February 15 2013 - Photo Jottings

February 15 2013


Sigma 50-500mm OS better than Sony 70-400mm?

The web popular lensrentals.com founder/owner/ceo/etc is looking for a new camera system to meet his personal photography needs, and one of the criteria is a very sharp 400mm lens.  This guy evaluates lens performance, repairs and of course rents thousands of lenses a year, and should know what’s great, (and what’s not) is saying that he would prefer the Sigma 50-500mm OS over the Sony 70-400mm if he were to go with the Sony system; go here for the article.  The Sigma is a little less money, but It’s about the same amount as a top notch used 70-400mm would go for.

I’m not sure, but I think he tested the lenses at full zoom with the subject at 100 yards/m, then resized the images to match other systems (like aps-c), then cropped the centers for close inspection.  So maybe the Sigma is slightly sharper at 500mm than the Sony is at 400mm.  Here’s the key though: the Sigma may not focus properly even with AF micro adjustments, where the Sony can be made to focus correctly if it isn’t quite right from the factory.  I had some troubles with my copy using my A900 and A77 before I adjusted the lens on each camera, although the NEX-7 with converter was dead on from the get go, weird!  Sony does not recommend using AF micro adjustments with aftermarket lenses such as Sigma.

On a brighter note, Lensrentals man really likes the CZ 135/1.8, calling it basically the best of the bunch from all makers in that range.  I came to the same conclusion in this review, but it’s not within my often used focal lengths yet!  However, that focal length would be great for stitching pans
(or for larger prints sizes) at longer distances.

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