Nikon D700 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 1000 mm — 1/10 sec, f/13, ISO 5000 — map & image data — nearby photos
Yes, the Sigma 50-500mm “Bigma” optical stabilization is that good
During the return home after yesterday's Daimonji hike, Anthony and I stopped for a cake at a cafe we found along the way, Cafe Gremer. The cake was great, and the home-made lemonade (with lemons from the backyard!) was superb, but the interior of the shop was very dark and gloomy, right out of a fairytale nightmare, immediately bringing to mind the worry that we might be devoured by a hermit witch.
But a tiny frosted window immediately behind our seats was getting hit by direct sunlight, splashing a luxuriously delicious glow onto the tasteful flower arrangement on the table, so I pulled out the camera to play as we waited for our order. It had the Sigma 50-500mm superzoom attached, and also had the 2× teleconverter that extends the zoom to 1,000mm and the magnification to 0.64×.
Nikon D700 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 210 mm — 1/1600 sec, f/6, ISO 5000 — map & image data — nearby photos
Nikon D700 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 490 mm — 1/400 sec, f/13, ISO 5000 — map & image data — nearby photos
While playing in this wonderful small splash of light with a lens that could go to 1,000mm, I wondered what it might do in the darker reaches of the restaurant, so on a whim, I went to full zoom and snapped a picture of one of the thousand nick-knacks filling every conceivable surface of the interior, in this case a Pinocchio hanging above the counter where the proprietress worked and chatted amiably with the regulars that filled the seats.
I was just sitting there free-holding the huge lens + camera + TC combo, not even bracing my elbows on the table. I knew it was a throw-away test shot with no hope, but playing around is how I learn, and in this case I was floored to find the result was reasonably sharp. The large version of the Pinocchio shot above was exported from Lightroom with all default settings... no extra post-processing at all.
I wouldn't expect that I have the skill to get this kind of result when it counts, but it's comforting to know that the Sigma OS will allow it if my skill does.
The Nikon D700's low-light abilities are amazing (see “Impossible Photography: No Light, No Tripod, No Hope. D700 and a 50mm f/1.2” and “Pushing Lowlight-Photography Limits: The Atta Terrace Hotel at Night” for examples), and I sometimes have the ability to hold the camera fairly still (such as in “In the Ballpark of Hope: Okinawan Grave In the Dark”), but 1,000mm at 1/10th of a second is just ridiculously outside the envelope..... or should be.
Nikon D700 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 600 mm — 1/160 sec, f/13, ISO 5000 — map & image data — nearby photos