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First attempts with the Sigma 500/4.5 EX APO HSM...

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by MMarz, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. MMarz

    MMarz

    Sep 15, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    Picked up the lens, and didn't take it out of the case until I got to my shooting location.

    First impression is that it is big..and heavy. It has a good bit of length and girth over my 300/2.8 even with a TC on it.

    Since I have been shooting with the 300 combined with the 1.4x & 2.0x TC's I have been very careful to use excellent long lens technique and this carried over to the 500 making my first experience a pretty good on [read: I am very happy].

    I immediately mounted the 500 on my D2X and then in the Sidekick mounted in a Markins M20, over a Gitzo 1325. The first thing I notice is that with the foot on the 500 being as tall as it is, the lens is positioned out past the center plumb line of the ball head and tripod. So while the Sidekick/M20 combination is still real usable, I may be adding a Full wim or a Jobu just for security sake. Second thing I noticed is that my RRS B87 flash bracket doesn't clear the barrel of the 500..so I'll need to replace that as well. If any one is interested in the bracket let me know. As is always the case, one purchase spins off into two or three subsequent purchases, so the already expensive 500 is now going to cost close to a grande more after the gimbal and flash bracket.

    Anyway.. the focus is brutally quick, especially when compared to the 300 with the TC's. Again, my experience with the 300/2.0x TC made target acquisition less of an issue witht he 500 than I thought it might be. I did mount the 1.4x TC on the 500 after modifying it to allow for AF and it is fine..though I opted not to use it for this shoot. Below are my first test images...some with the D2X and some with the D300. All shot raw and converted in Lightroom and resized for the web..(looks like I might have over-sharpened a bit.. still getting used to Lightroom v2.0)



    D300
    F-Number: F/9
    Exposure Time: 1/800
    Metering Mode: Center-weighted average
    Compensation: -0.3
    ISO Speed: 200
    [​IMG]

    D300
    F-Number: F/9
    Exposure Time: 1/800
    Metering Mode: Center-weighted average
    ISO Speed: 200
    [​IMG]

    This is my first sighting of Tri-Color Heron..
    D300
    F-Number: F/5.6
    Exposure Time: 1/1000
    Metering Mode: Center-weighted average
    Compensation: 0.3
    ISO Speed: 200
    [​IMG]

    D300
    F-Number: F/5.6
    Exposure Time: 1/1000
    Metering Mode: Center-weighted average
    Compensation: 0.3
    ISO Speed: 200
    [​IMG]

    Definintely over-sharpened this..plus it's an aggressive crop..
    D2X
    F-Number: F/6.7
    Exposure Time: 1/1250
    Metering Mode: Multi-segment
    Compensation: -1.7
    ISO Speed: 250
    [​IMG]

    Once the sun was high in the sky, I needed to take a break. The green flies were absolutely carnivorous, though not so for this green dragon fly. Shot from about 8 feet away..
    D2X
    F-Number: F/10
    Exposure Time: 1/400
    Metering Mode: Multi-segment
    ISO Speed: 250
    [​IMG]

    Aside from the unexpected additional items I'll have to address, I am quite happy..results will only improve from this point.. C&C encouraged.
     
  2. InLimbo87

    InLimbo87

    454
    Jul 30, 2008
    Orlando, Fl
    Very nice captures.. I especially enjoyed #'s 1 & 3
     
  3. Congrats on the new lens!! I love my 500, Nikon f4 AFSII, to bits!! I went with the full Wimberley and I must say its has made getting good images so much easier. It is a very stable platform and I really prefer the lens upright instead of sideways on the mount. I do lots of BIF and the full Wimberley pans so well! Great pics by the way!

    Cheers
    Nancy
     
  4. MMarz

    MMarz

    Sep 15, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    Nancy, I started this thread a day or so ago in hopes of gather ing opinions on the gimbal heads.. The camps are pretty much divided.. Full Wimberly or Jobu Black Widow, with a few people having good things to say about the Jobu Jr.

    I'm not sure how I feel about the gimbal mainly because I want to be able to remove it easily and go back to the ball head, and the Sidekick makes this soooo easy!

    Plus, for the 300/2.8, side mount is perfect.

    I still have some more research to do, but I like the idea of the Jobu Jr with the Horizontal Mount Add-On.. What I don't like is the price of the Full Wimberly. I may just take advantage of the test drive option, so cutting the check might be easier knowing what I am paying for..

    BTW, I've visited your website a few times and your Florida birding images are inspirational!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  5. MMarz

    MMarz

    Sep 15, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    Thanks Ian...

    I still have to work #3 a little to see if I can reduce the impact of the reeds that blew by and made the golden blur across the foreground.
     
  6. barisaxer

    barisaxer

    278
    Apr 6, 2006
    Albany OR
    Nice new toy. Please post more when you get them.
     
  7. How do you find the color hue? I find the Sigma 500 leans towards yellows, but most Sigma lenses do.
     
  8. MMarz

    MMarz

    Sep 15, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    Not enough experience with it yet Jonathan. That said, I have a bunch of Sig's and don't find a strong bias towards any color cast. I'll be more aware as I use it more..
     
  9. Nice write up and super images.

    Truer words were never spoken. :rolleyes: 
     
  10. MMarz

    MMarz

    Sep 15, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    Thanks Dave.. So, do we fail to recognize the domino effect or do we ignore it? Or, do we totally actually enjoy it? :Love: :Love:
     
  11. johncarol

    johncarol

    Jan 31, 2006
    SW Florida
    Very nice, lets see more............................
     
  12. david7703

    david7703

    70
    Mar 27, 2008
    melrose ma
    Very nice Michael.

    Thanks for posting these images and taking the time to share your initial thoughts..I'm starting to look into this lens as an option to the 500mm VR. The price difference is definately a consideration, but more importantly the availability is a bigger concern. I've had the 500VR on order since May 3..if it doesn't show up soon, i'm going to explore other options..I like what I see from the Sigma so far...Please post more when you get a chance.

    Enjoy your new toys :) 

    Regards,

    David
     
  13. MMarz

    MMarz

    Sep 15, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
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