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Old February 23rd, 2015, 03:31 AM   #1
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The new Sigma 150-600 Lens

Has anyone any experience of this lens with a GH4? Still unavailable in the UK, except in Sigma mount, but the Canon and Nikon mount versions will both be usable with an adaptor (of course).

The reviews I've read have all been from the perspective of still photography (yawn) and all I can find on YouTube is stuff along the line of "un-boxing" (lots more yawns).

Lens has interesting specs for e.g wildlife videoer like yours truly.


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Old February 23rd, 2015, 01:32 PM   #2
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Re: The new Sigma 150-600 Lens

Haven't used it, although I do own the older 50-500 "Bigma."

The most obvious issue is stabilization... this lens won't have it on a GH camera. Thus, you'll need a VERY steady tripod when using it.
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Old February 23rd, 2015, 02:55 PM   #3
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Re: The new Sigma 150-600 Lens

I think the new Metabones "Smart" Canon EF to MFT adaptor provides image stabilisation, at a price, albeit not their Nikon to MFT version.

I wouldn't dream anyway of hand holding a lens like this for video, with or without IS. I'm too "shaky" but the 150-600 is quite a lump for anyone, so I read.

Sigma UK not very forthcoming. I don't think they appreciate that nowadays people shoot video with SLR lenses. I mentioned to them in this context, the lack of drop in filters like that on their 500 and 800 primes, this new lens takes a 105mm front filter which might make NDs pricey and fiddly.

I also suggested that Sigma would sell more long lenses with a dedicated MFT mount than they would those with a Sigma mount.

One can but try but I am interested in this lens but for video.

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Old February 23rd, 2015, 09:21 PM   #4
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Re: The new Sigma 150-600 Lens

Hey Ronald,
I am expecting to see my Tamron 150-600 Nikon mount tomorrow. I will let you know how it is when i've had some time with it. From what i've read, it sounds good. Will keep you posted.
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Old March 1st, 2015, 11:53 PM   #5
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Re: The new Sigma 150-600 Lens

Well i have had a little bit of hands on time with the Tamron 150-600 Nikon mount. I am using it with a Metabones speed booster & so far i am very impressed. Without getting scientific, i am going to say it looks a little sharper than my Nikon 80-400 lens. It is certainly a big bigger, & a little heavier, but not a huge amount in either department. Since i also use the Panasonic 14-140mm lens, the 150-600 is perfect with very little overlap in focal range, & a lot more on the long end than the 80-400.
Contrast is also very good with the Tamron. I have shot some super high contrast edges with no CA at all, so i am very happy about that, since a lot of what i shoot in winter has snow as a backdrop & many other lenses have failed in this area especially with bigger apertures. Operation of the zoom is nice & smooth, & the zoom lock is very welcome.
Focusing is the same as any Nikon lens, so backwards if you are coming from pretty much any other lens out there! Something you have to get used to.
I now have just 3 lenses in my kit for the GH4. A 10mm Samyang that i use with the Metabones speedbooster. I got this lens over the Panasonic 7-14 because with the speedbooster it is pretty much as wide, but a whole lot faster & great for scenic shots & night time lapses!. The Panasonic 14-140mm is a great all purpose lens. Yes it's a bit slow, but since i mainly shoot outdoors, it is normally not a problem. Lastly, the Tamron which will cover all my longer shots.
I am sure the Sigma is a fine lens. From what i have gleaned from the internet, it sounds like there are two different versions, one a more pro-built version, the other a little less so. I am sure they will also be lovely lenses, but if you can at least try one of the Tamron's out first, i think you might just save a little bit of money.
Regards,
Bryce
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Old March 5th, 2015, 02:59 PM   #6
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Re: The new Sigma 150-600 Lens

I've used it for a while , Nikon Is all manual on GH4 and very sharp up to 400mm , a little softer above, but still usable, especially if you stop down to F8. i need to sharpen in post to intercut with other footage from panasonic lenses. A good tripod/head is neccesary.
Between 500- 600 mm, handling , aiming and focusing is difficult so not good for fast moving targets.
Lumix 100-300 is better for that (aoutofocus)
Metabones have a smart adapter for Canon that gives auto aperture an IS but no autofocus
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Old March 6th, 2015, 02:59 AM   #7
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Re: The new Sigma 150-600 Lens

The Sigma lens still unavailable in the UK, supposedly "March" but some major retailers have stopped advertising it.

I have the 80-400 Nikkor which a v nice lens and reasonably handy though no hand holding for me.

I also have a Sigma 800, Nikon mount which also v nice but heavy, ponderous, and best perhaps for specific situations, for me say a single bird at long range, than for general wildlife usage.

Thought about swapping the Nikkor for the 150-600 but also wondered about the Nikkor plus a 1.4X TC versus the Sigma zoom or even the Sigma zoom plus its dedicated 1.4X and 2X TCs instead of the 800.

I just hope at some stage to be able to rent the Sigma zoom or to read some conclusive wildlife video orientated reviews.

Ron
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Old March 23rd, 2015, 11:30 AM   #8
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Re: The new Sigma 150-600 Lens

The stills reviews of the 'S' version are pretty good (it seems to be particularly optimised towards the infinity end of the focus range) so expect it to probably perform optically even better with video because generally the resolution requirements are less for video compared to stills. BUT, a much smaller than full frame 35mm sensor, like you have in the GH4 is going to be more demanding on the lens sharpness, especially for 4k output. HD shooting (assuming you use the same sensor area) is more forgiving.

It's a full frame 35mm lens so when used for smaller sensors like super35, and even smaller like the GH4, you're using the central and better part of the lenses performance curve. The only thing to watch out for there is the same as for any situation when the lens format is larger than the sensor format - there is an increased risk of internal flare (often it's just an overall low contrast milkiness) caused by light bouncing off surfaces outside/around the sensor itself. With a professionally modified lens conversion a baffle is often added to the back of the lens to stop this happening so much.
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