Lenses longer than 600mm
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Old 07-24-2005   #1
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Default Lenses longer than 600mm

Anyone using any of the Sigma lenses longer than 600mm? There's precious little on the net about these, understandably, and I'd love to hear user opinions.

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Old 07-25-2005   #2
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Default Re: Lenses longer than 600mm

there's the bigma. It's non IS and really really front heavy. In a Safari environment, where you dangle the lens on a bean bag towards your prey and hang on for dear life, a really front heavy lens would be a pain. I use a 600/4 and this is front heavy enough on a bag as you have to have it foraward to avoid the focus ring which will put you out of focus when tracking subjects.

the bigma is up to 800MM but it's a 6.3 (apparently) and I am not sure about the AF capabilities.

Rob
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Old 07-31-2005   #3
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Default Re: Lenses longer than 600mm

Quote:
there's the bigma. It's non IS and really really front heavy. In a Safari environment, where you dangle the lens on a bean bag towards your prey and hang on for dear life, a really front heavy lens would be a pain. I use a 600/4 and this is front heavy enough on a bag as you have to have it foraward to avoid the focus ring which will put you out of focus when tracking subjects.

the bigma is up to 800MM but it's a 6.3 (apparently) and I am not sure about the AF capabilities.

Rob
Hi Rob,

The "bigma" is actually a term commonly applied to the Sigma 50-500 which is indeed a true F6.3 at the long end, but "reports" electronically as a 5.6 to "fool" cameras which have F5.6 requirements. It has excellent optics but in my experience has a bit of mechanical disadvantage being difficult to manually zoom because of a rather stiff mechanism which defies fingertip zoom. To zoom mine I must either wrap my hand around the zoom for additional mechanical leverage or tilt the barrel up or down for gravity assist. Neither are great options when shooting wildlife.

The Sigma 300-800 (not called the bigma) is a true F5.6 which has great autofocus as well as excellent optical properties. It is "very" heavy at 12.9 lbs as well as being quite large - but then there's that 800mm. Add a 1.4x and a seriously stable base and we're talking some versatile focal length.

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Old 07-31-2005   #4
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Default Re: Lenses longer than 600mm

Lin, very interesting. Do you have any sample pictures from the 800 zoom that* you could post? Thanks!

Also, how in the world can you really stabilize that beast? What is the reputation of sigma for service, as well?
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Old 07-31-2005   #5
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Default Re: Lenses longer than 600mm

Hi Walter,

I don't own the 300-800mm yet, but have friends who do. I've had the opportunity to try it with my Canon bodies (not used it with my Sigma SD10 yet) and I was suitably impressed. Like any huge lens, it's a hand full at full zoom but with F5.6 speed and decent light it's possible to get enough shutter speed to compensate some slight camera shake. I wouldn't think it would be of significant value for Safari type use, but definitely a great lens for birding, especially for perched birds. I'm considering it with a Canon mount, but in a quandary because I really would like to use it with my SD10 and since I'm considering purchasing a Nikon D2X I'm presently in a "stutter" mode. I have to make a decision about where I would get the most use from it.... hmmmm

Sigma has an excellent reputation for their service - often going far and beyond the norms.

Lin
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Old 07-31-2005   #6
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Default Re: Lenses longer than 600mm

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Originally Posted by Lin Evans
Hi Walter,

I don't own the 300-800mm yet, but have friends who do. I've had the opportunity to try it with my Canon bodies (not used it with my Sigma SD10 yet) and I was suitably impressed. Like any huge lens, it's a hand full at full zoom but with F5.6 speed and decent light it's possible to get enough shutter speed to compensate some slight camera shake. I wouldn't think it would be of significant value for Safari type use, but definitely a great lens for birding, especially for perched birds. I'm considering it with a Canon mount, but in a quandary because I really would like to use it with my SD10 and since I'm considering purchasing a Nikon D2X I'm presently in a "stutter" mode. I have to make a decision about where I would get the most use from it.... hmmmm

Lin
With image stabilization, such a lens would be a must-see.
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Old 07-31-2005   #7
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Default Re: Lenses longer than 600mm

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With image stabilization, such a lens would be a must-see.
That would be a fantastic move on Sigma's part. So far they have only the 80-400 OS but the stabilization works very well - at least as good or better than Canon's stabilization on my 100-400L IS. Unfortunately the autofocus on my 80-400 OS is so slow that I frequently miss shots which would be simple for my Canon bodies and 100-400L IS. I'm not certain whether there is any relationship between the autofocus and stabilization but for whatever reason Sigma has not yet opted to use stabilization on their really long lenses. One can hope....

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Old 07-31-2005   #8
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Default Re: Lenses longer than 600mm

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Originally Posted by Alice Morrison
Anyone using any of the Sigma lenses longer than 600mm? There's precious little on the net about these, understandably, and I'd love to hear user opinions.
Go to www.pbase.com and look in the camera database section. There are many sample pictures of the 300-800 and bigma. This may answer some of your concerns/questions regardin the big Sigmas.
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Old 08-01-2005   #9
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Default Re: Lenses longer than 600mm

You can also always consider Canon's 1,200mm lens, it's a f5.6 too.
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Old 08-01-2005   #10
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Default Re: Lenses longer than 600mm

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You can also always consider Canon's 1,200mm lens, it's a f5.6 too.
LOL - You must also "consider" the peripherals and accessories needed for Canon's 1200 F5.6. First would be the cost of a pack mule to carry it - then there is the approximately $100,000 price tag and the long wait while Canon makes one for you (there are only a couple dozen in existence).

But, if you could give up the F5.6 then there are some good alternatives....

Lin


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