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Thread: 120-400 or the 150-500 Sigma

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    Member Couta's Avatar
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    120-400 or the 150-500 Sigma

    I am considering choice of two lenses for my sports photography the 120-400 or the 150-500 Sigma, I will predominantly be shooting Junior AFL , Cricket and Surfing . I have read a few forums and realize that neither will be as sharp as a prime or the more expensive Canon equivalent zoom. My other concern is speed of AF, as AFL is fast moving and requires lots of tracking with a zoom. I was also wondering if the extra reach in the 150-500 would be better than the shorter 120- 400 even though I have read the latter has a slightly better image quality. Has anyone one compared both and come up with any conclusions ?
    Regards First time poster Couta

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    Hi and welcome to AP Couta Will move this post to Camera Gear/Lens Talk as I think you will get more replies in there to your question
    Cat (aka Cathy) - Another Canon user - 400D, 18-55,75-300mm Kit Lens,50mm f1.8, Tamron 90mm f2.8 Macro, Sigma 28-70 f2.8-4 DG, Tripod and a willingness to learn
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    Couta

    I have the 150-500 and Im very happy with it. The OS is excellent and the image quality is very good. Use mine on a Canon 1D and 7D and I can easily get good handheld shots although I use a monopod where possible.
    Canon 1D, 5D, 7D & D2000 plus lotsa extras
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    PP & CC is OK

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    Hi! I recently bought the 150-500 after wrestling with the same issues you are. So far (though I haven't taken many photos!!!) I am happy with my choice. I was at Belrieve Oval in Tas during December and took photos of the Tas V Pakistan tour match. I was very happy with my pics, though most were of lenths in the high 200mm to occasionally low 400mm - most were in the 300mm range. The thing that convinced me to get the 150-500 was that I read elsewhere that both lenses were a bit soft the longer they got. I reasoned that this meant that if I got the 150-500 then it would not be as soft in the high 300mm and low 400mm as the 120-400 might be in the high 300mm area. Of course, the 150-550 is bigger and heavier than the 120-400, and I had to think about how I would use it - mainly on a tripod or monopod, and at what lengths. I have a colony of wild black (shy) swans I want to photo, and so thought for me the extra length would be an advantage. Hope this helps in some way!

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    Member Harrier's Avatar
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    I have found it to be a great lens. Check out the Flickr group. pod 3009 just how didy ou gt it into the Test Match?

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    Thanks for the prompt and helpful reply from everyone. I also have the same reasoning as pod3009 concerning the fall away in IQ the more the zoom is stretched. This applies to my Tamron 70-200 as well. I hope I can help people in the future as far as the forum goes.

    Regards couta

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    Re: 120-400 or the 150-500 Sigma

    You also need to consider light and the appertures these zooms can go to, it will not be a problem, apart from a lack of subject seperation, in daytime sport.....if only all sport was in good light

    I'll maintain that a 70-200 with a 1.4tc is still the best sporting option for junior sport, this does not apply to surfing necessarily

    It's a discipline to wait until the action comes to you
    Darren
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    Member kmcgreg's Avatar
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    Man sometimes everything during the day just pisses you off. This the is third time I have started writing the post to find someone has closed the web page on me before I had finished.
    Ok I feel better now. I have been looking for something in the 400- 500 range for birds/wildlife/ sport. The canon primes 500 and 600 are beasts as well as very expensive.
    The 100-400 is very old tech that surely will be upgraded soon. I have seen very mixed reviews regarding the sigma 120-400 and 150-500. A recent british photography mag rated a variety of these tele lenses and gave the tick of approval to both the sigma lenses over the canon 100-400 and other contenders. Still I am not convinced there is a really good solution out there for this range at the moment. Perhaps canon will surprise us with something new in FEb.

    I would love to hear what others are using and suggest.

    I am off to take photos on Lady Elliot Island tomorrow and to do some diving for the next week as long as it doesn't rain. Should be plenty of birds nesting and turtles hatching. This will be my third trip. Pity I didnt have 400-500mm coverage!
    Hobart Camera semi newbie


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    gday. i have the 150-500 and all a above hoo har about being soft at 500mm is wrong with a capital W. I and numerous others use this as a birding/wildlife lens and it spends most of its time at 500mm. wide open at f6.3 it is just a tad soft but from f8-10 its as sharp as you could possibly want a lens to be. in good bright light the AF is really quite good, but i wouldnt use it at night with out really bright light sources. I want to start using mine for a bit of sport too. i reckon it would be fun.
    the optical stabilisation works really well and allows me to hand hold right down to 1/160th sec with out any problems (on a static object of course).

    the only problem is that in low light situations AF ability will drop and given the speed (f#) of the lens you are gunna have to boost the iso to keep the shutter speed up.

    that said, if you have the dosh then go kiwis option of a 70-200 f2.8 and a TC. much faster setup.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Couta View Post
    I am considering choice of two lenses for my sports photography the 120-400 or the 150-500 Sigma, I will predominantly be shooting Junior AFL , Cricket and Surfing . I have read a few forums and realize that neither will be as sharp as a prime or the more expensive Canon equivalent zoom. My other concern is speed of AF, as AFL is fast moving and requires lots of tracking with a zoom. I was also wondering if the extra reach in the 150-500 would be better than the shorter 120- 400 even though I have read the latter has a slightly better image quality. Has anyone one compared both and come up with any conclusions ?
    Regards First time poster Couta
    Based on the reviews of the mentioned British magazine plus internet reviews I purchased the Sigma 120-400. In my opinion the lens is dissappointingly soft when wide open. I stopped down the lens to F8-F12 and really its the same - poor.

    I then looked at the Canon 100-400 L and liked it. It is lighter and the optics is supperb. Consiquently purchased the Canon and I am perfectly happy with it. Yes the zoom is different but not off putting. The result is that I will now only buy Canon lenses. The Sigma is up for sale. The first pict is the Sigma and the other the Canon. Hopes this helps.
    Regards
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Pine; 29-01-2010 at 3:13pm.
    Bodies : Canon 450D, Canon 7D
    Lenses : Canon 15-85 f3.5-5.6 IS USM, Canon 100mm F2.8 Makro USM, Canon 24-70 L F2.8 USM, Canon 70-200 L F4, Canon 100-400 L F4.5-5.6L IS USM
    Editing : Photoshop CS5

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    150-500 I'd say, this lens would be my next buy when I've saved enough $$
    7D | 40D | 24-70L | 70-200L 2.8IS | Tamron 18-270mm | Tamron 17-50 2.8 | Sigma 30mm | Canon 50mm 1.8 | 430EXII

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    I wouldn't waste my money on the sigma 120-400, it is an absolute shocker at 400mm f5.6 (wide open)

    Smoke Alarms Save Lives, Install One Today
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    And it is a real dog for sports


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    I've been looking at the 120-400 and this has just about sold me .
    AKA Sean

    Canon 5D MKII - 24-105L - 70-200 F4L IS - 70-300 IS USM - 28 1.8 - 35L 1.4 - 50 1.4 - 85 1.8 - 100L Macro - 200L 2.8II - Tamron 17-35 2.8 - Sigma 150-500 - 430EX - and a stack of other bits and pieces.

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    Member RonC's Avatar
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    Sorry new to the site so hopefully not repeating.

    I use the Sigma 50-500 on a Canon 40D in SA for Surfing, cricket and football (Aussie).

    Absolutely love it but have to admit I cant afford the L glass.

    Biggest issue I have besides the weight is the sealing as the lens extends out, now notice foreign objects inside the assembly

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    re sigma lens

    I bought a brand new 120-400,had it 4 days and sent it back,awfull lens,i would'nt recommend it all.the picturesit took were rubbish,save yourself the headaches,and get the 100-400 canon.

    I bought a canon 400mm prime,after the sigma disaster,and used it on same camera and subjects,the difference was amazing! within in the first half hou of using canon i took a phot that won a posh photo comp,The sigma was soft-even my crappy 70-300 kit lens took better photos,

    So No,NO,No to sigma
    Canon 50D and 450D - Canon 10-22 F3.5-5.6, 17-55 F2.8 L, 70-200 F2.8 L, 400 prime F5.6 L, 60mm F2.8 macro, EX 430 Flash,and all sorts of other bits and pieces

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    I have got the Sigma 120-400 and love it. I use it on both my 450D and 7D and it is definitely the lens that gets the most action for the type of shooting that I do and I love it.

    Yes it is not as sharp and is heavier when compared to the Canon 100-400 but then again, but I think it makes up for it when you look at it's price point. The main limitations I have found are at 400mm but other than that it is excellent for my needs.

    I compared it to the 150-500 when I was deciding on which lens to buy, and in the end the weight difference settled it for me since I do the greatest majority of my shooting handheld.

    Cheers
    Pupmeister

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    Ausphotography Veteran Speedway's Avatar
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    I recently bought a canon 7d and 150-500 sigma and couldn't be happier although I haven't tried it on AFL or any other sports yet I cant see there being any problem as I had no problem tracking an eagle at 500mm as it took off in amongst trees, and the iq is pretty good IMO. This was taken the day I got the camera and lens.
    Keith.

    IMG_0015aSz2.jpg
    Keith

    Canon 400D Gripped, Canon 7D LCD Timer Gripped, Canon 70-200 f2.8L is ii. Canon 2X iii Extender, Canon 50mm 1.8, Sigma 150-500, Sigma 18-250, Sigma 17-50 F2.8, Sigma 10-20, Tamron 90mm Macro, Yonguno YN460 & 460ii Speedlights and a Hanimax TZ 1 Flash, Wireless Triggers ,LED Macro Ringlight, Extension Tubes, 3 tripods, 2 monopods, PS Elements 5 & 10, PSP9 and canon s/ware, various filters and other photographic paraphernalia all packed in a computrecker backpack + 3 smaller bags and an aluminium case.

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    With the Sigma 10-400mm you either get a good copy and love it or a bad copy and hate it. I had one for around 4 months and was fairly impressed. If it costs around 60% of the expensive canons but is almost 95% as good then I think it is good value.

    If possible test it BEFORE you purchase it

    Paul

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    re lens

    With the copy i got,i had such a bad experience,i will never buy a 'budget' lens again.

    As i said the 70-300 kit lens had before the sigma was far better than the copy of the

    120-400.Also someone says on this thread,that their 120-400 is'nt that sharp at 400mm,

    Whats the point in having a 400 lens?,Anyhow,may be i am fussy,But to be able to go out

    into the field and have confidiance in your gear is worth paying a bit more for,IMHO.

    The sigma 120-400,just made me feel ill after i saw all of its images.I would recomend anyone

    to look at other options,rather than the sigma,just my opinion.

    The original poster wants a lens for sports action,I can recommend the canon 400 mmL prime

    F 5.6,this is amazing lens for birds/wildlife,and pro surfer photographers use this lens.

    Its very light,SHARP!,quick focus.causes no problems,a great daylight lens

    hope this helps

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