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Help needed please

John1958 4 6
14 Aug 2013 1:57PM
Hi all, first post since joining.

I have a Canon 650D, which I bought recently and love!!! Bought as part of a kit and got an 18-55 and a 55-250mm lens with it.

My main interest is aviation photography, both at airports and airshows, so at times I need more length!

This summer I've been trying out cropping....couple of my efforts are in my pics on here, but I am thinking of a longer lens. At the very minute I don't have a budget for this, but have been looking at three Sigma lenses.

Obviously the first two are very similar in price, and the last one it steps up a few hundred, but I want to make the right choice!!!

So over to you guys, I'm VERY interested in any points good and bad, just so I dont make a mistake!!!

Thanks in advance


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Simon_Marlow 14 560 United Kingdom
14 Aug 2013 3:06PM
Hi John,

From a personal perspective, i have the sigma 150-500mm (https://www.ephotozine.com/article/sigma-150-500mm-f-5-6-3-dg-os-hsm-interchangeable-lens-review-13621) which i have found to be great.

Good image quality and the stabliser makes things easier.

It's a bit on the heavy side but i rarely use it without a monopod.

i've posted a few pics i've taken using it below.



John1958 4 6
14 Aug 2013 3:54PM
Hi Simon, thanks for your input.

Super sharp images those......deffo 10 point's to the 150-500!!!!

I used to own the 150-500 before changing to a Canon 400L 5-6, its a hell of a good lens at a great price.

Simons images show this very well.


Mike_Smith Plus
10 490 1 United Kingdom
14 Aug 2013 8:25PM
I have the Sigma 120 - 400 and it also gives nice sharp images, BUT if your thinking of using this one or the 150 - 500 handheld don't bother because these are quite heavy. On a tripod then would be ok.
The 50 - 500 i have seen some cracking pictures from but i have never used one so i cant advise you, but someone will be along who will.
John1958 4 6
15 Aug 2013 8:47AM
John and Mike, cheers for those comments. There is a chance I could be using it for a few hours at a time, but it wouldn't be constant, do you think I should invest in a tri/monopod then?

mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
15 Aug 2013 9:57AM
I would say a monopod at least is essential. I have one of the Manfrotto 234RC heads on it

I usually use a monopod because it allows me to be more mobile than a tripod, especially when panning.
John1958 4 6
15 Aug 2013 10:05AM
Cheers Mike. Not used either before....but it looks good. How tall does it stand?

paulbroad 10 123 1249 United Kingdom
15 Aug 2013 10:21AM
Depends on your budget. I would go for the Sigma 150/500. It is reasonably priced and high quality. The bottom line is sharpness and cost is then not rekevant. If the lens is not sharp then you dkn't want it.

I have the 50/500 and it is sharp on a heavy tripod with careful focusing. Hence the lens optics are good, and the 150 is just as good or better. Thd problem is in use. At long focal lengths there is camera shake and with a very heavy lens, you will shake. Image stabilisation, contrary to some opinion, does not eliminate shake, it REDUCES it.

you will need a tripod, or at least a monopd for most purposes.

However, for photographing aircraft a tripod is nouse and a monopod canbe a bind. You must then learn to hand hold and pan smoothly. It is then relatively easy to get sharp results after practice. remember, fast shutter speeds freeze propellers which you may not want.

It is rarely the case in general, but I find hand holding better for aerial shots. Remember to expose correctly. Pointing at the sky on auto will cause under exposure.

John1958 4 6
15 Aug 2013 10:27AM
Hi Paul, cheers for that........sounds like you are a fellow plane enthusiast.......got any images I can see please?

mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
15 Aug 2013 11:00AM

Quote:Cheers Mike. Not used either before....but it looks good. How tall does it stand?


I have one of these

What I like is that I can set approximate height on the lower section using the twist-lock, then use the 'trigger lock' to fine tune it with just one hand for that particular use. Maximum height is 1.66m (I am 1.77m) but by the time you add the tripod head and height of the camera viewfinder I only need to bend down for the most elevated of shots.
John1958 4 6
15 Aug 2013 11:07AM
Thanks Mike, certainly food for thought.

paulbroad 10 123 1249 United Kingdom
31 Aug 2013 7:20AM
I am a plane enthusiast, but rarely get the chance to go to shows these days. Prefer the piston engine stuff. Rather more elegant I think. You do not need a tripod though. They get in the way of other people, get kicked and and very restrictive. A monopod is better, but I usually find I am swinging round with it off the ground. This is aircraft or birds.

Shot the Battle of Britain flight going over our holiday home a couple of weeks ago, hand held with panning, pin sharp.
However, you develop your own technique.


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