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04-11-2011, 07:01 AM   #1
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Sigma 50-150 for portrait?

Someone suggested me to buy the Sigma 50-150 f2.8 instead of the DA* 50-135. Does any one have any experience with the Sigma lens? What are the common problems with the lens?
It sadly has been discontinued with no prospective replacement shown on Sigma website. I found that a little worrying. Maybe something critically wrong with it that they don't want to make it any more?
I'm very carefully considering all options for a portrait lens. So far the "war" is between the DA* 50-135 and 70 LTD + FA50/DFA100WR combo. The latter has weight advantage and the former has range advantage.
And now the Sigma also.
Any help/info/comment is greatly appreciated.


Last edited by testdasi; 04-11-2011 at 10:21 AM.
04-11-2011, 08:06 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by testdasi Quote
Someone suggested me to buy the Sigma 50-150 f2.8 instead of the DA* 50-135. Does any one have any experience with the Sigma lens? What are the common problems with the lens?
It sadly has been discontinued with no prospective replacement shown on Sigma website. I found that a little worrying. Maybe something critically wrong with it that they don't want to make it any more?
I'm very carefully considering all options for a portrait lens. So far the "war" is between the DA* 50-135 and 70 LTD + FA50/DFA100WR combo. The latter has weight advantage and the former has range advantage.
And now the Sigma also.
Any help/info/comment is greatly appreciated.
There has been a new 50-150 replacement announced but to my knowledge, no availability date (nor price) has been given. The new one is huge and has OS. You can find it in the news feed archive at DPReview. It'll probably be good, but Sigma has a recent track record of going backward in IQ on some lenses when they "update" them with OS, new formulas, etc..

The old one, AFAIK, was considered a worthy competitor to the 50-135. I believe most people considered it maybe a half-notch below the 50-135, but some seemed to prefer it. I haven't used my 50-135 much for portraits, but it would do quite well in that role. I just prefer to use primes.
04-11-2011, 08:16 AM   #3
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I'm doing this from memory but as I recall the Sigma lens was consider a fine lens but was discontinued by Sigma because they brought out a new version with HSM focusing. I suggest you view the lens database on this site to research user reviews of all of these.

I've owned the DA 70 and it's a fine portrait lens IMHO. I have recently acquired the DA*50-135 and have not used it for any portraiture. However, I've read that this is a favorite lens for wedding photography, and if that's the case, it should be excellent for portraits too.

As far as what lens to buy goes, I'm not a serious portrait photographer, but what I've done with it and what I've learned in workshops has taught me that there is some sweet spot in focal length between about 55 and 85mm that works best for balancing a upper body portrait and distance to the subject. I think 100mm is to long a lens for studio work. I've found that my Voigtland Nokton 58mm is about right for me but I also very much liked my DA70 as well. That has been my experience working with the camera on a tripod in a studio setting. If you were doing candid work off a tripod, a zoom might offer more opportunities. Hope that's some food for thought.
04-11-2011, 08:26 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by blackcloudbrew Quote
I'm doing this from memory but as I recall the Sigma lens was consider a fine lens but was discontinued by Sigma because they brought out a new version with HSM focusing.
No, the old one was HSM, or at least the most recent version was. OS is the feature added to the new one.

04-11-2011, 09:07 AM   #5
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Like I said, I was doing that from memory. The point was that Sigma was upgrading the lens not replacing it because it was bad. Thanks for the correction.
04-11-2011, 11:29 AM   #6
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Mi dos centavos: IMHO 35-135 is the optimal zoom range for a full panoply of 'portrait' situations, from full-body to close-up. IMHO autofocus isn't needed in controlled portraiture sessions. IMHO fixed-maximum-aperture zooms are higher-quality than those whose apertures float with focal length changes. The closest I get to those criteria is an old M42 Sears-Tokina 55-135/3.5 that cost me eight bucks shipped. No, it doesn't go to 35mm, so I may have to take a couple steps back for optimal full-body coverage. And IMHO whether any quality lens in that focal range is 'better' than the competition likely depends on how it's used, as much as anything.
04-11-2011, 02:13 PM   #7
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I bought the 50-150 / 2.8 recently and haven't regretted it once. A slightly longer tele than than the 50-135, has HSM which is virtually silent .... and fast focusing, makes the 50-135 look pedestrian in comparison ... and very sharp photos.

I bought mine new from Ffordes in the UK ..... maybe they still have one in stock. Great price too. I also saw them for sale with another UK retailer, though I forget which one.
04-11-2011, 02:40 PM   #8
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I just bought a Sigma 50-150 used from the marketplace, and I'm very impressed with it so far. Whisper quiet and FAST focusing. Beautiful bokeh and sharp pictures. I've only tried it out indoors so far, with some shots of my nephew. Can't wait to try it outside in good light.

Taken at ISO 3200 and 6400..

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04-11-2011, 02:49 PM   #9
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I have that Sigma and like it a lot. I mostly use it for Basketball and as a handy carry around for events and the like. I tend to go to primes when I'm serious about portraits but wouldn't pass one by with the Sigma in hand.

I can't speak to the comparison with the DA*50-135mm (which I've never shot) except to say that that extra 15mm is important to me.
04-11-2011, 02:50 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by testdasi Quote
Someone suggested me to buy the Sigma 50-150 f2.8 instead of the DA* 50-135. Does any one have any experience with the Sigma lens? What are the common problems with the lens?
It sadly has been discontinued with no prospective replacement shown on Sigma website. I found that a little worrying. Maybe something critically wrong with it that they don't want to make it any more?
I'm very carefully considering all options for a portrait lens. So far the "war" is between the DA* 50-135 and 70 LTD + FA50/DFA100WR combo. The latter has weight advantage and the former has range advantage.
And now the Sigma also.
Any help/info/comment is greatly appreciated.
Hi,
I own the Sigma and was quite happy with it until I compared it with my Lester A Dine 105 mm lens, which was way sharper. I have now bought the DA* 50-135 and will take delivery next month when I go to USA. I will then be able to do a direct comparison. That said, I had owned the 50-135 for a week last year but sent it back because I had bought it second hand and was concerned about the SDM issues - it only had a 6 months warranty. The shots I took with it are fantastic and way better than the Sigma.
If you are interested in getting it, I will be happy to oblige next month.
Regards.
04-11-2011, 03:18 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Naim Khan Quote
I had owned the 50-135 for a week last year but sent it back because I had bought it second hand and was concerned about the SDM issues - it only had a 6 months warranty. The shots I took with it are fantastic and way better than the Sigma.
I'd take that with a grain of salt. From what I've seen on this forum, and with a direct comparison to my friend's DA*, the Sigma is more than comparable. And faster. And no SDM issues. But the Sigma is not weather-sealed. And some like the color rendition of the DA* better. Otherwise, I'd say you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between the two.
04-11-2011, 05:46 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Naim Khan Quote
Hi,
I own the Sigma and was quite happy with it until I compared it with my Lester A Dine 105 mm lens, which was way sharper. I have now bought the DA* 50-135 and will take delivery next month when I go to USA. I will then be able to do a direct comparison. That said, I had owned the 50-135 for a week last year but sent it back because I had bought it second hand and was concerned about the SDM issues - it only had a 6 months warranty. The shots I took with it are fantastic and way better than the Sigma.
If you are interested in getting it, I will be happy to oblige next month.
Regards.
You really can't compare a prime to a zoom in terms of resolution. The prime will ALWAYS beat any zoom.
04-11-2011, 05:54 PM   #13
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My opinion on the Siggy 50-150/2.8 HSM II? Photos say it best...








This was taken at 150mm f2.8



For those that prefer portraiture...





'nuff said
04-11-2011, 07:28 PM   #14
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Good luck finding one unless you're shooting canon
04-11-2011, 09:41 PM   #15
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If you want teh Sigma then get a hold of the discontinued one. The new Sigm 50-150 is the same (gigantic) size as their 70-200, ridiculous but seemingly true if the published specs are to be believed. One of the key advantages of the 50-135/150 zooms was that they were much smaller than the 70-200 ones.
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