Safari : 80-400 VR vs Sigma 50-500 (Bigma)

Started Mar 6, 2008 | Discussions thread
OP desmond k New Member • Posts: 9
Re: Safari : 80-400 VR vs Sigma 50-500 (Bigma)

Rune Nielsen wrote:

desmond k wrote:

I am planning for a trip to the Masai Mara in Kenya this fall for a
once in a lifetime safari experience. I had done a vast research and
I've pretty much narrowed down to these two lenses which was within
my budget.

I will be using a D300 as my main body and a D40 as my second. The
lenses in question will be used on the D300.

I am leaning towards the Sigma but I'm wondering if it's a worthwhile
tradeoff to sacrifice VR (or OS) for the reach. Bigma has the reach
but not OS, while the Nikon is 100mm short but has VR. How much is
image stabilization needed for safari? Or is reach more important?

I am also concerned about the portability of the Bigma and if it is
too cumbersome to use in the safari vehicles.

Looking for someone to convince me to us either lens.


I went to Kenya (including Masa Mara) last summer, and it was fantastic!

Well, it seems to be the consensus among those who had been there. Never heard a negative opinion yet. That's why I have chosen the Mara to be my first (and hopefully more) safari experience.

I was very happy to be able to shoot handheld, so if I went again I
would bring a lens with VR/OS for sure! The Bigma is not a lens you
shoot handheld. You need at least a monopod. So of the two lenses you
mention, I would get the Nikon 80-400. BUT as you will leave in the
fall, there should be enough time to wait for the new Sigma 150-500
OS to arrive, and that would then be my choice. With the 150-500 on
the D300 and a shorter all-round lens on the D40, you will have a
very nice safari setup and you won't have to change lens at all.

Yes I do agree the Bigma is not a lens I would shoot handheld the whole day. I had a chance to use the lens for a short while and in that short amount of time my left arm was getting tired! And a tired arm is a caused for a shaky camera! The ideal setup would be exactly as you have mentioned and that will be my plan. Can't wait for the new Sigmas to hit the stores

PS. Bring a bean-bag. It's really a usefull little thing that I
missed a lot not having with me.

Yup, gonna take one along.

You can see some of my pictures here. A lot of them are from the
Mara. I only had my 70-200 VR + Nikon TC17, so I had to do with
340mm, but that was ok most of the time:

Very nice! I hope I can bring back some photos like those home!

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