Nikon Z9 with Sigma 500mm F/4 DG OS HSM Sports

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
OP ManosSKG Forum Member • Posts: 68
Re: Nikon Z9 with Sigma 500mm F/4 DG OS HSM Sports

Whilst I admit that only 2 weeks with the combo, are not enough to make a safe conclusion, I am personally not convinced that the lens works as it should with the Z9 and that there might be some compatibility issues!!! Whist I am happy with perching birds, on BIF I think that the lens is not performing as it should. I do find that a) it acquires focus significantly slower than it should (it hunts too much until it locks), b) it fails to lock focus in situations that it just shouldn't (easy, steady flying birds) and c) even after it locks it loses focus when the bird flies in front of busy BGs. I am running the newest firmwares on both the Z9 and the lens and yes I have tried all recommended techniques (Dynamic to acquire, then change to wide are L against open BGs / Dynamic to acquire and then auto on clear skies and all other possible combinations). I am also very used to its weight, so it's not a weight issue for me.

I am not sure if anyone else owns other telephoto lenses to test the Z9 and compare with the Sigma F4's performance, as to come to a verdict. But if I am right, we must all email Sigma and complain like hell! I am describing more or less the same issues that the Canon R5 users had in the beginning and Sigma listened to them and updated the lens, with significant improvement!  But the Canon users all liaised and applied severe pressure to Sigma.  IF we do not ALL come to the same conclusions though, this is pointless to chase. So we need to work together on this and contact Sigma, IF you agree that this is the situation and it is not a user error by me.

Today I have tested the Z9 with my Sigma 150-600 C and AF seems to perform much better with the zoom, than with the prime! I do not believe it is the weight of the F4, as I am very used to it and it is also performing similarly on a tripod. On the other hand when the prime lock focus, everything is tack sharp vs the zoom that it is just softer - but it is a prime vs a zoom we are talking about. So I am only concentrating on finding, acquiring and maintaining AF on BIF. I also understand that MILC cameras have some AF limitations, but what I am describing is more than the normal limitations of mirrorless cameras.

Unfortunately I have sold the 500 PF, as to partially sponsor the Z9, so I cannot run tests with it, but from what I see online and what I discuss with other users, the issues I am describing, are much less experienced by the PF users, who actually say that the PF performs better on the Z9 than it did with their D500/D850.  I only used the PF on my D500 though, so I cannot comment on its performance with the Z9 vs the Sigma 500 F4.

I have contacted Sigma with my findings and wait for their reply. For me, the lens is in need for an update by Sigma, or we are not experiencing its full potential under the circumstances. IF you agree with this, we MUST contact Sigma all together, as the Canon users did so in the past and got themselves a nice update!!! But please do share your findings here, so we can see if we are in agreement, or if this is just me being new to the Z9 ecosystem.  I have tested the camera with another lens though, before writing this post, thus my reaction!

 ManosSKG's gear list:ManosSKG's gear list
Nikon D500 Nikon Z9 Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 | C Sigma 500mm F4 Sport Nikon 500mm F5.6E PF
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