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Old Nov 6, 2011, 7:42 PM   #1
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Default Sigma 50-500 or Sigma 150-500?

I have a D7000 with 18-105mm and 55-300mm lenses. I love nature photography and would like to get more zoom than 300mm. I was looking at the Sigma 50-500mm and 150-500mm lenses.

The 50-500mm should give me 75 to 750mm with the APS-C sensor in my D7000.

The 150-500mm should give me 255mm to 850mm with the APS-C sensor in my D7000.

Since I allready have 18-300mm covered with my 2 current lenses, I think I should go with the Sigma 150-500mm. I would save about $600.00, and have 100mm more zoom (850mm instead of 750mm) with my sensor.

Thoughts?
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Old Nov 6, 2011, 11:23 PM   #2
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Bob. I would love to have either of those lenses for your stated purpose, but mama needs new tires ($1200), so right now is bad. Given that you already have 18-300 covered (assuming you are happy with those lenses), then I would say go for the cheaper one and spend the $600 on some other goody. Good luck with your decision, it's never easy...
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Old Nov 7, 2011, 6:45 AM   #3
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I have the Sigma APO 150-500mm F/5-6.3 on my D300 and it gives good results out to about 400mm then it gets a bit soft. Not bad results when you consider some of the competition costs 4-5 times as much! It is stabilized but is a heavy beast so I get better results using a monopod and a Manfrotto 393 gimbal head. http://www.manfrotto.ca/product/0/39...ct_Plate_357PL
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Old Nov 7, 2011, 6:07 PM   #4
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I just purchased the SIgma 150-500...and it is a large(86mm filter size) and heavy bugger indeed. Definitely one for a tripod...of course now I'm thinking of a heavier duty tripod and a gimbal type head...that's another several hundred $'s...will the madness ever end!!

IQ seems pretty good. My intention is to use if for aviation photography. I have not subject the lens to a rigorous test, but here are a couple from this past weekend. Neither were taken at 500mm. The zoom control is a bit stiff and works opposite to what the Nikkor's do. Otherwise, it seems to be build solid!

BTW, I couldn't quite follow your comment about getting 850mm using the 150-500 vs. 50-500. The lens multiplier is still 1.5, so you should be getting an equivalent of 750mm regardless of the lens.

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Old Nov 7, 2011, 7:20 PM   #5
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Hey Bob Ive had the 150-500 for about three years or more now. Started using it on a D-90 and then the 7000. As the poster mentioned, it gets soft after 400mm, and you need very good light. It started to show a problem when hooked up to the 90 and I had it sent back a couple of times to get it fixed. I have seen quite a few good photos taken with the 50-500, which I believe is better glass. Its a few bucks more but it has coated lenses I believe. If I were you, Id take a hard look at the 50-500 before you pull the trigger. I have to tell you that on the 7000 what works very well is the Nikon 300mm f4 stand alone or with TC's the image quality exceeds that from the Sigmas.
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Old Nov 8, 2011, 3:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emptyquiver View Post
Hey Bob Ive had the 150-500 for about three years or more now. Started using it on a D-90 and then the 7000. As the poster mentioned, it gets soft after 400mm, and you need very good light. It started to show a problem when hooked up to the 90 and I had it sent back a couple of times to get it fixed. I have seen quite a few good photos taken with the 50-500, which I believe is better glass. Its a few bucks more but it has coated lenses I believe. If I were you, Id take a hard look at the 50-500 before you pull the trigger. I have to tell you that on the 7000 what works very well is the Nikon 300mm f4 stand alone or with TC's the image quality exceeds that from the Sigmas.
Thanks for the reply.

I need something to get closer to birds with than the 300mm. I want to get some good bird shots without having to crop the image.

I am in the process of researching both the 50-500 and the 150-500. The 50-500 does seem a little better from the research I have done so far, so it definately is an option I am seriously considering. I can always sell the 50-300 Nikor for a couple hundred.
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Old Nov 8, 2011, 5:04 PM   #7
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Not trying to dissuade you from getting the lens that you would like to have but, there are ways to get around the issue of having to buy a relatively expensive long telephoto zoom in order to shoot good images of birds.

The key to getting good clear & sharp images of wildlife-specifically birds is to get as close as you can to them. For the most part, I've tried both long primes and telephoto zooms and pretty much all of them had the same issues, which was getting soft at the long end of the focal range.

I've had the best results using either a 50-200mm Ed f2.8 lens made for the Olympus cameras and now with the 70-200mm f2.8+D7000 combo.

Now, 200mm doesn't sound like it will get you anything but if you can get close enough, you'll be surprised by your results. And it won't cost you an arm and a leg to buy.

Here are some images taken with a 50-200mm 2.8 lens















In the case of the songbirds, I set up a feeder outside my office window and I shot throughout storm window. The birds were literally 4ft away from the lens.

The last 3 shots were taken a Tigertail Wildlife Sanctuary in Marco Island Florida. I spent a month there slowly learning how to approach shore birds in the wild. My camera was mounted onto a monopod and each day, I spent 2 hours quietly following shorebirds as they were feeding.

It got to the point where I could get within 8 to 10 ft away from these birds simply by being patient and non confrontational.

From my perspective, I would rather use a 70-200mm 2.8 lens which is a lot faster and provides much better quality at low light than either the 150-500mm or 50-500mm Sigmas.
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Old Nov 8, 2011, 6:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zig-123 View Post
Not trying to dissuade you from getting the lens that you would like to have but, there are ways to get around the issue of having to buy a relatively expensive long telephoto zoom in order to shoot good images of birds.

The key to getting good clear & sharp images of wildlife-specifically birds is to get as close as you can to them. For the most part, I've tried both long primes and telephoto zooms and pretty much all of them had the same issues, which was getting soft at the long end of the focal range.

I've had the best results using either a 50-200mm Ed f2.8 lens made for the Olympus cameras and now with the 70-200mm f2.8+D7000 combo.

Now, 200mm doesn't sound like it will get you anything but if you can get close enough, you'll be surprised by your results. And it won't cost you an arm and a leg to buy.

Here are some images taken with a 50-200mm 2.8 lens















In the case of the songbirds, I set up a feeder outside my office window and I shot throughout storm window. The birds were literally 4ft away from the lens.

The last 3 shots were taken a Tigertail Wildlife Sanctuary in Marco Island Florida. I spent a month there slowly learning how to approach shore birds in the wild. My camera was mounted onto a monopod and each day, I spent 2 hours quietly following shorebirds as they were feeding.

It got to the point where I could get within 8 to 10 ft away from these birds simply by being patient and non confrontational.

From my perspective, I would rather use a 70-200mm 2.8 lens which is a lot faster and provides much better quality at low light than either the 150-500mm or 50-500mm Sigmas.

Wow!!!

Those are some great shots.

Are they straight out of the camera shots?

I think I have to do more research on lenses.
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Old Nov 8, 2011, 6:40 PM   #9
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Default How about the 300 f4 Nikkor

Just a thought. The 300 f4 is a great lens that handles the TC-14 just fine. Its lightning fast with focus. Its IQ is great. With the TC-14 it is a 420mm f5.6. Reach would be 630mm EFL on a 1.5 crop.

IQ would exceed the Sigma lenses in question, but it would also be a bit more money, especially with the converter.
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Old Nov 8, 2011, 7:06 PM   #10
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Yes Bob,

Most are pretty much out of the camera as far as sharpness, exposure, and detail go. I did crop most of these so that I could remove extraneous background not adding anything to the finished image.

One thing that is really difficult to post process is sharpness and resolution of
detail such as the barbules found in small songbirds' feathers.It's either there or not. The lenses you're considering are going to be soft at 400mm to 500mm and you're unlikely to get that kind of clarity.

Hate to beat a dead horse, but looking at how bird photographers really get those wonderful National Geographic type shots and you'll quickly see that they are using lenses that cost $6000 or more. If you're like me, you may not be able to plunk down that kind of money. So, instead, you have to work on coming up with work arounds- one of with is how you can get yourself closer to your subjects.

In the interest of full disclosure I do have to point out that the Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8 VR lens is not cheap. List price is $2400.00. But there are always refurbished and preowned lenses available use camera equipment sites such as B&H Photo.com KEH.com Adorma.com to name a few.

I bought mine , used and paid $1,650 for it. Also, one Sigma lens I would recommend you look at is the 70-200mm f2.8 lens. It is not quite as sharp as the Nikon version. But, it is considerably cheaper- around 700.00 used.


Here's a few images of birds in flight taken with the D90 and the 70-200mm 2.8 Nikkor VR. Pretty much the reason I bought into the Nikon system was to be able to take images of birds flying. Your D7000, when equipped with the right lens is just amazing at capturing birds in flight.






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