Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
02-28-2013, 07:00 PM   #1
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 3,822
Sigma 150-500 mm Lens- what do you think ?

I'm considering getting a Sigma 150-500 lens for my Pentax bodies...K10D, Km , K-5.

In the winter months I spend a lot of time taking photo's of Bald Eagles, Great Gray Owls, Horned Owls and Snowy Owls. Presently I use my Pentax 55-300 and I find although it does an excellent job....even with action shots...I have to crop to get a large enough photo of whatever bird of prey I'm taking a photo. That extra focal length of the Bigma would be nice.

My 55-300 (one of the first made) surprisingly for a consumer lens...does a really good job of taking sharp photo's. My photos using the 55-300, are all taken hand held. I have a very heavy duty tripod...an older Leitz Tilt-All and a mono pod. I have no issues with using either the tripod or the mono pod.

I like sharpness in my photo's and my other Pentax lenses that I most often use...my 40mm Limited, 70mm Limited, 12-24, 50 mm Macro F 2.8...deliver...well on the sharpness of the subject.

I've never bought a Sigma...so I'm wondering whether it is worth the large cash outlay.
  • Is it capable of taking very sharp photo's ?
  • Is it fairly good at taking action shots...when hand held or on a mono pod ?
  • Does the bayonet mount connect well with the Pentax body ?
  • Is it reliable, durable and robustly made ?
  • In the future, if Pentax brings out a full frame DSLR I may just buy one. I understand that the Sigma 150-500 will work with both a full frame and a cropped sensor such as an ASP-C. Is this the case ?

Any other thoughts on Sigma, the 150-500 lens ?

02-28-2013, 07:28 PM   #2
Site Supporter
kev.pride's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Modbury North, South Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 345
QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote

Is it capable of taking very sharp photo's ?
Is it fairly good at taking action shots...when hand held or on a mono pod ?
Does the bayonet mount connect well with the Pentax body ?
Is it reliable, durable and robustly made ?
In the future, if Pentax brings out a full frame DSLR I may just buy one. I understand that the Sigma 150-500 will work with both a full frame and a cropped sensor such as an ASP-C. Is this the case ?
Hi - I have posted one of the reviews of this lens elsewhere on this Forum.

In answer to your questions:

- yes it is capable of taking sharp photos - but a lot depends on experience with the lens, and taking your time to practice, especially if you have never used a long 500 lens.
- fairly good is subjective - it can be heavy to hand hold for long periods - but I have seen very good action shots taken with this lens - Pentax & other brand cameras. Using a mono pod would be very useful.
- yes mounts perfectly - I have a number of Sigma lenses and none have had mounting issues - i've used them on K100/ K10/K7 & K5.
- Yes to all of the points - however I have heard it said older Sigma had quality control issues - I've seen some pretty bashed up Sigma's with loss of paint etc, but I have had no problems.
- The 150-500 is a DG so it therefor is Full Framed - Sigma DC lenses are APS-C similar to the Pentax DA.

The 150-500 also has 2 types of in lens Stabilization which does help @ the long end - but switch off the Pentax in body if you use the in lens Stabilization.

The only downside is that the lens is slowish @ the long end - but I don't have $12k + to spend on a faster lens.

Hope this helps.

Kevin

Last edited by kev.pride; 02-28-2013 at 07:31 PM. Reason: speeling
02-28-2013, 07:39 PM   #3
Banned




Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Charleston & Pittsburgh
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,683
The Sigma mentioned is quite sharp - especially exceeding most long end telephoto lens zoom optics, which brings me to the second answer...

NOT very good with action; especially given the entire aperature range. But just curious; what type of action were you looking to take pics of? Most action pics almost demand higher shutter speeds; and this lens' poor aperature balances out (actually narrows down) those shutter speeds. So for action one would have to use iso to bring those shutter speeds back up or have incredibly ideal lighting.

Which reminds me... Do you really need the higher end of the 500mm focal length range? Could you really make do with only using either 300mm or better yet only 200mm and then cropping out?? If so for the 200mm, there is a Sigma which zooms out to 200mm and also maintains a "constant opening aperature" of f2.8 - which is ideal for actions pics - even when factoring in any type of cropping. Also it's even priced less.

Sigma has very few recent quality control examples - any issues have already been addressed completely (for some time) out of all of the existing lens line. As a matter of fact I would clearly endorse Sigma much more than I would ever address the Pentax lens line.
02-28-2013, 07:40 PM   #4
Pentaxian
VisualDarkness's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 4,439
Is it capable of taking very sharp photo's ? Yes, if there is enough light.

Is it fairly good at taking action shots...when hand held or on a mono pod ? Yes, if there is enough light.

Does the bayonet mount connect well with the Pentax body ? No problem at all, fits like a glove.

Is it reliable, durable and robustly made ? It feels pretty good actually, no wobbling or anything like that. The only thing is the easily scratched finish (non-issue in my eyes) and the zoom creep that they tried to solve by over-tightening the zoom ring making it not as smooth as it could be. When pointing the lens downward or upward you'll have to hold the zoom ring or use a rubber band as a lock. It's workable no doubt.

In the future, if Pentax brings out a full frame DSLR I may just buy one. I understand that the Sigma 150-500 will work with both a full frame and a cropped sensor such as an ASP-C. Is this the case ? Yes, but don't expect miracles in the border sharpness, though center is more important for these kind of lenses in my opinion.

A couple of shots:







The 150-500 + Kenko 1.5x PzAF





02-28-2013, 07:44 PM   #5
Veteran Member
joe.penn's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Maryland (Right Outside Washington DC)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,902
@Siluet23 seems to bang out stellar photos with his 150-500:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-5/215441-k-5-sigma-50-500-os.html
02-28-2013, 07:48 PM   #6
Pentaxian
panoguy's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Washington, D.C.
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,279
If you are looking to go to 500mm, the Sigma 150-500 is about the best "bang for the buck" way to get there. People have answered your questions already, so I'll just leave a link to my review of the 150-500 here (which goes into more detail about expectations and operation of the lens).

It's a heck of a lens, and I'm currently real-world testing it against it's Sigma sibling, the 50-500 OS "BigmOS." So far, the 150-500 wins at the long end, but Sigma Canada is taking a look at my 50-500 (for free!) to insure that everything is perfect with that more expensive model.


QuoteOriginally posted by joe.penn Quote
@Siluet23 seems to bang out stellar photos with his 150-500:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-5/215441-k-5-sigma-50-500-os.html
Well, to be fair, that guy could use a Holga and kick some serious butt with it. The lens is part of the equation, but his talent behind the camera is not insignificant.
02-28-2013, 07:54 PM   #7
Veteran Member
joe.penn's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Maryland (Right Outside Washington DC)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,902
QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
Well, to be fair, that guy could use a Holga and kick some serious butt with it. The lens is part of the equation, but his talent behind the camera is not insignificant.
Agreed, I noted that in the thread. I have seen really awful shots taken with this lens also (and higher end ones at that, just check out flickr for the good, the bad, and the awful)...
02-28-2013, 08:05 PM   #8
Pentaxian
VisualDarkness's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 4,439
QuoteOriginally posted by joe.penn Quote
Agreed, I noted that in the thread. I have seen really awful shots taken with this lens also (and higher end ones at that, just check out flickr for the good, the bad, and the awful)...
Yeah, if you misuse it you get brutal results. It's not a "point&shoot" lens as some seems to think but it's handholdable as long as you know how to do it. Also at 500mm you're already starting to see turbulence and moisture in the air in some shots, something new to think about.

02-28-2013, 08:12 PM   #9
Site Supporter
jpzk's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Québec
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 6,971
Coincidence: I just started a thread on that very same subject just before :

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/216903-help-me...all-sigma.html

A little more feedback might help.

JP
02-28-2013, 08:21 PM   #10
Emperor and Senpai
VoiceOfReason's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Nashville, IN
Posts: 5,116
QuoteQuote:
Is it capable of taking very sharp photo's ?
Absolutely. I have it and love it.
QuoteQuote:
Is it fairly good at taking action shots...when hand held or on a mono pod ?
I would use a monopod.
QuoteQuote:
Does the bayonet mount connect well with the Pentax body ?
It connects as well as my Pentax lenses do!
QuoteQuote:
Is it reliable, durable and robustly made ?
It's all of the above and it's heavy!
QuoteQuote:
In the future, if Pentax brings out a full frame DSLR I may just buy one. I understand that the Sigma 150-500 will work with both a full frame and a cropped sensor such as an ASP-C. Is this the case ?
No idea on that one.

I like my copy. Once you go that long you never want to go back!
03-01-2013, 03:13 PM   #11
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 3,822
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Medium FormatPro Quote
The Sigma mentioned is quite sharp - especially exceeding most long end telephoto lens zoom optics, which brings me to the second answer...

NOT very good with action; especially given the entire aperature range. But just curious; what type of action were you looking to take pics of? Most action pics almost demand higher shutter speeds; and this lens' poor aperature balances out (actually narrows down) those shutter speeds. So for action one would have to use iso to bring those shutter speeds back up or have incredibly ideal lighting. Birds in flight (large ones ie; Raptors, Pelicans, etc.) and cars at speed....ice racing and drag racing.

Which reminds me... Do you really need the higher end of the 500mm focal length range? Could you really make do with only using either 300mm or better yet only 200mm and then cropping out?? If so for the 200mm, there is a Sigma which zooms out to 200mm and also maintains a "constant opening aperature" of f2.8 - which is ideal for actions pics - even when factoring in any type of cropping. Also it's even priced less.I would like the additional 200mm over my Pentax 55-300mm. I want to avoid cropping as much as I can.

Sigma has very few recent quality control examples - any issues have already been addressed completely (for some time) out of all of the existing lens line. As a matter of fact I would clearly endorse Sigma much more than I would ever address the Pentax lens line.
I've never had a Sigma. I've had plenty of Takumar and Pentax lenses, which have all been good.
03-01-2013, 03:17 PM   #12
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 3,822
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by kev.pride Quote
Hi - I have posted one of the reviews of this lens elsewhere on this Forum.

In answer to your questions:

- yes it is capable of taking sharp photos - but a lot depends on experience with the lens, and taking your time to practice, especially if you have never used a long 500 lens.
- fairly good is subjective - it can be heavy to hand hold for long periods - but I have seen very good action shots taken with this lens - Pentax & other brand cameras. Using a mono pod would be very useful.
- yes mounts perfectly - I have a number of Sigma lenses and none have had mounting issues - i've used them on K100/ K10/K7 & K5.
- Yes to all of the points - however I have heard it said older Sigma had quality control issues - I've seen some pretty bashed up Sigma's with loss of paint etc, but I have had no problems.
- The 150-500 is a DG so it therefor is Full Framed - Sigma DC lenses are APS-C similar to the Pentax DA.

The 150-500 also has 2 types of in lens Stabilization which does help @ the long end - but switch off the Pentax in body if you use the in lens Stabilization.

The only downside is that the lens is slowish @ the long end - but I don't have $12k + to spend on a faster lens.

Hope this helps.

Kevin
Thank you Kevin. Very helpful info.
03-01-2013, 03:18 PM   #13
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 3,822
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by joe.penn Quote
@Siluet23 seems to bang out stellar photos with his 150-500:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-5/215441-k-5-sigma-50-500-os.html

Phenomenal photo's. The photographer is a gifted photographer.
03-01-2013, 03:25 PM   #14
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 3,822
Original Poster
Thanks to all who contributed. Lot's of food for thought. Additional posts are welcome. The more information the more it helps my decision making.
03-01-2013, 08:10 PM   #15
Site Supporter
ramseybuckeye's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Elida, Ohio
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 8,113
There is some more insight in this thread from the birding group:
Lenses for Birding
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
action, frame, k-mount, lens, mm, owls, pentax, pentax lens, pod, sharpness, sigma, sigma 150-500 mm, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What are your most used lens and what do you use them for? What lens do you have that pearsaab Pentax K-5 44 06-04-2012 09:23 AM
what do you guys think? theflyingjocksman General Talk 2 05-21-2012 06:34 PM
What do you think this picture? Danny Delcambre General Talk 5 05-07-2012 02:37 PM
What has better resolution Sigma 120-400 or 150-500? PixleFish Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 5 03-18-2011 01:57 AM
what do you think of this lens? Niki Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 20 05-22-2009 07:54 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:44 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top