Wed 13-Jun-12 05:45 AM | edited Wed 13-Jun-12 05:48 AM by Antero52
Now that I have the Bigma, what do I use for testing? Let’s see what I can find in the garden. A pair of mallards for starters.
Looking good but the male is clearly sharper than the female. With my old 150-500mm, both of them would have been passably sharp but no more.
But what’s that? Is that the m… thing? No, I must be dreaming, only the best of primes can cause moiré, and certainly not long zooms when hand-held.
What next? A young rabbit. We usually see them almost daily but they are difficult to capture as they tend to flee or hide behind shrubs. This one is inexperienced and heads for an area of the garden that’s still very much work-in-progress. Press AF-ON while there’s good focus and fire.
100% crop looks good to me but I’m only seeing the rabbit from behind. A couple seconds later and the rabbit notices the fence (mauled by snow which hardened in the spring at the height of the fence and then shrunk while melting). The rabbit is heading for the grass on the right. Quickly release the AF-ON before the grass messes up the focus, and fire.
Crop looks ok. Good thing I released the AF-ON as the grass is clearly closer to the camera than the rabbit.
One second later the rabbit is in plain sight. Press AF-ON and fire.
Rabbit is close to sharp, at least the hair and whiskers on the left side are. The thing must be moving closer to me. So unfair! And while the rabbit is almost sharp, there’s clearly motion blur in the background.
Next second, and the rabbit only shows its behind and disappears. Testing lenses is harder than I thought. Why don’t somebody invent a test target that stays put?
What do you think? Shall I keep the lens or return it?
(All shots D800E, Sigma 50-500mm OS version, exposure set to manual 1/640, f/8, auto-ISO varying between about 220 (rabbit) and 1400 (mallards), OS in position "1")
Antero, I’m glad to see it works just as well on your D800 as it does on my D7000. It’s a great lens for the money!
As to hand-holding Pravin, I don’t know how Antero feels, but I find the Sigma OS implementation on this lens quite good and very functional.
This was taken with the Bigma hand-held while leaning back against my car for added stability (in my advancing years I find I’m not as steady on my feet as I used to be!! ).
D7000 with a Sigma 50-500 OS at 500mm, hand held with OS on, AF-S, f/6.3, 1/30th and ISO 800
I find the focus quite good and accurate, although it does hunt when lighting and contrast is marginal.
And while I find I can hand-hold this lens quite well, I generally will use it with a monopod most of the time and tripod occasionally. In fact my Space Shuttle Piggyback images in my gallery were taken with the Bigma loosely mounted on a tripod.
Pravin, all the shots in this thread were taken hand-held, standing, without any additional support. I use ad-hoc supports if possible. For instance, I may sit on the ground and support my elbows against my knees.
As to hand-holding for several hours, it has been a problem for me this year that I have so much work that I simply cannot devote that much time to stalking wildlife. On the other hand, the extra work is well paid and I have no problem financing my acquisitions.
>Looking good but the male is clearly sharper than the female. >With my old 150-500mm, both of them would have been passably >sharp but no more. >
Initially Antero, I wasn’t sure if all this post was serious or partially tongue-in-cheek. I see now in your reply to Pravin that it’s part in jest.
Just curious about this statement though. Have you tried the 150-500 on your D800, or are you going on shots taken prior? Also don’t know if this is being facetious or serious?
If serious, than if you are comparing a prior camera’s result (say a 12MP) then that could account for the difference of being acceptably sharp I would think. When viewing a great enlargement the DOF will be much narrow at 100% view of a 24MP shot than an equivalent 12MP shot.
I was indeed jesting partially. The results are real but the idea of using wildlife as serious test targets was where I was trying to make a joke.
These two are repeatable shots from the same location, 100% crops (7x magnification from D800 FX frames). One was taken with the 50-500mm, the other with my old 150-500mm. Although I see that in some pairwise comparison shots with the 150-500 and 50-500, the background is actually sharper in the shots taken with the 150-500mm than in those taken with the 50-500mm. Perhaps my old 150-500mm has developed a bad back-focusing problem, I'll have to explore that possibility.
BTW, I realized that the 50-500mm compresses to about 5cm/2" shorter than the 150-500mm when both lenses are at their shortest focal lengths. This is a significant difference considering how big a backpack is needed.
Pravin, you are not bugging me but I’m in a very unfamiliar situation as I have so much work (both in my professional and private life) and so little time. Actually, I didn’t suspect back focusing with the 150-500mm until I selected some comparison shots for posting here. The possible back focusing is not apparent from the dandelion shots because the distances to the subject and BG are so different. But in some other picture pairs the distances to the subject and BG were much closer to each other, and the shots from the old 150-500mm typically had sharper backgrounds than the shots from the new 50-500mm. Unfortunately (testing-wise) I won’t have any available evenings for testing until we fly to Canada for three weeks.
I was frustrated with the 150-500 because the official distributor refused to acknowledge a problem but I felt it wasn’t as sharp as it used to be. Now that I have the 50-500mm that works like a charm, I’m happy. I’ll find out later what the problem with the old lens is.
Mike, the short answer is they are real ducks. You can see them making waves in #1 and there's water dropping from the female's beak in #2. This was the only shot where the two of them had their heads up and close to each other. Normally one of them was eating grass while the other was keeping a lookout.