Showcase Sigma 300mm f/4 APO Tele Macro

eteless

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BZZzzzzzz

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f/8. 100% crop, likely as close as the lens can focus (1.2m).
The flower is about 2cm across, ladybug is a few millimeters, bee is somewhere in between.

Wasn't the sharpest of the bunch (it was never going to be without downsampling) however the ladybug made me smile as I didn't even know it was there.
 
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I use this lens with a metabones Smart Adapter. Focus is slow. No C-AF. But it is sharp and contrast is excellent. Bokeh is marvelous. For a 20 year old lens, it comes darn close to the Olympus 300mm f4 Pro.
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I did a firmware update to my metabones adapter and it seems to have made AF faster on the Sigma. I took it to Nickerson Beach to photograph the terns, oystercatchers, and skimmers and their chicks. I took over 1800 frames and got 170 keepers. Some were just bad composition. Some had no subject. Some were out of focus. I used S-AF and as long as the bird moved in a horizontal plane from me, it worked. With all the limitations of a 20 year old lens, it is still a very fine lens on the Olympus E-M1 Mark II.


Here are some of the keepers.
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Osprey
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Every so often, I dream about getting the Olympus 300mm f4 Pro. It focuses fast. You can add 1.4x and 2x teleconverters. It has IS built into the lens.

The sigma is 20 years old. The focus is slow. No teleconverters. No IS.

Then I look at the photos I can take with it. And I'm always happy with what I have.

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Bushboy

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Fine wildlife/nature pics for sure. :)
I bought one of these 2nd hand, not long after they came out.
In canon eos mount. Then canon updated their cameras so that the aperture wouldn’t activate. They became worthless almost overnight. I already had the 400mm which luckily sigma updated it for free under warranty. Program mode always shot it wide open anyway, so when this 300mm came up for sale at giveaway price I swooped on it.
Both of them damn fine lenses. At one time there I was running super low on funds and had to sell them off. Cried like a bitch, I tell you.
Anyways great shots man, your doing the old Sigmas proud.
If I remember correctly, these were the Sigmas that made everyone look up. Before these, they weren’t much good. I also had a 70-200 zoom that was pretty cool too..
 

eteless

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In canon eos mount. Then canon updated their cameras so that the aperture wouldn’t activate. They became worthless almost overnight.
Mine is one of the 'worthless' HSM versions, which meant it came at the right price :)

To allow it to work on newer Canon cameras I opened the mount and soldered in a little chip which fixed the protocol errors (it would function using a Metabones adapter without doing so, however I did have a Canon camera it didn't work on).

http://www.butterflybikers.cz/index.php/cz/elektronika/item/1-canon-eos-protocol-convertor-for-old-sigma-lens

^ That's the chip I used, if anyone might find it useful for whatever reason :)
 

Bushboy

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Hey cool! You know ,Sigma took nearly a whole year to replace that chip.
I couldn’t believe it, when it turned back up in my mailbox. :)
 
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I had one of these lenses in a Nikon mount and used it for several years on my EM1 with manual focus. I sold it when I bought a 50-200 SWD and EC-14. But I missed the bokeh and the Sigma is sharper at 300mm f4 than the 50-200 @ 200mm f4. So I bought another one in Canon EF mount and then by chance picked up a metabones smart T adapter. It worked. My copy of the Sigma is not an HSM, and it is not re-chipped. But Metabones must have made their adapter compatible with ALL past Canon EF interfaces.

Focus is slow but accurate. The size and weight are about the same as the Olympus 300mm f4 Pro. My copy cost me $150 and the adapter was about the same.

I picked up an HSM version of the 400mm f5.6 six months ago and used it for a few weeks before selling it again on Ebay. It was sharp and the colors were great, but I found focus speed not really much faster than the NON-HSM version and the length of the lens limited light gathering. It was also heavy and I couldn't see dragging both lenses around.
 
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