It's been a while since my last blog. I hope you all are still reading. Today I chose to write because I think if I left this out of my blog that I would be leaving out something great to all my readers. Yup, I am about to recommend the Sigma 50-500mm APO DG SO lens for Canon EF Mount.
It all started when one of my clients requested that I shot a watersport activity on a speedboat. Thinking that my 70-200mm L 2.8 IS II or 70-300mm L 4-5.6 USM may be enough (I had brought an extra 1.6 crop DSLR along for the extra reach), but boy was I wrong. With the 70-300 I was still quite able to get a decent picture or a close up after I had zoomed in quite a bit digitally in post. That is an option but for most photographer's I think they'd like to leave that as an option rather then the only choice. Not to mention, when you zoom in digitally, you are limiting the size of your photo, or should I say reducing the size of your photo.
I was able to provide what my client needed (close ups/medium shots) which was of their clients kayaking in a race, but being a professional photographer, I could not risk the chance of doing another similar photoshoot knowing that their may be a chance the lenses I had on had was not long enough for such reach. So I decided to go out and buy a long zoom lens that was capable of such reach but still had good quality without burning a whole in my wallet.
I came across a few lenses. First of course, being a Canon fan, I would definitely give the 100-400mm L a try, but after finding out that this lens is around 14 years old, I decided no matter how fine the glass could be, in reality it would be not much better than using a Contax Zeiss Tele Zoom (since the AI/Tech was so old).
Then I came across the
Then I came across the Sigma 50-500 APO DG OS. Zoom range was great, but usually lenses with such a long zoom range usually performed horribly. So how did this perform?
Now like my other reviews, i leave the tech jargons and terminology to all those fancy lens review websites. I am here to tell you more about my experience using the lens from a professional basis (not that I am better than any amateur but meaning that the lens will be used in most likely several situations and take a beating. Mind you not physically, I take care of my equipment, but by beating I mean really be used and not just by taking a few test snaps.
I was significantly impressed with the image quality. Shooting at the end of my lens I found very little distortion and the lens was very very sharp. It felt like the Canon 70-300 L USM but only it was 50-500mm. I found the lens barely usable in an indoor conference like environment (low lighting) even with the new 5D Mark III/1Dx chips, so it is most likely to say not usable on Digic 4 DSLRs without any ambient lighting boost.
Out on a sunny day, you would not be complaining with this lens. The AF I found very fast and accurate while, the only downside was really at wide open the lens only opened up to 4.5 and only up to 200mm and after that it's 6.3 all the way.
Built quality it is not as strong as the Canon L series telezooms but I felt it was sturdy enough and it did not give me a sense that it felt cheap or lacked more material. In fact, because of this "flaw" the lens is lighter and for such a zoom range, it was quite a mobile lens.
Accessories wise, you'd all be impressed. One carrying case, tripod ring, two hoods (FF/APS-C), 95-86 stepdown ring.
The only thing I was quite disappointed was the 95mm ring thread. You know it cost me 880HKD for the UV filter. I spent much less on my filter for my 70-200 L USM II which is almost twice as much in price.
OVERALL RATING **** (OUT OF 5*)
I would buy this lens over the Canon 100-400mm L due to to the fact that the Canon tele zoom is old and out dated and not to mention much heavier. Also the black exterior is much better for event photographers.