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

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Reviews Views Date of last review
54 222322 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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grenadier2002
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Registered: Apr 12, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 309
Review Date: Dec 22, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $779.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: PRICE, Very fast focus, OS, it's a 500!
Cons:
For some weight may matter, zoom creep,

I bought this lens to use at air shows. So far this lens has delivered crisp images at 500 f 18. The OS works well focus is crisp and locks on fast. For some weight may be an issue but try hand holding a 400 2.8....this is a feather compared to that. Lens does have falloff but it easily fixed in Lightroom or Photoshop. This lens may be a little soft wide open but I never use it wide open. This lens may be a perfect lens at a very attractive price for air shows and the like in sunlight.

Most of the reviews I have read are years and years old and Sigma has made improvements to this hunk of glass. My lens is one of the latest production models.


Dec 22, 2013
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bacateen
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Registered: Nov 11, 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 24
Review Date: Nov 23, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Good zoom range for nature and wildlife. Sharp, good constrast,
Cons:
slow AF, heavy, build quality

This is a good lens overall. You have to adapt to lens to use it. Also, there are not so sharp, sharp and supersharp copies of this lens. Get your hands on supersharp copy and it will amaze you. I had to go through few copies and just when I was about to give up, I found the present copy which is supersharp. The image quality is almost comparable to Canon 400 5.6 primes that I have used (>1). The difference would be color temperature (siggy more warmer), and siggy is half stop darker in exposure than Canon at same f-value. Similar contrast ( both less contrasty than 70-300L I have). The zoom range and the amazing OS of siggy is really nice. I mostly use it as 200-400 f8 lens. Mostly (80%) on monopod. Yet to compare 100-400L in all this mix.
In end it will depend on what you are shooting and how. This lens is good for me.


Nov 23, 2012
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FatBoyAl
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Registered: Sep 4, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 669
Review Date: Feb 9, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,069.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: BUILD, tripod mount, range, IQ - and definitely the OS
Cons:
Weight, but what's to be expected of a 500mm?

Since my move from Canon to Nikon, I've been lacking a long lens. I do have the 70-300VR, but 300 is not long enough for birds. The Canon 100-400 has no equal on the Dark Side and so I've waited for this lens.
I had some trepidation as initial reviews were all over the place and Sigma has a reputation for wildly varying build quality - though I've never received a bad Sigma lens, this one included.
My initial tests were on a winter day in my front yard shooting statues - my typical shots for lens testing. Even with the poor lighting, the big Sig snapped to focus quickly and the OS was simply amazing. I have some handheld shots at 1/30 @ 500mm that are clear and sharp.
Great lens, great IQ and a terrific price point. Plus an incredible warranty. If you don't feel the absolute need for Nikkor on your lens barrel and you want/need 500mm, you really can't go wrong here.


Feb 9, 2012
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bbells
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Registered: Dec 23, 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 23, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,069.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: My tests show better than the Nikon 55-300 vr, 70-300 vr, 300 f4 (with and without a 1.4x TC)
Cons:
None yet

Just purchased the 150-500mm Sigma for my wife's Nikon. I felt compelled to test it against the 3 similar lenses we have. Here are the results, in order of image quality:
At 300mm, f8:
Sigma 150-500
Nikkor 300 f/4
Nikkor 70-300 vr
Nikkor 55-300 vr
The 300 f/4 and the Sigma were very close. The Sigma's image was sharper, though. The 55-300 was noticeably less sharp. The others were close.
At 500mm:
Sigma was noticeably sharper than the 300 f/4 with a 1.4xTC. Not enough to make a difference in the real world. But, when testing the OS on the Sigma it quickly became the real winner. The above tests were on a tripod with no image stabilization on. When hand holding the Sigma my wife shot several shutter speeds: 500, 250, 125, 60, 30, and 15. I still cannot believe that we could not tell any difference between the shots taken at 1/500 and 1/30th. Even when blowing the images up in photoshop until individual pixels were showing. The Nikkor f/4 does not have image stabilization, so I am now thinking of selling it and getting another sigma.


Dec 23, 2011
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Neill Graham
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Registered: Feb 18, 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 4
Review Date: Dec 2, 2011 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Sharp at 500mm end, smooth zoom mechanism, very good Optical Stabilization.
Cons:
Heavy, large, colours take some practice to get right.

I had an early copy of this lens with a serial number in the 1006xxx range. It was too soft at the 500mm end so I returned it. A year later I bought another one with a serial number in the 1034xxx range. It is very sharp at the 500mm end, the OS works perfectly and I use it with a Kenko 1.4tc with no problems autofocussing.
I highly recommend this lens over earlier copies and over the original 50-500mm Sigman "Bigma" which was tack sharp at the long end on a tripod.


Dec 2, 2011
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stephenramirez
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Registered: Sep 8, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 51
Review Date: Oct 3, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Price, Weight, Focal Length, OS.
Cons:
Quality Control, Max Aperture

This lens has given me more than I could ask for. I like to shoot exclusively handheld (I'm healthy and young), and shooting primarily birds, I need the reach. Except for birds in flight I constantly shoot at 500mm, but like to stop down to f/8 to improve IQ. OS works very well although my d40 caused a short circuit because the fitting wasn't perfect. I have since tapped around the mount to make it more snug, and it works very well.

Anything larger or heavier would seem to be a burden on my style of shooting (I mainly like to bird watch with the camera as my companion), so I don't think there is a better lens for me.

For Image quality reference, 99% of the bird images on my site were with this lens, 90% with a d90. http://birdsiview.org/Birds/BirdsMain.html


Oct 3, 2011
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johneasterly
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Registered: Sep 4, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 88
Review Date: Jun 6, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,069.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Inexpensive way to get 500mm with excellant results
Cons:
Heavy

Handles very well, operates smoothly, I use a mono-pod but can hand hold it as well and get good results. I must state that this is my second copy, the 1st one would take a picture with focus good but if you moved the zoom or tried again it would not focus at all, the motor would not even try.

My replacement operates as it should but I am a little leary of the quality now. Images taken with it can be seen at www.johneasterly.com


Jun 6, 2011
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ofafeather
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Registered: Apr 4, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 19
Review Date: Apr 25, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,069.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build, reach, OS.
Cons:
Weight! Small aperture and no focus limiter

I pick up a new 150-500 which arrived last week. Unlike earlier versions it has a new finish. The OS works superbly. The reach is amazing. I do need practice using a long lens. The longest I have used is a Tamron 70-300 OS on my Canon 7D.

The build is excellent. The focus ring is smooth and the zoom ring is quickly becoming comfortable. There were times when I wished for a focus limiter but it is easy to pre-focus a bit to compensate.

Larger subjects are sharp! even at 500. Small subjects can be tricky. Still testing and waiting for a bright day to judge color and contrast better.

Overall, an excellent value.


Apr 25, 2011
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NJ Bob
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Registered: Apr 28, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 7
Review Date: Sep 9, 2010 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: I still think its a great lens for the price and versitile with the zoom.
Cons:
A little heavy.

I posted a review back on Sept. 15, 2008. I put a couple of links on there, one being an airplane I happened to capture practicing for an air show I guess. A few weeks ago that same plane showed up but this time there was no colored smoke. I took the camera off the tripod as I was looking for birds and began to shoot. I don't use the OS function on the tripod or even hand holding that much. I always use F8 and with the Canon 50D the higher ISO helps with the darker shots. Here is a link to the new slide show, I left off many of the photos and just tried to highlight the show he was giving me: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rpealit/sets/72157624756355073/
It would be nice to find this guy so I could show him how good he is. I hope this helps some of you make up your mind. I do wish I could afford a Canon 500 but on the upside, I like the idea of pulling the lens back and getting down to the 150mm, especially when a flock of birds comes by. One other thing, I use this lens almost every day that I can for wildlife.
Bob


Sep 9, 2010
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Orogeny
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Registered: Sep 23, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 102
Review Date: Jan 7, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $999.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Reach, OS, full time manual focussing, image quality, build quality.
Cons:
Weight?

I think that, at less than $1,000.00, this is a great deal. It isn't the Canon 500 f/4, but it is less than 1/6 the price.

My lens is sharp throughout the focal range. Better stopped down than wide open (like almost every other lens), but very usable wide open.

Autofocus seems to be good, although I wish there was a focus-limiter on this lens.

The lens is heavy, but not to the point where hand holding is impossible.


Jan 7, 2010
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eWILDz
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Registered: Jul 9, 2004
Location: India
Posts: 9
Review Date: Nov 29, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,075.00

 
Pros: Cost, OS
Cons:
Just a tad slow !

Before one goes in for lenses ABOVE 300mm one should know the basic rules of using these teles ! In decent light (and without TCs !) this lens can definitely producing remarkably optimum results even at 500 mm end (often criticised for lack of sharpness).

The following shots were scored under somewhat muted light @ 500mm @ ISO 640 on a D90 atop a tripod, using an optimum 8.0 aperture :

http://www.phototrove.net/samples/Sample1.jpg
http://www.phototrove.net/samples/Sample2.jpg


Nov 29, 2009
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iammikie
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Registered: Oct 20, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 426
Review Date: Sep 23, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $888.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Zoom Range, image stablilazion, sharpness, price
Cons:
a little heavy, but anything in this range will be,

I bought this for use on a Nikon, as I wanted to keep something inexpensive in my car for those unexpected moments we all run into when we have no camera handy. Was I shocked to find out that it is a great lens, fantastic zoom range, sharp, and the stabilization actually works and allowed me to get excellent HH images out to 500mm and at 1/90 sec wide open.

I think that this is the deal of the century at it's modest price and great performance. I am starting to look seriously at Sigma, with prices going out of controll on some equipment.


Sep 23, 2009
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teglis
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Registered: Aug 31, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 1094
Review Date: Sep 20, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: 500mm; price
Cons:
A little soft; OS not that effective; cannot use with Canon 1.4x converter

Reading the some of the reviews, it appears that newer copies may be better than older ones. Mine was purchased mid 2008, so take this review with a grain of salt.

The image quality is not up to that of the Canon 100-400 (an admittedly more expensive lens).

It is also rather unwieldy. Press the shutter button half way and the viewfinder image does stop shaking. However, it continues to move around at a lower frequency. Images are more likely to come out motion blurred with the Sigma 150-500 than with the Canon 100-400.

This lens may work with a Sigma tele-converter, but you cannot attach the Canon 1.4x converter. The inside diameter of the lens is to narrow to accommodate the protruding part of the Canon converter.

All-in-all, the Sigma 150-500 has been something of a disappointment. I tend to forgo it and take the Canon 100-400 instead.


Sep 20, 2009
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havasu_photo
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Registered: Jul 18, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 555
Review Date: Sep 13, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Well built, better balanced than the 50-500mm, OS works great. Best bang for the buck. Lens strap attached to the tripod mount rocks. It allows the camera/lens to hang at your hip, but ready to spring into action at a moment notice. Still has EX glass in it, even though Sigma won't tell you that.
Cons:
Weight, OS could work quicker, Sigma finish has a reputation of wearing or flaking off.

Well, I finally joined the "club" and purchased a used 150-500mm. My serial number started with 103, which from all the research I did, indicated that it was a newer copy, and less likely to have any issues.
That, and talking with the previous owner, convinced me to buy. I use it on my D300, and have previously owned a 50-500 Sigma.

Today I went out and tested the BigOS, taking the exact same shots at 500mm as I did with the Bigma. Same settings exactly.

I put the pictures(jpegs), side by side on my 30" LCD monitor, at a resolution of 2560X1600, and zoomed both to identical size. I could not tell ANY difference between the two, and both were acceptably sharp.

I've only had the lens for a day, and just did backyard testing, but it appears to be a winner. Everything the OP said, I agree with. I've owned the same lenses he has, and he was dead on.

OS takes about 3/4 of a second to lock on, and is a bit noisy. On the Nikon 70-300VR, it took about 1/4 of a second. On the Nikon, I never could hear the VR, so I was never sure if it was on or not, and had to keep checking the switch. Don't have that problem with the BigOS. But, the noise I'm talking about is almost like a wisper. If you were at an event, you would never hear it.

I also compared, side by side, my Tokina 300mm F2.8 lens, which is incredibly sharp, with the BigOS. And again, at F9(sweet spot?), and 300mm, the two pictures were identical in every way, including sharpness!!

This lens is better balanced than the Bigma, and that is on a D300 with grip. As far as price Vs. performance, I give this lens a 10. It has it's place in my bag, and serves a very useful purpose.

It's not a prime lens, and doesn't pretend to be, but for 90% of what I do, it works just fine.


Sep 13, 2009
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Neill Graham
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Registered: Feb 18, 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 4
Review Date: Sep 6, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent build, surprisingly sharp IQ throughout focal length, excellent image stabilizing OS, fast AF, easily accessible buttons, effective handle "foot" that is easily managed,
Cons:
Very long, a tad heavy for long handheld shoots. Contrast not as crisp as preferred (same on the Bigma).

I tried a copy of this lens when it first came out in mid 2008 and was dissappointed with the image quality. It was pretty soft at the long end. Then a year later I tried a second copy and found it to be an excellent lens that I greatly enjoy using. I have just shot the full moon both handholding and on a tripod and I am amazed at the effectiveness of the OS on this equipment! The photos are better than what I was able to achieve with my Bigma a couple of year ago. Mind you, I am now using the Nikon D300 which marries well with this lens.
All in all, a very satisfying long lens at a good price.


Sep 6, 2009
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J. Vallenduuk
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Registered: Jul 5, 2009
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 20
Review Date: Jul 6, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build quality, Price, IQ, weight, focussing, with crop 750mm on D300
Cons:
OS is a bit noisy, with lenscap and fully extended very long. with crop 225mm on D300 (not a very big issue since I wanted long range)

I bought this lens an couple of months back because I wanted more range on my D300.
But, since I do not use it on a regular base I looked with a max budget in mind.
I've read a lot of reviews before choosing this lens and can now say that this lens is great! Image quality, focussing, weight are all very good.
At a little under 2 kilo's it is definitly not a real heavyweight, but after a couple of hours in the field you will notice it ;-)
After a few months I'm still very happy with it!
On my D300 focussing is fast and accurate, even in less than perfect light.
Pictures have good colour and contrast.
The OS works fine but is a bit noisy and seems to start a bit slow before realy stabilising the image, but thats also getting to know the lens and working with it I suppose.
I've also used it on my old Nikon F80 and it works great too allthough the combination was a bit front heavy. the positives coming out of the camera also were sharp with good contrast and very colourfull.
In my opinion this lens is a good choise for those looking for range and are on a budget.
Always check your lens when buying, QC from Sigma has improved a lot but still isn't perfect!!


Jul 6, 2009
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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 222322 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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