Sigma 50-500mm F4-6.3 DG EX APO A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 18   
reviewer#44039 date: Mar-25-2018
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 135-400mm (which I sold).
Sigma 70-200mm HSM
price paid:€ 400,-
positive:Obvious... focal range. But also the sturdy tripod-collar, the petal-shaped hood, EX built quality (exept the paint), the possibility to use TC's and IQ of the image centre over the whole range.
negative:Relativly poor in the corners @ 350-500mm with f/6,3. The weight (1850 gr.) and the weird AF-MF solution. What a pitty the Sony (and Pentax) version is not HSM with manual override. The paint won't stick on the surface and the 86mm filtersize.
comment:Very nice to have such a long range for video purpose. It's easy to frame and search the subject whilst zooming in. A tripod or monopod is necessary however.
The IQ is fairly good in the range from 50mm to 350mm, longer makes the corners (on APS-C) lesser with the diafragm wide open. (Haven't tried FF yet). Unfortunatly the paint won't stick, it's only cosmetics but still.
First impression is positive but this huge lens isn't perfect. Hope to find more time to play with this 'Bigma' for a better idea how to get the best results and test it on FF. I'll give you an update.
reviewer#44033 date: Mar-18-2018
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta BBC
Minolta Secret Handshake
Minolta Baby Beercan
Tokina AF730 II
price paid:600USD
positive:-Sharpness through all the way even wide open
-Build is very good finish not peeling off ... but ! ....
-Nice to handhold massive but not extremely heavy
-Solid metal collar
-Fast AF ( non HSM version )
negative:- ... but! ... it has dust inside after few uses ? what is going on ?
-sometimes hunt a little
comment:Bigma is really great lens its sharp all the way from 50 to 500 wide open ( ofcourse in F8/9/11/13 is much more sharper )AF work really good its fast (on 500 eighter ) and is non HSM !!! don`t have much problem with hunting too :) ... the build is ok metal with glass some plastic some rubber its cool but its dust pump ! I understand is normally that such a big lens is ,,breathing,, but com on I can understand this after some intensive using but after few times ? WEIGHT yeah its heavy almost 2kg lens so shooting planes through 8 hours of airshow can be really tiresome with this baby but the results will be really great if You practice a little ... and go to the gym ;)
reviewer#10467 date: Aug-22-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Canon EF 70-400L
price paid:450 USD (used)
positive:- Sharpness
- Heavy but not too heavy
- Very useful zoom range
- Design of the tripod collar
negative:- Mount is a bit loose
- No focus limiter
comment:Sharp at all zoom range even wide open. It can be used handheld all day long. The rotatable and removable collar had finger grooves which makes it really easy to carry around if you are shooting handheld (this is a big plus for me and I'm surprised it's not appreciated more). The zoom range allows it to cover both portrait and telephoto ranges. On FF I imagine it is even wide enough for "walking around".

My copy has a loose mount on A77. The lens can rotate tiny bit when mounted but it doesn't really affect the image quality. The lack of focus limiter means if you lose your target against a plain background such as sky or water, you get treated with a painfully slow full range focus hunt. As I have learned - always have a "reference focus" object so you can get an approximate focus, find your target, and the AF system will quickly adjust.
reviewer#8505 date: Jan-10-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 2
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Sigma 170-500
Sigma 150-500
price paid:
missing
positive:+ sharp all over the range
+ relatively small for it's range
+ great colours
+ hand hoaldable
negative:- finish is peeling off
- build quality
comment:I don't really own this lens, but I use it a lot lately (I borrow it from my father), and optically it's perfect.
But it has build issues.
In the last 4 years the AF gears got broken 3 times!
And now the latest problem is that some internal sensors went haywire and the lens reports incorrect F-stop and focal length randomly! It's back in service yet again (this reminded me to make a review).

I would buy one for myself if build quality would be better.
reviewer#8415 date: Dec-18-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:680.00
positive:This lens is very sharp from 50mm all the way to 500mm. I use it most at 400mm - 500mm on both a sony A100 and A55.
negative:The paint finish on this lens is peeling off, lousy finish
comment:I replace my Tokina 80-400mm lens with this one. It is heavy and long when at 500mm but it is my go to lens for wildlife shooting. Quick focus and stellar sharpness. If you dont mind a flaky finish this lens is a keeper.

reviewer#8396 date: Dec-13-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:50mm Minolta f2.8 Macro
75-300mm Sigma APO f4.5-5.6
135-400 Sigma APO f4.5-5.6
price paid:1100 USD
positive:Built like a tank
Hood
Sharpness across zoom range
negative:Weight
Filter size
comment:You will not blend in anywhere with this lens. Except at a camera convention, maybe.:) But, this lens is a joy to shoot with and is my second favorite - right after my 50mm f2.8 macro. With a good monopod or tripod and the Sigma TC you really can 'reach out and touch someone'.:)

I would rate the sharpness at 4.75 if I could. This is an excellent lens. I love the range. I use this on both my 7D and my a900. Focus is CONSIDERABLY faster on the a900; especially focus in low light with the v2.0 firmware upgrade for the a900. This lens is NOT light but after shooting with it for the last three years I've gotten used to it so I really don't notice it anymore. With a monopod this lens can produce tack sharp photos across the zoom range especially if stopped down to around f8 as mentioned in other reviews.

I would also rate the color at 4.5 if I could. I will admit I'm spoiled by the color from my Minolta lenses. IMHO, of all the Sigma lenses I've seen photos from I think this is the closest Sigma has come to producing colors like the old Minolta lenses. The saturation and contrast aren't quite there but they're really close.
reviewer#7929 date: Sep-2-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:
missing
negative:
missing
comment:nice lens, personally need to stop down 1 stop esp after 350mm. solid but seriously heavy so it got left behind regularly because I was to lazy to carry it :). replaced with the lighter tamron (about the same optically but lighter) and then the sony 70-400 (which is a class of its own)
reviewer#7329 date: Apr-21-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:950 CAD used
positive:Zoom range is extraordinary
Sharp way beyond expectations
Great contrast and colour
Build quality is excellent
negative:heavy and large
86mm filter size
comment:Quite frankly, I was stunned and ecstatic with how sharp this lens has proven to be at all focal lengths but especially at 500mm (even wide open but especially at f8, f11, f16). I wonder if the 'lens Gods' blessed me with an especially good version? I have compared it to 300mm and 400mm prime lenses and mine is sharper - even the owners of the primes agreed - reluctantly! You will need to go to a gym and do workouts if you expect to be packing it around all day though - this is not a walkabout lens - sits nicely on a monopod with a good ball head though :) The zoom range is more than can reasonably be expected and makes the lens affordable when you consider that you are covering the range of 3 lenses - it makes the difference between getting the shot and not - although I predict you will be using it from 300mm to 500mm mostly. Highly recommended!
reviewer#5792 date: Jul-30-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:beercan 70-210mm F4
500 mirror Sony Lens
price paid:960 (used)
positive:amazing range
great build (solid)
nice tripod collar on it
great hood on the lens
negative:Heavy lens
not easy to change on the fly
always afraid of hitting something.

zoom is tight because of fear of creeping (intentionally)

i'm working out on a daily basis to be able to hold this handheld.
comment:This is a quality lens EX Sigma
Build is SOLID.

This is a special lens to own, great for birding, not great as a walk around (you can try, good luck)

I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a quality 500mm lens. great pictures at the 500mm range
reviewer#5231 date: Apr-13-2009
sharpness: 3
color: 3
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 300mm 2.8 + 2x Teleconverter
price paid:560 USD (Used)
positive:cheap
negative:optival performance
comment:in comparison with sony 300mm 2.8 of very good value for money
reviewer#4940 date: Mar-2-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 80 - 210
price paid:990 USD New
positive:Range (Nothing compares)
Build (I love the finish on this)
negative:Size (it's hugh there is not hiding in a crowd with this)
Weight
Slow Focus in low light
comment:Great Lens for the price but it does take some getting used to. While not a typical walk around lens I have taken it hiking and been glad I did. The build is awesome I have dropped it once (about 2 feet) survived without a scratch.
reviewer#4468 date: Dec-4-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:The only other longish lenses I have are 70-300 KM kit lens and recent addition of SAL18250
price paid:1500 $AU new
positive:sharp responsive and versatile.
Great value for the money.
I have not seen anything to compare to it under several thousand dollars.
negative:Weight is my only negative
comment:I have owned this lens for two years and used it on both the KM5D and the A700.
I read one review on speed of focusing on a KM7D.
I suggest the deficiency reported is more camera related as I noticed a huge improvement on the A700.
The lens is almost invariably used at the 500mm end on birds and I would not be without it. Weight is my only concern and I have modified a sprung 3 wheel golf cart to carry it around the park. The recent (last week) purchase of the SAL18250 is for when I cannot take the buggy.
reviewer#3329 date: Mar-2-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:80-200 G
F 1,8 135 Zeiss
price paid:1050 Euro (new)
positive:Great focal range
Very good cost performance ratio
Good colors
Good Sharpness
negative:Nothing realy
For the price you get a great lens
Heavy: not realy for handuse
comment:The cost performance ratio of this lens is great. Of course the sharpnes and the colors are not the same as the 80-200 G. But if you want to have this performace with a focal length of 500 mm you must pay 5000 Euros ore more.

I must say, that when I bought this lens I thought that the performce would be not so good. I was impressed after the first times of using this lens.
reviewer#3084 date: Dec-18-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 200-400mm f5.6
price paid:1000 USD
positive:range range range !
build quality
just looks awesome
great images in sunny conditions
negative:slow focus
need a LOT of light
86mm filter
comment:I bought this lens to replace my Tamron 200-400, which suffered from zoom creep (the "bigma does have the essential zoom lock), high CA, and had a 200mm starting point.
On these points, the upgrade was a success. Images are very good, and this flexibility is a boon.

But the "Bigma" suffers from its very slow and rather inaccurate focusing. I tested in on small architectural details, it was fine. But against squirrels, it is way to slow for the cheeky little critters ! That is the main problem for me.
The f6.3 aperture is also restrictive, but who would dare asking for 500mm f4 at this price, not to mention how much it would weight?

Other minor points would be the price of the 86mm UV filter to protect it, and the weight (which is to be expected for a 500mm range).

All in all, I am glad I bought it despite these limitations
reviewer#2995 date: Nov-29-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Beercan
price paid:680€ (used)
positive:-Heavy weight makes it stable
-Range
-Can be very sharp
negative:-Misfocuses a bit too much (with 7D)
-Slow AF
-No focus limiter
comment:This lens can be very sharp, although I have pretty much misfocused shots with my 7D. Don't know whether I should blame the camera or the lens.
If you are pretty strong this is a nice lens, the heavy weight makes the lens very stable if you can handle it (IMO).
The lens is not as sharp as the beercan, but when focussed correctly it's very close.
The biggest advantage of this bigma is ofcourse the huge range, it gives you a huge advantage in dynamic shooting environments.
reviewer#2607 date: Aug-5-2007
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:at short tele compared to:
beercan
Sony 70200G
Sony 70300G
price paid:€ 300 (used)
positive:range,range
build like tank and weights like one
negative:AF requires some attention and patience, but even with TC (1.4X) acceptable in enough light
comment:I use the lens mainly shooting in nature (birds, even in flight).
I hate changing lenses walking around, I love the 50-500 range for that reason. I use the Bigma with monopod mostly, that makes it a fine lens for me.

Only in bad light conditions (it hunts and hunts and...)I change it for other lenses.
For me, in the end even the weight is no problem, balancing it to versatility
I set flare control to 5 since I didn't have any problems with it (shooting very early in the morning)
Each Euro was well spent buying this lens.

update
The beast is absolutely no competition for the SONY-G's. At the long end and for versatility it is still acceptable
reviewer#1745 date: Feb-4-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 400 APO Macro
Sigma 400 APO
price paid:Ł500 (used)
positive:Sharpness - even wide open
Range (obviously)
Build quality
Contrast
negative:Weight
AF poor on low contrast targets
comment:A real surprise, I originally wanted the Tamron 200-500 but this very lightly used example came up and I thought I'd give it a try. Most impressed. Great contrast and focusing on subjects in good light, have not tried it yet in poor light apart from just a few shots so I can't really comment.

It's good enough to leave on the camera so not to be bothered changing lens - if the light is right and you're fit! Just shot 200+ all with the "Bigma" in one 2 hour spell - all were exposed correctly - thanks 7D, and all were in focus! But boy did my arms ache!!

Main use will be for aircraft and it will be interesting how it shapes up, the few taken so far have all been in focus and the lens locked on using continuous AF with no hunting so it looks promising - time will tell. No shake even down to 1/250 thanks to AS.

If it was a surprise on the A700 it has been a revelation on the A900. Virtually NO CA and focuses really well. Still poor in bad light and a real handful with the A900 + grip.

Great lens well recommended.
reviewer#1348 date: Oct-25-2006
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:-Tokina 400mm f5.6
- Tamron 280300 Xr Di
- Tamron 200-400mm
price paid:$900+
positive:-Sharp at wide and at 500mm considering its zoom range
- Been using it against the sky/sun and good control of flare/CA
- Using wide area AF, I could get lots of birds in flight shots
negative:- bulky
- heavy
- no focus limiter
- no HSM and thus noisy
comment:I have been using it for 8 months now and my evryday lens.

KM5D test shots at this link.
http://www.art4less.smugmug.com/gallery/1037506
other older shots
http://art4less.smugmug.com/gallery/1335141
http://art4less.smugmug.com/gallery/1207913
http://art4less.smugmug.com/gallery/1165704
reviews found: 18   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 18
  • sharpness: 4.44
  • color: 4.56
  • build: 4.50
  • distortion: 4.83
  • flare control: 4.61
  • overall: 4.59

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