Tamron Canada was kind enough to let me spend a few days with “Bigron” – the new Tamron 150-600 DI VC.
My intention was to use this lens as would the average shooter who purchases a $1,300 super telephoto. No comparisons with big primes, no test charts, no pixel peeping.
Bigron has been tested and compared against many lenses, but for some reason, nobody has matched it up against it’s one true competitor – the Sigma 150-500 F5-6.3 APO DG HSM. Until now!
Most photographers entering the birding/wildlife scene gravitate towards this Sigma. It’s reasonably inexpensive (around $1,000) and has great reach. Purists bemoan it’s AF speed, AF hunting and small/slow aperture. A quick search of Flickr, however, reveals some truly stunning images.
At first blush, you notice the two lenses are very similar – Bigron is only slightly longer and about the same weight. The filter diameter, and therefore front element, is also larger on Bigron: 95mm versus 86mm on the Sigma. Aside from a weather-sealing rubber o-ring, most of the differences are internal.
Both lenses are smaller than many of the super telephoto primes from Canon and Nikon, and very hand-holdable.
The following parts of this test will focus on a few things: a controlled environment to look at sharpness and vignetting and impressions and samples from three days of birding.
I’ll leave you today with the last 3 images – the Tamron 150-600 F5.6-6.3 DI VC and the Sigma 150-500 F5-6.3 APO DG HSM against a ruler. Stay tuned for Part 2 – Sharpness and Vignetting