Gear Talk > Lenses

Sigma lens for birding?

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Anyone have experience using the latest Sigma 50-500 OS for birding?  I am thinking of renting one to use on my XXD crop body.  I realize there are other better prime supertelephotos for this, but I've wanted to try this lens for a while, since it is within my budget to purchase...and the cost of rental is less too.  Also I like the idea of the 10x zoom range.  I've read many of the lens' faults, but I'm keeping an open mind.  I've tried the Canon 500 f/4 in the past, and never could get it to AF accurately (using AFMA), or even to manually focus sharply at all with Canon's version iii 1.4x TC.  Not sure why, but I do know it was an optical problem...because even when I manually focused the live view image at 10x, it was never razor sharp, before the shutter was ever engaged...nor was the IS engaged.  The tripod was a relatively sturdy carbon fiber, but admittedly not the "best".  The lens was tested and they found nothing wrong.  No doubt the new version is much better.  Not that I'm implying the Sigma would be optically better, either, of course...but I digress. 

Even if you haven't used this Sigma lens specifically for birding, please feel free to tell me some of your experience.

The birds will be mostly small at distances from 15 to 50 feet, some will hopefully be robins near the ground at a greater distance.  I own a decent carbon fiber monopod which is rated for 50 pounds.

Don Haines:
I did a side by side test of a bunch of long zooms...... Sigma 50-500, sigma 120-400, sigma 150-500, and canon 100-400....

My test target was a liscence plate acrosss the street from the store. Rating them best to worst for resolving power I got Sigma 120-400, canon 100-400, sigma 150-500, and sigma 50-500. I bought the 120-400.

Last year at work we were looking for a long lens. We borrowed a canon 100-400 and a canon 400 f5.6 and I brought in my sigma 120-400. The test target was a licence plate, and the order best to worst for resolving power was Canon 400 f5.6, sigma 120-400, and canon 100-400.

The sigma 120-400, canon 100-400, and sigma 150-500 were all fairly close.... you had to pixel peep to compare. The sigma 50-500 was noticeably the worst, and the 400 f5.6 was noticeably the best.

When I bought I was seduced by the extra versatility of a zoom lens over a fixed lens..... but I shoot the 120-400 mostly at the 400 range of the scale... If I were to buy now I would get the 400 f5.6.

there can be only one! :P


--- Quote from: wickidwombat on February 05, 2013, 07:50:53 PM ---there can be only one! :P

--- End quote ---

what lens?

Don Haines:

--- Quote from: crasher8 on February 05, 2013, 08:53:04 PM ---
--- Quote from: wickidwombat on February 05, 2013, 07:50:53 PM ---there can be only one! :P

--- End quote ---

what lens?

--- End quote ---

I wouldn't even bother following the link.... it's gotta be a picture of Sigzillia.... only $25,000 or so.... and apparantly does NOT come with sherpas...


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