Two disparate areas of interest photographically for me are the capture of some of the skills of Windsurfing Sailors at Brogborough Lake, and the Hopeful capture of the successful dives of a Kingfisher at Marsworth Lake, one the Tring Reservoirs, so on the weekend opportunity, courtesy of Sigma Imaging UK, I borrowed the 150-600mm Sports-designated lens to check out on my Canon EOS7D MkII.
In the previous paragraph I highlighted the word ‘hopefully’ in connection with actually managing to even see a kingfisher, let alone capture one in a photo. I might equally have qualified the windsurfing activities at Brogborough, but at least I did have an idea there might be enough wind to entice some to the lake, the fact there was not enough for some serious jumping did not preclude my checking whether this heavier version of this lens range could give me the quality I seek. On both occasions the locations blessed me with very reasonable lighting levels, which meant successful shots would give me a good airing in galleries on my blog.
The lens alone is heavier than my current combined weight of camera and equivalent focal range lens, so this was a slightly negative element in my decision for considering the Sigma, but weather-proofing, quality of resolution and added features available, were higher in my considerations, because I do want the best quality I can afford within my limited budget. Both the chosen activities for the period during which I had use of the lens were absolutely the Litmus Test to gather the details that were important for my decision-making.
If only there were a scientist who could come up with an industrial process whereby molecules of Helium could be embedded within high grade aluminium without reducing the material strength so make it considerably lighter, this might enable lenses of this quality to be no heavier than those of lower build quality!
The additional weight of this lens when carrying the camera on a tripod, with levelling head and gimbal meant that my Arca Swiss plate worked loose on my journey back to the car from the Kingfisher location, fortunately I had been checking, so no disaster befell the kit, but I voiced my concern and found Sigma do have an answer to this in the form of an Arca Swiss plate secured to the foot firmly that is way better than my own plate that is effectively adding extra leverage which was what caused the loosening. So, I feel this is an essential item to complete the kit.
Although the sequence of images was not one long burst, but a series of meaningful single and burst shots that recorded the unfolding event, I have taken them out of the overall day’s shots to stand alone, because they gave me so much pleasure, and although some are almost duplicates, it meant I could fill a natural grid without any blanks.