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Sigma 50-500mm f4-6.3 EX APO RF HSM

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84 334071 May 29, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $884.38
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.18
9.53
8.8
50_500EX_mdl_1_

Specifications:
Sigma is proud to introduce a new addition to our EX series of lenses, the 50-500mm f/4-6.3 APO EX Hyperzoom. This magnificent new superzoom encompasses all popular focal lengths from the 50mm "normal" to 500mm ultra-telephoto; a 10:1 zoom ratio, providing tremendous versatility. The use of an apochromatic design and four elements composed of SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass, plus a seven group zoom system and multi-coated optics, enable this wide-ranging zoom lens to provide a high level of performance, as well as versatility. It also employs a rear focus system to insure quick, convenient manual focus and a non-rotating front barrel. This, coupled with Sigma's HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor), provide quiet, responsive autofocus function, plus "full time" manual focus. This lens also features a Zoom Lock mechanism to help eliminate "zoom creep" when the lens is tilted up or down. The use of magnesium in the tripod mount helps reduce the weight of this lens, while maintaining the strength and rigidity necessary to support it. A custom bayonet "Perfect Hood" is provided to protect the front of the lens from extraneous light. Nature and sports photographers will appreciate the performance and versatility of this amazing new superzoom lens from Sigma.


 


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megane2
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Registered: May 22, 2005
Location: Singapore
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,060.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, warm, fast and quiet HSM, sharper than non-DG
Cons:
Heavy (will you buy 1 that's light?), can't remove lens cap when hood is on, needs a good support, small aperture
Nov 20, 2005
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deepakvrao
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Registered: Apr 21, 2004
Location: India
Posts: 2
Review Date: Oct 12, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $930.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Great range, Sharp at about 450mm wide open, great build and very solid, value for money
Cons:
Heavy, slow, zoom creep which can be locked only in the 50mm position

Its a slow lens which is heavy and I atleast need a tripod/monopod but when you do manage to avoid camera shake the images are very sharp.

Oct 12, 2005
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rescon
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Registered: Sep 7, 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 7, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $899.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Great zoom range, fast focus, good bokeh
Cons:
Big and Heavy

Ordered the lens from Sigma4Less and the focus was off. I nervously returned the defective unit for replacement and another lens was shipped out the same day they received it, thank you very much. On my 20D I have the equivalent of an 800mm zoom and I'm finding shots I never noticed before. Using an ISO of 400 or 800 helps to compensate for the slow speed and enables surprisingly successful hand held shots. Focusing close at about eight feet produces a near macro effect with a short depth of field and beautiful bokeh. Nice lens but be ready for it's size and weight. When you aim this lens at someone they may run.

Sep 7, 2005
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riha
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Registered: Apr 10, 2004
Location: Sweden
Posts: 349
Review Date: Aug 18, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: The build quality is superb. So incredible sharp, even wide open from 50-500mm. Fast zoom, at least on my D70. Quiet zoom, thanks to HSM.
Cons:
It requires a lot of light. Heavy boh yes and no. The heaviness helps it getting stable, for an moment, after that it starts getting heavy if following an subject for an long time.

I first noticed this lens here in the review section. I started looking a the specs for it and i looked at diff. forums to see what other people had to say about it.

After a few days i decided to buy it, so i started checking around here in Sweden to see where to find it and how long to get it home. Man, it was hard to find it in shops with the nikon mount. Also, the time to get it home was way to long for me, i donīt have the patience to wait.

Finally i found an shop that got it home in 3 days with an reasonable price . When i say reasonably, i mean that in sweden it is one of the cheapest prices, but compared to USA, it is not.

I got it an thursday, two days later we got to Copenhagen Zoo where i tried it out and man, that is an incredible lens. So sharp and so fast zooming, and quiet.

I highly recommend it, but not for indoor usage because it is not that fast.


Aug 18, 2005
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nsbca
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Registered: Aug 2, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 385
Review Date: Aug 4, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 3 

 
Pros: Few. Built tough.
Cons:
Low contrast, poor zoom design (pumps in and blows out air as it zooms bringing in al kinds of whatever) lens creep when pointed down. Focus slow. Manual focus was too tight and hard to use.

I had a Nikon mount version and must say I was not pleased.

Aug 4, 2005
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CorruptedSanit
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Registered: Jul 5, 2005
Location: United Arab Emirates
Posts: 1428
Review Date: Aug 3, 2005 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: very sharp wide open, versatile 10x zoom. built like a tank, strong/large tripod collar
Cons:


After having this Sigma 50-500 f/4-6.3 EX DG HSM APO for sometime, I feel I can provide a better review.


1-weight, its not THAT heavy (just less than 2kg), but its not your regular 17-40 or 24-70 L. It weighs a little more than the 70-200 L IS. Also @ 500mm, its effective FOV is 800mm. Thus, I reccomend a tripod for those slow shutter landscape shots. Otherwise, shooting handheld during the day for sports ( I shoot jet ski'iers a lot) its fine.

2-its sharp, very sharp wide open. Check out the above picture, you can see the outline of the trees and trust me, those trees were pretty far away. But none the less, sharp. Look at the bird flying, its TINY right? So you can imagine how far away it was. What am I getting to? It has fantastic and sharp Depth of Field

3-10x ratio, (500 / 50=10). So its like 6 primes in 1 zoom lens.

I was considering the EF 100-400 IS before this, but the reviews and comparisons I saw between the lenses did not convince me that the Canon 100-400 was sharper or had better contrast, the difference in price was related to it being an L lens and the built-in IS. I would rather have the 50-500 now and save up for a 200 / 300 / 400 primes. Im personally getting into primes. So I didnt want to go all out and pay the extra 500$ for IS when I plan on getting primes later. But again, these two are generally the same optically. ( I have the DG version )

Some of the cool features:

1-Sturdy tripod collar, Sigma has two types of collars. A smaller one and a larger one. The Bigma (50-500) is supllied with the larger one. In fact, I often find the collar a perfect handle for handholding this lens and shooting.

2- Comes with a large case, a shoulder strap that ties intot he bottom of the collar for hanging the camera over your shoudler when this lens is attached.

There is a little switch lock to prevent zooming. So when its locked, the lens wont zoom in/out.

3-It accepts both Canon and Sigma Extenders 1.4x and 2.0x. So imagine the possibilities.

4-The tripod mount allows the lens to be moved to a vertical position very easy. So if you ever felt the need for vertical shooting, just loosen the tripod collar and twist the lens to get it into vertical shooting. Without having to remove it from the camera or tripod.

Drawbacks:
1- Its got an 86mm filter thread, its huge, looks like a good plate(quarter plate on th side), and these tend to eb expensive. On the other hand, to me personally its not a drawback. Because I learned that filters (supposed UV protectors) do nothing but degrade images and rarely "save" my lens from severe damage. What? A pole that is poked towards the front glass will not break the UV filter?
I did buy a filter though, I know it may sound contradicting.But I bought a Marumi UV filter because I am from the Middle East and often ehad to the desert and beach to photography. So, the only time I use filters on my lenses are to protect from sand and sea water spray. Other wise I never use UV filters. So depending on your train of thought. This could not justify as a drawback.
I really like this lens for what it is. Very versatile.



Aug 3, 2005
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webman06
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Registered: May 21, 2004
Location: France
Posts: 50
Review Date: Jul 31, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $999.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: New DG version is ideal for DSLR. 10x zoom ratio is excellent.
Cons:
a little heavy to say something ;-)

I had been lurking on this lens for some time and Sigma happened to come out with the new DG version when i visited B&H NY.
I have many impressive pictures handheld at 500mm.
http://www.pbase.com/webman06/lebourget2005

I would not recommand this lens for a newbie due to the bulk and weight but once you are accustomed to its size, it's a beauty... a black beauty ;-)

I highly recommand it...


Jul 31, 2005
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blue_milo
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Registered: Jun 15, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 20
Review Date: Jul 15, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $930.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Versatility, price, built quality, sharpness, tripod mount,
Cons:
HEAVY,

Before i bought this lense i thought of it as a very useful walk around lense, but i was wrong, it is very HEAVY, hand held shots are very limited. but then considering the price of this quality, i have to adjust, that simply mean bringing a tripod.
SHARPNESS of this lense are very good if not great, even at 500. The bokeh was just amazing, maybe a little vignetting.
This lense was bulit very good, and the tripod mount helps alot, it could be used as a handle to carry(HEAVY). But the black finish makes it easily hot, specially in high temp locations. i dunno if this is bad.
The focus ring was excellent, easy to use. HSM was very fast! as in very fast! trust me on this..
hood comes off easily from a case.
Zooming in and out was hard, actually it is very stiff. need to be loosen or the connection between the lense and the camera, will have a problem, mine was not that tight anymore.
For me the DG version, they just add the name. theres no difference in quality, this just my opinion.. you migth consider buying the original version and bargain for a good price.

Overall, if your in a tight budget like me, but yet looking for a nice lense, and willing to bring a tripod. This Lense is highly recommended!


Jul 15, 2005
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chickpiper
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Registered: Mar 12, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 838
Review Date: Jul 15, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $915.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Versatile zoom range, very sharp, extremely quite focusing.
Cons:
Would love this in a 2.8 :)

Having had this DG version of the lens I would hate to be without it. I can use it for portraits or can photograph wildlife or even scenics. You will need to use a tripod for best results. The tripod mount allows the lens to be moved to a vertical position very easy. Highly recommended.

Jul 15, 2005
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CorruptedSanit
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Registered: Jul 5, 2005
Location: United Arab Emirates
Posts: 1428
Review Date: Jul 12, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,150.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: extremely sharp , even @ 500mm lovely 10x zoom
Cons:
a little heavy, but from 50-500, what did you expect? a little stiff zoom for first few days of shooting

As others have mentioned, it is rather heavy. No doubt tripod usage is ideal. But you can hand hold it. I'm 6'1 (185cm), so handholding this lens is not a huge problem from focals such as 50 to 350, the remaining 150 is not hard, but weight and shake is a problem because it extends to almost twice as long.

A tip for handholding, get a battery grip, sometimes I find removing the tripod collar (which is very good quality) helps in shooting. Other times I prefer to place my left hand under the tripod collar and shooot.

Also as others have mentioned, first few shooting days with the zoom were stiff. I found that actually squeezing or compressing the zoom ring and twisting does not help. Actually try gently twisting it to zoom in or zoom out. When you put pressure and try to twist it, it feels like you are squeezing the ring onto the barrel and causing too much friction for it to move. Lightly hold it and twist. Anyways, this lasts for 1 or 2 days of shooting.

On the picture quality, I shot some amazingly sharp pictures @ focal length 500mm, the guys on the jet skii were frozen in place, you could see every droplet of water splashing.

Very good lens!!! For price paid it is cheaper than the EF 100-400 and many (myself included) state that picture quality is the same.


Jul 12, 2005
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Kagetsu
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Registered: Mar 16, 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 355
Review Date: Jun 16, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $989.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp at all levels, High build quality, Quick focus, Impressive range, and price. Focus ring doesn't move while autofocus is active (good for hand held shots).
Cons:
No OS, Tie possition for neck strap, Zoom ring very stiff out of the box, takes time to wear into a nice smooth feeling.

At first I was reluctant to purchase this lens, as I should have focused more redily on the lower focal lengths, but on its arrival, I was more then happy with the purchase.
I have purchased the DG version of this lense.

Before I go into my thoughts on it, my experience consisted of using the Tamron 28-300mm lens and the EF-S 10-22mm lens. Relative to them, this unit completely obliterates the Tamron, but can't really be compared to the 10-22 lens.

The first thing that struck me about this lens, openning the box it arrived in, was the size of it. I knew it would be big, but due to my lack of experience, I'd underestimated it it. That said, for what it achieves, it's quite small, and very acceptable.

After reading reviews here, and people mentioning the weight of the lense as an issue, I'd brushed it off, with the thought that it requires a strong arm. I realise now of course, that this is not the case. The reality is, that the lense weighs in at 2kg's, adding to that, the camera (in my case a 20D and battery grip), it becomes a cumbersome lens to use freehand, but not impossible, with the short rests between captures.
A monopod helps quite a bit to relieve the weight of the lense, and help to stabalise it (as it should). I would definantly class this lens as a built for monopod/tripod use only, though doesn't completely rule out hand use. The experience I've had with it, and hand held use, has been interesting and awkward at the same time, though works itself out in the end. I've found the best way to achieve an ideal hand held shot, is to have a remote trigger held between the pointer and thumb in the hand that's holding the lens leg, while using the other to zoom.

I've found that between approximately 100 to 500mm this lense is very sharp at the lowest corresponding aperture setting (4-6.3) and has resulted in some lovely action bokeh in my photographes of horses, and birds. All out, f/8 is sharp at every level, though probably as if not the same as it's lowest setting up to 100mm.

Focus hunt does occur sometimes, but I've found this more to be an issue with the camera then the lens itself, as the camera's AI is the unit that focus' for it. There are times, I've found the focus to be slow, and at other times, I've been honestly suprised by how quick it can be. I don't know if this is due to a problem with the camera's AI interacting with the focus mechanism of the lense or not.

It would have been nice had Sigma decided to add OS to this lens, it may have made it a little more useable in low light situations, but for the most part, even in well shaded area's, the lense is quick and responsive at ISO 200-400 and low apertures. I honestly don't feel that I should need to sell this lens unless one came with that option in the near future.

The accessories the lens comes with (namely the bag) is nice, but if you already have a kit bag of some kind, then it's probably better as something else (maybe a drinks carry bag on hikes).

For me, I'd recommend this unit to anybody. It's well built, has a great range, and sharp at any level you'd like could use it at. While OS would make it an even better unit, I feel that with it's current weight, OS would add a further amount to it, possibly causing greater issues with hand held photography.

For the beginner photographer, or people in my shoes, this really is a fantastic unit to use, and probably would recommend it as a second lens, simply because it is very large, and not very street walkabout, and stands out quite a bit in places such as clubs and parties. Start with something a little smaller, with a lower fStop.

For the more experienced, I feel this lens would benifit any collection. It's range on its own makes it a great choice, and would certainly be rugged enough to handle the rough terrain.


Jun 16, 2005
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Gorham
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Registered: Jun 1, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: May 18, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $939.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent range; good imaging. Versatile.
Cons:
Heavy. "Backward" zoom ring; also zoom ring and focusing ring are placed opposite of what I've gotten used to.

This is my outdoor workhorse lens for sports. I use it virtually all the time in good weather. Because I'm disabled, I use a monopod with just about everything and this is no exception.

I have several Manfroto mounts and keep on attached to every pod mount I have. Works well and it's much easier to just thread the whole assembly onto the monopod than do it in pieces.

It takes getting used to the backwards zoom and placement of the zoom ring. But once I *am* used to is, the lens works well. Construction is good and the images produced are quite good. I was pleasantly surprised. In good weather, the output rivals that of my EOS 70-200/2.8L ISM with a 1.4x TC II.

I'm going to expand my photography universe and hope to so some nature and wildlife stuff. I expect this lens to be right there with me. Smile

Yup. I recommend this one.


May 18, 2005
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Muzz
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Registered: Apr 20, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 104
Review Date: May 17, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Price / Sharpness / Construction / Image quality / Great range / Fast Focusing / HSM.
Cons:
be prepared to carry alot of weight for the lens and tripod/monopod.

For Aviation/Landscape/Nature photogrpahy I needed a lens with added reach in order to get decent shots from a distance.

I had a look at what Canon had to offer and it looked great but there was a "Minor" problem in that it cost more than a second hand Audi!!!

And I dont need to tell anyone here how expensive this photography is.

So I searched for cheaper alternatives and folk mentioned one word "Bigma". Seemed like everyone who did birding or telephoto work had one of these in there bag and the shots were great.

Lens is built to last so no complaints there and comes with a bag and hood so thats always a plus. having the zoom lock is a nice touch as it prevents movement in transit.

Speaking of which the lens contracts well and the lens hood can be reversed so it doesnt take up much space in my bag.

People complain about the weight but any lens with this focal length is bound to be heavy and I would prefer a heavier lens than one that feels plasticky.

Some people complain about the lack of IS/OS but for me this isnt an issue as I will be using it with a tripod/monopod and for shooting aircraft folk seem to say IS/OS isnt any use anyway.

People will say that this isnt a L lens but to me thats no big thing as quality is fine and atleast this lens matches my black 350D.

So to sum up I am delighted with this lens and its a keeper for me.

Ironically its the same lens that condyk reviewed below as I bought it from him last week.

:o)





May 17, 2005
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condyk
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Registered: Mar 14, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 300
Review Date: May 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Potentially awesome sharpness potential with dynamic colour and contrast. Unbeatable price considering performance. Build. Finish of EX lenses excellent! Lens hood. Carry case. Fast AF. Good resale.
Cons:
Quite heavy. Not great at hand held shots: needs a tripod or similar stable support. Needs good light to give its best.



May 5, 2005
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Fer1
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Registered: Jan 3, 2005
Location: Italy
Posts: 9
Review Date: Jan 3, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Useful range, cheap price, very sharp from f/6.7 at any focal length, well built; no CA to speak of, no distortion nor vignetting on a 1.6 crop camera. Focusing is fast, accurate and silent (HSM).
Cons:
A bit soft (but not very noticeable) at 500mm full open, vignetting full open on a full frame camera. Large and heavy, extends a lot at longer focal lenghts, thus varying the balance.

This lens is really good, so if you don't want to spend big money on say the 400/5.6L, this could easily be the lens you're looking for!
It's very sharp even at 500mm from f/6.7, no strange color casts, no CA.
Impressive from a 10x zoom that doesn't even cost an arm and a leg.

Of course, I'd like the 400/5.6L more. Smile


Jan 3, 2005
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Raven1
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Registered: Dec 22, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 13
Review Date: Dec 22, 2004 Recommend? no | Price paid: $895.00 | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: Clarity, Versatility
Cons:
Weight, CUSTOMER SUPPORT

Let me start off by saying that if you are shooting on a budget there is much more to consider than the price of a lense. While I am extremely happy with the quality of captured images and the versatility it has afforded me through many expeditions abroad, I will never buy another Sigma Product.

As stated, I own the 50-500 and had loved every minute of it, but recently the autofocus went out on me. So I took the lense to the local camera store, had it inspected and sent in to sigma. Well NINE, count'em 9 weeks later I finally got my lense back from Sigma. And believe me; this was not without fan fair or a threat of legal action.

That's the short version of a long convoluted story..

In closing I'd just like to add that I have had to send items in to Canon, HP and others and received them back within a week or two. If Sigma wants to sell lense for use by enthusiast and professionals then they should be prepared to treat us as such, and provide better service.

Comparable Canon glass may cost more financially, but the stress induced by Sigma's incredibly inferior customer service, makes the price of Canon glass and excellent customer service a no-brainer.


Dec 22, 2004
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Sigma 50-500mm f4-6.3 EX APO RF HSM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
84 334071 May 29, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $884.38
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.18
9.53
8.8
50_500EX_mdl_1_


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