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  1. #1
    Spamminator Grandpaw's Avatar
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    Looking 4 opinion on Sigma lens

    The longest lens I have is the Nikon 70-300VR and was considering getting something longer like the Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM and was looking for opinions or thoughts on this lens or something in this category that should be considered. I don't think I am going to be using it a lot so I do not want to spend a ton of money but do want a lens that will give me reasonably sharp pictures. We don't have a review on our site but I have been doing some research on it but I am still wanting as much information as I can get on it either pro or con to add to what I have already read. I will be using it on my Nikon D7000. Thanks for anything you may have to say about it, Jeff

    I am also looking for a gallery that has full sized examples of photos taken with this lens if you know of any.
    Check out my website Here
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    All images posted by me anywhere are Copyrighted by Federal Law and may not be copied or used in ANY FORM without my personal written permission. Jeff Impey
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  2. #2
    Woe is me! wfooshee's Avatar
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    Re: Looking 4 opinion on Sigma lens

    I can't speak for the Sigma, but I recently tried a Tamron 200-500, similarly priced, same speed, and I would expect to have similar performance. Wide open, it was junk. Stopped down it was much better but still didn't approach the Nikon 70-300.

    One limit I had that you wouldn't is it had no built-in focus motor, and my D5000 has no motor in the body.

    I know this isn't the lens you asked about, but with the same speed, similar zoom range, priced within a few bucks, I'd be willing to bet a month's pay (not mine, though!) that they'd perform similarly. See my thread on it here.

  3. #3
    Senior Member hminx's Avatar
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    Re: Looking 4 opinion on Sigma lens

    Jeff I know you are a nikon shooter but here is a link to the canon lens sample picture thread for the "Bigmos" Sigma APO 150-500mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM - Bigmos - Canon Digital Photography Forums
    Pete

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  4. #4
    Senior Member armando_m's Avatar
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    Re: Looking 4 opinion on Sigma lens

    For longer reach beyond 300 I would consider renting one of the nikon primes, maybe 300 f2.8 VR and 1.4 1.7, 2x teleconverters

    or maybe buy the 300 f4 afs plus 1.4/1.7 teleconvertes

  5. #5
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: Looking 4 opinion on Sigma lens

    4 1/2 stars at Amazon I say go for it.
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

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  6. #6
    Woe is me! wfooshee's Avatar
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    Re: Looking 4 opinion on Sigma lens

    Regarding teleconverters, on Nikon's site there is a compatibility listing, with a bold-face warning that lenses not listed cannot be used. It says the rear elements can contact and damage the teleconverter element.

    The 70-300 is not listed, although at 4.5-5.6 it might not be fast enough to autofocus through a teleconverter anyway.

    I bring up the 70-300 just because that's what he said he had.

  7. #7
    Member dl4449's Avatar
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    Re: Looking 4 opinion on Sigma lens

    Hi Jeff
    I have the 150x500 haven't used it a lot but it seams to work fine for me.
    I shot some surfing and with my limited ability I was pleased with it and the price for that zoom range is a good value.

  8. #8
    Member PWhite214's Avatar
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    Re: Looking 4 opinion on Sigma lens

    Hi Jeff,

    I sold my Sigma 170-500mm to fund the Sigma 150-500 HSM ETC. lens. I was looking for better resolution beyond 100 yards, and certainly got what I wanted for a reasonable price. I managed to purchase one in Sony mount and one in Canon mount (for my Wife) gently used. believe the lens is worth the asking price new.

    This photo was taken at range of approximately 160 yards. The nest is on private property so one cannot get closer without trespassing.


    23-Sep-2011 Bald Eagle012 by PWhite214, on Flickr

    I will try to post some un-cropped photos on Flicker tonight. I am in the process of changing computers and have not updated everything to LR4 on this computer.

    I think you would do well to try Sigma lens.

    Phil

  9. #9
    Member PWhite214's Avatar
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    Re: Looking 4 opinion on Sigma lens

    I uploaded several photos to flicker.

    Sigma 150-500mm Sample Photos - a set on Flickr

    Phil

  10. #10
    Ken ksbryan0's Avatar
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    Re: Looking 4 opinion on Sigma lens

    Jeff, I am pretty sure that is the same lens Cara Rose rented and used quite a bit. You might check her Flickr gallery to see the images.
    Ken

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  11. #11
    Senior Member armando_m's Avatar
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    Re: Looking 4 opinion on Sigma lens

    Quote Originally Posted by wfooshee View Post
    Regarding teleconverters, on Nikon's site there is a compatibility listing, with a bold-face warning that lenses not listed cannot be used. It says the rear elements can contact and damage the teleconverter element.

    The 70-300 is not listed, although at 4.5-5.6 it might not be fast enough to autofocus through a teleconverter anyway.

    I bring up the 70-300 just because that's what he said he had.
    Indeed Teleconverters are not for the 70-300, I mentioned a 300mm f4 lens

  12. #12
    Spamminator Grandpaw's Avatar
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    Re: Looking 4 opinion on Sigma lens

    Quote Originally Posted by armando_m View Post
    Indeed Teleconverters are not for the 70-300, I mentioned a 300mm f4 lens
    You can't physically put a teleconverter on the Nikon 70-300VR, I tried it with the lens I have, Jeff
    Check out my website Here
    My Nikon D7000 Tips thread is HERE

    All images posted by me anywhere are Copyrighted by Federal Law and may not be copied or used in ANY FORM without my personal written permission. Jeff Impey
    "I decided years ago I was only going to have two types of days... Very Good Days or just Plain Good Days I just refuse to have Bad Ones!!! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

  13. #13
    Spamminator Grandpaw's Avatar
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    Re: Looking 4 opinion on Sigma lens

    I just read on another site that someone put a Kenko 1.4 converter on a Nikon 70-300VR and it worked. I tried placing a Nikon 1.7 converter on my Nikon 70-300VR and the glass from each one would have touched if I put them together. I don't know if there is a difference or he wrote up the wrong lens and converter combo, Jeff
    Check out my website Here
    My Nikon D7000 Tips thread is HERE

    All images posted by me anywhere are Copyrighted by Federal Law and may not be copied or used in ANY FORM without my personal written permission. Jeff Impey
    "I decided years ago I was only going to have two types of days... Very Good Days or just Plain Good Days I just refuse to have Bad Ones!!! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

  14. #14
    Woe is me! wfooshee's Avatar
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    Re: Looking 4 opinion on Sigma lens

    Quote Originally Posted by armando_m View Post
    Indeed Teleconverters are not for the 70-300, I mentioned a 300mm f4 lens
    I just mentioned it in case someone sees this and says to themselves (like I did,) "Hey, why don't I ...."

  15. #15
    Woe is me! wfooshee's Avatar
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    Re: Looking 4 opinion on Sigma lens

    Well, now Grandpaw's got me thinking. I hate thinking, because it's usually expensive!

    Googling around for reviews on this lens, it appears that early units were iffy, some good, some not so good, but recently it seems to be well received.

    I found this page where the photographer says that 99% of the images are through this lens.

    It lists for about 1600 bucks, and they're all over eBay for a grand.

    And it will autofocus on my D5000...... Hmmmm..... **** think think think ****

    (Speaking of teleconverters, in researching the Kenkos I found multiple references to them not passing aperture information correctly, resulting in a need to set exposure compensation. I never did see anything about AF working through them, although even if it had the mechanical and/or electrical connections, losing that stop or two would probably kill AF with the 70-300 anyway.)

  16. #16
    Spamminator Grandpaw's Avatar
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    Re: Looking 4 opinion on Sigma lens

    I have looked at a lot of pictures and the vast majority seem to be soft. I cannot determine if it is the lens that is the problem or just that the people don't know how to use a longer lens. A lot of the pictures are taken at slower shutter speeds and you have no way of knowing whether a tripod was used or if it was taken handheld. If a tripod was used and it is soft I do not want the lens but if the problem was that it was shot handheld at a slow shutter speed than that would be a problem with the shooter. I am on the fence with this one, Jeff
    Check out my website Here
    My Nikon D7000 Tips thread is HERE

    All images posted by me anywhere are Copyrighted by Federal Law and may not be copied or used in ANY FORM without my personal written permission. Jeff Impey
    "I decided years ago I was only going to have two types of days... Very Good Days or just Plain Good Days I just refuse to have Bad Ones!!! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

  17. #17
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: Looking 4 opinion on Sigma lens

    Can you rent one for a few days?
    Keep Shooting!

    CHECK OUT THE PHOTO PROJECT FORUM
    http://forums.photographyreview.com/...splay.php?f=34

    Please refrain from editing my photos without asking.

  18. #18
    Spamminator Grandpaw's Avatar
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    Re: Looking 4 opinion on Sigma lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Frog View Post
    Can you rent one for a few days?
    That may be the smartest thing to do and find out for myself, Jeff
    Check out my website Here
    My Nikon D7000 Tips thread is HERE

    All images posted by me anywhere are Copyrighted by Federal Law and may not be copied or used in ANY FORM without my personal written permission. Jeff Impey
    "I decided years ago I was only going to have two types of days... Very Good Days or just Plain Good Days I just refuse to have Bad Ones!!! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

  19. #19
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Looking 4 opinion on Sigma lens

    Renting is a great idea if you can find one.

    I have an older Sigma 170-500mm. I have written about it several times on here in the past so I will try to keep this short. My lens has to be about 10 years old and it has served me well. It's not the best, fastest or sharpest lens out there, but under the right conditions and with proper technique, it gets the job done. The addition of OS along with another 10 years of technology improvements should make this newer lens much better than what I'm currently using.
    Mike

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  20. #20
    Spamminator Grandpaw's Avatar
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    Re: Looking 4 opinion on Sigma lens

    Quote Originally Posted by mjs1973 View Post
    Renting is a great idea if you can find one.

    I have an older Sigma 170-500mm. I have written about it several times on here in the past so I will try to keep this short. My lens has to be about 10 years old and it has served me well. It's not the best, fastest or sharpest lens out there, but under the right conditions and with proper technique, it gets the job done. The addition of OS along with another 10 years of technology improvements should make this newer lens much better than what I'm currently using.
    I had a Sigma 135-400 that was an older model and it was fairly soft so I sold it. I am going to take my time looking around before I do anything. I am not sure how much it would get used even if it were very sharp. I am wondering if this $1000 could be spent elsewhere and get more bang for my buck, Jeff
    Check out my website Here
    My Nikon D7000 Tips thread is HERE

    All images posted by me anywhere are Copyrighted by Federal Law and may not be copied or used in ANY FORM without my personal written permission. Jeff Impey
    "I decided years ago I was only going to have two types of days... Very Good Days or just Plain Good Days I just refuse to have Bad Ones!!! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

  21. #21
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Looking 4 opinion on Sigma lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Grandpaw View Post
    I had a Sigma 135-400 that was an older model and it was fairly soft so I sold it. I am going to take my time looking around before I do anything. I am not sure how much it would get used even if it were very sharp. I am wondering if this $1000 could be spent elsewhere and get more bang for my buck, Jeff
    This is a good question Jeff. I constantly shoot my Sigma at f/9 in order to get sharp images. This makes it even slower and harder to use when the light is low. When I went to Africa a few years ago, I decided to rent a 100-400mm lens. I was willing to give up the length to gain speed and IS and I didn't regret it. I purchased a 70-200mm f/2.8 IS L lens a while back, and about a month ago, I bought a 2x TC. The last few times I have gone out shooting birds, I chose this combo over the Sigma. I still have to stop down to get the best quality, but I found that I only need to go to f/8 instead of f/9. The AF is better than the Sigma, plus I have IS. The bokeh is better too. I do miss the extra 100mm of length, but the advantages of the combo more than make up for that IMO.

    Having the 70-200mm f/2.8 in the bag along with the 2x TC makes for a much more useful kit for me. The long lenses are nice to have, but they are not always the most practical.
    Last edited by mjs1973; 05-10-2012 at 09:35 AM.
    Mike

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    "I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view."
    Aldo Leopold

  22. #22
    Spamminator Grandpaw's Avatar
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    Re: Looking 4 opinion on Sigma lens

    Quote Originally Posted by mjs1973 View Post
    This is a good question Jeff. I constantly shoot my Sigma at f/9 in order to get sharp images. This makes it even slower and harder to use when the light is low. When I went to Africa a few years ago, I decided to rent a 100-400mm lens. I was willing to give up the length to gain speed and IS and I didn't regret it. I purchased a 70-200mm f/2.8 IS L lens a while back, and about a month ago, I bought a 2x TC. The last few times I have gone out shooting birds, I chose this combo over the Sigma. I still have to stop down to get the best quality, but I found that I only need to go to f/8 instead of f/9. The AF is better than the Sigma, plus I have IS. The bokeh is better too. I do miss the extra 100mm of length, but the advantages of the combo more than make up for that IMO.

    Having the 70-200mm f/2.8 in the bag along with the 2x TC makes for a much more useful kit for me. The long lenses are nice to have, but they are not always the most practical.
    I have the Nikon 70-200VR F2.8 already. How is the sharpness with the 2x TC attached, Jeff
    Check out my website Here
    My Nikon D7000 Tips thread is HERE

    All images posted by me anywhere are Copyrighted by Federal Law and may not be copied or used in ANY FORM without my personal written permission. Jeff Impey
    "I decided years ago I was only going to have two types of days... Very Good Days or just Plain Good Days I just refuse to have Bad Ones!!! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

  23. #23
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Looking 4 opinion on Sigma lens

    There is a noticeable loss of sharpness when using the 2x TC, especially when shooting wide open. I stop down to f/ 8 when using the TC and the results are very good. You will still need to add a bit of sharpening in post, but I have found the results to be very good. Both of these images were shot with this combo.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Looking 4 opinion on Sigma lens-bluebird.jpg   Looking 4 opinion on Sigma lens-chipmunk.jpg  
    Mike

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    Aldo Leopold

  24. #24
    Spamminator Grandpaw's Avatar
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    Re: Looking 4 opinion on Sigma lens

    Quote Originally Posted by mjs1973 View Post
    There is a noticeable loss of sharpness when using the 2x TC, especially when shooting wide open. I stop down to f/ 8 when using the TC and the results are very good. You will still need to add a bit of sharpening in post, but I have found the results to be very good. Both of these images were shot with this combo.
    These look nice. What size could you enlarge these to and still be able to be good enough to sell, Jeff
    Check out my website Here
    My Nikon D7000 Tips thread is HERE

    All images posted by me anywhere are Copyrighted by Federal Law and may not be copied or used in ANY FORM without my personal written permission. Jeff Impey
    "I decided years ago I was only going to have two types of days... Very Good Days or just Plain Good Days I just refuse to have Bad Ones!!! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

  25. #25
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Looking 4 opinion on Sigma lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Grandpaw View Post
    These look nice. What size could you enlarge these to and still be able to be good enough to sell, Jeff
    I haven't actually printed anything that I have shot with this combo yet, but I wouldn't hesitate to print these at any size. The bluebird image is cropped a bit so that would limit the size but other than that I don't see anything that would prevent me from making 16x24 or larger prints.
    Mike

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    "I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view."
    Aldo Leopold

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