Torn Between The Sigma 70-200 and Sigma 150-500 lens

Started Apr 10, 2014 | Discussions
austinspeer810
austinspeer810 Junior Member • Posts: 49
Torn Between The Sigma 70-200 and Sigma 150-500 lens

I am debating on whether to get the sigma 70-200 lens or the 150-500 lens.  I understand the focal lengths and low light capabilities of each.  I want to attempt some birding but I think getting a lens SPECIFICALLY for birding in my situation being a college student, I would rather get a lens that works for both.  I know the sigma 70-200 does not reach as far as the 150-500 however, using a Canon 70D and the possibility of purchasing an extender of 1.4 making it 3 times the focal length would make the 70-200 a 210-600?  Maybe I have that part wrong.

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BarnET Veteran Member • Posts: 3,529
Re: Torn Between The Sigma 70-200 and Sigma 150-500 lens
1

austinspeer810 wrote:

I am debating on whether to get the sigma 70-200 lens or the 150-500 lens. I understand the focal lengths and low light capabilities of each. I want to attempt some birding but I think getting a lens SPECIFICALLY for birding in my situation being a college student, I would rather get a lens that works for both. I know the sigma 70-200 does not reach as far as the 150-500 however, using a Canon 70D and the possibility of purchasing an extender of 1.4 making it 3

times the focal length would make the 70-200 a 210-600?

Yeah you got that wrong

It's 70-200*1.4*1.6 which is  156-450mm

And that would be at F4 since you lose 1 stop of light.

If your into birding i would recommend the new tamron 150-600mm vc.

For most other subjects you don't need this reach. And a good f2.8 zoom is simply the better option.

Maybe I have that part wrong.

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Klaus dk
Klaus dk Veteran Member • Posts: 4,313
Re: Torn Between The Sigma 70-200 and Sigma 150-500 lens

austinspeer810 wrote:

I am debating on whether to get the sigma 70-200 lens or the 150-500 lens. I understand the focal lengths and low light capabilities of each. I want to attempt some birding but I think getting a lens SPECIFICALLY for birding in my situation being a college student, I would rather get a lens that works for both. I know the sigma 70-200 does not reach as far as the 150-500 however, using a Canon 70D and the possibility of purchasing an extender of 1.4 making it 3 times the focal length would make the 70-200 a 210-600? Maybe I have that part wrong.

The 150-500 will be 240-800 equivalent on the 70D without a TE.

The crop factor of 1.6 times the extension by the 1.4 TE is 2.24, not 3, so the 70-200 will be 157-448 equivalent.

So yes, you got it wrong - but you're neither the first nor the last

FYI I own a 70-300 and on my 7D it is too short for birds IMHO. Recently I took a picture of a robin roughly 3 meter away through the window, To fill the frame one would have to crop it:

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Chris R-UK Forum Pro • Posts: 17,423
Re: Torn Between The Sigma 70-200 and Sigma 150-500 lens

Birding is difficult and really requires the longest lens that you can get.  Some birders shoot through a telescope, called "digiscoping".  Very long lenses are big and heavy and not the best choice for non-wildlife photography.

What else do you want to photograph with a 70-200 f2.8?  That is really a lens for nighttime or indoor sports.

If you don't need the f2.8 than a Canon 55-250mm IS STM is a good general purpose telephoto lens to get started with.  It is a bit short for birds so you will be limited to large birds or flocks of birds.  If at a later date you decide that you want to get into birding seriously you could then consider a longer lens such as the Canon 400mm f5.6 L or the Tamron 150-600mm already mentioned.

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Chris R

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TTMartin
TTMartin Veteran Member • Posts: 7,304
Re: Torn Between The Sigma 70-200 and Sigma 150-500 lens

austinspeer810 wrote:

I am debating on whether to get the sigma 70-200 lens or the 150-500 lens. I understand the focal lengths and low light capabilities of each. I want to attempt some birding but I think getting a lens SPECIFICALLY for birding in my situation being a college student, I would rather get a lens that works for both. I know the sigma 70-200 does not reach as far as the 150-500 however, using a Canon 70D and the possibility of purchasing an extender of 1.4 making it 3 times the focal length would make the 70-200 a 210-600? Maybe I have that part wrong.

I have both the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 HSM II and the Sigma 150-500 OS, as well as both a Sigma 1.4X and 2X teleconverter. I'll try to get pictures from each to give you and idea. The image quality of the Sigma 70-200 is superb and the Sigma 150-500 is very good. It will be interesting to see how they compare using the TC. My gut tells me the 150-500 will be better, especially at 400mm where it is a little better than fully zoomed to 500mm.

edit: I've read about some focus compatibility issues with the Tamron 150-600 VC so be sure you research that well before jumping to that lens.

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JTC111 Contributing Member • Posts: 505
Re: Torn Between The Sigma 70-200 and Sigma 150-500 lens

austinspeer810 wrote:

I am debating on whether to get the sigma 70-200 lens or the 150-500 lens. I understand the focal lengths and low light capabilities of each. I want to attempt some birding but I think getting a lens SPECIFICALLY for birding in my situation being a college student, I would rather get a lens that works for both. I know the sigma 70-200 does not reach as far as the 150-500 however, using a Canon 70D and the possibility of purchasing an extender of 1.4 making it 3 times the focal length would make the 70-200 a 210-600? Maybe I have that part wrong.

It seems to me that the 70-200 would be mostly redundant for you since you already own a 24-105.  By adding that lens, you'd gain the 105-200 range but have nothing beyond that.  Adding the 150-500 leaves a hole in the 105-150 range, but considering what you're adding, it seems like the better trade-off.

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Jim Caputo
"Red hair and black leather, my favorite color scheme" - Richard Thompson

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beagle1 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,724
Re: ..... alternatives

austinspeer810 wrote:

I am debating on whether to get the sigma 70-200 lens or the 150-500 lens. I understand the focal lengths and low light capabilities of each. I want to attempt some birding but I think getting a lens SPECIFICALLY for birding in my situation being a college student, I would rather get a lens that works for both. I know the sigma 70-200 does not reach as far as the 150-500 however, using a Canon 70D and the possibility of purchasing an extender of 1.4 making it 3 times the focal length would make the 70-200 a 210-600? Maybe I have that part wrong.

forget using the extender / teleconverter, degrades IQ and AF

For birds and other wildlife look at the 400mm prime, Tamron 150-600, Canon 100-400

100-400

SMPhoto
SMPhoto Senior Member • Posts: 1,024
Re: Torn Between The Sigma 70-200 and Sigma 150-500 lens

JTC111 wrote:

austinspeer810 wrote:

I am debating on whether to get the sigma 70-200 lens or the 150-500 lens. I understand the focal lengths and low light capabilities of each. I want to attempt some birding but I think getting a lens SPECIFICALLY for birding in my situation being a college student, I would rather get a lens that works for both. I know the sigma 70-200 does not reach as far as the 150-500 however, using a Canon 70D and the possibility of purchasing an extender of 1.4 making it 3 times the focal length would make the 70-200 a 210-600? Maybe I have that part wrong.

It seems to me that the 70-200 would be mostly redundant for you since you already own a 24-105. By adding that lens, you'd gain the 105-200 range but have nothing beyond that. Adding the 150-500 leaves a hole in the 105-150 range, but considering what you're adding, it seems like the better trade-off.

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Jim Caputo
"Red hair and black leather, my favorite color scheme" - Richard Thompson

I don't see 70-200 and 24-105 as redundant at all. 70-105 is hardly any overlap at all. THe 24-105 is redundant to the 24-70 which is meant to complement the 70-200. ALso, the 24-105 is not 2.8, so the depth of field possibilities are vastly different between 200 f2.8 and 105 f4. To me, a 70-200 2.8 is an indispensable lens in the bag and certainly a worthy investment for someone with only a normal range zoom. That said, it is short for birding, and I'd have to consider looking at the Tamron 70-200 2.8 based on reviews (or a used Canon) before I settled on the Sigma. i wouldn't bother with a 1.4x though since one good enough to not degrade resolution as much or more that just cropping and enlarging would is going to cost as much as a 70-300 4-5.6 (though smaller and lighter to carry around if 70-200 2.8 is in bag either way. There's no perfect answer for what you want to do, everything has some trade offs, but if birding isn't a huge priority, it's start with 70-200 2.8 and get a longer lens down the road. If it is, then look at the new Tamron 150-600 VC.

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JTC111 Contributing Member • Posts: 505
Re: Torn Between The Sigma 70-200 and Sigma 150-500 lens

SMPhoto wrote:

JTC111 wrote:

austinspeer810 wrote:

I am debating on whether to get the sigma 70-200 lens or the 150-500 lens. I understand the focal lengths and low light capabilities of each. I want to attempt some birding but I think getting a lens SPECIFICALLY for birding in my situation being a college student, I would rather get a lens that works for both. I know the sigma 70-200 does not reach as far as the 150-500 however, using a Canon 70D and the possibility of purchasing an extender of 1.4 making it 3 times the focal length would make the 70-200 a 210-600? Maybe I have that part wrong.

It seems to me that the 70-200 would be mostly redundant for you since you already own a 24-105. By adding that lens, you'd gain the 105-200 range but have nothing beyond that. Adding the 150-500 leaves a hole in the 105-150 range, but considering what you're adding, it seems like the better trade-off.

-- hide signature --

Jim Caputo
"Red hair and black leather, my favorite color scheme" - Richard Thompson

I don't see 70-200 and 24-105 as redundant at all. 70-105 is hardly any overlap at all. THe 24-105 is redundant to the 24-70 which is meant to complement the 70-200.

Here's what I was trying to convey:
If the OP buys the 70-200, between his two zooms he would have the 24-200 span covered with overlap in the 70-105 range which is almost half of what the 24-105 lens covers.

If the OP buys the 150-500 lens, he will have 24-105 range and the 150-500 range covered. In essence, this comes down to choosing between covering the 105-150 range or the 200-500 range.

Yes, I know there are other variables that might be at play (like which lens is faster, etc.) but the OP hasn't given us much information and only mentions the focal length when presenting his dilemma; therefore, I'm assuming focal length is higher on the priorities list.

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Jim Caputo
"Red hair and black leather, my favorite color scheme" - Richard Thompson

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SMPhoto
SMPhoto Senior Member • Posts: 1,024
Re: Torn Between The Sigma 70-200 and Sigma 150-500 lens

JTC111 wrote:

SMPhoto wrote:

JTC111 wrote:

austinspeer810 wrote:

I am debating on whether to get the sigma 70-200 lens or the 150-500 lens. I understand the focal lengths and low light capabilities of each. I want to attempt some birding but I think getting a lens SPECIFICALLY for birding in my situation being a college student, I would rather get a lens that works for both. I know the sigma 70-200 does not reach as far as the 150-500 however, using a Canon 70D and the possibility of purchasing an extender of 1.4 making it 3 times the focal length would make the 70-200 a 210-600? Maybe I have that part wrong.

It seems to me that the 70-200 would be mostly redundant for you since you already own a 24-105. By adding that lens, you'd gain the 105-200 range but have nothing beyond that. Adding the 150-500 leaves a hole in the 105-150 range, but considering what you're adding, it seems like the better trade-off.

-- hide signature --

Jim Caputo
"Red hair and black leather, my favorite color scheme" - Richard Thompson

I don't see 70-200 and 24-105 as redundant at all. 70-105 is hardly any overlap at all. THe 24-105 is redundant to the 24-70 which is meant to complement the 70-200.

Here's what I was trying to convey:
If the OP buys the 70-200, between his two zooms he would have the 24-200 span covered with overlap in the 70-105 range which is almost half of what the 24-105 lens covers.

If the OP buys the 150-500 lens, he will have 24-105 range and the 150-500 range covered. In essence, this comes down to choosing between covering the 105-150 range or the 200-500 range.

Yes, I know there are other variables that might be at play (like which lens is faster, etc.) but the OP hasn't given us much information and only mentions the focal length when presenting his dilemma; therefore, I'm assuming focal length is higher on the priorities list.

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Jim Caputo
"Red hair and black leather, my favorite color scheme" - Richard Thompson

I can get that. I'm just used to thinking of 24-200 as a 2 lens span. 17-200 as a 3 lens span with 24-35 overlap. You could cover a lot of that with 1 lens, and while I wouldn't trade the 2.8s for a wider range zoom ever,  I also realize covering 183mm with $6000 worth of lenses isn't going to be feasible for everyone.

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TTMartin
TTMartin Veteran Member • Posts: 7,304
Re: Torn Between The Sigma 70-200 and Sigma 150-500 lens

Finally got out this morning for some test shots. Below are 100% crops. Shot were taken supported by a picnic table, focused with liveview, but, just used the regular shutter.

Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 with 2X TC

Simga 150-500 OS @ 400mm

Sigma 150-500 OS @ 500mm

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austinspeer810
OP austinspeer810 Junior Member • Posts: 49
Re: Torn Between The Sigma 70-200 and Sigma 150-500 lens

I tried the 55-250 since it came in a package when I purchased my rebel t3i.  I really did not care for it.  It just felt very "cheap" and I had no use for it once I got my 24-105 (I found myself using the 24-105 almost all the time).  I sold it and put money down towards other items such as a nice tripod, a new bag, and some other minor photography items.

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austinspeer810
OP austinspeer810 Junior Member • Posts: 49
Re: ..... alternatives

Yeah I would prefer to not use an extender unless i need to.  I like to keep things simple.  I would get the 70-200 2.8 for low light events such as weddings and sports that the lighting is poor.  I would like to get a 100-400 or 150-500 lens for those really long reach objects.  But I guess I just need to see what I find myself shooting more of before I purchase one lens over another.

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