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Archive 2012 · Sigma 50-500 OS vs Nikon AF-S 300 f4 + tc14?
  
 
rt007
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p.1 #1 · Sigma 50-500 OS vs Nikon AF-S 300 f4 + tc14?


Wich would you choose for wildlife?
The Bigma has the advatage with OS and a huge zoom area but the Nikon has the advatage of faster f-stop and ability to close focus.
Have any of you tested the new Bigma with OS?

Thanks



Dec 09, 2012 at 07:57 PM
woos
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p.1 #2 · Sigma 50-500 OS vs Nikon AF-S 300 f4 + tc14?


I've not used the Nikon. I wouldn't be surprised if the Nikon prime with a 1.4x TC is sharper than the Sigma. It probably is. I bet the edges are much sharper. The Nikon will also AF faster, so if small birds in flight are your priority then I'd go for that, since the stabilization won't be as big of issue there.

However, the Sigma 50-500mm OS is a GREAT lens. I had one but returned it to get the 120-300mm OS instead...sometimes I regret that due to the weight/size diff.

I had a 150-500mm OS a long time ago for about a week and I thought it was awful (maybe was bad copy, dunno, but it was *bad*). Tried 50-500mm OS on D800 and was blown away by how good it was. AF is quick, it focuses extremely close...all around great lens. Downsides are that the edges/corners get real soft above 400mm. Center of frame is jjusttttt fine though, even at 500mm. Use F/7.1 if possible or F/8.

My advice is grab the Sigma from a place where you can return it easily if it has issues, or where you can try it out before buying, then buy the copy you tried (if it was good). It's an extremely complex lens and there is some copy variations. I also have a hunch that Sigma may have modified their coatings or something, too, but not sure. On photography-on-the.net forums when the lens came out there were complaints about the lens needing a bit of a contrast boost compared to the 100-400L, and you could see it in the pictures, they didn't have that much pop. The copy I had (which was a recent new-finish copy) produced extremely poppy images. Who knows. ^_^. But, 120-300 OS <3 ... honestly I could see myself getting another 50-500 someday though to compliment it, or a Nikon 80-400 VR or something if they make a new version.

Couple examples from D800. The raccoon is cropped but not heavily. The Eagle is extremely heavily cropped, probably a 50% crop or there abouts.














Dec 09, 2012 at 11:00 PM
woos
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p.1 #3 · Sigma 50-500 OS vs Nikon AF-S 300 f4 + tc14?


One more from the 50-500 OS. This has a small amount of motion blur because the bird was moving and I'm an idiot and didn't use a high enough ISO.








Dec 09, 2012 at 11:01 PM
mawyatt
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p.1 #4 · Sigma 50-500 OS vs Nikon AF-S 300 f4 + tc14?


Agree, I have the Bigma 50-500 OS and D800. Combo works well for me and AF is pretty quick, however the Bigma needs lots of light though. How do you like the 120-300 F2.8 OS?


Dec 10, 2012 at 01:38 AM
woos
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p.1 #5 · Sigma 50-500 OS vs Nikon AF-S 300 f4 + tc14?


I like it. It's a lot different than the 50-500mm. Yeah, the Bigmos needs lots of light. For wildlife you'd be fine just raising the ISO, but for sure small objects in low light, focus is going to be an issue, not going to be as precise due to the 6.3 aperture. The Bigmos gives you an excellent flower and pseudo-macro lens, too, though. Very versatile.

The 120-300mm is pretty heavy, it's around 6lb if I recall. But the weight is distributed nicely and I have no issues handholding it for long periods of time. The bare lens is incredibly sharp, up there with the 300mm 2.8 primes from Canon and Nikon imho. Where it falls behind the primes is in auto focus speed, which is slower (probably by twice or more) and it has no AF limiter. It also vignettes more. Really, all around, the best way to describe it is: it's like a 70-200 on crack, lol. It has almost no longitudinal chromatic aberration which leads to, in my opinion, an extremely pleasing looking image.

I have the 2x sigma TC which I use with it. It's "okay" at F/5.6 and F/6.3 but not great. F/8 and F/11 sharpen up enough to be very usable. However, the lens loses some of its "pop". AF with the 2x TC is not very good. It's a very affordable way to dabble with 600mm, though--I sure can't afford a real 600mm!

I'm going to pick up the Sigma 1.4x TC on Friday I think. With the 1.4x the lens remains easy to use with good AF and doesn't lose much off its luster/pop. Turns into a 420mm F/4, which is neat. Going to improve a little stopping down to 4.5 and 5.6, but totally usable at f/4 (lots of great 1.4x examples on the photography-on-the.net forums).

Here's a couple samples from the 120-300mm OS with the Sigma 2x TC on it, on D800, all are very heavily cropped, too:













Anyway, I hope this helps. And by all means don't discount the Nikkor 300mm F/4, please. There's some bird and wildlife photographers here that use it and put out MUCH better shots than I do with my Sigma! ;-)



Dec 10, 2012 at 04:00 AM
woos
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p.1 #6 · Sigma 50-500 OS vs Nikon AF-S 300 f4 + tc14?


One more at 600mm. This is one of my favorites. Can you see the heart? (requires a little imagination to see it, hehe.) The light was so good that morning...








Dec 10, 2012 at 04:04 AM
Airphoto
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p.1 #7 · Sigma 50-500 OS vs Nikon AF-S 300 f4 + tc14?


Pros cons THe 300mm with the 1.4 is sharper thatn tjhe 50-500 OS. IF the nikon was a vr lens there would be no choice. I also went with the 120-300 OS which is equal in sharpness the the 300 f/4. I need the vr os IS if i had to choose between only taht two I would do the 300 and monopod.


Dec 10, 2012 at 05:14 PM
woos
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p.1 #8 · Sigma 50-500 OS vs Nikon AF-S 300 f4 + tc14?


Yeah I'm a super shaky guy, lol, having no stabilization is an act in frustration for me! I miss it so bad on my 24-70!


Dec 10, 2012 at 07:24 PM
BenV
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p.1 #9 · Sigma 50-500 OS vs Nikon AF-S 300 f4 + tc14?


Those samples of the 120-300 with the 2x TC are making me debate whether I need these lens now or not... great photos


Dec 10, 2012 at 10:54 PM
woos
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p.1 #10 · Sigma 50-500 OS vs Nikon AF-S 300 f4 + tc14?


Haha why thank you sir. ;-) Just keep in mind what I said. Using any lens with a 2x is obviously going to reduce your AF hit rate quite a bit. It's not a 600mm prime obviously, but then again it's 1/3-1/4 the cost of one. But it does give an option for stabilization and usable IQ with usable AF at an affordable price. Or, throw on 1.4x or leave it bare lens for when you're photographing things that are moving fast or erratically... *shrug*

Either way, the 120-300 OS and the 50-500 OS really go a long way to making up for Nikon not having a 80-400 replacement at this point. Hopefully they'll have one soon, though! And hopefully Sigma will update their 500mm 4.5 with stabilization, too!



Dec 10, 2012 at 11:28 PM
 

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penghai
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p.1 #11 · Sigma 50-500 OS vs Nikon AF-S 300 f4 + tc14?


Have both, Nikon 300 + tc 1.4 is sharper. But Sigma IQ is very acceptable. The SIgma offers an incredible convenience though. I got many images that I could not get if I carry the Nikon 300 f4 instead. It is very bulky too.

Eric



Dec 11, 2012 at 03:36 AM
binary visions
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p.1 #12 · Sigma 50-500 OS vs Nikon AF-S 300 f4 + tc14?


I think you really need to evaluate what you need.

I mean, I know it's trite, but as the saying goes - the 300mm f/4 is really poor between 50 and 299mm. Does that matter? Maybe, maybe not.

Primarily I shoot birds and bugs with mine - birds with a teleconverter, bugs with extension tubes. Those subjects mean that a zoom is practically useless for me. With birds, you virtually never wish you could go wider, and if the bugs are still enough for me to shoot them with a lens this unwieldy, then I can choose my location to shoot from. So, the drawbacks of the 50-500 are probably not worth it for me.

If you want a general purpose lens, to shoot a variety of subjects, then a zoom might be the better choice.



Dec 11, 2012 at 12:10 PM
Loren E
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p.1 #13 · Sigma 50-500 OS vs Nikon AF-S 300 f4 + tc14?


I think a main deciding factor should be zoom vs prime. For me personally, I agonized over 300 F4 + 1.4TCII vs 70-200 F2.8 VRII + 2xTCIII. I ended up going with the second option because of the great flexibility. I have never done any wildlife shooting with a prime, but I have been shooting a lot of birds with my "140-400 F5.6 VRII" setup and I can tell you that many times with birds flying, I find it invaluable to zoom way out to find the damn things and acquire focus, then immediately zoom in to actually get the shot. I would be missing a LOT of shots with a prime because I wouldn't be able to find the birds in the air! I also find it is great to get a couple shots at 400mm, then as the birds fly over head I zoom out and get some even better shots at 140mm that I would have had no chance at with a long prime. So for me I have found the flexibility of a zoom to be really crucial. This of course might be of little importance if only shooting distant targets that are never too close for your longest FL and aren't flying around. If I can ever justify a secondary setup it will be 300mm F4 + TC...one day! -L


Dec 13, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Doug Maclean
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p.1 #14 · Sigma 50-500 OS vs Nikon AF-S 300 f4 + tc14?


I have had the sigma 120-400 and the nikon 300 f4 plus nikon tc1.4 The nikon with the 1.4 is 3x sharper wide open then the Sigma.I have had quite a few sigma lens and am a big fan of them but the nikon 300 f4 is a stupid sharp lens and with the 1.4 you lose nothing in sharpness but a stop of light.Lets you crop away also.Zoom is nice in many situations though. Doug M


Dec 13, 2012 at 01:34 AM
MarcG19
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p.1 #15 · Sigma 50-500 OS vs Nikon AF-S 300 f4 + tc14?


http://bythom.com/sigma-150-500mm-lens-review.htm

http://bythom.com/300AFSlens.htm

http://bythom.com/nikkor-telephoto.htm


My takeaways, having considered both lenses (for largish birds in flight - ducks to herons and eagles) and having used/opted for neither*:

If I had to choose, I'd take the 300 AF-S. Sigma just seems too big, slow and bulky to me, and Thom's report on optical quality suggests its pretty strong in some areas, not so hot elsewhere. In either case you still need to deal with speed.

That being said, LOTS of excellent amateur wildlife photography have been taken with the various bigmas. Many of the featured pictures in the official UK 2010 amateur wildlife photo competition used this lens, and IIRC (don't have the book with me) the rest used some of the less exotic brand-name teles (e.g. Nikkor 300mm f/4 ).

As binary visions notes, don't discount the value of a zoom lens. Having a backup body with a zoom might be useful too.


* got a great deal on a 300mm f/2.8 AF-S.



Dec 13, 2012 at 01:47 AM
rt007
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p.1 #16 · Sigma 50-500 OS vs Nikon AF-S 300 f4 + tc14?


Thanks for all Your comments and thoughts.
The last days I have been reading reviews about the mentioned lenses and I have decided to og for the Nikon AF-S 300mm f4 and get a TC14EII later on






Dec 13, 2012 at 11:29 AM
binary visions
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p.1 #17 · Sigma 50-500 OS vs Nikon AF-S 300 f4 + tc14?


You will love the 300mm. It's a terrific lens.


Dec 13, 2012 at 11:56 AM
trenchmonkey
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p.1 #18 · Sigma 50-500 OS vs Nikon AF-S 300 f4 + tc14?


binary visions wrote:
You will love the 300mm. It's a terrific lens.

+1 Nice choice, RT Great naked on FX, no slouch with the TC-14/17E II either




riversbendphotography

  NIKON D800    300mm    f/5.0    1/3200s    640 ISO    -0.3 EV  





riversbendphotography


100% crop with the TC-17E II SOOC...handheld!!

  NIKON D800    500mm    f/8.0    1/1600s    500 ISO    -0.3 EV  




Dec 13, 2012 at 12:14 PM
woos
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p.1 #19 · Sigma 50-500 OS vs Nikon AF-S 300 f4 + tc14?


rt007 wrote:
Thanks for all Your comments and thoughts.
The last days I have been reading reviews about the mentioned lenses and I have decided to og for the Nikon AF-S 300mm f4 and get a TC14EII later on



Nice, yeah, you can't go wrong there! I'm sure you'll love it. Post some shots ;-)



Dec 13, 2012 at 05:57 PM
rt007
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p.1 #20 · Sigma 50-500 OS vs Nikon AF-S 300 f4 + tc14?


The Nikon AF-S 300mm f4 arrived today and have now got it`s own place in my photobag
Can`t wait to get it tested properly



Dec 17, 2012 at 05:10 PM
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