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They call it the "BIGMA"
The Ultimate All-Around Pro Camera Sports Lens?
Sigma's 50-500 mm Super Telephoto Zoom Lens

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At Huntington Beach Pier, California. Hand-held Nikon D1 super-telephoto shot using Sigma's 50-500 mm lens @ 500 mm. Aperture Priority @ f/8, ISO 400, Shutter Speed: 1/640, Matrix Metering, Jpeg 'Fine' Original Format. Click here for a 1200 x 767 pixel, 484 KB view.


 

It takes a strong telephoto lens to reach out where I want to be for long distance or closeup sports & wildlife shooting. The Sigma 50-500 gets me there with the added flexibility of a wide ranging zoom.

D1 with Sigma 50-500mm Zoom Lens @ 500mm
Sigma 50-500 mm lens mounted on a Nikon D1 @ 500 mm Position
D1 with Sigma 50-500mm Zoom Lens @ 50mm
Mounted on a Nikon D1 @ 50 mm Position

The big Nikon & Canon Super Telephoto lenses have the reputation of being absolutely the *best* of the extremely long focal length lenses. The 400, 500, and 600 mm lenses reach out long and crystal clear, but wow! These are really gigantic lenses. Cumbersome, to say the least. And back-breaking expensive.

Certainly great to have that much power, but those big fixed focal length lenses can actually be too strong at times. Without a zoom, there's nowhere to go unless you back up. (Of course, you can't realistically do that most of the time.) A shorter focal length is needed when the action shifts to closer range, 200 to 300 mm being ideal, sometimes less. And to capture an overall scene, an even shorter focal length is a must.

This has always been a problem for me. A bag full of different lenses is way too much of a burden while shooting in the field, plus the hassle and time delays of frequent lens changes. (Translate that into missed shots & missed opportunities.) Yes, interchangeable lenses are one of the the greatest strengths of a pro camera, but too many lenses can be a handicap. The whole idea of a zoom lens is to take the place of a range of single focal length lenses, but with sports shooting, it's hard to find that "perfect" range for consistent use.

Nikon's 80-400 mm VR Zoom looked excellent to me at first glance, but lacked range on each end of its limits to suit my personal needs. For example, from practical experience I found that my 80-200 lens frequently needed to be a little bit wider than 80 mm. And 400 mm on the 80-400 lens didn't quite reach out to where I wanted to be.

So when I read the excellent review on the original Sigma 50-500 mm f4-6.3 zoom lens in Popular Photography Magazine's July 2000 issue, I quickly got on the phone to find out if they were available yet. (I felt that the range of 50 through 500 mm would certainly work for me.) Luckily, I found one locally at Competitive Cameras (downtown Dallas) and was able to take a few test shots with my camera before making a deal on one. The test shots spoke for themselves, I had one in my bag the next morning.

It's big and heavy (over 4 lbs.), but it's actually extremely well balanced, comfortable, and steady on my camera. Impressive and very professional looking - while shooting these surfing pictures, I had several people ask "... hey, are you shooting for a magazine?..." (Of course! Lonestardigital.com!!)

Included with the lens is a bayonet mount hood (shown in the photos above) similar in shape to the the top-end Canon & Nikon lens hoods.

The lightweight magnesium tripod mount serves as a perfect carrying handle while walking around with it mounted on the camera.

Filter size: 86 mm.

For the price, it can't be beaten. High quality, high performance, crystal clear, sharp from edge to edge, lightning fast zoom & sure-footed autofocus lock. Because of its considerable size and weight, consider it as a 500 mm telephoto that can zoom 'backwards' all the way down to 50 mm. What huge flexibility ... and so much fun to use! If you do plan on purchasing the lens, you may want to check out the best low interest credit cards before purchasing. You can find a credit card that will work best for you by doing a little research before signing up.


(Below)
More hand-held Nikon D1 shots using the new Sigma
50-500 mm Zoom Lens at Huntington Beach, California.

Surfing Action 1

Focal Length: 500 mm
Aperture Priority @ f8
ISO 400
Shutter Speed: 1/1250
Matrix Metering
Jpeg 'Fine' Original Format

Surfing Action 2

Focal Length: 500 mm
Aperture Priority @ f8
ISO 400
Shutter Speed: 1/800
Matrix Metering
Jpeg 'Fine' Original Format

Surfing Action 3

Focal Length: 500 mm
Aperture Priority @ f8
ISO 400
Shutter Speed: 1/800
Matrix Metering
Jpeg 'Fine' Original Format

Surfing Action 4

Focal Length: 500 mm
Aperture Priority @ f8
ISO 400
Shutter Speed: 1/500
Matrix Metering
Jpeg 'Fine' Original Format

Surfing Action 5

Focal Length: 500 mm
Aperture Priority @ f8
ISO 400
Shutter Speed: 1/2000
Matrix Metering
Jpeg 'Fine' Original Format

Surfing Action 6

Focal Length: 500 mm
Aperture Priority @ f8
ISO 400
Shutter Speed: 1/1250
Matrix Metering
Jpeg 'Fine' Original Format

Surfing Action 7

Focal Length: 500 mm
Aperture Priority @ f8
ISO 400
Shutter Speed: 1/750
Matrix Metering
Jpeg 'Fine' Original Format

Surfing Action 8

Focal Length: 165 mm
Aperture Priority @ f8
ISO 400
Shutter Speed: 1/1250
Matrix Metering
Jpeg 'Fine' Original Format

Surfing Action 9

Focal Length: 50 mm
Aperture Priority @ f8
ISO 400
Shutter Speed: 1/1000
Matrix Metering
Jpeg 'Fine' Original Format

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