New Sigma 150/600

Hor Kee

Penang birder
looking good Jeff :t: especially if it is any good for BIF. Also an enormous plus for anyone who is reach limited will be if it is any good with a 1.4x tc.

BIF was the biggest con for me with the Tammy 150-600 - I was on the estuary in really good light and it would not lock on to distant flying Curlews, I repeated the test several times all with the same result it seemed as if the contrast was not enough for the lens to AF. The following day I took the 400/5.6 as well and tested that with a 1.4x tc attached and it locked on to flying Curlews no problem. I switched back to the Tammy and once again it refused to lock on. The Tammy is fine for reasonably close perched birds but even then it can labor a bit with poor contrasting targets. It will be interesting to see how the Sigma 150-600 non sport measures up to the Tammy in terms of price, weight and performance.

Roy, that was my exact problem with the Tamron. When faced with close-up slow-flying birds, it gave an even more infuriating result. Each other shot was out of focus despite the shots before and after that shot being perfectly in focus. I have never gone back to the Tamron since.
 

Paul - Herts

Paul Herts
Still waiting for this kind of detail with the Sigma...

Are you finding samples to look at? I can't find many shots with it at all; there was a Chinese site which took so long to load just the words, in Chinese, that I gave up on it. I've seen bits and pieces but nowhere near enough user shots to make any sort of judgement on. There is a Flickr group but even that seems (very) lacking in members.

I was under the impression that there was a serious supply shortage??

Paul
 

Roy C

Occasional bird snapper
Still waiting for this kind of detail with the Sigma...
Its not everyone who wants to disturb the birds by getting near just for bragging rights ;).
If your shots are anything to go by then it seems like you have no problem disturbing the birds as long as you get the shot!.
In the UK there is a strong birding community who put the welfare of the birds first - in general bird snappers are scorned upon by genuine birders (and quite rightly so in a lot of cases). In the main good bird shots are acquired by setting up hides (and feeding stations) if you are not prepared to do this then long distance/heavy cropped shots are the order of the day for most of us.
Why are you 'still waiting for this kind of detail with the Sigma', what difference is it to you? if you are happy with your lens then that's great just get out there and enjoy it instead of bragging and downing of other folks efforts and gear. This 'my gear is best attitude' is getting tiresome for a lot of folk I suspect.
 

O.Reville1989

I started off with nothing and I've still got some
Tried one briefly via a friend last week.
Heavy but not to the point where it is uncomfortable, it feels like a really well made lens.
Handheld at 600mm I struggled a bit when the bird was small in the frame (Great Tit on a feeder 25 metres away) but i wouldn't often attempt to photograph a bird this small at this distance.
In this scenario I found the bird to be soft at F6.3 at 600mm but improved noticeably at F8.
Under more typical situations I found the quality very good, especially up to about 500mm wide open, stopping down to F8 again improved things at 600mm.
I'm not sure if I would buy it, I do most of my work handheld and compared to my 400 F5.6 Canon it is a monster which didn't appeal to me. That said on a monopod it was far nicer to use and the extra 200mm (although i'd spend most of the time at F8 at 600mm) definitely would be be useful.

Personally i'd love to use it on full frame, or maybe the 1D mark iv, and see how it gets on.
On a 70D though it was good, but a bit unwieldy at 600mm. I'll be sticking to the 400 prime...for now.
 

hosesbroadbill

Well-known member
Bird Snapper

Its not everyone who wants to disturb the birds by getting near just for bragging rights ;).
If your shots are anything to go by then it seems like you have no problem disturbing the birds as long as you get the shot!.
In the UK there is a strong birding community who put the welfare of the birds first - in general bird snappers are scorned upon by genuine birders (and quite rightly so in a lot of cases). In the main good bird shots are acquired by setting up hides (and feeding stations) if you are not prepared to do this then long distance/heavy cropped shots are the order of the day for most of us.
Why are you 'still waiting for this kind of detail with the Sigma', what difference is it to you? if you are happy with your lens then that's great just get out there and enjoy it instead of bragging and downing of other folks efforts and gear. This 'my gear is best attitude' is getting tiresome for a lot of folk I suspect.

Since you are not from NY Roy, let me fill you in on a few things. The 2 sparrows were taken in Prospect Park (this is the Central Park of Brooklyn) and says so on Flickr. The birds there are very tame as there are always tons of people there. I literally sat on the path and waited for them to come out and feed in front of me. These shots were taken as bike riders came by, people walking their dogs, etc. The birds didn't seem to mind anything as long as you stayed on the path and did not go into the grass. When someone had their dog off of the leash and it came charging towards them barking as loud as possible that flushed them back into the shrubs. The closest I came to disturbing those sparrows was watching a poodle scare them.

Why do I want better gear?? Hard to believe you would ask but here is why. I was out on Sunday doing a Christmas count. Light was terrible. Completely overcast and dark. A Bald Eagle came and landed very close to my group. I was able to get a few pics. This was shot at ISO 1600, f8 (as you and others well know that is the sharp spot with this lens) and exposure compensation of +2.
If the Sigma allows equally good results as the Tamron at f6.3 instead of f8 than that is a major advantage towards the Sigma in low light conditions. If it is sharper than that obviously is as well for those times when you need to crop. Here is the Eagle shot:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/16041408356/

Could it have been better with the Sigma? I would love to know. Have been birding for 35 years or so and that is by far the closest I have come to a Bald Eagle. Want to have the best gear on me to take advantage of the opportunities that arise.

I have never said the Tamron is the best. It clearly is not as good as BIF as the 400 5.6, it is supposed to be not as sharp as the Sigma (remains to be seen), it is certainly not as weather proof as the Sigma, I have read that the new 100-400 plus 1.4 is sharper as well but still have not seen that either. Just some dots on a chart, not actual images of birds and direct comparisons. As has been mentioned plenty of times I and others are looking for the best all around lens to use while birding. Seems there is always a compromise. My 7dii is a great camera. I am very happy with it but image quality is not as good as if I bought a 5diii. Low light performance does not compare. But I accept that shortfall for the speed, cost and crop factor. Same goes with the lens that I ultimately end up using. Maybe it will be the Tamron, maybe the Sigma or maybe the Canon 100-400ii plus 1.4x, or maybe the 300 2.8 plus 2x.

The birds in the UK must have good taste if they don't let you approach too closely :t: Pretty much all of my best shots were gotten when while I was birding I saw an opportunity, sat down, remained quiet and still and waited for the birds to come to me. Don't necessarily need a blind over here for most situations.

And like you have said plenty of times Roy, I just call it the way I see it. I certainly am not trying to insult or put others down. Just make a judgment based on the image presented to me. That is the point of these forums right? To help each other come to decisions on gear? Don't think there is any merit in the "great shot" or comments like that. Good constructive criticism goes much farther towards helping us learn than compliments or the bad attitudes that some seem to have.
 
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the black fox

Well-known member
Its not everyone who wants to disturb the birds by getting near just for bragging rights ;).
If your shots are anything to go by then it seems like you have no problem disturbing the birds as long as you get the shot!.
In the UK there is a strong birding community who put the welfare of the birds first - in general bird snappers are scorned upon by genuine birders (and quite rightly so in a lot of cases). In the main good bird shots are acquired by setting up hides (and feeding stations) if you are not prepared to do this then long distance/heavy cropped shots are the order of the day for most of us.
Why are you 'still waiting for this kind of detail with the Sigma', what difference is it to you? if you are happy with your lens then that's great just get out there and enjoy it instead of bragging and downing of other folks efforts and gear. This 'my gear is best attitude' is getting tiresome for a lot of folk I suspect.

roy your not related to me by some chance are you .i couldn't have put this better myself :t:

coming back to the sigma lens i have a lot of thinking to do .yes i'm attracted to it and after a hour shooting with one i know there really good ,and also surprisingly well balanced but this is the pro's and cons of it
i shoot with a 1d3 and a 70d so best of both worlds to a point the 1d3 will a/f at f8 but only centre point with the 1.4tc and 400mm lens .
so i can use a 1d3 +400mm f5.6 + 1.4 tc and get 560mm native at f8 and still get sharp shots in good light and also hand hold
i still can use it at 400mm as well for even more sharpness

if i went for the sigma i would get a heavier more expensive lens that would also give me all focus points and i.s plus i know for a fact let in more light even at 600mm and using it with the 70d get the extra crop factor reach ,the id3 if i so choose will also accept the sigma 1.4 tc so giving me even more reach if needed .being a big bloke the weight is not really a problem .just don't want to make the wrong choice long term .also at my time of life do i need the expense .?????

and for the sake of our tamron loving new york friend ,look i have tried the tamron lens out for a day under our u.k conditions and found it lacking ,i have also tried the sigma and found it far superior for our conditions so please stop doing the hard sell its not needed and as roy pointed out quiet boring .heres one from the sigma test btw and another of a seagull against a very grey sky on a rooftop
 

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hosesbroadbill

Well-known member
?

roy your not related to me by some chance are you .i couldn't have put this better myself :t:

coming back to the sigma lens i have a lot of thinking to do .yes i'm attracted to it and after a hour shooting with one i know there really good ,and also surprisingly well balanced but this is the pro's and cons of it
i shoot with a 1d3 and a 70d so best of both worlds to a point the 1d3 will a/f at f8 but only centre point with the 1.4tc and 400mm lens .
so i can use a 1d3 +400mm f5.6 + 1.4 tc and get 560mm native at f8 and still get sharp shots in good light and also hand hold
i still can use it at 400mm as well for even more sharpness

if i went for the sigma i would get a heavier more expensive lens that would also give me all focus points and i.s plus i know for a fact let in more light even at 600mm and using it with the 70d get the extra crop factor reach ,the id3 if i so choose will also accept the sigma 1.4 tc so giving me even more reach if needed .being a big bloke the weight is not really a problem .just don't want to make the wrong choice long term .also at my time of life do i need the expense .?????

and for the sake of our tamron loving new york friend ,look i have tried the tamron lens out for a day under our u.k conditions and found it lacking ,i have also tried the sigma and found it far superior for our conditions so please stop doing the hard sell its not needed and as roy pointed out quiet boring .heres one from the sigma test btw and another of a seagull against a very grey sky on a rooftop

I think the cloudy skies have gone to your heads over there. Never once have I given the hard sell for the Tamron. Seems to me like I have on numerous occasions mentioned other lenses and tried to get direct comparisons so I can find something better. In addition I have pointed out the short comings of the Tamron as well. How is that pro Tamron? Just trying to put my results against others with the Sigma or other options mentioned to see how they stand up.

Think you guys need to do a little more posting of actual sharp and contrasting photos (of something other than a goldfinch from a yard) and a little less name calling and finger pointing. As to your shots they are both soft and dull. They lack contrast and are not sharp. Perhaps due to conditions, perhaps due to user error, perhaps due to the lens. I certainly would under no circumstances see these pics and decide that I should run out and spend $2,000 dollars on a lens. Nor could I use them to base any decision on how the Sigma stands up to the Tamron or other options out there.
 

Tarsiger

Well-known member
Isaac,
What you have to understand is many people in the UK (bird photographers especially) suffer from SAD (http://www.sada.org.uk/) which renders them ' a little difficult' especially on forums. Have a great Xmas with all those lovely tame birds and great light, something we can only dream of��
And as an aside I'm always surprised at how these lens and camera discussions are so often supported by uninteresting record shots which really should be binned. Keep us posted if you are able to try the new sigma although my heart is currently set on the new 100-400 despite the cost and the panning its bound to receive in some quarters
Best wishes
Russ
 

hosesbroadbill

Well-known member
Now I understand

Isaac,
What you have to understand is many people in the UK (bird photographers especially) suffer from SAD (http://www.sada.org.uk/) which renders them ' a little difficult' especially on forums. Have a great Xmas with all those lovely tame birds and great light, something we can only dream of��
And as an aside I'm always surprised at how these lens and camera discussions are so often supported by uninteresting record shots which really should be binned. Keep us posted if you are able to try the new sigma although my heart is currently set on the new 100-400 despite the cost and the panning its bound to receive in some quarters
Best wishes
Russ

At least now it makes sense. Thanks for the info. And could not agree more about what you said about the uninteresting record shots.

I am chomping at the bit to get my hands on the Sigma and 100-400ii to form an educated opinion. Will let you know if I am able to.
 

micloi

Well-known member
I took great photos with the Tamron, especially in Cyprus where the weather was much better.
Don't get me wrong, it is a great lens and I am keeping it too (at least until the Sigma Contemporary version comes out).

The Sigma is better in 3 areas:
1. Contrast open wide and at f7.1
2. Chromatic aberration (VERY well controlled by the Sigma)
3. AF speed and accuracy (the Tamron is good but the Sigma is great)

At f8 and f9 there is less difference but I need a lens that I can shoot in UK weather so the Sigma will be my main lens.

I believe I both posted sharp photos with the Sigma and I also explained the differences clearly from my, vast, experience of testing and comparing lenses (pretty much every telephoto except the Nikon 800mm, Canon 1200mm and Sigma 200-500 2.8).

You can either take my word for it from owning and using both lenses or wait for more photos or until you test the Sigma personally before you agree, it is up to you :t:
 

Paul - Herts

Paul Herts
Any links for sample images please? Just watched a video on YouTube that said nothing in 15 minutes and started to watch another but it was in German, my understanding of which is only slightly greater than my ability to order a Spanish beer.

P.S. I come in peace o:D
 

jimthomson

Well-known member
]
Its not everyone who wants to disturb the birds by getting near just for bragging rights ;).
If your shots are anything to go by then it seems like you have no problem disturbing the birds as long as you get the shot!.
In the UK there is a strong birding community who put the welfare of the birds first - in general bird snappers are scorned upon by genuine birders (and quite rightly so in a lot of cases). In the main good bird shots are acquired by setting up hides (and feeding stations) if you are not prepared to do this then long distance/heavy cropped shots are the order of the day for most of us.
Why are you 'still waiting for this kind of detail with the Sigma', what difference is it to you? if you are happy with your lens then that's great just get out there and enjoy it instead of bragging and downing of other folks efforts and gear. This 'my gear is best attitude' is getting tiresome for a lot of folk I suspect.

Totally agree with the last paragraph Roy, but I haven't seen anything in Isaac's pictures that would suggest he is disturbing the birds. Birds in urban parks where he does most of his shooting can be quite tame. No need for hides or blinds for most of what he is shooting.

The Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton Ontario where I shoot a lot has many birds that are accustomed to people.
[url=https://flic.kr/p/pYfwvU] Downy Woodpecker by jim4496, on Flickr[/URL]

The Botanical Gardens includes wetlands and significant wild areas, it's not just rock gardens and green houses.
 
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micloi

Well-known member
Any links for sample images please? Just watched a video on YouTube that said nothing in 15 minutes and started to watch another but it was in German, my understanding of which is only slightly greater than my ability to order a Spanish beer.

P.S. I come in peace o:D

Hi Paul,

Do read the thread please, I have links to many full sized images :t:
 

Paul - Herts

Paul Herts
Hi Paul,

Do read the thread please, I have links to many full sized images :t:

No offence but I already have read the thread and apart from the stunning heron shots you have taken with the 810 there aren't many examples to look at. Don't get me wrong, I am not knocking the other shots you have linked to, but I am waiting to see a wide selection at a similar standard to the heron - but taken with a 70D or similar! Though I do frequently wish I hadn't, I have and therefore will be sticking with that camera.

Paul
 

hosesbroadbill

Well-known member
what was posted

I believe I both posted sharp photos with the Sigma and I also explained the differences clearly from my, vast, experience of testing and comparing lenses (pretty much every telephoto except the Nikon 800mm, Canon 1200mm and Sigma 200-500 2.8).

You can either take my word for it from owning and using both lenses or wait for more photos or until you test the Sigma personally before you agree, it is up to you :t:

I have read the whole post as well. I saw what you posted and frankly don't see anything there that I would use to judge a lens. Most of the shots are to my standards not sharp and show very little contrast. Again, not trying to be rude, just giving the facts about what I have seen. I would not use those as proof one way or the other to judge a lens and do not think they are indicative of the capabilities of what the lens can do. This is not a knock on you personally, nor on the product, but soft shots in dim light are not what I would use to judge if I am going to spend $2,000 or not.
 

micloi

Well-known member
In the same way I would not buy a lens because it takes good shots in great light from 5 meters, let's just agree to disagree :)
 

hosesbroadbill

Well-known member
?

]

Totally agree with the last paragraph Roy, but I haven't seen anything in Isaac's pictures that would suggest he is disturbing the birds. Birds in urban parks where he does most of his shooting can be quite tame. No need for hides or blinds for most of what he is shooting.

The Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton Ontario where I shoot a lot has many birds that are accustomed to people.
[url=https://flic.kr/p/pYfwvU] Downy Woodpecker by jim4496, on Flickr[/URL]

The Botanical Gardens includes wetlands and significant wild areas, it's not just rock gardens and green houses.

Some of my shooting is in city parks and some not. Also some parks have far more people than others and the birds are quite a bit less tame. I have also posted many shots of birds out on the beach in secluded areas and migrant passerines from coastal traps that are very shy. I think after being a life long birder (since I was 4) that I am fairly good at reading a situation and knowing what tolerances the birds have. I never go out looking for shots, I go birding and take advantage of opportunities I am presented with.

Here is a shot that I crawled out onto a jetty for and got at eye level with the Dunlin. Not at a city park and not tame birds. I got my shots and left with the birds barely giving me the time of day to open their eyes and look at me. Maybe some of you need to work on your field crafts and stop making accusations.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/15981186576/

And a Goldfinch that I slowly approached as it fed at the edge of a pond. Birds were not wary of me but flushed as soon as 2 people walked by talking.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/15742123882/

Frankly I have posted time and time again pics of this quality and have seen very little if any that match. Both from the 400 5.6 plus 1.4 or from the Sigma. Yet still I am the one who is looking and hoping for a better option that is out there. I have not said the Tamron is the best and am eagerly looking through pics and information to try and potentially find a better alternative.
 

Paul - Herts

Paul Herts
I have a couple with the 7D2 but as I am using a Nikon won't be taking any with a 70D.

I appreciate that. The Nikons do deliver nice images with both of the big zooms!

I just think that there is a dearth of images with the new Sigma. Admittedly the Tamron has a year head start here but I don't think that the Sigma is being used by enough people to really get a feel for it - except of course people like yourself who are lucky enough to have it in hand. The noises being made, including by Black Fox and Orville in this thread, are positive but given that after a year and having seen some terrific shots from the Tamron I remain unconvinced by it, I will need to see a lot more before I risk double the money.

And that's with no disrespect to Isaac who does get some terrific shots with the Tamron - and more so with the new 7D. I love my 400 5.6 but my shaky hands miss the IS of my 300 f4 which just isn't a long enough lens for general birding usage
 
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