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Sigma 60-600mm F/4.5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports Lens Review

John Riley has been putting the long reach of the Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports lens to the test, capturing sample photos and giving his opinion on its performance.

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Sigma 60-600mm F/4.5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports Lens Review: Sigma AF 60 600mm In The Field | 1/40 sec | f/8.0 | 37.0 mm | ISO 800

Sigma's new lens is designed for full-frame mirrorless cameras and is available in Sony FE and Leica/Panasonic/Sigma L mount. Aspiring wildlife and sports photographers will be keenly eyeing up this new optic, with its slightly more complex optical construction and slightly lighter weight than the DSLR version that has been on sale for some time. Lenses that stretch the capability of our cameras, at reasonably affordable price levels, such as Sigma's 50-500mm and 150-500mm options, have long been seen as a first choice for many, but now the range has been stretched a little further. Let's see how the new lens handles and performs, using the 42MP Sony A7R III mirrorless body.


Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports Handling and Features

Sigma 60-600mm F/4.5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports Lens Review: Sigma AF 60 600mm With Hood On Sony A7RIII | 0.3 sec | f/16.0 | 36.0 mm | ISO 100


The lens is big, and despite being slightly lighter than the DSLR version, is still heavy, weighing in at a hefty 2485g for this Sony FE version and 2495g for the L mount version. This is almost the weight of two and a half bags of sugar, which puts exactly how heavy it is into perspective. It is also a large lens, measuring 119.4mm in diameter and 281.2mm (Sony FE) or 279.2mm (L Mount) long. At first, this seems quite unwieldy, but with practice in handling it turns out that it is quite evenly balanced. For such a large lens this is about as good as it gets. As always with large lenses, we need to remember that we handle the lens and not the camera, to avoid ripping the lens mount out.

There are two provided lens caps, the 105mm diameter clip-in plastic cap for the front of the lens and the large nylon flexible sleeve for the lens hood. The lens hood is a massive round plastic hood that is simply pushed into place and retained by a single screw knob that is secure. The filter thread is a conventional 105mm.

First up is the wide rubberised zoom ring, which affords an excellent grip and is clearly marked at 60mm, 80mm, 100mm, 120mm, 150mm, 200mm, 250mm, 300mm, 400mm and 600mm. The settings are accurate. The zoom is achieved by either turning the ring or alternatively holding the front of the lens and using a trombone-style push/pull action. Just behind the zoom ring are the AFL buttons (they stop the AF when focusing) and the zoom lock, which locks the ring at 60mm or any of the other marked focal lengths.


Sigma 60-600mm F/4.5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports Lens Review: Sigma AF 60 600mm On Sony A7RIII At 600mm | 1/4 sec | f/16.0 | 40.0 mm | ISO 100

Moving onwards, towards the camera body, we find the reasonably sized focusing ring, electronic in operation and light and smooth in action. There is an AF/MF switch further back on the lens, but the camera designates the AF functions and all the usual Sony options are supported, including DMF where manual focus tweaks can be applied during AF operation. Focusing is down to 45-260cm (17.8-102.4 inches) depending on the zoom setting, with a maximum magnification of 1:2.4 achieved at 200mm. This is almost half-life size, which is fantastically close for such a long lens. The focusing mechanism is internal, so the lens does not change length. AF is fast and accurate as well as being virtually silent, thanks to the High Response Linear Activator used.

Optical construction is 27 elements in 19 groups, including 2 FLD (Fluorite-like low dispersion) and 3 SLD (Super Low Dispersion). The diaphragm has 9 blades and offers a rounded aperture to aid with super smooth bokeh. The Super Multi-Layer Coating helps to reduce flare, essential with such a large element count, and a Fluorine coating on the front element helps to repel dust, grease and moisture. The whole lens is dust and splash resistant, a very welcome feature considering the obvious outdoor applications.

The tripod mount collar has a locking knob that enables portrait or landscape orientation whilst mounted on a tripod, a very convenient feature. There is also a very solid attachment for the neck strap. The tripod foot itself is Arca Swiss compatible, with also a standard 1/4” thread provided for use with perhaps a monopod. The foot can be removed and Allen keys are provided to undo the retaining screws. Equally well, from time to time checking that the screws are secure might also be a good idea.


Sigma 60-600mm F/4.5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports Lens Review: Sigma AF 60 600mm On Sony A7RIII At 60mm | 1/4 sec | f/16.0 | 36.0 mm | ISO 100

There are a number of switches around the lens barrel. The usual AF/MF switch is self-explanatory. The focus limiter switch has options of full range, 6m to infinity and 6m or less. The Optical Stabilisation switch has settings of Off, 1 and 2. Sigma suggests that it is switched off when using a tripod and when using B, for long exposures. Position 1 is for normal shooting and position 2 for use when panning. However, it takes around 1 second for the image to stabilise, so by then the bird will have flown, so for fast-moving subjects and action shots where high shutter speeds are likely anyway (to stop movement of the subject) I would turn the OS system off. For stationary subjects, to avoid camera shake, the system is fantastic and is absolutely up to the claims for 7 stops advantage at wide angles and 6 stops at telephoto settings.

The appearance of the live view image when using OS can be adjusted using the USB dock, currently only available for L mount. This will give the choice of off (a standard live view image), C1 (Dynamic View a stable image) and C2 (Moderate view that differentiates between camera shake and composition adjustment). Sigma Optimisation Pro will be needed as well as the USB dock, the download being found at

Should 600mm not be enough, then the lens is compatible with Sigma's 1.4x and 2x teleconverters. TC-1411 offers 84-840mm f/6.3-9 and TC-2011 offers 120-1200mm f/9-12.6.


Sigma 60-600mm F/4.5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports Lens Review: Sigma AF 60 600mm Rear Oblique View | 0.4 sec | f/16.0 | 48.0 mm | ISO 100

As a final note, looking at the Safety Precautions section of the instruction manual, this advises that the lens contains a magnet and should be kept at least 5cm or 2 inches away from sensitive equipment that could be affected, such as pacemakers and the magnetic strips on credit cards. Armed with a conventional hand-held compass a quick experiment shows that indeed the lens has a measurable magnetic field at close distances. A check of all the other lenses on hand at the time, especially long ones, shows that none of these had any magnetic properties. Interesting, but I wonder how many people will actually read that and how that information will be conveyed to a subsequent purchaser when the lens is second-hand sometime in the future? However, to put this in perspective, my pocket LED torch has a magnetic base that is far more powerful than this lens and not a warning in sight.

And so to the well-made, smoothly fitting and solid brass mount, which should be clearly up to the job of holding securely this heavy lens. But, heavy though it might be, in the field it is pretty fantastic to use, and the way that stabilised image locks on solidly is nothing short of amazing. All we need to add to that is a sparkling performance and stunning sharpness, so let's see if that is what we get.


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Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports SEARCH

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