A very simple photo to share today, and a story to go with it. In my post a couple weeks ago I mentioned how I met up with a good friend to go try out his new long telephoto lens. What I didn’t say was that he had recently bought the Sigma 150-600mm C lens, and very kindly offered to let me try it out. We fixed a date and I suggested a few places that would provide good subject matter, in the end settling on a quick evening walk in Il-Majjistral. Obviously I did’t limit myself to pointing the camera to the skies, but I did have to take this photo so I have something that needs serious magnification to compare with other options. The last time I shared a photo of the moon, it was taken with the camera body mounted on a 1000mm telescope. Frankly I was quite surprised just how much magnification this 600mm lens provides.
I found I liked this photo more than I expected. Like any long lens one gets a lot of vignetting when shooting wide open, even if in this case ‘wide open’ only means f/6.3. I usually automatically correct for this in post (using DxO’s profiles), but in this case I felt it adds a critical something to the image, so I had to keep it. Increase its contrast a tad, in fact. I was also pleasantly surprised how reliably and quickly the lens focuses, taking into account its size. Sure, it’s no competition with my 70-200mm f/4 (my friend was rather impressed with its speed when we swapped lenses), but it does the job well. At least from the perspective of someone who doesn’t generally shoot quick-moving subjects. It’s also very heavy. I expected this, and while it is light enough to work handheld (this is what we both did throughout this session), it fatigues the arms very very quickly. Now would I buy this? I don’t know – it’s been on my ‘list of lenses I’d like to buy but can’t really justify’ for a long time. It’s nice to have, and after trying it out I know it wouldn’t just sit around gathering dust. Still, in my list it has some serious competition. Plus you know how it is – Gear Acquisition Syndrome and all that. I’d better just go out and shoot more.