A couple of days ago I laid my grubby paws on a Sigma 300-800mm lens, also known as the Sigmonster. I have been thinking about getting one of these bad boys for a while but had never tried one nor do I know anyone who has. I rented this one from LensRentals.com which is as far as I know the only place you can rent the Big Sig. I took it out of the case and it looked like it was brand new.
It is big and heavy. Easily the heaviest lens I have ever picked up. In fact it feels like more weight than it really is, probably because the length makes it so awkward. It is limiting for many. It performs well though, and being able to zoom to 800 is priceless. Good long lens technique is a must as you can easily see the lens bounce at 800mm, so weight on top, firm hold on the camera, and head adjustments snug will get the best shots. I tries using a 10 second timer also and didn’t notice any sharper images.
It is not the best lens in the world, not as sharp and detailed as the 300 f2.8 but I think on par with the nikon 500mm f4 and, well it is 800mm. That extra length can make a huge difference. Last week I posted a photo I made with the 300, 1.4TC combo. As luck would have it I encountered the same conditions and the same bird a week later with the Sigmonster and I was able to make the same shot. This was the shot I really wanted so score one for the Sigmonster.
I will write much more about the lens in the next couple of weeks so stay tuned. These are just my first impressions.