APO 50-500mm F4-6.3 EX DG HSM

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by colinwheeler, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. colinwheeler

    colinwheeler
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    Does anyone use on of these. I have read some quite good reviews on them but would like another opinion as it is quite an expensive lense to shell out for though I think it will definitly help me as for hiking and up in the mountains I have no desire to carry a whole bunch of different lenses around.
     
  2. SSB

    SSB
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    I've never tried one, but the uber-zoom aspect is v attractive.

    www.surreyphotography.co.uk still have a Nikon fit one, boxed with a warranty. He's had it at least 2 or 3 months, so might entertain a price reduction - that is assuming you're a Nikon user.
     
  3. Pink Fairy

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    I know an awful lot of people who use this lens and have seen prints and published work taken with it. In the right hands (and on a tripod ;) ) it's capable of very good detail.
     
  4. Iain Shields

    Iain Shields
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    I don't have one personally but like yourself and others I've heard about and seen great results from this lens.

    I'd echo PF's point about needing a tripod to get the best from this lens though, and also, check out the weight of the lens, it weigh's as much as 2 or 3 lenses itself so might not be the best solution for long hikes where weight is an issue.
     
  5. Peakoverload

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    I used to have one. For what it is it's a good lens but you do have to bare in mind that it is a bit of a 'Jack of all trades'. Any lens that offers a 10x focal range is going to have to trade something off if it's not going to cost 4 figures or more and there are a number of trade off's.

    1. Closest focusing distance. At 1m it's fine for 500mm work the majority of the time but for other focal lengths it can be very limiting. In many ways the 50-500 is THE zoo lens due to it's focal lengths but if the animals come too close you simply can't focus.

    2. Max aperture. f/4 at 50mm is fine, not great, but perfectly usuable. f/6.3 (a 2 stop drop) at 500mm is less useful meaning that in low light this lens can struggle at extreme zooms. Also, being f/6.3 means that it is far from quick at auto focusing. It is possible to capture birds in flight with this lens but you will miss more shots than you get because the lens will hunt for focus.

    3. Build quality. The lens itself is built quite well and will withstand the odd knock and bump. The thing that lets it down is that as the lens doesnt have internal focusing the lens extends quite a way (which looks a bit odd) and overtime (so I've heard) can develop a bit of play.


    Now this all sounds as though I'm being very negative about it. The problem is that you can't really be negative about it, I mean, what is there to compare it against? Okay there's the Canon 100-400 and the Nikon 80-400 but both dont offer quite the focal range and cost a lot more. So for what it is, it's an excellent lens but I, however, didnt get on with it and sold it after about 4 months. In the end I bought a Canon 70-200 and a 2x teleconverter which vastly out performs the 50-500 as even with the 2x converter the 70-200 is one stop faster and the difference between 400mm and 500mm is really only a couple of steps forward.

    HTH
     
  6. montybaber

    montybaber
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    I have the Sigma 170-500mm lens (could'nt afford the 50-500 and already have a 28-200mm lens which I like using) I got it second hand for £220 and in mint condition with skylight and hood,bag etc.

    Firstly with mine (and deffinately with the bigma) you will need to use a tripod for pretty much every shot, unless I jam myself in a corner I cannot hand hold this lens at all

    If you are happy enough with that and you can accept that in low light it may struggle a bit you will be very happy, it gives very clear images (even at 500mm) and as a beginner it will be a long time before I outgrow it

    Only thing is trying to find a rucksack that it fits into :D
     
  7. colinwheeler

    colinwheeler
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    How good are these teleconverters now. Do they allow the lense to auto focus. I mean the last one I used was 18 years ago and they were not great in those days.

    Thanks for the great post as I think it highlights all the issues I was thinking about.
     
  8. Peakoverload

    Peakoverload
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    They are pretty good these days. Things to consider are:

    A 2x teleconvertor makes your lens 2 stops slower if this exceeds f/6.3 your lens WONT auto focus

    A 1.4x teleconvertor makes your lens 1 stop slower so is less likely to cause your problems.

    Teleconvertors are NOT compatible with all lenses. If the rear element of your lens moves when you zoom out so that it becomes flush with the mount the chances are it's not compatible as the rear element would then 'crash' into the teleconvertor.

    You do loose some optical quality but if you have a good lens to begin with the loss is acceptable. On my 70-200 and 2x teleconvertor the results are very very good. That said the 1.4x teleconvertor is better but I wanted the extra reach.

    HTH
     
  9. Iain Shields

    Iain Shields
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    Teleconverters arn't too bad these days IMO, however I havn't used one from 18 years ago so I can't compair :)

    Speaking from a Canon perspective, with the 2x TC you will notice a fair drop in quality on a good lens but with the 1.4x the loss is pretty small. With the 2x you will lose 2 full stops and with the 1.4 you lose 1 full stop... so I believe you'll lose autofocus using them on the Sigma 50-500mm.

    There's also the Sigma 80-400mm OS which cost's less than the above but still comes with Image Stablisation.
     
  10. colinwheeler

    colinwheeler
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    Thanks for the advise guys. To give a bit of a back ground I currently have a F50 with the standard nikkor 28-80 or what ever comes with them. I also have a wide angle zoom, 18-35 or something around there. Basically I am looking to buy a D50 and want a telephoto lense to go with it. The 50-500 seemed like the optimal solution to keep the number of lenses that I would ever have to carry to down to a managable level.

    Do you guys have any suggestions on other lenses.
     

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