Super telephoto prime lenses are not very common except in the world of professional nature and sport photography. Today, Australian photographer Blake Parry talks about his experience with the Sigma 500mm f/4 lens.
After his Nikon 400mm F2.8 AFS-II broke, Parry had to find a replacement. The native options such as the new Nikkor 400mm f/2.8E VR and the Nikkor 500mm f/4 VR cost around $10,000. This kind of price tag makes you hesitant. Older generations of both the above lenses were somewhat available second hand at around the $7,500 mark, but having been burnt by a dead lens in the recent past, he wanted something new and under warranty. He explains that “on price alone, the Sigma 500mm f/4 Sport piqued my interest, could something nearly half the price of the comparable Nikon lens really compete?” The fact that the Sigma lens takes a 1.4x teleconverter helped him to pick this piece of glass.
After a couple of months shooting sports and wildlife in Western Australia, Parry says “I cannot comment directly on the competing Nikon 500mm lenses, I suspect they are also very good in all the ways that the Sigma excels. However, I do find it very hard to believe that they are delivering twice the value of the Sigma Sport, which is pretty much what you are paying.”
You can consult his real-world review on his photography blog.