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01-26-2015, 07:21 AM - 3 Likes   #1
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First Shots: Sigma 150-500 DG F5-6.3 APO OS HSM

It's been agony to have a brand new lens just sitting there begging to be used. OK, to be fair, I did take a shot or 2 just to make sure it actually worked but that's all. The cold weather finally did it's job and has provided enough ice on our area lakes to enable motorcycle and quad racing. Yesterday, I used my new Sigma 150-500 for the first time and the benefits became clear right off.

Due to the lack of recent snow, the track didn't have a snow bank so for safety reasons, I had to get back a lot further than I normally do. Also, the wind was very strong and I also had to stay clear of the blowing snow and ice which fills the air during every race and can quickly make a mess of your lens. For years I have used a K300/4 for these races and it was my first time going into the 400-500mm focal length.

The HSM auto focus worked great! I have had issues in the past with the AF not acquiring focus when the ice and snow started flying but the new Sigma was fast and reliable. I had a few of the normal issues of the lens focusing on something in the background but overall, the results were very good. I had focusing issues late in the day as the sun went down behind the mountains and and the 6 continuous hours of standing on the ice was taking as much a toll on me as the camera. It started out in the upper 20'sF and by late afternoon, it was near 10F with wind gusts to 30MPH. Anyhow, enough typing and some samples.......I was stopped down to f/11 most of the day and the camera/lens was on a tripod.







I also attempted some panning shots with mixed results but I like this one.






01-26-2015, 08:04 AM   #2
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I can whole heartedly recommend the LensCoat...

lens coat sigma 150-500 | B&H Photo Video
01-26-2015, 08:12 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
I can whole heartedly recommend the LensCoat...

lens coat sigma 150-500 | B&H Photo Video
Yeah, I do these events every winter and it's probably worth it. It stayed pretty clean yesterday but when I was walking around in the pit area taking shots with my 17-70, the snow was blowing all over.
01-26-2015, 08:47 AM   #4
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Exceptional images that speak very highly of that lens!

01-26-2015, 11:26 AM   #5
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Great job, and congratulations on the new acquisition! I think your panning shot came out very well. I have this lens and know how hard it is to follow moving subjects with this monster. Also, the low light you're describing and the photos suggest can wreak havoc on getting that fast-enough shutter speed. Are these raw/raw-processed/or jpeg?
01-26-2015, 12:06 PM   #6
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Nice Shots! Like you I have this lens and not much chance to use it yet.
01-26-2015, 02:36 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kath Quote
Great job, and congratulations on the new acquisition! I think your panning shot came out very well. I have this lens and know how hard it is to follow moving subjects with this monster. Also, the low light you're describing and the photos suggest can wreak havoc on getting that fast-enough shutter speed. Are these raw/raw-processed/or jpeg?
I shot all of yesterdays shots in JPEG. It was very cold and I didn't want the hassle of swapping out cards and also because my desktop's hard drive is almost full and I have to do some file maintenance. I normally shoot RAW DNG. It was bright and sunny all day but late but by late afternoon, the light was fading and this lens needs strong light to focus quickly. The cold was beginning to take its toll too. I missed a couple of the finals because my hand warmer pack was no longer doing the job and my fingers were starting to go numb. I walked back to the car and warmed up for a few minutes and swapped lenses to my 70-300 which I can hand hold to finish the day.

The shots came out well for my first time using this lens. I also shot all day at 400mm mostly and a few shots at 500 and that is a whole new area for me. I normally shoot these events with a 300/4 or my 70-300. I tried the panning shots on the spread out races. They were usually novice riders and weren't going as fast and I did it more just to keep myself busy in the cold. I didn't want to just keep getting the same shot of the same 3 riders lap after lap. In some races, I was shooting constantly just to get clean shots of every rider. The next race day is Feb. 8 and I'll be shooting again. The promoters just called me.
01-26-2015, 02:48 PM   #8
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Great pix. It's not easy to nail the focus on very fast moving machines such as those motorcycles. Good evidence that yes indeed...the Sigma 150-500 lens is an excellent lens.

01-26-2015, 03:46 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jb0501 Quote
Nice Shots! Like you I have this lens and not much chance to use it yet.
ditto.
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