Are you smarter than a 55-300? For this Bigmos, the answer is no.

Started Jul 4, 2014 | Discussions thread
brecklundin Senior Member • Posts: 1,995
Re: Are you smarter than a 55-300? For this Bigmos, the answer is no.

paulkienitz wrote:

My Sigma 150-500 arrived today, and I promptly took it out to the wetland. I haven't gotten a video pan head yet, so I took a monopod. And though a few shots looked kind of nice in uncropped form...

as soon as you crop it, things start looking pretty dire.

Admittedly, the lens was nearly wide open that time, and closing up to f8 does significantly reduce that glowy halo effect, but it still isn't often that you get a sharp shot. This avocet is probably the single clearest cropped shot of the day (click to see 100% zoom):

whereas most shots were a lot poorer than that. This is a typical example of one that's sorta okay and not as messed up as a lot of them were... and it's a blurry mess.

I tried running through the apertures, from f6.3 to f11. I tried running through shutter speeds from 1/500 to 1/8000. Finally I tried manual focus and nudging the ring (which is very nicely damped) a millimeter at a time. Nothing helped.

Later, at home, I set up a focus calibration and ended up with a correction of -2 or -3, which wasn't a very significant difference.

My reason for buying this lens was because I hoped that it would enable me to go further and do more than I can with the little DA 55-300. But it can't. It's nowhere near adequate for such a purpose. I think it may actually be worse than the old 135-400 I sold years ago! That's a lens that no one misses now that it's gone, yet I got along reasonably well with it for some time, and only gradually decided that it just wouldn't do. With this one, I'm seeing major inadequacies right from the start.

So, is this lens decent and I'm missing something or not giving it a fair chance, or is it as bad as I think? Right now I'm thinking I should immediately start proceedings to return it. Am I making sense?

(Unfortunately, I already scuffed the hood by dropping it in gravel.)

It's amazing how truly difficult it is to find an affordable lens that improves on the 55-300. At this point, I guess my only remaining option if I want to stay within a normal human sized budget is DA*300 + TC, but even that adds up to about double the cost of the Bigmos.

-- hide signature --

"A good photograph is knowing where to stand." -- Ansel


Oh, man you are bringing back memories but don't despair because it's not an easy lens to learn. I shot with a Bigmos for almost 3-months before I got the hang of it. I thought I made a $1200 mistake during the first week. I was shooting a Canon 40D at the time. What did it for me was a monopod, learning to love higher ISO's, go FAST with the shutter speed I found 2x the focal length about right and also give the lens OS time to fully spin-up and in general giving the beastie all the light I could muster.

I actually took some of my favs with that lens. Here are some, mind these were with the Canon but that should not matter and I am not a birder:

40D, 267mm, f5.6, 1/400, ISO250 -- On the 40D ISO250 was pretty close to the top end of my comfort zone of ISO400.

40D, 370mm, f6.3, 1/500, ISO400

And a bunch of shots here (these were uploaded in bulk just to put them somewhere in case I need them somewhere...)  Some of the shots are good but most are junk so you can see good and bad.  Lots of duplicates as well so be patient...

Many shots were handheld and many later in the day were on a monopod though on subsequent days when my hands were not up to the weight I used the monopod.

Hope these help you a bit...just average shots to show you good and bad and I think EXIF settings are on those shots as well (if not just ask, I can check in LR).

Anyway, like I wrote do not yet despair, the thing takes patience.

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