Sigma 150 600 Contemporary Vs Sport

By | 15/10/2022






Summary

Highly Recommended awardSigma’due south 150-600mm Sport is a highly desirable lens for sport and wild fauna photographers who demand a super-telephoto reach without the stratospheric toll of large primes, or even the highest-cease zooms from Canon and Nikon. The build quality is excellent: it’s heavy, merely reassuringly built with full weather condition sealing. The AF, when coupled with a decent DSLR, is fast, confident and very usable for sports. And the optical quality in my tests proved to exist very respectable across the entire range. There may exist vignetting and show of coloured fringing, but both are easily corrected in RAW conversions, and importantly the lens delivers where it should with fine, well-resolved details right into the corners of full-frame images. Compare closely with Tamron’southward 150-600mm and Sigma’s own cheaper Contemporary version.

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Sigma 150-600mm Sport review

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Intro

The Sigma 150-600mm f5-6.3 DG Os HSM Sport is a super-telephoto zoom lens, bachelor in Catechism, Nikon and Sigma mounts, and corrected for total-frame use. Appear in September 2014, it replaces the earlier 150-500mm f5-6.3, extending its reach while as well offering higher performance and tougher build. Information technology also now allows Sigma to compete on range with the existing Tamron 150-600mm f5-6.3.

Interestingly, Sigma is replacing the 150-500mm with not ane, but two new lenses. Both share the same 150-600mm f5-half-dozen.three specification, but have different levels of quality, construction and sealing. The higher-end Sport version reviewed here is fully weather condition-sealed, while the more affordable Contemporary version, even so to be released, employs a simpler optical structure and sealing at the mount to hit a lower price point. While the full specification and cost of the Contemporary model were not known at the time of writing, the dual-offering remains a cunning approach by Sigma, allowing the cheaper version to compete with Tamron and the pricier i to go up against premium options from Catechism and Nikon. Sigma appends the model names with an S for Sport or a C for Contemporary, so officially speaking I’1000 reviewing the 150-600mm f5-6.iii DG Os HSM | S.

Like the 150-500mm before it, the 150-600mm range is platonic for wildlife and sports photography, tight sunsets, or even distant street work. Despite Sigma’due south previous success with this range it’s also one that’south not been covered by Canon and Nikon, making information technology unique to third parties. And while the Sport version is a premium lens, Sigma’s still managed to price it a little beneath the most recent Canon 100-400mm and Nikkor fourscore-400mm options, missing out on their slightly wider coverage, but crucially reaching 50% longer. Read on to find out if this is the best super-telephoto zoom for your DSLR or mirrorless camera!

Sigma 150-600mm Sport featured_2

Sigma 150-600mm Sport pattern and build quality

The 150-600mm Sport is a reassuringly substantial lens, built to a loftier standard and exuding as much conviction as comparable zooms from Catechism and Nikon. In your hands it’s a completely different class to the before 150-500mm which feels mid-range in comparison. But the college build and optical quality is likewise reflected in the weight which, at 2860g, is around 50% heavier than its 1910g predecessor. Indeed information technology’southward comfortably heavier than whatever of its rivals: Tamron’due south 150-600mm f5-half dozen.3 weighs 1951g, while the 100-400mm and fourscore-400mm from Canon and Nikon are roughly half the weight at 1640g and 1570g respectively. The weight of Sigma’s contemporary version wasn’t known at the fourth dimension of writing, simply I’d wait information technology to be similar to the Tamron at about 2kg.

To be fair, the weight of the Sigma 150-600mm Sport includes the appropriately substantial tripod foot – and included information technology should be too since you can’t take it off. It’s a physically large lens as well, measuring 121mm in bore by 290mm in length. Compare that to the Gimmicky version and Tamron’s 150-600mm at 105x260mm, and Sigma’southward earlier 150-500mm at 95x252mm, or Catechism’south 100-400mm at 94x193mm.

Information technology should be clear at this signal that the 150-600mm Sport is bigger and heavier than most culling propositions. That said, it’due south not impractical – I squeezed it into my F-Stop Loka pack with some other gear and fifty-fifty managed to do some handheld street, bird and sunset shooting with it. But it’s not a lens you’ll want to handhold for long, and neither is it one that yous’ll forget near carrying around. If y’all’re upgrading from the earlier 150-500mm you’ll really detect the divergence, specially if yous’re hiking to shoot wildlife.

Speaking of transportation, the 150-600mm Sport is supplied with a defended padded carrying case which I generally slipped into my Loka backpack. Information technology also comes with a substantial (at that place’south that word again) lens hood that adds nigh 90mm to the length and can be reversed over the barrel for transportation, along with a padded soft cap that clamps round the hood with a Velcro flap. If you’d like to mount filters you lot’ll need to dig deep for models that’ll screw into the 105mm thread; at that place’south no rear-mounted drop-in pick.

Towards the finish of the butt, a chunky band operates the zoom. It turns smoothly, and while in that location’s understandably more resistance with the lens pointing upwards, it’southward always easy to operate. Zooming the lens extends the barrel by upwardly to 90mm. With the lens zoomed to 600mm and the hood attached, the unabridged lens grows to 480mm in length, or just shy of 19 inches, and then if you’re using information technology effectually town, you lot’re guaranteed some attention. I’ve pictured it beneath at 150mm and 600mm, with the lens hood mounted on both to show you lot how it looks in its largest configuration.

The 150-600mm Sport also lets y’all adapt the zoom with a push-pull motility and the barrel includes a nice indented section beyond the zoom ring which provides a comfortable expanse for your thumb and index finger. I wasn’t a fan of the push-pull mechanism of Canon’southward original 100-400mm zoom, and then approached the 150-600mm Sport with some trepidation, but in use it felt better to me: a smooth, natural action that could exist adapted apace in the field if necessary. Whether it’ll suck-in dust or other particles over time remains to be seen. Sigma quotes total dust and wet sealing for the Sport version and so I would hope and so, but we won’t really know until models take been in use for a while in challenging atmospheric condition.

You’ll discover the zoom ring besides has popular focal lengths marked on it: 150, 180, 200, 250, 300, 400, 500 and 600mm. A switch alongside the zoom ring lets y’all lock the barrel at any ane of these marked focal lengths, preventing any creep; annotation the lock only works for the marked focal lengths, not in-between values. This is an incredibly useful feature as most lenses only offering a lock to hold the lens at its shortest configuration for transport. Now with the 150-600mm Sport you lot can confidently lock the barrel at any of the marked focal lengths every bit you swing it around to follow the action or point it straight up for, say, a Moon shot. The lock also disengages if the zoom ring is twisted hard or the barrel receives a knock, protecting the mechanism.

Further down the barrel you’ll find an equally chunky transmission focusing ring which again moves very smoothly with no catching. Behind this is a small window indicating the focusing distance scale.

Backside the focusing distance window you’ll detect the collar for the tripod foot which as I noted earlier is not removeable. The neckband features a locking nut which when loosened allows the lens to freely rotate inside. While many tripod collars just grip the barrel and rattle around when loosened, the one here turns near as smoothly as many focusing rings and features four ‘stops’ at xc caste intervals, assuasive you to quickly and easily switch between portrait and landscape orientations when mounted on a tripod. The collar is also where y’all’ll discover lugs for the supplied strap. So while the neckband tin can’t be removed to salve a piffling weight, its captive nature has allowed Sigma to implement a very swish turning mechanism. Plus you tin can of course behave the lens by the foot.

On the side of the butt, between the tripod collar and focusing ring, you’ll also notice four switches. From pinnacle to bottom these set the focusing mode, focusing range, Optical Stabilisation mode and Custom settings. Starting at the meridian, the AF way switch lets yous choose between AF, MF and MO which offers manual override during continuous AF operation. The focusing range switch offers autofocus at a option of three ranges: full, 10m to infinity and two.6 to 10m, the latter great for portrait or street photography. The Bone switch can be ready to ane for normal use, 2 for panning, or Off. Finally, the Custom switch works with Sigma’s optional USB dock to configure diverse aspects of the lens, including focusing speed and range. You tin then shop these as two custom presets or go for the default configuration. The ability to customize a lens using the dock and software on your calculator is a groovy innovation by Sigma that’s not beingness offered elsewhere. I wonder if information technology could be extended to back up customization using a smartphone or tablet in the future.

Finally it’southward also worth mentioning the mount, not just for its ability to dock with the optional USB unit, just also considering Sigma offers a (paid) service to switch the mount should yous change camera systems in the future. This is a wonderful style to protect your investment in lenses.

Sigma 150-600mm Sport optical construction

The 150-600mm Sport offers a super-telephoto range that’due south currently unique to third parties. Tamron was commencement to offer this range, simply you won’t discover it in the catalogues of Canon or Nikon. Information technology’south ideally-suited to wildlife and sports photography, merely can also prove effective for distant street employ, although the physical size of the lens prevents information technology from existence a unimposing option. If you’re into shooting sunsets, the range is also useful for delivering a decent-sized solar disc, especially if mounted on a cropped body. You can see an case of the four times range below.

Sigma 150-600mm coverage at 150mm on full-frame

Sigma 150-600mm coverage at 600mm on full-frame

150mm 600mm

Anyone who owned the before 150-500mm will welcome the extra reach of the new model, regardless of what they shoot. It too gives the lens a greater differentiator from the Catechism 100-400mm and Nikkor fourscore-400mm. While each of these of course offers wider coverage at the short cease, the new Sigma can zoom 50% longer and for its target employ, length is everything. Pop it on an APSC body and the range becomes equivalent to 240-960mm on a Canon or 225-900mm on everything else.

The focal ratio of f5-6.3 is the same every bit the 150-500mm before information technology, meaning you lot enjoy the extra reach of 600mm without compromising the effulgence. This in turn though means a larger, heavier and more expensive lens, and it should still be noted f5-6.3 is still inappreciably vivid. Indeed yous’ll find yourself shooting at relatively high ISOs to achieve shutter speeds that are fast plenty to either avoid motion, or if you lot’re handholding, camera shake. Even if yous’re using a tripod y’all’ll need to be quite aware of your surrounding conditions and what your system – not to mention technique – is capable of holding steady. On a still dark with my Manfrotto 055 series tripod, I just nigh got away with a one second exposure at 600mm, but y’all should still be very aware of what is and is not possible. Of course this isn’t a criticism of the Sigma lens, merely a reminder of the limitations of shooting with a 600mm at f6.3.

one sec, f/8, 400 ISO, 150-600mm at 600mm

Sigma 150-600mm Sport sample image with Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Click image to access original at Flickr

In terms of depth of field, an f5-6.3 lens isn’t going to deliver massive separation betwixt subject and background even at the longer focal lengths. Indeed to completely obliterate the groundwork through a shallow depth of field, you’ll need to zoom to 600mm, open up the aperture to f6.three and endeavor and get equally close to your subject every bit you tin can. The lens can actually focus quite shut, down to 2.6m, and from this distance you’ll go a one:5 reproduction. Here’s a handheld shot I took of a seagull at 600mm f6.3 and pretty much at the minimum focusing distance.

one/640, f/half dozen.iii, 800 ISO, 150-600mm at 600mm

Sigma 150-600mm Sport sample image with Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Click prototype to access original at Flickr

At this distance you’re just capturing an surface area a few inches across which Of course isn’t suitable for portraits. So if you move further back to fit in a person or two, your depth of field will correspondingly reduce. Thankfully the bokeh isn’t as busy as many lenses of similar specification, but equally information technology’s not going to deliver creamy results unless y’all’re very close to the subject area. This lens is about getting close to distant subjects with good quality at a reasonable price. If you want portraits with a shallow creamy depth of field, you’ll need something with a much brighter focal ratio.

ane/640, f/6.3, 800 ISO, 150-600mm at 600mm

Sigma 150-600mm Sport sample image with Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Click prototype to access original at Flickr

In case you were wondering why Sigma chose f6.three, it’south to maintain AF compatibility (with modern DSLRs) when using a 1.4x teleconverter. Mount a 1.4x converter and the lens becomes 840mm f8 at the long end, and f8 is the limit of the all-time DSLR AF systems around right now. Note that many DSLRs may non support AF at f8, and even those that do may impose restrictions like but offer it on a handful of AF points. So if you’re thinking of using the 150-600mm Sport with a i.4x converter and desire AF, then check your camera’due south specifications. Obviously with a 2x converter, it’s transmission focus only.

Inside the 150-600mm Sport employs 24 elements in xvi groups, with ii FLD and iii SLD elements; Sigma describes the F Depression Dispersion elements as sharing the same performance as Flourite. The front and rear elements characteristic water and oil-repellent coatings.

The Optical Stabilisation, OS, system offers two modes: Mode 1 compensates both axes, while Mode 2 is for utilize with panning, simply compensating 1 axis, but detecting whether yous’re shooting in the mural or portrait orientation. To put it to the exam I shot a sequence at 600mm with progressively slower shutter speeds starting at 1/640 to see how slowly I could handhold with and without stabilization.

Sigma 150-600mm Sport Optical Stabilisation at 600mm on FF body at 1/40: off / on

OS disabled. 600mm Os enabled. 600mm

On the conditions of the twenty-four hours I needed a shutter speed of i/320 to handhold a sharp upshot at 600mm using a total-frame body. Switching stabilization on immune me to capture roughly the same upshot at 1/fourscore, or if I was lucky, 1/twoscore, respective to ii to three stops of bounty, or three to four over conventional wisdom. I’ve pictured 100% crops from the 1/forty versions with and without stabilization above; the 1/80 stabilised result is 100% abrupt, simply I wanted to bear witness what’s possible at the slower shutter.

Similar many large lenses, I too establish the OS arrangement on the 150-600mm Sport took a couple of seconds to warm up, delivering amend stabilization than when you first half-pressed the shutter release. And so if you’re handholding under tough conditions, attempt and keep the shutter release half-pressed for a couple of seconds before firing. I allowed the system to ability-upwardly earlier taking my test shots here.

Sigma 150-600mm Sport focusing

The 150-600mm Sport is fitted with i of Sigma’s HSM focusing motors which promises quick and quiet results. To test the lens I mounted it on a Canon EOS 5D Mark Iii body – I chose the 5D Mark 3 as information technology has a sophisticated AF system that is perfectly at home with action subjects, and it’southward too of course a total-frame body, thereby testing the optical capabilities of the lens.

Under daytime weather condition, fifty-fifty with a dull Wintertime sky, the combination focused apace and confidently. Refocusing between subjects a few meters autonomously was by and large instant and the only time y’all’d really find the lens taking longer was when refocusing from far to very close or back once more. Even when focusing through the full range of 2.6m to infinity or dorsum once more you’d merely be looking at about ane second.

As mentioned earlier, you tin can limit the car focusing range to ii.6m to 10m, or 10m to infinity, and when set to either of these modes the lens would refocus almost instantly. I was particularly impressed when raising the photographic camera to my eye to take spontaneous handheld shots, as the camera and lens would by and large lock on immediately.

It’southward fair to say many photographers will want to utilize the lens for sports and wildlife, so I tested the 150-600mm Sport with a variety of moving subjects from birds to jetskis to people running and cycling. I generally used the EOS 5D Mark 3 fix to its full general Continuous AF profile and the zoned AF surface area, and in each situation the combination returned a loftier hit charge per unit. Here’south a shot of a jetski moving chop-chop across the frame.

1/2500, f/6.3, 800 ISO, 150-600mm at 600mm

Sigma 150-600mm Sport sample image with Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Click epitome to access original at Flickr

Over again I was impressed how quickly the camera and lens would lock-onto a subject even in movement so runway it as it moved closer or further abroad. Even jetskis or birds approaching confront-on at speed were tracked successfully. I realize this capability is as much down to the trunk every bit information technology is to the lens, only I was delighted to detect the 150-600mm could exist driven very successfully by the 5D Mark Three for action. I’d be confident using it, at least in the situations described.

ane/3200, f/half-dozen.iii, 800 ISO, 150-600mm at 569mm

Sigma 150-600mm Sport sample image with Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Click image to access original at Flickr

The only time the lens slowed down or struggled was with subjects with very depression dissimilarity in low lite, and to be off-white at that place’s few cameras and lenses which handle these confidently.

Sigma 150-600mm Sport Epitome quality

For the balance of this page I’d like to pick out a selection of images I shot with the lens on a full-frame Canon EOS 5D Marking Three to illustrate its flexibility and likewise option-upwards on other aspects of its performance. All shots are JPEGs straight out of the cameras with no modification – you can download any of via Flickr by clicking the desired image. On the results page y’all’ll see processed RAW files.

1/250, f/10, 800 ISO, 150-600mm at 300mm

Sigma 150-600mm Sport sample image with Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Click image to access original at Flickr
Sony FE 70-200mm f4G OSS sample image with A6000 at 70mm f8
Above, 100% crop from original image

Big telephoto zooms are platonic for capturing the fading Sun at dusk or sunrise, reproducing the disc at a decent size. For this shot of the Sun setting behind the remains of Brighton’s Due west Pier, I actually had the Sigma zoomed to half its maximum at 300mm in order to capture more of the pier’s structure and give the paradigm context. Even though the pier was nevertheless quite distant, you have to be very aware of the depth of field at very long focal lengths as it’s rarely possible to have both the foreground and the Sun in focus at the same time even with minor apertures. So the all-time approach is to focus on the foreground as I’ve done here.

0.3 secs, f/8, 400 ISO, 150-600mm at 600mm

Sigma 150-600mm Sport sample image with Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Click epitome to access original at Flickr
Sony FE 70-200mm f4G OSS sample image with A6000 at 70mm f8
Above, 100% crop from original paradigm

While framing-upwardly the Sunset at the West Pier, I enjoyed the detail with the lens fully zoomed-into its maximum 600mm focal length. At this kind of power, the metal skeleton is revealed to exist home to endless birds. The light levels were adequately depression at this point following Sunset, forcing a longish exposure of 0.3 seconds at f8 and 400 ISO. Luckily my tripod was sufficiently steady, simply you should always exist aware of possible vibrations.

1/800, f/8, 800 ISO, 150-600mm at 534mm

Sigma 150-600mm Sport sample image with Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Click image to access original at Flickr
Sony FE 70-200mm f4G OSS sample image with A6000 at 70mm f8
Above, 100% crop from original image

Staying with the birds by the Pier, the lens is perfect for capturing big flocks mustering. I snapped this with the lens at 534mm, close to the maximum focal length. I wanted to expose for the heaven, so had no problems achieving a prissy fast shutter to freeze the action. There’s a little coloured fringing here, simply it’southward hands removed when processing RAW files.

0.5 secs, f/viii, 800 ISO, 150-600mm at 600mm

Sigma 150-600mm Sport sample image with Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Click paradigm to access original at Flickr
Sony FE 70-200mm f4G OSS sample image with A6000 at 70mm f8
In a higher place, 100% crop from original epitome

Super telephotos aren’t what you lot’d ordinarily associate with urban and architectural photography, only their tight fields can oft deliver attractive compositions and details that are missed on wider views. I was stood beyond the road from the famous Brighton K hotel, shooting out towards the piers, when it occurred to me I also ought to effort it on the building. At 600mm the hotel’s illuminated sign filled the frame nicely, so I took the shot. The Catechism 5D Marking III was set to 800 ISO and the lens to f8, which under the weather resulted in an exposure of half a 2nd. This was of form taken from a tripod.

ane/threescore, f/5, 6400 ISO, 150-600mm at 150mm

Sigma 150-600mm Sport sample image with Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Click image to access original at Flickr

1/25, f/half-dozen.3, 6400 ISO, 150-600mm at 600mm

Sigma 150-600mm Sport sample image with Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Click epitome to access original at Flickr

Behold, the biggest bokeh balls in the Galaxy! Well I don’t know if that’s strictly true but they’re certainly pretty hefty. Above are 2 photos taken at 150m and 600mm from the closest focusing distance of a about two and a one-half meters, and at the respective maximum apertures. The bokeh balls are out-of-focus Christmas lights in the next street, then a altitude of about 50m. Sorry the foreground isn’t particularly inspiring – a mail in the street – but I was express in what was at the right meridian and distance to capture the lights this way. Anyway, technically speaking, the lens is obviously rendering specular highlights towards the edges and corners as the cat’s eye shape, simply with a clean, solid interior with no evidence of onion-rings. I’d say it’s quite well-behaved.

1/640, f/6.3, 800 ISO, 150-600mm at 600mm

Sigma 150-600mm Sport sample image with Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Click image to access original at Flickr
Sony FE 70-200mm f4G OSS sample image with A6000 at 70mm f8
To a higher place, 100% crop from original epitome

Here’due south another case of what you tin can capture with the lens fully zoomed to 600mm at its closest focusing distance. I shot this handheld in my favourite cafe from a altitude of about two and a half meters. It’s not exactly a applied macro lens, just it tin can deliver some interesting effects at close range.

1/640, f/eight, 200 ISO, 150-600mm at 150mm

Sigma 150-600mm Sport sample image with Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Click image to access original at Flickr
Sony FE 70-200mm f4G OSS sample image with A6000 at 70mm f8
Above, 100% crop from original prototype

The Sigma 150-600mm is sufficiently sharp and well-corrected to deliver urban views that are packed with detail. I took this at the shortest focal length of 150mm, although have a similar shot at 300mm on my samples page. The only thing to exist aware of when shooting scenes like these is the depth of field, which at very long focal lengths is very shallow. If the scene includes elements that are some altitude apart, depth-wise, so there’s a skillful take chances they won’t all be sharp. At 150-300mm it’due south reasonably forgiving, just at 600mm, you’ll weant to brand certain the subjects are in a similar plane of focus.

1/250, f/viii, 800 ISO, 150-600mm at 512mm

Sigma 150-600mm Sport sample image with Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Click paradigm to access original at Flickr
Sony FE 70-200mm f4G OSS sample image with A6000 at 70mm f8
To a higher place, 100% crop from original image

I’m coming close to the end of this folio and so thought some other shot of the setting Dominicus seemed advisable. You’ve seen my before image of Brighton’s West Pier, so you tin can see this one in greater context despite it simply including a small portion of the structure. This image shows the size of the solar disc when photographed at the maximum 600mm on a full-frame trunk.

Using Olympus OMD EM1: ane/200, f/6.3, 200 ISO, 150-600mm at 600mm (1200mm equiv)

Sigma 150-600mm Sport sample image with Olympus OMD EM1
Click prototype to admission original at Flickr
Sony FE 70-200mm f4G OSS sample image with A6000 at 70mm f8
Above, 100% crop from original prototype

So far all of my sample photos were taken with a total-frame body, the EOS 5D Mark III, merely of course the lens is perfectly happy mounted onto a photographic camera with a smaller sensor. I tried information technology here mounted on an Olympus OMD EM1 using a bones adapter with no exposure or AF control, rendering the lens into a 300-1200mm manual focus monster. Information technology’s hard to manually focus at 1200mm equivalent, but magnified aid and focus peaking on the EM1 allowed me to take hold of this fairly precipitous shot of the Moon.

Now yous tin can cheque out a more detailed look at the sharpness at different apertures in my Sigma 150-600mm quality section, browse these and more samples in my Sigma 150-600mm sample images folio, or skip straight to my verdict!


Source: https://www.cameralabs.com/sigma_150-600mm_f5-6-3_dg_os_hsm_sport/