Sigma 150-600mm (Sports) on the E-M1

Started Sep 30, 2017 | Discussions
Olyinaz Veteran Member • Posts: 7,404
Sigma 150-600mm (Sports) on the E-M1
6

Well the good news is it works just fine. I have the standard Metabones adapter in Canon mount and the lens of course is a Canon mount. The autofocus is quite snappy, better than my Sigma 50-500mm (4/3ds mount) and better than most of my 4/3ds lenses, and while it's not as fast as the better µ4/3ds lenses it is also accurate - it focuses correctly to the point I designate. I don't have a good grip on the in-lens OIS yet vs. the body IS, but it's working and I can choose either.

Optically this lens is far better than the 50-500 above about 350mm. At 500mm the 50-500 is quite soft, and I don't shoot it above 420mm as a result. As you can see below, the 150-600mm (Sports) is excellent at 600mm.

It's huge - comically so - and it's actually bigger than "The Bigma". This is obviously not optimal, but I wanted something past 400mm that's not a telescope, and this is just the ticket.

The Metabones looks to be very well made and impressively coated on the inside to dampen light. This is key with these adapters (and where the Chinese cheap types usually are not well executed) given the large image circle the lens throws (this lens is made for "full frame" DSLRs), so I was very pleased with that.

Just a quick test today after unboxing. I didn't try any CAF and certainly not birds in flight, so I can' offer any insights there. I just wanted to get a report lodged for all the birders out there that this combo may work for you, especially if you have an E-M1.

Some samples. These are full size JPEGs from the camera.  Obviously there's more detail in the RAW files and at any reasonable size they look fantastic.

I look forward to posting more.

Oly

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Messier Object Veteran Member • Posts: 8,807
Re: Sigma 150-600mm (Sports) on the E-M1

That’s an interesting choice for 400+mm.

I assume that you have the latest version of the T Smart adapter and have it at Ver 2.9

I’m using the Metabones with the E-M1 Mark II and a couple of EF lenses including the Sigma 50-500mm OS DG and finding S-AF speed is quite good

It’s interesting that the Metabones site lists  C-AF capability with the E-M1 but not the Mark II.  C-AF definitely doesn’t work with the Mark II.

You mentioned IBIS and OS. I have an issue with OS when using the Metabones V2.9 and the E-M1 Mark II, and wondering if you have the same issue with the Mark I.

If I switch the lens OS on (via the lens switch) the stabilisation runs continuously after the first 1/2 press of the shutter button. I can hear the OS mechanism running. I’m concerned that the OS will wear out or be damaged, so I keep OS switched off when using the Metabones.  It’s a pity because at 600mm I get better stabilisation with the lens OS than with the IBIS. I’m in discussion with Metabones support.

Peter

OP Olyinaz Veteran Member • Posts: 7,404
Moon tonight with Sigma 150-600mm (S)
3

Just point it up and shoot.  So much better than anything I've ever been able to get out of the Sigma 50-500!  (Or Perkin-Elmer Solid Cat 600mm.)

Oly

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OP Olyinaz Veteran Member • Posts: 7,404
Re: Sigma 150-600mm (Sports) on the E-M1
1

No idea what version my adapter is and it came with zero documentation despite supposedly being new.  I'll go check the website and see if I can figure it out.

My 50-500 doesn't feature OIS, but the documentation for the 150-600 says that it runs constantly when switched on, and to switch it off when not in use.

As of yet I did not get the impression that it was more effective than the IBIS, but I'll get some more time behind the camera to see if I can get a better handle on that.

Oly

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nzmacro
nzmacro Forum Pro • Posts: 16,646
Re: Sigma 150-600mm (Sports) on the E-M1

Very interesting and nice shots. About the only thing i would suggest is to keep the shutter speed higher if possible. Any reason for the F/8 on the birds, or is it just what the camera set. ?? Very interesting post and a good read as well.

All the best and worth keeping an eye on what you get with this lens. BIF's will be a good test for AF in the future once you get a hang of the lens.

Danny.

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The need for speed ..... https://www.flickr.com/photos/130646821@N03/albums

OP Olyinaz Veteran Member • Posts: 7,404
Re: Sigma 150-600mm (Sports) on the E-M1
1

nzmacro wrote:

Very interesting and nice shots. About the only thing i would suggest is to keep the shutter speed higher if possible. Any reason for the F/8 on the birds, or is it just what the camera set?? Very interesting post and a good read as well.

F/8 was two clicks stopped down and I suspected that it would yield better sharpness (and DOF).  I wanted to see what the lens was capable of and I suspect that it would be a bit softer wide open, but I'll look into that.

Thanks, 
Oly

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nzmacro
nzmacro Forum Pro • Posts: 16,646
Re: Sigma 150-600mm (Sports) on the E-M1

Olyinaz wrote:

nzmacro wrote:

Very interesting and nice shots. About the only thing i would suggest is to keep the shutter speed higher if possible. Any reason for the F/8 on the birds, or is it just what the camera set?? Very interesting post and a good read as well.

F/8 was two clicks stopped down and I suspected that it would yield better sharpness (and DOF). I wanted to see what the lens was capable of and I suspect that it would be a bit softer wide open, but I'll look into that.

Thanks,
Oly

Fair enough and thanks for that. Be interesting what it's like wide open to get to faster shutter speeds. I find ISO 400 excellent on m4/3 and at a stretch ISO 800 in good light for birds and BIF's.

All the best and good info.

Danny.

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The need for speed ..... https://www.flickr.com/photos/130646821@N03/albums

Messier Object Veteran Member • Posts: 8,807
Re: Sigma 150-600mm (Sports) on the E-M1
1

Olyinaz wrote:

No idea what version my adapter is and it came with zero documentation despite supposedly being new. I'll go check the website and see if I can figure it out.

My 50-500 doesn't feature OIS, but the documentation for the 150-600 says that it runs constantly when switched on, and to switch it off when not in use.

that's  interesting. When used on my Canon  DSLRs  my Sigma 50-500mm OS doesn't stabilise unless the shutter button is half pressed, same with my Canon EF lenses - the camera controls the OS. Looks like the Metabones can't yet read/convey that signal from the Mark II

As of yet I did not get the impression that it was more effective than the IBIS, but I'll get some more time behind the camera to see if I can get a better handle on that.

Oly

Peter

Messier Object Veteran Member • Posts: 8,807
Re: Moon tonight with Sigma 150-600mm (S)

Wonderful moon shot!

A great demo of that lens, and I like your treatment.

Peter

Phocal
Phocal Senior Member • Posts: 2,731
Re: Sigma 150-600mm (Sports) on the E-M1

Honestly, they are soft and lack detail.

You are correct about stopping down, the lens should sharpen up considerably at f8.  Just like the Panny 100-400 and the Bigma you talk about.

I get better shots from my Bigma (I have the 4/3's mount) than what you show here from the 150-600.

Stopped down to f8

Wide open

From what I have seen the 150-600's (all of them) are good when you are close.  They just don't have the resolution when subjects are farther away, like in your photos.

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Messier Object Veteran Member • Posts: 8,807
Re: Sigma 150-600mm (Sports) on the E-M1
1

Phocal wrote:

Honestly, they are soft and lack detail.

You are correct about stopping down, the lens should sharpen up considerably at f8. Just like the Panny 100-400 and the Bigma you talk about.

I get better shots from my Bigma (I have the 4/3's mount) than what you show here from the 150-600.

Is this your Bigma, or have I got the wrong 50-500 in this comparator ?

https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=374&Camera=9&Sample=0&FLI=5&API=1&LensComp=978&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=6&APIComp=0

From what I have seen the 150-600's (all of them) are good when you are close. They just don't have the resolution when subjects are farther away, like in your photos.

paul cool
paul cool Senior Member • Posts: 2,472
Re: Sigma 150-600mm (Sports) on the E-M1

I used the sport with metabones on my omd em1 mk2 and that was enough for me to decide it was to big to heavy to slow and required a monopod well it was sharp when subject was close also very sharp better than the pl equal to the olympus 300mm with tc but i could never hold subject in viewfinder at 600mm when moving.

the c-af was woeful if i want something longer i might try the contemporary or a 500mm fd canon just manual focus with it i could not see me enjoying photography with the sport lens to many issues to use properly for me and still not enough light might be better with focal reducer metabones probably be sharper

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Brian Wadie
Brian Wadie Veteran Member • Posts: 9,873
Re: Sigma 150-600mm (Sports) on the E-M1

paul cool wrote:

I used the sport with metabones on my omd em1 mk2 and that was enough for me to decide it was to big to heavy to slow and required a monopod well it was sharp when subject was close also very sharp better than the pl equal to the olympus 300mm with tc but i could never hold subject in viewfinder at 600mm when moving.

the c-af was woeful if i want something longer i might try the contemporary or a 500mm fd canon just manual focus with it i could not see me enjoying photography with the sport lens to many issues to use properly for me and still not enough light might be better with focal reducer metabones probably be sharper

I couldn't handle the Sport when I borrowed a friend's but I fell in love with the performance of the contemporary on my EM-1. The USB dock is, in my opinion, an essential add-on and its so cheap its really a no brainer. Not only does it enable focus adjustment but it also provides access for focus limit control and focus response behaviour (from memory)

a link : https://www.sigma-imaging-uk.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=286

In the end, even the contemporary proved too heavy for me to hand-hold but its one of the few lenses I really miss owning

(From my experience its essential to use a carry strap attached to the bracket provided on the lens, even the contemporary puts a strain on the lens mount)

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OP Olyinaz Veteran Member • Posts: 7,404
Re: Sigma 150-600mm (Sports) on the E-M1
1

nzmacro wrote:

I find ISO 400 excellent on m4/3 and at a stretch ISO 800 in good light for birds and BIF's.

One thing I'm seeing out of the 20MP files is that higher ISOs are better than what I got from my 16MP 4/3ds cameras.  As long as sky is not a factor (and then there are ways to deal with that in post as I'm sure you know but it's a PITA), I'm seeing 1600 ISO files that are amazing to me since this is the first body I've purchased in years.  Thank goodness and hallelujah.  The latest TruePic processor does such a good job with noise I have a hard time besting it when processing in Adobe RAW if I'm trying to match and beat the detail - I've never had that problem before.  Dynamic range and highlight recovery yes - that's still easy - but I just cannot get over how well the E-M1 Mk II does controlling noise in its JPEGs!

At any rate, thanks for the exchange and I appreciate the insights.

Oly

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OP Olyinaz Veteran Member • Posts: 7,404
Re: Moon tonight with Sigma 150-600mm (S)

Thanks!

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drj3 Veteran Member • Posts: 9,621
Re: Sigma 150-600mm (Sports) on the E-M1
2

Olyinaz wrote:

nzmacro wrote:

I find ISO 400 excellent on m4/3 and at a stretch ISO 800 in good light for birds and BIF's.

One thing I'm seeing out of the 20MP files is that higher ISOs are better than what I got from my 16MP 4/3ds cameras. As long as sky is not a factor (and then there are ways to deal with that in post as I'm sure you know but it's a PITA), I'm seeing 1600 ISO files that are amazing to me since this is the first body I've purchased in years. Thank goodness and hallelujah. The latest TruePic processor does such a good job with noise I have a hard time besting it when processing in Adobe RAW if I'm trying to match and beat the detail - I've never had that problem before. Dynamic range and highlight recovery yes - that's still easy - but I just cannot get over how well the E-M1 Mk II does controlling noise in its JPEGs!

At any rate, thanks for the exchange and I appreciate the insights.

Oly

The major difference I see in higher ISO is in the darker areas.  With the E-M1.1, I had to be very careful to not underexpose birds with a sky background.  The shadow areas were noisy with underexposure.  The E-M1.2 can tolerate a good deal more shadow lifting (PP raw files) for BIFs than the E-M1.1.

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OP Olyinaz Veteran Member • Posts: 7,404
Re: Sigma 150-600mm (Sports) on the E-M1
3

Phocal wrote:

Honestly, they are soft and lack detail.

You are correct about stopping down, the lens should sharpen up considerably at f8. Just like the Panny 100-400 and the Bigma you talk about.

I get better shots from my Bigma (I have the 4/3's mount) than what you show here from the 150-600.

Honestly the bokeh is unpleasant in those shots and they lack almost any feather detail. But at any rate I get far worse shots from my Bigma above 500mm...because it cannot go above 500mm. And at 500mm the Bigma, in all reviews posted by pretty much everyone else, is soft to the point of being borderline bad. Even stopped down. I've always said that the Bigma from 50mm-350mm is fantastic, and this lens cannot drop below 150mm so I have zero intention of getting rid of the Bigma. But to suggest that at 500mm a Sigma 50-500 is better than a Sigma 150-600mm puts you in a class of one, and there is data out there to prove this.  I was just surprised at how good the 150-600 Sports actually is.

From what I have seen the 150-600's (all of them) are good when you are close. They just don't have the resolution when subjects are farther away, like in your photos.

Yes, when subjects are far away it is difficult to get really high resolution. In this case in the live view I could see the atmospherics wavering in the heat (it was 100º F) like a looking through a pool of water. Please show me your 600mm extremely high resolution (full files as I posted - not resized) captures. I need to learn this technique you have and also acquire the miracle glass you own. Thanks.

Oly

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OP Olyinaz Veteran Member • Posts: 7,404
Spider at 600mm

Well it's not a macro lens - I was 3 meters away from Mr. Kreepy.  LOL  

Oly

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Paul Richman
Paul Richman Veteran Member • Posts: 4,530
What a great 1200 mm option...
1

... for my EM1 Mark II. Thanks for posting and thanks for the great idea. This lens is not really that much bigger or heavier then the 300 mm F4.

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nzmacro
nzmacro Forum Pro • Posts: 16,646
That's clever

Brian Wadie wrote:

paul cool wrote:

I used the sport with metabones on my omd em1 mk2 and that was enough for me to decide it was to big to heavy to slow and required a monopod well it was sharp when subject was close also very sharp better than the pl equal to the olympus 300mm with tc but i could never hold subject in viewfinder at 600mm when moving.

the c-af was woeful if i want something longer i might try the contemporary or a 500mm fd canon just manual focus with it i could not see me enjoying photography with the sport lens to many issues to use properly for me and still not enough light might be better with focal reducer metabones probably be sharper

I couldn't handle the Sport when I borrowed a friend's but I fell in love with the performance of the contemporary on my EM-1. The USB dock is, in my opinion, an essential add-on and its so cheap its really a no brainer. Not only does it enable focus adjustment but it also provides access for focus limit control and focus response behaviour (from memory)

a link : https://www.sigma-imaging-uk.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=286

In the end, even the contemporary proved too heavy for me to hand-hold but its one of the few lenses I really miss owning

(From my experience its essential to use a carry strap attached to the bracket provided on the lens, even the contemporary puts a strain on the lens mount)

This is very interesting from that link Bri ........

"Full-time MF Setting

It is possible to adjust the timing to operate the Full-time MF function by customizing how much rotation of the focus ring is required."

That's clever and yes, at that cost, you would have to be a fool to not get one with what it's capable of all round.

All the best Brian, very interesting mate.

Danny.

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Worry about the image that comes out of the box rather than the box itself
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Birds and BIF's ..... https://www.flickr.com/photos/124733969@N06/sets/
The need for speed ..... https://www.flickr.com/photos/130646821@N03/albums

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