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Author Topic: Sigma 50-500mm Opinions  (Read 7588 times)

tomscott

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Sigma 50-500mm Opinions
« on: March 31, 2011, 07:03:14 PM »
Hi Canon Rumors

Im looking for a new tele, Ive used the Canon 100-400mm, probs shot about 2000 photos with one (without owning it, borrowed one from a friend) and i do really like it! But i do prefer the zoom ring rather than a push pull, also i feel like it could do with a little extra length and im not prepared to spend a lot of money on a prime. Also i feel primes are cumbersome and can reduce the probability of getting some shots just because of there size and the use of a tripod.

The problem with length could be sorted with a 1.4x or 2x extender but the100-400mm lens would not autofocus on my crop body, also the F number is far too small for everyday shooting even with a high iso. Unless you were in the Savana with the intense light.

I also have the Canon 70-200mm F2.8 and love this lens because of its F stop you can literally shoot anything in any light and on my camera its getting about 320mm with a 2x converter 640mm 5.6 lens. Basically the same as if i had a 100-400 although as everyone knows using the 2x extender doesn't produce the best image quality. Also my 70-200 is not image stabilised so i have to use a monopod or tripod at F5.6 to guarantee a sharp shot which is hard with the 2x extender anyway, as it is pretty soft. 

So as 400mm is the biggest zoom Canon offer and it push pulls, I started to look further afield and started to look at the Sigma 50-500mm OS lens. Now i wasnt expecting anything from this lens as the range is massive and basically the best of both worlds usually means some horrendous vignetting, chromatic aberration and softness at the extremes. Now i know that this lens does not produce miracles but i have read nothing but good things about this lens. It does the impossible.. although not as sharp as the 100-400mm but offers an extra 100mm so i think it could be forgiven for being slightly less sharp. Also on my crop body i would be looking at 80-800mm which is HUGE!

Before pixel pickers start, im not selling my photos to national geographic so im not looking for impeccable quality. I am looking for a lens that would suit my budget of £1400 give me enough range, and most of all be able to cary around, and the weight specifications of this lens dont worry me.

So basically what i want to know is owners opinions. Whats it like? comparisons to the 100-400mm etc. Sigma are known for having great and poor lenses in the same model, like all but third party vendors more likely. I usually wouldn't buy anything but canon but in this situation I decided to look afield.

My dealings with sigma have not been good thus far, about 8 years ago as a first lens I bought a 24-300mm which was cheap but after 3 months the front element fell out.. so then i decided never to buy another sigma, regardless of cost no lens should have the front element drop off. But the 50-500mm is the EX range so should be good.
 
Thanks

Tom Scott
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Sigma 50-500mm Opinions
« on: March 31, 2011, 07:03:14 PM »

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Re: Sigma 50-500mm Opinions
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2011, 09:26:11 PM »
Tom, you might want to check The digital Picture and compare it with other lenses like the Canon 100-400.

It doesn't look pretty to me, but I haven't owned one.  I had a Tamron 200-500mm, and while it was ok, the 100-400mm L was head and sholders better, and much more expensive.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=374&Camera=9&Sample=0&FLI=4&API=1&LensComp=113&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=7&APIComp=0

unfocused

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Re: Sigma 50-500mm Opinions
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2011, 10:05:14 PM »
Be sure to read the blurb about this lens on LensRentals.com http://www.lensrentals.com/rent/canon/lenses/supertelephoto/sigma-50-500mm-f4.5-6.3-hsm-os-for-canon. Pretty favorable, but the "potential autofocus defect" is kind of a concern.

I think I'd rent it for a week before buying.

I've considered this one too and would also like to hear from actual uses. It's not any cheaper than the Canon 100-400mm and I'm just not sure if the extra 100mm is worth it if it means less sharpness and marginally slower aperture.  I'm still waiting for the mythical Tokina 100-400 stabilized lens.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2011, 10:12:37 PM by unfocused »
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armando

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Re: Sigma 50-500mm Opinions
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2011, 10:41:38 PM »
I bought the sigma 150-500mm, my advice, and feeling it's a better lens, my opinion after one year use , it's great, but now moved into the canon L there's a The 70-200mm is mkii has better detail cropped in from 200mm than At 500mm. So to say I'm investing  in an 100mm-400mm from canon & willing to lose 100mm for quality, will be in the mail tomorrow.

so to say, if I go back in time and speak with myself, I'd say..get that damn 100-400mm and stop picking around the sigma 150-500mm . they have great primes 30mm 1.4, 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.4 = great lens!!!!

« Last Edit: March 31, 2011, 11:49:37 PM by armando »

Flake

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Re: Sigma 50-500mm Opinions
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2011, 05:08:48 AM »
Years ago I owned the 50 - 500mm sigma, and while optically it's a good enough lens its main problem is how slow it is.  Max aperture at the long end is just f/6.3, it only manages autofocus because it tells the camera it's an f/5.6, so forget anything moving, this lens unless light levels are good is strictly for stationary objects.

My advice (FWIW) is to get hold of the new 120 - 300 f/2.8 OS Sigma (expensive) or buy a used one (still expensive but less than used!) with a 2X TC it's the cheapest way to get to 600mm with a 1.4X TC it's a viable rival to Canons 200 - 400mm f/4.  Image quality is exceptionally good and there is no other lens from any maker to rival it, as a portrait lens it really excells with one pro I know using it instead of the Nikon 70 - 200mm f/2.8

Of all the lenses I own I think this one is one of the ones I'd least like to lose, the range from 120 - 600mm covers everything telephoto and with a fast aperture, it costs around half the Canon 300mm f/2.8 and it's a zoom!  You could sell the Canon 70 - 200mm to fund it because you really won't need both.

The only real drawbacks are the size & weight, and the 105mm filters it takes.

armando

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Re: Sigma 50-500mm Opinions
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2011, 10:50:21 AM »
Years ago I owned the 50 - 500mm sigma, and while optically it's a good enough lens its main problem is how slow it is.  Max aperture at the long end is just f/6.3, it only manages autofocus because it tells the camera it's an f/5.6, so forget anything moving, this lens unless light levels are good is strictly for stationary objects.

My advice (FWIW) is to get hold of the new 120 - 300 f/2.8 OS Sigma (expensive) or buy a used one (still expensive but less than used!) with a 2X TC it's the cheapest way to get to 600mm with a 1.4X TC it's a viable rival to Canons 200 - 400mm f/4.  Image quality is exceptionally good and there is no other lens from any maker to rival it, as a portrait lens it really excells with one pro I know using it instead of the Nikon 70 - 200mm f/2.8

Of all the lenses I own I think this one is one of the ones I'd least like to lose, the range from 120 - 600mm covers everything telephoto and with a fast aperture, it costs around half the Canon 300mm f/2.8 and it's a zoom!  You could sell the Canon 70 - 200mm to fund it because you really won't need both.

The only real drawbacks are the size & weight, and the 105mm filters it takes.


http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=381&Camera=9&Sample=0&FLI=2&API=3&LensComp=113&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=7&APIComp=0

comparision between the two len's ..i really should have use it year ago, kicking myself now, when you mouse over the picture its the canon 100-400mm much sharper.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2011, 10:53:45 AM by armando »

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Re: Sigma 50-500mm Opinions
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2011, 11:11:29 AM »

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=381&Camera=9&Sample=0&FLI=2&API=3&LensComp=113&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=7&APIComp=0

comparision between the two len's ..i really should have use it year ago, kicking myself now, when you mouse over the picture its the canon 100-400mm much sharper.

Its not the whole story, just a starting place.  Read additional reviews by impartial professional testers and reviewers.  All of us who own one of the lenses tend to be partial to their decisions.

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Re: Sigma 50-500mm Opinions
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2011, 11:11:29 AM »

tomscott

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Re: Sigma 50-500mm Opinions
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2011, 12:20:50 PM »
Well like I said in the post I have used a 100-400mm quite alot my girlfriend has one so I get alot of use from it, but when were both out I chuck my 70-200mm 2.8 with a 2x extender to fit the bill. I do have to say I like the 100-400 but i find it very slow unless alot of light is available and like I said prefer the ring rather than push pull.

One thing I have noticed too is that it's no where near as sharp as my 70-200mm. I do feel the 100-400 runs out of zoom too hense looking at the sigma. Maybe the best thing to do is buy the new 70-200mm mark II and buy a new 2x extender for it then best of both worlds!?

But thanks for the suggestions but does anyone own the 50-500mm either the IS or non IS. Also have you ever had the chance to compare it against the 100-400mm. There is a 50-500mm version one without IS at the London camera exchange Manchester for £450 which is a bargain! Also to borrow lenses I usually use Calumet but they don't stock sigma to rent, anywhere else that does?

Btw I am in the UK.

cheers
Tom Scott
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kubelik

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Re: Sigma 50-500mm Opinions
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2011, 12:31:04 PM »
I own over a half-dozen sigma lenses that I've used on crop bodies and full framers alike.  I liked everything (especially in terms of the value proposition) up until I started using Sigma telephoto zooms.

I had the 150-500 OS and there was little to commend it for.  it did not AF well, the aperture was slow, and most importantly, the IQ was terrible (bokeh was very distracting as well).

I also owned the 100-300, which I was much happier with, except it had some of the worst flare characteristics I've ever seen, and lacked OS.  sold the 100-300 to a friend at a discount, haven't sold the 150-500 because I wouldn't give it to anyone I actually liked.

I now use a 2x teleconverter on my Canon 70-200 f/2.8 L II, and I'm much, much happier.  take a look at Bryan's ISO charts over on The Digital Picture and compare the canon lenses even with extenders against the sigmas.  there is simply no contest; the canon telephoto range so thoroughly dominates the sigmas.  you get what you pay for.

strikerwy

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Re: Sigma 50-500mm Opinions
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2011, 07:02:05 PM »
New to the forums here.  Registered just to respond to this question.  I am not a technical guru but I can respond based on personal experience.

Simply put, I love the Sigma.  I've used one for over 5 years and have graduated from the first version to the DO version and now have the newest with OS.  As crazy as it may sound, it is my primary portrait lens, and I couldn't be happier with the results.  Seriously, over 90% of the images in this gallery http://www.timdoolinphotography.com/p550601605  were captured with the lens.  Without resorting to pixel-peeping, I'll stack the printed results of the lens against anything.  The reach allows me to limit depth of field substantially despite the lens' slower speed.  Using the lens allows me to photograph spontaneous behaviors of little children, brides and grooms, family members, wildlife, etc., very unobtrusively.  The focal range allows me to do most of my portrait work without needing lens changes to add a tele-.  I could go on and on about what I like about the lens.  If you get a good copy, the sharpness is fantastic.  Some copies are not as good.  My very first version of the lens was soft, so I sent it back.  The most recent 2 have been wonderful.

There are considerations when looking at the lens.  It's heavy.  At nearly 4.5 lbs, when attached to a pro grade body or one with grip attached, it's quite stout.  I'm a big guy, so it's not an issue, but many would struggle holding steady without a tripod.  It's also quite long when fully extended and with lens hood attached.

It is slower than many others.  For my purposes, and with the advancements in low noise, higher ISO bodies, I'm getting great results.  I especially love the new OS version for help in lower light.

It does not have as many seals and o-rings as the Canons, but I have been impressed with how little dust has appeared over the years.  I've had mine cleaned once over that time.

The exterior rubberized coating is very nice to handle, making for a grippy surface, even when cold.  It does begin to wear in frequently handled places more so than the white paint of the L line.

I'm beginning to ramble, but if you have any specific questions I haven't answered, let me know and I'll try to help out.  For the money, the extended reach and the optical quality, I wouldn't be without one.


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Re: Sigma 50-500mm Opinions
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2011, 10:55:25 PM »
I found myself going down the same road this past month.  The reach on our Canon 70-300mm IS was a bit short all too often.

I borrowed a friends non-OS 50-500 Bigma and gave it a whirl.  It seemed comparable in color/picture quality to my Canon 70-300mm IS, but, wow was it heavy.  With two toddlers in tow, this hobbiest didn't see it as a good fit to try to haul around all three of them (and a tripod - I don't know how good the OS is, but it would be tough to hold that lens still).

So,  I went to a local photo shop and tried out a few lenses.  Tried a 100-400mm.  The 13 year old design of that lens is showing.  Not that impressed with the image quality of the copy they had.  Tried the 70-200 2.8 with a 2x (version 3) teleconverter.  Almost as hard to handle as Bigma and my 2 year old and the photo in low light showed it (worse than my 70-300).  Then I tried the 70-300mm IS L glass that just came out (it was what I was there to check on after some reviews).

All I can say is WOW.  That lens was incredible.  I decided that with my 18 MP 60D, I could crop a photo down to 4.5 MP (2x zoom) and still make plenty large prints (I've done nice 16x20's with 3 MP in the past... way past).  In specs, the L and my original 70-300mm IS are the same.  In results, no comparison.    The picture quality and color are unsurpassed, its great in low light, and its only 2.3 pounds (about a pound heavier than the non-L, same length, and slightly bigger around).

Summary: my 70-300mm IS is on craigslist and my new 70-300mm L glass will be here Monday and I can't wait.

I just wish I had come to that conclusion a week earlier to capitalize on the rebate.  I didn't want to chance when the next rebate would be or if they would run out of stock until the end of summer, so I pulled the trigger.


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Re: Sigma 50-500mm Opinions
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2011, 10:55:25 PM »