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10.22.2018

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 Sigma 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports lens offers an amazing 10X zoom ratio; making in the perfect walking-around lens for hikes and nature exploration. Here we are at 600mm, paired with a 6D. 1/1000 F6.3 ISO 500.

Actual pixel crop of the center of the last frame. This lens is super-sharp at 600mm, even wide open!

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.

A sailboat heads into the ocean at the meeting of the bays near the tip of Sandy Hook, NJ. This is at 60mm, and takes in the beach, the sea, and the sun rising behind the clouds. 1/1600 F4.5 ISO 1600.

 

And here we are moments later zoomed all the way to 600mm. This lens is sharp and versatile! 1/1600 F6.3 ISO 1600

 

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.

In the morning light, a juvenile Coopers Hawk perches atop a stand of poison Ivy near Skeleton Island on Sandy Hook. 1/2000 F6.3 ISO 500

 

A great hand-painted sign warns visitors not to get too close to the Poison Ivy near the path! 1/640 F6.3 ISO 800.

 

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.

Unmistakable in its silhouette, a Double-Crested Cormorant flies above Raritan Bay on a cloudy, early morning. 1/1600 F6.3 ISO 500

Gulls gather and scatter in the predawn light above the Atlantic Ocean off Sandy Hook, NJ. Here we are at 145mm. 1/1000 F5.6 ISO 1000

And here we are, a short time later at 60mm. 1/500 F4.5 ISO 1600

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!

A ring-billed gull stands in shallow water in the early morning. 1/1000 F6.3 ISO 1000 at 600mm. The shallow DOF and focus fall-off wide open is very nice.

A herring gull flies along the dunes at the tip of Sandy Hook. I found the tracking AF speed of the 60-600mm Sports very impressive straight out of the box. I’ll be experimenting more with Lens Custom Settings via the USB Dock soon. Also Check out the blur characteristics in the background here. 1/3200 F6.3 ISO 500 at 600mm.

A pair of swans soar over Sandy Hook beach in front of the Brooklyn skyline including Coney Island’s Parachute Ride. AT 600mm, the telephoto compression effect nicely pulls in the 7-mile distant features on a clear autumn morning. 1/3200 F6.3 ISO 500.

A songbird sits on a branch in the early morning light. Notice how shallow the DOF is when close-focusing at 600mm. 1/1000 F6.3 ISO 500. ( I’m on deadline and can’t find my Giant Bird ID book. If you can ID this bird, which I reckon is a warbler of some sort, I’d greatly appreciate it!)

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.

Fall foliage on the side of First Watchung Mountain, Bridgewater, NJ. 1/1000 F6.3 ISO 640 at 600mm.

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.

Brickwork remnants of the American Copper Mine in the woods on the side of First Watchung Mountain, handheld at 1/60 second at 600mm. Optical Stabilizer on the 60-600mm is very impressive!

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.

A snail shell demonstrates the Golden Ratio, captured at 200mm for close-up capture with the 60-600mm Sports lens. 1/800 F5.6 ISO 800.

Three stones on the beach show the flow of tidewater with their comet-like tails, captured at 200mm with the 60-600mm Sports lens. The close-focusing, high-magnification feature makes this 10X zoomer even more versatlile! 1/500 F5.6 ISO 800.

A white tail deer casually munches on acorns on the First Watchung Mountain in Bridgewater, NJ 1/640 F6.3 ISO 400 at 600mm.

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!

2 comments so far

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  1. Hi Jack! I was wondering if I wanted the sport 150-600 and now I think I might just need to replace my Bigma with this. Does it weigh any less than the 50-500?
    Cheers!
    Lisa Sellge

  2. How is the sharpness compared to the 150-600 sport? I own the Bigma, owned the 150-500 and own the 150-600 Sport, as well as other Art lenses.