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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

New Sigma 150/600 (1 Viewer)

enzodiac

Active member
Here are some shots taken with the Nikon D7200. I changed from D750 to D7200 because I almost always cropped the D750 down to 10mp which equals 1,5x crop. So now I get 24mp without cropping much. A bit more noise but who cares? :D

I have gone through my regular web-post processing on these. Which means some noise reduction, masking and sharpening. Nothing over the top though and I am pleased with the sharpness from the Sigma. I almost always shoot handheld.

http://www.ezelius.com/post/120839896096

http://www.ezelius.com/post/120782295000

http://www.ezelius.com/post/120441145612

http://www.ezelius.com/post/120526930251

http://www.ezelius.com/post/119959854437
 

Paul - Herts

Paul Herts
They are a good series of shots. The more I see the more I think that if I do go for one of these superzooms, I will have to save for the sport model.

Being as I have just had to replace the car it won't be this year now so will be plenty more time to think about which is best
 

the black fox

Well-known member
my last photo upload for a couple of weeks ,off to bempton cliffs in the morning .with limited wi-fi access
 

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Barred Wobbler

Well-known member
Sigma Optimization Pro

Although I've used Optimization Pro on my 150-600 S with the teleconverter attached to tune the lens (without much success it must be said), I've not used it to fine tune the focus on my bare lens so far, because in general use the lens has performed well without it.

I have noticed when taking photos of more distant subjects that they are a bit soft and I've come to the conclusion that fine-tuning is needed at the infinity end of the reach.

It's a bit of a faff tuning the lens, having to take a photo of a suitable subject at a suitable range, detach the lens, attach it to my PC and do the tuning, but it's a boon if the camera location and the PC are in the same vicinity. Unfortunately when I look from my house most of what I see at moderate distance (100m to 300m) is trees in leaf, when what I want is a nice, crisp contrasty subject to allow the focus to do its work.

I had the idea of downloading Optimization Pro to my wife's iPad and instead of bringing the lens to the computer, I'd go out and find a suitable subject and take the computer (iPad) to the lens to save considerable time and effort in tuning. I've just found the download page on the iPad, but the only options for download (Windows and Macintosh) bring up the message that the iPad's operating system (Safari) can't do the download.

Has anyone else tried this, and if so, what is the solution?
 

Shooter560

Active member
Barred Wobbler

Not sure if this will help, but I've been using FoCal to tune my lenses (link below). What I did was to set my camera up with say 150mm zoom, then do a lens adjust via the camera with the target at approx the right distance as per Sigma fine tune, made a note of required setting. Repeated for all zoom settings and also focus distance. Its a very long winded method, took me about 2 1/2 hours but I was then left with 16 recommended adjustments which can then be put into the lens.

Just have to remember that at least for my Nikon, each unit on the camera equals 2 units in the lens.


http://www.reikan.co.uk/focalweb/
 

Mickr

Well-known member
Jeff, please take a look at the sites below showing focus issues with the 70d. If you have seen these already, then disregard, but maybe it can help others..

http://photorec.tv/2014/03/70d-center-focus-point-issue/

http://www.thephotoforum.com/thread...focusing-issue-or-just-the-first-ones.366981/

Cheers, John

P.S. Just a thought, Jeff. If you have not tried this as a test, to use the 70d live view mode to take some test pictures.

That focus problem is with 2.8 lenses and faster.
 

Mickr

Well-known member
Barred Wobbler

Not sure if this will help, but I've been using FoCal to tune my lenses (link below). What I did was to set my camera up with say 150mm zoom, then do a lens adjust via the camera with the target at approx the right distance as per Sigma fine tune, made a note of required setting. Repeated for all zoom settings and also focus distance. Its a very long winded method, took me about 2 1/2 hours but I was then left with 16 recommended adjustments which can then be put into the lens.

Just have to remember that at least for my Nikon, each unit on the camera equals 2 units in the lens.


http://www.reikan.co.uk/focalweb/

How do you find the software?

I've got focal pro and found it a nightmare, I screwed the target to a wall and set up the camera on a solid tripod. The only thing that was variable was the light because it was a breezy day and the clouds were moving at some rate. The wind was a westerly so I set up on the east side of my house which was well protected so the camera wasn't moving.

I ran the test twice with the lens at 2.6 metres and the focal length at 600mm and got -2 both times. I adjusted the lens to -2 and ran the test again and it came back with -3, -4, -2 and -3 after performing 4 tests.

Did you try the same tests a few times to see if the results you were getting were variable or constant? I've used this software with my old 50-500 and have had the same issue with that lens and thought that I had a problem with the lens.

Now I think it isn't the lenses and may be either the software or that the light has to be constantly the same.

I will probably try the tests again under constant light to see how it goes.
 

jshen808

John
Here are some shots taken with the Nikon D7200. I changed from D750 to D7200 because I almost always cropped the D750 down to 10mp which equals 1,5x crop. So now I get 24mp without cropping much. A bit more noise but who cares? :D

I have gone through my regular web-post processing on these. Which means some noise reduction, masking and sharpening. Nothing over the top though and I am pleased with the sharpness from the Sigma. I almost always shoot handheld.

Super beautiful captures and compositions! :)
 

Mickr

Well-known member
Limited access so a quick reply ,I really don't know but I can't afford to waste any more time on it

If it makes you feel any better, I've been altering quite a few settings on my camera and lens and have just taken some of my worst ever photographs. I'm going to start again with the defaults on both camera and lens and start again. My first changes will be to take the lens back to it's defaults after recording what I currently have and see what happens.
 

hosesbroadbill

Well-known member
Seems to me that there is a remarkable amount of work that needs to be done with this lens. I wonder why so many have struggled so much with it. Yet it seems that the C has had much better results. Many more people just attach it and get good and sharp shots. Unless you need the weather sealing I just do not see any reason to get this lens. It is much heavier, almost twice as expensive and seems to need considerably more work to get sharp shots. Just my two cents from someone who does not own the lens...
 

Roy C

Occasional bird snapper
I'm going to start again with the defaults on both camera and lens and start again. My first changes will be to take the lens back to it's defaults after recording what I currently have and see what happens.
That's a good idea Mick, I am sure the Sport is a superb lens but you have to remember that with 600mm (960mm ff fov ) any atmospheric light pollution is enhanced as is slight vibrations due to Camera movement. If you are handholding then you still need a decent shutter speed to counteract camera shake even though the OS system is fairly good. There is not many dock settings that can actually change the IQ/sharpness apart from incorrect AF micro adjustments and maybe the AF speed selection (although I think setting 'focus' in the Camera possible overrides any lens settings anyway from what I can tell).
Have you tried the lens on a tripod? (remember to switch OS off) if only to prove the lens. Most folk who use top of the range 500/600mm lenses use a tripod most of the time, not necessarily because they cannot physically hand hold the lens (the Canon 500/4 IS MkII is not much heavier than the sport) but because at these focal lengths they get better results when using good support.
Best of luck anyway Mick, I am sure you will get there in the end :t:
 

Mickr

Well-known member
Seems to me that there is a remarkable amount of work that needs to be done with this lens. I wonder why so many have struggled so much with it. Yet it seems that the C has had much better results. Many more people just attach it and get good and sharp shots. Unless you need the weather sealing I just do not see any reason to get this lens. It is much heavier, almost twice as expensive and seems to need considerably more work to get sharp shots. Just my two cents from someone who does not own the lens...

The work I've put into the lens is me looking for as close to perfection as possible through customisation and I would have done the same with the contemporary. I over did the changes and suffered for it, reset the defaults and it's fine again. I will make changes again until I know it's as good as I can get it.

Here's a Greenfinch cropped and resized, I've carried out no sharpening in post or in the camera. It was taken hand held, shutter speed 1/1000, ISO 200 and f6.3, distance approximately 25-30 metres, focal length 600mm.

It's not great but it's also not bad either and I expect to improve on the photograph by getting the adjustments right, hopefully. You can see noise because I've had to crop it so much but I think the noise is acceptable and expected.
 

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Mickr

Well-known member
That's a good idea Mick, I am sure the Sport is a superb lens but you have to remember that with 600mm (960mm ff fov ) any atmospheric light pollution is enhanced as is slight vibrations due to Camera movement. If you are handholding then you still need a decent shutter speed to counteract camera shake even though the OS system is fairly good. There is not many dock settings that can actually change the IQ/sharpness apart from incorrect AF micro adjustments and maybe the AF speed selection (although I think setting 'focus' in the Camera possible overrides any lens settings anyway from what I can tell).
Have you tried the lens on a tripod? (remember to switch OS off) if only to prove the lens. Most folk who use top of the range 500/600mm lenses use a but because at these focal lengths they get better results when using good tripod most of the time, not necessarily because they cannot physically hand hold the lens (the Canon 500/4 IS MkII is not much heavier than the sport) support.
Best of luck anyway Mick, I am sure you will get there in the end :t:

I used focal pro at the weekend to try and calibrate the lens. The light was good at times and then terrible within seconds because of the wind blowing clouds so quickly. I secured an A4 sized sheet of 1/2" plastic to a wall and then secured the printed target with bulldog clips. I could still see movement on the target and I think a combination of the movement and changing light screwed my results. I kept getting warnings that the light had changed massively but decided to press on anyway as the light was never going to settle down, that was a mistake and I've learned from it.

I'm interested to see if the software cam make a difference.

If the software doesn't work then I'll buy a Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus calibration target.
 

Roy C

Occasional bird snapper
I used focal pro at the weekend to try and calibrate the lens. The light was good at times and then terrible within seconds because of the wind blowing clouds so quickly. I secured an A4 sized sheet of 1/2" plastic to a wall and then secured the printed target with bulldog clips. I could still see movement on the target and I think a combination of the movement and changing light screwed my results. I kept getting warnings that the light had changed massively but decided to press on anyway as the light was never going to settle down, that was a mistake and I've learned from it.

I'm interested to see if the software cam make a difference.

If the software doesn't work then I'll buy a Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus calibration target.
Well if the conditions were like you described Mick then doing that AFMA test was a complete waste of time. You certainly need a stable target and platform to shoot from as well as constant light.
Its dead easy to tell if you do need any micro adjustment without using any bought software.
 

Roy C

Occasional bird snapper
Here's a Greenfinch cropped and resized, I've carried out no sharpening in post or in the camera. It was taken hand held, shutter speed 1/1000, ISO 200 and f6.3, distance approximately 25-30 metres, focal length 600mm.

It's not great but it's also not bad either and I expect to improve on the photograph by getting the adjustments right, hopefully. You can see noise because I've had to crop it so much but I think the noise is acceptable and expected.
I would guarantee you would have got a better result if you had used f8 and a decent tripod Mick let alone any micro adjustments, but at the end of the day if you are happy with a shot like this then that is all that matters. All the very best anyway Mick.
 

Shooter560

Active member
How do you find the software?

I've got focal pro and found it a nightmare, I screwed the target to a wall and set up the camera on a solid tripod. The only thing that was variable was the light because it was a breezy day and the clouds were moving at some rate. The wind was a westerly so I set up on the east side of my house which was well protected so the camera wasn't moving.

I ran the test twice with the lens at 2.6 metres and the focal length at 600mm and got -2 both times. I adjusted the lens to -2 and ran the test again and it came back with -3, -4, -2 and -3 after performing 4 tests.

Did you try the same tests a few times to see if the results you were getting were variable or constant? I've used this software with my old 50-500 and have had the same issue with that lens and thought that I had a problem with the lens.

Now I think it isn't the lenses and may be either the software or that the light has to be constantly the same.

I will probably try the tests again under constant light to see how it goes.

I've found the software very good, I will admit I also noticed light being an issue so put the target in my shed and fitted 4 60w halogen lamps aiming at the target which seems to have removed the light issue, FoCal now tells me I have a 12.5ev value so I'm happy with that.

Unless I was testing the short distance tune I wouldn't test below their recommended distance which is 20x 600mm = 12m, though almost all my testing is done at 18m as thats shed to back room.

I have also conducted several back to back tests and all came back after adjustment with the same reading as before. Saying that I did tweek my 600mm infinity setting by reducing the reading by 1 in the camera (2 in the lens) and it improved things a bit more, but then again it could have just been my eyes at that time.

2 photos, handheld f7.1 (sweet spot seems to be f7.1 -8 ). ISO 320, 1/1000 600mm about 20m away. Chaffinch was cropped to portrait only, reed bunting is uncropped both just resized for here to reduce file size)
 

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hosesbroadbill

Well-known member
The work I've put into the lens is me looking for as close to perfection as possible through customisation and I would have done the same with the contemporary. I over did the changes and suffered for it, reset the defaults and it's fine again. I will make changes again until I know it's as good as I can get it.

Here's a Greenfinch cropped and resized, I've carried out no sharpening in post or in the camera. It was taken hand held, shutter speed 1/1000, ISO 200 and f6.3, distance approximately 25-30 metres, focal length 600mm.

It's not great but it's also not bad either and I expect to improve on the photograph by getting the adjustments right, hopefully. You can see noise because I've had to crop it so much but I think the noise is acceptable and expected.

I don't think that you can possibly learn anything about a lens when taking shots of a small bird at long distances. Maybe others who know more about testing lenses can chime in, but I woudl think that you would be far better off going to a local duck pond and shooting birds that are much closer than 80-100 feet. Shooting a mallards head at close range or something like that would seem to be a much better use of your time. Also I would certainly when testing a lens shoot off of a tripod so that you can rule out lens shake.

On a side note, and this is something that Roy has said multiple times. Me as well. You need to be close to the birds when using these inexpensive zooms. They work much better when they do not need to have a heavy crop. Considering the distance you took that shot at I think it is OK, but the closer you get, the better the shot will become. Can't expect more from the lens or your camera than what it is capable of.
 

Mickr

Well-known member
Well if the conditions were like you described Mick then doing that AFMA test was a complete waste of time. You certainly need a stable target and platform to shoot from as well as constant light.
Its dead easy to tell if you do need any micro adjustment without using any bought software.

The conditions changed during the test which took a few hours from deciding to do it and it ending. I wouldn't have attempted it if I knew how windy it was going to get. I bought the software to take the idiot out of the equation and in the hope that it would remove subjectivity.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
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