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03-19-2008, 06:38 PM   #1
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Bigma Owners please tell?

So with a friend today (Nikon Shooter) and mentioned I wanted the Bigma 50-500 and he mentioned he had heard it is not that great 300-500 it is not that great. I thought I had not heard this before and thought possibly a issue with the Nikon model. So I ask what do you guys think? Could you post some supporting shots at the long end. Thanks.

03-19-2008, 06:52 PM   #2
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Have a look at blwnhr's drifting images for what a Bigma can do ... especially high-speed panning at the long end.
03-19-2008, 08:53 PM   #3
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Pat, I don't know if you frequent that "other forum", but there are lots of Bigma shots there that would blow your socks off. The Bigma is one of Sigma's EX lenses, meaning it's at the top of their line. The image quality is very good with this lens.

Of course, you don't have a lot of other options for 500mm at that price either, so it's take it or leave it. If you take it, you won't be dissappointed.

Check out my recent post here to see some examples of shots I've taken with my Bigma. I'm not saying they're great shots, but they're some of the best I've taken.
03-19-2008, 09:07 PM   #4
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Pat as a Bigma owner and shooter to date the only picture issues I have are user error. I find even at 500mm it can be hand held. I am just starting to play with Manual focus (thus the user error) - I have not had it over a summer so not many bird shots , but there are plenty of members here that have used it. Peter and Heinrich can chime in if they see this post. For me the wide range and IQ make it a keeper in my book.

03-19-2008, 10:54 PM   #5
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Posting this from work (I'm a bad boy!) so I can't add photos but I can verify that this is a great lens. As Daacon says, you can get a great shot handheld at 500mm Now when I first heard that I thought "sure you can" but once you get used to the weight (I leave the tripod collar on for support) it's fairly easy. Obviously a tripod at that end of the zoom is alwatys better.

One thing I have found is that you do need good light and the AF is not lightening fast as light fades- but I use this lens for wildlife and some sports shots and am very happy with the results.

It is the best bang for buck for a 500mm lens you'll find. (mine lives on a K10D)
03-20-2008, 04:49 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by daacon Quote
Pat as a Bigma owner and shooter to date the only picture issues I have are user error. I find even at 500mm it can be hand held. I am just starting to play with Manual focus (thus the user error) - I have not had it over a summer so not many bird shots , but there are plenty of members here that have used it. Peter and Heinrich can chime in if they see this post. For me the wide range and IQ make it a keeper in my book.
Dave

I appologize in hijacking the thread with a different point, but...

A simple question with manual focus. I dont have the BIGMA but the 70-200 F2.8. I find manual focus, while quick, is difficult to get accurately, specifically due minimal rotation of the focusing collar. On my 70-200 there is only 90 degrees of rotation from minimum distance to infinity. When I compare to other lenses, my old Series 1 70-210 F3.5 had 180 degrees, my SMC 300mm F4 is 270 degrees, and my Vivitar 400mm F5.6 is 330 degrees.

The series 1 seems to be about the best compromise between speed of focusing (in terms of time to aquire correct manual focus) and precision of focus. I found the SIgma 70-200 F2.8 a little tricky to get accurate focus, due to the limited mechanical range of adjustment.

How does the BIGMA compare to this as it is the most important criteria with respect to manually focusing a lens.
03-20-2008, 05:08 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Dave

I appologize in hijacking the thread with a different point, but...

A simple question with manual focus. I dont have the BIGMA but the 70-200 F2.8. I find manual focus, while quick, is difficult to get accurately, specifically due minimal rotation of the focusing collar. On my 70-200 there is only 90 degrees of rotation from minimum distance to infinity. When I compare to other lenses, my old Series 1 70-210 F3.5 had 180 degrees, my SMC 300mm F4 is 270 degrees, and my Vivitar 400mm F5.6 is 330 degrees.

The series 1 seems to be about the best compromise between speed of focusing (in terms of time to aquire correct manual focus) and precision of focus. I found the SIgma 70-200 F2.8 a little tricky to get accurate focus, due to the limited mechanical range of adjustment.

How does the BIGMA compare to this as it is the most important criteria with respect to manually focusing a lens.
Lowell yes I think that is the exact issue - last night I was trying some moon shots with the 1.7TC and Bigma - that makes sense a smaller rotation of the focusing collar because I would have the Bigma fully extended then just kind of run out of room on the Focus Collar (reached the end). I am just starting to play with manual focus on this lens (as Pat of interest to you sometimes in low light like moon shots the AF does hunt a bit - I usually change to Sport metering and AF will eventually lock in) anyway I was going to post a question here what do you do when the focusing collar runs out? Glad you brought that up; I thought I was just doing something wrong!

So Pat another couple of points the Bigma to do it best job likes good light (it is a slower lens) , AF tends to hunt in low light in my use anyway , and I think the manual focusing collar only has about 90 degrees. As to your question once locked and ready none of these affect IQ at any focal lenght. I hope others chime in here.

Here are some 'portraits' I took with the Bigma in fact. The Bigma as a Portrait Lens The EXIF is intact but I also put the details in the thread they range from 270 -500mm. Hope some of this blurp is usefull.

Last edited by daacon; 03-20-2008 at 05:28 AM.
03-20-2008, 05:55 AM   #8
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I'd agree with others that this is a very good lens. I just recieved my second copy (the first was fine but I needed to sell it and several other items for personal reasons). So I might be one of the few who have had 2 of them. Both are excellent and seem to react exactly the same. Pros, Very good IQ, great range. well controlled CA/PF, great build and sharp. Cons: a bit heavy but to be expected, a bit slow. That being said it's a sub $1000 lens and you need more than triple the cost to get a fast 300/400/500mm lens. So for the money this is one of the best choices IMO.
a couple of pics in my gallery:
500mm:

425mm:

380mm:

138mm:



Last edited by Peter Zack; 03-21-2008 at 10:58 AM.
03-20-2008, 06:36 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by vievetrick Quote
So with a friend today (Nikon Shooter) and mentioned I wanted the Bigma 50-500 and he mentioned he had heard it is not that great 300-500 it is not that great.
Here are a couple photos that I took at our local zoo. Both are at 500mm, and the images are available full size (4MB) with the link, with exif intact.


Link to full size
------------------------------




Link to full size
------------------------------
03-20-2008, 06:42 AM   #10
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Thanks all for your comments. I really did not think in all me readings that anyone ever complained about the lens at the long end. If used the right way you all have proven it is worth the money for the reach. Thanks
03-20-2008, 10:11 PM   #11
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I only know what I've shot and here are my 2 samples. Both with the K10D, both handheld.

It doesn't get any worse than this at 500mm. Perhaps this person had the shutter speed too low and the 'quality loss' was due to camera shake. Which at 500mm is a very real threat. The shot Beau Yates in the pits, 360mm @ 1/160 is realy pushing the limits pretty well.

First a car travelling at around 100km/h. 420mm, 1/500, f/6.7, ISO-100.

Second a portrait in the pits. 360mm, 1/160, f/10, ISO-200.

First the original, then a 100% crop. Both shot in-camera JPEG, both unedited.







03-21-2008, 07:28 AM   #12
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Great examples. Thanks
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