Review of the SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sports by William Steel

The Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sport is Sigma’s newest lens in the “Sports” series. The “Sports” lenses are focused towards, you guessed it; sports, but also action, wildlife, and general long-distance photography. The emphasis is largely on the lens’s impressive focusing speed, tough and resilient build quality, all while maintaining excellent optical ability.

 

Technical information

 Lens: 25 elements in 15 groups with nine diaphragm blades

Angle of View / FF:  4.1°

Angle of View / APS-C: 2.7°

Minimum Aperture: f/22-29

Minimum Focus: 280 cm / 110.2 in

Filter size: 95mm

Dimensions (retracted): 109.4 mm x 263.6 mm / 4.3 in x 10.4 in

Weight: 2100 g / 74.1 oz

Maximum magnification ration: 1:2:9 (wide)

 

Build quality

The optical design of the Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sport contains 25 lens elements in 15 groups. This lens body is made of aluminum and TSC (Thermally Stable Composite),

which is a type of polycarbonate with a thermal expansion rate similar to that of aluminium that makes a lightweight body possible.

It also equips a magnesium tripod socket and a high-precision, durable brass bayonet rear mount.

The Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sports is a compact telephoto lens. At 263.6mm long, and 109.4mm wide the lens has been redesigned to be considerably smaller than the Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS MSM sport (121×290.2mm). The theme of compacting the lens continues at a comparatively light 2100 grams (Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS MSM sport 2860), and a reduced filter size of 95mm from 105mm. With all the weight and size adjustments the lens still maintaining its sturdy feel. I love the feel of the lens and it is clear that the build quality has been emphasised with the new design.

With the lens in hand, you immediately get a feeling that the lens meets Sigma’s high standards for build quality. The zoom action is smooth while allowing enough resistance to maintain a chosen range, and the focus wheel in manual is effortless. Something I continue to be amazed by is the solid feel of Sigma’s latest lenses. As someone who is very hard on lenses while on location, the knowledge that they can handle this harsh use is fantastic.

One of the key features of the 150-600 lenses is the weather sealing. This latest DG DN version follows in this footstep and is designed to withstand dust and splashes.

 

Focusing and stabilisation

 The focus is fast, precise, and quiet. The presence of an AF-lock, a focus limiter, and a switch for AF/MF is also very user-friendly, a trend throughout the sigma telephoto lenses.

The shortest focusing distance of the lens is 280cm at 600mm which is something I love compared to fixed 500/600mm primes which usually have a much larger minimum focusing distances. The maximum magnification scale is 1:2.1

The focusing system is also very good considering its long focal length, it is both rapid and precise. I never had an issue with the lens tracking for focus, even in low light conditions. While I don’t normally shoot with a focus range lock, I did find that this seemed to give the focusing speed and increased boost and a useful tool for certain subjects.

The lens offers a great optical image stabilisation system that effectively compensates for up to four stops of camera shake, slower shutter speeds. I found that this OS system worked well even in very low light situations, resulting in an increased number of usable images in testing conditions, shooting handheld for the entirety of use.

 

Bokeh

 The incorporation of a 9-blade rounded diaphragm, means that even at f8 at 600mm the out-of-focus areas of the photograph are still visually appealing. The blur is smooth and the lens achieves an attractive and impressive bokeh for a telephoto lens.

 

Aberrations

 While it is not something I worry about with editing tools fixing this issue for most circumstances, I found that the DG DN OS has virtually no problems with chromatic aberrations. From numerous shots at all lighting conditions, I saw no obvious issues in colour edges. The lens performed very well in this area in all test shots.

 

Summary

 The Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sport provides excellent results through its well-round versatility. Great image quality, outstanding range, light, and wonderful autofocus performance.

I thoroughly enjoyed using the lens over the space of two weeks on safari in Botswana. I not only found it easy to use handheld, but that the large zoom range meant my success rate of “keepers” also increased. The light weight compact design, combined with rapid autofusing made for the perfect telephoto lens for the trip. The Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sport is a fantastic addition to the Sport series.

Text and photos by Sigma Ambassador, William Steel