Sigma 70-300mm f4-5.6 DL Macro Super Pentax AF

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Sigma 70-300mm f4-5.6 DL Macro Super Pentax AF

Post by dogman2 »

Hi John,

Phill (4913philip) here from
I've followed your instructions to get here, so I hope you can help me out with these instructions for the above lens.

You said you wanted to post here so other members can read them, but if you have any sort of instructions, can you scan them in to your PC as a PDF document & then email me with them?

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Post by John »

Hi Phill

Thanks for dropping by, and welcome!

I took a few pictures with your lens and they were crisp and sharp enough. I sold it on eBay because I decided to stick to the Pentax range, which has more to do with keeping filter sizes the same, having controls all work the same way round and so on. I don't think you need an instruction manual as such - in fact, if Sigma charged you £6 for one I suspect you would be very disappointed by the amount of information.

There are however a few things that will help with using this lens.

First off, the macro button will only switch on when the lens is set to 300mm, which is its Macro focal length. To switch it back off you will need to make sure you are in the normal focusing range, otherwise the switch is locked. I think this is probably the one potentially confusing thing about its contstruction. In any event, don't try to force it as it operates very easily when things are in the correct position.

Second, the point of focus is critical with longer lenses. There is reduced depth of field so only the plane of focus will be critically sgarp. This is great for portraits as, so long as the eyes are critically sharp, the background can be out of focus and our attention totally drwan towards the subject. In the macro range, focus is even more critical and it is really essential to use a sturdy tripod for best results. For macro work I use manual focus and a tripod wherever possible.

Third, camera shake. The view through a long lens waves about like crazy because of our own body movement and keeping the shot still and sharp can be a real challenge.

The answer could be a high shutter speed, although be aware that this also means wider apertures and reduced depth of field. It could be that increasing the ISO on a DSLR will help a lot and I use this technique all the time.

The other answer is of course that sturdy tripod again, and that is how you will get the best results. Inconvenient I know, but inescapable.

Finally a word about tripods. I have used the word sturdy and it is an essential property for a good tripod. This often means relatively heavy as well. A cheap plastic tripod waves in the breeze almost as much as we do and posseses less than zero efficiency (worse than useless!)

In the absence of a manual I hope that I've helped a little. The place to go after this is a good photographic book on whatever your favoured type of photography is.

If you care to give some detail about your photography I can perhaps help a little more.

Take lots of images and have fun learning how to get the best out of your new lens!
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