I have 77D and Sigma 150-600m contemporary lens. When I use any filter on the lens at 150mm I get desired outcome. But if I zoom in the image will get distorted. Is this expected or do I have faulty settings or faulty filters?

click for full size
150mm no filter
enter image description here

150mm with polarized filter
enter image description here

Image is not distorted in 150mm with filter

600mm without filter
enter image description here

600mm with polarized filter
enter image description here

enter image description here

  • What kind of filters we talk about? Aug 23, 2021 at 4:28
  • UV, ND and Polarized filters.
    – Bharadwaj
    Aug 23, 2021 at 5:07
  • 1
    @timvrhn Shutter speed is 1/1000. I kept the lens on the wall so I guess there is no vibration
    – Bharadwaj
    Aug 23, 2021 at 8:09
  • 3
    It is very common for cheap filters to degrade telephoto images. Normal to wide angle images often look fine with cheap filters. Aug 23, 2021 at 19:28
  • 1
    @Mike Maybe, I am still getting familiar with filters. Don't want to spend unnecessary $$ if I don't want to use them further.
    – Bharadwaj
    Aug 24, 2021 at 1:36

2 Answers 2


First. I’ll assume you are properly refocusing after zooming from 150mm to 600mm, and not just taking the 600mm shot after zooming without refocusing. Lens infrastructure is good, but not so goo that it will maintain a perfect focus when moving all those lens elements back and forth.

I’ll assume the top pair of images are at 150mm without and with a filter of some sort, and the bottom unlabeled pair are at 600mm. That being the case, first you need to zoom in on then 150mm images using Photoshop or some other editor to determine if the two 150mm images are equally clear (get to the same crop as you show in the 600mm shot). If the filter 150mm image is “blurry” when the unfiltered image is not, then the likely suspect is the filter. What type and what quality of filter are you using?

If the two 150mm images are equally clear when pixel-peeping, and you have ruled out possible user/environmental motion, then I would suggest the likely suspect is the loss of focus integrity at the longer focal length. I’m sure you know the autofocus “mechanics” are a function of both the lens and the body/sensor, and sometimes, a given lens/sensor combo is slightly out of focus-adjustment, thus the reason for the micro-adjusting capabilities built into all removable lens digital cameras. The adjustments can easily fix a focus issue in prime lenses where the lens elements are only being moved to focus, but in a zoom lens where the lens elements are also being moved thru the barrel to change focal length, it is impossible to micro-adjust every conceivable focal length, in this case between 150mm and 600mm. So micro-adjusting at 600mm to get a pin-sharp focus will likely yield less sharpness at other focal lengths. Try micro-adjusting the focus of the camera/lens combo at 600mm and then repeat the same test and see if the 150mm images are thrown out of focus.


Loading the two 150mm shots as layers and bouncing back an forth between them:

The filtered shot is about one full stop less exposure. This would be consistent with a polarizing filter assuming you maintained the same shutter, aperture, and ISO.

The angle of the shots are very slightly shifted, but the character of the light seems more diffuse on the filtered shot, indicative of a bit more cloud cover perhaps.

The 600mm shot looks like you missed the focus on the polarized shot. The polarized shot does not appear to be a full stop less exposed, suggesting that the aperture opened up a full stop to compensate which in turn makes the focus less forgiving and reduces your depth-of-field.

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