Scheduled to arrive in late August, the Sigma 150–600mm f/5–6.3 DG DN OS | Sports is SIgma’s first ultra-telephoto lens designed specifically for full-frame mirrorless cameras. Engineered for both the L-mount and E-mount, Sigma is promising superior image quality, reliably rugged build quality, and intuitive performance. For anyone interested in wildlife—flora and fauna—or sports photography, whether professionally or out of sheer love of imaging, this is one to watch.
Read on for the run-down, and don’t miss the lushly-filmed promo video below.
Not simply a clone of Sigma’s similar ultra-telephoto for DSLRs (the 150–600mm f/5–6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary), the 150–600mm | S offers significantly improved construction and usability while still only slightly heavier than the previous version.
One stand-out upgrade is the close focusing capability: the 150–600mm | S can focus on a subject a mere 23 inches away (compared to the required 110″ of the 150–600mm | C).
Pause for translation…
Sigma uses a lot of shorthand to make it easier to know at a glance what one of their lenses is offering, but you have to know how to read it. Here are the relevant items…
DG – a lens designed to cover a full frame sensor
DN – a lens designed for “compact system cameras” (mirrorless)
OS – a lens featuring Sigma’s image stabilization system
They also divide their lenses into separate lines. Sports lenses (stylized “| S”) offer a higher level of performance than the more general-use Contemporary (“| C”) lenses, especially in areas like speed of autofocus, aperture, and so on.
A new optical design incorporates 25 lens elements in 15 groups (including 4 FLD and 2 SLD elements to control dispersion of light). Sharpness has been maximized and aberrations have been minimized across the entire zoom range (not just at the most-critical 600mm length), and the bokeh appears to be delightfully creamy. Being able to focus so closely at the wide end goes a long way: an f/5 aperture creates a lot of background separation with a close-up 150mm.
Practical usability appears to be excellent. A stepping motor guided by a precise magnetic sensor runs the silent, accurate autofocus system; quality AF is, of course, a must have feature for lenses like this where you’ll almost certainly be tracking a distant subject with only a micro-moment to get it right. The four-stop optical stabilization system should enable hand-holding in an impressive variety of situations. And there are plenty of physical controls to help you become one with your camera:
- focus mode switch
- focus limiter
- stabilization mode switch
- custom switch
- 3 custom function buttons between zoom and focusing ring
- zoom torque switch, a neat feature that lets you choose between fast, frictionless zooming and zooming that takes a little effort to increase precision (this switch also allows locking focus)
Naturally, the whole unit is dust- and splash-proof, and the front element has been treated with an oil-resistant coating. The foot functions as an Arca-Swiss compatible plate for maximum compatibility. The L-mount version is compatible with Sigma 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters, too!
Though just announced, the excitement of L-mount and E-mount users for this lens is already palpable. Get your order in today at a Mike’s Camera near you (or click here to pre-order online) and minimize the time between you and this lens, as this lens will minimize the distance between you and your subjects.