Customer Review

180 of 184 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Super Sigma Telephoto?, 19 July 2008
This review is from: Sigma 150-500mm f5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM for Nikon Digital and Film SLR Cameras (Electronics)
Having now owned this lens for 3 weeks and taken 750 approx photos with it (with a D200), I have had the chance to get used to it and assess it properly:

Build: Out of the box, this is a lot of lens for the money.The finish is much better than I expected given that this is not an EX lens (although does have the same 2 year warranty). At 2kg it is heavy for a lot of people, but much lighter than similar professional lenses. It feels as if it will last the distance, if the image quality is good enough..

Image Quality: Asking a £700 lens to perform well at 500mm is a big, big ask. It is well known that cheap telephotos are flawed - Nikon's most similar lens, the 200-400mm F4 costs nearly £4k but apparently provides consistently good images. However, the cost is out of reach for a lot of us. For the last 2 years I have used a 70-200mm F2.8, sometimes with a TC17 x1.7 converter - I have never liked this combination as it trades in the sharpness of the original lens for extra reach (others seem to have had better experiences). This is why I bought the Sigma.

The Nikon 70-200mm gives excellent sharpness and focusing 95% of the time. The Sigma on average achieves 90% of that sharpness 65% of the time - a result which, given the high aspirations of the design and low cost is no mean achievement.

Focusing is reasonably quick, being a shade slower than say, a Nikon 18-200mm VR. If you are careful with focusing and keep shutter speeds above 1/100th sec you will be rewarded with some excellent photos that other lenses simply cannot match because they do not have the focal length.

The OS works well (but is a little noisy) and is a must if you ever intend using such a long lens. The effective focal lens is 750mm when used with a DX camera. I have found that most shots are sharp at 1/100 sec or above, so you may have to crank up the ISO in anything but the best light. But what is the alternative at this focal length - a £4k lens? At 500mm it is also advisable to stop down to F8, as it is a touch soft at F6.3.

In short, this lens is far from perfect, but will enable you to get shots that cannot be matched for the money.
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Comments

Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Mar 2009 20:26:31 GMT
K. Pressagh says:
Thanks for posting this review. I have been thinking about this Lens combination. I also have a D200 Nikon. Main problem for me is Scraping the money together.

Posted on 13 Jun 2009 11:50:24 BDT
S. Symonds says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jun 2009 17:06:25 BDT
Norrin_Radd says:
This the Nikon version of the lens! However, I had simlar problems when reviewing Sigma's 18-200mm a while back. Amazon put my review on both the Canon and Nikon units. Hence, I'd get smart-arses like you queuing up to tell me I'd posted on the wrong manafacturer's lens.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Mar 2010 13:33:19 GMT
Nickibee says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Oct 2010 12:01:00 BDT
Last edited by the author on 5 Oct 2010 12:03:38 BDT
Thanks for very helpful review. Hey I'm new to this Nikon/Canon thing. What is a "hoare", or did your fingers just fall over each other, as mine often do? (D80, Nikon 18-200 owner. Did I pick a good one?) Have Sigma 10-20 (wonderful) and am now looking for a long lens.

Posted on 14 Jun 2014 14:15:21 BDT
Annah says:
Hi Benjamin, I'm thinking of buying this lens to go with my D7100. I see your review was written in 2008, so 6 years on, I'd really appreciate your thoughts now. I've got the 70-300 lens, but wanted a bit more length for a holiday in USA national parks and general wildlife photography in the UK. I guess I'll have to use a mono or tripod with it? Thanks a lot, really appreciate your advice.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jun 2014 21:24:18 BDT
I too would also be very interested to hear your thoughts after all this time Benjamin.
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