Sigma 150-500

stumpjumper21

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how fast does this focus? i have heard that it is not a very fast focusing lens.

what are your opinions on it?

i will be using it to shoot some sports so if it is not very fast suggest another larger lens under 900 please.

thanks:D
 

JerryPH

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The Bigma... I tested this out in the store on my D200 and it was quite slow.

I believe that Sabbath actually owned this lens for a short while before getting rid of it. Maybe he could give us some more substantial info than I could.
 

benhasajeep

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The 150-500 is the replacement to the 170-500.

I had the 170-500 for about 3 months. Ended up selling it on ebay. I didn't like the lens. Was slow, and felt cheap. I had not run into the known lens creep problem by the time I had sold it. One reason could be I didn't like to use it. Felt like it would break easy if I wasn't really carefull. I have not tried the new one since I didn't like the previous version.

They say this one has several improvememts over the 170-500. From what I have read it has some quality issues comming out of the gate. Not sure if they have settled that down yet or not.

The 50-500 Bigma has a real strong following, the 170-500 did not. But the 50-500 does not have the OS system the new lens has. Not sure if thats a big deal for you or not.

What sports are you going to be shooting?
 
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stumpjumper21

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i will be shooting mostly hockey with some other stuff like soccer too.

i thought that when i looked at the 150-500 it showed OS on the specs...

is there any difference between that and the 150-400? or is it just a smaller lens?
 

benhasajeep

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The newer 150-500 does have OS. The older version 170-500 nor the other lens the 50-500 do not. The numbers are close between them so some confusion may be there.

If you are talking ice hockey I don't think it will be such a good lens. Field hockey outside in good sunlight, may not be so bad. I read a couple more reviews on the 150-500 and they did make several improvements over the older model 170-500. One of the improvements was adding the OS to it.

I am not saying to not get it. Just you should really find one local and try it out. I mentioned the 50-500 just because alot of people have said good things about it. But it does not have OS (at least the current time).

Unless your doing pro sports as a spectator and have to be far in the stands. I would suggest getting a 70-200 f2.8 (or what ever lens for your camera system in that range). The f2.8 works really well. And the 200mm length is not that bad (if you have a crop sensor digital its like a 300mm f2.8). I used to do sports photography in college. I never used a lens longer than 300mm for football, or 80-200 for indoor sports. Even a 70-200 f2.8 and a 1.4x teleconverter will give you better results than the 500mm at f6.3! Much faster focusing speed with the smaller lens as well.
 

icassell

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I went with another approach. I got the Sigma 100-300mm EX f4 .... It focuses very quickly and quietly when used without the TC. The glass is excellent. It also works well with my 1.4X TC. It's not a very fast combination and there is no OS, but the price was reasonable (I bought the lens on e-bay for $550 and the TC for about $100).
 
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stumpjumper21

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i already have a 55-200 nikkor lens, i just want something with a little more range. i will also be using it to shoot outside for landscapes and such. i want to stay away from the teleconverter if i can.
 

benhasajeep

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One thing I might suggest is picking up a used 300 f2.8. Manual or AF version. I had a Nikon 300 f2.8 AF for years and had it stolen. Could not afford to replace it so I bought a used Tokina 300 f2.8 mf version that was beat up on the outside but had good glass. I really have not missed the AF at all. This lens and a good 1.4x is what I use now for bird and animal shots. I can't compare to the newer 150-500 but I would rather have the current combination than the old 170-500. Even being a third party 300mm and teleconverter it still produces a much better picture than the 170-500. Now that I have d300's its even easier as I can now tell the camera the lens and it does everything except AF (focusing confirmation works even). The whole reason I chose the D300 over D90 when I ordered the first one.

You may feel you need the af. Not sure. But doing sports without it, is really not that big of a deal. Your not making big changes while following the action. Mostly just fine tuning the focus as the play moves closer or farther from you. Just finger tip movements. Not hard at all.

I would highly suggest looking at it local, or at least making sure you can return one after trying it first. I should have returned my Sigma but thought I would grow to like it. Never did and sold it on ebay for a couple hundred loss. Again the new version is said to have several improvements. So it may be a bit better now??
 

icassell

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I was going to mention that my 100-300 f4 + 1.4XTC does an excellent job -- just not outrageously fast (and only 1 stop slower than a 2.8 + TC combo).
 

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Buszaj

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I have this lens, and it isn't the greatest for sports, especially in hockey and soccer for example where you need good tracking. Its excellent for wildlife though.
 
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stumpjumper21

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how is the tameron 200-500? fast or no?

i may have a lead on a used nikon telephoto too, but i dont know the specs yet, we shall see:sexywink:
 

Montana

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I am surprised that the 150-500 isn't very fast focusing. I find Sigma's HSM to be lightning quick on my 50-500. I even shoot birds in flight without much problem. Not sure if its faster because of lens design (less distance to move glass) or what. I see the 150-500 is not an EX lens (Sigma's pro line), but the HSM (hypersonic motor) should be the same.

Regardless, you'll be kicking yourself in the butt later if you go with a lens that slow for shooting sports. I say slow in regards to the max aperture. I shoot in bright sun with the "Bigma", but when using a circular polarizer and tracking birds in flight, I often find myself trying to kick my own butt for not having faster glass. LOL

Unfortuneatly, unless you find a smoking deal on used equipment, you are going to want to increase your budget to get a faster lens with that much reach.

Derrick
 

johnmh

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This lens needs good light. IMO, you're really going to want a FAST lens (f/2.8 or maybe f/4) for sports - esp. if indoors in less than great light. Length depends on how close you can get. Some people have been happy with the 70-300 VR and even the 80-400 VR (on better bodies with faster focus) and compensated by going to high ISO's but starting at f/5 is a real disadvantage. I've done OK with the 70-300 for wildlife... sports?.... sometimes it works. Some swear by the 300 f/4 and the 80-200 f/2.8 but I can't speak on these.

IMO, the 150-500 is a good OUTDOOR lens - it's f/5-6.3. The aperture limitations allow them to build this in a manageable size and weight - and price point. I picked one up as a long reach 'carry' lens - mainly for wildlife. It did what I wanted it to do. But I don't see it for shooting sports - esp. fast moving ones.

When I'm shooting my son's soccer games I usually use a 70-200VR (sometimes with a 1.4 or 1.7 TC). I have a 200-400 but find it large and TOO long for many shots. It's a great lens but not something I wanted to lug around backcountry - hence the purchase of the 150-500.

Seems like there are three price points for 'long' (400mm or greater) lenses. The $6-700 lenses are mediocre and lack OS/VR. The $1000-1500 lenses (Sigma 120-400 and 150-500, Nikon 80-400) have compromises and limitations. The GOOD lenses are orders of magnitude more expensive - and usually primes.
 

uplander

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The Bigma... I tested this out in the store on my D200 and it was quite slow.

I believe that Sabbath actually owned this lens for a short while before getting rid of it. Maybe he could give us some more substantial info than I could.

The Bigma is the 50-500 not the 150-500 ;)
 

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