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

reviews found: 6   
reviewer#10911 date: Feb-6-2013
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 8/500 AF Reflex
price paid:2.200 EUR (used)
positive:Sharp, even wide open.
AF fast enough & accurate!
Built like a tank, but not too heavy.
Inexpensive - for such a lens & focal distance!
negative:Lens hood a little too short.
AF a little too noisy
comment:
missing
reviewer#8437 date: Dec-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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-200mm f2.8,
Sony 70-400mm f4-5.6,
Minolta 400mm f4.5,
Minolta 600mm f4.0,
Sigma 500mm f4.5,
Sigma 10-20mm F4 - 5.6
Sigma 105mm F2.8,
Sigma 85mm f1.4,
price paid:350 usd (used)
positive:Sharpness just a little on the soft side at 4.5 the wide open. AF, Color, Build, Distortion, & Flare are fantastic!!
negative:Heavy, but not really, considering all the lens out there. Come paired to the 600mm its light!!
comment:I bought it back again!!!
reviewer#4733 date: Jan-23-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Canon 500/4
Canon 300/2.8
Sigma 300/4
price paid:2800 € (new)
positive:Compact size to it's range
Comparatively lightweight
Sharp
negative:Slow AF
No focus limiter
Poor manual focus control
Not so good build quality
comment:I've owned this lens for over ten years now so I know it inside out... I had Minolta 400/4.5 as an alternative when I bought Sigma but I wanted extra reach (it was film era then)for birding. It's sharp and works pleasantly when mounted on tripod but handholding is bit of a pain. It's not the weight but placing of tripod collar, I just can't hold it for long. Af is slow and noisy, Af tracking is poor. Canon cannons are much better (in different price range off course) in this matter. Build quality is quite poor, paint is peeling off and screws get occasionally loose inside bayonet collar. There's not much any optical issues, it's superb in this area ( so something good atleast!) I gave 4 for flare control because of a short hood (not a big issue since one can make a cardboard extension). If one overcomes with difficulties of slow AF (Make it HSM soon, Sigma!) it's a real jewel though never a tool like "the white pipes". Anyway, if Sony comes out with something like 400/4 SSM I'd go with it.
reviewer#2821 date: Oct-6-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 4
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta HS 400/4.5
price paid:3000 USD new
positive:See comments
negative:See comments
comment:Agree with the comments in the previous reviews, but wanted to add mine after using with the A700.

I had just about given up on this lens on my 7D and A100 because of poor AF preformance. It was a real pain; slow, noisy AF; lots of hunting, etc. Now I've been out with it twice with the A700 and the improved AF system makes all the difference in the world! Still a little slower and noisier than the 400 HS but not by much, and it lacks a focus limiter, but extremely usable.

reviewer#1372 date: Nov-3-2006
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Sigma 500 f/7.2 APO
KM 300 f/4 G
Tokina 400 f/5.6 AT-X
price paid:1200 USD (used)
positive:build quality
sharpness
negative:heavy
noisy focus
slow focus
comment:I have owned this lens about a year now and I love it. I don't like to give all 5s, because it implies I didn't think about my reviews, but it really deserves it on those categories.

I have an older version (non-EX) but according to reports it has the same glass as the EX version, just a different finish.

It is sharp, even at 4.5 and produces excellent image quality edge to edge. It is a bit slow focusing (the HSM version would be better). It autofocuses well, but could use a limiter like that found in the KM long G lenses.

The focus is very noisy in my older version. It is slower than HSM lenses, but it can track flying birds and stay focused with no problems.

It probably isn't quite as sharp as my KM 300 f/4 G, but it is close enough that I have to look at the EXIF to be sure. And to be honest, getting a sharp photo with a big 500 mm lens is much more challenging than trying to get one with the much smaller 300 f/4. Pound for pound, they are probably about equal.

It is noticeably sharper and produces noticeably better colors than the other two lenses I compare it two.

AS works well with this lens, but you aren't going to get handheld shots at 1/60th. It is really too big to use withtout a tripod anyway.

This is the best 500 mm lens available in the KM/Sony mount. It is significantly cheaper than the KM 600 f/4 G and is an "affordable" wildlife lens for the A mount. The 400 f/4.5 G might be better, but they are very hard to find right now and you lose the extra 100 mm of reach. That is a big difference in wildlife photography!

I have used it with inexpensive 1.4X TCs and it focuses and produces good results with them.
reviewer#589 date: Mar-16-2006
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:MINOLTA APO G 80-200mm f/2,8 HS, MINOLTA 100mm f/2,8 Macro
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharpness comes near to my MINOLTA f/2,8 80-200mm APO G HS, even wide open. Built quality is superb, all metal. Nice colors and bookeh.
negative:AF is quick but not very impressive (if it's not hunting and that does very rarely) and a bit on the noisy side. MINOLTA version does not include AF limiter. Lens hood is small and some times it has some problems with flare. No SSM/HSM AF for MINOLTA cameras
comment:This is a very good lens in all aspects except AF speed and loudness. It is really sharp and I have no hesitation using it wide open. I made a print ( f/4,5, ISO 800, Dynax 7D) as big as 50x70cm and the result was very good!

It's a bit on a heavy side, but once with AS on and no tripod I managed to steal 1/80s from eternity with sharp result.

This lens is really good value for money!
reviews found: 6   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 6
  • sharpness: 4.83
  • color: 4.67
  • build: 4.67
  • distortion: 5.00
  • flare control: 4.50
  • overall: 4.73

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