If you are in the market for sharp, cost effective zoom lens to use for wildlife and action photography, look no further.
The Sigma 150-600 Contemporary and the Sports lenses are sure to meet your needs with ease. Highly anticipated both lenses were received with dare I say, a little trepidation from the reviewers and users alike. For a long time Sigma was plagued by soft images at the long end. Now this is not a blog for me to tell you about the images the lens delivers, you can make your decisions regarding that.
What I will tell you is that I have yet to have a day that I am not extremely happy with this lens.
As a first time use of a super zoom/super telephoto lens I was not prepared for what was in the box. The moment I took it out 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. As with any long lens, you need to have steady hands or high shutter speed. It didn’t take me long to get used all of these, 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. A very nice wide zoom grip 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. Which brings me to how this lens focusses.
To date, and this is almost a year since I got the lens, I have yet to experience problems with focussing. Even in low light the lens manages to retain focus of moving subjects like surfers. With an aperture of f5-6.3 you are not going to get the low light performance that you get from the primes with the big apertures. As for the serious photographer on a budget, you won’t get better than this lens.
Birds in flight and sports photography become less of an effort and more of a challenge. A challenge to always get a better shot than the previous best shot you got. Shooting sports gives you the option to select stabilization on the lens that assist with panning, when shooting car races for example, and allows you to drop the shutter speed to get the background motion blur without blurring the subject.
Then there is the USB dock. An absolute must when purchasing this lens. You won’t use it that much, but it sure makes a huge difference. You can adjust focus speed, focus accuracy, the effect of the OS and you can also save to settings. Setting one is for slower more accurate focussing, while the other is set for focussing and locking onto your subject quickly. This 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. It 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 holding the foot. It does not affect the functionality in any way as it is.
With all this said, this lens is the best bang for buck lens that you will find around. The OS is outstanding, the lens delivers sharp images and best of all, you will still have some money left over after buying it.
I am not going to continue rambling about the lens…check out the images and decide for yourself.