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09-24-2013, 05:04 PM   #1
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Sigma 50-500 or Sigma 150-500?

I'm considering buying either the Sigma 50-500 or Sigma 150-500. Any recommendations?
Thanks !

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09-24-2013, 05:33 PM - 2 Likes   #2

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Sigma 150-500 @ 500mm. F8 is sharp, works quite well. I haven't used the 50-500.

09-24-2013, 05:57 PM - 1 Like   #3
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I have never used either of these lenses but my question would be do you want to spend over an extra $500 to cover 50mm to 150mm? If you are carrying around that monster of a lens it's more than likely going to be for the reach.

Assuming the IQ is similar on both I would go for the 150-500.
09-24-2013, 06:02 PM - 1 Like   #4
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I have the 150-500. I also borrowed a 50-500 for about 2 shots (on the other camera) and I thought it focuses a bit faster, but I did not extensively check that or anything else about it :-)

09-24-2013, 07:05 PM - 1 Like   #5
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According to every test I've seen the 50-150 is the much better lens.

From the following site there would seem to be little difference until stopped down at the longer FL's:

Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3 EX DG HSM Lens Image Quality
09-24-2013, 08:16 PM - 1 Like   #7
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Here is a thread on the same discussed a while back. Some very good information there:
09-24-2013, 09:46 PM - 1 Like   #8

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I have the optically stabilized version of the 50-500. I bought it when there was less of a price spread between the 50-500 and 150-500. I don't regret my purchase and the extra width is useful to me. For example, at airshows where I'm usually shooting long 50mm lets me take some crowd shots, and for wildlife hikes 50mm allows an occasional landscape shot. If I had the 150-500 instead I might need to carry a 2nd body. (When I say hikes I mean 2-hour jaunts on well-marked trails. I wouldn't want to carry such a heavy lens through the deep woods.)

When I was shopping and reading reviews I saw some complaints the 50-500 is sharpest near 300mm and gets soft at 500mm. I think that applied to the older non-stabilized version, while the current OS version is sharper.

09-25-2013, 07:17 AM   #9
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I really like my 150-500 non OS version. I have gotten some really nice and sharp pics with it. I would recommend a monopod or tripod with it if hiking though.
09-25-2013, 08:10 AM   #10
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You may want to rent them first. I'm doing that with the 150-500 now and it's been insightful. I'm using - Your online source for lens rentals and camera rentals to do it. They have both the 50-500 and the 150-500. So far, as I've only been using the 150-500, I can only say that I like it although it is a BIG lens and needs a lot of light. I'm also learning that renting is a good option for something light this.
09-25-2013, 09:08 AM   #11
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I bought my 50-500 OS during a special deal last holiday season when it was discounted heavily, probably similar to @DeadJohn, so it made the choice easy.

SpecialK and I took his 150-500 OS and my 50-500 OS to a wetlands sanctuary this summer. I did not really see any difference in results at the long end when we were shooting the same subject.

If you plan to only shoot at the long end get whichever one you like, as the differences if any are at the pixel peep level. They both need good light to render well.
I have seen awesome shots with either lens, a lot of it has to do with just learning how to use them properly.

In addition to birding I also use it for my grandson's football games and the 50mm comes in handy when the action comes near the sidelines, so for that reason I like the wider range.

I use a monopod or tripod with this lens pretty much all the time. Others can hand hold them no problem, YMMV.
09-25-2013, 09:42 AM   #12
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Derek, that lens seems to be working very well for you...

QuoteOriginally posted by derekkite Quote
Sigma 150-500 @ 500mm. F8 is sharp, works quite well. I haven't used the 50-500.
09-25-2013, 10:12 AM   #13
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Thanks all for your impressions and advice --
And, it sounds like I may need to hit the gym again to tote one of these bad boys !!
09-25-2013, 10:18 AM - 1 Like   #14
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When I had the 150-500 I was very impressed with the images as long as you had good light and stopped down a couple notches. I mostly used it for backyard birding and got some really good shots with it hand held. It is a huge lens extended and the OS and HSM worked really well. It took me a while to figure out to turn off the SR on the camera or turn off the OS on the lens, because with both of them on it didn't seem to work as well as using only one.

I probably would of kept 150-500, but I with my DA*300 working so well in the backyard at 30-50 feet there was no reason to have both. If I was a true birder in the wild I think this Sigma would really be at home on a tripod and flash beamer setup.

Here are a couple of captures I took while I owned the Sigma it is at a good home in the great white north.

Red-belly Woodpecker (K-5 SIGMA 150-500: 1/640 sec, f 10, ISO 2000 at 440mm handheld)

Bluejay (K-5 SIGMA 150-500: 1/800 sec, f 8, ISO 2000 at 500mm handheld)

09-25-2013, 10:27 AM - 1 Like   #15

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I have the Sigma 150-500. Got it a couple of months ago. Very happy with it. Only thing that bugs me a bit is that the Sigma lens mount has a looser fit than any of my Pentax lenses.

But when I checked in the Canon forum....this is also not uncommon with the 150-500 Canon lens mount either. Apparently it's 'normal' ? Anyways it does not seem to interfere with the 150-500mm len's picture taking ability.

I set my ISO to 800-1600.....the AF on spot focus...the F stop anywhere from F 8 to F 11 and if possible try to operate it with bright sunlight on the subject.

The clarity of this lens is remarkable....the AF speed is quick and the AF noise is very quiet...also the AF is precise.

I bought my 150-500 rather than the 50-500 for a couple of reasons. Cost...the 50-500 is more....also the 150-500 range is more than enough for my purposes.

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