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Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 AF APO DG OS

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
54 221072 Dec 22, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
85% of reviewers $993.55
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.63
9.41
8.5
150-500

Specifications:
Lens Construction 21 Elements in 15 Groups
Angle of View 16.4 - 5 degrees
Number of Diaphragm Blades 9 Blades
Minimum Aperture F22
Minimum Focusing Distance 220cm/86.6 in.
Maximum Magnification 1:5.2
Filter Size Diameter 86mm
Filter Size Bayonet-type Hood
Dimensions Diameter 94.7mm X Length 252mm
3.7 in. X 9.9 in.
Weight 1910g / 67.4 oz.


 


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JPoser
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Registered: Jul 2, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 2, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp image, very fast and precise focus, image stabilization, 10 years warranty (Canada), well balanced, EX quality, smooth zoom, price.
Cons:
none



Jul 2, 2008
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mfurtman
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Registered: May 8, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 53
Review Date: Jun 30, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: EX quality, good OS, smooth zoom
Cons:
Possible compatibility problems with Canon 40D, image quality only good, not equal to Canon 100-400

I was fortunate enough to obtain a copy of this lens for review from Gary Farber of Hunt's Photo and Video, my favorite online supplier of photography equipment. Both Gary and I were at the Outdoor Writers Association of America annual conference in June '08, and he loaned me the lens for two days of evaluation.

I found that this new lens is built exactly like the EX series of Sigma lenses, which they tout at their professional line. It is solid, relatively heavy, and has the exact same exterior coating as previous EX lenses. The zoom function is very smooth.

I spent a morning in the field photographing wildlife. The Sigma's autofocus, although as quick to initially lock on as I'm used to from my some Canon "L" series lenses, tended to more easily lose focus. I also noted that when in AI servo focus mode, my 40D was slowed from its admirable 6.5 frames per second to about 2 or 3 fps.

Further tinkering revealed, in One Shot or AI Focus mode, the full 6.5 fps returned, and autofocus seemed more reliable. I slapped it on on a Canon 1D Mark III, and a 30D, and found that the maximum fps second was maintained in all modes when using either of these bodies. Now I was beginning to wonder whether or not it was the 40D body that was malfunctioning, instead of the Sigma lens.

I hunted down a couple other photographers at the conference, and tried the lens on their 40D bodies and discovered that in AI Servo mode, the new Sigma 150-500 limited every 40D body to about 2fps. This clearly is an incompatibility issue with this particular camera body, and although I expect Sigma will rectify it soon, I would urge anyone shooting a 40D to try the lens on the body before making a purchase.

I did some static test shots on flowers using the Sigma and my Canon 100-400. The image quality of the Sigma 150-500 is better than what I recall from the 50-500, but still falls short of the Canon 100-400. Colors appear overly saturated at the same in-camera settings, and detail is not as good as the Canon.

I even took a Canon image (taken at 400mm) and interpolated it up in size so that the flower blossom would appear the same size as it does in the Sigma image (taken at 500mm). Despite a process (interpolation) that can degrade image quality the "pseudo-500" from the Canon STILL was as good or better than the image from the Sigma.

You can read the full review and see sample images at my website (www.michaelfurtman.com/digi_news.htm).

The Sigma lens is a nice lens that produces good results. But it isn't up to the Canon 100-400 in my opinion, and for the difference in price, I'd recommend the Canon lens.


Jun 30, 2008
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dng8
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Registered: Aug 18, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 46
Review Date: Jun 24, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: 150-500mm, you can hand hold it, its black, 4 stop Optical Stabilizer , HSM, price
Cons:
zoom ring is a bit stiff when u first buy it, the focus hunts a bit, Manual Focus with the 1.4TC, Gotta buy new bag in order to carry this on my backpack

I was obsessed with buying the 500mm f/4 but at the cost of $5K that was a big deterrent. Would of settled with the bigma but when the store called me to tell me about this lens i had to see it for myself.

When i first held it the first thing i noticed was that I could hand hold it quite well. The other thing that i noticed was how well the stabilizer worked. I really wanted a long lens for nature photography so when I finally bought it I was anxious to try it out.

Well i got my first real test at my kids graduation ceremony and was able to take some great shots from the back row of the auditorium. Then took it out to the Hong Kong Aviary and got some great shots of birds.

ttp://picasaweb.google.com/denisng8/HongKongAviary25062008127PM

All in all this is a great lens, eventually i can see myself with the canon 500mm but for now this lens is a great alternate choice.


Jun 24, 2008
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fripp
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Registered: Jun 20, 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 22, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,130.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp images from 150 to 500mm at full aperture. Very good results with 1.4 TC. Fast AF and very effective OS. Ergonomy, well balanced, price.
Cons:
Need the latest firmware if you use 40D AI SERVO

For one week I used these lens, and I am still impressed with the image quality, even at 500mm with 1.4 TC! The Bigma was not doing a good job with 1.4 TC. The balance of the 150-500mm is better than the 50-500mm because the weight is more concentrated near the camera body. The AF is very fast and don't hung like the 50-500. The OS made a fantastic job, like taking shoot of flying bird. The build quality is like the Bigma. The owner of 40D have to take care of the serial number of the lens, because the lens with serial number before 1007001 will have to be send to Sigma for firmware update, to increase the speed when using AI SERVO. For the price or not, this is a fine quick lens with very good ergonomy and image quality.

Jun 22, 2008
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ftp2leta
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Registered: Jan 31, 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 17
Review Date: Jun 1, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Light for it's range and size, EX quality, fast AF, fast OS. So far, sharp images
Cons:
AF with 40D (not with mine), second lens, the first one was defective (AF)

So far so good. About a 200 shot with the second lens (first one was defective- AF stop working). I bought this lens for one reason, i need something light! yea, many will say it's not that light but compare to my 120-300mm or my 300 f/2.8, it is! I owned a Canon 100-400 (soft over 300mm), a super great Sig 100-300 f/4, a 70-200 f/2.8, the light 135-400 (not bad) and some bigger primes. Now we have the Sig 120-300mm often with used with a 1.4TC (GREAT LENS but a bit heavy) and a Sig 80-400mm. I often wanted to buy the Bigma 50-500mm but was quite aware that at 500mm i would need a tripod, and i didn't like the idea. So those new Sig Bazooka lens with OS where very tempting!

In general, i'm more than happy. If the AF keep working good on the second one, for the price, this lens may be a killer lens.

It may not be as sharp as the 120-300 (even with TC) but it's pretty close. IT's also very close the 80-400mm. I just love that 80-400, yea, i know, the AF is slow but still.

If i think twice about the 1K$ price, i should give that lens a 10.
I even think it's closer to 500mm than the Bigma.

Anyway, look for yourself, i built a small page one my site with some "test" pictures. You will be the juge!!!
http://www.benplace.com/sigma_150_500mm_test_page.htm

Regards.


Jun 1, 2008
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RCC Beltman
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Registered: May 24, 2008
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 24, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Optical Stabilisation, HSM, Price, weight (handholdable), works OK with 1.4 TC, lock
Cons:
At the high end of the zoom it is significantly better stopped down to F8, especially on a full size DSLR like the 5D

I have just purchased this 'toy' this morning and do now believe to own one of the first copies in The Netherlands. It is important to realize I bought this baby to replace my old 170-500, which worked well for me. The OS and HSM were however great excuses to make the switch and put the 170-500 on sale.

I am definitely not disappointed. Although heavier, this one is still easily handholdable weighing less than 2kg. The OS works great, as does the HSM. It really is a step up from the old one and I believe it can hold its own against the Canon 100-400 IS. I bought the 1.4 EX TC from Sigma to go with it. This means MF, but still good image quality and an effective 700mm for somewehere around 1000 euro's.

Compared to my 170-500 the lock button is much appreciated: the old one would slide down and come to an abrupt halt whenever pointed down. Although the zoom of the 150-500 already is better and prevents thsi sliding down, the lock is there as an extra help and assurance.

I'll be posting again after about a week to give you an update based on real field testing.


May 24, 2008
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Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 AF APO DG OS

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
54 221072 Dec 22, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
85% of reviewers $993.55
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.63
9.41
8.5
150-500


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