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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 11:56 am 

I went on a safari, and I brought along my trusty Nikon D90 together with my 70-300mm to get some reach. I found out the hard way, though, that 300mm isn't that much when you get out in the wild where animals don't get up close and pose (I call it bad customer service...).

I have therefore been looking for a lense that can give me some extra reach. The problem is that I take photos for fun, so my budget is limited. I have realized that the Nikon 300 f/4 with a 1,4TC looks interesting, but I'll end up missing the VR and flexibility of a zoom. I then noticed Sigma's 50-500mm, which they made new version of in the beginning of the year to include OS. Funny enough, I haven't really seen any reviews of this lens, so I feel it's difficult to get a feeling of how good it actually performs. I know it's not as sharp as Nikon's 300mm, but considering the price of the Sigma I am aware of its limitations.

Do anyone have any experience with this lens and can tell me how it performs, with regard to IQ specifically? Or maybe refer to some reviews? It would be nice to see/hear about peoples experience before I un out buying something that maybe ends up not living up to expectations.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 12:28 pm 
I dont have any experience with this lens sorry, but if price is an issue, there is I think also a Sigma 150-500mm which is a bit cheaper, dont know how the two compare mind.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 4:24 pm 
Hi K
I have had the 50-500APO Sigma aka Bigma for a few years now obviously this is the older model same optics but without any stabilisation and I believe the lens coatings have improved.
I have used it mainly on a D200 but now have moved to a D7000.
For the price the Bigma is very good value, its a tad on the soft side and lacks contrast in overcast or low light conditions but in situations with plenty of bright light such as I am sure you would have on safari it would work fine. I have used it mainly for air shows which does push it to its limits of perfomance as I live in the UK so dull days are the norm rather than the exception.
Overall its about the most popular lens at air shows as its a really good compromise between cost & quality. I have had the oppotunity to do a bit of AF fine tuning since moving to the D7K and its made a noticable difference as although you can't tune for the whole 50-500 range of the lens because I use it at between 300-500mm nearly all the time I set it with the lens at 400mm using a focus chart this gave me +5
The increase in CMOS & exposure performance with my new camera over the old D200 has picked up the lenses ablitity alot
This old image link I have attached was taken on my old D200 a while ago and is about a 40% crop at 500mm
IMO its not a bad lens at all.
To obtain the best from it, just a few hours practice & you will get suprisingly exceptable results. I reckon if animal work is what you are aiming for you should be able to get much better results than I can with planes as
1. they move slower :)
2. you wont have to deal with constant back lit subjects :roll:
3. on prop aircraft I have to keep to less than 200th and pan shoot, at such a slow shutter speed,handheld on what was on the older Bigma an unstabilised lens at 300-500mm means not that many keepers out of a days shoot :cry:

I personally think it would do what you want fine and without breaking the bank

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:22 pm 
Heh - I had completely forgotten about the thread I started here.

I ended up going out buying it after christmas (my parents and grandparents are too generous), and I receive it this Tuesday. Unfortunately, due to my heavy workload at the office I haven't been able to test it yet. And even the upcoming weekend seems to have too tight a schedule to allow me to have time to test it.

I have been speding some time handling it (who doesn't want to fondle new expensive toys?), and it's clear that I need to get used to the weight. 2kg is much more than it sounds like. It also annoys me a little that it zooms opposite from a Nikon lens, but apart from that is seems great. A couple of my colleagues who are also into photography have already expressed their envy. Mine is indeed bigger than theirs. For now, at least. :)

Thanks for the feedback, I am looking forward to when I'll be able to get out at play with it - whenever that might happen to be.

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