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Old Mar 30, 2004, 11:52 PM   #11
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Very interesting read on that 300-800 review. Now if only it was 6" long, weighed 2 oz, and was $50.00....
I would get 2! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Old Mar 30, 2004, 11:56 PM   #12
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No matter what, I will not turn in my Sigma 50-500. It's a fantastic lens, but it is heavy. However, it isn't "too" heavy for me and I've found that the heaviness even adds to a form of stabalization if held correctly. I would never recommend this lens to anyone because they will probably get turned off by the weight. This factor doesn't bother me personally. And I will guarantee to you that it is 'sharp' (I compare this sharpness to the 70-200 F4 and the 100 F2, not the 70-200 IS 2.8 which I don't own and have only had testing experience with.

I have no intention of trading in or selling the Bigma, it's a cool lens with a whole pile of power. I'd say to anyone here who wants 500 plus power, test it first and see what you think too.

Here's my edit: I must share with you the experience I had with it in a huge auditorium with the Sigma DG 500 on top. I pointed it at a group of basketball players in the opening ceremonies, thinking that I would never even get a shot, and it was crystal clear and sharp. I was amazed. I took other shots at speakers and a comedian with a woven suit and was amazed to see that this lens picked up the texture of the suit from a huge distance. Anyway, that's my little shpeil

Perhaps this is the psychological reason for my new avitar, which is, of course, the Bigma, stationed on a Destroyer. He he, I love this lens

If you don't choose to believe me, then here's a bit of a different challenge. Find a review on that lens that says something about the bad quality of the photo rather than the weight. The "weight" of this lens is the only complaint. Gold weighs more than other metals.

With the 2x apo I increase my ability to over 1000, and outside in God's light that isn't a problem. Why else would one even consider putting the extender on? I don't mind MF at that distance, in fact, why would you want AF at such a distance in the first place. One should be looking for a good strong tripod, and leave the rest up to the eye
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Old Mar 31, 2004, 1:10 AM   #13
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Personally, my complaint against the 50-500 is the fstop and no IS/VR.

Good technique can solve the IS/VR issue, and some would say that they are a crutch... and to some extent they are right. But I bet my keeper rate will be higher with IS than without it.

The fstop is a use issue. For some it doesn't matter, for others it does. I often shoot in lower sunset light. AF in that light at f6.3 would be... interesting. It might work, it might not. But with my subjects (wildlife), I already miss shots because the AF doesn't do it in time.. how well will it do with even less light?

The 50-500 serves a purpose. It's sharp and cheap (compared to most/all other non-mirror 500mm's.) At one time I would have considered getting it. After seeing what the 600mm can do, including taking very good pictures with the 1.4 and 2 TCs... and I want it. I have to crop my pictures too far because my subjects are small. I need more reach.

The 100-400 is a good lens. For its weight, it's great (if you get a good one... quality control issues.) And combine that with IS and its very hand-holdable. I recommend it in general, but it sounds like ohenry wants more reach than 400mm will give.

Eric
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Old Mar 31, 2004, 1:34 AM   #14
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Here is my honest response. The 50-500 is an extremely sharp lens that is a whole pile b igger than 200 mm, and it remains sharp, but is heavy to some people (not to me). The very last lens I would ever get rid of is the Sigma 50-500. It is sharp, it is "light" to me, and it is extremely versetile. It is one dynamic lens that has proven to me it's worth, in both weight and quality. Fortunately I can handle the weight, so the quality just comes naturally. End.
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Old Mar 31, 2004, 6:18 AM   #15
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I agree with Normcar, the 50-500 is an excellent and versatile lens! How many stop difference is it between f/6.3 and f/5.6? (Come on do the computation...) and it's @ 500mm not 400mm!

Again we can discuss the merit of IS till the cows come home, but to some people it's the $$$ that one is willing to pay for or not... Dismissing a lens because of lack of IS is just plain wrong. Look at the results that some of us (ie Tomsch) are getting even in low-light! There are techniques that's one can hone in... and there are money that one can throw at... they are just excellent tools.
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Old Mar 31, 2004, 9:11 AM   #16
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IS or weight isn't an issue for me at this focal length as my intent is to have it tripod mounted for most shots. F-stop is more important in the end. Even though I'll be tripod mounted, I'm not looking at still life shots so I'll need to be able to reach some faster shutter speeds.

Is the 50-500 a push-pull focus? Can you manual adjust the focus while in AF mode? The compelling feature of this lens is obviously the price. My personal bias is against having such a wide variance in focal length. I can't see where I'd find the lower focal lengths useful at all, but that wouldn't be why I would be using it anyway. Obviously my interest in this lens would be in the 300-500 length.

My instinct lies towards the Sigma 500 f/4.5 or the Canon f/4.0. From my research, the Canon is sharper but the Sigma still a close runner up. The price difference is significant and I'm not sure it is warranted.

My second choice is to consider the 300mm coupled with TC's to get the longer lengths. Advantages here are that I get a great, fast prime with the ability to get longer lengths when needed. The disadvantage is diminished sharpness when used with a 2X and about a stop difference over the 500 prime.

The 120-300 sounds enticing compared to the 300 prime strictly from a price advantage, but given that I already own a great 70-200 lens it duplicates a lot of focal length when not using a TC. Given a choice of a prime or a zoom, I think I'd lean toward the prime.

I'm also posing this question in a nature forum and getting feedback there from people that tend to do this type of photography more than the folks here. There are more people there that have actually used the various lenses as might be expected. Seems that the major concensus there is towards the 500 primes (Canon being the favored).

What it all boils down to (as always) is what are you using the lens for? We all have our own styles and preferences and, in the end, that is why we make the choices we make. I want to thank everyone for their inputs. It has been very useful.
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Old Mar 31, 2004, 9:18 AM   #17
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All I can say is that with f5.6 I have trouble focusing some times. I'm shooting through reeds to get a marsh wren with a yellow glow of sunset light on its right side. And even then I'm shooting IOS 800. I want to gain a stop, not loose a bit. That way I can get (hopefully) better AF at f4 and shoot at ISO 400 with the same exposure.

I'm going to have to pay LOADS of money for that stop (which really bugs me) but there you have it.

But, we've digressed into why I want an f4 lens... not sure if this logic applies to ohenry.

Where does the 50-500 get to f6.3? Does anyone know the focal length?

Eric
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Old Mar 31, 2004, 10:39 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohenry
Is the 50-500 a push-pull focus? Can you manual adjust the focus while in AF mode? The compelling feature of this lens is obviously the price. My personal bias is against having such a wide variance in focal length. I can't see where I'd find the lower focal lengths useful at all, but that wouldn't be why I would be using it anyway. Obviously my interest in this lens would be in the 300-500 length.
It's a two-touch and is an HSM which is USM version of Sigma, with all its benefit such as full-time manual overide. Where you would use the shorter focal lenghts is to survey the "scene" and take your pick by then zooming in... (or back out). Not something you can do with a 500mm prime!


This me "The 120-300 sounds enticing compared to the 300 prime strictly from a price advantage", I only want the Bokeh of an f/2.8 at 300mm for my type of shots. The TCs are just icing... :P
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Old Mar 31, 2004, 11:24 AM   #19
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I'm posting a shot I took this past monday at the Pittsburgh Aviary. Don't get too critcal in judging it as it was hand held, not because I'm brave but due to the fact that no tripods,or monopods or any other camera mount is permitted.



The Sigma 50-500 has it pluses as well as it's minuses. I do know that without it we would not be looking at this shot. For me it was a simple solution, I had a desire to get to 500mm but not the resources to get there. When this lens came along it was quite litterally an answered prayer. I don't make comparisons to shots taken with lenses that cost more than my pickup. They simply are not in the same class. However when I compare them to my 200mm shots, it is quite clear which I like and what is sharp enough. So do me a favor when you view my shots, if they are not sharp enough for you, don't tell me! Just save your pennies and purchase your own solution, but leave me in my ignorant bliss because I am HAPPY.
What ever you do , make sure that you enjoy it, a hobby with the joy removed is just another job. If you don't mind I will be a spectator from this point forward. I can't enter into a lens war as retirement and a fixed income have removed me from the game. The Sigma will have to do it as that is as far as I'm willing to go.
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Old Mar 31, 2004, 12:22 PM   #20
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LOL Tom...this thread was in no way intended to start a "my lens is better than your lens" thread. More so, it was a way for me to get some ideas, pros and cons, shortcomings and blessings of the available options out there. I have read the reviews, but those are often slanted and often unrealistically comparing a $300 lens to a $7000 lens.

Your shot is indeed sharp enough. If I were selling my shots to National Geographic, then perhaps I could justify $7000 for a single lens. It's hard to justify it for a hobby and my own personal pleasures, regardless of whether I can afford it or not.

I would like to hear the shortcomings of the lens or any of the others, not as a way to beat the lens up, but as a realistic and honest opinion.
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