Sigma 70-300 lens

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by LokoTripper, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. LokoTripper

    LokoTripper TPF Noob!

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    Whaasup you guys . . . a friend of mine email me this craiglist auction from a guy who is selling a 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG MACRO sigma lens for my Alpha 200

    I am not buying . . . I just want to know what exactly are this kind of lens used for ?? and what is the main difference between that lens and my bundled 3.5-5.6/18-70 lens ??

    Please guys explain as if you were talking to your little nephew , please . . . thanks !!

    p.s. He wants $45.00 dlls for the lens , is that good ?? is it better to have and don't use it , than need it and not have it ??
     
  2. giorgia

    giorgia TPF Noob!

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    from 18 to 50 mm a lens is considered wideangle. what you see in your photo will be a 'distortion' of what the human eye sees. try looking through your lens at 18 mm. you'll notice that the left and right sides of the image are a little stretched, whereas at 50 mm they aren't. the lower the focal length, the more stretched they will be until you reach the fisheye which gives you a 180° view.

    50mm is considered to be the most faithful to the human eye. however keep in mind that the human eye only focuses on about 3 degrees at a time whereas a camera lens tends to focus on a much wider area.

    from around 70 up to 90mm is the classic focal length used for portraiture. sharp subject, fuzzy to the point of abstracrtion everything else.

    and then we come to telephoto lenses that are used by birdwatcthers, paparazzi, and anyone who has to photograph something from far away.

    usually the lower the aperture number (so higher aperture), the better the lens so keep that in mind also. i left aperture out of this post so try looking it up somewhere to get a better idea of what you're dealing with

    i hope i helped. try looking up some keywords on some photography sites. photo.net is really good even though i'm not sure if they review specific lenses.
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well as Giorgia said the first main difference is that he focal length of the lens is much longer than that of your kit lens, so the lens has "more zoom" to it than your current lens. This is good for getting shots of smaller subjects and for shooting things that are further away from you - sometimes you just can't get as close as you want to something so the lens if for those occasions.

    The DG part of the name simply means that its a sigma digital lens - one made for use on digital cameras.

    Macro - this part is a bit of marketing work going on. Strictly speaking any lens which has macro in its name should be able to create (At closest focusing distance) an image on the sensor which is as large as the subject is in real life (called 1:1 magnification). Nowadays a lot of zoom lenses have this name to denote the fact that they have a close focusing setup and most can go to around 1:2 magnification (around half lifesize) which is good for flowers and butterflies - you can roughly fill the frame with them, but no closer.

    The variable aperture of the lens is like for your kit lens - save that this lens can do f4 at the 70mm end whilst your lens can only do f5.6 (which means the 70-300mm can gather more light at the f4 setting and thus a faster shutter speed if needed).

    Overall its a budget lens designed to offer quite a bit to for a very low price - as such its optical performance is lacking in many ways. Whilst at 70mm its a very capable and sharp lens, it quickly starts to give softer images as you go past the 200mm mark. Its a decent lens if you have no other in that range and at that price its not bad to have a play with and see if macro or telephoto are things that you want to get into more in a more serious manner (spending more cash). This lens does have an upgraded version of it out now, with APO in the name which is a lens coating which gives a noticable improvement in image sharpness.
    Myself I used the non APO edition and found that telephoto wise it was softer at the longer ranges, but not unusable and at macro it was actually a rather good lens. It does benefit greatly from being mounted on a tripod when shooting - even a cheap tripod can give some much needed added stabilty to the setup.
     
  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You are right that the longer the focal length the more background blur you will get in a shot, but having a subject sharp and the background blurred is more a part of the aperture (and thus depth of field) used in a shot as well as the focal range. Using a smaller aperture (A big f number) even on a long lens will give you a wider depth of field (area of photo in focus) and thus reduce the blur of background elements.
    Whiles using a larger aperture (smaller f number) will give you a reduce depth of field and thus more blur to background areas in a shot.
     
  5. benlonghair

    benlonghair TPF Noob!

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    Basically, the longer the lens (focal length, in this case 300mm) is for getting closer to things you can't get closer to. Here's a couple that I took with my 300mm. It's great for birds and wildlife.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The f/4-5.6 is pretty slow, but when you start getting faster than that lenses start getting very expensive very fast.
     
  6. LokoTripper

    LokoTripper TPF Noob!

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    So if I buy this lens . . . I will no longer need the bundled 3.5-5.6/18-70 lens ??

    Ok . . . so what I want is to take pics of my buddies and kids , and have that blured background that looks so great , I mean I know how to do that with photoshop , but I want my camera to take that kind of shots , also we do my MC (Motorcycle Club) a lot of parties , weddings , and such will this lens be better than the bundled one for those shots ??

    I know it must be frustrating for some of you . . . I know I am way to dumb on this picture taking stuff , but I will do my best to learn , and not bug you guys to much :blushing:
     
  7. bmrust

    bmrust TPF Noob!

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    No, you would not want to get rid of the 18-55 if you bought the new lens, it would just be another lens in your arsenal.

    I figured I would take a few shots to try to help explain this a little more...

    All of these shots are focused on the pillow on my chair.

    18 mm:
    [​IMG]

    55 mm:
    [​IMG]

    70 mm:
    [​IMG]

    300 mm: (tons of camera shake here, sorry about that)
    [​IMG]

    As you can see, the lenses do totally different things. Hopefully this helps explain why you would need both lenses, and not replace one with the other.
     
  8. LokoTripper

    LokoTripper TPF Noob!

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    Dude . . . thank you . . . thank you very much , and yes now I get it , I will be buying this lens after all ;)
     
  9. bmrust

    bmrust TPF Noob!

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    i noticed after i posted those pics that you have an 18-70, not an 18-55... but i assumed the idea would still come across.

    glad i could help.

    oh, and $45 for that lens is a steal (in my opinion). I have the Sigma 70-300 for canon ($159 new) that I got for $100 and I feel like it was WELL worth it.

    You'll definitely love the lens.
     
  10. EleanorW

    EleanorW TPF Noob!

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    Man, where were you guys when I spent $200 on the Sony 75-300 lol. Sounds like a good deal Loko.. I'd go for it. You won't regret getting it. It was the first purchase I made after buying the camera - even before I bought a bag to carry everything in.
     
  11. LokoTripper

    LokoTripper TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the comments you guys , I guess I have to think long and hard about it huh ??

    I also saw this Sony Alpha DSLR Lens 75-300mm F4.5-5.6 SAL SAL75300 for $179.00 shipped , they are brand new in box , is this a fair price ??

    Are this lens better than the Minolta I asked about ??
     
  12. EleanorW

    EleanorW TPF Noob!

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    That is the lense I have. I paid $199 canadian for mine, so that's a good deal for your dollar I think. I don't know if it's better or worse then the sigma, but mine has been very good for the 3 months I've had mine.
     

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