Are you smarter than a 55-300? For this Bigmos, the answer is no.

Started Jul 4, 2014 | Discussions thread
OP paulkienitz Veteran Member • Posts: 5,272
Re: Are you smarter than a 55-300? For this Bigmos, the answer is no.

Hi Paul. Unfortunately your results look a lot like mine did during my two weeks with the 150-500. At 300mm and below it beat my 55-300, but at 500mm wide open, it was dead soft. Stopping down improved it a great deal. The photos looked great, until you started to crop hard. At 500mm, it was never pixel sharp on a K20D. On a 24mp K-3, my results would have looked exactly like yours.

People told me "You don't know how to shoot with a long lens". Wrong! I returned the Bigmos and bought a second hand A 300mm f4 with Kenko 1.5X TC, and had no trouble getting pixel sharp shots at 450mm. Any misses were due to manual focus, not the lens. My current DA*300 and HD 1.4X RC is even sharper, and from wide open. My combo is only 420mm, but the Bigmos is not truly 500mm, more like 460mm at infinity focus, and drops significantly as subject distance decreases. I would bet that a K-5 IIs with Sigma 150-500 vs. a K-3 with DA*300, cropped to the same resolution, would provide a similar FOV and sharpness would easily favor the prime.

You read a lot of comments on this board about how fast HSM focus is. My recollection is that it was slower than my DA*300, but I didn't compare, because my ownership of the lenses was two years apart.

If you are someone who doesn't crop a lot, you might love the 150-500. I frequently crop to pixel level, I need a tack sharp lens. So many people are lamenting that Tamron isn't making the 150-600mm in K-mount. Not me, I have no further interest in big, slow, soft zooms.

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HSM focus... this is the first non-screwdrive lens I've had, and while the quiet and precision are nice, I wouldn't say it's fast, at least not at longer throws. Maybe it's quicker to lock down fine corrections.

I'm not unfamiliar with the technical demands of shooting long, though I've never owned a lens this big or expensive before... besides some past 400s, I've also done a lot with a manual focus 180mm on a Q, which is roughly equivalent in APS to a 600mm f9. (That rig is at its best with video rather than stills.)

I'll see if I can get some back yard static tests done today or tomorrow, and see what the best-case performance is.

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"A good photograph is knowing where to stand." -- Ansel

 paulkienitz's gear list:paulkienitz's gear list
Pentax Q Pentax K-3 Pentax smc DA 55-300mm F4.0-5.8 ED Pentax smc DA* 300mm F4.0 ED (IF) SDM Samyang 8mm F3.5 Aspherical IF MC Fisheye +4 more
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