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New Sigma 150/600 (1 Viewer)

Mickr

Well-known member
I would guarantee you would have got a better result if you had used f8 and a decent tripod Mick let alone any micro adjustments, but at the end of the day if you are happy with a shot like this then that is all that matters. All the very best anyway Mick.

I agree about shooting at f8, I wanted to test the lens wide open, once I'm happy with it I'll move away from it when possible. I have a decent tripod and find it too restrictive for birds in flight and only really use it regularly in winter when it's cold or if I'm going to be in one place for any length of time. I only use it when cold so that I can put my hands in my pockets to keep them warm because I'm soft. I've invested in really warm gloves and they do a job while being too clumsy to be a first choice option.
 

Mickr

Well-known member
I've found the software very good, I will admit I also noticed light being an issue so put the target in my shed and fitted 4 60w halogen lamps aiming at the target which seems to have removed the light issue, FoCal now tells me I have a 12.5ev value so I'm happy with that.

Unless I was testing the short distance tune I wouldn't test below their recommended distance which is 20x 600mm = 12m, though almost all my testing is done at 18m as thats shed to back room.

I have also conducted several back to back tests and all came back after adjustment with the same reading as before. Saying that I did tweek my 600mm infinity setting by reducing the reading by 1 in the camera (2 in the lens) and it improved things a bit more, but then again it could have just been my eyes at that time.

2 photos, handheld f7.1 (sweet spot seems to be f7.1 -8 ). ISO 320, 1/1000 600mm about 20m away. Chaffinch was cropped to portrait only, reed bunting is uncropped both just resized for here to reduce file size)

You're giving me hope that my issues were caused by the light and possible movement of the target. This was my second attempt at calibrating the lens and I thought that I'd beefed the target up enough by screwing the plastic to the wall, I'll have to do more work on fixing the target to the plastic, I might glue it on. The calibration was checked at 2.6m, 6m and 15m but infinity is going to be a problem and I will probably do that one at around 25m which is on the long side of the recommendations.
 

Mickr

Well-known member
I don't think that you can possibly learn anything about a lens when taking shots of a small bird at long distances. Maybe others who know more about testing lenses can chime in, but I woudl think that you would be far better off going to a local duck pond and shooting birds that are much closer than 80-100 feet. Shooting a mallards head at close range or something like that would seem to be a much better use of your time. Also I would certainly when testing a lens shoot off of a tripod so that you can rule out lens shake.

On a side note, and this is something that Roy has said multiple times. Me as well. You need to be close to the birds when using these inexpensive zooms. They work much better when they do not need to have a heavy crop. Considering the distance you took that shot at I think it is OK, but the closer you get, the better the shot will become. Can't expect more from the lens or your camera than what it is capable of.

I agree with what you're saying, I didn't have time after work to do anything different. I had hoped to get a better subject but luck and time weren't on my side. Typically luck was very much on my side in that respect the day that I had the wrong settings.
 

hosesbroadbill

Well-known member
I agree with what you're saying, I didn't have time after work to do anything different. I had hoped to get a better subject but luck and time weren't on my side. Typically luck was very much on my side in that respect the day that I had the wrong settings.

I would refrain from doing any adjustments until you can shoot in the proper conditions. Hope your luck changes.
 
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I finally got it!

Hello everyone!

As promised, I can finally contribute to this thread with some relevant data (hopefully). I received my lens just before the weekend and as previously mentioned, I took it out in to the field WITHOUT using the dock to make adjustments first. I really wanted to see how it came out of the box, and I know others have been interested in that too.

First impressions:

-The lens performs excellent in image quality as expected
-I was blown away by how quiet the auto focus system is (comparatively to the Contemporary version)... I literally cant even here it focusing when I look through the view finder
-Focus is swift and precise when using anything but Full range at F/8 (havent tested Full range yet)
-The lens IS heavy. I know this has been a huge discussion and perhaps im just reiterating but the lens, imo is NOT purely hand-holdable. However I simply carried the lens via strap over my shoulder and was able to walk around all day no problem. Takes less than a second to get the lens in shooting position so its fine in that sense. However I can only keep the lens help up for maybe 20 seconds before I start to compromise the shot with shaking. You can hold it for a long time, but your shots are going to decrease in quality past that point (for me anyways)
-And without the necessity of commenting on it... the build quality is beaut :p

The really nice thing about getting out and using this lens, is that I really can compare it well with the contemporary because my friend who I shoot with is always directly beside me with exactly that lens. He shoots a different camera however (I shoot Nikon D810, he shoots Canon 60D) so there will be differences but we can pick out things between the two lenses fairly easily regardless.

So on to the images. The subjects are fairly boring, just your usual suspects, however I really just wanted to shoot whatever I could in order to test the lens in as many situations as possible. Throughout the day I shot about 300 shots (half of which were the hummingbirds) and I picked out these 5 to share. I would normally be more picky with these images (being that they really aren't anything overly fantastic) and maybe only choose 1 or 2 of them, but I wanted to give some more samples for you guys to chew on. From what I can see I think the lens is slightly front focusing by maybe 1 or 2 points. I will use FoCal 2 to calibrate it in the near future, but I may try a few more times in the field first just for more data. The Hummer shots and the Chickadee are taken on tripod, the other two are handheld. My exif data is open on Flickr for any other relevant info you may be looking for.


Cedar Waxwing by Jacob McTaggart, on Flickr


Black-capped Chickadee by Jacob McTaggart, on Flickr


Rufous Hummingbird by Jacob McTaggart, on Flickr


Rufous Hummingbird by Jacob McTaggart, on Flickr


Song Sparrow by Jacob McTaggart, on Flickr

Don't know if any of this helps out, but I will continue to post my thoughts and images to compliment them in the future so that we can all teach/learn for better images!

Cheers, thanks for looking and Happy birding all!
 

hosesbroadbill

Well-known member
Hello everyone!

As promised, I can finally contribute to this thread with some relevant data (hopefully). I received my lens just before the weekend and as previously mentioned, I took it out in to the field WITHOUT using the dock to make adjustments first. I really wanted to see how it came out of the box, and I know others have been interested in that too.

First impressions:

-The lens performs excellent in image quality as expected
-I was blown away by how quiet the auto focus system is (comparatively to the Contemporary version)... I literally cant even here it focusing when I look through the view finder
-Focus is swift and precise when using anything but Full range at F/8 (havent tested Full range yet)
-The lens IS heavy. I know this has been a huge discussion and perhaps im just reiterating but the lens, imo is NOT purely hand-holdable. However I simply carried the lens via strap over my shoulder and was able to walk around all day no problem. Takes less than a second to get the lens in shooting position so its fine in that sense. However I can only keep the lens help up for maybe 20 seconds before I start to compromise the shot with shaking. You can hold it for a long time, but your shots are going to decrease in quality past that point (for me anyways)
-And without the necessity of commenting on it... the build quality is beaut :p

The really nice thing about getting out and using this lens, is that I really can compare it well with the contemporary because my friend who I shoot with is always directly beside me with exactly that lens. He shoots a different camera however (I shoot Nikon D810, he shoots Canon 60D) so there will be differences but we can pick out things between the two lenses fairly easily regardless.

So on to the images. The subjects are fairly boring, just your usual suspects, however I really just wanted to shoot whatever I could in order to test the lens in as many situations as possible. Throughout the day I shot about 300 shots (half of which were the hummingbirds) and I picked out these 5 to share. I would normally be more picky with these images (being that they really aren't anything overly fantastic) and maybe only choose 1 or 2 of them, but I wanted to give some more samples for you guys to chew on. From what I can see I think the lens is slightly front focusing by maybe 1 or 2 points. I will use FoCal 2 to calibrate it in the near future, but I may try a few more times in the field first just for more data. The Hummer shots and the Chickadee are taken on tripod, the other two are handheld. My exif data is open on Flickr for any other relevant info you may be looking for.


Cedar Waxwing by Jacob McTaggart, on Flickr


Black-capped Chickadee by Jacob McTaggart, on Flickr


Rufous Hummingbird by Jacob McTaggart, on Flickr


Rufous Hummingbird by Jacob McTaggart, on Flickr


Song Sparrow by Jacob McTaggart, on Flickr

Don't know if any of this helps out, but I will continue to post my thoughts and images to compliment them in the future so that we can all teach/learn for better images!

Cheers, thanks for looking and Happy birding all!

I agree that the lens is not focusing on the subjects. They all seem just slightly out of focus. I bet with a small adjustment you will be spot on. I sure am happy that I did not need to make any adjustments with my C. Looking forward to more shots...
 
I agree that the lens is not focusing on the subjects. They all seem just slightly out of focus. I bet with a small adjustment you will be spot on. I sure am happy that I did not need to make any adjustments with my C. Looking forward to more shots...

Thanks for the response! I'm glad that a second set of eyes are seeing the same thing I am. I do follow you on Flickr and I've noticed your images came out nice and sharp straight out of the box (no adjustments needed) and that is definitely awesome! Look forward to more posts soon!
 

the black fox

Well-known member
just back from 10 days away not much changes on here does it same old rhetoric ,ah well sods law i suppose .
a few shots from my hols nice clear light conditions on the east coast ,so different to the muggy weather we have had my side of the country all year so far ,these shots taken with the 1D3 all hand held plenty more to follow .i have given up analyzing my pics some are sharp some aren't its the nature of the beast ,i prefer my 1d3 to my 70d its my choice . i have shots of razorbills in flight that are pin sharp if i can do that with them pocket rockets hand held i know my combo works for me .happy daze
 

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Paul - Herts

Paul Herts
have given up analyzing my pics some are sharp some aren't its the nature of the beast ,i prefer my 1d3 to my 70d its my choice . i have shots of razorbills in flight that are pin sharp if i can do that with them pocket rockets hand held i know my combo works for me .happy daze
Get out and enjoy it Jeff, looks like a cracking week. Bempton is somewhere I keep promising I will visit but always find something else that has to be done first, but one day I will get there. I want to see the gannets desperately!
 

hosesbroadbill

Well-known member
just back from 10 days away not much changes on here does it same old rhetoric ,ah well sods law i suppose .
a few shots from my hols nice clear light conditions on the east coast ,so different to the muggy weather we have had my side of the country all year so far ,these shots taken with the 1D3 all hand held plenty more to follow .i have given up analyzing my pics some are sharp some aren't its the nature of the beast ,i prefer my 1d3 to my 70d its my choice . i have shots of razorbills in flight that are pin sharp if i can do that with them pocket rockets hand held i know my combo works for me .happy daze

I think those shots look great. :t: And would love to get those at the breeding grounds. We need to go a long ways off to get them. Over a 10 hour drive.
 

the black fox

Well-known member
I think those shots look great. :t: And would love to get those at the breeding grounds. We need to go a long ways off to get them. Over a 10 hour drive.
i nearly fell off my chair in shock when i read this ,a compliment from isaac WOW :t: :-O
anyway another from bempton cliffs ,strong onshore winds brought them in over the paths ,only the second time in five years i have had those perfect conditions
 

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hosesbroadbill

Well-known member
i nearly fell off my chair in shock when i read this ,a compliment from isaac WOW :t: :-O
anyway another from bempton cliffs ,strong onshore winds brought them in over the paths ,only the second time in five years i have had those perfect conditions

Credit where credit is due Jeff. They are sharp and beautiful. I love the shot of the Gannet with the flowers. One of the coolest shots I have seen in a long time. Plus it is my kind of close up that I really like where you can really see the bird. Looks like you have the lens tuned much better now.
 

the black fox

Well-known member
Cheers Isaac ,nothing different at all I have been trying to tell you for six months the weather conditions on my side of the u.k have been terrible ,now you can actually see the difference it makes it's still bad here today .hopefully there's high pressure coming in for the weekend
 

chrisj123

Well-known member
hi
im very pleased with my 1d mk4
the only problem with trying it is that you will have to sell a kidney or arm because you will decide that you will need it and cant do without it
chris
 

hosesbroadbill

Well-known member
Cheers Isaac ,nothing different at all I have been trying to tell you for six months the weather conditions on my side of the u.k have been terrible ,now you can actually see the difference it makes it's still bad here today .hopefully there's high pressure coming in for the weekend

We may not agree on many things, but we can agree that you had quite a great vacation and that Gannet shot is off the charts good :t:
 

Len Poxon

Well-known member
Credit where credit is due Jeff. They are sharp and beautiful. I love the shot of the Gannet with the flowers. One of the coolest shots I have seen in a long time. Plus it is my kind of close up that I really like where you can really see the bird. Looks like you have the lens tuned much better now.

I would second that comment from Issac, those shots really are great.
 

the black fox

Well-known member
couple more one from the holiday of the meadow pippit on a post and a female reed bunting from yesterday ,which i managed to grossly over expose but pull back in p.p
 

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