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Thread: 1st day with Sigma 150-500

  1. #1

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    1st day with Sigma 150-500

    Purchased it today and while the sun shone I gave it a go!
    Why are birds so hard to capture on camera?
    Anyway, slight post processing and and a little sharpening and some cropping.
    Not overly impressed, but its the first time I have used anything like this lens so I am on a learning curve.
    There does seem to be a slight issue with the lens on my D90, if I try to manually overide the autofocus the mirror tries to lock up.
    If I just leave the camera to autofocus, everything is fine, strange one.

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    Last edited by Colin Southern; 6th March 2009 at 10:42 PM. Reason: Insert Images Inline

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    Re: 1st day with Sigma 150-500

    Yes, fine photos.

    I find that autofocus can be a touch slow especially when using AI focus, but it is a lot faster and more accurate than me attempting to quickly do a manual focus. The AF/manual switch is handy to where I hold the lens so it is simple to switch to manual if you are uncertain if auto has locked on successfully.

    I use a Canon 40D which works OK so I can't really think what could be causing your problem. Just a thought, but could you possibly have a dirty electrical contact?

    Birds certainly know when you have a camera and then keep their heads down. I find the best answer is never look straight at them. Pretend to be interested in insects or flowers then when they relax slowly turn the camera towards them but still look at your feet until you are able to hide behind the lens.

    Personally, I think that they can't tell the difference between a camera and a gun so if they see a steely determination on your face they think 'look out he's after us'. But that is just my theory!

    Geoff.

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    atvinnys's Avatar
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    Re: 1st day with Sigma 150-500

    very nice for a first try. can't wait to see the next one once you are familiar with the lens.

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    Re: 1st day with Sigma 150-500

    I think I have found the problem, it does appear to be a contact, when I twitch the lens a bit in the mount it locks the mirror up when in live view,and the focus area in live view keeps flickering when twitching the lens.
    Looks like I've bought a duff, that will be another 200 mile round trip then

  5. #5

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    Re: 1st day with Sigma 150-500

    Thanks Vinny, a bit dissapointed at the moment, hey ho!

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    Re: 1st day with Sigma 150-500

    Great results (when working!)

    Sorry to hear about the intermittant problems.

    On a side note - if you're keen - consider upgrading to a Canon 1D3 - the AF is sublime (it actually has a seperate CPU just for focus calculations and another for lens drive) ... and a LOT of customisable options for getting the very best out of these kinds of shots in terms of AF.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: 1st day with Sigma 150-500

    I think the ducks in flight are brilliant, wish I could get them looking like that.

    Not so sure about the other one, possibly a little too much contrast enhance/sharpening? Although I accept that perfect PP wasn't the aim here.

    I take it there's nothing obvious like a bit of fluff on the contacts? (Good diagnosis Geoff)
    Shame about that, hope it gets sorted.

    Cheers,

  8. #8

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    Re: 1st day with Sigma 150-500

    Thanks for the comments, the camera shop in question have told me to return it and they are holding another one for me till I can get there.
    Colin, I have Nikon cameras, but thanks for the thought.
    Dave, I think I may have had the sharpening turned up a little too much in camera, also shot in vivid, though I did lift the contrast a tad, maybe didn't need too, my old eyes are waiting for new spectacles.

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    Re: 1st day with Sigma 150-500

    Opinions vary about best camera controls but I always shoot with no sharpening and no picture 'enhancement' added by the camera then I can tweak each individual image to my personal requirements with a suitable editing programme. And usually, I shoot in RAW which gives me a bit of extra latitude over White Balance, etc.

  10. #10

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    Re: 1st day with Sigma 150-500

    Not quite in that deep yet Geoff, will get there in the end

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    Re: 1st day with Sigma 150-500

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    consider upgrading to a Canon 1D3 - the AF is sublime (it actually has a seperate CPU just for focus calculations and another for lens drive) ... and a LOT of customisable options for getting the very best out of these kinds of shots in terms of AF.
    Colin, just face it you are not going to 'Canonvert' everyone.

    Just sounds like a duff one, but that is true with all manufacturers.

  12. #12
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    Re: 1st day with Sigma 150-500

    I like your bird shots...I think you will enjoy this lens if you continue producing images like this.

    Chuck

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    Re: 1st day with Sigma 150-500

    I suppose you did give contacts a careful clean with iso alcohol?

    Am very interested in outcomes on birdies, which I tackle with D80 & Nikkor 80-400. Local buzzards and kestrels main targets (see pbase galleries). Have found that in fact I get better results using static focus on flyers than constant, but that may be just that my rig is too slow to achieve the constant and yours can.

    One always wonders if a slightly bigger and faster lens is worth it, but the real problem is getting enough light to get enough DOF, so its a receding horizon. Nothing like having PART of a bird really sharp for showing up that other parts aren't

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    Re: 1st day with Sigma 150-500

    Quote Originally Posted by shreds View Post
    Colin, just face it you are not going to 'Canonvert' everyone.
    Nah - I just assume that everyone uses Canon (you mean they don't?)

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    Re: 1st day with Sigma 150-500

    Quote Originally Posted by crisscross View Post
    Nothing like having PART of a bird really sharp for showing up that other parts aren't
    Or in most of my shots, just PART of a bird, and even that's not in focus, or moving too fast for the shutter speed

    I must practice more, but I too find focusing to a predetermined bit of airspace is the only way.

    Cheers,

  16. #16
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    Re: 1st day with Sigma 150-500

    Dave, even with AI Servo focus (sorry, canon user here..)
    (k, granted, last time I used that was with a gliding vultur...but it worked...)

    Vincent

  17. #17

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    Re: 1st day with Sigma 150-500

    Thanks for all the positive comments.
    Managed to finish work early today so shot off to do my near 200 mile round trip.
    I have to say the shop were brilliant, they did all they could to make sure the lens and camera in combination did not malfunction before I left, so fingers crossed hopefully I am sorted, but I can't help but feel a little nervous
    Hopefully I can get out again soon and try it out.

  18. #18
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    Re: 1st day with Sigma 150-500

    Crusty,

    We all look forward to the results.

    Ian

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