Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Got myself a new lens... Sigma APO 50-500mm f4-6.3 EX DG HSM

Originally, I was thinking of getting the Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS HSM... then after using my friend's 70-200mm (non-IS), I feel 200mm isn't long enough even when using a TC2.0x, well, it's not that I want to go for safari shooting, but it's would be nice to have a further reach. And I still have my Sigma 50-150mm f2.8, so it's a close substitute and that Sigma so far, doesn't let me down.

So at first, I opted for Sigma 120-300mm f2.8, so when u add a TC2.0x, its an equivalent of 600mm f5.6, just nice I think... then Yen went up and the price of that Sigma jumped by 1.5k, so I changed my mind again.

And after some long thought and reading some reviews online, I end up with this lens. Yeah I know it's not f2.8, but what the heck, it's not like I going to use this lens for indoor/night photography. I already set this lens for daytime shootings, especially when there is a big event happening here (ie National Day, Maulud, etc), where the long reach is really needed.

Anyway, enough talking, let me introduce my new toy... :)

Here's the Sigma standing next to Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L HSM.

Front view... the Sigma has the filter size of 86mm, while the Canon has the filter size of 77mm.

And here's the Sigma together with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

Thanks for the battery grip, the lens doesn't look overwhelming.

Anyway, here is some quick shots taken from the comfort of inside of my car... eheh... yeah I'm too lazy to go out... eheh... here's a shot taken using Canon EOS 50D, 50mm, 1/400, f8.0, ISO 400.

Canon EOS 50D, 500mm, 1/200, f11.0, ISO 800.

And here's a shot using Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 50mm, 1/800, f8.0, ISO 800.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 500mm, 1/800, f8.0, ISO 800.
I also did try using other aperture, but upon reviewing the pics, there weren't a lots of difference to notice, unless you're viewing it at 100% crop, but I'm too lazy to provide the 100% crop and furthermore, it's not like I'm going to print a 36x24 inch photo, and when you post something on the internet, you are likely to reduce the image size which will eliminate any/most issues/defects. But if you want to know how it look like at 100% crop, yeah, the image were a little bit soft at 500mm, and the sharpness start to improve noticeably at f11.0.

Anyway, just for fun, I took some indoor shots using this lens on Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

50mm, 1/200, f4.0, ISO 500, 2 flash.

500mm, 1/200, f6.3, ISO 500, 2 flash.

500mm, 1/200, f8.0, ISO 500, 2 flash.

500mm, 1/200, f11.0, ISO 500, 2 flash.

500mm, 1/160, f16.0, ISO 640, 2 flash.

500mm, 1/160, f22.0, ISO 1000, 2 flash.

500mm, 1/125, f36.0, ISO 1600, 2 flash.

So that's a rough idea on the performance of the lens... the images were reduced by 1/3, eheh, was trying to avoid uploading 1mb per picture... anyway, maybe next week I will be able to get more shots using this lens...

Overall, personally, though I hate the slow speed of f6.3 and it's not quite a sharp as an L lens, but considering the reach and price, I still think it is a bargain. And by reading reviews everywhere, this is the best 500mm zooms lens currently available.

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