Sigma 150-600mm Sport Optimal range for BIF Etc?

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fairfaxian Regular Member • Posts: 262
Sigma 150-600mm Sport Optimal range for BIF Etc?

I use the Sigma 150-600m S with Canon 7DII for wildlife, BIF etc. Not an ideal lens for my area as golden hour sun is typically blocked by trees/hills. But I can't afford faster glass, so please don't suggest I ditch the lens & buy something else.

This is about maximizing sharpness for distant subjects/BIF etc. My limited testing appears to show that the lens is noticeably softer wide open & fully extended (common lens traits).

500mm is the a shorter focal length that can be locked off (to avoid zoom creep) and I'm curious if critical wildlife shooters tend to use that length or just go fully extended & sharpen in post (as I do) Many of my subjects tend to be very distant, so I need all the reach I can get.

As as the dusk light in my area can be lower than hoped for, I sometimes resort to shooting wide open at F6.3 -which seems soft on my copy of the lens. Does anyone achieve critical sharpness with this lens wide open?

I have not calibrated or tested my lens with a calibration target. I just tripod the lens (OS off) and capture static subjects, which I visually inspect on a 30" monitor. Have other shooters here seen improvement with calibration kits? Any other tricks for optimizing sharpness in low light?

I do have a Canon 400mm prime which is far easier for handheld BIF shots. But with distant subjects, sometimes ya just need more reach.

I use a gimbal head on tripod when possible. But for BIF all I rely on is aim, track, shoot, follow through. I set focus point where I anticipate the subjects eyes will be in the frame. I do get fairly decent results with hummingbirds at home in bright light, with tripod. And I understand that softness for BIF is most likely due to my handholding skill level. I'm just looking to get caritas assessments about ways to maximize sharpness, and feedback on use of this lens wide open & fully extended. Thanks for your opinions.

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