Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM - DSLR lens

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by BillN, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Real Name:
    Bill
    not SC, but I know that some of you guys still use your DSLR's

    I'm looking to buy a Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM - the latest lens with OS - mainly for "Birding" - the feathered variety that is! - do any of you guys use the lens - the OS version or the older non OS version
    I will use the lens mainly at the long end, (500mm) with my DX Nikon D300

    Also does anyone have experience of the less expensive 150mm - 500mm Sigma - I have read that it does not perform as well, the 150/500 that is.
     
  2. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Real Name:
    Sue
  3. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    500mm? Wow. I thought the Oly 70-300mm in 4/3 format was long enough for me given that it's 600mm EFL. At 500mm, that would be 750mm in most APS-C cameras! Looking forward to seeing the photos taken at 500mm!
     
  4. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Real Name:
    Bill
    srsmicrosystems are selling the 150-500 pentax fit version at a good price

    on EBay - but also see their site

    here
     
  5. PeterB666

    PeterB666 SC Top Veteran S.C. Charter Member

    I have the Sigma 150 to 500mm which I use with my Nikon D90. I am happy enough with the results but have only used it a couple of times for birding (not one of my strong points). I use it mainly for photographing the moon and for sufing shots.

    The 50-500mm is said to be a little sharper, especially at the 500mm lens but I don't find any real problem with with the 150-500mm. Focus is good with good light levels but manual focus helps when light levels fall.

    The 150-500mm is a little lighter than the 50-500mm and I consider that the 150-500mm is really only marginally hand-holdable (depending on the subject).

    For the money there really isn't anything around that offers the same bang for buck, especially if you need the lens to extend to 500mm.
     
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  6. Biro

    Biro SC All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Real Name:
    Steve
    Bill... I'm assuming you plan to use a tripod with either of these lenses, yes? I don't own them but I had the opportunity to use the 150-500 in the field (on a Nikon mount). While I was pleased with the results... one never forgets that it is a big, heavy lens. I agree with Peter - I consider this lens to be marginally hand-holdable.

    Also, while I haven't personally been able to compare the results from the 50-500 "Bigma" with the 150-500 "Lil Bigma," I thought the smaller lens delivered well enough that I wasn't wanting the other lens. I would say if you can get the 150-500 for less and don't really need the 50-150 focal range on a lens like this (and the truth is, we all buy these lenses for the long end, right?) then I would go for the Lil Bigma.

    Are you planning to buy new or used? These lenses are expensive. The 150-500 is $1000 new.
     
  7. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Real Name:
    Bill
    I would use it on a tripod, (I have a really good tripod and a Swiss Arca head etc.), - we have some nice areas near by for "birding" plus if I went far I would always carry it by car - i.e. no long hikes

    I would not use the shorter end at all - I want to try to "fill the frame" as much as I can

    I would use it in conjunction with my bins - i.e. spot the bird with my bins and then try to capture a shot with my D300

    I have a Nikon 70/300mm VR tele - but the reach is just not long enough to be of much use, most of the time, around where I live - the little critters are just too smart

    I am looking at used lens - but I read that there are some "bad copies" around - some have back focus problems and some are just not sharpe.......... my budget is up to £1,000, (US 1,500), for a lens ............ a good used scope with the usual "bits" also comes in at that price range.

    I am tempted by the Nikon 80 - 400 - but it is twice the price

    I have and am also considering a Swarovski 80HD scope to use with a compact, (say my Canon S95) ............ but as I have the D300 and the (new) scope set up will be up to 3 times the price of the Bigma ............ I feel that the Bigma is a sensible way to go.

    Lots of "wild life" near where we live ......... plus we travel quite a lot by car into Spain and the UK

    I am "going around in circles" reading the Bird Forums - re advice etc., etc., - so I reckon I should just take the plunge and get the latest Bigma with OS

    (PS - I have a 45mm 200mm which I use with my G1 ......... but again, not enough reach to be useful, plus unless the light is good, IMHO it is a soft lens)

    Thanks
     
  8. Biro

    Biro SC All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Real Name:
    Steve
    Your logic seems flawless to me, Bill. Go for it and enjoy... and post some of your results!
     
  9. texascbx

    texascbx SC Veteran S.C. Charter Member

    410
    Jul 10, 2010
    Canton Texas
    Real Name:
    Ricky
  10. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    that doesn't surprise me, if you mean birdforum.net ... it's got a huge membership and there's an opinion for every member ... the Bigma is really widely used in the birding world, and it's hard to see that you can go wrong with it ... unless you handlhold at 500mm in low light of course ...
     
  11. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Real Name:
    Bill
    birdforum.net ............. the latest consensus seems to be a Nikon ED82A Fieldscope used with a Canon S95 giving 1000mm to 2000mm range ....... the adaptors that go with it also seem reasonably priced................ but it also looks as most have those guys have the Bigma or something similar as well

    I think I'll sell my 35mm Summarit, (the latest coded lens), and use some of that cash - as I much prefer my Zeiss 28mm ZM Biogon - don't know really why, but I just feel more at home with the Zeiss

    I may end up with both ......... but hopefully not at the same time
     
  12. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    remember that digiscoping offers you much less flexibility than dSLR+Bigma.

    though of course a good 'scope is worth it's weight in gold if you're birding, even if you never stick a camera on the end of it