Last Saturday I made an impulse purchase and bought my first Auto-Focus zoom, also in the concept of go big, or go home. Rather than going with a 70~200mm or 70~300mm consumer level lens.. I went BIG.. I bought a Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM Lens, aka the BIGMA. This lens is a beast weighing twice as much as my well loved SMC-M☆ Pentax 300mm f:4. My existing 300mm is small, light and razor sharp, but being a circa 1982 lens, it is simply more work on a modern digital body, that combined with my Pentax Rear Converter T6-2X it becomes a 600mm f:8, and harder to manually focus. 2017 is my upgrade year, with a new dSLR (Pentax K-3II) in January and a new super-zoom this month.
Yesterday we had a break in the garbage weather, so I headed out to one of my favourite locations, Ottawa’s Mud Lake (Britannia Conservation Area) for field testing the BIGMA. I knew Wood Ducks, Mallards, Squirrels would be easy to find. The OS (in lens Optical Stabilization) claims 4 stops. I have the option of either in camera body Shake Reduction or the OS. So far the OS lives up to the claims.
This handsome fellow permitted excellent test, fine details on black feathers could be a challenge, but looks pretty sharp (1/500 f:7.1 340mm zoom setting)
This little was quite vocal about my BIGMA (1/500 f: 8 500mm zoom setting)
Mallard hen (1/400 f:9 500mm setting) Wood Duck drake (1/200 f:6.3 500mm zoom setting)
Backlit leaves (1/500 f:8 hand-held 500mm).
So over all the weight takes a bit to get use to, but I think the results speak for them self. The AF works well the OS works well. OK.