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 Post subject: New to the forum
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:27 pm 
I'm new to this forum, I'm always looking for more information and new things so after asking Gordon a question about a 4/3 lens he mentioned the forum.
I own three olympus cameras, the 765C my first digital, the SP 560 with tcon 1.7, and an E510 with 14 42 and oly 70 300 lens.
My question to Gordon was even though it's an older lens I wanted to get a review or feedback on the Sigma 50 500. I am a wildlife/bird photographer for the most part although landscapes are nice as well and since my wallet and back doesn't allow the 300 800 and or a 300 prime for that matter, the 50 500 is my only option.
Any feedback would be appreciated.
Thanks, Eric

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 10:40 pm 
Welcome to the forum Eharrim. I also own the Oly 70-300, and I think it's actually a pretty good wildlife lens in good light conditions. If you want to get additional reach, but have a limited budget, have you considered a teleconverter like the Oly EC-20? Never used it, but some people really like it.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:13 am 
Thanks for the reply and the welcome.
I love the 70 300 and I've taken some nice shots with it. Nothing against it at all but in considering the EC 14 or 20 I would add to an already light limited lens. I have seen some very impressive shots taken with the bigma and I guess what I'm looking for is user knowledge of quality and usage. I would like to know if it's a step up in glass and IQ or the same. The price certainly would make you think so. I would be totally satisfied with just the 70 300 but to get that extra reach would really help with wildlife shots. I have seriously considered the EC14 though, it might work well in combination with the zuiko in decent light.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:32 am 
i believe there's a 50-500 review on

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:11 am 
Thanks. Yes I've read it, he's very imformative for sure but I thought maybe some folks on here may use it as well. It's nice to get repetitive users thoughts, people who take it out daily for shooting. Maybe no one here that uses it but I'll keep an eye out and in the meantime check out some other posts. Thanks for the reply.

 Post subject: Consider the...
PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:56 pm 
I'd consider investing in the oly 50-200mm and a teleconverter. The iq of the 50-200mm is very highly regarded, and I've read some positive reviews of both the 1.4 and the 2.0 teleconverters. Perhaps finding a used 50-200mm and a teleconverter would be a better investment?

However, I've also heard positive things about the bigma, the newer model has the sigma HSM (high speed motor) focus thingy... I don't know if that would be a great advantage on the e510...

If it were me... I'd take a close look at the 50-200mm paired with one of the teleconverters. I've got the 12-60 (which is supposed to be very similar in terms of performance to the 50-200) and I've been extremely satisfied with it.

A lot of people choose Olympus simply because of those two lenses.

 Post subject: i'd try the EC-14
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:44 pm 
I've been using the 70-300 + EC-14 for the past year and a half on my 510 mostly for birds. You definitely need decent light for this combo to work.
But it seems like you'd need decent light for any combo to work (50-200 + EC-20 or Bigma). For me it's always come down to how much reach or quality or speed I'd gain for how much I pay. 80% of my shots with my setup are zoomed all the way in or very close to that so I don't really care that other lenses have great quality around 100 or 150mm.
I know the 50-200 is a great lens, but for me I'd have to put the EC-20 on it and I'd still lose reach. (and I want more) plus it's $1400
The Bigma would give me more reach but it I'm not sold on the quality being better than my current setup at 500mm. plus it's $1060
The EC-14 is currently US $360.
The 70-300 is currently US $250, so you won't get much for it if you sell it.
I guess it comes down to how much you're willing to pay for improvement in reach/speed/image quality.
I'd guess the 50-200 would give you the best image quality while sacrificing reach. Bigma would give you the most reach with questionable image quality (from what i've read).
Adding the EC-14 seems like middle of the road on everything while also being your cheapest option.
Good luck and let us know what you get and how you like it.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 3:36 am 
I agree Leo, there doesn't seem to be a great answer to this one. Like yourself I'm not interested in great IQ at 200mm. I want to get as much as possible and it's either the 70 300 with 1.4 or the Bigma by the looks. The 50 200 and EC20 is still a possibility but a lot of money for little gain once you add the converter and slow it down. That is why I've been researching for hands on with the 50 500 which is the most you can get short of 6 grand for the 300 prime with a teleconverter and that is out of my reach.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 5:01 am 
Yeah that 300 f2.8 sure would be nice, too bad it's way out of my price range.
I've been looking for good reviews of the Bigma too and some come close to giving me what i want to know, but not close enough to make me want to buy it, at least not now.
Another thing to consider is whether you can hand-hold it or not zoomed in. From what I've read on the bigma it's half and half with many suggesting a monopod. And of course there's weight to consider.
70-300 weighs 620 grams
EC-14 weighs 170 grams
Bigma weighs 1.8 kg
E-510 weighs 470 grams
So the E-510 w/70-300+ EC-14 weighs half a kilo less than the Bigma itself.
Add a body to it and you're a whole kilo heavier.
Now I don't know what kind of difference that would make in the real world, i've never had the pleasure of using a setup where weight was an issue. I'd like to try though!
Have you considered renting the lens ? has it for $57.00 for 7 days insured.
I might do that when the weather improves around here (Northeast, US)

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 11:41 am 
That is actually a good idea. Renting for a week would give you a pretty good idea of how you liked the lens. It would take a couple days to just get used to the weight and issues. If IQ was good I think I could adjust to the weight but then again that thing hanging around your neck would be a lot different than the light 70 300 : )
I do know everyone reviewing the 135 400 says the IQ is not as good as the 70 300 but I've seen some 50 500 shots that are quite nice. I may do the rent thing, that is probably the best way to tell before dropping 800 or 1000 on a lens.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 1:47 pm 
found some useful threads on dpreview... ... e=32633482 ... e=31013661

after reading them i'm opening up to the Bigma.

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