Sigma 500mm f4.5 vs 300mm f2.8 with TC

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Which would have the better image quality - a Sigma 500mm f4.5 vs a 300mm f2.8 AFS I with TCE17? The primary subject matter would be birds. I am looking at a used sigma and a used 300/2.8 afs I. I already have the 300 f4 BTW but need more reach. I rented the 500mm f4 vr for the launch and that has given me the desire to get more reach. I found a number of threads on the sig 500/4.5 over at POTN. The lens wascompared to canon 500 and 300 with TC but i dont see much comparing it to the Nikons.
 
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I've owned both setups. I'd lean towards the Sigma. The Sigma 500 4.5 is very sharp without TC. One of my favorite telephoto values in Sigma's lineup.
 
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Hi,
I used to own the old Nikon 300mm f2.8 afs which I used with a 1.4TC. It was an awesome lens. I tried a friend's Sigma 500mm f4.5 and really enjoyed it as a very solid well built lens, which produces some superb images. So much so that I bought one myself 18 months ago, and would prefer the sigma myself.
I still have mine and use it with my D300, and as far as I'm concerned it's a keeper!
rogerj
 
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Sigma's sharpness is usually regarded as very good. But what about its color rendition and general image contrast?
Thanks.

------------
fab
 
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Color and contrast can always be adjusted in post.
I have the Sigma myself and it is a fine lens.
If you're strong and willing, you can handhold it forever.
I thought I was and shot a month or so with it, handheld.
I went ahead and upgraded my tripod because my left arm was getting bigger than my right. :D
 
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I've never used the Sigma 500 myself, but I've seen lots of great pictures from it. I used the 300 f/2.8 AF-I with the TC-17 for years. It was very good, but don't let anyone tell you it is as a 500. If all you are interested in is birds I'd go with the 500, but the 300 + TC gives more options.
 
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James makes a good point. with the 300/1.7 you have more options.
Take a look at Randy's thread here:
https://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=300239

He's shooting ospreys with the 300/1.7/D300s. Can the Sigma match this IQ???

On the other side of the coin, how does the sigma look with tc's??

In terms of your question, I think the Sigma 500/4.5 and the Nikkor 300/2.8/1.7 are at least a toss up. but with the Sigma, you can go longer in fl.

If you have any aspirations of shooting field sports, then the Nikon 300 is a no brainer. Matter of fact, I think it will even play well with the new 2.0 III giving you 600 f/5.6.

However given Sigma's sample variability, I'd want to shoot the lens and examine the results carefully before purchase.

For birds, your best IQ will be obtained the nearer you are to the lenses MFD. As you add tc's, DOf goes down the tube. So with this in mind, you'll have more of the subject in focus with the 500. For small birds, even 500mm is marginal. So being able to extend 500mm would be an advantage. The more I think of it, you'd probably be better off with the Siggy 500 and a good tc for small birds.

I just sold a 600 VR and bought a 500 VR as a result of the bulk of the 600 making it hard to haul around. The 500/1.7 makes a beautiful combination for birds.
 
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I've seen people mod a TC14e and attach it to the Sigma 500 with claims of little or no loss in AF performance and IQ.
Iffy on the TC17e as not many seemed to have tried.
I've read it won't AF on Canon bodies with Sigma and/or Kenko TC's so they have to tape up contact points in the TC to make it AF.
I believe the same goes for some Nikon bodies if you are using a Sigma and/or Kenko TC with the Sigma 500.
 
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I've seen people mod a TC14e and attach it to the Sigma 500 with claims of little or no loss in AF performance and IQ.
Iffy on the TC17e as not many seemed to have tried.
I've read it won't AF on Canon bodies with Sigma and/or Kenko TC's so they have to tape up contact points in the TC to make it AF.
I believe the same goes for some Nikon bodies if you are using a Sigma and/or Kenko TC with the Sigma 500.



I had a Siggy 500mm 4.5 for around 3 years a very sharp lens even at f4.5 . It works well with a modded TC14E and was sharp even wide open. There was little loss of IQ with the TC but it needed decent light to snap into focus. On a really dull day it tended to chatter a bit before locking on. For what its worth I tried taping a Sigma 1.4 TC but it chattered and hunted and would not lock on focus.

I sold it to a friend when I " upgraded to a 400mm 2.8 " and even now regret selling it as it was a lot lighter to carry about, I would buy it back if I could get him to part with it. :biggrin:
 
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Hi like Ian I regret selling mine to, and have tried to get my friend to sell it me back the af worked fine with the sigma & nikon modded tc's.

Phil.

Ps this is how I did the sigma tc.

DSCN1318.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
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so maybe a modded Nikon TC would AF with the 500mm, a borrowed one with the sigma 1.4x was not AF at that time


A modded Nikon TC14E will work fine ( you do however have to Dremel / cut a lug off it to make it fit ).

Link here how to do it

http://nikonpages.heymanphotography.com/tcmod/index.html

You also have to remember that it will not transmit the correct exif data to the camera ( same go`s for the taped Sigma TC ) So the exif will show 500mm lens and max apeture of f4.5 when it should be 700mm and f6.3. Same go`s for the camera viewfinder display will show say f4.5 but will in reality f6.3 etc etc.

It works and works well I so regret selling this lens :confused:
 
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