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Old 7th of February 2005 (Mon)   #1
RJSorensen
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Smile Sigma 50-500 vs. Canon 100-400L IS . . .

I have been using the Sigma 50-500 for the past few weeks now and today my Canon 100-400L IS came via UPS from B&H. I know many of you are much like me, in trying to work out which of the longer lens to get and or save up for. I have only taken a few hundred shots with it but I have some thoughts regarding this pair of lens to share.

•Sigma costs less, but weighs more, 1.1 pound.
•Viewfinder seems to be brighter with the Canon lens.
•Canon seems to focus much faster & on what I aimed it at.
•The IS feature is very nice with hand helds.
•The Canon pans much easier for me.
•The Canon balance seems much nicer for me.
•In similar light the Canon works much better/quicker.
•IMO the photographs taken w/Canon are MUCH sharper.
•Color is better & brighter for same subjects w/Canon.
•Object detail is better and or more refined ie. feather details w/Canon.
•I miss the extra 100mm of the Sigma 50-500.
•Build of the Canon is just better. (My first L lens)
•The build of the Sigma . . . wiggled near the mount on the copy I used. But is generally robust.
•I don't like the focus ring and tension ring layout on the Canon lens . . . adjusting focus changes tension.

I am thusly very pleased with the Canon all in all . . . even at a shorter mm length. I could use a 1200mm very easy. LOL!

Just my thought from the first days shoot. I have a couple of shots up in the Nature forum if you would like to see. Everything prior to today was taken with the Sigma 50-500 BigMa. I returned the lens this evening to my friend whom lent it to me. Thanks Jim for the loan.

I hope that this can help those of you whom are looking for long lens . . . good luck. Keep shooting!
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Last edited by RJSorensen : 7th of February 2005 (Mon) at 21:55.
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Old 7th of February 2005 (Mon)   #2
tim
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Default Re: Sigma 50-500 vs. Canon 100-400L IS . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by RJSorensen
•The balance seems much nicer.
•IMO the photographs taken are MUCH sharper.
•Color is better & brighter for same subjects.
•Object detail is better and or refined ie. feather details.
You might like to clarify which lens you're talking about in the above four points. I think you mean the Canon, but since you're talking about both i'm not sure.
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Old 7th of February 2005 (Mon)   #3
RJSorensen
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Default Re: Sigma 50-500 vs. Canon 100-400L IS . . .

Sorry Tim, Yes they all refer to the Canon 100-400L IS.

I have updated the original posting to reflect Tim's suggestions.
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Last edited by RJSorensen : 7th of February 2005 (Mon) at 21:56. Reason: Update . . .
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Old 7th of February 2005 (Mon)   #4
Adam Hicks
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Default Re: Sigma 50-500 vs. Canon 100-400L IS . . .

I only borrowed a 50-500 once or twice, but boy did I miss my IS (especially since I was just shooting at the zoo!) Your panning comment is dead on as well, use the IS Mode 2 to turn off the horizontal stabilization and pan away!

It's a fantastic lens, and is incredibly sharp at f7.1-f8. F4.5-5.6 disappointed me in bright light, but it made up for it stopped down a few notches.

Here's a quick example at f7.1 that hasn't been USM'd or anything to enhance sharpness. Just as it was from the camera (minus a basic resize.) Check the little 'nipples' on the tire. I *really* like the 100-400L!

http://www.golilm.com/images/irl/IMG0708.JPG

Adam

Last edited by Adam Hicks : 7th of February 2005 (Mon) at 20:44.
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Old 8th of February 2005 (Tue)   #5
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Default Re: Sigma 50-500 vs. Canon 100-400L IS . . .

As Adam mentioned, the 100-400 is a disappointment when wide open, and you need that most of the time for such a lens.
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Old 8th of February 2005 (Tue)   #6
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Default Re: Sigma 50-500 vs. Canon 100-400L IS . . .

I'm getting ready to order my 100-400 and can't wait.

Adam, at what distance did you take that from? Super sharp!
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Old 8th of February 2005 (Tue)   #7
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Default Re: Sigma 50-500 vs. Canon 100-400L IS . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by RJSorensen
•The build of the Sigma . . . wiggled near the mount on the copy I used. But is generally robust.
i had this, and ultimately the internal screw came undone (as a result of heavy use of my 1dmk2 on the monopod, sigma said). the good news is they fixed it for free and had it back to me in a few short days. also they tightened all of them 'to spec' and said that it will definitely not come loose again (lots of loctite??).

since then i will definitely say it's a billion times more 'solid' feeling.

please, oh, please let the rumours regarding a 100-400 IS L replacement announcement be true - and may it not be push-me pull-you style (i could never get used to it )
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Old 8th of February 2005 (Tue)   #8
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Default Re: Sigma 50-500 vs. Canon 100-400L IS . . .

and may it not be push-me pull-you style (i could never get used to it )
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I did not think I would get used to it either, but now that I have used it for a while, It ain't that bad. Sometimes I think I prefer it. Zoom is quick and no wrenched wrist either. I don't think either is superior to the other (twist or push pull) the main thing is how much range vs. ease of use. Anyway I get along with the push pull fine now. FWIW
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Old 8th of February 2005 (Tue)   #9
RJSorensen
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Default Re: Sigma 50-500 vs. Canon 100-400L IS . . .

My old Minolta zooms were of the push-pull type and I am quite tickled with it. It handles like a little Browning double barrel skeet gun . . . fast and accurate. I noticed this morning that as an added benefit, I have a lot more shots that are acceptable. My reject rate for out of focus, blurry and etc. et al., is far less. In a way it makes one more productive . . . my time seemed better spent.

Also my many thanks to those whom can and have commented on this thread.
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Old 8th of February 2005 (Tue)   #10
Adam Hicks
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Default Re: Sigma 50-500 vs. Canon 100-400L IS . . .

Yeah you know I just can't imagine being able to find the zoom points between 100-400 as quickly with a twist zoom vs. the current push/pull. I know it's weird, and different from the rest of the lenses, but out at the track, when I need to zoom all the way in, I can do it in a fraction of a second, vs. twisting a ring to get from one end to the other. If they made the twist zoom fast enough to compare with the speed of the 100-400 it would be difficult to find points in between as easily, but if they made it slow, it would take too many twists to get from one end to the other. That's my concern and the reason I'm perfectly happy with the current design.

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Old 8th of February 2005 (Tue)   #11
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Default Re: Sigma 50-500 vs. Canon 100-400L IS . . .

I don't really find the push-pull zoom a problem; in fact it works quite well. Swapping between lenses of different zoom types isn't an issue either... I can only thing of one occasion when I swapped from the 100-400 to a twist zoom lens and tried to pull the front off of it...

For me, the great advantage of the 100-400L is it's relatively light weight and compactness. It makes a great walkaround zoom for trackside.
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Old 8th of February 2005 (Tue)   #12
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Default Re: Sigma 50-500 vs. Canon 100-400L IS . . .

Coming from the old MF days when one-touch was best (focus and zoom without readjusting your hand), I think if you give it a chance, you're going to like it. It has the advantage that as the lens extends further out your hand supporting the lens goes with it too. Result - better support for the camera-lens combination.
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Old 27th of April 2005 (Wed)   #13
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Default Re: Sigma 50-500 vs. Canon 100-400L IS . . .

I'm wondering if this is a fair comparison? Maybe the 80-400 OS sigma would be better to compare with at the price point ... and given they both have OS/IS and both go to 400mm.

Of course, it's just sour grapes because I have a Bigma and can't afford the 100-400!
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Old 27th of April 2005 (Wed)   #14
Adam Hicks
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Default Re: Sigma 50-500 vs. Canon 100-400L IS . . .

How on earth did you find this thread It's from early Feb...

But welcome to the thread!
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Old 27th of April 2005 (Wed)   #15
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Default Re: Sigma 50-500 vs. Canon 100-400L IS . . .

I was being a good boy and checking out reviews/polls of wide(ish!) lenses rather than asking 'the same old questions' via the forum and there was my baby, OK, my big fat baby ... or even my very big fat heavy baby ... being beaten up by a much more expensive foe! Given the almost orgasmic review of the 80-400mm OS posted last year, also posted here-abouts, it seemed the logical comparison! Gawd ... I'm almost tempted to consider one myself: could swing it if I sold my two big Sigmas ... just kidding, erm, I think!!
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