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Sigma 500mm F4.5 APO EX Review RSS Feed

Sigma 500mm F4.5 APO EX

Reviews Views Date of last review
6 29,232 Wed March 9, 2011
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
83% of reviewers $4,175.00 9.20
Sigma 500mm F4.5 APO EX

- Focal Length 500mm
- Aperture f/4.5
- Angle of view 5
- Filter size 46mm drop in
- Construction 12/9 elements/groups
- Closest focus 400cm (1:7.7)
- Weight 3.15kg
- Dimensions 123x350mm
- Tripod bush Yes
Buy Lens: Buy the Sigma 500mm F4.5 APO EX
Price: $4999
Mount Type:
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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Ascending) Showing Reviews 1-6 of 6
New Member

Registered: July, 2008
Location: london, UK
Posts: 17

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 9, 2008 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: None indicated | Rating: N/A 

Pros: great lens if not on pentax mount
Cons: AF

This is just a heads up that I understand this lens only functions as manual with Pentax mount (I think!)
Veteran Member

Registered: January, 2008
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 2,754
Lens Review Date: July 15, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $3,500.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Optical and build quality
Cons: Weight

The previous review is not true: the lens works perfectly as it should (AF and metering). I'm not sure why anyone would think that the Sigma is manual only.

Now for my experiences: this is a serious hunk of glass and metal. Weighing in at more than 3 kilos, it's not easy to handhold. Optically, the lens is very very sharp. I have the non-DG verstion and it's said that the lens lacks a little in contrast, but that's not my impression. It mates well with the Kenko 1.5x converter.

All in all, a great lens if you need the reach for birding and wildlife shots. If you need one and find one: buy it! It's very hard to find one on the used market in Pentax mount.

An example with this lens:


Registered: November, 2007
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Posts: 578

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 31, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $3,900.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Image quality, build quality, balanced and compact considering its focal length and speed
Cons: no AF range limiter

Have been using this for some six months now, mainly for wildlife and action photography. A well built lens. Optically excellent, good image quality and excellent sharpness at all apertures. Stopping down - even a little - improves contrast. However, shooting wide open all day is not a problem. Not a trace of CA or PF. AF works fine without TC`s. Adding a 1,4 x TC slows AF down somewhat. A 2 x TC turns it into a MF lens.
Highly recommended.
Inactive Account

Registered: February, 2010
Location: thailand
Posts: 45

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 23, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $4,700.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: IQ sharrrrrp, light and easily transported
Cons: Screw AF,

I have had this lens for over a week now. I just got back from a week shooting birds in the jungle. After processing some of the shots I think I can say without hesitation. This is the best lens i have ever coupled to a Pentax or anyother camera for that matter. I bought it on recomindation from the previous reviewer. And some very intense research. I also have the Sigma 300mm f2.8 and when used properly it is really good. But I believe the 500 is a tad better. That being said I would recommend this lens to anyone who wants a professional lens. It is deffinately professional in all sence of the word and rivels the big two in my opinion, in IQ.

After changing to the Pentax K-5. Without a dout the 300mm f2.8 prime is the winner in sharpness. The 500mm f4.5 is very good. But in it element the 2.8 win's hands down. The new K-5 really tells on a lens quality. I shoot with both lenes daily. And with the better AF. ( which has a way to go by the way??? ) and sensor. It really shows the quality of the 300mm prime lens. Even with a 1.4 T.C. the quality is verrrry good. What a difference a fairly good camera makes with good glass is amazing.

Here is a link to pics with the 500mm f4.5 or 300mm f2.8 Sigma lens in Pentax mount.
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 431

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 21, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Image and build quality, light in weight for a big glass and easily transported.
Cons: Screw AF (SDM can be silent in AF), hard to find one on the used market in Pentax mount.

Highly recommend this lens to Pentax user who wants a professional 500mm tele lens for wildlife. Very sharp even wide open, good image quality, excellent build, not very heavy and you can still be able for any necessary moblization either on a tripod or monopod.

My example with this lens:

Veteran Member

Registered: June, 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 623
Lens Review Date: March 9, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $4,600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: It is a deep depth of field at F/4.5
Cons: It is not weather sealed so carry a plastic bag if you wish to.

Some lenses need to stop down to obtain the sharpest image. I can't find any noticeable difference between F stops for sharpness. I use it for animals such as birds but I have photographed butterflies with this lens at F/4.5 to F/7.1 unlike other lenses where I have to go from F/8 to F/14 in order to find a good depth of field for a butterfly. The minimum focus distance is about 14 feet so I have to crop images of butterflies but they still turn out great.

I plan to keep using it so check out my exif info on flickr so you can see what I can do with this lens.
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