Sigma Ambassador Michael de Nysschen impressions of the 150-600mm Contemporary and Sport Lenses

If you’re in the market for sharp, cost-effective zoom lenses designed with the wildlife and sports photographer in mind, then you need look no further than Sigma’s 150 – 600mm Contemporary & Sports lenses!

With both options sure to meet your needs with ease, the release of these premium lenses was highly anticipated by reviewers and users alike. Now, I won’t spend this blog post merely telling you about the images you can expect these lenses to deliver – you may draw your own conclusions in that regard – but I will tell you that there is yet to be a day where I am not extremely happy with them.

As a first time user of a super zoom/super telephoto lens, I was not prepared for what was in the box. The moment I removed the packaging I thought, “Wow, this is going to be a rather steep learning curve!” All the switches you need to get used to as well as the weight of it can be quite overwhelming. And of course, as is the case with any long lens – you need to have steady hands or high shutter speed. However, it didn’t take me long to get used all of this, and with the OS (Optical Stabilization) on this lens switched on, you can still get good, useable images at 600mm with shutter speeds as low as 1/125s. The finish on the lens is really neat and it has a very nice wide zoom grip that makes it easy go from 150mm to 600mm. The amount of travel is a little on the high side, although this only really becomes a problem when shooting subjects moving towards or away from you in a straight line at high speed.

Focus & Panning
Since I first got the lens about one year ago, I have yet to experience problems with focusing. Even in low light the lens manages to retain focus on moving subjects like surfers. With an aperture of f/5-6.3 you are not going to get the same level of low light performance that you get from the prime lenses with the larger apertures. This said, for the serious photographer on a budget – you won’t get better than this lens.

When shooting birds in flight and sports photography, it becomes less of an effort and more of a challenge – a challenge to always improve on your previous best. The lens gives you the option of selecting “stabilisation” and this then assists with panning which is particularly helpful when shooting car races for example. You’d be able to drop the shutter speed to get the background motion blur without blurring the subject.

The Sigma USB dock is an absolute must when purchasing this lens. You won’t use it that much, but it sure makes a huge difference when you do. You can adjust focus speed, focus accuracy, the effect of the OS and save to settings. The first setting is for slower, more accurate focusing, while the other is for focussing and locking onto your subject quickly. This latter is what I use most of the time as I often shoot birds in flight and surfing.

The lens has a large hood which prevents nasty lens flare. Lens flare only presents itself in really extreme cases. The Sigma 150 – 600mm also comes with a tripod mount ring. I would have liked the foot of the ring to be a little longer just because I like to carry it by gripping onto the foot. This is just personal preference though as there is no negative effect on its functionality as it is.

With all this said, this lens is the best bang-for-your-buck lens that you will find. The OS is outstanding, the lens delivers sharp images and best of all – you will still have some money leftover after buying it.

I’m not going to continue rambling about the lens – check out the images and decide for yourself.

Keep shooting!!

Michael de Nysschen

Sigma South Africa Ambassador

Michael is an architectural and landscape photographer with a great love for the outdoors.  Lines, light and mood are what he looks for in an image.  Lines to draw you in, light to give life to the image and the mood in the image that makes the viewer feel like they are standing there.  A photo captured is a miracle moment that will never happen again. If I can freeze that in time and make it last, I am happy