We went out to the zoo this afternoon, which gave me a chance to try out my ‘bigma’. What, you might ask, is a bigma. Well, it is a camera lens, to be precise, it is the Sigma 50-500mm f4-6.3. I had been considering getting a longer lens later this year for my birthday and had concluded that this was the lens I would get. About 3 weeks ago, while checking a photography forum, I came across a post talking about price rises for Sigma from the 1st February 2009. Because of the changes in the value of the pound and the yen, they are having to increase their prices to reflect the change in exchange rate. This change is in the range of 40% – ouch! The recommended price on the Sigma site was £880 at that time. After a brief discussion with Jo it was agreed that I would buy my birthday/xmas present a few (!) months early. I placed a collect in store order with Jessops in Milton Keynes, who had yet to increase their price and collected it the following day on my way home from work. The current Sigma recommended price is now up to £1350 (53% increase). Jessops have increased their price this weekend, it is now £430 more expensive, I’m glad I got in when I did.
The Sigma 50-500mm uses 86mm filters, so that was a big ouch as well. 86mm filters aren’t as easy to come by as smaller sizes, and I always have had expensive tastes. I have always used B+W filters on my lenses and with a lens of this quality I wasn’t going to stop now. I use skylight filters rather than UV by preference and so the search for a UK sourced 86mm B+W skylight filter began. I eventually tracked down a source at Robert White in Poole. As filters go, it is the most expensive I have ever bought. I placed the order with Robert White and had despatch confirmation the following day. It got held up in the post due to the extreme weather, but the service from them was brilliant as is the filter.
It’s a big lens, so it was touch and go if it would fit in my LowePro case. It needs good stability to get good shots, so I would be using it with my monopod or tripod. I had tried it out on my tripod taking shots in the garden, but today was the first time out with it.
So far, I’m very happy with the results. I have put a selection up in an album on my gallery for our visit to the zoo 21st February 2009