Good Evening Gentlemen.
First thanks a million to you all that helped unfuzz my head about the monster lenses.
So here's the story:
I see an advert for a 800mm. (Cheapish)
I go see the guy with laptop and camera.
I bolt my 40D and immeadiatly see an oppotunist shot of a pidgeon.
Look at result and I'm bewildered,,lost. The bird is way to small in the frame now I'm looking at it properly.
I look at the lens and to my astonishment,,its NOT an 800mm prime,,,its the 300-800mm zoom F5.6 (I shot at 400mm.)
On inspecting the pics I really could'nt see a difference in sharpness or contrast between this and my 400mm L prime.
A secondhand 600mm L will set you back about £5000. The 800mm is £9.700 and I've never seen a secondhand one.
I bought it. It was too cheap to leave behind.
Now, under certain conditions, this lens seems to give a yellow or light green tinge to the bokeh. It can be altered in an editor quite quickly and easily.
Heavy,,,my god this thing is heavy,,if anyone thinks they can walk around for 3 hours lugging this thing they had better be able to bench press 300lbs.
This is a tripod lens no doubt.
This needs a quick release system for a tripod.
Trying to engage a thread with one hand and holding / moving the beast with the other is,,,,not easy and a fumble would be a disaster.
If you intend to fly to sunny climes,,the lens bag (which if very substanstial) is 26 X 10 X 9 inches. (You ain't flying Ryan Air,,thats for sure).
There is a zipped pouch in the bag too.
The lens comes with 2 drop in filters and you must have a filter in place.
The controls,,zoom,,manual focus ring are better feel than my 400L. (focus that is). Smooth and accurate.
The AF / Manual switch is in a very sensible place,,by your left thumb.
It has a tripod ring that is a handle. Undo a bolt,,turn the the tripod ring 180 degrees and it becomes a carry handle. (with indents for your fingers)
There is also a stap from the handle to a rotating ring near the camera body.
Thats good thinking and design.
I managed to shoot a few pics today,,the light was often ghastly.
I am very pleased with the majority of the results.
The autofocus is quick and accurate but sometimes gets a little confused.
It does'nt exactly hunt,,it just over or under focuses a bit too much. Then you lose time playing catch up to refocus..It does'nt happen often,,but it does occur.
The 400L is better at the job and is the only area it surpasses this Sigma.
(difficult to explain.)
My Canon 1.4 MKII extender actually works with this lens
The picture attached was taken at a distance of about 110 to 140 feet.
F5.6 2000av 500iso 800mm AI focus propped on a fence. Cropped by about 20% a tad of contrast and saturation and a little sharpening.
This pic would take a 40 to 50% crop and still hang together.
I've uploaded the FULL file should anyone want to take and see for themselves.
For the money I paid,,,,,,,,EXCELLENT..
Sigma really have made a great lens here and only purists with pots of money can knock it.
I hope this article helps someone like I've been helped here on surfbirds