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Old Mar 30, 2008, 5:06 AM   #1
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Hello,

I will shortly be upgrading from the Nikon D80 to the Nikon D300 and I have 2 lenses at the moment. The Nikkor 18-200mm VR and the Sigma 10-20mm. With the D300 I am planning on getting a new telephoto lens with a minimum focal length of 400mm.

The Nikkor 200-400mm is too expensive for me to buy at the same time as the D300 so I was thinking about the 80-400mm. Then I came across the Sigma 50-500mm and from the reviews I've read so far, it sounds like a great lens!

Can anyone tell me about their experiences with it?

Also, I'm curious to know about using it with a convertor and also what filters you use with it.

Many thanks,
Mark
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 4:41 PM   #2
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Hi Mark,

The Sigma 50-500 is a pretty decent lens. It's big and heavy but up to 400mm is very sharp. With it pushed all the way to 500mm it's a bit soft, about the same as a Canon 100-400L IS with a 1.4x tele converter.

Though you "can" use a teleconverter with this lens I don't recommend it. You are already at F6.3 so even a 1.4x teleconverter is going to put you at over F8 and you "may" loose autofocus with the D300.

The only down side I've found is the propensity of the zoom ring to be very stiff unless you "wrap" your hand around it. Finger tip adjustment just doesn't work on all of the 50-500mm copies. Some seem to be better than others in this respect.

Over all, it's a very decent lens and at under $1000 is a bargain for 500mm. With your D300 at 1.5x reduced FOV you will already be at an effective 750mm. With 12 megapixel resolution that "should" be enough without the 1.4x teleconverter for "most" applications. A tripod is almost a requirement to get tack-sharp images with this lens at longer focal lengths.

The Sigma 80-400OS is a bit sharper in my experience, but like the Nikon 80-400VR very slow with autofocus. On the plus side, hand holding and getting stellar results is easy with the OS (Optical Stabilization) which works very good on this lens.

The 50-500's autofocus is nice and fast so that's not an issue. Knowing your intended use would help with recommendations. Obviously the Nikor 200-400 F4.0 Vr would be the "ideal" lens because even with a teleconverter it's still a dynamite tool. It is a good deal heavier than the Sigma 50-500 though.

Best regards,

Lin
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 11:36 PM   #3
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Mark Amy wrote:
Quote:
The Nikkor 200-400mm is too expensive for me to buy at the same time as the D300 so I was thinking about the 80-400mm. Then I came across the Sigma 50-500mm and from the reviews I've read so far, it sounds like a great lens!

Can anyone tell me about their experiences with it?
Actually I just went down that path with my D300:
Like Lin Evans said I already have a 500mm f/4 and found the Bigma is quite a bit lighter and a joy to use: http://www.pbase.com/nhl/sigma_50_500

... and if you don't mind waiting a bit there's an OS version coming as well:
http://www.sigmaphoto.com/lenses/len...mp;navigator=3
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Old Apr 28, 2008, 12:25 AM   #4
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I have one and use it with a Pentax K10D. Also have the 1.4 APO teleconverter. Works good with the converter if there is adequate light. Check this out....

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...mp;forum_id=80

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...mp;forum_id=80

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...882174#p882174

Dawg

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