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

150-500
Review Date: Oct 25, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Very good build quality, better than consumer grade to say the least.
Cons:
Poor Optical Stabilization performance, over saturated colors.

I have wished for years that Sigma would make a 50-500 with OS, when the 150-500 came out I thought I'd give it a try even though it starts at 150mm.

My first copy I sent back the OS did more damage than good. The second copy was much better but I could still get better photos with OS off most of the time. Maybe I was a victim of getting an early copy before they worked the bugs out.

Colors with this lens are very warm, it over saturates the image in most cases, easily fixable post processing but annoying.

Image quality in the 150-300mm range is very sharp, this observation on a 1.3x crop camera body. I would put the sharpness right up there with the 70-200 f2.8.

Beyond 300mm things start to soften, 300-400 is still quite good and 500mm is very usable but not like the 150-300 range. All of these opinions are shooting the lens at wide open apertures.

My Sigma 50-500 clearly beats the 150-500 in sharpness especially in the 400-500mm range. Tests performed on a tripod Smile

Sigma please give me a 50-500 with OS and HSM, this is my air show lens and I love the range.

In the end if you need a super zoom the 50-500 is the way to go, and I am sad to say this because this lens really appealed to my needs.


 
Sigma 50-500mm f4-6.3 EX APO RF HSM

50_500EX_mdl_1_
Review Date: Sep 22, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Cost effective way to get to 500mm. Amazing that it can zoom from 50mm-500mm! My copy is golden with excellent central sharpness. Focus speed is excellent, sold HSM performance.
Cons:
Zoom ring is tight, has gotten a tad better with time but requires more effort to twist than usual. Seems tighter going from 50-100mm then eases up considerably after that.

I own the non DG version of this lens. I really think my copy is extremely good compared to what I have seen elsewhere. I have prints that were made of a F16 @ 416mm 54x31" and I can clearly read the name of the pilot on the side of the plane. The shot filled the frame on my 1D MKII 1.3x crop body. For air shows its a real gem, I can get the planes up close taxing around and in the air.

I take this lens out for wildlife at the zoo. I have a Leopard photo at 500mm 1/100th and another @363mm 1/400th that would make your jaw drop pixel peeping. All shots at wide open aperture.

This lens does require good light to get a clean image. I would say a medium overcast lit day is needed. If its dull and drab the lens performance and photo quality falls apart.

I often shoot ISO 400 to 640 with this lens unless its a clear sunny day.

If you need sample images drop me a message I'd be glad to share.

The engineers at Sigma really deserve a pat on the back, its hard to believe what this lens can do.




 
Sigma 12-24mm f4.5-5.6 EX DG Aspherical HSM

l3a_copy
Review Date: Mar 8, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $589.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very wide angle watch you don't get your feet in the photo - I'm not kidding!
Cons:
none

After using this lens for some time I've come to the conclusion that since its sooo wide, and objects vary in distance greatly you must stop the lens way down to get the aperture needed. I think this is why so many people claim its soft on the edges. Its very hard to get things in focus that are 1 foot away as well as 1 mile away.

You can get really creative with this lens, color and contrast are very good.

Sharpness is very good considering what this lens does. I think in order to get a tack sharp lens at 12mm it would have to be 100 pounds and have a front element 12" in diameter.

You can only use screw on filters with the Sigma adapter that comes with the lens. When you do this you effectively cut the lens down to 17mm. When you see how curved the front element is you will understand why its impossible to fit a filter at 12mm. The filter would have to be a bubble.

Sigma put together a great lens and decent performance at an excellent price point. If you crave really wide, or creative perspective shots you can not go wrong with this lens.