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Old Oct 7, 2004, 10:08 AM   #1
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I know you love your 50-500 telephoto lens (I think you said it was a sigma) and I was wondering if you agree with these comments regarding the lens. One guy states you can do without a tripod and some of the other comments are not encouraging.



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Old Oct 7, 2004, 11:41 AM   #2
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hmm...one thing i read

the last guy said "virtually impossible to handhold"

well....normcar is living, breathing proof that it is VERY possible...

it's a great lens, the 300mm prime that guy rented, would probably cost double if not more than the 50-500....(looked them up...saw a hassleblad 300mm f/2.8 prime costed 22,000....lol....dollars...

but the nikon and canon 300mm prime's were 4,000+

well....that's one point i know...i'm not very experienced when it comes to SLR's...and lenses (yet...muahahha), but, 3,000 dollars difference is pretty big...

hope this helps..

Vito
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Old Oct 7, 2004, 11:53 AM   #3
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I know of couple of guys on dpreview who can hand hold the bigma but you need to shoot at higher shutter speeds at 500mm. From what I have heard about this lens, the weight is distributed nicely so it can be used without the tripod but I would recommend using one. It gives the best bang for the buck as far as 500mm is concerned, IMHO.

If you don't need the zoom, canon 400mm f5.6 prime would be another option. A bit more but very nice lens for flight shots and can be used (depending on light) with 1.4x on 300D, 110/20D.
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Old Oct 7, 2004, 12:10 PM   #4
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Some find it hard to hand hold the 50-500. It weighs about 4 lbs (1,850g) and is a powerful zoom (500mm) and it has no image stabilization.

Can it be done? Yes, some can. But most can not, at least not at 500mm.

But there is another factor. Quality. What is "good enough"? I found that even with image stabilization the 100-400 was difficult to get something that was really sharp. I could do it, but there were times that I couldn't. Now I just always take a tripod and now the percentage of sharp pictures has gone up a lot.

Not an answer from experience, but just some more info to add to the list.

The 300mm f4 is around $1,200 USD. It isn't 4K, that is the 300f2.8. I don't know which Vito was refering to, but it should be noted that the 300mm f4 * 1.4xTC * 1.6x gives close to the same range as the 500mm end of the 50-500 at the same fstop. So comparing it to the price of the f2.8 isn't exactly fair.

Eric
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Old Oct 7, 2004, 12:29 PM   #5
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ah...good point eric...

it was the 2.8..

i just searched bhphotovideo.com really fast...so it wasn't really a knowledgable guess...but the guy on the other site didn't mention which one...

sorry...adding to the confusion...

i'll just stay out of these discussions until i learn more about them..lol

Vito
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Old Oct 7, 2004, 3:13 PM   #6
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There is no substitute for a sturdy tripod when critical sharpness is your goal.

Of course, there are times when a tripod just isn't feasible and those times require a steady hand (or braced somehow) and faster shutter speeds to minimize any camera shake. It takes practice and knowing some techniques to minimize your movements during the critical moment of triggering the shutter.

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Old Oct 7, 2004, 7:27 PM   #7
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><<<<<<<<<<<<& lt;The 300mm f4 is around $1,200 USD>>>>>>>>>>>????????

That would be around 840 dollars Australian????

I got a Canon EF90-300 1:4.5-5.6 zoom for $210 American dollars when i purchased the Drebel. Dowes a reasonable job and I can hand hold it quite easily. Still I'd like to get closer to wildlife if possible.
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Old Oct 7, 2004, 9:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
the weight is distributed nicely so it can be used without the tripod but I would recommend using one
I agree with bobby and everyone else fully that to get the absolute sharpness from a lens you need a very sturdy tripod. However, I personally feel that sharpness is only part of my personal goals in photography. Ineed to feel comfortable with whatever gear I am using and whatever technique is being applied. I personally don't like carrying around a tripod, getting it stuck on tree branches, not being able to swivel the head fast enough to catch an immediate action, and so on.I've lost too many excellent photo ops because of that burden. Hence, when I am trecking in deep dark woods I have decided to forego the best sharpness for as good a sharpness as I can muster hand held and more often than notalways at 500+ shutter. In these situations I have obtained a degree of sharpness that suits my needs without sacrificing what I consider to be of equal or more importance, comfort and fluidity.

Many photographs that I have captured hand-held would most definitely have been completely missed had I been burdened with a tripod. I go into some pretty tangled gnarls from time to time and the tripod becomes like dead-weight to me, and burdensome. So the question I posed to myself was: Should I keep missing all of these ops and burden myself with this load even though it bugs me to death or should I sacrifice some sharpness in order to feel comfortable and at the ready?

Since posing that question to myself I've hung up the tripod unless I'm in a situation where it's not a burden to me. Then I will happily and gleefully open it up and perch my cam on it anxiously awaiting the better than average sharp photos that result.

My last several posts have all been hand-held with the Sigma and a couple of them I would suggest are about as sharp as I would ever wish them to be, and wouldn't even want them any sharper.

I've been using the Sigma now for almost a year and I've taken zillions of photographs with it. It now feels like another limb on my body and I believe that that, in and of itself, lends itself to success in photographing with the 4 pound lens.

I believe that if a person feels comfortable and at ease with any tool or instrument they will have some degree of success with it.

Yes, the Sigma 50-500 can be used hand-held. However, I'm 5'11" tall, weigh 180 pounds, and exercise daily both aerobically and with weights. I think that is also a factor and I know that one of the major reasons I am motivated to exercise is to be able to continue to hand-hold the Sigma. :-)
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Old Oct 8, 2004, 5:40 AM   #9
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well Im glad Im not the only one who curses the tripod at times, I had the camera on a tripod one day and missed a great shot because of it, I even lifted the tripod off the ground trying the get the shot:-). As for strength. Every morning each week i unload trucks full of cages of freight, some stuff requiring two of us to lift, I also have a weights machine so upper arm wise Im pretty strong and dont find a couple of kilos any big deal to hold steady, I had a big lens for my film slr and never had problems with unsharp images. I do like using my tripod for plants and some landscape scenes though. Moving subjects to me are much easier handheld.
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Old Oct 8, 2004, 7:14 PM   #10
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aladyforty wrote:
Quote:
><<<<<<<<<<<<& lt;The 300mm f4 is around $1,200 USD>>>>>>>>>>>????????

That would be around 840 dollars Australian????

I got a Canon EF 90-300 1:4.5-5.6 zoom for $210 American dollars when i purchased the Drebel. Dowes a reasonable job and I can hand hold it quite easily. Still I'd like to get closer to wildlife if possible.
Julie and others,
Please excuse my ignorance on this subject as I don't really know about dSLR's or their lenses, but could Julie add a teleconverter to the end of her 90-300?
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