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10-18-2009, 11:22 AM   #1
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Sigma 50-500mm or sigma 150-500mm??

I want a lens for wildlife photography and for pentax it seems that only sigma offer really long glass. So it comes down to these two lenses - sadly i dont have a local photography shop that stocks sigma lens for pentax so i cant go and give them a try so left with the stats on them

in that regard the 50-500 is faster and a wider range and a 100- 150 more expensive

the 150- 500 has had nice reviews but is slower - the range isn't really an issue this is not a lens that your gonna use at 50mm or probably even 150mm very often but the 150 saving would be a nice bonus but on less like this thats not a huge difference

so does anyone have any experiance with these 2 lens and can tell me if the 50 - 500 is worth the extra?

10-18-2009, 12:17 PM   #2
mel
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Actually the 50-500 is not faster. If you look at the focal length range of the two and the f-stop range of the two, they're about the same. The 50-500 starts out at f/4 but by the time it gets to 150, where the other one starts, they're at the same maximum aperture. I've shot both of these lenses but own neither one. One thing I liked about the 150-500 is the HSM focusing that is available that is not available with the 50-500 in the Pentax mount. I think I actually prefered the 150-500.

Really it comes down to your need. Do you need it more at the 500 end or more at the 50-150 end? I thought the 150-500 was a little better at the longer end than the other. But that was my opinion.

Last edited by mel; 10-18-2009 at 03:15 PM.
10-18-2009, 01:38 PM   #3
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I've owned and used both...I preferred the Bigmos (150-500) over the Bigma (50-500). I tended to use the long end where my copy was very solid and sharp with nice color and contrast. However I sold the Bigmos because it is NOT an EX build so it only comes with a 1yr warranty. The Bigma IS and EX model so in the US it has a 4-yr warranty. Also on a Pentax body one might not need the OS of the Bigmos if your Pentax has SR.

Coin toss as to which to buy...I think today I would be very tempted to get another Bigmos but that lack of need for OS on a K20D or K-7 puts the Bigma back as a serious contender.

I found the colors and saturation of the Bigmos better as well as sharpness being better...BUT there was a HUGE learning curve because the lens NEEDS a lot of light at all stops. Also a monopod helped me a great deal not only because of the lens weight but also at 500mm every heartbeat can mean lens movement.

Right now I am leaning toward a Sigma 100-300mm f4 rather than either of the Bigmos or Bigma lenses. That is because to am not much for birding. Still there are the DA*'s like the 60-250 that can give the 100-300 a run for it's money. But I had a 100-300 Canon mount and lemme tell ya, it is an animal sharpness wise.

I liked every one of these Sigmas I owned and it would really depend on what I wanted to use the lens for. I would be happy with the 100-300. But remember I am talking about the NEWER 100-300 f4 EX not the older 100-300 whatever variable aperture model.

I found the IQ from the Bigmos better than the Bigma by enough of a margin that even with the lack of the EX warranty (BTW, it feels like an EX build even if it does not carry the designation) that I would probably buy the Bigmos again were I in that market right now. Odd that you find the Bigma more expensive than the Bigma...if that is the case, the Bigmos is a no brainer...oh, I would add that add no filter other than a CPL and then only if absolutely necessary.
10-18-2009, 02:21 PM   #4
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thanks - thats really helpful information - hadn't occured to me about the f-stops and focal ranges ...dohhhhh

i didn't realise that the pentax k mount version even came with the OS though but if it does how does it compare with the inbody shake reduction from the K7?

regardless since i'm planning to use this lens more towards the 500mm end the 150-500mm sounds like it would be the better choice specially since its sharper and its got the hsm autofocus and cheaper too

1 year warranty is a concern but hopefully if its gonna break it will do so within a year

10-18-2009, 06:57 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormcloud Quote
thanks - thats really helpful information - hadn't occured to me about the f-stops and focal ranges ...dohhhhh

i didn't realise that the pentax k mount version even came with the OS though but if it does how does it compare with the inbody shake reduction from the K7?

regardless since i'm planning to use this lens more towards the 500mm end the 150-500mm sounds like it would be the better choice specially since its sharper and its got the hsm autofocus and cheaper too

1 year warranty is a concern but hopefully if its gonna break it will do so within a year
OK, I think some wires my be almost crossed lemme 'splain better. First I owned the Canon mount of the Bigmos which has OS and HSM but is NOT an EX build. The Bigma (50-500) is an EX build it has HSM but no OS in any version. From what I have read the Pentax mount for the Bigma does NOT have OS. I believe the guts/motors etc are still in there but OS is not enabled/present on the Pentax mount version of the 150-500 but it too has HSM.

I give the Bigmos a bit of an edge in IQ but the Bigma is not a bad lense either. Both are very good...but like I mentioned the Bigmos has a steep learning curve and odds are you will hate it for the first 500 shots or so. And as with all Sigma lenses you need to check for AF issues but be sure to remember that at 500mm and f6.3 the DOF at distance is going to be thin so stop down to check the focus and go from there.

Sigma - Lenses

All in all I really LIKED my Bigmos a lot...and as I wrote previously I only sold to because it had a 1-yr warranty and was already 6-mos old plus it was from the first batch to hit the US so I feel it was a good time to sell just in case. But the person who bought it uses it all the time and it's around yrs old now...
10-19-2009, 03:58 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormcloud Quote
thanks - thats really helpful information - hadn't occured to me about the f-stops and focal ranges ...dohhhhh

i didn't realise that the pentax k mount version even came with the OS though but if it does how does it compare with the inbody shake reduction from the K7?

regardless since i'm planning to use this lens more towards the 500mm end the 150-500mm sounds like it would be the better choice specially since its sharper and its got the hsm autofocus and cheaper too
I cannot comment on the 150-500, but there is certainly not a lack of sharpness on the Bigma, too. If you simply go to the myriads of posted examples on the web, you will see lots of proof for my assertion.

I have the Bigma now for a bit more than a year. The point is, that focusing is very critical. If your focus is off, even slightly, the contrast breaks down at the longer settings (which is IMHO the reason for the frequent complaints about lack of contrast). On the other hand, if you focus the Bigma really spot-on, than sharpness and contrast are very good, even at 500mm.

But I can usually only obtain best sharpness, when I use the Bigma with a monopod or tripod under standard Western European light... In the South, where I can use faster shutter speeds, I can use it handheld sometimes. It is a big lens, but made to very high mechanical standards and well-worth the investment.

Ben

Last edited by Ben_Edict; 10-19-2009 at 05:01 AM.
10-19-2009, 04:53 AM   #7
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I tried the 150-500mm and the 50-500mm .. you can see from my sig which I preferred. @ 500mm wide open there was no contest imo.

And I certainly wouldn't have paid the extra unless I thought it was worthwhile.
10-19-2009, 07:07 AM   #8
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I have about 1700-1800 shots I took in 2008 with my Bigmos on a Canon 40D at all sorta focal lengths. Mostly these are zoo as well as Dog Show shots. some shots are completely raw and unedited and some will have had some editing. No time to do any editing this week.

I will upload a bunch of them over the next few hours and post a link to the gallery so you can see some examples of the lens in the hands of a, well, marginal shooter...hehehehehe....

Actually going through them I see a lot of them are actually pretty good. It's going to be slow uploading because I only have a 768k upstream connection...btw, I have been meaning to upload them for, well a couple years now anyway...hahaha...

Here is a link & couple sample shots:

150mm, f11, ISO640, 1/500th



500mm, f6.3, ISO400, 1/250th


Sigma 150-500mm Gallery - BreckLundin's Place


I am only uploading about 80 shots right now...and am going back to sleep, only woke up to take, sigh, my AM meds...this getting old can make a fella feel, well, older!! hehehehe....I'll put up more over the rest of the week. But will be putting the rest in the Lompoc 2008 Dog Show gallery as well as Santa Barbara Zoo gallery. But I think you can filter based on the lens...still not to worry I am only going to be uploading Bigmos shots into those galleries for now.

No matter which lens you chose, they are both very good. I have found those who perceive the Bigmos is not as sharp as the Bigma try to use it the same way. It's a different lens, heavier as I recall as well as having it's own personality. I will add that I much preferred using it on a monopod over hand held. Like Mike.P mentions, at the long end, even with the OS on the Bigmos I got better images using a monopod. FYI though, the Dog Show shots were all taken hand held and most of the zoo shots as well.

Still, remember NEITHER of these lenses has OS on the Pentax mount. In other mounts ONLY the Bigmos comes with OS. Something that bugs me about Sigma is for lenses they make that have OS, well, for builds intended for bodies with in-body SR the price of the lens is the same. So we are still paying for something that cannot be used and probably the OS guts are not even in the lens. Then again it is not as if HoyaTax gives a discount for not needing to add SR/IS/OS into each lens...I mean look at the prices these days. Hehehehe.... yeah, yeah....they spend that money on building better lenses...a subjective opinion at best.


Last edited by brecklundin; 10-19-2009 at 08:36 AM.
10-19-2009, 09:46 AM   #9
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some really nice images there - the zoo shots are fantastic - would never know they weren't taken out in the wild

the lens seems to do a nice job though i do like you feel abit cheated that am paying the same price as the canon and nikon mounts which has the os

gotta admit i dont see why cant have it on cameras even with in built shake reductions - turn off the incamera shake reduction turn it on in the lens then can use the incamera for horizon corrections etc - somehow i feel optical stablisation in the lens is likely to work better than just moving the sensor anyway

but think it will be the bigmos i'll go for - costs less and is slightly lighter - i am unlikely to use the lens when i'm gonna need to pull right out to 50mm

so time to start saving up the pennies =) thanks for the advice and sample images
10-19-2009, 10:55 AM   #10
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Personally I never use a Tripod/Monopod with the Bigma, once you get used to the weight you can happily fling it around. A few taken with mine Handheld on the K10D.











10-19-2009, 11:08 AM   #11
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I have the Bigma and really love it. Its difficult to use because of the extreme telephoto and minimising camera shake is a challenge even on a monopod with SR - a tripod is the way to go.

The 150-500 is supposed to a very nice lens but I've never used it but what I like about the Bigma is its ability to show animals both close up and 'in their environment'. Its flexibility is a great asset.

Here are some Bigma shots of mine:



f/5.6, 270mm



f/9.5, 500mm



f/5.6, 190mm



f/9.5, 360mm



f/8, 500mm



f/11 310mm
10-19-2009, 12:14 PM   #12
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I take option C

You know you really should consider the Sigma 100-300 F4. It has amazing sharpness and a 1.4x teleconverter to match. The reviews say that there is almost no sharpness loss with the TC. So that would get you 140-420 all at F5.6. Just a little faster and just as sharp.
10-19-2009, 12:16 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormcloud Quote
some really nice images there - the zoo shots are fantastic - would never know they weren't taken out in the wild

the lens seems to do a nice job though i do like you feel abit cheated that am paying the same price as the canon and nikon mounts which has the os

gotta admit i dont see why cant have it on cameras even with in built shake reductions - turn off the incamera shake reduction turn it on in the lens then can use the incamera for horizon corrections etc - somehow i feel optical stablisation in the lens is likely to work better than just moving the sensor anyway

but think it will be the bigmos i'll go for - costs less and is slightly lighter - i am unlikely to use the lens when i'm gonna need to pull right out to 50mm

so time to start saving up the pennies =) thanks for the advice and sample images
Thanks...glad you liked a few of them. I enjoy the Santa Barbara Zoo but still feel for the critters in confined spaces even though I know they are very well cared for by the keepers. And also, most of them would be dead were it not for the zoo's.

Something really great at the SB Zoo is a few months ago now they opened the first California Condor exhibit. It's a non-breeding exhibit for now but that might change in 5-10yrs. Hard to imagine that when I was a n early teen the CA Condor population was under, I believe 10 individuals. Now they are re-introducing them into the wild, I think they have started that part but I'm not positive. I have not made the drive to SB to see it yet but hope to be able soon.

I think the only reason the Bigmos is more expensive than the Bigma is the OS. As far as OS lenses for Pentax and other camera's with in-body stabilization, I recall reading somewhere that Pentax is actually working on a way to get it working and let the user decide which way they want to go.

BTW, the Bigmos is weird because you when looking through the viewfinder as the OS motors spin-up, you can see a slight "stutter/shudder" in the image, it stops just as fast but it's a big unsettling if you have never used a lens which does it. I let the pro who does all the in-ring shooting at the dog show try it out and that shudder drove him nuts and he wasn't sure he could get used to it...I told him he was just prejudice if the lens is not white!

I think you will like it over all BUT remember you will likely HATE it for the first month you own it, just use the beast a bit each day and practice different techniques in holding it and don't be afraid to up the ISO to keep the shutter speed over 1/500th when hand holding. Also, as with all long lenses people have a tendancy to overcrop because for some reason they want an object that is under 1/4 of the frame size to come out tack sharp even after a crop.
10-19-2009, 12:20 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by vandamro Quote
You know you really should consider the Sigma 100-300 F4. It has amazing sharpness and a 1.4x teleconverter to match. The reviews say that there is almost no sharpness loss with the TC. So that would get you 140-420 all at F5.6. Just a little faster and just as sharp.
That really is a very good suggestion. I had a copy of the 100-300/4 and LOVED it. Now talk about SHARP...but I bought mine well before even the first round of lens price increases when it could be has used for under $800 if you were patient. Now I see rarely see any sub-$1000 used copies.

But given my druthers and since we have in-body SR, your suggest will give the best shots by far....nice one, a fair bit more expensive, especially in the UK where the OP resides.
10-19-2009, 01:22 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by brecklundin Quote
That really is a very good suggestion. I had a copy of the 100-300/4 and LOVED it. Now talk about SHARP...but I bought mine well before even the first round of lens price increases when it could be has used for under $800 if you were patient. Now I see rarely see any sub-$1000 used copies.

But given my druthers and since we have in-body SR, your suggest will give the best shots by far....nice one, a fair bit more expensive, especially in the UK where the OP resides.
Yeah the Sigma 100-300 f/4 is really expensive new in the UK - as is the Bigma but factor in the cost of a 1.4 teleconverter as well and the 100-300 option gets pricey. Both Bigma and the 100-300 are both basically the same price new at ~1,125 but the 1.4 x Sigma converter is 200.

For me I'd probably go for the DA* 60-250 and a convertor (if Pentax ever release that one that was on the roadmap) over the Sigma plus convertor.
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