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An anti-lust lens that does the trick....

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Harry Lavo, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. Can you get any more lowly than the Sigma 70-300mm APO DG Macro? Can't give them away here....can't get three digits for them on Craig's list...and listing them on eBay is like playing Russian roulette.

    Moreover, sometimes when focused far away from the subject the lens needs to be refocused on something else to "recover".

    That's the bad news.

    The good news is that for $200 or less you can have a sharp 70-300mm that handily outperforms the non-VR Nikon and gives the VR version a run for its money. Moreover it is light, easy to handhold, and once you master it's quirks, pretty darn sharp from 70 up to 300mm. The trick is in that last sentence...mastering the len's quirks.

    The biggest one is the need to switch to Macro mode to use the 200-300mm range. The len's propensity to be sharp to 200mm and then fall apart in normal mode is well known. What is not well known is that a simple switch to macro makes the 200m-300mm range very sharp as well, not only for macro work, but for general photography in addition. Here are examples at the so-called "weak" far end. The bird shots are heavily cropped:

    My cat, Lenny:

    original.
    NIKON D300    ---    195mm    f/13.0    1/400s    ISO 3600


    Birds in the backyards (handheld - atop 40' high trees):

    original.

    View attachment 239186

    View attachment 239187

    And here is its capability at the 70mm end:

    [​IMG]

    For what it costs this is an amazingly capable lens....IF you learn your way around its quirks. There really is no reason to deny yourself the pleasures and learning of using long glass even if you can't afford the good stuff right now...or ever, for that matter. You can take good pics with this lens.

    Usual disclaimer et al. I just think it is a bargain and wanted to draw it to your attention.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2008
  2. Your cat has an awesome tongue!
     
  3. kays

    kays

    89
    Aug 9, 2008
    Maryland
    Nce shots. Third one a bit overworked - but the the rest are fine!

    So the moral to your story is: Dollars doesn't always sense?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2008
  4. Randy

    Randy

    May 11, 2006
    1 is great
    2,3,and 4 are what I would expect (from the lens, not you)...
    personally I'd rather have the 70-300vr for the extra $300
    'you only get to take a shot once'
     
  5. I love mine but just don't use it that often

    Florida Scrub Jay......300 mm




    original.
     
  6. Thanks, Rich. I was trying to get a shot of him eating grass, and I got this instead -- even better!

    LOL! Moral is: this lens allows you to shoot long on a severe budget. Just don't try to resell it... LOL!:smile:

    As to number three, I went back to it and redid it ... it was the autocontrast in NX's "curves" control that was causing a color shift. Thanks for pointing it out.

    Hi Randy. Glad you appreciate Lenny. Is your preference for the 70-300mm the VR? I forgot to mention (but have added before the pics) that the bird shots are handheld...so they are not ultimately sharp. Tom/Cocoa's bird pic below shows what more careful shooting can achieve.

    Great shot of a beautiful bird. Doubt any other lens could have done it better. You say you don't use it....because of the 80-200? Or because you don't shoot telephoto or macro so much?
     
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