Sigma 500mm F4.5 EX DG APO A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 5   
reviewer#37838 date: Apr-21-2017
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:Minolta AF400 F4.5 HS Apo G
Sony AF70-400 F4.5-5.6 G SSMII
price paid:1500.00 US.00 US
positive:This is a great lens. I have owned it for a little over a month and have been quite impressed. It focuses much faster than I had hoped. Not as fast and quiet as the Sony but much faster than the Minolta. IMO it is sharper than the Sony but not quite as sharp as the Minolta. The color of the Minolta is a bit richer but not by much. All things considered...of the three..this is my favorite.
negative:Really not many negatives. I think the lens cap cover is junk. Why they didn't put something on a $5000 lens that was as good as what comes on the Minolta I really don't know. I also don't like the lens hood. It just doesn't seem to work as good as the Minolta. Yes..It does have a tendency to hunt on small objects like birds, but I use the focus limiter built into my A77 II and that really helps the issue.
comment:This is a very fine lens. To find one in a Sony mount is not easy. I looked a long time to find one in mint condition. Have no regrets about this purchase. The price I paid was the lowest I have seen.
reviewer#33736 date: Dec-20-2016
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:Minolta 600 F4, Sony 70-400 G2, Minolta 300 f2.8 with 1.4 Tele converter
price paid:$3000
positive:1) Very sharp, even side open
2) Required almost no MFA on Sony A99ii
3) Excellent value as used like new equipment
4) Good contrast, colors, and bokeh
5) Overall image quality about equal to the Sony 500mm F4 for less than half the cost (1/4th the cost for what I paid)
6) Excellent case with superb shock absorption and damage protection
negative:1) Slight tendency to hunt (could be function of AF setting)?
2) Nothing else to speak of
comment:This lens is a homerun from a value standpoint. Even new for $5K, it's a superb value, when compared to the Ferrari of telephoto primes the Sony 500 f4, which costs as much as some new cars. I believe it is close to equalling that obscenely priced lens in sharpness, contrast, background bokeh, etc. if you're fortunate to come across one of these in great shape, on the used market, they can be had for $3-4K, and their value in that context is simply untouchable. I got mine off of Amazon Warehouse for a relatively measly $3K, and it might be close to the best value I've gotten from a long prime lens. These will hold their value, and even appreciate, particularly if Sigma continues to abandon Alpha mount. If you can find one, and you need a long wildlife lens, I don't believe there's a better value. It's roughly equal to the Minolta 600 F4, but weighing half as much. You're only losing a half stop and 1/6th of your total reach. If you can find one, get one, you won't regret it.
reviewer#10700 date: Nov-14-2012
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:-sigma 400mm f5,6 (apo and APO Tele Macro version)
-Minolta 300mm f2,8 APO+ 2x TC
-sigma 300mm f2,8
-sony 70-200mm f2,8 G ssm + 2x tc
price paid:
missing
positive:sharp, fast, relatively lightweight, black colour, few CA, price, circular polariser turning mechanism
negative:lens hood system, oversized tripod mount, NO FOCUS LIMITER
comment:for the price, this is a very good lens.Focussing is fast and accurate, though be it a bit loud. Too bad Sigma doesn't make a SSM-version of this lens.

One of the best things is the ring that rotates the drop-in filter. A circular polarising filter comes with this lens (as opposed to the very expensive Canikon drop-in CPL's). By turning an accessible ring just in front of the drop-in filter holder, you can adjust the CPL to reduce reflection on water or shining leafs. This is not possible with the minolta-prime series and a major consideration for wildlife photographer who like shooting waterbirds.

For its size, weight is quite ok.
I can take pictures handheld for quite a while. It remains a huge piece of glass, so I wouldn't be able to carry it around a whole day.

Colour rendition is not as good as the minolta 300mm f2,8, but is is still very pleasing, with also a very soft bokeh in my opinion.

Contrast could be a tad better, but nothing a bit of PP can't fix.

I don't understand why sigma didn't put a focus limiter on it. Though focussing is very fast, in low light, the lens can start to hunt and that takes a while...

In short: this lens is worth its money.

reviewer#9202 date: Jul-2-2011
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:Minolta 400mm f4.5, sony 70-400mm
price paid:4699.99
positive:light weight, solid build, no vignetting on edges. Great for BIF
negative:noisy, average speed, really slows down with 1.4X TC. Unusable with 2X TC
comment:Used this lens' while in Alaska shooting Eagles during a herring run. While it's not on par with Sony's 300mm SSM as far as speed and noise. It more than held it's own. I have the KM 400mm lens' and brought that along too just in case I wasn't happy with the IQ. Let's just say I kept the 500mm on my A900 and kept the 400mm on my A700 as back-up. Sigma has a reputation(not always warranted) of poor quality control. I must say I didn't see it hear!The lens is light weight and compact, I was able to hand hold this and get good images too. However, when used with a good gimbal.......wow!
reviewer#4303 date: Oct-31-2008
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:Minolta 100-400 APO
price paid:4199 USD (new)
positive:Sharp
Sturdy
Has AF with Sigma 1.4 TC
negative:No HSM
No limit switch
Expensive
Need good tripod to use
comment:I have used this lens for over nine months and have enjoyed it very much. It is expensive but well built. Mounted on a Sony A700 with a Gitzo CF tripod and Wimberley gimbal head you have a killer setup that is still easy to carry. AF is pretty good for BIFs, and with the Sigma 1.4 TC AF is still good for sitting subjects. Much better then my Minolta 100-400 APO.

You can see examples in my animals gallery at www.dennismullen.com.
reviews found: 5   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 5
  • sharpness: 4.90
  • color: 4.80
  • build: 5.00
  • distortion: 5.00
  • flare control: 4.80
  • overall: 4.90

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