Advice needed on sigma 50-500

Started Dec 5, 2022 | Discussions
tassosDA Contributing Member • Posts: 518
Advice needed on sigma 50-500

Hi everyone

I found the sigma 50-500 at a local retailer new for 1500€. Since I don’t own a long tele lens I’m seriously thinking about getting this one. 
Any thoughts? Main application would be birding and planes in air shows.

 tassosDA's gear list:tassosDA's gear list
Pentax K10D Pentax K-5 II Pentax smc DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG Macro HSM II +4 more
amhcph New Member • Posts: 8
Re: Advice needed on sigma 50-500

Hi,

I have no knowledge of that lens, except that it is a fairly old design. My current rig for birding, airshows and car racing is the K3iii with the 55-300 PLM. I now that others use the same setup with the 1.4 TC added. So far, I have decided to get by with just cropping.

Good luck with your choice.

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PentUp
PentUp Veteran Member • Posts: 4,374
Re: Advice needed on sigma 50-500

tassosDA wrote:

Hi everyone

I found the sigma 50-500 at a local retailer new for 1500€. Since I don’t own a long tele lens I’m seriously thinking about getting this one.
Any thoughts? Main application would be birding and planes in air shows.

Which version of the Sigma 50-500 is it?

I have the Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM version. 
It is my go to wildlife lens, I bought it before Pentax had any long lenses made for digital and it is still my most valued lens (mainly because there is nothing else that compares with its focal range and versatility). IQ is certainly good enough for my use and the HSM AF motor is very good.

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OP tassosDA Contributing Member • Posts: 518
Re: Advice needed on sigma 50-500
1

PentUp wrote:

tassosDA wrote:

Hi everyone

I found the sigma 50-500 at a local retailer new for 1500€. Since I don’t own a long tele lens I’m seriously thinking about getting this one.
Any thoughts? Main application would be birding and planes in air shows.

Which version of the Sigma 50-500 is it?

I have the Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM version.
It is my go to wildlife lens, I bought it before Pentax had any long lenses made for digital and it is still my most valued lens (mainly because there is nothing else that compares with its focal range and versatility). IQ is certainly good enough for my use and the HSM AF motor is very good.

it’s exactly the version you are mentioning

 tassosDA's gear list:tassosDA's gear list
Pentax K10D Pentax K-5 II Pentax smc DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG Macro HSM II +4 more
xmeda
xmeda Senior Member • Posts: 2,133
Re: Advice needed on sigma 50-500

tassosDA wrote:

Hi everyone

I found the sigma 50-500 at a local retailer new for 1500€. Since I don’t own a long tele lens I’m seriously thinking about getting this one.
Any thoughts? Main application would be birding and planes in air shows.

Quite expensive for 2nd hand lens.. but 50-500 in K mount are a bit rare. Something around €800-900 would be more ralistic tho.

I had 50-500/4-6.3 EX APO and now I have 50-500/4-6.3 EX DG APO. These two have AF driven from camera which works even on film bodies and it has aperture control ring too.

Later the 50-500/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM which is optically almost same, but has OS and quiet AF. OS is quite good, but does not work together with SR so you have to select one of stabilisers.

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OP tassosDA Contributing Member • Posts: 518
Re: Advice needed on sigma 50-500
1

xmeda wrote:

tassosDA wrote:

Hi everyone

I found the sigma 50-500 at a local retailer new for 1500€. Since I don’t own a long tele lens I’m seriously thinking about getting this one.
Any thoughts? Main application would be birding and planes in air shows.

Quite expensive for 2nd hand lens.. but 50-500 in K mount are a bit rare. Something around €800-900 would be more ralistic tho.

It isn’t 2nd hand . It’s brand new! Or at least that’s what the ad says..

I had 50-500/4-6.3 EX APO and now I have 50-500/4-6.3 EX DG APO. These two have AF driven from camera which works even on film bodies and it has aperture control ring too.

Later the 50-500/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM which is optically almost same, but has OS and quiet AF. OS is quite good, but does not work together with SR so you have to selec one of stabilisers.

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 tassosDA's gear list:tassosDA's gear list
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OP tassosDA Contributing Member • Posts: 518
Re: Advice needed on sigma 50-500

amhcph wrote:

Hi,

I have no knowledge of that lens, except that it is a fairly old design. My current rig for birding, airshows and car racing is the K3iii with the 55-300 PLM. I now that others use the same setup with the 1.4 TC added. So far, I have decided to get by with just cropping.

Good luck with your choice.

I would love to get the 55-300 plm but my K 5ii doesn’t support aperture control in that lens!

 tassosDA's gear list:tassosDA's gear list
Pentax K10D Pentax K-5 II Pentax smc DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG Macro HSM II +4 more
xmeda
xmeda Senior Member • Posts: 2,133
Re: Advice needed on sigma 50-500

Sigma stopped production of K mount lenses somewhere in 2017..

NEW 50-500 with K-mount is very questionable. Maybe some piece lost somewhere on stock.

HD DA55-300PLM WR is completely different lens. Cheap small travell telephoto. Nothing else. If you want something with good image output and you don't mind price and weight, look into DA*60-250/4 and Sigma 100-300/4 EX DG.

Sigma 50-500 needs a lot of light to provide good results. At the long end it is basically like 500/F8 lens because it needs some aperture to improve image output and in many cases to add some DOF. Even F9-14 sometimes. Couple this with at least 1/500s shutter to have good results even with active SR and you will quickly find, that you need sunny day to do something good with it otherwise you are in ISO1600+ range a lot. But then dynamic range goes bye bye and noise says hello bro. Or use it on tripod with 2sec timer, but you will need full metal tripod that can be tightened firmly and is rated for at least 10kg or will be shaky hell for any longer exposure. And with 500mm even 1/100s is "long exposure".

500mm

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kypfer Senior Member • Posts: 1,084
Re: Advice needed on sigma 50-500
1

I don't have a 50-500mm, but I own and use a Sigma DG 150-500mm APO HSM regularly for birding etc. on my K-3iii, (previously on my K-70 and KP), and find it very satisfactory.

However, I'm not sure of the logic behind such a wide range of zoom, trying to use a lens of that size as a 50mm could be clumsy at the least … also the price worries me. Even if it is "brand new", is it still covered by a full manufacturers' warranty? My s/h lens cost £350 from a reputable UK retailer … quite a step down from the price asked for your lens!

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xmeda
xmeda Senior Member • Posts: 2,133
Re: Advice needed on sigma 50-500
1

50-500 is good range for:

Airshows, battle reenactments, birds and other animals in good light. It is good pair with Sig17-70 or 18-135WR lenses with some overlap. That kind of scenarios where you have no time to switch lenses all the time. At the cost of compromises of course. Image output from 10x zoom is not as good as for example 100-300/4 or 70-200/2.8 lens can do.

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PentUp
PentUp Veteran Member • Posts: 4,374
Re: Advice needed on sigma 50-500
4

kypfer wrote:

I don't have a 50-500mm, but I own and use a Sigma DG 150-500mm APO HSM regularly for birding etc. on my K-3iii, (previously on my K-70 and KP), and find it very satisfactory.

However, I'm not sure of the logic behind such a wide range of zoom, trying to use a lens of that size as a 50mm could be clumsy at the least …

sometimes the logic walks up close to you…

50mm:

500mm:

And anywhere in between:

also the price worries me. Even if it is "brand new", is it still covered by a full manufacturers' warranty? My s/h lens cost £350 from a reputable UK retailer … quite a step down from the price asked for your lens!

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PentUp
PentUp Veteran Member • Posts: 4,374
Re: Advice needed on sigma 50-500

tassosDA wrote:

amhcph wrote:

Hi,

I have no knowledge of that lens, except that it is a fairly old design. My current rig for birding, airshows and car racing is the K3iii with the 55-300 PLM. I now that others use the same setup with the 1.4 TC added. So far, I have decided to get by with just cropping.

Good luck with your choice.

I would love to get the 55-300 plm but my K 5ii doesn’t support aperture control in that lens!

The K5ii and the Sigma 50-500 DG OS HSM work very well together.

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robbo d Veteran Member • Posts: 3,958
Re: Advice needed on sigma 50-500

1. Sounds very expensive.

2. I see quite a few for sale on ebay and other sites.

3. Mine is Soft at 500mm. But versatile at lower end. I wouldn't buy it just for long reach.

4. Needs f8/f9 at 500mm

5. DA300 would give far better IQ even with crop.

6. My original 55-300 is much smaller, lighter and slightly better IQ plus the 300-500 extra is not great on the bigma.

7. Overall mine is parked in my shelf.

8. Only saving grace is pretty good auto focus.

xmeda
xmeda Senior Member • Posts: 2,133
Re: Advice needed on sigma 50-500
1

It usually is not easy to fid good copy that focuses correctly through whole range and has good image quality through whole range. And if somebody has such lens, it is usually not for sale

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OP tassosDA Contributing Member • Posts: 518
Re: Advice needed on sigma 50-500

Dear friends

thank you all for your valuable input. The conclusion is that there aren’t many good or perfect choices if you are looking for a long zoom lens :

the 55-300 plm won’t work properly on my K5ii

rhe da 300 f4 isn’t versatile enough for me ( although a very sexy lens…)

the 60-250 f4 is just a bit … too short

the 150-450 is just too expensive

the (excellent) sigma100-300 f4 is nowhere to be found!

the sigma 50-500 has a lot of drawbacks as most of you have already pointed out… which leaves me with what??

maybe the sigma 150-500?

Anyway thank you again for your help. I have to do some serious thinking about this one!

 tassosDA's gear list:tassosDA's gear list
Pentax K10D Pentax K-5 II Pentax smc DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG Macro HSM II +4 more
Sjak
Sjak Veteran Member • Posts: 7,644
Re: Advice needed on sigma 50-500
1

tassosDA wrote:

the 55-300 plm won’t work properly on my K5ii

the sigma 50-500 has a lot of drawbacks as most of you have already pointed out… which leaves me with what??

Apparently you are willing to pay 1500 euro. For that amount, you can also get the PLM and a compatible Pentax-camera plus the 1.4 TC.

NB - I have no objections against the Sigma 50-500, I've never used it. Others have already pointed out its strengths and weaknesses, and on Pentaxforums, the users generally seem happy with it.

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PentUp
PentUp Veteran Member • Posts: 4,374
Re: Advice needed on sigma 50-500

tassosDA wrote:

Dear friends

thank you all for your valuable input. The conclusion is that there aren’t many good or perfect choices if you are looking for a long zoom lens :

the 55-300 plm won’t work properly on my K5ii

rhe da 300 f4 isn’t versatile enough for me ( although a very sexy lens…)

the 60-250 f4 is just a bit … too short

the 150-450 is just too expensive

the (excellent) sigma100-300 f4 is nowhere to be found!

the sigma 50-500 has a lot of drawbacks as most of you have already pointed out… which leaves me with what??

maybe the sigma 150-500?

Anyway thank you again for your help. I have to do some serious thinking about this one!

I have used the 50-500 DG OS HSM extensively on my K5II, with good results. It also works well with my K3iii … but I haven’t done as much pure wildlife photography since I got the K3iii so haven’t used that combination as much.

If spending the money on the 50-500 (new old stock) is affordable for you, I would say go for it. It is the best 500mm option available for Pentax right now. Especially given that it is, I think, one of the only long telephoto zooms in Pentax K-mount that gives you optional optical stabilisation if you need it.

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xmeda
xmeda Senior Member • Posts: 2,133
Re: Advice needed on sigma 50-500
1

Sjak wrote:

Apparently you are willing to pay 1500 euro. For that amount, you can also get the PLM and a compatible Pentax-camera plus the 1.4 TC.

But the result will be 77-420/6.7-9 lens that stopped a little will be in F11 territory. And 420mm with F11 and at least 1/400s sends you into... yes ISO1600+ most of the time.

Teleconverters are for fast and sharp lenses like F2.8, F4 or for tripod work. And always with loss of light and image quality.

500x2x2x2   But so dark, that you barely see something on live view and even with this heavy tight tripod it was very shaky.

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