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SIgma 150-600 Contemporary or Sport: Good fit?

A_Random_Dude
Enthusiast

Hi there. I'm a hobbyist, happy to stay with my DSLRs (1DX Mk III, 7D Mk II, 20D, and 300D) and a selection of decent (almost all Canon) lenses. I'm not interested in moving to mirrorless, since my kit is all in good shape and will probably last longer than I will.

I recently picked up a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS USM L II, and I've liked what I've seen with some preliminary testing. My lens wish list now only includes a 500mm. and I've been looking at the Sigma 100-600. It seems like a good tool, and it's available at a reasonable price point. I'm wondering if anyone out there has experience using that lens with either the 1DX or the 7D. I'd really be interested in hearing (reading) your comments.

Thanks in advance!

300D, 20D, 7D Mk II, 1DX Mk III, R6 Mk II, a few decent lenses, and plenty of questions. Also, a fair amount of impatience to get my hands on the 200-800 RF…
21 REPLIES 21

Tintype_18
Authority
Authority

I bought the contemporary; more in the budget and a bit lighter weight. IMO, it works for me.

John
Canon EOS T7; EF-S 18-55mm IS; EF 28-135mm IS; EF 75-300mm; Sigma 150-600mm DG

shadowsports
Legend
Legend

You have several options (grades) considering what you own now, and depending on your budget.  (150-600)

1.4x TC on your EF 100-400.  You'll lose a stop so you'll go from a f5.6 to f8, but the f6.3 of the Sigma c, S or Tamron v2 is basically (only) 2/3rds of a stop better.

Things sort of step up incrementally in price. 

TC > Sigma c > Tamron v2 > Sigma S

Like John I only owned the Sigma c.  It worked fine on my 6D2.  I'm sure any of the lenses would great on your 1Dx3 or 7D2.

If your situation does change, the RF 200-800 is going to be a game changer for anyone who shoots nature or wildlife with a MILC body. 

~Rick
Bay Area - CA


~R5 C (1.0.6.1) ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100 Macro, ~RF 100~400, ~RF 100~500, +RF 1.4x TC, +Canon Control Ring, BG-R10, 430EX III-RT ~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~DaVinci Resolve ~Windows11 Pro ~ImageClass MF644Cdw/MF656Cdw ~Pixel 8
~CarePaks Are Worth It

Tronhard
Elite
Elite

I have used teleconverters and honestly would not recommend them - only a very specific group of cameras or lenses work with them to offer autofocus or exposure.  They are also quite expensive.  I would strongly point you in the direction of the Sigma 150-600 Contemporary lens. I have posted numerous images on this site with a range of cameras and that lens, and it is an excellent lens. 
Posts with the Sigma 150-600c  I have used it with FF and crop sensor DSLRs and MILCs.   

Do you need to spend more and carry the extra weight of the sports version? There is a considerable difference in both, but the results are quite similar.


cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris

jrhoffman75
Legend
Legend

I have a 1D X MkIII. I ran some informal tests comparing images printed at 13x19. Used Canon 1.4X MkIII T/C and then used no T/C and cropped to same coverage. I could see no difference. I don’t own the other cameras you have, so can't speak to them. 

I do not recommend using a T/C. You would lose an f/stop and impact AF speed. The new AI tools like Topaz Photo can improve images. 

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, Pixma TR8620a, LR Classic

Waddizzle
Legend
Legend

I felt the Contemporary is more than adequate for a hobbyist such as myself.  I found the lens performed better with larger sensors than it did with the APS-C sensor in my 7D2.  I’ve suspected that this is largely due to he low light performance of the 7D2.  You should always get excellent results on bright sunny day.  My experience with the 7D2 was not as great on partially cloudy or bright cloudy days.  But the 7D2 images always seemed softer than my 1D4.

It is my understanding the the biggest difference between the the “C” and the “S” is build quality.  I am told that the image quality is very similar.  You will likely find yourself going through a lengthy calibration process to get the best results.

I did not get the best results from the 150-600mm “C” until I performed a focus calibration using the “Dot Tune Calibration” on it.  Because I wanted to use the lens with multiple camera bodies, the AFMA was a lengthy process that took several months from late spring to early fall.  I was only doing the work on weekends.  I had purchased the lens over the previous spring, when it was on sale with the SIGMA DOCK.  I needed to do the calibrations outdoors because of the 600mm focal length.

The camera bodies I had at the time were the 6D and 1D4.  I purchased a 7D2 in early summer.  I purchased a full frame 6D2, over the 5D4, the following summer for its improved AF and lower noise over the 6D and 1D4.

My lens had been calibrated to the 6D with excellent results.  My only complaints with the 6D were frame rate and limited AF points.  Because I would be using the lens with multiple bodies I cleared out the “in-lens” calibration performed with the 6D back to factory settings.

With the 6D, my copy tended to back focus at the short end and front focus at the long end.  After repeated tests with the three bodies, I confirmed similar front and back focus behavior with every camera body.  Note, I did not make any focus adjustments at this time, not yet.  

I went back into the lens and added a modest amount of correction at the long and short ends.  I retested every body to see if they still exhibited front and back focusing.  They did, just not as much.  I recalibrated the lens and retested the camera bodies until I settled on a set of lens calibrations that seemed to work with each lens.  

Note, the lens had not yet been calibrated “in-camera” with each body.  Once I found a “generic” calibration in the lens, I began to calibrate to each camera.  When it comes to AFMA, I am not “one and done,”. I will retest the lens to see if results are repeatable.  

If my test results are not repeatable, then I feel my testing methods are flawed in some way.  I discovered that it is far easier to get AFMA wrong than it is to get it right.  After a couple of false starts and meticulous patience, I was eventually able to get all three camera bodies calibrated.

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"The right mouse button is your friend."

A_Random_Dude
Enthusiast

Thanks to everybody for your insights. I really appreciate that.

I do agree that the Contemporary would likely be more than sufficient for my needs, while costing several hundred dollars less than the Sport. (My wife is kind enough to be willing to buy me the Contemporary for Christmas, which I really appreciate. OTOH, I'm buying my wife a new bathroom for Christmas. I believe she's snookered me again. 🙄)

A sort of related question would be: I notice that the Sport comes with a Sigma tripod socket where the Contemporary comes with a Sigma tripod collar, which I assume is the rotating device like on my Canon 100-400.

I've never used a large lens requiring a tripod; I'm comfortable holding my 100-400 with my hand. Does anyone have any thoughts about using a tripod with the lens? I've seen videos where people seem to be adding an extra plate to the lens's mount, and I'm not quite sure why that is necessary, or if it's indeed necessary. Again, thanks in advance for anyone who'd like to give me some input.

300D, 20D, 7D Mk II, 1DX Mk III, R6 Mk II, a few decent lenses, and plenty of questions. Also, a fair amount of impatience to get my hands on the 200-800 RF…

“ Again, thanks in advance for anyone who'd like to give me some input.

300D, 20D, 7D Mk II, 1DX Mk III, a few decent lenses, and plenty of questions. “
 
As I alluded to above, because of the narrow aperture range, the lens is starved for light.  Both the “C” and “S” versions have the same aperture range.  I only use the lens on bright, sunny days.  
 
You will get the best results with a body with low noise performance above ISO 1600.  I expect really great results with the 300D and 20D to be a real struggle.  My 7D2 gets good results on sunny days.  You should expect good to great results with a 1Dx Mk III. 
 
These samples were shot with a 6D, which did not track fast moving subjects as well as my 1D4 or 7D2.  But it has much better high ISO performance than either body.
 
11C9BE0A-0005-48EC-A8EF-F32A626EC6D4.jpeg8C656C05-E89D-4010-B074-205E1B39E0C1.jpeg
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"The right mouse button is your friend."

Really nice shots there! Yeah, I agree that the 300D and 20D wouldn't be suitable. I keep the 300D just because it's an old friend I've had for 20 years, and the 20D is a nice walk-around camera. The 7D2, with its battery grip, and the 1DX3 are the ones I grab first to when I mean to take pictures seriously. In general, on the two "big" cameras, I like to have C1 set for Av, and C2 for Tv, both with auto ISO, and C3 for Tv, 1600 ISO, 1/1600. That seems to work out pretty well for bird shots. In all cases, I make adjustments as needed on the fly using the Q button.

300D, 20D, 7D Mk II, 1DX Mk III, R6 Mk II, a few decent lenses, and plenty of questions. Also, a fair amount of impatience to get my hands on the 200-800 RF…

A tripod-mounting a lens like this a collar is necessary with a large, heavier lens because it moves the centre of gravity forward onto the lens and take the stress of tripod-mounting the system off the camera, which could be very destructive.  The tripod collar is detachable on the 150-600c, so it's not necessary if you are hand-holding the system.  The use of an additional plate is to allow the tripod collar plate to mount on an Arca-Swiss type tripod.  I have those tripods, but they usually come with the adapter plate in any case.
I shoot hand-held almost all the time for wildlife, and don't find the system hard to handle, and I'm 71!  Just take the weight of the system under the lens, using your left hand, and use the right hand to lightly handle the controls.


cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
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