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Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG DN OS Sport Lens Review

John Riley has been putting the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG DN OS Sport superzoom lens to the test which opens up longer shooting opportunities for mirrorless camera users.

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Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG DN OS Sport Lens Review: Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports


A redesign of Sigma's 150-600mm Sports zoom lens, specifically for L Mount and Sony FE mount cameras brings this massive optic to the mirrorless world. Inevitably, it is big and it is heavy, but perhaps not as heavy as we might have expected, being some 760g lighter than the DSLR version. That 600mm reach is an enticing prospect for sports and wildlife, so let's explore the possibilities using the full-frame 42MP Sony A7R III camera body.


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Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports Handling and Features

Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG DN OS Sport Lens Review: Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports

Inevitably the lens is big and heavy, weighing in at a substantial 2100g. However, as mentioned above, this is some 760g lighter than the equivalent lens for DSLR. The dust and splash resistant body is solidly constructed, using Aluminium and thermally stable composite (TSC). The composite material has the same thermal expansion properties as the aluminium. Starting our lens tour at the front, there is a large round lens hood provided that is placed into position and then secured using a knurled screw. This is simple and secure. A large soft lens cap encloses the hood and is secured by velcro. There is a standard 95mm filter thread and a standard lens cap is also included.

The zoom ring is wide and well ribbed and offers a very secure grip, but in addition, the front of the lens can be grasped and the lens zoomed using a push-pull action. Given the size and weight of the lens, the push-pull method of zooming can be very convenient. There is an adjustment available via a small switch, enabling the zoom to be locked at the L setting, and the tension of the zooming action to be modified to T (tight) or S (smooth). The S setting is probably the most useful in general shooting. There are also two press buttons that lock the AF action whilst held. Some camera bodies allow these buttons to be customised to other functions.

Next up is the manual focusing ring, which is electronic and totally smooth in action. Minimum focusing varies according to zoom position, 58cm (22.8 inches) at 150mm and 280cm (110.2 inches) at 600mm. The maximum magnification is 1:2.9 which is usefully close. The AF is driven by a stepping motor and there is a high precision magnetic sensor that detects the AF position for potentially greater accuracy. The AF is certainly very snappy and focusing on wildlife is not a problem. The only limitation is the one-second delay if OS (Optical Stabilisation) is switched on.


Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG DN OS Sport Lens Review: Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports

The tripod collar is equipped with an Arca Swiss compatible foot as well as the standard 1/4” screw socket. The collar allows the lens to be rotated whilst on a tripod so that vertical or horizontal shots can easily be made. Various hex keys are provided to ensure that all screws on the tripod mount are tight, thus avoiding the prospect of a large, heavy lens plunging earthwards. I have seen it happen and it isn't pretty.

There are a series of switches around the lens barrel. AF/MF is self-explanatory. There is also a focus limiter, with a choice of full range, 10m to infinity or up to to 10m settings. The OS switch controls Optical Stabilisation, with the choices being off (for example, when used on a tripod), 1 (general purpose) and 2 (panning). Sigma claims 4 stops advantage using the OS system, and when tested that was found to be exactly right.

Finally, a Custom switch gives the choice of off or one of two custom positions. Using Sigma Dock UD-11 enables various custom settings to be made, but it is only applicable to L mount versions of the lens. There is no dock available for Sony E mount.

Optical construction is 25 elements in 15 groups, including 4 FLD (Fluorite-type Low Dispersion) and 2 SLD (Super Low Dispersion). The front element is oil repellant and if we look into the front of the lens we can clearly see the rounded 9 bladed diaphragm. Focusing is internal, so the length does not vary. The lens does extend when zooming.


Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG DN OS Sport Lens Review: Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports

The lens is heavy, but not a heavy as the DSLR version and using a sling to carry it certainly makes it less of a burden. AF is lovely, fast, quiet and precise, and locks on virtually instantaneously. If the OS system is used, there is a delay of around 1 second whilst that system locks on and although it does not preclude wildlife photography it may be appropriate to switch it off when a very fast reaction time is needed. The push-pull zooming option also speeds up composition in the field.

It is of course possible to use the lens on an APS-C format camera, which would result in a “35mm-equivalent” focal length of 225-900mm, although the size of the lens compared to the diminutive camera body would be rather out of proportion. The lens is also compatible with the Sigma TC-1411 (1.4x) and TC-2011 (2x) teleconverters.

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