SIGMA releases new firmware for the 500mm f/4 DG HSM OS, improves performance with R5 and R6

Canon Rumors Guy

EOS-1D X Mark III
CR Pro
Jul 20, 2010
9,117
1,923
Canada
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Ruiloba

80D + R5
Feb 13, 2020
21
26
Spain
Really interested in this update. Readed tons of good reviews about this lens but it is slow focusing on the R5. Anyone here could test it?
 

justaCanonuser

Grab your camera, go out and shoot!
Feb 12, 2014
815
671
Frankfurt, Germany
Bryan Carnathan once reviewed it with a 1D-X attached and discovered a focus shift issue. If Sigma could tackle this, too, for Canon's latest (last) DSLRs, it'll be a great alternative for Canon wildlife/sports shooters. For the R5/6 it has to focus decently speedy, otherwise it would be no serious option for e.g. birding.

 

U-Type

@u.type
Dec 1, 2013
12
2
www.instagram.com
Curious to know whether these firmware updates would allow the R5/R6 to shoot at the maximum continuous H+ FPS that's normally enabled by Canon RF lenses? Or do they already enable that?
 

rontele7

EOS M6 Mark II
Nov 8, 2017
51
60
Earth
I hope they will bring some new tele lenses! maybe some which are not there for Canon cameras like a small 500 f5.6 or 600 f8.0 etc…
A 500mm f/5.6 in EF or RF would be an incredible lens!

I’m actually surprised Sigma or Canon hasn’t developed one. IMO a 500mm f/4 is for a very serious photographer, but the f/5.6 could be much lighter, more affordable, and would appeal to a wider range of users, including professionals who need to hike into locations for wildlife purposes.
 

AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
8,248
10,297
A 500mm f/5.6 in EF or RF would be an incredible lens!

I’m actually surprised Sigma or Canon hasn’t developed one. IMO a 500mm f/4 is for a very serious photographer, but the f/5.6 could be much lighter, more affordable, and would appeal to a wider range of users, including professionals who need to hike into locations for wildlife purposes.
I originally thought the same but am not so sure any more. I have the incredible Nikon 500mm f/5.6 PF, which I used for a year on the D850 and D500, and was delighted with the combination, which Canon could not then match. However, I have used them only once since getting the R5 and RF 100-500mm. The 100-500 at 500mm is nearly as sharp as the prime, indistinguishable for most practical purposes, weighs about the same and has all the advantages of a zoom with close focus for the loss of 2/3rd stop. It would now be a dilemma for me if Canon produced such a lens.
 
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entoman

wildlife photography
May 8, 2015
101
59
UK
I originally thought the same but am not so sure any more. I have the incredible Nikon 500mm f/5.6 PF, which I used for a year on the D850 and D500, and was delighted with the combination, which Canon could not then match. However, I have used them only once since getting the R5 and RF 100-500mm. The 100-500 at 500mm is nearly as sharp as the prime, indistinguishable for most practical purposes, weighs about the same and has all the advantages of a zoom with close focus for the loss of 2/3rd stop. It would now be a dilemma for me if Canon produced such a lens.
Yes, with any specialist lens, especially an expensive one, it definitely pays to take a step back and very carefully weigh up how it compares with alternatives. Sometimes people find that a lens that has "star appeal" will only be used a few times, and then end up in a cupboard, or be sold at a significant loss. Camera stores are full of nearly-new glass that people suddenly realise they didn't really need.

For me, a compact and affordable 500mm F4 would be great, but a 500mm F5.6 far less so, as my 100-400mm with 1.4x extender is effectively a (sharp and close-focusing) 560mm F8. Far more useful to me would be a 600mm F.5.6, and if Canon produced one, I'll bet that it would prove immensely popular with bird and wildlife photographers.
 
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tiggy@mac.com

R5
CR Pro
Jan 20, 2014
695
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I've - oddly - owned three of those sigma 500 f/4s. The second one was purchased specifically for the R5 thinking that it would be a place-holder until the RF big whites came around. (The third was a mistake, as I wound up thinking I had lost the bid and got the 2nd one, but then found that I'd won both auctions). I've sold them all since.

The focus shift issue is significant if you don't shoot the lens wide open. I almost never shoot the lens at an aperture smaller than wide open, so it didn't bug me at all. The distance at which I shoot things tends to make the plane of focus deep enough to not worry about it. And stopping down doesn't improve IQ much, unlike the old days.

Anyway, the focus speed was just poorer enough versus the Canon 500 (which I'd owned previously) that it detracted. Took a great deal away from the R5's tracking capabilities. My sense was that this had more to do with the speed of the tracking motor rather than any algorithmic nuance. I didn't assume a firmware would be able to address it. Would be glad to be wrong.

After the Mark III version of the 600 f/4 came out, the Mark IIs came down in price on the used market, so I went with one of those. The equation was used Sigma 500 at $3800 versus a used canon 600 II at $5500. With the extra focal length and the AF competence (and IQ as good as the mark III), it was the right choice for me. Despite it's larger weight than the Mark III it might continue to be the best choice for me if the new RF 600 turns out to be a glued adapter job.
 
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Jul 16, 2021
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I have this lens and I love it. Use it handheld 95% of the time. Got it when I still had my 5DM4 bodies. Now have the R5 and Canon adapter and it’s awesome. I look forward to the new firmware as focusing is good but could be a tiny bit better.
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