Sigma 150-500mm

Joined
May 10, 2008
Messages
516
Location
New Hampshire
Great Pics.

This is the last lens I "need" to buy but the debate over which is best, 50-500 or the 150-500 is mind boggling.

Did you go though the "which lens" debate with yourself and why did you decide on the 150-500?
 
Joined
Jul 17, 2007
Messages
772
Location
Greece
Real Name
Leonidas KOUGIOUMTZIS
Great Pics.

This is the last lens I "need" to buy but the debate over which is best, 50-500 or the 150-500 is mind boggling.

Did you go though the "which lens" debate with yourself and why did you decide on the 150-500?
Well bill-e i wish i had the money for the 300mm f2.8 with TC1.7II but I haven't :frown:
So sigma 150-500mm is the anternative choice for me.
Thanks all for your coments
 
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W

Wileec

Guest
I'd strongly encourage people to consider the Tamron 200-500mm lens. Similar price range, but for many, shoots a bit sharper than the Bigma, etc. and fewer issues with sample to sample variety.

Here is a shot of an immature Double-crested Cormorant I took this last weekend, at 500mm, f/6.3, 1/500, ISO 200.

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Wileec

Guest
People seem to be missing the point - perhaps due to lack of experience with the lenses in question. If you are shooting at 400 or 500mm, and you want sharp shots, you'll be shooting from a tripod, some with cable release and/or mirror up, also. VR is moot at that point. If you really think you can hand hold at those focal lengths, and remember that with FLM, a 500mm lens is the FOV of a 750mm lens, then it's a moot discussion. I have yet to see a handheld shot from long glass that was good (to me), that didn't also come from the exotic glass. And I know most shooting with exotic, use it on a tripod, but the VR is a bit different in the exotic glass. In the lower price range VR is off, when tripod mounted. I tried to verify this for the Sigmas, but couldn't find manuals from the Sigma site.

VR is no substitute for good technique, especially at the long FLs. I think it can be useful with much shorter FLs, but when you get way out there, if you move at all, the shot will be crap, VR or not. And I shoot hand held, with 70-200mm with VR, but usually try to shoot that, on a tripod, too, or sitting, with the lens balanced on my knees.

VR is to allow for a stop or three faster shutter speed relative to what one would normally be able to safely use (with good technique), but it's not a miracle cure. If you want really sharp shots you'll most likely be shooting from a tripod.
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2008
Messages
704
Location
Sydney, Australia
Leon, congratulations on those images. They look very nice. Basically they are the first decent samples I've ever seen posted from that lens.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
363
Location
Hong Kong & Edinburgh
People seem to be missing the point - perhaps due to lack of experience with the lenses in question. If you are shooting at 400 or 500mm, and you want sharp shots, you'll be shooting from a tripod, some with cable release and/or mirror up, also. VR is moot at that point. If you really think you can hand hold at those focal lengths, and remember that with FLM, a 500mm lens is the FOV of a 750mm lens, then it's a moot discussion. I have yet to see a handheld shot from long glass that was good (to me), that didn't also come from the exotic glass. And I know most shooting with exotic, use it on a tripod, but the VR is a bit different in the exotic glass. In the lower price range VR is off, when tripod mounted. I tried to verify this for the Sigmas, but couldn't find manuals from the Sigma site.

VR is no substitute for good technique, especially at the long FLs. I think it can be useful with much shorter FLs, but when you get way out there, if you move at all, the shot will be crap, VR or not. And I shoot hand held, with 70-200mm with VR, but usually try to shoot that, on a tripod, too, or sitting, with the lens balanced on my knees.

VR is to allow for a stop or three faster shutter speed relative to what one would normally be able to safely use (with good technique), but it's not a miracle cure. If you want really sharp shots you'll most likely be shooting from a tripod.
OK. I get it. Would you say that VR is a marketing gimmick for a lens with said focal length(s)? I have never used a lens at 400mm or 500mm (on DX) so it's true that I have no experience, but I see differences in sharpness even at 200mm (on DX) when put on a good base (M10/GT2531 w/ ballast).
 
W

Wileec

Guest
OK. I get it. Would you say that VR is a marketing gimmick for a lens with said focal length(s)? I have never used a lens at 400mm or 500mm (on DX) so it's true that I have no experience, but I see differences in sharpness even at 200mm (on DX) when put on a good base (M10/GT2531 w/ ballast).
Certainly not a marketing gimmick. But I think it's foolish to hand hold beyond 200 or 300mm at most, yet many do it. And those that do are also usually happy with the results. I'd suggest, though, that if a person were to compare the results with the same lens on a good tripod/ball head (VR off) and shot handheld, unless it's really bright light giving you a high shutter speed, etc. you'll see a clear difference between the two. This applies to the lower cost lenses. The exotics have VR and it's designed to be on, even with tripod use, but that's not the case, even for the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR.

I think VR is marketed because a lot of people don't want to invest in decent tripod/ball head and would rather just flip a switch and trust that feature to cover their inability to hold four, five, or six pounds worth of camera and lens steady. And certainly, some do and are content with the results, even at the longer end. Some get the 80-400 VR so they can shoot handheld. At the end of the day, it's about personal choice. I make the choices that I think give me the best chance of getting the most from my camera and whatever lens I'm using, even if sometimes that means the inconvenience of carrying a tripod, etc. And that's especially true when I'm shooting with 500mm, or especially 1000mm mounted up.

Would VR be effective when using a monopod? My monopod skills stink as I seem to waiver all around.
That's a good question. I don't know. My monopod skills aren't that good, either, so when in doubt, I tend to grab a tripod. It's something I need to work on, for those times when a monopod would get the job done. I also suspect it depends on the lens, as different companies approach lens stabilizing differently is what I have read. The two VR lenses I have are 200mm or less and I only have VR on when I hand hold them. In lower light I use the 200mm on a tripod, with VR off.
 
Joined
Jun 3, 2009
Messages
5,510
Location
Chicago "burbs"
I have a feeling but have not done the necessary experiments, that VR can in some instances screw up af.

I have a 400mm f/2.8 VR that I shoot wide open for sports, (soccer, baseball, etc.). In continuous mode, and dynamic af, I try to stay at 1/2xFL on my D3, ie ~1/1000th and my af is always spot on and the shots are crisp and clear on a monopod. On sunny days, fast SS at f/2.8 even at iso 200 is no prob.

I've tried VR on a monopod in low light and it's really hit or miss, not something I can count on as I can at the shorter focal lengths (70-200).

D3/400 VR @f/2.8 1/2000th VR off.

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Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
1,447
Location
Boston, MA
People seem to be missing the point - perhaps due to lack of experience with the lenses in question. If you are shooting at 400 or 500mm, and you want sharp shots, you'll be shooting from a tripod, some with cable release and/or mirror up, also. VR is moot at that point. If you really think you can hand hold at those focal lengths, and remember that with FLM, a 500mm lens is the FOV of a 750mm lens, then it's a moot discussion.
I've never shot telephoto stuff with a tripod, so this may be a dumb question, but if it's a moving subject, how do you shoot from a tripod, and would VR help for that?

I have found it really hard to hold even my 70-300 VR steady at 300mm, I usually try to rest it against a tree or something.
 
Joined
Jun 3, 2009
Messages
5,510
Location
Chicago "burbs"
I've never shot telephoto stuff with a tripod, so this may be a dumb question, but if it's a moving subject, how do you shoot from a tripod, and would VR help for that?

I have found it really hard to hold even my 70-300 VR steady at 300mm, I usually try to rest it against a tree or something.
Depends on how it's moving, but you really should be able to hand hold a 70-300 unless it's really dark.
 

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