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Posts Tagged ‘Pentax

Product Review: Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG OS Lens

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Article & Images By Diane Berkenfeld

The Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG OS telephoto zoom lens is the second lens from Sigma that I’ve tested out, and have to say it is a nice piece of glass. The lens, which incorporates an Optical Stabilizer, is compatible with Nikon, Canon, Sony/Minolta, and Pentax mount bodies.

Minimum focusing distance is 59.1-inches, and the lens uses a 62mm filter. The lens offers a 34.3 degree angle of view at the wide 70mm end and 8.2 degrees of view zoomed in at 300mm. Aperture range is f/4-5.6 through f/22. For a lens with such a wide zoom range, it’s not extremely heavy, weighing in at only 610 grams. The lens has a nine blade diaphragm, and although it isn’t an f/2.8 lens, it does offer a nice out of focus blur at f/4.

Designed for use with DSLRs that incorporate full frame image sensors, the lens can also be used with camera bodies that use the smaller APS-C sized sensors. When used on a camera with an APS-C sensor, the lens effectively becomes a 100-450mm lens.

According to Sigma, for the Sony and Pentax mount lenses, you can use the optical stabilizer even if the camera body has a built-in anti-shake function.

The 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG OS lens uses Special Low Dispersion glass elements. The Super Multi-Layer Coating reduces flare and ghosting, providing high contrast throughout the entire focal range.

While shooting an outdoor concert by the band Finally Balanced, I zoomed in to 300mm, on the drummers gear.

Bringing the image into Adobe Lightroom, and zooming in, you can clearly make out the lettering on the medallion on the drum.

I’ve been using the lens on a Canon EOS 5D Mark II body, and found it to be quick to focus, producing sharp images. Canon’s 5D Mark II has a full frame image sensor, so the lens was accurate at the 70-300mm zoom range. The images from this lens were as sharp as I’ve seen with Canon brand lenses.

As I mentioned in the review of the Sigma 10-20mm wide-angle zoom, posted on Picture-soup.com last summer, there are folks who don’t think third-party lenses are as good as those made by the camera maker. From my experience using Sigma lenses I think they’re definitely worth the money. The money you save by buying a Sigma lens doesn’t come with degradation in quality.

Singer/guitarist Dave Christian, of the band Finally Balanced. At its widest aperture of f/4, the lens provides a nice blur to the background.

These images were taken during a family portrait shoot. They were converted to B&W in Lightroom, and saved as a four-up for printing.

MSRP of the lens is $599.00. For more information, check out the website at www.sigmaphoto.com.

To read the Picture-soup.com review of the Sigma 10-20mm f/3-5 EX DC HSM lens, click here.

Industry Volunteerism: PMDA Soldiers’ Angels Portraits of Love Project Serves Families of Armed Forces Serving Abroad

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PMDA soldiersangels logo

The PMDA Soldiers’ Angels Portraits of Love project is a great volunteer program within the photo industry that we here at Picture Soup wanted to share with our visitors. The PMDA (Photo Manufacturers and Distributors Association) has partnered with the Soldiers’ Angels volunteer organization to create the PMDA Soldiers’ Angels Portraits of Love Project, with the goal of taking the portraits of 10,000 families of service men and women who are serving abroad this September and send both the families and the service men and women a print by the holiday season—at no cost to the families.

You can find out more about this great volunteer effort within the photo industry by going to the website www.pmdaportraitsoflove.com. You can also sign up to volunteer as a photographer via the website; or as a military family, you can find a participating photographer.

As an industry we think this is a great way that photographers can share their talents while bringing families of those serving in our armed forces around the world a little closer for the holidays.

Along with PMDA, Fujifilm, SeeHere.com, Independent Photo Imagers (IPI), Nikon, Canon, Tamron, Samsung, Pentax, Olympus, Microsoft, HP, GE, Casio, ArcSoft, National Geographic Magazine, Cameo Style, Popular Photography magazine, Photo Industry Reporter, Tiffen, and American Photo magazine are also sponsoring this program.