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Sigma 50-500mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM

9 Feb 2012 8:20PM
Hello Forumites.
I have just purchased the Sigma 50-500mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM lens.
I have not yet had a real chance to try it out properly, but it seems quite sharp at both the 50mm and 500mm ends. The OS is so quiet I had to check to see that it was switched on!.

Does anyone else use one ?
Any problems or tips to get the best from it would be very much appreciated

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ianrobinson Plus
8 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
9 Feb 2012 9:57PM
no i use the sigma 120-300mm os apo dg hsm f2.8 fixed and that is one hell of a lens.Tongue
strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
9 Feb 2012 11:21PM
Ian I have seen some help full and constructive posts in my time on EPZ, and that was not one of them. Tongue

Not used that specific lens but a few tips to have a try with. If you are photographing moving subjects, say birds in flight have a practice with IS on and off. Often the IS settling time adds to the time to get autofocus lock so it is good to work this out first.

Also while IS is great and helps with hand holding so it may well turn out that without IS on the shutter speed needs to be about 1/1000 or faster (it all depends on you and we all vary person to person) It is good to work out how you and the IS work together. Two stops will get you to @ 1/250, 3 stops of IS 1/125, so getting shutter speed down below 1/60 is asking a lot from the lens.

At its long end this lens gets close to the limits of many cameras autofocus sensors. If its a static subject then one shot AF mixed with pressing the shutter button a second time may help it get best focus (it depends on the camera if this helps or not).

Regarding the 120-300 it gets mixed reception. I know a few wildlife photographers who have given up on that lens because of lens calibration issues, and even when sigma re-calibrated it can drift off again 6 months later. Others get on fine with it.
sausage Plus
13 494 United Kingdom
10 Feb 2012 9:05AM

I have had one of these lenses for a few years now. It is pretty heavy and is definately a lens to be mounted on a sturdy tripod. I think it is just a matter of getting used to it, taking pictures at different focal lengths but it is a lens that needs bright light or high iso.

Good luck with it though.

tomcat 12 6.4k 15 United Kingdom
10 Feb 2012 6:09PM
Hi Rhona,
You state on one of your uploads, that you sometimes use the Sigma 800mm with your 7D and they don't seem to compatible.

This guy uses that same combination to good effect Mossy

10 Feb 2012 6:11PM
Thank you Strawman,

Sigma make the following claim " The lens is equipped with Sigma’s own unique OS (Optical Stabiliser) function. This system offers the use of shutter speeds approximately 4 stops slower than would otherwise be possible, making telephoto shooting easy."

We will wait and see Grin
I am using it with the Canon 7D, I will try it with OS on and off as you suggest, many thanks.

Thanks for your reply, I normally lug about a Sigma 800mm with wimberley head on a tripod, so the 50-500mm feels as light as a feather, so far no problems hand holding, although in low light I have tried it on a mono pod, and it caught static birds pretty well spot on, however as has been pointed out, I will have to wait and see what it does with birds in flight.
Is it just me or do you find the zoom a tad stiff?
10 Feb 2012 6:24PM
That's right Tomcat, the 800mm and the 7D don't play well together compared to my old 550D.
However I am still playing about with the Lens Micro adjustment on the 7D and the 800mm so perhaps I have yet to find the right adjustment.
bppowell 16 2.2k 2 England
11 Feb 2012 10:08AM
I must have the older version of this lens, no way could I call the motor on mine quiet.

Over the last couple of years it has served me well enough but I have had to send it back twice. Once my fault I dropped it, the second time the AF motor gave up.

With mine when trying to focus in anything but good light it causes the auto focus to go into hunt mode, IE it finds it difficult to lock onto the subject so continually makes a clicking noise.

Been to Gigrin and managed to get a few good shots of the kites in flight but never managed to capture the hawks at arranged meets or the birds in my garden. Pretty good at static shots

Overall I would say it is a good investment.

sausage Plus
13 494 United Kingdom
12 Feb 2012 9:09AM
Yes, I think mine is an older version, I've had it a few years now. The only thing now with it is that in freezing weather, the AF doesn't work. I bring it in out of the cold and it is ok. Other lenses are ok.

The zoom is ok on mine. if it was too loose it would keep extending by itself. I normally have to keep the lock on as it is.

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