Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sigma 50-500mm f5-6.3 DG OS HSM vs. Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS (reviews so far)

Minimum Aperturef/22
Minimum Focusing Distance1.6ft-5.9ft
Lens Construction22 Elements in 16 Groups
Maximum Magnification1:3.1
Angle of View46.8°- 5°
Filter Size95mm (stepdown available)
No. of Diaphragm Blades9 pcs
Lens HoodPetal-type
SRP$1600 (USD)
Diameter 104.4mm x Length 219mm
Available FittingsCanon AF, if nothing else, Sigma AF, Nikon AF, Pentax AF, Sony AF are secondary alternatives

The Sigma 50-500mm f5-6.3 DG OS HSM is an ultra telephoto lens offering a 10x zoom ratio. Incorporating Sigma’s original Optical Stabiliser function, the Sigma 50-500mm f5-6.3 offers the use of shutter speeds approximately 4 stops slower than would otherwise be possible. Four SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements provide excellent correction of colour aberration. The addition of the optional 1.4x EX DG or 2x EX DG APO Tele Converters produce a 70-700mm F6.3-8 or a 100-1000mm F9-12.6 MF zoom lens respectively.

On a crop camera like the Canon EOS 7D with a Sigma 2x, the maximum focal length of this lens is 1600mm. INSANE!


Does it take Canon TCs? No. Roger Cicala at was kind enough to confirm with Don Sausa that it does not take Canon TCs.

Sample shots and reviews

  1. Roger and the team took the first volley here:
  2. The test chart on a 5D MkII is available here:
  3. Jeffrey Friedl took some great shots with the Nikon mount. No doubt it'll look better with Canon cameras, but hey no one's perfect. (LOL)
  4. Another Nikon user took these great shots.  Yes, good shots are not impossible for Nikons.  We suspect he had Canon hands.
    With the sample shots so far + the OS and the extra +100mm, the Bigma II is on a rock solid start. It's a serious contender to the old Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS.

    Summary and Conclusion

    1. Sigma is competing against the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS. Both are priced in most shops at or around $1600.
    2. Is it sharp? Roger's test shot at 1/250 @ 500mm (5d MkII) shows the quality is impressive despite slower shutter speeds. I wonder what the sharpness would be like at 1/500!
    3. Sigma's TC's work but not Canon's TC's. (TC = teleconverter to multiply focal length)
    4. Video quality? Excellent. Close-ups, here we come!

    Flickr group!
    Got shots you want to share? If you have sample pictures and have a Flickr account, please join this group and post them:

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