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11-19-2011, 02:56 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3 EX DG HSM 100% Crops

I have the Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3 EX DG HSM (older none-stabilized version). It is not a bad lens for what it does. I attached a couple of 100% center crops of some flowers with the lens at 500mm and wide open (f/6.7) and ISO 200. These shots are converted with PS CS5 raw, where I turned off the sharpening and noise reduction. Also I tried to keep saturation/brightness/highlights/shadows turned off or neutral as much as possible. This may not be the lens for pixel peepers out there, especially without sharpening. With some post processing, one can get great photos!

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11-19-2011, 03:08 PM   #2
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The older version Pentax mount doesn't have HSM does it?
11-19-2011, 03:14 PM   #3
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Not bad for 100% crops wide-open at 500mm. I owned the Sigma 170-500mm for a while, and it was at least as soft at 500mm, probably a little more so, but it sharpened up nicely using the Smart Sharpen tool in Photoshop CS5. I would be interested in seeing the same crops after going through your normal processing if you care to share them.
11-19-2011, 04:22 PM   #4
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I have had a great run with my bigma at 500mm closeup. After 10 m to infinity it is very soft on my lens. For those considering a bigma, I found going heavy with a big flash covered a multitude of sins and gave me some very sharp photos.

The old er 50-500 is the old screw and can take a while to focus. It can throw tantrums in some light conditions and refuses to focus on anything until you make a minor change to the zoom. (I don't know why)

11-19-2011, 05:55 PM   #5
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In low light conditions indeed the lens can hunt. The non-stabilized version does not have HSM for Pentax cameras unfortunately.

The most similar lens that Pentax offers is a 55-300mm, where one would have to crop to simulate a longer focal length. The 300mm f/4 is superb, but doesn't zoom. If Pentax ever brings out a 50-500mm specifically designed for a cropped sensor (and perhaps smaller, lighter and better image quality), it would buy it in a hart beat. For now I will settle with this heavy guy.

I also added the photo as I would edit it. Though Pentax Forums reduces the resolution.
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Last edited by Eric Seavey; 11-20-2011 at 01:29 PM.
06-23-2013, 05:20 AM   #6
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I thought I'd post some more 100% crops of some photos I took with my Bigma. I did not apply noise reduction or sharpening, and left it at auto white balance. It is not a bad lens, and the versatility is quite convenient. The first photo is 500mm (ISO 800 f/8), the second shot at about 270mm (ISO 500 f/8). The last 500mm shot is edited and slightly cropped.

Is anybody willing to post some 100% crops of the 300mm and 60-250mm Pentax lenses? Are they that much better than the Sigma?
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Last edited by Eric Seavey; 06-25-2013 at 08:31 AM.
06-23-2013, 08:43 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eric Seavey Quote
I thought I'd post some more 100% crops of some photos I took with my Bigma. I did not apply noise reduction or sharpening, and left it at auto white balance. It is not a bad lens, and the versatility is quite convenient. The first photo is 500mm (ISO 800 f/8), the second shot at about 270mm (ISO 500 f/8). The last 500mm shot is edited and slightly cropped.

Is anybody willing to post some 100% crops of the 30mm and 60-250mm Pentax lenses? Are they that much better than the Sigma?
My old 50-500 isn't too sharp when full open. I need stop it down up to (at least) 1:9 for better IQ. New modell is much-much better.
06-23-2013, 11:08 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Grokh Quote
New modell is much-much better.
Really that much better? I wish there were side by side comparisons somewhere..... I did hear about it being better designed for the long end.

06-23-2013, 11:34 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eric Seavey Quote
Really that much better?
Really. Nothing similar. Two different lenses.
QuoteQuote:
I wish there were side by side comparisons somewhere.....
May be I will find the time for it.
QuoteQuote:
I did hear about it being better designed for the long end.
Yes, the difference is especially big on f>300 mm. I often use the log end of this lens. The only problem with the new lens is that it has HSM only and this HSM is a little bit slow in comparison to old version with screwdriver.
06-24-2013, 08:49 AM   #10
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I would be very interested, and would appreciate it a lot if you would be willing to do that. I assume you have both lenses then right? It would be the only side by side comparison on the net. Perhaps worth a new thread. Many people think the 50% price increase was for the OS. However, the elements are larger too, clearly indicating a different design. Sigma removed the specs and info of the old lens from their site, where it showed the elements and mft charts.

Thanks!
06-24-2013, 09:25 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eric Seavey Quote
I assume you have both lenses then right?
Yes.
QuoteQuote:
It would be the only side by side comparison on the net.
OK, I will try to do it within two weeks.
06-24-2013, 10:05 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Grokh Quote
My old 50-500 isn't too sharp when full open. I need stop it down up to (at least) 1:9 for better IQ. New modell is much-much better.
Agree that the new model is much better.
If OP can provide distances for samples I will try to provide shots at similar distances from the new OS version.
06-25-2013, 08:07 AM   #13
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Thanks crewl1. Not sure how I will be able to compare, but I'll be interested checking it out. The distance to the chipmunk was about 25 feet. The distance to the sunflowers was about 40 feet.
I found three different links, all comparing the Canon 100-400mm to the Bigma (one link compares to other Sigmas as well). One site compares the Canon with the old Bigma, the other with the new one. It is not really a good side-by-side comparison, since two different Canons were used, as well as two different cameras. However, what is evident, is that the Canon is more contrasty, than both old and new Bigmas. Also, it almost seems that the old and new Bigmas are not that different in respect to sharpness, which is why I am surprised that people are saying that the new Bigma is so much better. I attached the three links below:
Sigma 50-500 F4-6.3 EX DG HSM v Canon 100-400 F4.5-5.6 L IS USM Photo Gallery by lightrules at pbase.com
Four 100-400 tele zooms compared [JuzaPhoto]
Sigma 50-500 f/4.5-6.3 OS HSM (vs Canon 100-400) [JuzaPhoto]
06-25-2013, 09:18 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eric Seavey Quote
Thanks crewl1. Not sure how I will be able to compare, but I'll be interested checking it out. The distance to the chipmunk was about 25 feet. The distance to the sunflowers was about 40 feet.
I found three different links, all comparing the Canon 100-400mm to the Bigma (one link compares to other Sigmas as well). One site compares the Canon with the old Bigma, the other with the new one. It is not really a good side-by-side comparison, since two different Canons were used, as well as two different cameras. However, what is evident, is that the Canon is more contrasty, than both old and new Bigmas. Also, it almost seems that the old and new Bigmas are not that different in respect to sharpness, which is why I am surprised that people are saying that the new Bigma is so much better. I attached the three links below:
Sigma 50-500 F4-6.3 EX DG HSM v Canon 100-400 F4.5-5.6 L IS USM Photo Gallery by lightrules at pbase.com
Four 100-400 tele zooms compared [JuzaPhoto]
Sigma 50-500 f/4.5-6.3 OS HSM (vs Canon 100-400) [JuzaPhoto]
I guess it will be hard to compare without side by side images.
Your chipmunk was shot at f8, the image below was also shot at 500mm f8, ISO200, 1/500 sec.
Distance is different at about 75 feet away.



This I shot this morning but lighting was poor. Since I was shooting hand held I kept the shutter speed up and ISO is high so I would normally do some NR.
Photos are un-retouched except for the approx 100% crop and resizing for the web. Sorry for the graininess.
500mm, f6.3 ISO 1250 1/800sec Doesnt seem any better than yours wide open.

06-26-2013, 05:42 AM   #15
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crewl1, it is indeed hard to see much improvement of the new Bigma over the old one at these distances. Actually, I found at longer distances to infinity, my Bigma tends to become less contrasty. Perhaps the new version does better. Actually, for most applications, my Bigma is just fine, and I am happy with the performance as long as I don't need to crop much. I also wouldn't be surprised if it can resolve more details at 500mm compared to the Pentax 60-250mm or even the Pentax 300mm prime. Auto focus performance is another issue... when it is spot on, I get great shots. But sometimes it misses, and I am not sure of the cause(s).
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