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Old Jun 19, 2004, 12:09 AM   #1
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I tested the 120-300 2.8 today and it was a bit soft at 2.8, which could very well be just my camera, since I just got it back from calibration a few weeks ago. However, since it's my camera and I can't change that I decided not to purchase the 120-300. The camera dealer I work with heard what I'm doing (mostly wildlife at the moment) and suggested that I try out the Sigma 500 4.5 prime. I agreed and will be checking it out in a week. Does anyone out there have experience with this lens on the Rebel? If so, please elaborate, thanks.

I probably should have posted this in the Canon DSLR string since that's what I'm using and this is "not" a Canon lens, I know that a few of you here have toyed with Sigma and are much better read in the area of all lenses than myself.
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Old Jun 19, 2004, 12:19 AM   #2
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I have heard heard good things about the Sigma 500 f4.5. It isn't as good as the Canon 500 or 600mm, but its a lot cheaper... so what do you expect? It will get the job done, and that is what matters.

I would expect it to be sharper than the 120-300, but the reality is that it should be. It is easier to make a prime sharpen than a zoom (you can make a cheap prime, of course... and then it won't be sharper, but why would you do that?)

I would have expected the zoom to be softer at f2.8. The DOF will be fairly small at that fstop, the question might better be how well it works at f4.

Eric
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Old Jun 19, 2004, 1:01 AM   #3
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Norm

I hope you realize there's not even an f-stop difference between your 50-500mm f/6.3 than this 500mm f/4.5... well it's your money and if you can "see" the better sharpness/$ then go for it!

IMO I'll take the 120-300 f/2.8, but then I'm not after birds...
http://www.pbase.com/cameras/sigma/500_45_ex_apo_hsm
http://www.pbase.com/cameras/sigma/1..._ex_if_hsm_apo
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Old Jun 19, 2004, 1:25 AM   #4
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Eric, I tested it at F4 without impressive results compared to the 50-500, and the 50-500 was hand held at 800 shutter while the 120-300 was at 2500. I was not impressed with the sharpness of the 120-300.

NHL, you make a good point. Any suggestions "beyond" the 120-300? Because that lens just didn't test out as I wished. I was thinking about possibly the 300 2.8? Comments?


PS, I'm not complaining about a particular lens here, I am complaining about the results with a camera/lens combination that didn't seem to work as well as expected. This may well have something to do with the combination. On multiple experiments with a great lens, the 70-200 IS Canon, with 1.4 teleconverter, a combination that should have achieved wonderful results, didn't weigh up to what I have gotten with the 50-500 and the Canon.I'm asking here about possible alternatives that I could choose from in a similar price range, either Sigma or Canon, that might work. Then I can ask my Camera guy to bring one in so I can try it out.

Maybe I should just forget another lens, use the 50-500 and photograph only on bright days, and trade my Rebel in for a Mark II

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Old Jun 19, 2004, 7:12 AM   #5
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Normcar wrote:
Quote:
PS, I'm not complaining about a particular lens here, I am complaining about the results with a camera/lens combination that didn't seem to work as well as expected...
Could it be your "expectation?


Quote:
I was thinking about possibly the 300 2.8? Comments?
1. The Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 is sharper than their own 300mm f/2.8 prime (and it cost less as well). http://www.shutterbug.net/test_repor...gma/index.html

2. I thought you're after this lens for action shots in available light -> ie a zoom and f/2.8. http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...92&forum_id=82


Quote:
Maybe I should just forget another lens, use the 50-500 and photograph only on bright days
This sounds logical to me... until you need or require that f/2.8 again... IMO people kills for that shallow DOF!
There's always the cheaper and sharper 100-300 f/4 http://www.photozone.de/2Equipment/easytxt.htm#Ztelel

:-)
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Old Jun 19, 2004, 9:43 AM   #6
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Maybe the 100-300 is what I was thinking of. Is that a fairly new lens? I just remember something from sigma in that range that people seem to love.

I do agree with NHL, though. Its partially an issue what you consider acceptable. Like for me; I didn't really "need" the Canon 600mm. I bet the Sigma 500 f4.5 would have been acceptable for the 100mm reach I'd gain (and lower price.) But I didn't think it would be acceptably sharp or contrasty. And then there is the issue that I could put a 1.4x TC on the 600mm and have (basically) no loss of optical quality. So I'd get even more reach.

Eric
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Old Jun 20, 2004, 12:06 AM   #7
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I'm going to buy the Mark II, and let the 50-500 do what it does best, take photos.
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Old Jun 21, 2004, 11:56 AM   #8
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I've heard very good things about that camer, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

Don't be dishartened when you find it softer than you might like. Canon put very strong anti-aliasing filters on it. The pictures sharpen up very well in photoshop (or just increase sharpening in the camera for jpgs.)

Eric
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Old Jun 21, 2004, 9:06 PM   #9
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Norm,

You've got to post pictures as soon as you get it. I'm envious.
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Old Jun 23, 2004, 12:40 AM   #10
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I probably won't get it for a month or two but I had a decision to make and it was difficult until I really started thinking about things, and with the help of NHL, who said to me, paraphrasing, what benefit do you get with the 500 4.5 Sigma over the 50-500? I started thinking about that and it began to make real sense, especially considering the fact that at 3200 ISO the Mark II performs well. That gives me 3 stops with the 50-500, which I "know" is sharp. With the Rebel I am happy with shots up to 400 ISO, and beyond that, forget it. I had a decision to make, keep the 70-200 IS USM or trade it in. It was easy for me once I did a column one and column two thing. Column two, with the Mark II, had this:

- 8 frame one second burst mode at 8 megapixels

- firewire upload

- ISO that gives me probably 3 stops over the Rebel

- a very well built body

I had the above, or a 500 mm lens that was one stop less than my wonderfully sharp 50-500, so the decision was, and is, pretty simple and logical. My only complaint is that I'll need to wait for it.

Eric, I have no problem with that, I neat imaged Steve's 3200 ISO and it turned out better than I'd even expected. Much better than I'd ever get with an 800 ISO on the Rebel

go here to see the result: http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=11


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