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| p.1 #1 · TESTS : Sigma 500 & Sigma 120-300 with Kenko + Nikon + Sigma TCs |
After Scott asked the question about how / if the Sigma 500/4.5 works with TCs I thought I'd run a few tests for myself to see what the IQ was like from various combinations. I included the Sigma 120-300/2.8 because this is my 'Dawn & Dusk' lens at f2.8 as well as the one I took on vacation (along with TCs) to give me 120mm - 600mm.
All shots were taken AS I WOULD TAKE THEM IN THE FIELD. This is not a highly scientific method but a real life scenario which I prefer as other variables, that are relevant when actually birding, come into play. So no tripod and no Live View and no constant ISO as I use Auto ISO, the results are then, for me at least, more representative of real life since this is what would actually happen when birding, no constant ISO 100 and low shutter speeds. You can estimate yourself how much impact the ISO has on sharpness.
Of course this then means the only constants were my postion, f8, 1/1250, D800, Fine jpgs, and taken on a monopod using Long Lens technique (foot against base of monopod, left hand on top of the lens, gentle press against my forehead and a squeezed shutter press on slow exhale - when I see the target is stable in the VF) which is how I shoot 90% of the time in the field (except I shoot RAW but didn't think it necessary here). I took 2/3 shots at each target with each combo and picked the sharpest in each case. The targets are normal sized A4 magazines so you can easily estimate text size.
On the computer I took snapshots from the displays in Photo Mechanic using Skitch, labelled and then dragged to jpgs to SmugMug. I noticed a definite decrease in sharpness (say 10-15%) in the Skitch snapshots from the screen display but since this is a constant I don't find that an issue for comparative purposes since I'm not measuring the definitive sharpness. However viewers should realise that the actual shots taken are much sharper than those displayed here. No Sharpening or any form of PP was applied. These are SOOC and sharpening in LR4/5, PS, A3 etc would render much sharper photos.
I will make a series of posts, each post will have 6 shots, a different combination each time . All are 100% Crops of shots taken at 5.5m, 10m, 15m, 20m, 25m and 50m.
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Sigma 500/4.5 + Kenko 300 Tele Pro DGX x1.4 (700mm)
Edited on Apr 26, 2013 at 08:36 AM · View previous versions