Reviews and Problems with Sigma APO 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM
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Good results when used correctly
Eclectic Explorer, B&H Photo
15 December 2013
Excerpt: This is not a lens that can be easily handheld or carried. It is a lens to be taken on excursions devoted to photographing subjects that are appropriate for the long reach of the lens. It is too heavy and bulky to carry in the field on extended hikes just in case you might find a use for it. It needs a sturdy tripod designed to handle the full weight of the lens/camera combination. The lens has a lock to address the lens creep problem. But the lock is poorly designed.
Excerpt: If your thing is wildlife and you want to lug only one lens you may consider the Bigma as it's versatility can not be beat. At 200mm its useful for those quick shots of dragonflies and butterflies. IQ is far from a dedicated macro lens though, but this is to be expected.<br /><br />Three stars for me because the AF is slow,(initial focus acquisition is night and day as compared to my Canon 400 f 5.6) focus limiter might improve it a bit.
Summary: The Sigma 50-500 F/4.5-6.3 APO DG HSM SLD Ultra is a reasonable compromise between shorter and longer lenses. I use it on both a Canon T4i (using the additional lens hood adapter for the APS-C camera) and a Canon 5DIII using the standard Sigma full-frame lens hood. The lens is large, heavy, but physically sound. It comes with a well-padded carrying case that has room for both lens hoods, if you follow the instructions on how to connect these hoods for storage.
Excerpt: This is an affordable long lens which takes decent quality images. It is sharp up to about 400mm, gets soft after that point. The lens, however, is not constructed very well. The auto-focus is clunky, the optical stablization is erratic, and the contact points with the camera body failed for me within 2 weeks of operation (a problem which I understand is common). My lens is presently on its way in for warranty service.
Summary: After reading reviews here and elsewhere, I took the plunge on this lens because I was looking for something a bit longer than Canon's 100mm-400mm lens (which is getting long in the tooth and overdue for a new version). I've been using a Canon consumer grade lens (18-200mm F3.5-5.6 IS) for over a year with outstanding results; I expected to get similar, if not slightly better image quality from the Sigma.
Excerpt: I bought this specifically for a vacation trip to Alaska, and it stopped auto-focusing two days into the trip. I've just sent it off for repair, so I can evaluate their service too! Even with manual focus the wildlife was brought in sharp and clear.
Excerpt: I use it for birds, flowers,people at public events. It works well when using AF. There are times when the image isn't tack-sharp. I don't know if it's me or the lens. I thought the OS would take care of that. Need to work with it more. It is quite heavy (6 lbs.), so to help stabalize it I use a monopod. I also noticed some slight vignetting.
Pros: Consistent Output, Durable, Strong Construction
Cons: Blurry Focus, Heavy, Poor in Low Light, Tough To Attach
Summary: Bought my Sigma 50-500mm 2 years ago. I am less than an amateur. Loved the lens. Got what I considered excellent results. About 6 months later, it started making a clacking noise when auto focusing. I could not take a picture. Shipped to Sigma. They had it for a week, said they couldn't find a problem, and shipped it back. It worked for about another 6 months, then started having the same problem. Note: I did try it on my other Sony, with the same results.
Summary: Just received the lens. Using with a Cannon EOS XTi. Pros - Sturdy feel to the lens - Impressive focal length range. - Good picture quality throughout the range (speaking as a non-pro) - OS pretty good. Taking acceptable quality hand-held shots at full extension in bright sun. Cons - Autofocus not working out-of-the-box. Of note that this lens was NOT in the serial number range specified by SIGMA's customer alert.