Sigma AF 50-200 OS HSM Zoom request for feedback

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Fotogeorge
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Sigma AF 50-200 OS HSM Zoom request for feedback

Unread postby Fotogeorge » Sun Aug 09, 2009 8:27 pm

I am interested in purchasing the new Sigma 50-200 mm OS HSM lens. I need a light weight zoom in that focal range. I'd like to know if it's any good. I just read David's review of the Sigma 18-250 mm OS HSM lens. I was impressed by the review. I am tempted to buy the Sigma 18-250, because it is full frame. I can only assume that Sigma's OS and HSM features will perform in a similar manner in the 50-200 mm zoom. Depending on feedback, I would rather purchase the Sigma 50-200mm lens over the Sony 55-200 zoom, because of the metal mount, non-revolving front SLD element, and the OS feature. I think that it would be a plus to have a faster (2.8) lens in the Sigma 50-200 focal length. Can anyone provide feedback on use of the Sigma 50-200 zoom? Does anyone know of any reviews?

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Re: Sigma AF 50-200 OS HSM Zoom request for feedback

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:17 pm

Welcome George! Good to see you here. The Sigma 18-250mm is not full frame (I don't know if you meant to write that) and its ability to just-cover full frame at 250mm is a bad kludge, emergency use only.

From my experience with a whole range of different 55-200mms (the 50-200mm is based on a similar design) they seem generally to be very good lenses indeed. I have passed a Tamron 55-200mm Di lens to my daughter, and the shots she gets with it are really sharp. I have not tried the Sigma yet, I will certainly get a chance to do so. As a DC lens it is not full frame either.

I would only go for the OS in place of SSS for longer lenses. I think 200mm is about the optimum limit for SSS. The Sigma 120-400mm and 150-500mm with OS would be significantly worthwhile - OS helps with aiming, holding and focusing such long lenses as well as preventing shake. But up to 200mm I would not pay for it, as I know the SSS will cope fine.

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Re: Sigma AF 50-200 OS HSM Zoom request for feedback

Unread postby 01af » Sun Aug 09, 2009 10:24 pm

David Kilpatrick wrote:I think 200mm is about the optimum limit for SSS.

I don't think so.

As a matter of fact, at 400, 500, and 600 mm Minolta's AS and Sony's SSS work just fine and are not significantly behind in-lens image stabilisers in terms of effectiveness. While in theory in-body stabilisers are, in principle, inferior to in-lens stabilisers at long focal lengths, in practice I have yet to encounter a focal length which would overstrain the in-body stabiliser---and I've tried with focal lengths up to 560 mm on APS-C format (= 840 mm equivalent on 35-mm format).

Just recently I took a few hand-held shots at 400 mm and 1/50 s with the A900, and at 100 % view I cannot see any evidence of blur through camera shake.


David Kilpatrick wrote:The Sigma 120-400 mm and 150-500 mm with OS would be significantly worthwhile---OS helps with aiming, holding and focusing such long lenses as well as preventing shake.

That's right ... but a stabilised viewfinder image has not only pros; there are some cons too. When the stabiliser has to work on the viewfinder image, it may be at or near the limit of the working range in the moment the shutter gets actuated so its effectiveness during exposure may be compromised. Also a fully stabilised viewfinder image is unnatural for our eyes and makes many users sick. And finally a decentered lens won't deliver its full image quality. For these reasons, Nikon's VR II won't fully stabilise the viewfinder image; instead it will reduce the shake only half-way but not not fully compensate for it.

-- Olaf

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Re: Sigma AF 50-200 OS HSM Zoom request for feedback

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Sun Aug 09, 2009 10:49 pm

Olaf, I know the arguments and prefer SSS to in-lens. I was surprised by how much better the Sigma OS was at 250mm than the Alpha 700 SSS.

In practice, since starting to use the Alpha DSLR system I no have significant numbers of pictures which are lost because of shake, but results with the 70-300mm G SSM at 300mm have been so bad I have wondered about the lens quality. The recent test I did (Crop or Cram) on action shots at 1/1000-1/1600th proved to me that there is nothing at all wrong with the lens, it's superb. For these tests I had SSS turned off.

So this does make me wonder about how well SSS has been working for me at 300mm, specifically on the A700, where Shirley has also had a few shots at 250mm on the Sony 18-250mm spoiled by shake. This is always the same camera body, and that raises the possibility that our Alpha 700 is not performing as it should. I do not remember seeing this when it was brand new.

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Re: Sigma AF 50-200 OS HSM Zoom request for feedback

Unread postby Fotogeorge » Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:12 am

quote="David Kilpatrick"]Welcome George! Good to see you here. The Sigma 18-250mm is not full frame (I don't know if you meant to write that) and its ability to just-cover full frame at 250mm is a bad kludge, emergency use only.

David,

Thank you for the feedback.. I got mistaken impression from your review that the lens was full frame, because you used it with the A900.

I have had some problems with SSS, when I use the A700 or KM 7D with my Tokina 24-200 mm zoom fully extended, without a tripod. I usually shoot with it on A-priority at F8 on only sunny days. This is a slow and very heavy lens (690 g) and it's 6" fully extended. It resembles the Sigma lens fully extended with the double tubes. The Tokina is very manageable up to about 135 mm. The Sigma 18-250 is 8" fully extended at 250 mm. I can see why in lens stabilization maybe needed at 200 mm. I rarely shoot over 200 mm, and when I do, I'd rather use my Minolta 100-300 APO on tripod/monopod. I always plan ahead. My dream lens would be a F/2.8, light-weight, maximum 200 mm lens. I know, without resorting to a P&S, there is no such thing.

I can't find any documentation on the Sigma 18-250 or 50-200 being D-chipped. I know the Sony 18-250 and 55-200 has distance encoding, so I assume the Tamron models are D-chipped.
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Re: Sigma AF 50-200 OS HSM Zoom request for feedback

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:32 am

George, all current Sigma models for Alpha are ADI (D chipped).

David

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Re: Sigma AF 50-200 OS HSM Zoom request for feedback

Unread postby bakubo » Mon Aug 10, 2009 3:38 am

Fotogeorge wrote:My dream lens would be a F/2.8, light-weight, maximum 200 mm lens. I know, without resorting to a P&S, there is no such thing.


Not a zoom, but the old Minolta 200mm f2.8 sounds like just what you are looking for. You can find it used.

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Re: Sigma AF 50-200 OS HSM Zoom request for feedback

Unread postby Fotogeorge » Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:41 am

bakubo wrote:
Fotogeorge wrote:My dream lens would be a F/2.8, light-weight, maximum 200 mm lens. I know, without resorting to a P&S, there is no such thing.


Not a zoom, but the old Minolta 200mm f2.8 sounds like just what you are looking for. You can find it used.



The Minolta 200 mm is no light-weight at 790 g and it's too flamboyant. I don't need a big white lens. I saw a used one years ago at Samys for over $900. I couldn't see paying the price. The size of the Minolta 135 mm 2.8 is a better fit for me.
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Re: Sigma AF 50-200 OS HSM Zoom request for feedback

Unread postby bakubo » Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:48 am

Fotogeorge wrote:The size of the Minolta 135 mm 2.8 is a better fit for me.


Great, problem solved.


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