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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 11 Jul 2008 (Friday) 19:17
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Mini-Review of the Sigma 150-500 vs Canon 100-400L

 
TeamSpeed
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Jul 11, 2008 21:45 |  #16

Yes I tried to shoot wide open for each lens, but if you notice, I tried to figure out what was going on with the 400mm. I shot each lens at 400mm at f/6.3 for each, but the camera metered the Canon at 1/4000 and the Sigma at 1/5000. However, it looks like the Sigma is exposed more somehow at a faster shutter. I think it is a contrast issue, or the lens is exposing a bit more, is that possible?

Ditto on the 200mm shot where the Canon is at f/5 and the Sigma is at f/5.6, but both were at the same shutter speed.

I also wonder if there is a color cast (warmer) to the Sigma shots, and maybe the color of the brick is reacting with the color cast? Is that possible as well? This might create the contrast issue to some extent.

I also think that the Sigma is not getting all the detail that the 100-400 is. If you look at the 2x test between the two at 400mm, there is detail just "smudged over" or simply just not as detailed with the Sigma. They are both at f/6.3 at 1/640 at ISO 800. However not only is there a bit of contrast difference, there is missing detail.

I will try to take some more shots tomorrow, weather permitting. I will shoot some multiple 400mm in manual mode to make sure they are identical in settings, then run the same action against both, and see what we get.


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gdl357
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Jul 11, 2008 23:40 as a reply to  @ TeamSpeed's post |  #17

the Canon is still showing more details strangely enough

Why did you say this? Did you actually think Sigma would have done a better job than Canon lens?

I have been looking at quite a few pics with this Sigma and the pics look flat compared to the 100-400. Not impressed. Too bad the 100-400 is a push/pull.:cry:


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Jul 11, 2008 23:48 |  #18

Added to "head to head comparisons" in the EF FAQ Review section.
Great review!


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brecklundin
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Jul 11, 2008 23:51 |  #19

gdl357 wrote in post #5895910 (external link)
Why did you say this? Did you actually think Sigma would have done a better job than Canon lens?

I have been looking at quite a few pics with this Sigma and the pics look flat compared to the 100-400. Not impressed. Too bad the 100-400 is a push/pull.:cry:

not to answer for TS but I would imagine that because most all lenses have some form of quality issues at their extremes in either direction, whether that be aperuture or focal length. Yet the 100-400 still showed more detail (or whatever you care to call it) at it's max focal length while the Sigma was still 100mm short of it's max.

I am just guessing but that is what I gleaned from the comment.


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CyberDyneSystems
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Jul 11, 2008 23:52 |  #20

gdl357 wrote in post #5895910 (external link)
... Too bad the 100-400 is a push/pull.:cry:

If you shoot action, and you get used to the push pull you will find quickly that push pull is about 4 times faster and much easier to keep composed on fast moving subjects than any rotary zoom. I too was prejudiced against push pull in the beginning, now I wish all my longer zooms were push pull. In actual use it simply blows away twist zoom.


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Jul 12, 2008 00:15 |  #21

CyberDyneSystems wrote in post #5895961 (external link)
If you shoot action, and you get used to the push pull you will find quickly that push pull is about 4 times faster and much easier to keep composed on fast moving subjects than any rotary zoom. I too was prejudiced against push pull in the beginning, now I wish all my longer zooms were push pull. In actual use it simply blows away twist zoom.

OK. I just need to go check one out in my hands. What is the reason behind the 100-400 being push/pull when all other Canon lens are rotary?

I am really dissapointed as the Sigma would have been my first birding lens.

thx


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Jul 12, 2008 01:11 |  #22

Again, the reasoning is it is much faster to use.
Time was most zooms were made this way. I'm not sure why it fell out of favor.


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Jul 12, 2008 02:34 |  #23

I think running the same PP action on a JPG probably doesn't help. I would personally rather leave shots as they are or do each by eye to get the best I can, just as I would normally. Poor WB impacts a good deal on sharpness and contrast. In fact, if I could choose between good WB adjustment to a RAW file and sharpness I would choose the former. Even so, this is a solid review. I fancy if shots where individually PP'd any difference would be insignificant, apart from with a TCon where it looks like the Canon handles them better.

Whoever mentioned difference between 400-500mm not being significant well I have to disagree. You have to use both side by side to realise, especially with birds and smaller animals at distance. If I was choosing a zoom in this range I would rather solid OS and an extra 100mm than a small IQ quality difference. Better IS/OS will compensate at distance and get a sharper shot anyway, along with the additional length.

The great thing is we now have two very decent long IS/OS zooms and assuming good copies then one can fairly safely choose according to the strengths of each and ones related shooting priorities.


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Jul 12, 2008 03:42 |  #24

another question. I am sure both lenses use different coating materials. Would doing a custom WB for each lens before testing put them on a more level plain? I just got to wondering if that was the reason for the differences shown in the images. And to me the differences are not that major at all.

I just have been experimenting with custom WB with the lenses I have and really see what a difference it seems to make on better colors and sharpness. But, again, I could be way off in my thinking here...


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Jul 12, 2008 04:18 |  #25

brecklundin wrote in post #5896523 (external link)
Would doing a custom WB for each lens before testing put them on a more level plain? I just got to wondering if that was the reason for the differences shown in the images. And to me the differences are not that major at all.

I just have been experimenting with custom WB with the lenses I have and really see what a difference it seems to make on better colors and sharpness. But, again, I could be way off in my thinking here...

For the ultimate, ultimate WB impact you could do that, but personally I would just shoot in RAW and adjust in PP. JPG's are very poor compared to a RAW file. Shoot both at the same time and then open them up. Clear as day.

Worth noting also that different RAW processors are not created equal. I use Bibble Pro and it still amazes me how well it will render an image. I have had shots lying in my 'not worth PPing' folders that have suddenly become excellent. WB has a powerful impact on sharpness, highs and lows and helps images pop right off the page.

Using JPG's for testing means way too many compromises.


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Jul 12, 2008 05:25 |  #26

1) I did JPGs because alot of people over the last year or so have stated they shoot JPGs, I shoot mostly raw unless I know the shots are for fun or I don't want full control over wb or exposure. The detail loss on some of the bricks, especially the address stone, is not due to a RAW vs JPG issue, there is a distinct difference between the shots, both being in JPG. I also ran the same exact action on both so that I was not being discriminatory with one over the other. It may very well be possible that images from one lens needs a bit more PP than the images from the other, and then you can get them very, very close. That was not my goal here.

2) The reason I was surprised at this result (GDL) is that the Bigma and the 100-400 were nearly identical in every respect, and I expected something a bit similar here.

3) Sigma lenses are typically more "warmer" than Canon, so the color shift is expected, I have seen this with the 10-20, 18-50 and the 24-60. I don't remember it being this noticeable with the Bigma, but it did have a little.

Like I said, I will shoot one set of Raw at 400mm with both using f/6.3, same ISO, and an appropriate shutter sometime today given the time and post the results here.


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Jul 12, 2008 07:08 |  #27

Okay I took 2 different RAWs, one a bit closer and one across the street. There is no sun out this morning, and I don't quite notice the color shift as much, so it appears the sunlight is playing a part in the color differences between the 100-400 and Sigma. This is at 400mm on both lenses, same ISO, same aperture, same shutter speed.

Here are the subjects of the test, followed by two posts where a partial crop is made, then a 100% crop. No auto-leveling was performed, but I performed the same contrast/high pass on the images after they were consolidated into a single JPG.


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Jul 12, 2008 07:09 |  #28

Here is a partial crop side by side, followed by the 100% crop side by side.


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Jul 12, 2008 07:12 |  #29

Here is a partial crop side by side, followed by the 100% crop side by side, for the 2nd scene. I am at +7 micro adjustment on the Sigma. I used this scene to do a very detailed micro adjustment, and this is as good as it gets. The 100% crops show that the Sigma is still a small amount softer than the 100-400, but only comes into play if you are heavily cropping or printing oversized posters. The minor loss in detail is still there, again the texture of the rock shows this a bit.


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Jul 12, 2008 07:38 as a reply to  @ TeamSpeed's post |  #30

Thanks for the review. The Siggy is on its way to me and I can't wait to play with it. I don't see enough difference in the two copies, but your shots do look like the Canon has a slight edge. I wonder though if this is due to you stopping the Canon down to achieve the same aperture as the Sigma. I won't ask you to take all shots wide open though as I have already decided on which lens I want.

Have fun and good luck choosing the copy you are going to keep. :)


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