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by Bruce Sherman on Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:18 pm
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Bruce Sherman
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For years I had a 500 mm or 600 mm prime Canon lens and had a lot of fun with it and got a lot of great shots. About three years ago I made the decision to get rid of the big prime. Getting older and I swear those lenses got heavier.

I am considering getting either the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary lens or the Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 lens. I am fully aware that neither of these lens will provide the image quality I got with the Canon primes. However, I think a lens like the Sigma or Tamron 150-600 would allow me to get some shots I do not get now. Both lenses are about the same size and same weight. The Tamron is a few hundred $ more than the Sigma. This is not a major consideration for me.

I would love to hear from any of you who have hands on experience with Canon telephoto prime lenses and either the Sigma or Tamron lenses mentioned above. Also, would love to hear reasons why one would select the Sigma over the Tamron, or vice versa.

Thanks in advance.

by gknorman on Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:21 pm
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Bruce: I'm not a Canon shooter but have experience with 500mm F/4 Sony (7.6#) and 600mm F/4 Minolta (12.2#) on various FF and APS-C Sony bodies and recently added the Tamron 150-600mm G2 for more reach than my Sony 70-400mm with A99ii FF body for nature photography.

These long primes do have discernable detail and contrast advantages but weights are prohibitive, at least for me, for walking far while shooting for several hours as both require gimbal mounts on tripod; in contrast, I have no trouble walking and using handheld Tamron on same body for 3-4 hours, and the sharpness is quite acceptable for all but very large prints.

As many reviews have already opined, the value for $ for this Tamron is exceptional, and the image quality is very good for a zoom of this range at any price, IMHO.  As you hear from Canon users, I'll be surprised if their experience is markedly different from mine.

Hope this helps with your decision.

by Mark Picard on Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:42 pm
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Bruce - My wife used to shoot with the Sigma 150-600mm "C" lens, and could not get a sharp image at any focal length. I AFFT it, with the USB Dock, but that made little difference. I sent it back to Sigma with the body (Nikon D500) and they AFFT it in their lab with their priority software they claimed would adjust it better than the public USB Dock settings was capable of. It came back from them with a phone call saying that it was within specs of the lens and claimed it was as good as the other 3 similar lenses they had there used for comparison. We tried it out, only to find it was still terrible. I bit the bullet and traded it in and got her the Nikon 200-500mm Nikon lens, which performs great. So she's now happy and getting tack sharp (for a zoom) images she's now happy with. 

Myself on the other hand, have the Sigma 150-600mm "S" version, and after AFFT it with the USB Dock, I am completely happy with the performance of this lens - good at all focal lengths, and much lighter than the 600mm F4 VR lens it replaced. I can even handhold this lens while in my kayak or sitting next to me in the vehicle, for those quick "grab shots" that sometimes occur. I love the zoom feature, something you don't have the luxury of with the primes. Most times in the kayak you don't have the ability to move closer or back up so the zoom feature shines! Keep in mind you're giving up a small amount of sharpness, and you also lose some degree of F stops, but all in all I love this lens! Normally I find that shooting handheld from the kayak, for instance, requires a fast shutter speed (1/1000th min.) for a larger degree of "keepers". On the tripod, obviously, you can shoot much slower shutter speeds for success. Oh, and I know nothing about the Tamron except from a few reviews that seem to say it's a decent lens. 
Mark Picard
Website:  http://www.markpicard.com
Maine Photography Workshops

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