Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Sigma 50-500mm test shots

It's been typical spring weather here on the coast over the last few weeks - rain, rain and more rain!

But I managed to get one clear (although somewhat windy) day recently so I took the opportunity to go outside and grab a few test shots with the Sigma 50-500mm f4-6.3 EX APO.

I set the lens up on my sturdiest tripod - a Slik Pro700DX with Manfrotto three-way 141RC head, turned 'Steady Shot' off (recommended whenever the camera is tripod mounted), and attached a Sony A100 body to the lens. This set up definitely felt solid enough, even with the bit of wind that was blowing outside at the time.

Sigma 50-500mm at 50mm @ f8, Sony A100
Our back yard overlooks a paddock, and then across a road into another field. Horses are usually roaming around in this second field, so I used them as a 'subject' to test the 50-500mm range on. The first shot above is taken at 50mm (75mm fov on the A100), and as you can see, the horses are pretty small in the centre of the frame. In fact, it's pretty difficult to make them out.

Sigma 50-500mm at 200mm @ f8
The Sigma has markings for 50, 100, 200, 300, 400 and 500mm - so I shot at all of these settings. The jump from 50 to 100mm isn't all that significant - so lets just go to 200mm as seen above. At 200mm the horses are definitely able to be seen - forming at least part of the overall composition. Contrast is good, and sharpness at f8 is acceptable to good.

Sigma 50-500mm at 300mm @ f8
Zooming in to 300mm places a little more emphasis on the horse as the main subject - while sharpness and contrast remain the same. The tripod was certainly solid enough, although I could see that the more I zoomed out with the lens, the less 'stable' the image appeared in the viewfinder. Above 300mm I'd hate to be hand-holding this lens that's for sure!

It was more of the same at 400mm, so let's just skip to the chase and have a look at the 500mm shot, shall we?

Sigma 50-500mm at 500mm @ f8
At a whopping 500mm (750mm fov on the A100), the horses are now the subject of the photo. And just look at how close we managed to get from where we started at 50mm! It's still 'reasonably' sharp, although I probably wouldn't print larger than 8x10 - and would apply a decent amount of sharpening to the file. I will also say that I noticed a decrease in contrast from 400 to 500mm - but this is easily adjusted in Photoshop to bring it back in line with the other focal lengths.

This was just a very quick focal length test, to get the feeling for the actual 'reach' of this lens. For a more in-the-field test I plan on taking the lens and a monopod down to a local lagoon and chase some birds around. Then I'll really get to see what this lens is capable of in a real-world shooting scenario.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your reply. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment on this post. I will get back to you as soon as I can.
Thanks again