The Sigma 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports lens is the newest high-zoom ratio standard-to-supertelephoto zoom lens in the Sigma Global Vision lineup. Replacing the venerable 50-500mm EX lens, which was nicknamed by fans the “Bigma”, this new superzoom lens is completely redesigned while maintaining the mind-blowing 10x zoom ratio of its lineage. As a Sports lens, the weather-sealing is first-rate, ready and raring for the roughest conditions; while the Multi-Material Construction shaves weight, pairing Magnesium and Thermally Stable Composite along with Carbon Fiber reinforced plastic to make it durable while staying portable. Packing 25 elements into 19 groups, and weighing under six pounds, this lens packs a lot of punch! From standard to supertele with either a push-pull on the barrel or the wide grippy zoom ring, it also manages to close focus to under a foot from the front elements at 200mm with 1:3.3 magnification.
The three-zone focus limiter switch and Autofocus, Manual Focus, and Manual Override switch have been added, along with a slew of Sigma’s exclusive Global Vision features and functionalities have also been added: Custom Functions Switch to deploy Lens Customization settings via the USB Dock and Sigma Optimization Pro, Zoom lock at all marked focal lengths—a feature introduced to the photography world with the pair of Sigma 150-600mm lenses—and 100% testing for optical performance at our Aizu, Japan factory.
I had a few days to get familiar with the lens in the leadup to PhotoPlus 2018, and I am very, very impressed. Wide open at 600mm it is super-sharp on the focal plane, and the near-to-far zoom comparisons to show total reach and range are simply stunning! Straight out of the box, autofocus speed is super-fast, and faster still when focus limiters are employed. AF was quick as…well…let’s just say tracking birds in the sky, even in dusky predawn light, was no problem at all.
The wide-open sharpness at 600mm is impressive, with center of frame sharpness on par with both of the 150-600mm supertele stablemates. In the hands, it feels solid and strong, with the buttons and switches of the Sports line, and the tripod collar incorporates a lens strap as well as the Arca-Swiss compatible foot.
Zoom creep is a non-issue, thanks both to great damping, and also to the innovative zoom lock functionality which lets you lock the lens at all marked focal lengths. The zoom ring turns about 110 degrees from 60 to 600mm, and that zoom lock function is perfect for pinning the lens at 200mm for 1/3 life size macro work.
The lens is impressively sharp throughout the 10x zoom range—quite a feat for a full-frame lens that ranges from standard to supertelephoto! And when paired with a crop-sensor DSLR, the 60-600mm becomes an impressive 90-900mm equivalent lens!
We’ll be blogging about this lens a lot in the coming months! For now enjoy these first look image samples and read the captions for more hands-on observations. And here’s some quick answers to common questions:
How does the 60-600mm Sports lens compare to the 150-600mm Sports and Contemporary lenses at 600mm?
Briefly, the 150-600mm Sports gives the most edge of frame sharpness of these three lenses for a full-frame image circle. Center of frame sharpness is comparable between the three.
What’s the differences between the 60-600mm Sports lens and the 150-600mm Sports and Contemporary lenses?
The pair of 150-600mm are 4X zoom lenses, while the 60-600mm has a 10X zoom ratio. The 60-600mm Sports lens is highly weather-resistant with full sealing and gasketing like its Sports lens stablemates. The 150-600mm Contemporary weighs a few pounds less than both the 150-600mm Sports and 60-600mm lens.
The 60-600mm Sports lens has best close-up performance of the trio, with close focusing to just about a foot from the front element at 200mm at one-third life-size magnification.
Does Sigma offer a constant-aperture supertelephoto zoom lens that goes to 600mm?
The 60-600mm Sports, 150-600mm Sports and Contemporary are all variable-aperture zoom lenses, meaning, you lose a little bit of maximum aperture as you reach 600mm. For photographers who need 600mm reach in a constant aperture zoom, the 120-300mm F2.8 Sports lens can be paired with the TC-2001 to create the 240-600mm F5.6 Sports zoom lens, which Sigma Optimization Pro recognizes as a unique lens to be customized.
The Sigma 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports lens is an exciting addition to our supertelephoto line. Stay tuned for many more photos and articles!