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Old 21-03-2012, 15:46   #1 (permalink)
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Sigma 150-500 lens.. images not "crisp"

I am a beginner in the photography world. My wife and I are planning a trip to Alaska to shoot wildlife.
I picked up a Canon Rebel T1i, Canon 18-55mm, Canon 55-250, and recently a Sigma 150-500. I've been doing well with both of the canon lenses, but the Sigma just isn't sharp or crisp... Please HELP...

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Old 21-03-2012, 19:02   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Sigma 150-500 lens.. images not "crisp"

You have got a high enough shutter speed for the focal length that you are using, so camera shake should not be an issue. However at 500mm f6.3 is not going to give you much depth of field. This will also vary depending on the range that your subject is from you. At 50 metres the depth of field will only be about 2 metres.

Careful selection of the focus point and focus mode, and stopping down more will increase the depth of field which extends about 1/3 in front of the focus point and 2/3 behind it.

Using high ISO as you have here at 3200 will also add noise to the image and this can affect the sharpness.

Using a shutter speed of about 1/750 at 500mm ought to be OK and that will allow you to stop down a bit and therefore increase the depth of field, but a lower ISO to reduce noise will then require a lower shutter speed that might bring camera shake into play. Use of a monopod or a tripod will steady the camera and give you more options.
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Old 21-03-2012, 19:12   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Sigma 150-500 lens.. images not "crisp"

I use that lens and have never had problems. Looking at your shots, 1-3 do look soft but the branches in #4 look fine, so I'd have to question the focus (don't know if you meant to focus, manually obviously, on the branches). Try something that is on a single plane (like a wall) which is relatively contrasty - in relatively good light. And try both manual focus and autofocus.

I notice you used ISO3200 @ 1/2500 @ f/6.3 @ 500mm. I'd recommend coming way down on ISO and shutter (though really they shouldn't affect IQ but will be pretty noisy) - but I'll mention that I tend to use f/8 as images can be slightly soft at f/6.3

Edit: I need to type faster, obviously!
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Last edited by Markulous; 21-03-2012 at 19:14. Reason: Added comment
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Old 21-03-2012, 20:03   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Sigma 150-500 lens.. images not "crisp"

you also have to take into account Sigmas unfailing ability to produce superb lenses, then you get a duff one and when its bad its really bad,,.... i speak from experience of having a superb sigma, and so i bought another, which turned out to be the biggest pile of kack in the known world! which unfortunately is an expensive lesson and has put me off sigmas for life. so heres hoping its down to technique rather than having a bad lens
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Old 21-03-2012, 20:32   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Sigma 150-500 lens.. images not "crisp"

OK.. Thanks all.. I was playing with ISO to try to get the shutter speed fast.. These shots are on a tripod.. with a remote shutter release..(trying to eliminate all of my errors).. I guess it is more of a focus concern.. I will play again after work and re post more pics.. Thanks for the suggestions..
And I hope you are correct about it being a technique rather then lens issue, but my wife has the same lens on a Nikon D90 same results..

Jim
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Old 22-03-2012, 00:37   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Sigma 150-500 lens.. images not "crisp"

I have te same lens and I'm quite happy with it.

I did have to send it back though a few months after I bought it as it was subject to a recall. Focusing problems!
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Old 22-03-2012, 09:20   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Sigma 150-500 lens.. images not "crisp"

I played around a little bit.. it was overcast..I posted some older pics and with smaller lens I even posted pics from a point & shoot Fuji for comparison.. I have family coming up & birthday party this weekend so it"ll be hard for me to squeeze time in for more playing/testing.. but I appreciate everyone's input..
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Old 23-03-2012, 22:38   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Sigma 150-500 lens.. images not "crisp"

Just a thought......time for an eye test maybe, that was my soft focus answer!
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Old 24-03-2012, 12:36   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Sigma 150-500 lens.. images not "crisp"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Des Gardner View Post
Just a thought......time for an eye test maybe, that was my soft focus answer!
Lol.. I really wish that was the answer..

Seriously though..I was out the other day in the sun playing.. This f11

I tried different zoom distances.. What I noticed was @ 400 meters it seemed not crisp..but @ 500.. it's almost not focused...
2 questions.. Am I expecting too much @ 500 ?
And Should I expect the images to be crisp @ 100%.. I was reading yes and no on that.. Personally I thought it should be..
http://i1107.photobucket.com/albums/...t/IMG_2290.jpg



Last edited by dabhand16; 24-03-2012 at 12:52. Reason: Link broken on #1 as it exceeds the 300kb Pixalo file size limit
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Old 24-03-2012, 12:52   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Sigma 150-500 lens.. images not "crisp"

So I seemed to have found my answers..
Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 Lens Review by Thom Hogan
I did some research to compare it to the Tamron.. same issue.
Tamron SP AF200-500MM F/5-6.3 Di LD (IF) Review

Ugh.. why sell a 500 mm lens that's only good to 400?
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Old 24-03-2012, 13:54   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Sigma 150-500 lens.. images not "crisp"

Quote:
Originally Posted by voyager_1700 View Post
Ugh.. why sell a 500 mm lens that's only good to 400?
Well, I guess that the value for money aspect has to be taken into consideration too. I think we would all accept that a budget lens will not out perform a top of the range lens and this is found throughout the lens world especially in the very useful 18-200/270 range. These lenses stand up well considering the range on offer, but will not be able to compete on quality with lenses with smaller ranges or made with better glass.

It is churlish to say the if the performance at 500mm was important to you that the research you have now done would have been better done before you bought the lenses and maybe a used 500mm prime lens would have suited you use better. I think that Frances uses a Nikkor 80-400, and her pictures are very good. The review says that the Sigma is better than the Nikkor at 400mm, so it is not all bad news.
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Old 24-03-2012, 22:47   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Sigma 150-500 lens.. images not "crisp"

Sorry I did not mean to offend but it might have been just an option....I have had a Sigma 5.6 400mm for a long time it always performed well but when focused at 400mm (infinity) the images were a little soft but shooting in raw and Photoshop soon put that right... of course the answer to all this is simple...a 400mm 2.8 or a 600mm f4... but at £6000 this aint going to happen is it, well not in my case anyway!.........best wishes.

Last edited by Des Gardner; 24-03-2012 at 22:55.
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Old 25-03-2012, 10:11   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Sigma 150-500 lens.. images not "crisp"

Are you sure that the problems you're seeing aren't environmental? 500mm is long enough that atmospheric conditions will affect results. It's worth re-testing on different days at different locations.

Also, if you're on a tight budget, consider prime (non-zoom) lenses. There are some tremendous bargains around if you keep your eyes open. I bought a Nikkor 200mm AIS lens for £16 last year, so sharp that I can put a Tamron 2x converter between it and the camera and still get very good images.

Finally, Fionna's warning is correct. I have a Sigma 17~35 that is only sharp in the inner 50% of the full frame but I know 2 people who use the same version with much better results. If the lens is less than a year old, you should get on to Sigma and see what they say.
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Old 26-03-2012, 20:30   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Sigma 150-500 lens.. images not "crisp"

DES - No offense taken..
SEJANUS - I was planning on it..
I just got off the phone with Sigma Support very nice folks there.. They explained that AF wsa developed for up to F5.6 and @ 500mm I'm F6.3 our camera Rebel T1i and D90 do not have a fine AF tuning or adjustment. Short version is he explained the lens will need to be adjusted for my camera. I'm surprised that this is not commonly heard of..

Thanks for the info everyone..

I'm gonna get this out ASAP and keep everyone posted.. Thanks again..
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Old 16-04-2012, 17:54   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Sigma 150-500 lens.. images not "crisp"

OK.. To some this up.. What an adventure.. We shipped both cameras and lenses to Sigma for AF data adjustment.. got camera back.. Same thing.. I ended up going to a local camera shop over the weekend and the first thing he had me do was take the filter off.. (Need I say more.. Ugh.. Sometimes it's the simplest things...)
So after all that.. it turned out to be inferior quality filters..
Thanks for everyones thoughts and help..
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Old 16-04-2012, 17:57   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Sigma 150-500 lens.. images not "crisp"

Thanks for the update. All's well that ends well

Don't forget to show us the pictures!
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Old 16-04-2012, 17:58   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Sigma 150-500 lens.. images not "crisp"

Will do.. After I get home from work.. As a matter of fact.. The image quality was so clear.. I ened up buying a 2x converter and now I can even read that white piece of paper on the back of that damn Stop sign...lol
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Old 16-04-2012, 19:48   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Sigma 150-500 lens.. images not "crisp"

Quote:
Originally Posted by voyager_1700 View Post
Will do.. After I get home from work.. As a matter of fact.. The image quality was so clear.. I ened up buying a 2x converter and now I can even read that white piece of paper on the back of that damn Stop sign...lol
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Old 16-04-2012, 23:04   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Sigma 150-500 lens.. images not "crisp"

OK.. Here's the test pics.. with OUT a filter.. (I guess you all know where I'm going on that note...lol)

500mm


1000mm (500mm w/ 2x converter)



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Old 19-04-2012, 09:02   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Sigma 150-500 lens.. images not "crisp"

Quote:
.... i speak from experience of having a superb sigma,
Me Two on that score.... However....
I have to use a Tripod.

I have also got now a "Home brew" remote trigger.
The camera with Sigma lens for some reason suffer HUGELY when in my hands from the lightest tremble, including my own pulse rate?...

The use of Tripod has helped greatly, the remote trigger even more.
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