Whoa! D3 with Sigma 500mm 4.5 + taped Sigma 1.4 tc

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Mar 4, 2005
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I just wanted to report that this combination works really well! The D3 is the first DSLR I've used that can make this combo AF properly. I've always been hesitant to use my taped Sigma 1.4 tc with the Sigma 500mm, but it works flawlessly on the D3. Minimal hunting and it locks focus almost immediately. In fact this combination works better than the 200-400 VR with the nikon 1.4 tc, which I find hunts quite a bit. I find this combination to also work better on the D3 than on the D300. On my old D300, I could never get a sharp shot with lens+tc, perhaps due to pixel density, the D300 AF, etc.

Seriously, I think this is the reason you pay the premium for pro-bodies. People don't realize it, but when you start shooting with super telephotos this is where you see the difference. Also I've been thinking of dumping my Sigma 500mm 4.5 for over two years, but it's sharper than my 200-400 VR, weighs less, and I paid under 3k for a pro caliber telephoto. No wonder you can't find these used! No one gives them up!
 
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I usually practice shooting on my building's rooftop, photographing random people. Since I don't have wildlife where I live, I practice on people! :smile:

I can post them if you really want to see.
 
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
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I usually practice shooting on my building's rooftop, photographing random people. Since I don't have wildlife where I live, I practice on people! :smile:

I can post them if you really want to see.
shooting people is often more fun with such a lens/TC combo
and... i WOULD love to see some if you have the time and inclination
 
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Jan 31, 2006
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SW Florida
Ditto, very interested in that combo. Never see many photos but you are right none of them for sale, they are out of stock and the price just went up $500.
 
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The best time to have bought the Sigma 500mm was when they were clearing inventory of the non-DG lenses. Man what a deal that was, since prices were being slashed almost 50%!
 
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Ideally I would prefer the Nikon 500 AFS-I/II/VR, but you can't really beat the price on the Sigma, especially used. My only gripe is the tc issue, which seems to be a non-issue on the D3 now. No need to mod a nikon 1.4. The Sigma taped up works well. Since it's a light lens though, it can be hand-held on short stints.

I'll post some new pics tomorrow. Honestly, I find the 500mm somewhat touchy though. It's best to shoot it with a D2X/D3 body. I can't vouch for the D700, but I find it's just better on pro-bodies in terms of handling, AF, etc. In fact I didn't care much for it on the D300. But it's just sweet on the D3!
 
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