Reviews and Problems with Sigma APO 500mm F4.5 EX DG /HSM
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Sigma 500mm f/4.5
26 March 2014
Excerpt: OK, so it is not the Canon f4.L lens, but it is less than 1/2 the cost. I use this lens to shoot wildlife, mainly BIF. Tracking with this lens took a while to get use to because of its size and weight. Now that I have used it for a while I love it! The difference in the aperture is so little it basically makes no difference. It is a great lens for the money, and it handles a 1.4X TC very well, making it a 700mm lens. In fact, I hardly ever take the TC off of it.
Pros: Consistent Output, Durable, Fast / accurate auto-focus, Nice Bokeh, Rugged, Strong Construction
Summary: Having used the Canon Ef 500mm f/4.5L USM for many years, I decided it was time for an upgrade, as this lens had certainly seen better days. My first inclination was to go for Canon's latest incarnation, the EF 500mm f/4L IS 11 USM, but the price was way out of my current budget range, having just purchased a new 1DX body.
Summary: I am an amateur photographer owning this lens for last 3 months, spending every weekend for bird and wild life photography. This is a very good,solid lens. It produces good image in f4.5, and step down to f5.6 very good, f.6 -f8 tack sharp image. I got some excellent shots. Handheld, If you are upgrading from IS/OS/VR lenses. Some learning curve and handheld shooting technique required to get adjusted.
Summary: The lens was bought to feed the insatiable addiction that is photography, those of you who have this debilitating habit will know what I am talking about, I previously used a Canon 400mm 5.6, however found that the reach was just not quite enough for the birds/wildlife which were my subjects.
Summary: This lens is sharp. I love this lens! You will see small details on birds with the right light. I want it with me on all my wildlife trips except for some kinds of indoor wildlife. I threw it on my new K-5 and it is even better in low light. The only con is no weather sealing so walk around with a plastic bag in your pocket. I am not concerned about the weight. Some people say it is to heavy. How heavy is it relative to what other lens at the same F stop?
Summary: I have used the Nikon 500mm f4 and the Sigma is just as sharp as the Nikon. The color is probably just a tiny bit more accurate with the Nikon, but without seeing the pictures side by side and of the same subject I don't think you would every notice anything. It's just a tiny difference really not worth worrying about. With todays hi ISO capable cameras the f4.5 compared to the f4 is not an issue. The Sigma is smaller and lighter and much easier to handle.
Summary: I am surprised at the performance. I also own the Sigma 300mm f2.8. It is pretty good also. The 500 is excellent in a light weight 500 super telephoto. And not to cheap anymore. Kinda pricy. If i had it to do over again i would buy the canon or nikon version. They have many features that are better. But I already owned the Pentax K-7 and 1.4 and 2.0 T.C. 's. So as not being one to make a living shooting wildlife it is just exceptional for me.
Summary: I've purchased this lens for handheld using, and it work perfectly for birdwatching. This 500mm is relatively lightweight, few weight more than Nikkor 300/2.8. The AF is quick and precise with both the D2x and D700. Sharpness is great from f4.5, colors are ok, with no cromatic aberration or fringing. I have the DG version, with the HSM motor for Nikon. I'm only disappointed to lost AF with the Teleconverter: it is indispensable for a lens like this.
Pros: Lightweight, sharp, good AF both in DX and FF
Cons: no water sealed, TC 1.4X without AF on Nikon cameras