Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Discover the ZEISS Digital Nature Hub

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Should i upgrade ?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Tuesday 8th January 2008, 20:55   #1
Hobbsy
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dudley
Posts: 45
Should i upgrade ?

Iím considering upgrading my lens, a Tamron SP 200-500mm f5.6 (Model 31A). Iím looking at the Tamron SP 200-500mm F5-6.3 Di or the Sigma 50-500mm f4-6.3 EX APO. Firstly is the auto focus that much better ? Reviews Iíve read say that at f6.3 the auto focus is slow or useless in all but direct sunlight. (My current lens is a consistent f5.6 throughout the range). Secondly are the optics any better ? Is it worth spending the £600 ?? Any thoughts are welcome, thanks.
Hobbsy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 9th January 2008, 04:52   #2
alan carr
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: South Africa
Posts: 143
I would rather go for the Sigma 50-500 from a very unscientific test I did. Here are some pics taken with the Bigma:
http://bigal-sa.smugmug.com/gallery/3951659#45773123
http://bigal-sa.smugmug.com/gallery/3079082#168005044

I must admit I've heard people complaining about autofocus problems under poor light, but I've not had too much of that. Only when the contrast is down or the *camera* can't find something to lock focus on (eg. looking at something in the canopy of a tree) does it sometimes hunt.
alan carr is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 9th January 2008, 18:19   #3
Hobbsy
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dudley
Posts: 45
Thanks Alan,

I like the quality of my old Tamron lens but i've missed some good shots where i wasn't fast enough to focus. The Bigma seems to take a sharp picture but so does my Tamron. I'm thinking a split image focusing screen from Katz eye optics my be another option. Its a shame that there are not more options for us pentax users.
Hobbsy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 11th January 2008, 21:59   #4
Telecorder
Telecorder
 
Telecorder's Avatar

 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Apple Valley, CALIF
Posts: 73
Screw drive vs HSM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobbsy View Post
Iím considering upgrading my lens, a Tamron SP 200-500mm f5.6 (Model 31A). Iím looking at the Tamron SP 200-500mm F5-6.3 Di or the Sigma 50-500mm f4-6.3 EX APO. Firstly is the auto focus that much better ? Reviews Iíve read say that at f6.3 the auto focus is slow or useless in all but direct sunlight. (My current lens is a consistent f5.6 throughout the range). Secondly are the optics any better ? Is it worth spending the £600 ?? Any thoughts are welcome, thanks.
Its my understanding that the Tamron 200-500 Di is a screw drive AF and is reported to be a lot slower than the Bigma's HSM. The "...Reviews Iíve read say that at f6.3 the auto focus is slow or useless in all but direct sunlight..." IMHO are bogus... I'd venture a guess they probably had a lot of haze/cloud cover and poor contrasting subjects to arrive at that opinion... Have you had this issue with your Tamron and its f/5.6?

IQ, they're comparable by most accounts with some reporting the Tamron is sharper and others the Bigma. To me, probably close enough to be accounted by individual copies and body differences.

In my Bigma experience, its more an issue of subject contrast in low light with its f/6.3. I've had little issues with AF at sunset unless the contrast is weak and then it'll do a little hunting.

Here's a 500-mm image at sunset and never had an AF hunting issues during this session...
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d7...eredMedium.jpg

Noting that you're possibly in the UK, there may a bit more low light AF issues due to cloud cover; haze etc that should be taken into account. But, for me, the Bigma's capabilities for its price point has few peers...
__________________
Telecorder [Dave]
Pany FZ30
Nikon D50; Nikkor 35 f/2-D; 18-70 Nikkor DX;
Tamron 70-300 LD Macro; Nikkor 70-300 VRII
BIGMA 50-500 EX HSM; SB-600; Bogen 682B; Sigma EX-1.4X+Kenko Pro 1.4X TCs
Telecorder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 12th January 2008, 11:56   #5
Helios
Registered User
 
Helios's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Hillingdon
Posts: 3,219
I had the Tamron 200-500, and would like to say that I never had any autofocus issues on my D80, even at the 500 f6.3 end. The focus speed is about the same as the Nikkor 300 f4 AFS lens and x1.4 converter combination that I'm using at the moment. I would say however, that this combination is noticably sharper than the Tamron, although I don't know how either compare with the Bigma.

One thing that I didn't like about the Tamron, is that it extends out quite far, and has a really long lens hood. I sold mine to Aperture photographic, and I think they're asking £420 for it.
Helios is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2010 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Saturday 12th January 2008, 13:49   #6
rezMole
Registered User
 
rezMole's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Bury
Posts: 1,344
I have a Sigma 500mm f4.5, but I'll be hanging on to my Tamron 200-500. Although is has got a long hood, it is very light and esy to use as a "walkabout" lens - unlike the Sigma! It is also pretty sharp even at 500mm and f6.3. And I also had no real problems with autofocus unless the light was really bad - but then you couldn't get fast enough shutter speeds anyway, so it wasn't an issue.
__________________
rezMole birds | My flickr birds A-Z collection
Gear: Nikon D800, Sigma 150-600 Sport, Leica APO77 with 20-60 zoom, Leica Ultravid 8x42
rezMole is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 17th January 2008, 02:06   #7
Guidenet
Registered User
 
Guidenet's Avatar

 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Orlando Florida
Posts: 154
I like the Tamron 200-500 Di. I find it noticably sharper at 500 than my brother's Bigma. The Bigma does focus a little faster and quieter, but is a little soft to me at 500. My brother ends up trying to over-sharpen in post and gets too much halo effect around the bird's edges.

500 is the reason for buying one of these lenses. Of course there might be a difference in various samples.
__________________
Regards, Craig T. Harding
Guidenet is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 17th January 2008, 16:49   #8
Chris B.
Registered User
 
Chris B.'s Avatar

 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 138
Tamron 200-500 question...

I am considering purchasing this lens for use at airshows and for birds-in-flight but have read a few reviews indicating AF issues because of a lack of a focus limitor circuit. Have any of you who own this lens had any issues with this? I'll be using it with Canon DSLRs.

Chris
__________________
Chris

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
Chris B. is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 17th January 2008, 17:29   #9
rezMole
Registered User
 
rezMole's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Bury
Posts: 1,344
No real issues with having no limiter switch. In fact the limiter switch on my Sigma 500mm annoys me - especially when photographing at about 8 meters (as this is where the switchover is).
__________________
rezMole birds | My flickr birds A-Z collection
Gear: Nikon D800, Sigma 150-600 Sport, Leica APO77 with 20-60 zoom, Leica Ultravid 8x42
rezMole is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 17th January 2008, 21:38   #10
gordon g
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: barnsley
Posts: 581
I have had 2 copies of the bigma (although I now use a sigma 500). I never had a problem with AF except under circumstances where any system would struggle, for example focussing on the wrong subject in thick undergrowth, or as others have said, in very low contrast and low light situations. I used these lenses on a 3 bodies over the years- 35mm canon 300, 35mm canon 1V and canon 1DsII. Even on the very dated 300, AF was fine, and as you would expect, very good on the 1DsII. like Rezmole, I find the focus limiter a bit of a pain on my 500 prime, and keep it on full range nearly all the time.
I cant comment on the tamron, never having used one.
gordon g is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What should I upgrade to? nightheron28 Binoculars 18 Saturday 16th June 2007 18:05
Upgrade from 350 & 100-400 Nig3l Canon 9 Monday 4th June 2007 19:55
300 to 350 - an upgrade? postcardcv Canon 7 Wednesday 7th September 2005 22:18
Upgrade. pauco Opticron 15 Sunday 8th February 2004 16:03

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.11282492 seconds with 22 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 07:40.