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05-03-2012, 09:22 AM   #1
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K(s)evin's Avatar

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OLDER Sigma 50-500 vs. newer version

Does anyone have any comparitive experience with the older version Sigma 50-500 EX DG zoom. The only one reviewed in the lens section is the newer version, which features OS and HSM.

I have an opportunity to get a lightly used one, but am sort of in the dark as far as image quality and a reasonable used price.


05-03-2012, 09:46 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Its official name is: Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3 EX DG AF Lens for Pentax

I'm in the process of buying one of the older ones also. I thought it was reasonably priced at $800. I could never afford/justify the $1600 OS version, and one of the reasons I chose Pentax in the first place was so I could have shake reduction in the body (and not have to pay for it over and over again in each lens). I think the older version represents a lot of bang-for-the-buck for Pentax DSLR owners. I really doubt that the optics are much different (and my philosophy is that the older is generally better... companies tend to cheapen things down as time goes on to increase profit margins). Unless the filter size is different between the two, I'm guessing that the only *real* difference is the OS added.

Owner reviews for the older version: Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3 EX DG AF Lens for Pentax AF 736109 B&H (click the Customer Reviews tab).

Other reviews:
Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3 EX DG HSM Lens Review
Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3 EX DG APO HSM Interchangeable Lens Review
Sigma Lens: Zooms - Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3 EX DG HSM APO (Tested) -!
Amazon:Customer reviews:Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3 EX DG HSM APO RF Telephoto Zoom Lens for Pentax and Samsung SLR Cameras
also see the Customer Image Gallery at Amazon for this lens: Customer Image Gallery for Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3 EX DG HSM APO RF Telephoto Zoom Lens for Pentax and Samsung SLR Cameras

Most people give it 5 stars. This guy gave it 4 stars, and I think what he says is good to keep in mind:
I've had this lens for several weeks and have taken it in the field on three occasions shooting wildlife photos in the South Florida wetlands. It has an exellent zoom range and the image quality is very good but not great (great comes at about 4X the price). The number one complaint you will read about on all the review sites is the weight of this lens. This is true and if you are looking for a walk-around lens or hiking companion to cary around your neck all day this is not it. The build quality however is excellent using metal, glass and rubber throughout. This is a professional level piece of equipment and I'll take trade light weight for solid build quality anytime. You will definitely need a good monopod and develop a solid steadying technique, or use a sturdy tripod, to get consistantly decent results beyond the 300mm focal length. There is a real learning curve to getting consistantly good results from this lens so you'll have to experiment for a while. A minor niggle is the barrel will 'creep' when the lens is carried pointed downward with the lock mechanism off. Also to shift from AF to manual is a 2 phase process requiring a push or pull on the lense barrel ring as well as the on-camera switch. I find myself using the manual setting most often when using this lens at its maximum focal length. Overall - a very good lens for the birder, wildlife photographer, sports enthusiast or those who are scared of their subjects. The Amazon price was very competitive and UPS shipping went without a hitch as usual.[[ASIN:B0012Q72IY Pentax K200D 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera with Shake Reduction 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens]][[ASIN:B0012Q94AI Pentax K20D 14.6MP Digital SLR Camera with Shake Reduction (Body Only)]]
Hope this helps.

Last edited by cheekygeek; 05-03-2012 at 09:56 AM.
05-03-2012, 11:18 AM   #3
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I have this lens, pretty good lense.
05-03-2012, 11:55 AM   #4
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I have this lens and what cheekygeek posted in his quote is spot on. I was thinking of selling it then I took it out again and got this @ 500

Decided to keep it

05-03-2012, 09:52 PM   #5
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I've had this lens for several years and I love it, it is one of my favorites. I can't see other than OS (which isn't needed on Pentax) what the newer version has that my old one doesn't. Is it heavy, yes, but not terribly so for a zoom lens of that size. I find the image quality very acceptable for it's range and price. It's not as sharp and contrasty as my A* 300, but it can get pretty close at times and I've never had any reason to complain about it's performance. I use it a lot more often than the 300, especially for birding and wildlife in general. The convenience of the zoom makes up for any perceived deficiencies in sharpness. Maybe I got lucky and got a good copy, but I know if I had to get rid of most of my lenses this would be one of the few that I would definitely keep.
05-04-2012, 12:22 PM   #6
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Thanks so much for all of the good info! The forum comes thru again.
Looks like I'll be bringing her home tomorrow!
05-04-2012, 12:33 PM   #7
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I would suggest that for my purposes, the weight is an advantage for stability with the greater mass. I use it for field sports and am reasonably stationary when set up with a good mono pod.

Very happy with it considering quality/price equation.
Low light AF is tricky for night games and am concerned about dust entry as the internal volume differential is sizable between min and max extensions. I would be leery in dusty conditions. (Just my bugaboo)

K20 and the Bigma.

Last edited by Phil1; 05-04-2012 at 12:48 PM.
05-04-2012, 12:35 PM   #8
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The Bigma 50-500 is my most used lens...hardly a day goes by that I don't shoot with it. The review posted above is fair and accurate...except that I find a tripod totally unnecessary and never use one. I might get a little better result, but it just isn't worth the trouble to me.
The SR on the K5 is superb,and I don't find the weight a problem...but I am used to using heavy tools for most of my last 25-30 years. The AF is also much faster on the K5 than it was on the K20D.....and with the great high ISO of the K5, you can finally get some real speed without sacrificing IQ. I would love to have the HSM model, but am more than just a little thrilled with the model I will be too!

Best Regards!

02-04-2013, 10:13 AM   #9
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I've located one of these older Bigma's and was wondering what a good price for one of these would be. And since these are not DG lenses can these be used on full frame cameras?



Last edited by mpreston; 02-04-2013 at 10:23 AM.
02-04-2013, 06:17 PM   #10
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50-500OS has better optics and OS is better than SR for in this focal length.
03-24-2013, 03:49 PM   #11
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I am own old 50-500 EX DG for a long time and use it for the regatta shooting. I have found this lens as a nice instrument but with some limitations. When full opened this lens has a very low contrast. Ususally I stop it down very much. The acceptable results are going by F9, much better results are going by F11-13.
04-26-2013, 10:48 AM   #12
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Just have bought new 50-500 DG APO HSM and maked some tests. The new lens is definitely much sharper as the old one. Wide open the old lens has a resolution about 44-45 l/mm, the new one has about 60 l/mm when wide open.
04-26-2013, 10:52 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by K(s)evin Quote
Does anyone have any comparitive experience with the older version Sigma 50-500 EX DG zoom. The only one reviewed in the lens section is the newer version, which features OS and HSM.
I thought the old version was reviewed in the legacy section:
Sigma 50-500mm F4-6.3 APO EX DG Lens Reviews - Sigma Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

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