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

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84 333259 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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oldshutterhand
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Registered: Jan 24, 2012
Location: Hungary
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 29, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Wide range, quick and precise autofocus, not bad at 300-400mm, or shorter focal lengths
Cons:
heavy, expensive, not so sharp at long end

This is a heavy monster. The 1.8kg compare to 1.3 is a huge difference. The autofocus is like Canons quick and precise even for flying birds, no limiter though. I guess everybody interested for the lens's long end, I checked against the Canon 200mm+2x converter at 400mm (both at f/8). (Not 500mm where it is weaker). The two combination is app the same, the picture quality of the 50-500 is not bad but not stellar either even at 400mm. At 500mm f/10 is the sharpest. If someone wants wide range is good, but heavy. The 200mm +2x is 995g and not worse optically, even faster (f/5.6 vs f/6.3). For little birds is not the best, for bigger objects perhaps better. Framing is easier but the zoom ring is stiff. Build quality far from Canon L. I wouldn't give this lens an 8. Perhaps the new Tamron 150-600 is a better bargain.


See in more detail at:
http://oldshutterhand.com/equipment-reviews/sigma-50-500/


May 29, 2014
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plateaulight
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Registered: Jul 7, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 224
Review Date: Jun 30, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,630.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Incredible IQ, huge range, OS is impressive
Cons:
Heavy, slow af in low light, af hunts in low light

A trip to B+H this spring proved to be very dangerous to my wallet. While I was inquiring about the 200-400 Nikon the most enthusiastic salesperson introduced me to the Bigma . He claimed he just purchased one and that the OS and other aspects were just redone.

I do not know about the revisions that Sigma might have made but if this guy was advocating a unit that was 1/4 the price it must have some positive attribute.
On my D800 it is simply fantastic when on my big Gitzo 5 series tripod. In similar zoom / aperture ranges it only gives up a tiny touch in the corners to my 80-200 2.8 ED. The range is impressive and most of the subjects I photograph at the 500mm setting are in the center so I really can't comment on the extreme edge performance at 500mm. With OS I can shoot at 1/125 sec @ 500 and be tack sharp if my arms don't tire, which happens quickly. After 15 a few minutes you start to notice images that are getting smeary. OS may be awesome but you can only handhold it for so long.

Sigma has a certain bokeh look and this has the Sigma color rendering.Nikon glass is more contrasty with stronger blue and red, while the Sigma has a Green and Yellow strength.

I will be keeping the 80-200 2.8ED for low light wide open work however I find myself picking out abstract elements that need a big lens much more. The freedom to visualize and create makes this a keeper for me with VERY little to give up.


Jun 30, 2012
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sehdata
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Registered: Apr 22, 2007
Location: Denmark
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Review Date: Feb 20, 2012 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: IQ - 10X - Nice finish
Cons:
Vignet at full frame - but no problem

I bought this type because i want to have a lens that was useful at Airshows without changing lens all the time between stationary fly and the showoff in air - its heavy but man what a lens it really give bonus for the buck. - now i bought the new OS version and love it like nothing else - the only chance that i will sell this lens is if Canon would make something as good :-)


Feb 20, 2012
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delanuez
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Registered: Dec 24, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 12
Review Date: Nov 12, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: IQ, fast focus, large range
Cons:
Vingneting in FF sensor

This is my second review, four years later, now with a full frame camera (Canon 5D MKII). I still believe that the lens is excellent, but in full frame, shows a significantly higher vignetting than in APS-C sensors.
Here I show you the last pics I took with this lens. Almost all photos were taken hand-held, and between 400 and 500mm., Except those airplanes on the ground.
http://www.delanuezphoto.com/photos/swfpopup.mg?AlbumID=14575680&AlbumKey=SDNDa


Nov 12, 2010
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LPrimeFreak
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Registered: Jul 29, 2010
Location: Belgium
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 29, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Unique 50-500 range (almost collector's item), cheap, built like a bazooka
Cons:
range would be +-460mm according to tests, image quality at longest tele very poor and a lot of light needed at f6.3! Sigma has some problems with OS versions, repairs take up a long time up till 1 year!

I had this lens in past on my 40D, this is a "walkaround bazooka" from portrait to 460mm (according to online tests it would only be +- 460mm). With 1.6 cropfactor it's a 80-736 lens.

In the beginning it's fun that you have so much range, but after a while you realise the weak points of it, where it should be great. So the fun doesn't last so long if you're a bit aware of pure image quality.

At 50mm it's good for portrets,further it's still good, but if you shoot in longest tele (where people would like to use it for), then the stabilised pictures are not so sharp, chromatic aberation and the f6.3 needs a lot of light (or higher iso if you can reduce the noise). Especially birds and smaller things are not so great.

So in general the image quality is not so good at longest tele, not the "wow" pictures you expected. Canon doesn't even produce lenses at f6.3.

The only good affordable zoom is still the Canon 100-400L IS.


Jul 29, 2010
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Pandamon
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Registered: Apr 25, 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 25, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: good zoom range (50-500mm),sturdy build (all made in Japan), good sharpness (for the price that is),nice case, affordable price is 1/4 compared to Canon or Nikon's "big" 400mm and 500mm lenses
Cons:
heavy lens, filters are 86mm and expensive, not as sharp as the best (but okay considering the price)

This lens (mine is Nikon mount) gives excellent results, I suspect I got a very good sample of this lens. Friends have often commented on the crispness and sharpness of my pictures with this lens. I'm aware this is no L lens, but I stress that at this price point (less than $2,000) there really are no good choices in the 50-500mm range except for this Sigma lens.
Construction, fit and finish of this lens are just excellent. I once dropped the lens, and it crashed on some rocks while mounted on a monopod. Other than some side scratches on the sides, the lens continues to work flawlessly! smooth barrel movement and sharp as ever.
Highly recommended for those photographers who can't afford $7,000 on a tele zoom.

(if you're not getting good results out of this lens, you should analyze your technique: try any or all of these tips: increase your shutter speed, decrease F-stop and zoom range, mount on a good tripod)


Apr 25, 2010
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pwsth1
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Registered: Jan 16, 2008
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 12, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: love the zoom range, good sharpness when stopped down and used with care, build quality is awesome, tripod collar. 50mm possibility!!!
Cons:
when manually focusing there is some minor delay in focus when changing direction. I supect 500mm is "not really 500mm", more likely a bit less.

I use this lens (DG-version on Nikon D700) when I need to draw things close, or want to stay at a reasonable distance (like horse photography sessions).
I had to use the in camera AF-fine adjust to achieve best focus accuracy. Otherwise AF (HSM) is quick and silent.

Only when making shots which need to be pixel-peeped, I need a tripod and an extra lens support to get maximum sharpness (manfrotto 293).

It really does what I want it to do, makes nice crispy shots of almost anything in the range from 50 to 500mm.

Of course it's heavy, but that can be expected.





Sep 12, 2009
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ChrisCC
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Registered: Feb 6, 2009
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 126
Review Date: Aug 30, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: 10x zoom, HSM, EX, locksystem - all included so with hood en bag
Cons:
IQ not so good on the long end (as most zooms). HSM isn't equal to USM. Weight

Nice 10x zoom lens. But no match to the Canon 28-300 L. Even the Tamron SP 200-500 outperforms this lens easily in almost all tests i did.

This lens weights a lot, due to a lot of glass inside.

If you look for an easy to use, affordable superzoom lens that delivers quality, this is your lens. With a smaller pocket the starters superzoom will be an option. A bit more to spend, take the Canon 28-300 L This lens is much better, but doesnt have 500mm. In need of 500mm, the Tamron is much cheaper, much lighter & with better results.



Aug 30, 2009
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Digital Fury
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Registered: Jun 10, 2009
Location: France
Posts: 3
Review Date: Jul 13, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Range in a single lens, image quality, price, EX quality, HSM
Cons:
Weight, no OS, slow f/6.3, 86mm filters, AF hunts in low light and with busy backgrounds, stiff zoom, significant vignetting at long end

I'm using this lens, I got the EX DG HSM version, on a Canon 5D MK2.

It's a very versatile and quite sharp "outside" lens given the range, very "good bang for the buck" (offset by the cost of 86mm filters), however it's also a bit primitive.

It's slow (f/6.3), the AF hunts in low light (you will have to use manual focusing at times) or with a busy background. Unless you are a weightlifter, it could really use OS as it weights 1.8 kg and it's front heavy, so it's monopod time unless it's sunny. At the long end be ready to use a high shutter speed (and perhaps some high ISO), if you want to avoid motion blur, and expect some significant vignetting - on FF bodies at least.

It's quite a good and unique lens, the more so considering the price, but some weight reduction and OS would make it even better. I would have gladly paid another 10 or 15% for this.


Jul 13, 2009
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Peter Cheuk
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Registered: Nov 29, 2006
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 6, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros:
Cons:

I own Bigma and Tamron 200-500. Use with Canon 5D. CS3 records that Tamron is 200-486.

I did tests to see if whether Tamron or Bigma is of longer zoom. Tripod, focus on same subject. Very obviously, if Tamron is 486mm, Bigma at the very most is 450mm, a good chance even shorter at 440mm.

On this issue, see one other observation:
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Sigma-50-500mm-F-4-6.3-EX-DG-HSM-Lens-Review.aspx

Anyone comparing Bigma and Tamron needs to consider this point.


Jun 6, 2009
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VBester
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Registered: May 5, 2008
Location: South Africa
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 2, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Range, IQ, nice tripod bracket/handle, build quality
Cons:
Heavy

This was my first super zoom. I used it in the Kgaligadi TFP on a tripod and got some truly excellent shots. Also managed to get a couple of very long-range shots of lion and cheetah while hand-holding it.

Lost a few shots due to shake, so ended up buying a Canon 100-400 L IS for the optical stabilization. Took that on one trip and then went back to the Bigma. Love the range, the IQ (as good as the 100-400L IMHO), and simply the feel of working with the lens.

The range also means that I rarely have to change lenses. Out in the wild you would only require a very wide angle for landscape/sunset shots.

I have found that one needs to concentrate on your technique - both breathing and clicking the shutter - to get the best results, but that is true of any long lens. Get that right and the results are truly remarkable.

Highly recommended.


Mar 2, 2009
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bori
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Registered: Feb 14, 2009
Location: Serbia & Montenegro
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Review Date: Feb 14, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros:
Cons:

I think that objectives to obtain for Nikon D90 and odlučih the Tokina 11-16mm, Nikon 16-85mm and Sigma 50-500mm.
Since I had the Tamron 28-300-VR, was not satisfied because: small zoom, a lens is easy, I opredjelio for Sigma.
I am very satisfied with the clarity, quality, masivnočću that provides stability and impressive zoom, which lets me take a very distant goals (nature, animals, panoramas). Objektiv recommend all who want eksremne snimke.Pozdrav from Montenegro!


Feb 14, 2009
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Peter Cheuk
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Registered: Nov 29, 2006
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Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 18, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, 3 stops image stablizer
Cons:
cannot be used with 1.4 extender, stiff zoom ring,

I use it with 5D. It is misleading to inform others sharpenss without telling viewing context. I view photos in iMac 24 monitor. Sometimes crop and enlarge. In my experience, if photos are sharp in iMac 24, it will also be sharp in Apple 30-inch monitor. I use Raw and always do editing.

Bigma is entirely satisfactory in terms of sharpness in this viewing context, except at 500mm f6.3 photo is too soft to be editable, stop down to f8 becomes pleasantly sharp again.

It is very handholding. Holding breath, I always can take 1/60s 500mm sharp photos, cropping 200% still no shaking blur. Please refer to my review of Tamron 200-500 on this point.

It is absolutely not worthy to get a bigger and heavier 150-500mm OS version, and losing 50-150mm, and EX feature. 5D's noise is low and I got good noise cleaning software. 5D2's ISO 25,600 render the OS even less value.

It is better to understand that Bigma has OS by its weight. Even a less so careful handling, or motion, 2 stops is no problem.

Comparing with Tamron 200-500, it is difficult to distinguish them in my viewing context, except that Tamron is obviously better at f6.3, 500mm, and before CS3 editing, seems a bit better at 400-500mm. In motion shot, HSM is better than Tamron's AF.

Tamron is of lesser weight, but Bigma has IS just because of its weight. On 5D, Tamron works with 1.4x to give 700mm but Bigma cannot. Tamron also works well with extension tube, but not Bigma.

I don't think on 5D the choice between Tamron and Bigma is the IQ if one's viewing context is similar to mine, but mobility, weight, IS, AF preferences. Bigma with flash is very heavy. Tamron becomes easier with flash.

I need to use lowepro camera bag's shoulder strap to hang 5D and Bigma on shoulder. Very thick and non-slip. I also need lowerpro deluxe waist belt as buffer against the weight pressure at back or belly when I hang it cross shoulder.



Oct 18, 2008
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alcoop
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Registered: Jul 31, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
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Review Date: Sep 16, 2008 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: EVERYTHING ITS A GOOD LENS
Cons:
NONE NOT EVEN THE WEIGHT ITS SUPPOSED TO BE HEAVY ITS A BIG LENS

HAVING OWNED THIS LENS NOW FOR A COUPLE OF MONTHS AND USING IT WITH A D300 I WAS A LITTLE DISSAPOINTED WITH PERFORMANCE, TO GET A GOOD SHOT...A KEEPER... I HAD TO USE A TRIPOD AND SET THE CAMERA IN MIRROR UP MODE, THEN I GOT A D700 FULL FRAME AND WOW WHAT A DIFFERENCE, NOW 50% OF MY SHOTS ARE HAND HELD, IT TRULY IS A MAGNIFICENT LENS FOR THE PRICE, ITS AS SHARP AS A TACK AT ALL APETURES, I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS LENS ESPECIALLY ON A FULLFRAME CAMERA JUST GO BUY ONE.

Sep 16, 2008
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pcimaging
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Registered: Jan 24, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1166
Review Date: Aug 9, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $932.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: 500 mm reach, quality optics, build quality, tripod mount design, versatile zoom range and great price
Cons:
No IS but I knew that, AF sometimes hunts

It is heavy but in a good way. The weight enables me to hold it good and steady. I am delighted with the quality of the optics and the build and design of the lens. The tripod mount and ring were included with the lens and are quite useful. I carry this lens on my camera, a 40D all over the place using the mount as a carrying handle and the weight is no problem. The mount is useful for hand holding as well. I was fearful when I bought this lens I would regret not having the IS. I am very pleased with the number of keepers I am getting. I also was skeptical of image quality where sharpness and detail were concerned. Again, that is not an issue. Sigma has designed a very nice lens for a downright great price. I have had a problem on two occasions where the lens suddenly would not focus past about 200 mm. After taking the lens off the camera and then remounting it, that failed to solve the problem. I t began working after 5 or 10 minutes of time but I never pinpointed the problem either time. I ONLY mention this because I have yet to determine if this is a lens problem or possibly a problem with the camera. I highly recomend this lens to anyone interested in a zoom for wildlife, birding, portrature and or even some landscape. A monopod would serve most people well. My best pictures have been shot at f9 or abobe . However one last point, even wide open the images are real good. I like this lens bokeh.

Aug 9, 2008
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alcoop
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Registered: Jul 31, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 1, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Having had my new lens for about 4 hours and only taken 10 os so photos from my apartment balcony I am already impressed with this lens, the sharpness at 500mm on a tripod are to say the least way beyond my expectations I will post again soon when I have used it in the field. And build quality is also 100%.
Cons:
none so far.

Soon as the delivery man arrived and I was handed the box I thought this is one heavy mutha, pulled it out of its packaging and was in love at first sight, what a manificent lens, straight on my D300 and on the tripod poking out the window, results were amazing, I will post again when I have taken a few more shots.

Aug 1, 2008
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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 333259 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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