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Sigma Lens Advice

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:22 pm
by misterdsdan
Hi All,

I'm considering upgrading my Canon S5 IS point & shoot to a 'full' DSLR in the near-ish future. My mind is pretty much decided on a Sony A200 body (with the kit lens), primarily because the upcoming release of the A230 means the price is rock bottom, but following the advice of many-a-post on here I will be investing the saved money in some decent glass.

So my question, what is the difference between the Sigma 70-300mm and the Sigma 70-300mm APO lenses? I did google it and I know that the APO minimises color aberration (whatever that means!) but was wondering if anybody could tell me if that is a 'must-have' feature for a first lens. (Primary uses being Aircraft and the odd Wildlife shot).

Also, is my current choice of a sigma 70-300mm lens (approximately £125) a wise one?

Many thanks,
misterdsdan

RE: Sigma Lens Advice

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:27 pm
by conoramoia


Quoting Misterdsdan (Thread starter):

Hello, I use the regular 70-300mm and my advice is to buy the APO if you think it's more likely to get better results, but having said that the only fault I would find with mine (apart from the photographer!) is that the photos have a tendency to be soft.
But then again I'm no pro so I would ask more experienced photographers!

Hoped this helped!
Regards,

Conor.

RE: Sigma Lens Advice

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:49 pm
by dlowwa
You got the meaning of APO right (APOchromatic). As for how much of a 'must-have' it is, I think that at this point the biggest factor affecting how your photos turn out will be you, and the skills that you are able to develop.

If you ever intend to go further with your photography, you will want to upgrade to better glass, so worrying about APO vs. non-APO is kind of silly when you'll be eventually getting a better lens anyway. Personally, I think the softness that this lens is known for (especially at the long end) will be much more annoying/problematic than any chromatic aberration.

In any case, there are a lot of software options out there for removing CA, although avoiding it in the first place would be better.

Learn with this (APO or non-APO Sigma, or any cheap telephoto for that matter) lens, and when you finally find that the lens is the limiting factor in your photography and it's time to upgrade, whether or not it is APO will probably be the least of your worries.

Dana

RE: Sigma Lens Advice

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:18 pm
by NZ107


Quoting Dlowwa (Reply 2):
Personally, I think the softness that this lens is known for (especially at the long end) will be much more annoying/problematic than any chromatic aberration.

Yes. I barely had a problem with chromatic abberation - it was the softness factor that killed a lot of my pics. It is rather soft at the higher end. I've finally managed to upgrade my lens from the Sigma 70-300 to the Canon 70-300 IS USM but haven't been able to go to the airport to try it out. However the other comparable images I've taken with both lenses shows that it's much more worth it going for the more expensive lens.

RE: Sigma Lens Advice

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:07 pm
by SNATH


Quoting Misterdsdan (Thread starter):

One more thing. When you get a lens, it's important to take some test shots to make sure that it performs it's supposed to and you didn't pick up a bad copy. This is of course a good idea to do for all new lenses, but it's particulary important for third party lenses, as their QA is typically not as good as the main brand ones. In particular, Sigma are "infamous" for having lacking QA. FWIW...

Tony

RE: Sigma Lens Advice

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:30 pm
by misterdsdan
Many thanks for all of your quick replies!

At the moment then I will probably opt for the basic Sigma 70-300mm. I have read many reviews and a lot of people comment on the softness at high focal lengths (which is surely where most of my aircraft photos will be) and also that the quality is a little lacking (the autofocus 'threading' the gears in the lens, as I understand).

Would people recommend forking out a little more to go for Sony's own entry 70-300mm lens? I have also heard that ebay is a treasure trove for Sony cameras as they are able to use old Minolta lenses, does anybody have any reccommendations for good Minolta lenses? There is one I've seen which is iirc 75-200mm (called the beer can or something), is 200mm focal length sufficient for a sole telephoto lens?

Thanks again,
Dan

RE: Sigma Lens Advice

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:31 pm
by misterdsdan
It seems this exact topic is being discussed in another thread, apologies.