Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary lens for Canon

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by keefer, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. I am considering buying a used Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary lens for Canon 1-year-old, asking price is around $700 from the private seller. They have a receipt from a reputable Camera store, so I can see when the lens was purchased. Supposed to be in excellent condition. It seems like a good deal. I have seen some bird photos the seller has taken with this lens and a 7D Mark II. They look sharp. I will test the lens on my camera.

    I am selling my old Canon 7D, as I don't need 4 DSLRs, and this should cover much of the cost of the lens.

    I have been looking at the reviews of the Tameron 150-600mm and the two Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary and Sport. They all are rated pretty close in image quality. The sport has full weather sealing.

    I know this is not the Sport model lens and is not fully weather sealed, only sealed at the camera body end. Putting a lens rain cover isn't a big concern.

    I am concerned if there are any known compatibility issues with using this lens with a Canon 5D Mark IV that I have not read about. So I am posting this here if anyone has any information about this model lens that I should be aware or should be concerned about, focusing issues, build quality problems, etc. I am also interested in hearing any thoughts on this lenses IQ used on a Full Frame body.

    Thanks, Mark
  2. I think this and the Tamron ver 1 are much of a muchness in terms of IQ. Don't know about the new ver 2 Tamron just out. I also have not read any conclusive reviews that state that the Sport version is actually a better performer than the Contemporary version - in fact I don't really think this was a wise choice for Sigma to put out two very similar lenses. Nor have I read that he Sigma AF system is not working satisfactorily with Canons (it's adequate, if not stunning), but most of the reviews have been with the Mark III or the IDX. Sounds like a good deal to me.
    These are lenses one heard over-the-top exclamations of ecstacy when they first appeared, but the acclaim died down, so how good these lenses really are becomes quite hard to tell. For $700 I certainly think it is worth a try. I am sure the $2000 EF 100-400mm II is better, but then it is not the same range of focal lengths. As I am sure you realize, I have none of these lenses, so my comments are all secondhand. I hope someone with real world experience will comment.
  3. $700 is the key. That's a great price for a functioning lens. I know several people that used this lens as their first bird/wildlife lens on a 5D MkIII or 7D MkII. ALL ended up moving to a Canon 100-400 Series II, a 400/f4 DO or 500/f4, depending on budget. The good news is that they didn't lose much on selling their 150-600mm. At $700, I don't see how you won't do well, if you decide to trade up later.
    I think this is one of several stepping-stone lenses for those just getting their feet wet. Several time a year I run into a guy (never a gal, for some reason) with $10,000-$15,000 in equipment without the least idea of how to use it. Even if that money is no big deal to you, I hate to see waste. I started with the Canon 400/f5.6 and moved in a couple of months to the 500/f4, after I realized that I was taking thousands of pictures per month. Others will lose interest after a few weeks.
    Don't overthink this. Yes, there are better lenses, BUT they're very expensive. Also, if you don't know how to use those expensive lenses, your images will be no better than what you get with the 150-600mm. Jump in the pool, splash around and have fun. If you find yourself Jonesing for something "better", you can get out of this around where you bought in.
    BTW, ALL of the 150-600mm lenses that I've held are a bitch to hand hold, so budget for a good tripod and gimbal head. The Canon stuff, up to the 600mm, can all be hand held, thanks to excellent Image Stabilization and good balance.
  4. BTW, since you mention the body, the 5D MkIV's AF is a major step up from the 7D MkII. AF acquisition is quicker and tracking is more consistent, particularly when you attach a teleconverter. I have no idea how the 5D4 behaves with that lens. I've known several people to use the Tamron and Sigma with the 7D2.
    Oh, I've got an old 7D laying around also. Would anyone buy it? It's got 110,000-clicks. I'm thinking that I should just give it away, or sell it for $150 as a second-body for someone. What do you think you'll sell yours for?
  5. Thanks everyone for your thoughts. I think this lens will work out for me.
  6. I am using a Canon SL1 with a Tamron 150-600 ver 1. I bought the Tamron used for $550. It had two small blemishes on the barrel that are inconsequential to the function of the lens. I have zero compatibility issues with my SL1. However, I did some comparison shots with the Canon 55-250STM. The results surprised me. I will try to attach some comparison shots. Bare with me if I run into a glitch. I shot both at 250mm for a comparison.
  7. Here's the overview shot.
  8. Jim, those results surprise me also. The little 55-250mm blows away the Tamron at 250mm. I assume that both were taken from a tripod and you used live-view to focus in both cases. If so, I wonder how much better Canon's L-series lenses, like the 100-400mm S-II L, would be.
  9. No tripod but I was sitting down on a park bench with my elbow supported by the arm rest. IS was on;AF was on. The 55-250 is known to
    be a sharp lens. The Tamron 150-600 was not designed for APS-C. I think that is the problem. The results from a FF camera would favor
    the Tamron.
  10. I really believe that for a lens comparison that you need to use a tripod. It's so easy to make a small mistake, which looks big on this comparison. In this case, the Tamron was heavier and it's an imbalanced load.
    If you you want to "field test" and hand hold, then I think that you need a series. Like ten-shots of the same think, with each lens. You'll see different "keeper rates" as the camera and lens do their AF thing as a team. Still, that's an awkward test. Tripod is the easiest way to go to get comparable quality in each shot.
  11. I took 6 shots in sequence with each. Thay all look the same.
  12. I've also been looking at this Sigma and the Tamron. The sport is about twice as expensive, plus it's like 3 pounds heavier, so I have personally ruled that one out,
    From the research that I've done, the Sigma contemporary is really great on full frame, but has a bit of a problem with AF hunting on APS-C bodies in lower light. I shoot with both a 6D and an 80D, and am leaning toward the Tamron for this reason. The prices are VERY close between the two.
    Currently I'm shooting with my 80D, a Canon 70-200 F/2.8 and a 2X converter when I need a long lens, but unfortunately that limits me to the center AF point. Either the Sigma or Tamron 150-600's will give me 200mm more reach without the converter, and I can use all of the AF points.
  13. Kris, an f/2.8 lens, with a 2x converter, shoots at f/5.6. The Tamron's native f-stop at 600mm is f/6.3. The Tamron will be as slow or slower than your 70-200mm, with the 2.0x attached. Don't presume that you'll focus at 300mm and then zoom out. That's a fail, every time.
    Neither of your bodies is designed to manhandle long lenses at small apertures. A 7D MkII, while not perfect, would AF much better than either of your bodies. The 5D MkIV is even better. That's said, having only the center AF point available is not a problem for most shooting, even bird-in-flight. Getting that one point on the subject's eye is how you get crystal clear shots.
    I've got a well used 7D2, with over 100,000-clicks, for sale for $900. ;-)
  14. David, actually the f-stop of the Tamron lens is slower than that on the 80D. Have to remember to apply the 1.6 crop factor to the aperture as well as the focal length. That puts the effective wide open aperture of the Tamron at 10, and the effective aperture of the Canon 70-200 f/2.8 with the 2X converter at 9. Neither are going to let in a ton of light, but such are the compromises you have to accept when you use a crop factor body with a full frame lens.
    As far as the AF speed between the 7D Mark II and the 89D goes, they aren't as much different as you might think. I rented both for a month before I settled on the 80D, and put them through some pretty hard testing. While the 7d Mark II DOES have dual processors, I found them to be nearly equal in decent light. The Mark II WAS noticeably faster and more accurate in lower light situations, but that's why I have the 6D. Both the 80D and the 7D Mark II use digic 6 processors (Although the Mark II has 2), and have dual pixel AF and all cross type AF points (45 for the 80D and 65 or 6 for the Mark II). With the same lens, I found them to have similar AF speeds with good light even with moving subjects. I DO miss the 10 FPS burst rate though, but 7 fps isn't horrible, and while the Mark II has a bigger buffer, I rarely shoot that long of a burst. On the other hand, I LOVE my touchy flippy screen. I do some video and the 80D is MUCH better for that.
    I'm solidly in the enthusiast, but not even close to professional camp, so I don't think a 5D Mark IV is in my future any time soon. Heck, I think that the only reason that I switched from a 5D Mark II to a used 6D for my full frame was that I was tired of having to deal with both SD and CF cards.
  15. Kris, take any lens, move it from your 6D to your 80D and note that the exposure does not change. Hence, crop factor has no impact on f-stop. I'm surprised that you haven't noticed this. Given the same pixel-density, the only difference between a crop sensor and full-frame is that the crop sensor is smaller and only uses a portion of the image circle of a full-frame lens. The amount of light that falls on that smaller sensor is no different than that portion of a full-frame sensor. In fact, with some full-frame bodies, you can do an in-camera crop, which electronically throws away part of the full-frame file. F-stop does not change.
    I was referring to the 7D2's AF capability, compared to your 6D and 80D. It will focus in lower light and acquire focus more quickly, particularly at smaller apertures, such as when you add a TC. I'm really surprised that your 70-200/f2.8 is slow on your 80D. I know that it's absolutely not an issue on a 7D or 7D MkII. Is your TC an EF 2.0x TC-III. If not, that may be your problem. The Canon TCs have processors designed to work optimally with Canon lenses/bodies.
  16. David, but you DO need to compensate for aperture when using a full frame lens on a crop factor body. The EFFECTIVE f-stop changes because you are only gathering a percentage of the total light that the lens lets in on the sensor (62.5% on a Canon APS-C). When you throw away 37.5% of the photons that the lens is gathering, the effective aperture HAS to change. That's the same reason that really fast lenses have such large front elements. They focus the light on the same size of sensor that a slower lens will, but the image from the slower lens will contain many less photons than that of the faster lens.
    Don't take my word, here's a video explaining it from Tony Northrup, who is the author of the best selling photography book on the planet for the last several years.
  17. Kris, great video, but now you should go back and watch it again. He clearly says at 6:52 what I'm saying, crop factor does NOT impact exposure. Elsewhere, he talks at length about how it impacts DOF and angle of view.
    Thanks for providing evidence to support my position. I switch between crop and full-frame on almost every outing. I didn't just make this up, it's the way our cameras work. Tony does a great job of demonstrating exactly what I said.
  18. David is correct. The aperture is the same in exposure terms from APS-C to FF. The amount of light falling per unit of area on the sensor is the same. I am always amazed people remain confused about this. The internet is full of confusion. The confusion is related to depth of field where indeed the apparent depth of field on an APS-C camera will be greater than that of a FF camera for the same lens.
  19. The Tamron 150-600 was not designed for APS-C. I think that is the problem. The results from a FF camera would favor the Tamron.​

    Shouldn't be the case. Leaving aside pixel density, the main way this matters is that an APS-C doesn't use the outer part of the image circle, but that's where the image quality is usually weakest. For that reason, when the performance of a lens differs between sensor sizes, it performs better with a smaller sensor. Another way to think about this: suppose you used a FF camera, got the image focused as well as possible, and then cropped the outer part of the image to APC-C size.

    The amount of light falling per unit of area on the sensor is the same.​

    Right. The key is per unit area. Again, imagine projecting the image on a sensor, with a perfect exposure. Then crop to the APS-C size. The illumination would not be changed.

    The 55-250 is an underrated lens, but nonetheless, I would have more confidence in a comparison done with a firm tripod.
  20. Gull Land xfull res crop-0511.jpg So far I am getting nice results with the Sigma 150-600mm C.

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