Upload & Sell: Off
First impressions are very good!
--- Sigma 150-500 OS Review ---
Ok, So I bought this lens looking for something to compliment my 70-300VR. First, I tried a 50-500 (bigma), but found even being on a monopod, I really needed the OS at 500mm, (800mm on my DX cameras.)
----First off, The build quality.-----
-Zoom ring is a bit stiff, but I presume it will loosen over time. I have had no problems with creep like I did on the bigma.
-Manual focus ring is nice and smooth, and has a very fine adjustment making MF a joy to use with this lens.
-Tripod Collar is excellent in stability and size, but feels a bit stiff to rotate, but not too bad. Better than the bigma,
-Lens hood feels cheap and flexible, but is large, lightweight, and attaches easily. Does itís job well
-Coating on the exterior of the lens is quite prone to scratches and scuffs. I have ordered a lens coat.
-Lens cap is a pinch style, just like the nikon cap, unlike the outer edge pinch one on the bigma. Much easier to put on with the hood attached than the one that came with the bigma!
-Switches feel solid and less fiddly than the bigma.
---Build quality, 8.5/10
-----Next, The OS system-----
-Slower than the nikonís VR to engage. takes just a little under a second to stabilize.
-Noisy chirp sound at startup and shutdown of OS, but is almost as quiet once running as the nikon VR models.
-Eats battery much worse than the nikon 200-400VR I tested, but not as bad as chimping on the rear LCD!
-Very effective once stabilized. Just as good as the 200-400VR
-Gives clear sharp images on a monopod with OS on. On the monopod, I was able to get sharp shots at 500mm at 1/125. bigma on monopod needed at least 1/320. Handheld the 150-500OS here-on refered to as BOS (bigma OS) I was able to go as low as 1/250 at 500mm OS on, where the bigma needed 1/640-1/800.
---OS Score 7/10---
----- Next up, Image Quality. ------
Now, obviously this cannot compare to a nikon 500 f/4 or the 200-400 with a 1.4x teleconverter, but both of those were too heavy and expensive for me.
--Image quality wide open was 8/10 at 400mm, and 7/10 at 500mm.
--Image quality at f8 at 400mm was 9/10, while at 500mm it was 9/10.
-I found that my copy easily matches the bigma in sharpness at all focal lengths, and blows it away in keeping the fringing down. My bigma was particularly bad about CA.
---Sharpness score 8/10---
---CA score 9/10---
-Af is quick and accurate, and in decent light, I have had no problems with focus hunting on my D90 or D300.
-Af is quite a bit slower than the HSM bigma. My bigma racked from end to end in under a half second. This lens takes at least 3/4 of a second, more in lower light.
-AF is very accurate once locked on, slightly better than the bigma.
-----AF SCORE---- 7/10
Not only can this lens match the bigma in sharpness, but it is much better in terms of color rendition and CA.
The lens is better balanced than the bigma.
The OS is very good, but has a few small quirks.
This lens is definately a keeper.
I have heard that there is a lot of sample variation on this particular lens though, especially the earlier copies. So, if you are getting soft images, you either have a poor long lens technique, are using to slow of a shutter speed, or have a bad copy. Return it and try a new one.
-CHEAP compared to nikon equivalents.
-Light compared to 200-400VR
-HSM is much better than the screwdriver AF on the 80-400VR
-Very sharp for a lens that is this cheap in a market of lenses that cost 5-8x as much
-very good tripod foot
-OS system does itís job well.
-86mm filters and lens caps are expensive.
-f 6.3 aperture is slow in low light, but really has no problems focusing even on a really overcast day.
-sample variation turns a lot of people off of this lens.
-OS takes some getting used to.
-Focus is slower than the bigma, but not as slow as 80-400VR from nikon.
Pics will be in next post.