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Old May 11, 2006, 6:01 PM   #1
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Excellent site with Sigma lens tests:

http://210.251.243.169/~maro/lens_te...l#80-400mmF4.5

In extended range, the best looks Sigma 100-300, then 80-400 and 50-500.

Unfortunatelly this is purelly Sigma site world. No comparisons to Canon.


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Old May 11, 2006, 6:21 PM   #2
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i can vouch for the image quality the Sigma EX 80-400 lens is capable of. haven't tried the Canon 100-400L, but from what i've seen the Sigma is right there with it, the only thing it gives away to the Canon is a little bit of AF speed, and not much of that... i've had my EX 80-400 for about 6 weeks, and it's given me some excellent results.
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Old May 11, 2006, 11:44 PM   #3
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I was interested in testing Sigma 80-400 as well but here they had only 50-500 which is slightly less performer in opticall quality. Also I've tried Canon 100-400 and it is nice lens but just to expensive in my opinion. It ends up to $1800 CAN. I was not impressed with its speed but I would still like to have it. It is just one practical piece: not that heavy and with very acceptable optical quality. It was better compared to 50-500 but Sigma 80-400 is better than 50-500 so those two are probably equal and I believe Sigma is probably even better.

If AF is important than maybe prime tele would be the addition to Sigma 80-400.
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Old May 12, 2006, 5:28 AM   #4
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GM2006 wrote:
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I was interested in testing Sigma 80-400 as well but here they had only 50-500 which is slightly less performer in opticall quality.
That's strange because according to the MTF the 50-500 is better than the 80-400 at both end :idea:

50-500: 80-400:

50-500: 80-400:


Also there's some test here on the 50-500 with other lenses, but not the 80-400 alas:http://www.pbase.com/lightrules/3telezooms

IMO the HSM is what set this lens apart from the 80-400 OS or the 100-400L which I found the AF not particularly that fast as compared to my 120-300 f/2.8 HSM, especially in tracking moving subjects

-> Also is weight such as big issue? the difference between the 50-500 and 100-400L is about 1/2kg, and f/6.3 is only a 1/3 stop down from f/5.6 so it's quite negligible, but you're gaining another 100mm... If you want IS/OS then you're pretty much limited to the 80-400 and the 100-400L though

May be it just me (because I have the 100-400L already) and want another 50-500!!! :lol: :-) :G
... because I always tend to put on a 2xTC on my 120-300 f/2.8 to have more reach than a 400mm: :?
http://www.pbase.com/nhl/image/56322750
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Old May 12, 2006, 10:41 AM   #5
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as i understand it, most of the drop-off at the edges isn't an issue because of the crop factor on the xxD bodies, and nothing beyond the 15mm point is visible except at full frame.if you compare the two on afull-frame body, the 50-500 might be a little sharper in the corners, but could you tell the difference outside an opticallab?

from what i can tell from photos i've seen shot with both, there's no appreciable difference in image quality between the two,but the 50-500 isn't stabilized, which for me was the deal-breaker. if it had IS, i'd have got the "Bigma" in a heartbeat, but for some reason Sigma elected not to stabilize that lens. i guess they figured no one would ever try to hand-hold a 500mm lens anyway, so it wouldn't matter if there was no IS. on the plus side, the 50-500 has HSM focusing, and the 80-400 does not. so the choice is really less about MTF charts than about whether you want or need IS over HSM...


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Old May 12, 2006, 11:01 AM   #6
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NHL - lenses are never enough! I think one needs to have 70-200 and other longer one. Comparing lenses is not always absolutely true. No lens is the same and I do not know how they make those MTF charts. Is it average from couple of test samples (I would think so) or is it only one? I is reasonable to think that lens with smaller range will have better optical quality.

When I was playing with 100-400 and 50-500 I found it is not only weight but 100-400 felt more practical, compact, shorter. The difference is not that big and I have to say I like the 50-500 range. It was even sharper at 50-70 than Sigma 17-70 I have. Well, Sigma 17-70 is not an EX lens but it is very good in my opinion.

Than, having 50-500 calls also for additional tripod or monopod. It is possible to make sharp hand-helds but at cloudy days monopod wouldn't hurt.

It is strange, but I found that Sigma 50-500 produces somewhat darker pictures (at least one stop) compared to 100-400. I think that is true in general for Sigma lens - they tend to have darker colors and more contrast compared to Canon which is I would say 'smoother' or 'milkier'. Depends what one prefers.

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Old May 12, 2006, 11:04 AM   #7
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Definitelly I would like to see Bigma with OS! It would be probably couple hundred dollars more - or just about price of Canon 100-400 and Canon couldn't compete there anymore (except for the weight).
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Old May 13, 2006, 5:19 AM   #8
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squirl033 wrote:
Quote:
as i understand it, most of the drop-off at the edges isn't an issue because of the crop factor on the xxD bodies, and nothing beyond the 15mm point is visible except at full frame...
If you check from 0-15mm only (ie when cropped) both the red (contrast) and green (sharpness) lines of the 50-500 are still superior to the 80-400...




Quote:
but could you tell the difference outside an optical lab?
... and I agree, probably not! That's why I can only smile to myself when people 'eyeball' the results from their lens test :-) :lol: :G
-> IMO one can't really go wrong with any of theses lenses, and we're all splitting hair here.

Like I've said before I have the 100-400L already and my view is somewhat skewed as I always wish for more reach. However as to IS feature this novelty feture wear off pretty quick - Sure I can brag a few times how I coud handheld some shots in low-light, but mostly theses images will turn out lacking contrast and/or saturation. Nothing that a properly balance flash can not fix - by then who need IS?

I can even 'shut out' the ugly background with the use of flash!
See this: http://www.pbase.com/nhl/image/53781182/original
-> With IS but NO flash this picture would have turned out very differently, and not worth displaying!

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Old May 13, 2006, 5:33 AM   #9
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GM2006 wrote:
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... I think that is true in general for Sigma lens - they tend to have darker colors and more contrast compared to Canon which is I would say 'smoother' or 'milkier'. Depends what one prefers.
Super

I'm glad your keen eye notice this - It's actually what I liked most about the Sigma!
I tend to shoot portraits a lot in my old day and always use a B&W KR1.5 or 3 on my lens instead of a UV filter to warm up the tone. By old habit I still do with my Canon lens now with digital...

If you hold a Sigma lens (especially EX) up to white piece of paper and look through the lens you'll notice this pinkish KR1.5/3 'tint' from the antiglare or whatever coating they put on the lens whereas the Canon is somewhat "yellowish/blue" depending on how many elements :?
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