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Thread: Lens test - Sigma100-300F4

  1. #61
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    Default Re: Lens test - Sigma100-300F4

    Some recent "portraits" to share.









    I supposed this thread has served its purpose, so, it's about time to close it la.
    I love big car, big house, big lenses, but small apertures.

  2. #62
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    Default Re: Lens test - Sigma100-300F4

    As Ortega has put this thread in the list of third-party lens reviews, I have asked for this thread to be re-opened so that I can do some updates.

    Well, it has been like 1.5years since I got this lens and I love this lens more and more as I use it. The price has somewhat dropped from $1680 to like as low as $1290 from OP as quoted by them. That is a whopping 400bucks!! And I still haven't bought the Sigma 1.4xTC yet to go with this lens. I have tried it at the TCW though. No problem focusing with the TC in the shop's lights, so outdoor shooting will never be an issue in focusing. I will most likely get the TC for the coming Aerospace show in Feb08. And of course, it would be great to use for the F1 race in Sep08.

    With the TC, just tested a few shots in the available light, I found that the PQ has hardly dropped with the TC. Since I am gonna to get the TC, I might as well get it sooner than later and try it out and test it thoroughly before the big show in Feb08. I will show some test shots when I get it.

    Some technical point to note: So far, all the pictures I have posted here are practical shots and they are not done under controlled conditions. Under controlled conditions like lens on tripod, subject stationary, ISO at 100, aperture at 2stops down F8, shutter remote release, studio softbox lighting, etc. - under such ideal conditions, I guess this lens should perform even better.

    After 1.5years, I might wanna to do some true, real, genuine, authentic test shots to see for myself if I get much better or just marginally better results as compared with shots taken under practical conditions. I hope I have the time to do it soon and show you the results.
    I love big car, big house, big lenses, but small apertures.

  3. #63
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    Default Re: Lens test - Sigma100-300F4

    Now, I have got another eye at 100% to show, but this time, with some level adjustment and a wee bit of USM. I would like to emphasise that this was shot under practical conditions, that is to say in the MaryChia's Fashion show, hand-held and not under controlled and ideal conditions.




    Camera D200 Setting: 210mm F5.6 1/200s Shutter Priority ISO400

    I simply love the angmoh eye, so much so that I like to share it here and to show you at 100%.
    Last edited by smallaperture; 12th November 2007 at 10:43 AM.
    I love big car, big house, big lenses, but small apertures.

  4. #64
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    Default Re: Lens test - Sigma100-300F4

    Here is another picture taken during the Suntec City new Galleria fashion show. I would like to draw your attention to the smooth, creamy and pleasant looking bokeh.


    D200, Setting: Shutter priority, 135mm, F4, 1/200s, ISO800, AWB
    I love big car, big house, big lenses, but small apertures.

  5. #65
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    Default Re: Lens test - Sigma100-300F4

    User Report on Sigma 1.4x EX Teleconverter -After such a long time, I managed to find some time yesterday to go down to Funan to get the Sigma 1.4x TC from AP. As it was just a few days before Xmas, there was a long queue at the entrance to the carpark. I decided to park at the new Parliament House - this place has to be the safest carpark around, with so many cctv cams that covers fully the entire place.

    First impression - the TC is very thin, that thin to accommodate 5 elements inside it. And the outside finish matches exactly the matte black EX finish of my lens. And the mounting is tight, real tight and no free play at all, unlike the Kenko I used before.

    In the field - somehow, it was a sunny afternoon so that I could get down to the Kallang Riverside to do some test shoot. There was a wakeboarder on tow there as test target. From the cam's monitor, the result looks good enough for me. I will post some test shots when I get them done up and upload to photobucket. I always prefer to shoot live, that is to say, under real live situations and not under ideal or controlled conditions. So stay tuned for my test shot soon.

    And one more observation - it reports the correct focal length and aperture as recording in the exif data - Bravo! The Kenko I used before gave me the focal length and aperture of the based lens

    Hope that I can find some useful practice targets to shoot to horn my skills before the Big Airshow in feb08. I am not a fan of shooting newspaper or other test pattern - that is the job of magazines and professional reviewers. I am just doing a user report, not a proper unbiased "scientific" review.
    Last edited by smallaperture; 26th January 2008 at 10:19 PM.
    I love big car, big house, big lenses, but small apertures.

  6. #66
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    Default Re: Lens test - Sigma100-300F4

    Quote Originally Posted by smallaperture View Post
    ...
    Hope that I can find some useful practice targets to shoot to horn my skills before the Big Airshow in feb08...
    You mean hone your skills right?

    I shot aircraft with the 100-300 at this year's NDP. Wasn't easy...heh.

  7. #67
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    Default Re: Lens test - Sigma100-300F4

    Quote Originally Posted by calebk View Post
    You mean hone your skills right?

    I shot aircraft with the 100-300 at this year's NDP. Wasn't easy...heh.
    Yeah, it ain't easy as ABC. However, I managed to get something decent in last year's PLAB open-house. Here you are, our RSAF F16 :



    I find this quite nice, remember that it was when we were experiencing quite bad haze at that time.
    I suppose that it is gonna to be even tougher to shoot with a 1.4xTC, unless you're a sniper or sharp-shooter trained by the SAF.......

    Still dunno what target to shoot to hone my skills for the big show leh.
    Last edited by smallaperture; 5th January 2008 at 10:48 PM. Reason: typo correction
    I love big car, big house, big lenses, but small apertures.

  8. #68
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    Default Re: Lens test - Sigma100-300F4

    The TC - Is it worth it? - Well, if you ask me, the answer is Yes and No.

    Firstly, no because it is so very small, light with a mere 5 elements in it and looks rather insignificant. This is so if you compare it with an entry level Sigma 70-300F4.5-5.6 Macro Super, which cost a mere 40bucks more. That lens can zoom all the way from 70 to 300, a 4x zoom to boot. This reminds me of the folklore in some North African countries like Algeria and Morocco where the dowry of a bride is based on her weight - that is to say, the heavier she is , the more dowry her parent would get. So, they would feed the gals with lots of fatty mutton just before the marriage. And they say that the men there prefer gal who are well endowed in the weight department. Now, dunno if this is a true, real, genuine, authentic custom there or just that someone made up this story. And if you compare the amount of material in producing the TC and the effort in manufacturing, packaging and transporting it, well, you draw you own conclusion la.

    Then, yes, the fact that you could extend or multiply the focal length of you lens by a significant 1.4x. To get that focal length, you would have to fork out big bucks if you were to get that kind of lens. And not forgetting the weight, length to deal with. As for PQ, it is generally known that the 1.4x TC could cause only a slight insignificant drop in PQ.

    Why didn't I get this TC rightaway? - well, when I first bought the Sg100-300, I was like still not that confident in able to shoot properly or rather able to handle that kind of long lens and if a TC would make things worst off.

    Let me elaborate - 300mm is already like 450mm with the 1.5crop factor. So, not that easy to shoot. With a TC, it would be all the way to a whopping 620mm, which is in super tele territory liao. Moreover, you loose a stop, starting from F5.6. So, ended up you got to use much higher shutter speed and as a result, higher ISO.......

    Now, just thinking aloud, I was at one time wondering if I were better off go without the TC and crop more aggressively, rather than handling the difficult shooting situation. During the PLAB open house, I manage to get pretty decent pictures of the RSAF F16 in the sky. My point is that under practical conditions like shooting a flying fighter jet, would I get the shot without the TC as I have done. Not sure if I would get better PQ with the TC. At Paya Lebar, I was able to use fast shutter speed in the tune of 1/800 - 1/1000s or even faster and an aperture of F8 or so without having to go for high ISO. BTW, the action was so very fast that it was too cumbersome and slow to use a tripod or even a monopod.

    So, finally, I decided to have a go at it and see for myself how well I am able to cope with the shooting. Also, got to see also, how much PQ I loose with this TC.
    I love big car, big house, big lenses, but small apertures.

  9. #69
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    Default Re: Lens test - Sigma100-300F4

    Test target found for the Lens + TC - in the afternoon on this Christmas day, from the window of my master bedroom, found some free roaming birds at some 15m or so away. Here are a series of pic, the main pic and then, the almost 100% crop. Main picture taken at Quality setting of Medium/Fine, which is 5.8Mp from the D200.



    420mm, 1/320s, F5.6, autoISO900 centre cropped



    420mm, 1/400s, F5.6, autoISO1100 centre cropped

    The full pics was size-reduced without any other processing.
    The cropped pics was done with some level adjustment and USM done to make it look presentable. I don't have a decent NR to remove noise due to the high ISO. But then, the high ISO didn't quite reduce the sharpness.

    Well, under such overcast condition this afternoon and under the large tree, still able to get pretty decent results. I am pretty satisfied with the result in terms of sharpness, contrast and colour.

    BTW, all pic taken hand-held, under less than ideal conditions. That is why I was using high shutter speed and high ISO too. Needless to say, in bright sunshine and with tripod, I suppose the results would be better.

    And that's all folks. I might wanna to run more tests and do more shooting practice to horn my skills for the Big Fat Event coming next Feb08.
    Last edited by smallaperture; 25th December 2007 at 08:59 PM.
    I love big car, big house, big lenses, but small apertures.

  10. #70
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    Default Re: Lens test - Sigma100-300F4

    Still got another pair of pic, the cropping was taken from the side. Hardly any difference to me.




    So, in terms of focal length, all the pictures were maxed out at 420mm, which is 630mm with the 1.5x crop factor of the DX sensor. And the aperture was also at the fully open F5.6. At this aperture, the results looks good enough to me, but I dunno if I could get better results at say F8 or even F11, which is 2stop down from the max. The next time, I will try these apertures F5.6, F8 and F11 for comparison.
    Last edited by smallaperture; 25th December 2007 at 08:50 PM.
    I love big car, big house, big lenses, but small apertures.

  11. #71
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    Default Re: Lens test - Sigma100-300F4

    Well, on this Christmas day, after my dinner, I noticed the full moon in a clear sky. Today, being the 16th day of the lunar month.

    So, out came my tripod and the len + TC combo and got to work on it. So, went snapping away, varying the aperture, from F5.6 to F8 to F11 and various shutter speed from a low of 1/30s all the way to 1/125s. Also, tried ISO100 and 200.

    Well, it looks like the proverbial 2stop down from the max gives the sharpest result and it is true here. In most other shots, we could hardly see the difference, but for the moon shot, where you go almost 100% crop and any slight difference could be detected readily. So, stay tuned to my moon shots coming your way real soon.
    I love big car, big house, big lenses, but small apertures.

  12. #72
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    Default Re: Lens test - Sigma100-300F4


    420mm, F11, 1/125s, ISO200, DaylightWB
    D200, Sigma100-300F4 + Sg1.4xTC

    Well, hope to be able to shoot better moon shot when I get good weather and when I got the time. One aspect is to be able to eliminate vibration due to mirror movement and shutter movement, or rather try to reduce it's effect. Right now, mounted on tripod at the tripod ring mount of the lens, the set up is like a see-saw. And the mirror-up function of the D200 is rather screwed up. Using the 5s self timer is the next best alternative, but not ideal. Ideally, Mup should be able to be combined with the 5s self timer for it to work well.

    Now, I hope to be able to find a better solution to this so that I might be able to reduce effectively the vibration or is it the micro-vibration due to mirror and shutter movement.
    Last edited by smallaperture; 5th January 2008 at 10:56 PM.
    I love big car, big house, big lenses, but small apertures.

  13. #73
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    Default Re: Lens test - Sigma100-300F4

    I don't know about you, but I sometimes find the AF gets fooled if the subject is too near background, and the lens ends up focusing on the background.

    For instance, I'm shooting someone on ground floor and I'm on the fourth floor. My lens is at an angle of approximately 60 to the building, but somehow or rather, the lens focuses on the ground behind the person's head, even though my AF point is on the person's head. It is an intermittent problem that I'm facing. Not sure if I should send my lens in for calibration etc.

  14. #74
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    Default Re: Lens test - Sigma100-300F4

    Quote Originally Posted by calebk View Post
    I don't know about you, but I sometimes find the AF gets fooled if the subject is too near background, and the lens ends up focusing on the background.

    For instance, I'm shooting someone on ground floor and I'm on the fourth floor. My lens is at an angle of approximately 60 to the building, but somehow or rather, the lens focuses on the ground behind the person's head, even though my AF point is on the person's head. It is an intermittent problem that I'm facing. Not sure if I should send my lens in for calibration etc.
    Well, I haven't noticed this problem yet. But, I thought this is more of an AF issue with the cam. I guess if you set the AF to nearest-subject priority, you should be getting what you want. But, if the BG and the subject is too close, the AF system might be fooled.
    I love big car, big house, big lenses, but small apertures.

  15. #75
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    Default Re: Lens test - Sigma100-300F4

    Paint peeling problem in Sigma lenses - well, after using it for about 1.5years, I still haven't encountered this yet. I dunno if I have been grossly under-utilising this lens or that Sigma has sorted this problem out and found the solution to pre-mature paint peeling. [this is in response to someone who PMed me on this issue]

    BTW, I am not the type who is extra careful with my gear. I just use it the way I think I should use them. Scratches or some paint peeling doesn't border me a wee bit. I already got a few scratches on the Hoya HMC filter in front, but that doesn't affect the photo at all. But then, the 82mm filter cost something like 70bucks or thereabout.

    Talking about cosmetics, I have got tapes to fix the AF ring so that I do not accidentally turn it and screw up the focusing. I know that having tape on the lens doesn't look "cool", especially I am using those cheapo 2" green tapes and not expensive gaffer type.

    And since I am at it, I have tapes to cover the sockets of the remote and the flash sync of my D200 cam. The original caps have been lost long time ago.

    From what I see, most amateur gear looks like virgin or mint condition. If you have seen how the gear of a photo-journalist look like, you would be amazed as to how the gear could survive such battering and still working fine.
    I love big car, big house, big lenses, but small apertures.

  16. #76
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    Default Re: User Report - Sigma100-300F4 w 1.4xTC

    Time flies - it has been almost 2years since I got this lens.

    The ultimate of wildlife shoot is none other than the Game drives in South Africa or Kenya. And then, the best place to practice is our local zoo. So, got myself the 70bucks Friends of Zoo for unlimited entry buffet style with free parking to boot.

    So, without hesitation, off I went to my big fav. Here are what I have got with the lens combo.








    Done handheld, becos I am too lazy to bring along tripod/monopod la. EXIF left intact for those who are curious to know.

    I was on AutoISO all the time. As I was on Shutter Priority at 1/250s, aperture wide open at F5.6, so, the only variable was the ISO. So, in these zoo shots, ISO went up all the way to 1600. I guess this would be pretty typical of a Safari shoot. Well, animals do want comfort and not come out in the blazing sun to be photographed by us. They prefer to stay nice and cool under the foliage.

    Not sure if I could be better off using slower shutter speed like 1/160s. But then, the subject is never stationary, posing for us. Also, I need fast enough shutter speed to eliminate cam shake. So, then a monopod could help la. Well, I have got until end Mar09 to practice my zoo shoot.

    Now, what about AFhunting? Well, so far so good - my AF did hunting but only twice throughout the entire afternoon.
    Last edited by smallaperture; 16th March 2008 at 07:23 PM.
    I love big car, big house, big lenses, but small apertures.

  17. #77
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    Default Re: Lens test - Sigma100-300F4

    But of course, the biggest event has got to be the recent Singapore Airshow 2008. And this is where I tested out this lens thoroughly, with and without the 1.4xTC. Some of the shots I took can be found here:

    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=352012

    and here:

    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=353974

    Well, I could have gone to the show grounds so that I could have been much nearer to the best actions I could have. And then, I would have much less cropping to do. I suppose that 300mm would give me more or less enough reach for the flying display.

    Next issue - to have or not to have the TC? I would say that when I am at the show ground, I suppose I don't really need the TC as the best actions are near enough for the 300mm. Moreoever, with the TC, at times, I could get AF hunting and missing some of the best actions. As everyone should know, when you get AF hunting, you miss the fast actions of the Black Knights. Even slower flights of the OZ Roulettes would be missed.
    I love big car, big house, big lenses, but small apertures.

  18. #78
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    Default Re: Lens test - Sigma100-300F4

    2nd zoo visit, this time only the lens, without the TC. Here are 2 shots that I think are good enough to be posted, representative of this superlative lens.


    The canine of the white tiger is simply menacing, awesome and needless to say, no Colgate nor toothbrush and not even a visit to the dentist! Well, not all creatures have got naturally clean and healthy set of teeth to show off. BTW, the Orang Utans have got absolutely dirty teeth. I guess it has got to do with their diet, or rather the zoo's dietitian.


    Last edited by smallaperture; 30th March 2008 at 02:33 PM.
    I love big car, big house, big lenses, but small apertures.

  19. #79
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    Default Re: Lens test - Sigma100-300F4

    GOOD NEWS - just a few days ago, I saw 2 boxes of this lens at the Orient Photo at SL Square. Bravo! OP.

    So, apart from Alan Photo, those who are interested in this lens could have 2 stores to go to to check out this lens.

    At all the other stores, you will have to fork out a deposit before they are willing to bring in a piece for you to see it, smell it, touch it and then, test it to your satisfaction.

    BTW, my lens is still serving me very, very well, exactly the same as the first day I got it. The HSM is still just as quiet, fast and smooth as ever.
    I love big car, big house, big lenses, but small apertures.

  20. #80
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    Default Re: Lens test - Sigma100-300F4

    what is the current damage for this lens? nikon mount available?

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