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Thread: Sigma 175-500mm. NO GOOD!

  1. #1

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    Sigma 175-500mm. NO GOOD!

    Hi All,

    I had an opportunity to shoot a Sigma 175-500 DG lens on my Nikon D200.

    Maybe it is not a bad lens at the price but it will irritate me endlessly trying to zoom in or out needing a vice to turn the zoom.

    The zoom action is very tight when holding the camera level. To make the zoom action smooth you need to tilt the lens forward to zoom in and tilt it backward to zoom out. When zoomed out completely and tilting the lens downward “lens creep” is rather like uncontrolled zooming in. The opposite is also true when tilting the lens upward when zoomed in, it will zoom out ending in a slap when reaching its limit.

    Auto Focus is very slow. Sharpness seems good.

    I am not impressed at all and buying a lens like this is only to be recommended for those on a really tight budget. If you are not short of cash – DO NOT BUY this lens. To do a precision zoom is impossible while the lens is level. You feel like oiling it to make it zoom smoothly.

    Was it just this lens or is it a general problem with Sigma Super Zooms?

  2. #2

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    Re: Sigma 175-500mm. NO GOOD!

    Andre, you quote the 175-500mm lens. Do you mean the 150-50mm?

  3. #3

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    Re: Sigma 175-500mm. NO GOOD!

    Quote Originally Posted by John 2 View Post
    Do you mean the 150-50mm?
    No, 175 - 500mm Sigma lens.

  4. #4

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    Re: Sigma 175-500mm. NO GOOD!

    Yes Andre, looked it up on the internet. Your view of the lens seems to have universal agreement.

  5. #5
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma 175-500mm. NO GOOD!

    Andre - We own the 150-500mm and bought it for my wife specifically for a trip to Namibia in late 2011. We knew going in that there were some early production problems with the lens, but as it had been out for a few years, we had assumed that these had been resolved. One of our neighbours has the lens and told us how happy is was with it.

    We bought the lens in July so that she could get some shooting practice before the trip and it made its first trip back to Sigma in September; the autofocus motor and autofocus electronics had blown. Even though we asked for a "rush" on the repair it showed up in late October (about 2 weeks before we were to leave for Africa).

    Second last day in Etosha National Park, the autofocus died again and it made a return trip to Sigma in early December. The autofocus electronics had died again...

    As you can probably guess; we are not impressed with Sigma products and are unlikely to consider buying another.

  6. #6

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    Re: Sigma 175-500mm. NO GOOD!

    Thanks Guys,

    Do we have consensus that a Sigma lens is a real budget lens and should be treated as such. Do not expect to get more than you have paid for!

  7. #7
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma 175-500mm. NO GOOD!

    Did anyone who owned this lens and had a problem with it write a review on the website where purchased? If I was considering purchasing this lens I would at least like to see how others viewed the performance.

  8. #8
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma 175-500mm. NO GOOD!

    John, the 175-500mm was discontinued quite a few years ago; I don't know exactly when, but the 150-500mm came out in 2008 and the stabilized 50-500mm came out in 2010, I think.

    We picked up our copy of the 150-500mm in mid-2011, and the 175-500mm was not available. We had a look a number of long zooms as we were planning a trip to Namibia. I already owned the 80-400mm Nikkor and did not want to get two identical lenses (it uses the camera's focus motor and is not blazingly fast in focusing), so we had a very thorough look at the Sigma and Tamrons.
    Last edited by GrumpyDiver; 20th August 2013 at 01:29 PM.

  9. #9
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma 175-500mm. NO GOOD!

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    John, the 175-500mm was discontinued quite a few years ago; I don't know exactly when, but the 150-500mm came out in 2008 and the stabilized 50-500mm came out in 2010, I think.

    We picked up our copy of the 150-500mm in mid-2011, and the 175-500mm was not available. We had a look a number of long zooms as we were planning a trip to Namibia. I already owned the 80-400mm Nikkor and did not want to get two identical lenses (it uses the camera's focus motor and is not blazingly fast in focusing), so we had a very thorough look at the Sigma and Tamrons.
    Manfred,

    I did a quick look on Amazon for reviews and out of 194 reviews most gave this lens at least 4 stars, however those who gave 3stars still had some complaints but were still somewhat satisfied. There were only 6 reviews each that gave the lens two or one star and of these none were very happy with the lens.

    Some considered the cost (low cost in their estimation) as justification for lesser quality (4 and 3 stars), while others (2 or 1 star) viewed cost (too high) as partial reason for low rating and low performance being top reason.

  10. #10
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    Re: Sigma 175-500mm. NO GOOD!

    I have a Sigma 150 macro (non-OS version) that I have been using for almost 3 years. Sharp, well built, no problems. I think Sigma quality has improved in the years since some of their older lenses made it to market, at least for their premium lenses. And considering the price I paid it is definitely not a budget lens - so yes you do get what you pay for.

  11. #11
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma 175-500mm. NO GOOD!

    John - I agree. While I look at consumer reviews, I take them with a very large grain of salt.

    The problem I have with consumer ratings is that you tend to get two different camps providing reviews; eithe the fans who are thrilled with their purchase (and potentially would not complain because it would seem that they have made a poor decision) or the ones who are truly unhappy with their experience; which could be legitimate (hence the reason I always explain the problems I've had with our Sigma lens) or the ones that expect similar performace to the OEM equivilant that costs a lot more money.

  12. #12
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma 175-500mm. NO GOOD!

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    John - I agree. While I look at consumer reviews, I take them with a very large grain of salt.

    The problem I have with consumer ratings is that you tend to get two different camps providing reviews; eithe the fans who are thrilled with their purchase (and potentially would not complain because it would seem that they have made a poor decision) or the ones who are truly unhappy with their experience; which could be legitimate (hence the reason I always explain the problems I've had with our Sigma lens) or the ones that expect similar performace to the OEM equivilant that costs a lot more money.
    Manfred,

    I always look closely at the reviews. Some rehash the same words as previous reviews, some have unrelated complaints that they couple with the real issues, and some as you say, just have a hard time saying what they really feel.

  13. #13
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    Re: Sigma 175-500mm. NO GOOD!

    To be fair its a pretty old lens, I've found reviews of used ones going back to 2005 and as has been said it was replaced a number of times.

    As to Sigma as a brand I've had a 10-20mm since it was launched - literally as I got the first one to hit Jessops when Sigma first distributed them to UK dealers - I've sold countless Sigma lenses over the years and I know countless customers and friends who have been using them faultlessly for years. Quite a large percentage of their lenses have excellent optical quality, the build is good for the price - excellent on the higher-end models and reliability over the entire range is very good.

    If you Google anything you will find people who don't like them, people who say they are the worst thing to ever be made but at the same time you will find those who love them and wouldn't part with them for love not money.

    I've seen thousands of duff Canon/Nikon/Pentax/Sony/Panasonic/Olympus/Konica/Minolta/Tamron/Cosina/Tokina/Contax....the list is endless....products over the years but it doesn't make the brand in question poor.

  14. #14

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    Re: Sigma 175-500mm. NO GOOD!

    Most people find it difficult to be objective about any purchase they have made. To admit you made a mistake spending good money on something not matching your expectations is not an easy thing to do.

    Spending $3000.00 on a lens, you would expect it to be of high quality and perform like a $3000.00 lens. If an alternative to a $3000.00 lens is available for $500.00 you should not expect to get $3000.00 worth of performance from it.

    Having been in the retail business for many years I have so often see people expect a cheaper alternative to render the same performance as the “real thing”. It is human nature wanting to get most out of the hard earned money you are spending on any purchase, being fair of not, you want a “good deal” for your $ spent.

    How often have I not seen it right here on CIC where a member would expect their image shot with a “cheap alternative” to render the same clarity and sharpness, colour rendition, lack of vignetting, and lack of chromatic aberration, as an image shot using a much more expensive lens.

    Would I spend $ 500.00 on that Sigma 170/175-500mm lens? No I would not, but if I can pick it up for $200.00 I would probably consider it (shooting static subjects) and live with using a vice (or at least it will strengthen my left wrist) to Zoom in or out.

    A 500mm Nikkor lens will set me back around $10 000.00. Is the Sigma worth considering – not being Bill Gates, I guess it is.

  15. #15
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    Re: Sigma 175-500mm. NO GOOD!

    Quote Originally Posted by AB26 View Post
    Thanks Guys,

    Do we have consensus that a Sigma lens is a real budget lens and should be treated as such. Do not expect to get more than you have paid for!
    I don't think there is consensus on this. I don't have any Sigma super zoom lenses, but I do have, and have used, Sigma 17-55 f2.8 EX on Nikon, Canon and Pentax bodies and 17-70 f4.5-5.6 on Pentax and Canon bodies and 50mm f1.4 EX and 75mm f2.8 macro on Nikon bodies and I have never had a problem, even though I have given some of those lenses a hard time.
    Last edited by GrahamS; 21st August 2013 at 06:04 PM.

  16. #16

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    Re: Sigma 175-500mm. NO GOOD!

    Quote Originally Posted by AB26 View Post
    Thanks Guys,

    Do we have consensus that a Sigma lens is a real budget lens and should be treated as such. Do not expect to get more than you have paid for!
    I don't think you can draw a conclusion about all Sigma products based on one experience with a lens particularly one that has been discontinued for quite a while. I have and use two Sigma lenses with satisfaction, the slightly older 17-70 os and the 70 2.8 Macro. The 17-70 did require a repair to is os unit but that was performed under warranty and it is back in regular use since. I never heard of the 170--500, never considered it, and will continue to ignore it. I am quite intrigued by the new lenses Sigma is introducing and will continue to consider their products in the future.

  17. #17
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    Re: Sigma 175-500mm. NO GOOD!

    Just thought I would throw in my 2 pence worth.
    I have a couple of sigma lenses this being 10-20mm f3.5, 24-70 f2.8 and the 150-500mm OS.
    I am happy with them all. The 150-500mm I use for birding and if it is stopped to f8 or f11 the results are a very sharp. The OS on this lens works really well and handheld shots are easily done.

    As an aside when I started one of the first lens I purchased was the Sigma AF 70-300mm f4-5.6 DG APO Macro for about £150. I used for quite a while shooting football matches for my local team. The quality and the price bear no resemblance and even though I have upgraded to the Canon 70-200 f2.8L lens I still have and use it.

    In conclusion IMHO there is little wrong with Sigma products.

  18. #18
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    Re: Sigma 175-500mm. NO GOOD!

    Another 2 pence worth. It has to be horses for courses.

    I have the 17-70mm f2.8/4 on an APSC body, and I am happy with it. The zoom range works well for me as a fairly fast walkabout lens, and the quality is pretty good - I'm not trying to produce large wall hangings.

    Supposed I came into some money, and decide to upgrade to a Canon L lens. Now the problems start. The L series are by definition designed to work on FF cameras. So, if I look at the "standard" L zooms, the widest apertures are 24mm - fine on a full frame, but not what I need on a crop. If I look at the wide angle zooms, I can consider the 17-40 f4(!) or the 16-35 f2.8. So there is no single lens that gives me anything like the range of the Sigma, and to buy two L lenses covering the range would cost me at least £3,000.

    I'm sure the IQ and build quality would be better, of course, but for someone of my ability and needs, it would not make sense.

    Dave
    Last edited by davidedric; 23rd August 2013 at 12:55 PM.

  19. #19
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    Re: Sigma 175-500mm. NO GOOD!

    I have owned 3 sigma lens. An 18-55mm to replace the lost 18-55 kit lens. Not used often due to other lenses I own.
    a 105 Macro and I have just sold a Sigma 80-400mm in PTX for a Canon 100-400mm zoom.

    I have found the macro and kit lens replacement to be of a sound quality.

    However the 80-400mm was soft, lacked contrast, and I wasted 3 years working with it. Autofocus was slow and not very quite, the images had noise on them and as to detail … soft soft ...

    With regards to Sigma I have given up on their long zooms even though others rate them...

    My local camera shop however sold the zoom and 1.4 converter in a matter of days….

  20. #20
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    Re: Sigma 175-500mm. NO GOOD!

    Quote Originally Posted by black pearl View Post
    To be fair its a pretty old lens, I've found reviews of used ones going back to 2005 and as has been said it was replaced a number of times.

    As to Sigma as a brand I've had a 10-20mm since it was launched - literally as I got the first one to hit Jessops when Sigma first distributed them to UK dealers - I've sold countless Sigma lenses over the years and I know countless customers and friends who have been using them faultlessly for years. Quite a large percentage of their lenses have excellent optical quality, the build is good for the price - excellent on the higher-end models and reliability over the entire range is very good.

    If you Google anything you will find people who don't like them, people who say they are the worst thing to ever be made but at the same time you will find those who love them and wouldn't part with them for love not money.

    I've seen thousands of duff Canon/Nikon/Pentax/Sony/Panasonic/Olympus/Konica/Minolta/Tamron/Cosina/Tokina/Contax....the list is endless....products over the years but it doesn't make the brand in question poor.
    I even found a review from 1998 so I would not have high expectations for such a lens. I do think that Robin is probably very well qualified to judge, having seen a wide variety of customers utilising lenses from most manufacturers.

    As for judging one manufacturer on one ageing lens…….

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