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Author Topic: Sigma 150-500mm  (Read 7980 times)

Offline Zonda

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Sigma 150-500mm
« on: October 15, 2009, 07:14:40 PM »
Been thinking about getting one, and doing a bit of birding in the winter. Anyone had experience of this long tom? :smiley:


Offline Vixpix

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Re: Sigma 150-500mm
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2009, 08:02:39 PM »
Hi Zonda!! I have seen many photographs taken with the Sigma 150-500mm lense and unfortunately they do seem to struggle with sharpness at the long end and with a maximum aperture at the long end of f6.3, it's pretty dark in there. If you can stretch your budget, and if you are using Canon gear, i would go for the Canon 300mm f4 Lis. The new price is a bit scarey but you should be able to find a good S/H example for around 700- 900 so not a huge amount extra on the Sigma and it will be money very well spent, i have had one for years and use it for everything, birds, dragonflies, butterflies, and even hover flies, so it's a cracking all rounder and the image quality is exceptional. I suggest this because having gone down the Sigma route in the past and being generaly unhappy with the results, i decided that investing the extra cash in the best quality lenses i could afford would ultimately save me money and it has !! I no longer own a Sigma lense and the only non Canon lense i have is a Tamron 90mm SP macro!!
 Hope that helps Zonda  :smiley:
 Regards Vic.
 P.S. You would be able to take shots of fungi from two fields away with the Sigma  :wink:

Offline Zonda

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Re: Sigma 150-500mm
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2009, 03:13:37 PM »
Thanks for that Vic, but alas i'm a D200 user, and the lenses are silly prices. Don't think i can afford a longish nikon lens. Heard anything about the Tamron 200-500mm. Probably have to come down to a 400mm prime or something.

Offline Mike

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Re: Sigma 150-500mm
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2009, 03:44:27 PM »
You can get a s/h Nikon 80-400 VR on ebay for less than the new price of the Tamron plus you'd have the VR image stabilisation.
Photozone have tests for both of these with the Tamron test on a Canon camera. The tests show the Nikon to have good centre resolution at 400mm but not so good at the edges when wide open. When shooting birds that's not so bad anyway as the edges are usually unimportant.

Offline Zonda

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Re: Sigma 150-500mm
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2009, 04:32:26 PM »
Thanks mike it may have to be that kind of deal...Cheers


Offline Zonda

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Re: Sigma 150-500mm
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2009, 04:53:08 PM »
The thing is,,,i now have interests in fungi, butterflies, dragons, and birds. I already have a decent fungi lens in my very old Sigma 105mm macro. This doubles, and is reasonably good with butterflies as well. All the same,,,it is an old lens, and i'm thinking of replacing it with a 105mm micro nikkor. That's something that i will definitely do.

 All i require after doing this, is perhaps a longer butterfly/dragonfly lens, and a bird lens. my entire budget however is only 3000. I'm happy with the d200, and can see no reason to go to D300, or D300s. A second D200 body would be nice, but not essential. Considering my budget, what would you do for good quality pics in those categories?

I know what you are going to say,,,forget the birds...LOL
« Last Edit: October 16, 2009, 04:57:41 PM by Zonda »

Offline Vixpix

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Re: Sigma 150-500mm
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2009, 07:02:22 PM »
Hi Zonda,
 OK. Nikon and Canon both make exceptional quality lenses and the prime lenses are the ones with the best imaging abilities. I tend to go for prime lenses because zooms beyond 3X are too much of a compromise on image quality. A lense like the Sigma 50-500mm with a 10X zoom range will be average at all focal lengths and below average at the long end, it simply can't be a good wide angle and good telephoto lense.
 With your budget of 3000, i would go for a good Nikon prime lense around 300mm f4 and let your feet do the zooming and as a step up from your Sigma 105 macro, i would go for the longer 180mm Sigma or Tamron which would be ideal for butterflies and dragonflies as it gives you more space between you and the subject, so less fly-aways!!
Regards Vic.

Offline Zonda

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Re: Sigma 150-500mm
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2009, 07:19:23 PM »
Hmmm! Interesting, and much the same as my thoughts. i will be replacing my Siggy 105mm macro with a 105mm micro Nikkor to gain some quality at that length.
Then its a toss-up between the Sigma 180mm macro, and the Nikon 200mm macro, and forget the birds....LOL.

Offline Mike

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Re: Sigma 150-500mm
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2009, 07:52:41 PM »
The Sigma 105mm macro is pretty sharp with lots of detail, although the colours are a bit flat. You might consider keeping it and go for the 80-400, or maybe a 300/f4. The latter will give you midrange quality and you could add a Nikkor 1.4x teleconverter to give you 420/f5.6 which should be just about sufficient reach for birds.
The Sigma 50-500 is an EX lens and is therefore better than most of their non-EX zooms. But I agree with Vixpix, it won't be as good as an OEM zoom or prime.

Offline Jerry

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Re: Sigma 150-500mm
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2009, 07:57:23 AM »
I have just sold a Sigma 50-500 and it's not a bad lens, it's capable of producing good images, but being f6.3 when at 500mm you need to have good light. One big drawback for me with this lens was the weight which is 1842g.

I found it heavy and very difficult to hold steady when zoomed , really needs to be tripod mounted IMHO, Oh and did I mention HEAVY! The nickname Bigma is well deserved.

If you are looking for used items, have a look here http://www.mifsuds.com/usedpriceindex.htm might give you an idea of what are probably higher end prices for SH equipment.

cheers
Jerry


Offline Zonda

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Re: Sigma 150-500mm
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2009, 07:59:34 PM »
Thanks guys, for some excellent input. I'll sort it out eventually.

Offline Zonda

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Re: Sigma 150-500mm
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2009, 02:39:33 PM »
Well, i decided to get a Sigma 150-500mm, for this winter, mainly because of the current waiting list. People are waiting up to four months for prime nikkors, by which time the winter bird window will all be over, and they'll be running around mating and nesting, and looking tatty again. The Sigma 150-500mm cost 705 at Purelygadgets through Amazon, which i thought was quite reasonable. I'll give it a go this winter, and if i hate it then i'll maybe get a prime 400mm Nikkor and a 1.4 Tc next year. I have replaced my trusty old Sigma 105mm macro for the 105mm Micro Nikkor, but haven't got out and about with it yet. The 1.4 teleconverter could be used with that as well, to give a touch more distance to my dragonfly and butterfly stalking. The Sigma hasn't arrived yet,,,,i hate waiting for things to arrive. Thanks to all of you for your advice. Z

Offline Mike

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Re: Sigma 150-500mm
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2009, 03:20:42 PM »
I did pretty much the same as you earlier this year, swapping my Sigma 105 macro for a 100mm Minolta series 1 macro. Since both have the capacity to outresolve the sensor of my camera I didn't expect much improvement in sharpness, but there is a significant difference in colour rendition and depth to the OEM lens, and I think build quality is better. I would imagine your findings will be similar.
If your Sigma is an EX model, they are quite sought after on ebay. I got over 200 for mine.  :smiley:

Be sure to check for mount compatibility between any prospective teleconverter and the desired lens(es) it is to be mounted to. Some TCs protrude into the lens throat which limits the number of lenses they can be attached to.

Good luck with the 150-500.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2009, 03:25:21 PM by Mike »

Offline Zonda

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Re: Sigma 150-500mm
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2009, 05:17:19 PM »
Had a quick shoot in the garden, and the 105mm micro nikkor is definitely better than my ten year old Siggy 105mm, which still delivers great pics by the way. I noticed differences in sharpness immediately. I think my Sigma is an EX model, but no way i'll get 200 for it, although all the pics in my UKB gallery were taken with it.  I offered it at 30 in UKB, and no takers. I'll give it to my three year old grandaughter to play with...LOL

Offline Mike

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Re: Sigma 150-500mm
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2009, 10:12:29 PM »
 People are aways looking out for macro lenses. Even if yours is an old one, provided it autofocuses and is EX spec, it'll sell, assuming of course that your three year old hasn't got at it yet.  :smiley:
 
I just checked in Ebay completed listings and found a Sigma 105mm Nikon fit with screw drive and non-DG that sold for 204.
 
Glad you're happy with the new Nikkor.