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Leica APO-SL 90-280mm vs Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3


stump4545
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Picked up the Sigma 150mm-600mm for the extra reach for Sports over my current Leica 90mm-280mm on SL2.

Still new to zooms and sports and noticed the Leica 90mm-280mm focuses must faster.

Is that due the F4 aperture vs 6.3 of Sigma at full zoom?

 

While the Sigma is a very nice lens, it does not handle and feel not nearly as nice as the costly Leica 90mm-280mm.

Still need to do more shoots with the Sigma, but I do think I might forgo the extra reach the 600mm provides,  as the 90-280mm is just more enjoyable to handle and shoot with.

Anyone else here have the Sigma and the 90mm-280mm?

Wish Leica would release a longer tele.

 

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3 hours ago, stump4545 said:

Still new to zooms and sports and noticed the Leica 90mm-280mm focuses must faster.

Is that due the F4 aperture vs 6.3 of Sigma at full zoom?

There are many factors at play but my understanding is that at least one reason that the 90-280 may have an edge is that the optical design was formulated in such a way that the focusing elements that need to move during focusing are very light so they can be moved more quickly by the AF motors.

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Has anyone tried comparing the corner sharpness of the Sigma 150-600 in landscape vs portrait orientation?

I just came across the review on CameraLabs that mentioned 3 of 3 copies tested had noticeably poorer corner sharpness in portrait orientation which is indicative of some kind of internal structural design weakness. See the top section of page 2 in the review here: https://www.cameralabs.com/sigma-150-600mm-f5-6-3-dg-dn-os-review/2/

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17 minutes ago, beewee said:

Has anyone tried comparing the corner sharpness of the Sigma 150-600 in landscape vs portrait orientation?

I just came across the review on CameraLabs that mentioned 3 of 3 copies tested had noticeably poorer corner sharpness in portrait orientation which is indicative of some kind of internal structural design weakness. See the top section of page 2 in the review here: https://www.cameralabs.com/sigma-150-600mm-f5-6-3-dg-dn-os-review/2/

This was raised some months ago in another post. IMO it's a non-issue, edge to edge sharpness is irrelevant with long tele lenses. Central image sharpness is what really counts,  that's the nature of how and why we use long tele lenses, zooming in close on a central subject be it a bird or other animal. Personally I'm not worried about what happens on the edges of the frame with these lenses.

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9 hours ago, stump4545 said:

Picked up the Sigma 150mm-600mm for the extra reach for Sports over my current Leica 90mm-280mm on SL2.

Still new to zooms and sports and noticed the Leica 90mm-280mm focuses must faster.

Is that due the F4 aperture vs 6.3 of Sigma at full zoom?

 

While the Sigma is a very nice lens, it does not handle and feel not nearly as nice as the costly Leica 90mm-280mm.

Still need to do more shoots with the Sigma, but I do think I might forgo the extra reach the 600mm provides,  as the 90-280mm is just more enjoyable to handle and shoot with.

Anyone else here have the Sigma and the 90mm-280mm?

Wish Leica would release a longer tele.

 

I have both the VE90-280mm & the Sigma 150-600mm, at close to medium distances there's nothing in it. Depending on your requirements, each has its own strengths & weaknesses. The extra reach of the Sigma is a big plus especially for birding or wildlife at further distances.

I also have the Canon 400mm f4 DO USMll which I use with the Sigma MC-21 adapter on the SL2 & SL2-S, it's an outstanding lens. I keep repeating ad nauseam here that it's the best telephoto lens I've used in +50 years of photography.

All things considered, the Sigma punches above its weight. To illustrate how good the Sigma is at short to medium distances, have a look at the comparison shots I've done here:

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, beewee said:

Has anyone tried comparing the corner sharpness of the Sigma 150-600 in landscape vs portrait orientation?

I just came across the review on CameraLabs that mentioned 3 of 3 copies tested had noticeably poorer corner sharpness in portrait orientation which is indicative of some kind of internal structural design weakness. See the top section of page 2 in the review here: https://www.cameralabs.com/sigma-150-600mm-f5-6-3-dg-dn-os-review/2/

I read that review while my 150-600 was in being shipped and tested the lens as soon as it arrived. I tried it in both portrait orientations, landscape and even upside down, with and without lens stabilization active and could not replicate what was observed in the article.. What CameraLabs observed seems very odd and suggests a mechanical issue that makes me wonder if a batch of lenses were incorrectly assembled or there was a problem with one of the parts. 

For what it is, I think this is an incredible lens. Considering the Sigma is about 1/5 the cost of the Leica, I would expect and hope that the Leica is better optically, electronically and mechanically, but that takes nothing away from the Sigma. I can’t say anything about the 90-280, I haven’t seen one let alone used one.

 

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I had both and sold my 90-280 after a couple months with the 150-600. I wholeheartedly agree with @michali that the 150-600 punches above its weight class. It really is outstanding for the money. I am not the steadiest hand, but I can hand-hold at 600mm when the light starts to fade and still be thrilled with the sharpness and detail from this lens thanks to the excellent IS. 

Of course the Leica has advantages. It is much faster, and it is smaller. I don't want to carry either one around if I don't have to, though. They are both big and heavy and indiscreet. If you don't care about the money, then owning both would be great! I couldn't justify keeping the 90-280 after seeing the performance of the Sigma. A used 90-280 costs almost 4x as much as a new Sigma. Is it 4x better? Not for my needs. 

Focusing speed has a lot to do with the body the lenses are being paired with. I did not notice a difference on my S1R. 

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Before Leica makes a 400mm lens and beyond then I think the sigma is the better lens at that zoom range, you can go to the specific 150-600mm sigma on FB and check out the photos. 

Focus is the problem of Sigma on L mount system,  Leica lenses and Panasonic lenses are at least a step faster than Sigma on focusing, on any Sigma lens.

If you want sharpness then the Sigma can definitely given you.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/14/2022 at 6:14 AM, michali said:

This was raised some months ago in another post. IMO it's a non-issue, edge to edge sharpness is irrelevant with long tele lenses. Central image sharpness is what really counts,  that's the nature of how and why we use long tele lenses, zooming in close on a central subject be it a bird or other animal. Personally I'm not worried about what happens on the edges of the frame with these lenses.

I just want to raise the point that not everyone uses telephotos solely for animals or birds. I just bought a 90-280mm, and I intend to use it primarily in my landscape work, photographing mountains and distant rock formations that I cannot otherwise reach with shorter lenses. So for me edge to edge sharpness is very important. I have already noticed that it is not as good as I would have hoped compared to lenses like the 35mm and 50mm APO Summicron, but since there are no current APO primes, I will stick with the current lens. But I am glad that they prioritize edge to edge image quality. In the case of the Sigma, if the lens lost sharpness due to structural insufficiency, I think that is a black mark on the lens, no matter how one spins it. A lens should not flex in such a way as to affect the optical system...perhaps many people will not notice, but it is not really excusable, in my mind.

Edited by Stuart Richardson
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1 hour ago, Stuart Richardson said:

I just want to raise the point that not everyone uses telephotos solely for animals or birds. I just bought a 90-280mm, and I intend to use it primarily in my landscape work, photographing mountains and distant rock formations that I cannot otherwise reach with shorter lenses. So for me edge to edge sharpness is very important. I have already noticed that it is not as good as I would have hoped compared to lenses like the 35mm and 50mm APO Summicron, but since there are no current APO primes, I will stick with the current lens. But I am glad that they prioritize edge to edge image quality. In the case of the Sigma, if the lens lost sharpness due to structural insufficiency, I think that is a black mark on the lens, no matter how one spins it. A lens should not flex in such a way as to affect the optical system...perhaps many people will not notice, but it is not really excusable, in my mind.

Of course, it's all dependent on how each one of us uses these lenses.

For the record,  @Virob says in his post above the he's not been able to replicate this issue with the Sigma 150-600mm and as much I've tried, neither have I been able to. 

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Both 150-600

In practical use I don't see any sense buying the 90-280 as a new lens (except the faster focus).

At the end of the day I don't see an important difference even in professional use (and the clients too). 
Exclusion: Gear acquisition syndrome AKA GAS

 

(PS: click the pics, they are sharp enough- and pixel peeping 100% looks fine to me )

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Posted (edited)

Without commenting on the comparative image quality . . .

 

Advantages of the Sigma 150-600:

Price (New: $1500 vs. $7250;   Pre-owned (approximates): $1300 vs $5000)

Focal range, if you need 600mm. (But, not if you need 90mm)

 

Advantages of the SL 90-280:

1/2 lb. lighter

Almost 1 inch shorter

Faster AF

Faster lens: f2.8 -4.0 (vs. f 5-6-6.3)

More agile, better balanced on SL or CL; easier to carry 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by ropo54
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Posted (edited)

The 150-600 and the 90-280 play in two different leagues. So one cannot replace the other. The Sigma is not equal, even in the 150-280 range. But it offers new possibilities in the 300-600 range and at a very low price. So I use both. (And the IQ is almost equally high, good enough for most occasions. And AF is not bad for such a long lens.)

But technology advances, and if Sigma would also offer a 2.8/400 lens with built in extender (in a way a twin of the new Nikon 2.8/400 lens which is very light and compact for its type) then I would probably/maybe replace the 150-600 by this lens.

Still I would keep the 90-280.

 

Edited by caissa
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