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Sigma 100-400 F5-6.3 DG DN


ropo54
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15 hours ago, fielden said:

Going to order mine tomorrow.

Am I right in saying 400mm on my SL and 600mm on my TL2?

Yes, you are correct: 600mm on the TL2.

My question is for 600mm focal length, whether one is better off using the 100-400 on a cropped sensor camera, or with the Sigma 1.4 extender on full frame camera? 

This photo was taken on the SL @ 400mm in APSC mode (to give equivalence of 600mm).  

Edited by ropo54
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Rob, I can't see any difference in image quality between lens + extender on the SL and the lens alone on the CL, even when I crop heavily.  

Going forward, I'll probably let the weather determine which body I use with the lens and extender:  SL for rain and challenging light, CL for more favorable conditions. 

The most significant difference I noticed was when I used the extender with the lens on the CL.  Single-point AF missed a lot even in good light, and hunted quite a bit in backlit scenes.  I plan to try "Field" area next outing to see if it remedies the issue.

Regards,

Rob

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Through my window. SL in apsc mode @ 400mm (with some cropping).

 

 

Edited by ropo54
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On 8/7/2020 at 8:34 AM, tritentrue said:

Rob, I can't see any difference in image quality between lens + extender on the SL and the lens alone on the CL, even when I crop heavily.  

Going forward, I'll probably let the weather determine which body I use with the lens and extender:  SL for rain and challenging light, CL for more favorable conditions. 

The most significant difference I noticed was when I used the extender with the lens on the CL.  Single-point AF missed a lot even in good light, and hunted quite a bit in backlit scenes.  I plan to try "Field" area next outing to see if it remedies the issue.

Regards,

Rob

Really helpful (and reassuring), Rob: thanks! I find that with the TL 55-135 the multi-field focal mode works a lot better, and that's all I've been using on the Sigma. I was actually quite pleased with how fast it locked in on birds overhead. 

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Thanks, Ken, for sharing your experience with multi-field AF.  

I did some more shooting at known targets with the Sigma today while also getting further reacquainted with the CL.  With plenty of heat shimmer and bad air, changing AF area didn't seem to do much one way or another.

AF with the lens alone seems to produce acceptable sharpness; but the difference between AF and MF with the teleconverter was such that I ended up deciding to focus manually, with very satisfying results.  Implementation of focus-by-wire on the lens is as good as I've seen on any lens.  The CL automatically magnifies; and focus fine tuning is easily done with the left-hand pinky, similar to the 280mm f/2.8 APO-Telyt-R but with less drag (and all the other obvious differences!).  For a long zoom/teleconverter combo, detail rendering and acuity are remarkable.

Unfortunately, today's extreme heat sent the more photogenic birds to the trees' crowns . . . 

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One more, also focused manually, and using the teleconverter . . . 

A local monitor lizard, a very misunderstood creature who is neither venomous nor aggressive.  This one is about two meters in length, not yet fully grown.

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5 hours ago, tritentrue said:

Thanks, Ken, for sharing your experience with multi-field AF.  

I did some more shooting at known targets with the Sigma today while also getting further reacquainted with the CL.  With plenty of heat shimmer and bad air, changing AF area didn't seem to do much one way or another.

AF with the lens alone seems to produce acceptable sharpness; but the difference between AF and MF with the teleconverter was such that I ended up deciding to focus manually, with very satisfying results.  Implementation of focus-by-wire on the lens is as good as I've seen on any lens.  The CL automatically magnifies; and focus fine tuning is easily done with the left-hand pinky, similar to the 280mm f/2.8 APO-Telyt-R but with less drag (and all the other obvious differences!).  For a long zoom/teleconverter combo, detail rendering and acuity are remarkable.

Unfortunately, today's extreme heat sent the more photogenic birds to the trees' crowns . . . 

Thanks so much, Rob, for that helpful and encouraging report and (as always) the wonderfully inspiring photographs.

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While shooting known targets with the CL, I also had the Panasonic 70-200mm f/4 + 2X along for comparison purposes.  The most profound difference between the two was a target shot with both in identical light at ISO 800, the f/9 Sigma at 560mm yielding a 1/1250 shutter speed, while the Panasonic combo at f/8/~400mm yielded 1/640--this even though the peripheral area covered by the Panasonic's wider angle of view was more brightly lit than the common target area covered by both setups.  

My hope is that Sigma will somehow address the focus issues some of us are experiencing with the CL.  I was so happy to find a shop with the TS-111 tripod collar the other day that I completely forgot to ask about the dock, which may provide an option or two for improvement.

 

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Anyone care to hazard a guess as to WHY the lens should not focus well at infinity? I thought the AF brain was in the camera, and the lens only provided the motor. Thus I'd expect the problem to be at Leica's end, not Sigma's. I emphasise I have zero knowledge of how AF works.

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On 8/5/2020 at 10:37 PM, bags27 said:

Beginning to process some photos with the extender where I tested rapid focusing and tracking. Actually not bad. I believe this is a Cooper's Hawk, though I appeal to Rob Benton to help me out here.

Almost looks like an osprey, but you may have local species unknown to me. 

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17 minutes ago, Ivar B said:

Almost looks like an osprey, but you may have local species unknown to me. 

Thanks! Rob Benton identified it as an osprey as well, and I suspect you both are right. What threw me is that I was shooting near water, but I photographed this bird circling constantly over a large grass plain opposite the water, where hawks usually circle. I guess I had never seen an osprey search for prey over land before. A Cooper's Hawk would be much smaller normally, but it's obviously not a red tail, and those are the two commonest species around here. 

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Out to give the Sigma one last chance on the CL this morning and got eight shots, all of which were at two meters or less, focused with critical accuracy out of about eighty shots--none correctly focused with the teleconverter in use.

Attached is a shot that will hopefully illustrate my frustration with this combination, with teleconverter in this instance.  Cropped at about 40%, at first glance it may look like a decent photo.  But with any of the better R-mount telephoto/TC combinations of the past forty years or so, properly focused, one would be able to see the barbs and at least some of the barbules in the feathers.

For me, there's no point in again trying to figure out where the "problem" may lie.  It's easier to head into the field with an all-Leica setup and have my skill and technique, not the gear, as my only limiting factors.  The Sigma will be relegated to SL-only duty unless it misbehaves there, in which case it will join the Lumix teleconverters in the "outbound" drawer of my dry cabinet.

End of rant. 🥵

Edited by tritentrue
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36 minutes ago, tritentrue said:

Out to give the Sigma one last chance on the CL this morning and got eight shots, all of which were at two meters or less, focused with critical accuracy out of about eighty shots--none correctly focused with the teleconverter in use.

Attached is a shot that will hopefully illustrate my frustration with this combination, with teleconverter in this instance.  Cropped at about 40%, at first glance it may look like a decent photo.  But with any of the better R-mount telephoto/TC combinations of the past forty years or so, properly focused, one would be able to see the barbs and at least some of the barbules in the feathers.

For me, there's no point in again trying to figure out where the "problem" may lie.  It's easier to head into the field with an all-Leica setup and have my skill and technique, not the gear, as my only limiting factors.  The Sigma will be relegated to SL-only duty unless it misbehaves there, in which case it will join the Lumix teleconverters in the "outbound" drawer of my dry cabinet.

End of rant. 🥵

Yes well, think you may need to show us a worse photo than that Rob, think many of us would have been happy to get something so good😁!   No, really only joking, I can understand where you are coming from.  Did have one thought, you say focussed at around 2 metres.  With MFD being roughly 1.6 metres on the lens, the TC obviously adds to that, maybe that could explain some focus problems, seems others having issues nearer infinity too.  

My better half is not firing on all cylinders at present so my time with camera in hand is a bit limited and I've not done anywhere near enough shooting to draw any conclusions so far, been relying on you to set the benchmark, if the TC has to stay in the drawer so be it, but if you decide to try "tuning" with the dock, will be interested to hear if improvement is possible.

 

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Jayne, it appears to me that the lens focuses just fine near MFD and gets progressively worse the farther away the subject is.  The kingfisher below (cropped at 100%) was shot at about 40 meters with the teleconverter.  I have others of this same bird shot by the CL without the TC, and they're not quite as blurry.

I checked around and none of the usual shops have the dock available yet, so it's back to the R glass for me at least for now.

Sigma has a long history of sample variation, and the CL has been known to misfocus in some instances; so my experience with this lens may not be indicative of the results others might be able to get from it.

I hope your better half's engine will soon be running smoothly again!

 

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vor 41 Minuten schrieb tritentrue:

Jayne, it appears to me that the lens focuses just fine near MFD and gets progressively worse the farther away the subject is.  The kingfisher below (cropped at 100%) was shot at about 40 meters with the teleconverter.  I have others of this same bird shot by the CL without the TC, and they're not quite as blurry.

I checked around and none of the usual shops have the dock available yet, so it's back to the R glass for me at least for now.

Sigma has a long history of sample variation, and the CL has been known to misfocus in some instances; so my experience with this lens may not be indicative of the results others might be able to get from it.

I hope your better half's engine will soon be running smoothly again!

 

Is it a focus or a stabilization issue? Neither the branches in front nor the ones behind the bird appear sharp...

Edited by anickpick
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I have used the Sigma 100-400 extensively in the last couple of days (with and without 1.4 TC) on the SL2.

My conclusions:

- The lens is optically quite good, but it lacks the clarity of the (longer) M primes or the Leica 90-280. I guess this had to be expected, but I still had some hope this lens might be a stunner just as the Sigma 14-24.

- Autofocus (on the SL2) is fast, silent and accurate, even with the 1.4 TC.

- Lens stabilization is a problem though, especially with the 1.4 TC. Most of my shots at 560mm are slightly blurred (on a 1:1 pixel examination), which negates the advantages of the TC. My reported focus problems towards infinity were no focus problems at all. It's a combination of lack of punch (optical clarity) and insufficient stabilization. In other words: User error. I did not know the limits of my equipment. With the TC, a tripod becomes mandatory. Unfortunately.

- The Leica 90-280 is much better stabilized (on the SL2) and it's better optically. Most results upscaled to 400mm or 560mm are at least comparable to the Sigma (without upscaling).

- The Sigma 100-400 can still be a valid alternative to the Leica 90-280, as it is smaller, much lighter and way less expensive.

Edited by anickpick
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1 hour ago, tritentrue said:

Jayne, it appears to me that the lens focuses just fine near MFD and gets progressively worse the farther away the subject is.  The kingfisher below (cropped at 100%) was shot at about 40 meters with the teleconverter.  I have others of this same bird shot by the CL without the TC, and they're not quite as blurry.

I checked around and none of the usual shops have the dock available yet, so it's back to the R glass for me at least for now.

Sigma has a long history of sample variation, and the CL has been known to misfocus in some instances; so my experience with this lens may not be indicative of the results others might be able to get from it.

I hope your better half's engine will soon be running smoothly again!

 

Thanks Rob.

42 minutes ago, anickpick said:

 

The Sigma 100-400 can still be a valid alternative to the Leica 90-280, as it is smaller, much lighter and way less expensive.

You may well have something there with the stabilisation issue.

Your bottom line sums it up for me, it is all about size and weight in my case and for my use.  I have to be happy to carry it.  Truthfully if I shot a lot of birds/wildlife I would still have my Canon kit even with the weight issue.

Good to have the input from so many users on here, lots of useful information and advice to test out.  Apart from more important considerations just now,  the couple of local bird hides which would be great for testing, remain closed due to Covid and I quickly get bored with shots of my bird feeders😊, especially as we have nothing very exotic visiting.

 

 

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2 hours ago, anickpick said:

Is it a focus or a stabilization issue? Neither the branches in front nor the ones behind the bird appear sharp...

If stabilizaton is the issue, I'd be hard pressed to explain why I get sharp images when I manually focus the lens, even with the teleconverter. Too, the image I posted earlier today in the CL image thread, shot near MFD, would seem to call that into question--unless I'm missing something.

I wholeheartedly agree that it lacks the clarity of the 90-280SL!  It's optically inferior to the decades-old R 105-280mm f/4.2 as well, even if that one were to be upscaled to 400mm.

Although our individual experiences with and assessment of the Sigma lens may differ in some specifics, your perspective raises some things to ponder and is much appreciated. 

 

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