In-depth review of Sigma 150-600mm Lens, perfect for wildlife photography and extreme zoom needs... Read more
Test of Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3 Contemporary DG OS HSM Lens for Canon
- Versatile lens with extreme focal length
- Dependable and reasonably sharp
- Can adapt to mirrorless cameras
- Customizable with Sigma’s USB Dock
- Good Value for Money
- Quality Autofocus & Image Stabilization
- Smooth out-of-focus background
- Comparatively heavier and bulkier
- Challenging to get sharp pictures handheld
- Poor lens for shooting in the dark
- Autofocus slows at 600mm
- Close focus capability could be better
- Suffers from noticeable flaring and distortion
- Vignetting in the corners
“After putting the Sigma 150 to 600mm lens through its paces, my personal verdict is this: the lens delivers a strong performance, showing incredible adaptability across various camera models and excelling particularly with diverse shooting scenarios. Whilst it’s not a daily go-to lens for everyone, it performed above my expectations even under challenging circumstances – such as shooting handheld or on a high-resolution camera. It could do better in terms of handling bright lights and closeness of focus, and it comes with a learning curve, particularly when optimizing its customization features. But for its price range, it offers good value for money, specifically for those interested in wildlife and distant photography. In the end, the Sigma 150 to 600mm lens is a well-rounded yet specialized tool, capable of delivering rewarding results with a little practice and patience.”
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|Focal Length Description||600|
|Compatible Mountings||Canon EF|
|Camera Lens Description||600 month|
My First Experience with Sigma 150 to 600mm Lens: A Detailed Review
Let me start by saying, I was initially drawn to the Sigma 150 to 600mm C Lens because of its affordable price and the numerous requests I had received to review it. Truth be told, I was also excited to explore the massive zoom range this lens offers. That being said, the question still remained – can it deliver a performance that does justice to its features?
First Impressions and Feel
The first encounter with the Sigma Lens felt like it was a fairly solid piece of kit. It was heavier than I expected, weighing around two kilograms, but then again, for a lens boasting such a wide zoom range, weight comes with the territory. Handling it took some getting used to, but after an initial short period, the lens actually felt comfortable to use.
Build and Design
The Sigma Lens is designed with a mix of metal and plastic, with the rear section and the tripod mount made of metal and the front section of plastic. Although, this did not really affect the overall durability and feel of the lens. The rubberized focus ring, despite being slightly sticky, was precise enough for easy manual focusing.
Note: Don’t expect it to deliver a professional-grade handling experience. However, it’s satisfactory in terms of build quality and functioning.
The focal range of 150 to 600mm is telephoto all the way, providing absolutely massive reach, perfect for wildlife photography, and I have to add, it has the potential to perform impressively in landscape and astrophotography as well, giving you optimum versatility.
- Autofocus: The autofocus system was quiet and faster at 150mm. However, upon zooming into 600mm, it did slow down, probably to maintain accuracy.
- Image Stabilization: Default image stabilization is actually below average, but thankfully, with the customization options, I was able to get satisfactory results after some tweaks.
- Image Quality: The lens does manage to deliver reasonably sharp pictures for an extreme focal length of 600mm. Although, it’s worth noting that with hand-held shooting, getting the sharpest shots could be more challenging.
The only major drawback I found during my interactions was the lens’s limitation to perform well in low light conditions, which is anticipated considering its maximum aperture limitations. But this can easily be overlooked considering its zoom capacity and other satisfactory features.
Overall, my first experience with the Sigma 150 to 600mm lens has been fairly positive. The lens packs a punch despite its affordable pricing, which substantiates its appeal amongst photography enthusiasts. That said, the real test of the Sigma Lens starts when I delve into deeper aspects such as image quality, zoom range, distortion, and much more in the following sections.
Buying Advice: Where I Got Mine and How Much It Costs
- Bought Sigma 150 to 600mm lens on eBay for affordability
- Understanding lens’s market value is crucial
- Lens’s performance, use, results are essential factors
When it comes to buying a lens, generally I follow a simple rule: look for the best bargain where quality meets affordability. For the Sigma 150 to 600mm lens, I chose to peruse through eBay, a marketplace known for competitive pricing and a vast range of products. After some thorough research and comparative analysis, the lens came into my possession, described as “like new”, with a price tag of £570. To sweeten the deal, the lens was bundled with a Sigma USB dock, truly making it an absolute bargain.
Regardless of the bargain I scored, understanding the lens’s market value is crucial. A bit of market research highlights that the lens is priced at approximately £800 in the UK market and roughly $900 in the US and Euro zone. This is valuable information to keep in mind, ensuring your pursuit for a good deal doesn’t push you towards scam offers that seem too good to be true.
Value for Money
With an impressive zoom range of 150 to 600mm and its adaptability onto mirrorless cameras, the Sigma 150 to 600mm lens appears to offer a great bang for your buck. Yet, as with any purchase decision, it’s essential to look beyond the surface features. Its performance, ease of use, and the end results it produces are integral factors.
Spending Wisely: Is It Worth the Investment?
While this review will soon delve deeper into the lens’s performance, it’s worth noting that, from my experience, the Sigma 150 to 600mm lens has thus far proven to be a worthy investment for capturing images with absolutely massive reach, given its ideal use for wildlife photography and landscape artistry. Remember, obtaining a lens should not be about getting it at the cheapest price, but acquiring one that justifies the cost. From an initial standpoint, this lens appears to do just that.
Details of the Sigma 150 to 600mm Lens: Breaking it Down
- Sigma 150 to 600mm lens has impressive build
- Rubberized end might disrupt smooth zooming experience
- Lens customization possible with Sigma’s separately sold USB Dock
So, let’s get up close and personal with this Sigma 150 to 600mm lens. I’ll walk us through all the finer details it packs, from build to optics. Ready? Let’s dive in.
Build Quality: Getting Acquainted with the Contemporary Version
The first thing you’d probably notice about this Sigma lens is its impressive build. The rear section and the tripod mount are made of metal, and the front section is made of plastic. It weighs around 2 kilograms: Manageable, but your arms might feel it after a few hours of shooting. I wouldn’t call it the smoothest, but the rubberized focus ring does the job, offering reasonable precision. However, the lack of hard stops could be a downside for some photographers.
The major downside, as I found during testing, comes from the rubberized end of the lens. While it makes for a handy zoom apparatus, occasional stickiness in the mechanism disrupts the smooth experience. Other than that, the rubberized end and edge seem well-suited to mitigate damage from accidental bumps or knocks.
Lens Customization: A Step-By-Step Tutorial Using Sigma’s USB Dock
Moving on to the real gem: the lens customization. Sigma’s USB Dock shows its true potential here. Note : the dock is sold separately, so plan your purchase accordingly. The initial setup includes updating the lens’s firmware, which I found out was required when I first connected the lens to the dock.
- Once updated, you can micro-adjust the autofocus system if needed. For me, thankfully, it was unnecessary with my copy of the lens.
- Interesting enough, there are two customizable modes available for tweaking. It allows you to adjust the autofocus speed and the image stabilization or OS system.
- I noticed that the autofocus speed didn’t make much of a difference. However, the touted image stabilization made a noticeable impact on the image quality.
For those curious, I set customization mode to smooth autofocus and moderate view mode stabilization. Essentially, it corrected both the vertical and horizontal axes of the image. The result? Delightful stability, even at 600 millimeter!
Remember, being critical doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate the good things. The Sigma 150 to 600mm lens definitely proves its worth in customization and flexibility. Of course, it has its quirks, but what lens doesn’t?
High-Quality Autofocus & Image Stabilization: Putting it to the Test
- Sigma’s lens has quiet, efficient autofocus
- Image stabilization improves with custom settings
- USB Dock allows customization of features
Getting straight to the task at hand, I decided to put the autofocus and image stabilization of the Sigma 150 to 600mm lens through my rigorous testing process. The following observations remain unbiased and purely based on my experience with the lens.
Autofocus: Silence and Speed
The autofocus aspect of this Sigma lens is impressively quiet. In fact, at 150mm, it was surprisingly fast and efficient. However, when I zoomed in to 600mm, I observed that the autofocus decided to take its sweet time. I rationalized that this was to maintain accuracy while granting the level of detail expected at this zoom.
The accuracy of the autofocus when shooting through my camera’s viewfinder was reasonable. Roughly 10 percent of the shots were slightly off the mark, but the success rate was better when I utilized live view mode. Adapting it onto another system with an older autofocus system saw some focus hunting, but it got the work done.
Image Stabilization: A Dedicated Effort
Given the focal length, the role of image stabilization becomes crucial. The default stabilization settings didn’t yield a significant difference. However, using one of the custom buttons to activate the dynamic or moderate view mode saw a dramatic improvement. I found the moderate view mode to be the most effective for me in both stills and video mode, providing a stable image even at the 600mm mark.
Utilizing Sigma’s USB Dock
You can customize the autofocus speed and image stabilization using Sigma’s USB Dock. While the change in autofocus speed was negligible, the image stabilization customization saw a noticeable difference. I chose to set my customization mode to smooth autofocus and moderate view mode stabilization for best results.
All in all, the autofocus and image stabilization features on the Sigma 150 to 600mm lens worked satisfactorily. The level of customization provided allows you to tweak the autofocus and image stabilization to your preferences, but remember to be patient as the lens does take its time to deliver the desired results, especially at higher zoom levels.
Unleashing the Performance: An In-depth Look at Image Quality
- Sigma 150 to 600mm lens delivers clear, sharp images
- Performance varies with different cameras and settings
- Mastering this lens may require practice
When we discuss a photography tool’s performance, especially a lens like Sigma 150 to 600mm, the topic of image quality inevitably takes the limelight. Afterall, clear and sharp images are undisputedly the main deliverable of any lens.
The Canon Test: How it Performs on Full-Frame Camera
Starting off with my old reliable, the 20-megapixel Canon 6D, the Sigma lens displayed a good performance. At 150mm with an aperture wide open at f5, I was pleased with the sharpness in the middle, although the corners were a touch softer but unquestionably not bad. Reducing the aperture to f/8 or f/11 brings the corners back to life beautifully. Cranking up the focal length to 450mm and the results remained consistent, although with a slightly softer touch on higher aperture.
The Sony Challenge: A High-Resolution Test
Pushing the Sigma lens further, I decided to test it on the 42-megapixel Sony a7r2. This led to some surprising outcomes. The lens tackled this high-resolution beast surprisingly well, particularly at 600mm, though the difficulty level is raised when trying to achieve this sharpness while shooting handheld.
Performance on APS-C Camera: A Hard Test for Image Quality
Perhaps, one of the hardest tests for image quality was with the 24-megapixel Canon EOS m3. The lens did show signs of strain. At 600mm max aperture, the images were a tad soft in the middle. However, at a reduced aperture to f/8, there was noticeable improvement in the image’s corner and middle.
The Sigma 150 to 600mm lens, admittedly, performs quite well when it comes to image quality. On lower-res full-frame cameras, the image quality is reliable and on a high-res full-frame camera, it’s quite satisfactory. However, on a high-res APS-C, it’s just short of perfect. It’s worth mentioning that mastering this lens might take a bit of practice, especially for handheld shooting.
Optical Phenomena: How the Lens Handles Distortion, Vignetting, and Flaring
- Sigma lens shows moderate pincushion distortion and vignetting
- Lens experiences adverse reactions to bright lights (flaring)
- Has consistent brightness across image field (field illumination)
As a photographer, understanding how your lens performs under different light conditions and at varying levels of zoom is crucial. Specifically, I looked at aspects such as distortion, vignetting, and field illumination during my time with the Sigma 150 to 600mm lens.
Distortion and Vignetting
Speaking from personal experience, I noticed that the Sigma lens displayed moderate pincushion distortion across its entire zoom range. This is pretty standard for lenses in this range and certainly nothing to be overly concerned about. However, it’s worth noting that if you’re shooting architectural lines, make sure to correct this in your favourite photo editing software.
On the topic of vignetting, my observations reveal similar levels of corner shading. Again, not something out of the ordinary for lenses of this kind. However, decreasing your aperture to around f/8 to f/11 does help with brightening up the corners, which is good to know.
Flaring presented a different beast altogether. I found the Sigma lens has an almost stubbornly adverse reaction to bright lights. But this isn’t a glaring issue when you’re shooting with the sun, or any light source, for that matter, behind your back. Now, if you are daring enough to shoot with the bright light entering the frame, be prepared to handle an impressive amount of flares and a significant loss of contrast. Thankfully, the lens does come with a deep hood, and I strongly recommend using it whenever possible, as it helps mitigate the flaring to a significant extent.
Handling Field Illumination
Field illumination, or how evenly your lens illuminates your image field, is worth considering too. I noticed that there wasn’t much falloff when zooming in or out, maintaining a consistent and even brightness across the frame which is a huge plus.
In essence, the Sigma 150 to 600mm lens does show some common optical phenomena. They are not deal-breakers by any means and honestly, quite expected given the optic complexity and zoom range of this lens. But, armed with the knowledge of how to handle these nuances, you’ll create stunning images with this Sigma lens, just as I did in my trial run.
The Sigma 150 to 600mm Lens: Final Impressions and Verdict
In the world of long telephoto lenses, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the variety of options and hefty price tags. Having tested and used the Sigma 150 to 600mm lens, I’ve formulated an unbiased and comprehensive opinion.
The Final Take on Sigma Lens
I must say, the Sigma 150 to 600mm lens stands out impressively in some key areas worth highlighting. I have come across numerous lens in my experience, and this one showcases commendable sharpness performance at 600mm. Even though this optic does have some limitations in terms of contrast and sharpness when shooting handheld, I found the results to be commendable when supported by a robust tripod and careful focusing.
Also, it’s noteworthy how the lens handles distortion and vignetting. Moderated barrel distortion, while visible at each focal length, can be corrected easily in the post-production phase, giving scope for quality images. Lastly, the lens exhibits minimal flaring, adding to its overall natural rendering of images in challenging light conditions.
The Value for Money Proposition
The cost of the Sigma 150 to 600mm lens is indeed something to consider. It’s priced reasonably for its class, considering its performance and the impressive zoom range. Acquiring this lens will not break the bank and delivers good value for the investment.
Sigma vs Tamron
Comparing this lens with its competitor, the Tamron 150-600mm lens, both stand on comparable grounds. The Sigma seems to have a slight edge in terms of sharpness, and the build quality feels more sturdy. Still, it’s worth noting that Tamron has released a new G2 version offering improved optics, supposedly rivaling the Sigma. A test between these two could paint a clearer picture.The Final Verdict
My overall experience with the Sigma 150 to 600mm lens has been rewarding. Despite some limitations in its performance, the commendable zoom range, solid build quality, and practical features underpin its value. It is not a lens you’d use every day, but for specific applications like wildlife or sports photography, this Sigma lens truly does the job. I believe, with some practice and careful handling, this lens can turn out to be an invaluable tool for both amateur and professional photographers.
Should you buy the Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3 Contemporary DG OS HSM Lens for Canon?
Buy it if…
You require extreme focal length
The Sigma 150 to 600mm lens caters to photography needs that require massive reach, like wildlife and astrophotography.
You value good build quality and image stabilization
The lens provides satisfactory autofocus and image stabilization yielding a fairly solid build quality.
You appreciate good value for money
Given its performance and functionalities, this lens is priced relatively affordably, making it a valuable purchase.
Don’t buy it if…
You usually shoot in low light
The lens has a limited maximum aperture, making it less ideal for indoor or dark situation photography.
You dislike heavier equipment
Though manageable, the Sigma lens can be heavy to carry around for extended periods.
You prefer professional-grade handling
While its build is fairly solid, the lens does not provide the same optimal handling experience that more professional-grade lenses might offer.
- What is the difference between the sports and contemporary versions of the Sigma lens?
The sports version is almost a kilogram heavier, has a more robust build quality, and is more expensive. However, the optical quality of the two lenses is broadly comparable.
- Can the Sigma lens be used with mirrorless cameras?
Yes, both the contemporary and sports versions of the lens are designed for full-frame or APS-C digital SLR cameras, but they can also be adapted onto mirrorless cameras.
- How much does the Sigma lens cost and where can it be purchased?
The lens can be found on platforms like eBay. It generally costs around 800 pounds in the UK and about 900 dollars in the US or about 900 euro.
- How is the build quality of the Sigma lens?
The rear section and the tripod mount are made of metal, whereas the front section is plastic. The lens mount is made of metal and it is edged with a weather sealing gasket.
- Does the Sigma lens handle well with different camera models?
The lens performs well with Canon and Sony models, with Sony providing a higher resolution. However, for the best autofocus speed, it is recommended to use Canon.
- How does the lens handle distortion and vignetting?
The lens exhibits a moderate level of pincushion distortion and vignetting at the corners when the aperture is wide open, which reduces when the aperture is stopped down to f/8 or f/11.
- Will the lens work well for macro photography?
The Sigma lens can focus as closely as about 2.7 meters, which can allow for smaller subject photography at 600 millimeter, albeit not ideal for traditional macro photography.