New Sigma 50-500 or Canon 100-400 lens

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by hadi_khademi, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. In PMI Sigma has announced an Optical Stabilizer version of Sigma 50-500.
    http://www.dpreview.com/news/1002/10022010sigma50mm500mm.asp
    Before, I was contemplating to buy a Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS USM but now I am debating between these two lenses. I am assuming that the new OS Sigma 50-500 is essentially the same as Bigma with addition of OS. Any advice is greatly appreciated. FYI I will be using the lens with my 7D for wild life/sports action scenes.
    Thanks a bunch
     
  2. The Sigma hasn't even been released & reviewed. Make no assumptions. Either buy the "known quantity" 100-400 now, or assuming you are not pressed for time, just wait until the new Sigma comes out and you can make an informed decision.
     
  3. Unless the new lens is substantially better than the Bigma you will be better off with the 100-400. I've had both and the 100-400 is by far a better lens. That being said, nobody knows anything about the new lens right now.
     
  4. " you will be better off with the 100-400"
    Not if you need, or want, 500mm.
     
  5. "Richard "Dick" Tope Feb 22, 2010; 05:51 p.m.
    " you will be better off with the 100-400"
    Not if you need, or want, 500mm."
    if you crop the 400mm pic on the Canon it looks better than the 500mm on the Sigma (or so I've heard)
     
  6. " (or so I've heard)"
    And you probably 'heard' it from someone who's never done it but was just blindly proffering the view that a Canon lens HAS to be better than any other manufacturer under ANY conditions without any evidence to support that position. That same source would likely tell you that adding a 2x TC to the 70-200 is a better option than getting the 100-400 and this has been proven to be incorrect.
    I seriously doubt that throwing away 20% of the pixels (the ratio of 400mm to 500mm) will result in a better image. It defies logic and physics. For web display or 4"x6" prints you might get away with it but for larger prints likely not.
    The 50-500 is an EX series lens and is much better than Sigma (or Canon) consumer grade lenses and they produce fine images. I own 3 different Sigma EX lenses so this is not speculation on my part but rather a reflection of my real world experience. I also own Canon consumer and 'L' lenses so I have a basis for factual comparison.
     
  7. The version of the BIGMA I have has a maximum aperture of 6.3 at 400 and above, most likely the new one will do too, while the 100-400 will have 5.6. I could be wrong, but the BIGMA will not autofocus above 400mm and maybe before, on any Canon body unless it's a 1 series, the Canon 100-400 will. If you're into wildlife and sports, you need AF.
     
  8. "but the BIGMA will not autofocus above 400mm and maybe before, on any Canon body unless it's a 1 series"
    That is not correct. I have the Sigma 170-500 which is also f6.3 at the long end. The AF function is fine through the entire zoom range on every body I've used it on which includes the 10D, EOS-3 and 1D MkII. While the lens is, in fact, f6.3 what is reported to the body is f5.6 so AF will work.
    "If you're into wildlife and sports, you need AF."
    And if you're into wildlife you also need focal length, as in 500mm vs 400mm.
     
  9. The OP is using a cropped-sensor so the 100-400mm does give enough reach for wildlife, of course more is better (especially when you have both with zoom).
    Still the 100-400 is only a 4x zoom, and the 50-500 is 10x, that there is plenty of reason to believe on the current lenses cropping the 400 to 500mm view might produce a better image. We don't have to defy physics they are completely different lenses.
    Now on the new lens... all bets are off until they deliver it; the recent Sigma lenses with their new 'glass' seem to be performing great. As was said earlier... WAIT and make an informed choice.
     
  10. I seriously doubt that throwing away 20% of the pixels (the ratio of 400mm to 500mm) will result in a better image. It defies logic and physics.​
    That would be true if we were talking about identical lenses but we're not. Take the EOS 5D2 and the Canon 200mm f2.8 for example. Would you like a full frame image taken using a cheap Sigma 75-300mm lens at 300mm or would you prefer the same shot taken using the 200mm f2.8 that had been cropped by 20% resulting in a 17MP image?
    I'll answer that question for you, the cropped 200mm shot would blow away the quality of the 75-300mm photo every single time at any aperture.
    Of course I haven't used a 50-500mm OS, but your 20% cropping theory is nonsense especially when comparing very different lenses.
     
  11. @Jake Cole:
    The OP is using a cropped-sensor so the 100-400mm does give enough reach for wildlife​
    What does the crop sensor have to do with reach...?
     
  12. "While the lens is, in fact, f6.3 what is reported to the body is f5.6 so AF will work."
    Well then, I was wrong! Sorry about that.
    The version I have (Olympus Mount) would AF at 6.3 but under the best lighting conditions only. I always thought that since only the 1 series will AF above 5.6, that woudn't work out.
    I always considered the BIGMA as a good, sharp lens but didn't buy the Canon mount version because of the limitation I thought it had. An American fellow (from Florida) that came by our neck of the woods (Canada) had a hard time focusing with is BIGMA on a 1 series Canon body in fairly good light and so I had reached that conclusion.
    I had never read anything about this before.
     
  13. The exsisting bigma works on my 400D (XTi) 7D, 300x (35mm rebel k2 i think) and 3.
    It's better stopped down to f8 at 500mm, but this is more down to the very narrow depth of field, especially at closer focusing distances (I do birding from a hide) folk tend to assume that a cameras AF system will stop working at anything above f5.6 if thats all the AF system is rated to, if the light is nice and parrallel (as with a super telephoto lens like this) then it isn't as much of an issue.
    How beneficial is OS? With this lens you are going to need a tripod anyway... It's not light, compact or hand-holdable.
    How does it compare to the Canon 100-400? I don't know. When I bought mine (before Sigmas price hike) It should have been 2/3rd of the price of the canon, in actual fact I got it for just over half.
    They are selling used now for more than what I bought mine new for (same with the 12-24!)
    I am thinking of selling mine and getting a 70-200 f2.8 non IS and tele setup, mainly because I don;t use the 500 nearly as much as I thought I would, and the zoom range at f2.8 would be more useful (I use the bigma alongside a 200mm f2.8 which I'll also sell) but to be honest I want for nothing in terms of IQ with the Bigma.
    For the record, it's got blazing fast AF on the 7D.
     
  14. A lot of good rersponses which I truly appreciate. Now I have a better understanding for decision making. Based on the discussion I have read, there are a couple of things which to me look like the center issues:
    • The debate on using Canon 100-400 and cropping the image or using Sigma 50-500 and using the entire frame (both in the longest focal length). I think the answer would be doing a side-by-side comparison in a variety of ISO and shutter/aperture combinations and arriving at a conclusion.
    • Auto Focus issue of Bigma. Based on what I have read in this tread, I think this deserves a closer look, because as great and convenient is the Sigma's 10X zoom range, at the end of the day focus is of paramount importance. Again a quantitative comparison would help users like me to make informed decisions.
    The only issue I personally have with cropping the images is the fact that its not the original composition anymore! By cropping you are recomposing the image and to some extent it counters the photographer's original thought of the composition in the filed. I know some of you guys are very skilled in recomposing the images in post processing and get it just right, but may be I am a bit philosophical about it and plainly don't like it! It would be nice if I can get it right in the first place.
     
  15. Sorry double posting!
     
  16. @Jake Cole:
    The OP is using a cropped-sensor so the 100-400mm does give enough reach for wildlife​
    Mike Hitchen
    What does the crop sensor have to do with reach...?​
    Equivalent angles of view at standard print sizes compared to standard 35mm which is the platform that the general commment 'you need at least 500mm for wildlife' is based. Not arguing the truth of that statement, but responding on the relative merits of whether the 100-400mm lens has enough reach on the OP's cropped sensor to generally be considered suitable for a wide range of wildlife images given some general industry suggestions.
    Hadi Khademi
    The only issue I personally have with cropping the images is the fact that its not the original composition...​
    While that is true, from your given position though with a longer lens you would also have a different composition. If you like your original composition then there is no need to crop. If you wished the shot was tighter and the subject was larger in the frame, then cropping a well exposed picture to 80% would often be very acceptable depending on the desired final image print size. However, the lenses being discussed are not the top grade so of course avoid cropping when you can. You may never NEED to crop, only if you wanted to make the 400mm lens have the same view as the 500mm lens, and who knows if you would ever want to do that, or would need to do that very often.
     
  17. Particularly with wildlife photography, it is often difficult just to get the subject on frame and in focus. I don't see why cropping the image for composition would bother anyone, but to each his own. Of course, if you can compose the full frame, then you might also consider composing the shot with the crop in mind. Otherwise, you are limited by your focal length.
    I haven't used the Bigma so I can't comment on it and I certainly can't comment on a lens that Sigma hasn't released yet, but I do own the 100-400. It is a terrific lens. Image quality is stellar and it focuses flawlessly on my XTi. IS makes it very easy to handhold in good light, too.
     
  18. Jake:
    Equivalent angles of view at standard print sizes compared to standard 35mm which is the platform that the general commment 'you need at least 500mm for wildlife' is based. Not arguing the truth of that statement, but responding on the relative merits of whether the 100-400mm lens has enough reach on the OP's cropped sensor to generally be considered suitable for a wide range of wildlife images given some general industry suggestions.​
    Are you saying that a 500mm lens is used for reasons of angle of view? If you have the option for moving position when shooting a static subject (people, buildings etc) I would agree with you.
    But I disagree for wildlife - a 500mm is preferred of a 400mm so you can get the biggest possible image projected onto the sensor. With wildlfe or sports photography you are often limited to shoting from a fixed position, with the subject some way off such that it is not frame-filling, and in this case you want the image to fill as much of the sensor as possible to reduce the amount of croping you need to do (especially birds in flight). The projected image will be the same size no matter what the sensor size so the main determinant is the focal length of the lens.
     

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