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Thread: An Oly SportsShooter tackles the Bigma

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    Default An Oly SportsShooter tackles the Bigma

    I wrote a comprehensive report of my first week using Sigma's big 50-500mm f/4-6.3 APO DG-EX "Bigma" lens and posted it in the lens review section of this forum. Here are a handfull of the 1,000+ images I took over three days, while trying to acquaint myself with this amazing lens.

    I started with something familiar. Auto-X with the Winnipeg Sports Car Club last Friday evening at their track in Winnipeg’s Red River Ex Park. It was nice to try new angles I’d never been able to attempt because of the obvious dangers. This first image was taken at 500mm, ISO 200, f/8, 1/800 in receding sunlight using a monopod.



    This was taken a half hour later in beautiful golden light. All the image details are the same, but the focal length was a mere 390mm.



    I mainly shoot motorsports, but I secretly dream of being a Cricket photographer. This was taken Saturday afternoon, under a blazing hot sun, at the Manitoba Cricket Association’s Grounds in picturesque Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg. This image was taken at 500mm, ISO 200, f/8, 1/800 using a monopod, in 30C heat.



    I didn’t quite nail this one. I needed an nth of extra shutter speed. Maybe with the E-3, I’ll be able to go to ISO 320 or 400 and have all the shutter speed I need for this. With the E-1, I top out at ISO 200. Same EXIF but at 420mm.



    Back to 500mm. I’m pretty proud of this shot. The Cricket Association allows me to stand on the edge of the boundary while I work. Even from that close range, 500mm isn’t too long for this sport.



    This is where the Bigma stumbled. It’s noon on Sunday and we’re at Motorsports Park in Gimli, Manitoba with the Winnipeg Sports Car Club’s road racers. It’s over 32C and heat waves are making long-range photography a challenge. This is the best I could get. The usual set-up, at 500mm, using a monopod.



    Later on Sunday afternoon, time for a change of pace. We’re at the distant end of Gimli Motorsports Park with the Manitoba Karting Association. It’s now 35C and my big Sigma lens feels too hot to touch (Some days, I miss my old white Canon lenses). The sun got even brighter, and I’ve boosted the shutter speed to 1/1000 to capture these fast moving Karts. You can’t see it, but on the full sized file, I can easily read the lead Kart driver’s instrument panel in the reflection from his visor, and that was with a 500mm lens!



    It’s too hot for any more photos, but before I pack up, there’s one more shot to try. This was ISO 100, f/7.1, 1/500 at 290mm – handheld. On the full sized file, I can count the individual stitches in his driving suit.


    So far, I like my new lens. It's not for everyday use, but if I'm smart about when and where I use it, I'm sure it will add more than its share of interesting views.

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    Default Re: An Oly SportsShooter tackles the Bigma

    Nice shooting, Rob. I especially like the third cricket pic.

    Thanks for the report on the Bigma, too. I had been wondering how it is for sports. The image quality looks very good.

    Your timing is great. It shows that someone who knows what he's doing doesn't need 8fps or whatever. I'm sure you'll realize your dream of being a cricket photog!


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    Default Re: An Oly SportsShooter tackles the Bigma

    Well done brother! I did not know you picked up the 50-500, I will have to check it out someday!

    I have always considered this lens for my next surf holiday!

    Sweet stuff as usual, they must be very happy at the track this year!

    We should stick the E510 on it and see if there is any AF difference.

    Take Care

    Kelly
    PS. Not sure what would be worst, dressed up shooting a wedding around the city in that heat (like I was doing) or dressed down, no shade and all of that pavement!!!

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    Default Re: An Oly SportsShooter tackles the Bigma

    Quote Originally Posted by KellysCayman View Post
    Well done brother! I did not know you picked up the 50-500, I will have to check it out someday!
    I've added lots of new gear lately - just not the one thing we're all waiting for. Sure, you can try the Bigma any time you want. Because it's not weather sealed, I think I'll avoid taking it near salt water, but out here in the middle of the Canadian prairies that's not too much of a concern.

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    Default Re: An Oly SportsShooter tackles the Bigma

    Great series. Good enough to make me want that lens.
    Luc

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    Default Re: An Oly SportsShooter tackles the Bigma

    well done !
    the cricket shots are simply wonderful.

    Assaf

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    Default Re: An Oly SportsShooter tackles the Bigma

    Thanks everyone. I'm still enjoying my Bigma. I haven't taken it off the camera since I got it. I'm using it in situations where it's probably not well suited, but exploring its full capabilities in the process. I hope to take it for a visit to the local zoo in the next while, and I want to attempt a moonshot during the next full moon.

    This lens has limitations, to be sure, but once you become aware of them, it's an easy piece of equipment to use. I stand by my assertion this lens should not be used wide open. Stopping down to f/8 makes it into an impressive performer, which if handled well will deliver stunning photos unobtainable with any other 4/3 system lens. This is a good performer, which at the price of only $1,000 U.S., deserves to be in your camera bag.

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    Default Re: An Oly SportsShooter tackles the Bigma

    Rob,

    Thanks,

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Bye View Post
    . . . . . which if handled well will deliver stunning photos unobtainable with any other 4/3 system lens. . . . .
    Good report and nice photos.

    But what about Sigma 300-800 which is optically better, useable wide open but much bigger in every respect (inc price) and then there is also the slightly shorter 3x Sigma 135-400 ?

    Regards

    Rally

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    Default Re: An Oly SportsShooter tackles the Bigma

    Thanks so much for sharing.
    Lara P
    A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed. - Ansel Adams
    E-620 * ZD 12-60 SWD * ZD 50-200 SWD *
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    Default Re: An Oly SportsShooter tackles the Bigma

    Quote Originally Posted by rally View Post
    Rob,

    But what about Sigma 300-800 which is optically better, useable wide open but much bigger in every respect (inc price) and then there is also the slightly shorter 3x Sigma 135-400 ?

    Rally
    From the perspective of a SportsShooter, the 135-400 will be too light in weight, therefore difficult to hold as steady as the Bigma, and it lacks the all important HSM.

    The 300-800 Sigmonster is a much more appealing lens, but its extremely high cost will keep it from ever being used by all but a tiny minority of 4/3 users. I hope the Sigmonster gets added to somebody's rental pool, just so I can try it once.

    For raw performance and reasonable cost, nothing touches the Bigma.

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    Default Re: An Oly SportsShooter tackles the Bigma

    Cricket Rob !!! That is a new one.

    Still, I think you will get some real interesting shots with this lens.

    Geoff and I going out with MbCC and WSPC tomorrow for Thersherman's Reuinion.

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    Default Re: An Oly SportsShooter tackles the Bigma

    Nice shots Rob, I really like the cricket pictures (the capture of intensity in the players faces is priceless). Your review http://fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/showthread.php?t=4652
    of the 50-500 is very good and I agree on your views of this lens. I envy your ability to get out see so much and to capture it on camera.

    GerryH
    E330, E520, Zuiko 14-42, Zuiko 14-45, Zuiko 40-150, Zuiko 11-22, Ziko 50-200,Sigma 50-500, Sigma 18-50EX DC Macro, Sigma 150/2.8 APO EX DG HSM Macro,Sigma 105/2.8, Sigma 55-200, Olympus EX25, virtual village focus screen, ME-1 Eyecup, Metz 44 Flash,Slik PRO400DX TriPod, Giottos MH7001-621 BallHead, Ownuser FX-FBH Battery Grip, 200+ legacy lenses.

    http://picasaweb.google.ca/ghenton

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    Default Re: An Oly SportsShooter tackles the Bigma

    Great shots,
    Nice to hear something from Winnipeg,MB. That's where I used to live around.
    Wondering if you do some baseball pictures at the Forks

    Mel
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