The FANTASTIC Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens


I’ve just returned from a month in the Arctic {more about that later – and yes, it was sensational.}

I added a couple of new lenses to my kit before going away, one of them being the sensational Sigma 150-600mm F/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens.

I hired the previous model of this lens when I visited the Antarctic a couple of years back and overall wasn’t very happy with the sharpness of the lens. Everything on the latest model – Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens – has improved significantly, especially the image sharpness. I am ecstatic with the results 🙂

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Here’s the rundown:

Overall build and cost

The build of the lens is SUPER SOLID and is very well designed. It retails for around $2245 AUD and at this price, it makes a very welcome addition to your kit.

The 150 to 600mm sports lens is heavier than most of the opposition. Weighing in at 2.860kg, this is not a lens that you want to hand hold for long periods of time. I used a monopod whilst we were on the land. In the zodiacs, I either stood up or sat and used my elbow and the side of the zodiac to take the weight of the lens.

The lens features dust and splash proof construction and a water & oil repellent coating on the front and rear glass elements of the lens.

The lens is packed in a very substantial padded carrying case and features a VERY SOLID LENS HOOD which offers great protection to the front of the lens {especially with rain, splash and general knocks etc.} and can be reversed over the barrel for transportation. The overall length of the lens {with the hood reversed} is 121.9 x 289.6mm. This lens fitted easily into my Lowepro Pro Runner RL x450 AW rolling camera bag.

With the lens zoomed to 600mm and the hood attached, the entire lens grows to 480mm in length {be prepared for lens envy.}

The filter size is 105mm {not many suppliers will stock this size.} I had to really hunt around to source the UV filter for this lens.

This lens is available in a Canon, Nikon and Sigma mount.

The only annoying aspect of this lens was for some reason Sigma didn’t supply a lens cap? I purchased one direct from Sigma for $20AUD.

Focal Length

At 150mm to 600mm, this lens suits wildlife, distant landscapes, street scenes, sports photography and more. I could capture a complete iceberg at 150mm {as they were a fair distance away.} However, I used the lens at 600mm for most of the trip to photograph wildlife and closeups of icebergs and mountains.

Aperture range

F5-6.3 to F22. This lens has a ‘variable max aperture’ which means that wide open aperture exposure settings will change as the lens is zoomed from 150mm to longer focal lengths.

Image sharpness

Using the lens at 600mm required faster shutter speeds to deliver sharp hand held results. At times I used a monopod, but most shots were taken in a moving zodiac, standing up, with the lens at full 600mm zoom.

The lens has ‘image stabilization’ but I did find I had to increase the ISO to obtain a fast shutter speed to freeze the action. The results were fantastic. 9 out of 10 shots were ABSOLUTELY TACK SHARP.

Take a look at these shots for sharpness!!

It was easy to photograph this harbour seal at 600mm. He hardly knew I was there. F6.3 1/320 sec ISO 1250
It was easy to photograph this harbour seal at 600mm. He hardly knew I was there. F6.3 1/320 sec ISO 1250.
Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 10.48.22 am
Now for a close up of the whiskers 🙂 Super sharp huh?
Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 10.48.10 am
And the eye…again, tack sharp.
Here's an iceberg in Greenland. Taken from a moving zodiac. Focal length 600mm. F11 1/2000 sec ISO 640.
Here’s an iceberg in Greenland. Taken from a moving zodiac. Focal length 600mm. F11 1/2000 sec ISO 640.
Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 11.48.16 am
Now, lets zoom in…still sharp!
This shot was taken on a research station near Longyearbyen, Svalbard. Note where the weather station is :) F8 1/250 sec ISO 200.
This shot was taken on a research station near Longyearbyen, Svalbard. Note where the weather station is 🙂 F8 1/250 sec ISO 200.
Here's the weather station taken at 600mm on the Sigma lens. F8 1/1000 sec ISO 400.
Here’s the weather station taken at 600mm on the Sigma lens. F8 1/1000 sec ISO 400.
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This is the zoomed in shot..Super sharp!

Conclusion

If you are looking for a SUPER SHARP, AFFORDABLE telephoto lens – then this is the lens for you. Yes, it’s heavy {always use a tripod or monopod and you’ll be fine} but the IMAGE SHARPNESS is the real WINNER.

I am super impressed! Rush out and buy it now. Right now 🙂

If you have any questions about this lens, please email me at bernasconiphotography@gmail.com 🙂

 

 

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