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Sigma 100 - 600 mm Sports Lens - Canon Fit


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Hi Everyone, I am considering buyin the above lens for bird photography. Has anyone had experience of this lens? Good points/bad points??

The furthest reach lens I have at the moment is a 300mm that doesn't quite have the reach for what I want...

best regards,

Colin

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6 minutes ago, gardenbush said:

Hi Everyone, I am considering buyin the above lens for bird photography. Has anyone had experience of this lens? Good points/bad points??

The furthest reach lens I have at the moment is a 300mm that doesn't quite have the reach for what I want...

best regards,

Colin

Should read 150 - 600 mm

 

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I’m in the midst of selling this lens (Nikon fit). It’s got a good range and extremely well made lens, has given me great results from a static position tripod mounted but too heavy, needs a tripod or monopod for practical use. Weighs a lot in a rucksac and I opted for the much more practical and physically smaller, though expensive, 500mm Nikon PF lens in its place - lightweight, faster autofocus and easy to handhold. As a result it gets more use. Appreciate you are Canon so that’s no help.

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3 minutes ago, Malcolm Park said:

I’m in the midst of selling this lens (Nikon fit). It’s got a good range and extremely well made lens, has given me great results from a static position tripod mounted but too heavy, needs a tripod or monopod for practical use. Weighs a lot in a rucksac and I opted for the much more practical and physically smaller, though expensive, 500mm Nikon PF lens in its place - lightweight, faster autofocus and easy to handhold. As a result it gets more use. Appreciate you are Canon so that’s no help.

Thanks Malcolm - your comments are most usefu,l thanks - it's the weight I must admit is rather concerning - 2.86 kg!!! I may see if if I can try one out locally.

Regrdas

Colin

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, gardenbush said:

Hi Everyone, I am considering buyin the above lens for bird photography. Has anyone had experience of this lens? Good points/bad points??

The furthest reach lens I have at the moment is a 300mm that doesn't quite have the reach for what I want...

best regards,

Colin

 

Hi Colin.  I just got in to bird photography. A couple of months ago I was deciding which lens to get.  I debated between the Canon 100-400 L IS 5.6 original (I was buying used) and the 300mm prime with an extender.  I did look at the Sigma, but as mentioned the weight put me off.  I wanted to be able to do handheld. I went for the telephoto and it has been great.  Any issues I can fix with Topaz Sharpen AI or Topaz DeNoise AI.  The newer version of the 100-400 is supposed to fantastic but was way out of my price range.

 

A lot also depends on the camera you are shooting with.  I am using a Canon 90D so 32 MP, which means I can crop quite a bit and still get a good image.  With the cropped sensor, the 100-400 is like using a 160-640 as the L lens is for full frame.  You can use the 1.4 extender but auto-focus would only work at f8 which generally is a bit slow for bird photography.

 

Jill

 

 

Edited by Jill Morgan
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1 hour ago, Jill Morgan said:

 

Hi Colin.  I just got in to bird photography. A couple of months ago I was deciding which lens to get.  I debated between the Canon 100-400 L IS 5.6 original (I was buying used) and the 300mm prime with an extender.  I did look at the Sigma, but as mentioned the weight put me off.  I wanted to be able to do handheld. I went for the telephoto and it has been great.  Any issues I can fix with Topaz Sharpen AI or Topaz DeNoise AI.  The newer version of the 100-400 is supposed to fantastic but was way out of my price range.

 

A lot also depends on the camera you are shooting with.  I am using a Canon 90D so 32 MP, which means I can crop quite a bit and still get a good image.  With the cropped sensor, the 100-400 is like using a 160-640 as the L lens is for full frame.  You can use the 1.4 extender but auto-focus would only work at f8 which generally is a bit slow for bird photography.

 

Jill

 

 

Hi Jill - thanks for your response - now you have given me a couple of other ways to go!!! I have the older sibling to your camera, the 80D. After playing around here with 1 kg bags of sugar, I think 2.8 of them is far too much to be dragging around the woods!!! Handheld, over time, will be much to much - are your bird images ( great shots btw) taken with the 100 - 400?

Best regards

Colin

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2 minutes ago, gardenbush said:

Hi Jill - thanks for your response - now you have given me a couple of other ways to go!!! I have the older sibling to your camera, the 80D. After playing around here with 1 kg bags of sugar, I think 2.8 of them is far too much to be dragging around the woods!!! Handheld, over time, will be much to much - are your bird images ( great shots btw) taken with the 100 - 400?

Best regards

Colin

 

Yes, taken with the 100-400, but all cropped .  I got the 90D because of the pixel packed sensor so I could crop in.  The 80D is 24mp so you would need to crop even tighter. 

Are you hoping to take in the wild, or have feeders around?

 

Jill

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I've got the older 150-500mm Sigma version for Nikon. It's a great lens for the price. Obviously there are faster and lighter lenses but they are considerably more expensive.

Like others have said it's quite heavy (but so are many long lenses) and best with a monopod (or tripod). When I first got mine it took me a few frames to realise I needed a good fast shutter speed to get super sharp results. With a long lens like this it's so easy to get some lens shake especially hand held.

You've probably seen this review but it's pretty accurate from my experience. https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/photography/hands-review/sigma-150-600mm-contemporary-lens

Hope this helps a bit ..

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17 minutes ago, Jill Morgan said:

 

Yes, taken with the 100-400, but all cropped .  I got the 90D because of the pixel packed sensor so I could crop in.  The 80D is 24mp so you would need to crop even tighter. 

Are you hoping to take in the wild, or have feeders around?

 

Jill

Hi Jill, both - 75% feeders - balance in our local woods that are all walkable in 10 mins (rural Dorset)  - so majority in our garden trees and bushes... need to give this more thought before looking at the Amazon site lol

thanks

Colin

 

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1 hour ago, wilkopix said:

I've got the older 150-500mm Sigma version for Nikon. It's a great lens for the price. Obviously there are faster and lighter lenses but they are considerably more expensive.

Like others have said it's quite heavy (but so are many long lenses) and best with a monopod (or tripod). When I first got mine it took me a few frames to realise I needed a good fast shutter speed to get super sharp results. With a long lens like this it's so easy to get some lens shake especially hand held.

You've probably seen this review but it's pretty accurate from my experience. https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/photography/hands-review/sigma-150-600mm-contemporary-lens

Hope this helps a bit ..

Hi Wilkopix - thanks for the link and speed tips - have arranged with local camera shop on monday to try out the sports and contemporary versions - I think weight will be the deciding factor...we shall see...

many thanks

Colin

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32 minutes ago, gardenbush said:

Hi Jill, both - 75% feeders - balance in our local woods that are all walkable in 10 mins (rural Dorset)  - so majority in our garden trees and bushes... need to give this more thought before looking at the Amazon site lol

thanks

Colin

 

 

If looking for the 100-400 L original, you would only find that used. 

For the feeders, I have 3 feeders that hang about 10-12' from where I sit with my coffee (or wine) and camera.  When I first go out, the birds all fly away, but withing 5-10 minutes they are all back. They get used to you being there.  I've had them pick seed off of the steps in front of me just 5-6' away.

 

For my feeders and home made bird bath down at the front of my lawn by the driveway, I'll park my van about 6' from the feeders and sit in the van and shoot from there.  Again, they all fly away, but come back as they are used to the van being there, albeit in a different place.  I was going to buy a hide, but I don't think I need to unless I want to go out and do some wildlife in my back acreage of forest.  But I think the mosquitoes have turned me off of that idea.  Maybe in the fall when those nasty little critters are gone.

 

Jill

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1 hour ago, Jill Morgan said:

 

If looking for the 100-400 L original, you would only find that used. 

For the feeders, I have 3 feeders that hang about 10-12' from where I sit with my coffee (or wine) and camera.  When I first go out, the birds all fly away, but withing 5-10 minutes they are all back. They get used to you being there.  I've had them pick seed off of the steps in front of me just 5-6' away.

 

For my feeders and home made bird bath down at the front of my lawn by the driveway, I'll park my van about 6' from the feeders and sit in the van and shoot from there.  Again, they all fly away, but come back as they are used to the van being there, albeit in a different place.  I was going to buy a hide, but I don't think I need to unless I want to go out and do some wildlife in my back acreage of forest.  But I think the mosquitoes have turned me off of that idea.  Maybe in the fall when those nasty little critters are gone.

 

Jill

Hi Jill - Popping in to camera shop on monday to try a few lenses out - maybe they will have an assortment of hides and ninja suits 🙂

regards

colin

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Posted (edited)

I don’t have a good place at my present house for bird photography like I had at my previous place. There, I had a covered patio, no hot sun. A round table beside me for my coffee.
I planted a crabapple tree just for photography, it was about 8 feet from the patio. I had bird feeders on Shepherds hooks. The birds would land in the tree, even when it was small (1st & 2nd year) before dropping to the feeders.  I had bird baths, also, two of them. At the time, I was shooting Nikon with an 80-400 lens

 

The tree offered me a winter look, with just the red berries showing. Spring, with glorious blooms. Then fully leafed out.

First or second year tree.  BluejayABX6TH.jpg

Male House Finch, older tree, 5th to 8th year

 

D5G4KN.jpg

Edited by Betty LaRue
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23 minutes ago, Betty LaRue said:

I don’t have a good place at my present house for bird photography like I had at my previous place. There, I had a covered patio, no hot sun. A round table beside me for my coffee.
I planted a crabapple tree just for photography, it was about 8 feet from the patio. I had bird feeders on Shepherds hooks. The birds would land in the tree, even when it was small (1st & 2nd year) before dropping to the feeders.  I had bird baths, also, two of them. At the time, I was shooting Nikon with an 80-400 lens

 

The tree offered me a winter look, with just the red berries showing. Spring, with glorious blooms. Then fully leafed out.

First or second year tree.  BluejayABX6TH.jpg

Male House Finch, older tree, 5th to 8th year

 

D5G4KN.jpg

You know Betty, something I've picked up from you and Jill earlier is about the planning - it's not just about the glass 🙂

Many thanks

Colin

Your images are really good - think I've seen you on p4m btw sssshhhh

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I use the 150-600 Sport for a variety of subjects. As with most of this type of lens it's a trade-off between versatility and the sharpness of a prime, but I'm very happy with its results. The weight is certainly a consideration. It's an aspect I don't especially have an issue with, but you'll certainly know you've been carrying it after a long day's shooting.

Examples:

 

Hand held:

 

meghan-markle-during-the-carriage-procession-after-the-royal-wedding-at-windsor-on-the-long-walk-duchess-of-sussex-wedding-dress-and-veil-waving-MP0GGC.jpg

 

royal-air-force-raf-red-arrows-display-team-at-raf-fairford-gloucestershire-uk-the-royal-international-air-tattoo-riat-2018-raf-red-arrows-synchro-pair-opposition-crossover-P8TP2D.jpg

 

robin-redbreast-on-a-thorn-bush-with-a-red-berry-european-robin-erithacus-rubecula-sitting-on-branch-with-thorns-woodland-in-hounslow-london-uk-2F64P8D.jpg

 

Monopod:

 

parkside-football-ground-aveley-essex-uk-2nd-aug-2020-with-the-clearance-given-for-team-sports-to-recommence-after-the-covid-19-coronavirus-lockdown-the-teams-in-the-uk-are-beginning-friendly-matches-in-front-of-small-crowds-in-preparation-for-competitive-matches-in-september-the-alex-rungay-memorial-cup-took-place-at-aveleys-ground-and-saw-four-sunday-league-teams-compete-for-the-trophy-in-memory-of-alex-who-passed-away-when-manager-of-fc-utd-of-hornchurch-one-of-the-teams-competing-red-team-v-acd-utd-in-purple-with-money-going-to-mind-charity-2C9WB6X.jpg

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Avpics said:

I use the 150-600 Sport for a variety of subjects. As with most of this type of lens it's a trade-off between versatility and the sharpness of a prime, but I'm very happy with its results. The weight is certainly a consideration. It's an aspect I don't especially have an issue with, but you'll certainly know you've been carrying it after a long day's shooting.

Examples:

 

Hand held:

 

meghan-markle-during-the-carriage-procession-after-the-royal-wedding-at-windsor-on-the-long-walk-duchess-of-sussex-wedding-dress-and-veil-waving-MP0GGC.jpg

 

royal-air-force-raf-red-arrows-display-team-at-raf-fairford-gloucestershire-uk-the-royal-international-air-tattoo-riat-2018-raf-red-arrows-synchro-pair-opposition-crossover-P8TP2D.jpg

 

robin-redbreast-on-a-thorn-bush-with-a-red-berry-european-robin-erithacus-rubecula-sitting-on-branch-with-thorns-woodland-in-hounslow-london-uk-2F64P8D.jpg

 

Monopod:

 

parkside-football-ground-aveley-essex-uk-2nd-aug-2020-with-the-clearance-given-for-team-sports-to-recommence-after-the-covid-19-coronavirus-lockdown-the-teams-in-the-uk-are-beginning-friendly-matches-in-front-of-small-crowds-in-preparation-for-competitive-matches-in-september-the-alex-rungay-memorial-cup-took-place-at-aveleys-ground-and-saw-four-sunday-league-teams-compete-for-the-trophy-in-memory-of-alex-who-passed-away-when-manager-of-fc-utd-of-hornchurch-one-of-the-teams-competing-red-team-v-acd-utd-in-purple-with-money-going-to-mind-charity-2C9WB6X.jpg

 

 

 

Thanks Avpics - your images are very sharp considering your holding 6.25 pounds plus camera - football image is a cracker - full frame camera I suspect?

many thanks

Colin

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1 minute ago, gardenbush said:

Thanks Avpics - your images are very sharp considering your holding 6.25 pounds plus camera - football image is a cracker - full frame camera I suspect?

many thanks

Colin

Thank you Colin. Yes, a Nikon D750

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1 hour ago, gardenbush said:

You know Betty, something I've picked up from you and Jill earlier is about the planning - it's not just about the glass 🙂

Many thanks

Colin

Your images are really good - think I've seen you on p4m btw sssshhhh

Ssshhh, yes you have

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9 hours ago, gardenbush said:

Hi Everyone, I am considering buyin the above lens for bird photography. Has anyone had experience of this lens? Good points/bad points??

The furthest reach lens I have at the moment is a 300mm that doesn't quite have the reach for what I want...

best regards,

Colin

Sigma is making some good high-end glass,  I would never consider the a 100-600, but I do have and use the 120-300 f2.8 and it is excellent on my D800's.  Sigma's support is also great.

The "old" NIKKOR ED 500 f4 MF along with the 600 f4 ED MF are "real glass", they don't build them like that anymore.  I have the 600, long funny story, and I will die trying to hold it.....

 

Chuck 

 

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23 minutes ago, Chuck Nacke said:

Sigma is making some good high-end glass,  I would never consider the a 100-600, but I do have and use the 120-300 f2.8 and it is excellent on my D800's.  Sigma's support is also great.

The "old" NIKKOR ED 500 f4 MF along with the 600 f4 ED MF are "real glass", they don't build them like that anymore.  I have the 600, long funny story, and I will die trying to hold it.....

 

Chuck 

 

Thanks for that Chuck - much appreciated - regards, Colin

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Speaking of bird photography. Shooting birds when I first began stock was my main interest. For one thing, I love birds. From the time I was 8 years old, I made it my business to identify what I saw.

I spent most of my early stock years shooting birds, butterflies, bugs and flowers.

Yes, I’ve sold a few. More in the first few years of joining Alamy, but even then, not so many. It’s the other subjects I sell more of. The humdrum things I don’t enjoy shooting nearly as much as critters/nature.

There are a lot of really good bird photographers out there, and the competition is stiff. Flora sells better than fauna, for me, at least.
You must be aware of that before sinking the big bucks into lenses. If you don’t care, and you love bird photography, then go for it. Just realize you probably won’t make enough bird sales to even begin to recoup the cost of the lens, unless you get a bargain on it.

Me? I’ll still shoot birds every chance I get because that’s what I love, sales or not.

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23 minutes ago, Betty LaRue said:

Speaking of bird photography. Shooting birds when I first began stock was my main interest. For one thing, I love birds. From the time I was 8 years old, I made it my business to identify what I saw.

I spent most of my early stock years shooting birds, butterflies, bugs and flowers.

Yes, I’ve sold a few. More in the first few years of joining Alamy, but even then, not so many. It’s the other subjects I sell more of. The humdrum things I don’t enjoy shooting nearly as much as critters/nature.

There are a lot of really good bird photographers out there, and the competition is stiff. Flora sells better than fauna, for me, at least.
You must be aware of that before sinking the big bucks into lenses. If you don’t care, and you love bird photography, then go for it. Just realize you probably won’t make enough bird sales to even begin to recoup the cost of the lens, unless you get a bargain on it.

Me? I’ll still shoot birds every chance I get because that’s what I love, sales or not.

 

I now spend 3 to 4 hours every day (we are still in strict lockdown) on my porch just watching the birds.  They are so fascinating.  Watched a nice feud between a male goldfinch and a female rose breasted grosbeak.  He didn't want to share the feeder with her.  They ended up in a truce.

 

I find the big problem with shooting birds is you end up with so many images and filtering through takes ages, and of course I love almost all of them.  Going through a bunch now. May take awhile.  But thoroughly enjoyable.  Hope to improve my bird image skills as I go along.

 

Jill

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1 hour ago, Jill Morgan said:

 

I now spend 3 to 4 hours every day (we are still in strict lockdown) on my porch just watching the birds.  They are so fascinating.  Watched a nice feud between a male goldfinch and a female rose breasted grosbeak.  He didn't want to share the feeder with her.  They ended up in a truce.

 

I find the big problem with shooting birds is you end up with so many images and filtering through takes ages, and of course I love almost all of them.  Going through a bunch now. May take awhile.  But thoroughly enjoyable.  Hope to improve my bird image skills as I go along.

 

Jill

That was me! I took a lot because I never knew which would be the sharpest. I tried limiting to two or three, but a few times none were sharp enough when the light was low and camera shake reared its ugly head.
I even went out at dawn in the winter, but first put my camera in a plastic bag on the patio to acclimate. I learned my lesson when I didn’t do that and it fogged up. Then back in the bag closed tight to come back in. Going through 100 images to pick out a dozen is the pits. You can crop some to portrait.

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Posted (edited)

Jill, I learned so much about bird behavior watching them for so long. A nest full of fledglings still begging parents, and when parents begin to fly away from them and no longer feed them. Also males feeding females to court them, and I watched, through my long lens, a downy woodpecker wedging sunflower seeds into the bark cracks of my tree to peck the seeds open. Without the magnification, I would have thought it was ferreting out insects.

While out there, an albino pack rat came out hunting for food.

H7NK3G.jpg

Edited by Betty LaRue
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Posted (edited)

Colin

I would say go for it, by reputation the Sigma Sport is probably the best of the third party offerings.

You can't beat a 500 or 600 prime but I value my kidneys too much to sell one so I can own one.

I have the Tamron 150-600 equivalent and for the money is great, it has really offered me more opportunities in my wildlife photography.

I have no comparable experience myself of the Sigma but did have a friend that used a Sigma that was lulled into 'only a Canon will do' and bought a 100-400 to replace it. I saw him the other day and the Sigma was back on!

He said the auto-focus speed on the Canon was better for birds in flight but he missed the reach so much that he bought an extender but then got fed up with the f8 center point focusing restriction on his 7d, so the Sigma was back. 

 

Long lens wildlife photography is fun but does bring some challenges and I think most of the issues I had with my lens was me expecting too much and bad technique, not the equipment, not the myriad of AF settings, just me.

 

Atmosphere, bloody atmosphere! Heat haze. Boy is that an issue on long lenses.

I am pretty sure that all the 'Sigma and Tamrons are soft at 600' gripes are down to people now they have got the extra reach, taking a picture of that duck sitting across the other side of the lake on a beautiful sunny day across all that expanse of water and wondering why it looks crap when they get home (okay it was me again).

Even low down across many other substrates, atmosphere is an issue at 600mm. Being above the subject is obviously better but then of course you lose that 'eye level' perspective that everybody favors. You sometimes have to wait for the right conditions as in most photography.

 

I have no problem hand holding my Tamron even with my monopod attached but only for short, lift and shoot occasions.

At a fairly fit, bulky 6ft, standing there hand holding waiting for a bird to pop into the open, the tremors eventually start, 

On a long lens at nearly 1000mm reach on my 7d any slight tremor is magnified.

It is not too much of an issue with the resulting image due to the lens stabilisation but it is the wobble in the viewfinder that makes it hard to compose. I don't know if the Sigma has it but the Tamron has 'viewfinder stabilisation' but I found it not easy to use as rather than wobble, the image tends to flick across the viewfinder making it even harder to compose.

I use a monopod with a loose ball head joint for those stand and wait moments, I find tripods too cumbersome.

The monopod takes most of the weight and all I do is support the camera from flopping to the side on the ball head. The loose ball head also makes a pretty good cheap gimble. 

 

I like the flexibility of the 150-600 zoom range and its relatively shorter focusing distance compared to the primes. I was with a guy and his 600mm prime the other day taking pics of a friendly wader that was coming right to our feet. I had already fired off 20 shots whilst he was setting up the tripod, when he did, I noticed he wasn't taking any shots.

'Too close' he said.

I dropped the focal length to 300mm and carried on whilst he tried to back himself into a bramble bush to get far enough away so a)  he could actually focus and b) he could get nearly all the bird in.

To be fair to him ( he is a class photographer) and his equipment, his pics later on of an egret flying towards us were amazing. Mine, soft mush due to the lack of AF speed (here he goes again blaming the equipment).

 

Oh and you'll soon find 600mm is still not enough!

 

The only main con I had with my lens as I said before was unrealistic expectations and my lack of 'long lens' ability. It didn't automatically turn my shots into amazing ones, it just gave me a better chance to grab some half decent ones that I previously would not have got.

And here is the obligatory example. Not really for the photo as it was taken with the Tammy not a Sigma but what the extra reach can get you. I would never have got this close with 300mm. 

 

2FMC238

 

Have fun and good luck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Martin L
typo
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