50-500 OS lens vs 150-500 OS lens

Started Jul 23, 2010 | Discussions thread
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larryj
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50-500 OS lens vs 150-500 OS lens
Jul 23, 2010

I had Kendall's 50-500 OS lens for a few weeks and did a number of sessions where I could compare the performance of the 50-500 to my own 150-500 OS lens. All the test were done in the field using OS and hand-held. My wife reminded me that I needed to do some AF and sharpness tests using the lenses on tripods, but I was too busy running after birds and other critters to stop and use a tripod. If I get the lens again, I guess I will do the right stuff tests ;O),.
Results:

Optical Stabilization (OS): Both lenses preformed very well using the OS. I was able to shot hand-held as slow as 1/60 sec and produce sharp results.

Auto-focus (AF): The AF on the 50-500 preformed better on my SD14 than the AF on the 150-500 mm lens. In fact, I use manual focus most of the time when shooting the 150-500 lens. The lens when it does lock, tend to back focus.

Auto-focus Override: The AF override on the 150-500 is full time and easy to use (thank goodness), when the focus in locked and you need to adjust you just move the focus ring to get your best focus. On the 50-500 mm lens the AF override is a little tricky. It requires you to hold the exposure bottom half way down and activate the override and adjust the focus. If you don't do this procedure, all you get is out of focus pictures and a lot of frustration. I did a lot of manual focus shots with the 50-500 out of habit, although the AF works pretty well.

Picture Quality: Both lenses produce great picture quality. The best results from the 150-500 are at F:8.0 and higher and the 50-500 gets good results at F:6.3 or higher.

My Opinion: I think the 50-500 OS is a better overall lens in build quality and shooting functions. The ability to focus closer than the 150-500 is very useful and the shorter FL (50mm) allows a greater range of subjects from close-ups of animals to general street photos. If I had to choose one of these lenses, it would certainly be the 50-500 OS, because of its versatility and a slightly (IMO) better smoothness to the images.
Random selection of images:
150-500 OS

50-500 OS

50-500 OS

150-500 OS

150-500 OS

150-500 OS

50-500 OS

150-500 OS

50-500 OS

50-500 OS

50-500 OS

50-500 OS

150-500 OS

Cheers,
--
larryj

If you can see the light, you can photograph it
Quote from Myron Woods

 larryj's gear list:larryj's gear list
Sigma SD1 Merrill Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 EX DG HSM Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM +1 more
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