The new Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sports lens is based on their popular 2014 lens for full-frame DSLRs. Featuring an updated optical design and a new, compact build, the new model is Sigma’s first ultra-telephoto zoom lens designed specifically for full-frame, mirrorless cameras. Courtesy of Sigma, we received early access to a pre-production sample of the lens. Pairing it with a Sony a7 III, we took the lens to the sports fields of Brooklyn Bridge Park to see what it could do. Here’s our Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports lens review.
The new 150-600mm F5-6.3 lens follows the April release of Sigma’s 35mm F1.4 DG DN | Art lens, itself an updated version of a previous model. As we found in our review of that lens, the housing of Sigma’s new lens is remarkably light and compact compared to the original, despite other optical and technical improvements.
The L-mount version of the new DG DN lens measures 4.3 x 10.4’’ (109.4mm x 263.6mm) and weighs 4.6 lbs. (2.1kg). This makes it 1.7 lbs. (0.76kg) lighter and about one inch shorter than the original model. That’s a crucial difference, especially considering the size of the latest mirrorless camera models. The Alpha 1, Sony’s flagship mirrorless camera, measures 5.1 x 3.8 x 3.2’’ (128.9 x 96.9 x 80.8mm) and weighs just 1.62 lbs. (0.737 kg).
The lens is dust and splash-proof, with a water and oil repellant coating on the front element. Meanwhile the barrel is constructed of durable aluminum and TSC (Thermally Stable Composite) components. Additionally, the lens features an updated optical construction, including 4 FLD elements and 2 ELD elements, and an enhanced autofocus system driven by a stepping motor and high-precision magnetic sensor.
The new lens also offers up to four stops of optical image stabilization (OS) compensation, with two modes for panning or handheld shooting. New on-lens controls include an OS Mode switch, Custom switch (for custom OS settings), Focus Limiter switch, three customizable AFL buttons, and a Zoom Torque switch. The Zoom Torque switch allows you to toggle the zoom ring’s level of resistance between three settings: Smooth, Tight, and Lock.
The lens is available in Sony E-mount and L-mount and has a 95mm filter thread size. A bag, lockable hood, and tripod socket (with a removable foot) are included with the lens.
Like the original model, the lens’ long focal length (and wide focal range) makes it well-suited for capturing faraway subjects. Combined with its reliable optical image stabilization modes for panning and handheld shooting, you can also use the lens effectively to capture moving subjects. It’s a great option for landscape, wildlife, and sports photographers.
The updated optical construction of the new lens helps it stand out from its predecessor. The original model suffered for having such a large focal range, particularly when shooting at its widest length. This isn’t an issue with the new model. We found the lens capable of delivering crisp, clear visuals throughout its the focal range. Additionally, even when shooting into the sun, we had almost no issues with chromatic aberrations, courtesy of the lens’ new ultra-low dispersion glass.
We also really appreciated the on-lens controls, particularly the Zoom Torque switch. The Lock and Tight settings prevented zoom creep, a common complaint with the original model. Meanwhile, the Smooth setting allowed us to easily cycle through the entire 150-600mm focal range in a single motion.
While the lens is smaller and lighter than the original model, it’s still quite big. If this is your first large telephoto lens, it may take some getting used to. Your tripod may not even support the front-heavy weight of the lens. When shooting handheld, we recommend using the lens’ tripod socket to attach it to a monopod for added stability.
The new lens is available for pre-order now in Sony E-mount or L-mount for $1,499. Considering the previous model has a price tag of $1,849, that’s a great deal. The new lens is also more affordable than the nearest Sony competitor. The Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS lens currently has a $1,998 price tag.
Offering a more portable build and improved image quality, autofocus, and image stabilization, the new Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sports is a fantastic update to a classic lens. Offering professional-grade features and image quality at an affordable price, it’s a worthwhile investment for all sports, wildlife, and landscape photographers.