripod and gimbal a few days ago and decided to do the adjustment properly (for the first time ever). I have settled on -4 and it is now spot on. I thought it was sharp then but now ....

ilovesaabs wrote:

Funny you should mention the 100-300. PK mount in classifieds go for £700-800 while EF or F mount go for less than half that amount... Between you and Mike-P I might be forced to sell my rather good Sigma 150-500 and go for the D-FA...

I have noticed quite a fall in the Sigma 100-300mm prices lately, they struggle to fetch £500/550 these days on Ebay and I think the 150-450mm is likely to hit them even further.
No equipment list here but thanks for taking an interest. My Flickr

karthikv82

Link Posted 20/06/2015 - 17:44
Mike-P wrote:
Unfortunately I can't see that the comparison will be of much use unless you take the time to do AF adjustment on the 150-450mm and 560mm (presuming you have already done it on the 500mm). From the shots in my thread I was more than happy with my 150-450mm even wide open at 450mm but I bought a new tripod and gimbal a few days ago and decided to do the adjustment properly (for the first time ever). I have settled on -4 and it is now spot on. I thought it was sharp then but now ....

ilovesaabs wrote:

Funny you should mention the 100-300. PK mount in classifieds go for £700-800 while EF or F mount go for less than half that amount... Between you and Mike-P I might be forced to sell my rather good Sigma 150-500 and go for the D-FA...

I have noticed quite a fall in the Sigma 100-300mm prices lately, they struggle to fetch £500/550 these days on Ebay and I think the 150-450mm is likely to hit them even further.

I should have been clearer in what I meant by comparison. I am not the technical expert on lenses but I know what I am looking for and some key tick in the boxes for me to convince myself to go from prime to zoom. Having said that, I have walked out of SRS with the 150-450

In the process of writing up and putting some pictures of the test comparison shots.
Karthik
www.kvflick.com

karthikv82

Link Posted 20/06/2015 - 18:33
Back from SRS and this is what happened ….

PS: Please excuse my poor reviewing / comparison skills. But, it’s the best I can do with my little knowledge. Hope it helps ☺

Note: I didn’t use the Pentax 560 at all as it wasn’t in my budget and more importantly, I know it ticks the additional boxes mentioned above already.

The 150-450 had already ticked a few the boxes for me with the specs, reviews on this and other Pentax forums. The few other things I wanted to check and convince myself was to
1. Compare the sharpness
2. 1SO handling
3. Contrast
4. Feel
5. Ease to work with a TC

My main question was should I part with my Sigma500 ? and why ?

I stopped by in Tesco the previous night and bought my near to life, wildlife subject. Almost worst case, high contrast, dark eyes deep-set and fur to check the details.


The series of images you see have been shot in RAW. Absolutely no re-touching. Converted to jpeg in PS. Weather was cloudy and the light was not very good. Perfect for the test. I shot all images with the 500 first and then did the same with the 150-450. To my advantage the light got slightly worse. So shows a true capability. All shots were handheld.
Subject was around 9 meters away.
Image 1
EXIF:
Lens: Sigma 500 F4.5
Camera: PENTAX K-3
Focal Length: 500 mm
Shutter Speed: 1/320 sec
Aperture: f/5.6
ISO: 400




Image 2
Lens: Pentax 150-450 F4.5 – 5.6
Camera: PENTAX K-3
Focal Length: 450 mm
Shutter Speed: 1/250 sec
Aperture: f/5.6
ISO: 400



Image 3
Lens: Sigma 500 F4.5
Camera: PENTAX K-3
Focal Length: 500 mm
Shutter Speed: 1/1600 sec
Aperture: f/5.6
ISO: 1600



Image 4
Lens: Pentax 150-450 F4.5 – 5.6
Camera: PENTAX K-3
Focal Length: 450 mm
Shutter Speed: 1/800 sec
Aperture: f/5.6
ISO: 1600



Image 5
Lens: Sigma 500 F4.5
Camera: PENTAX K-3
Focal Length: 500 mm
Shutter Speed: 1/3200 sec
Aperture: f/5.6
ISO: 3200



Image 6
Lens: Pentax 150-450 F4.5 – 5.6
Camera: PENTAX K-3
Focal Length: 450 mm
Shutter Speed: 1/1600 sec
Aperture: f/5.6
ISO: 3200



Image 7
Lens: Pentax 150-450 F4.5 – 5.6 + 1.4X TC
Camera: PENTAX K-3
Focal Length: 630 mm
Shutter Speed: 1/320 sec
Aperture: f/8
ISO: 800



Image 8
Lens: Pentax 150-450 F4.5 – 5.6 + 1.4X TC
Camera: PENTAX K-3
Focal Length: 630 mm
Shutter Speed: 1/500 sec
Aperture: f/8
ISO: 1600



Image 9
Side by side comparison of the image from the Sigma 500 and Pentax 150-450 at 450. Cropped. Image 1 and 2. ISO 400



Image 10
Side by side comparison of the image from the Sigma 500 and Pentax 150-450 at 450. Cropped. Image 1 and 2. ISO 1600



Finally, I just wanted to see what the image from the TC would look like after PP and crop. Not much done. Spent probably 30 seconds on it. Excuse the quality here. Looks better on my computer

Lens: Pentax 150-450 F4.5 – 5.6 + 1.4X TC
Camera: PENTAX K-3
Focal Length: 630 mm
Shutter Speed: 1/400 sec
Aperture: f/8
ISO: 1600



After the kind guys at SRS put up with me for over an hour, I made the decision and walked away with the Pentax 150-450 and a 1.4X TC. Happy ☺

The AF was quick but the test is not enough to show its full capability. It feels very sturdy in the hand. Still trying to work out the buttons on the lens but will get there eventually.

Now the lens is in my possession, I will do a good test run and put up more pictures as and when.
Karthik
www.kvflick.com
Last Edited by karthikv82 on 20/06/2015 - 18:49

karthikv82

Link Posted 20/06/2015 - 18:44
Mike-P wrote:
Unfortunately I can't see that the comparison will be of much use unless you take the time to do AF adjustment on the 150-450mm and 560mm (presuming you have already done it on the 500mm). From the shots in my thread I was more than happy with my 150-450mm even wide open at 450mm but I bought a new tripod and gimbal a few days ago and decided to do the adjustment properly (for the first time ever). I have settled on -4 and it is now spot on. I thought it was sharp then but now ....

I have never done AF adjustment on anything .. wouldn't know where to start. Will have to pick your brains in a few days please
Karthik
www.kvflick.com

karthikv82

Link Posted 20/06/2015 - 18:47
McGregNi wrote:
Those are beautiful wildlife images karthik, amazing creatures and great captures in exotic safari mode! Good luck with your comparison shots .... Are you going off to the local duck-pond to try out the lenses I too look forward to your further informative feedback

Thanks Nigel. I didn't go to the duckpond unfortunately. I decided to do an almost like for like comparison so I thought the best thing to do was to have a static subject I will take the lens to a few places .. now that I have it and post some more pictures. Cheers
Karthik
www.kvflick.com
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