When choosing a lens for outdoor photography, it can be a bit of a balancing act. You want something with plenty of range for photographing small or distant animals (or even nicely compressed landscapes). You want something durable for when the weather inevitably gets challenging. And of course, you want something that will produce sharp images. Thankfully, there’s the SIGMA 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports, an ideal all-in-one lens for outdoor photographers.
The images in this article were shot with the SIGMA 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports lens on a Nikon Z7 II camera body, using the Nikon FTZ mount adapter.
First Impressions of the SIGMA 60-600mm Sports
When I first got my hands on the 60-600mm I was immediately intrigued by the massive 10x zoom range. With this zoom range, I can cover many areas of photography, including wildlife, macro (this lens offers an impressive 1:3.3 magnification ratio), landscapes, and more!
Once I started shooting with it, I was extremely impressed by what it was able to do. Its durability and manageability make it stand out among the other telephotos I have used. And although it covers most of the focal lengths I need in the field, I still have room in my gear bag to add another lens or two for wide-angle shots.
Honestly, I have to say that I might be a little in love with this powerhouse of a lens! The SIGMA 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports has easily become one of my top favorite SIGMA lenses to work with.
Recently, I spent a weekend traveling around Western New York with the 60-600mm, and put it to the test in a number of settings, from the forest to the water’s edge, under a variety of weather conditions. Let’s go over some of my favorite features of this lens and its amazing capabilities.
Features & Hands-on Experience
This is a MUST for my line of work and the areas where I frequently shoot. I could be on a beach, with water spraying up from waves, sand everywhere, and I never have to worry about it impacting the lens’ performance. I was recently caught in a sudden downpour, and the lens had no issue handling the weather. Whether I’m in rain-soaked woods or hiking through the snow, I know this Sports line lens will perform without issue.
OS (Optical Stabilizer)
The OS system on the 60-600mm works great for the way I shoot. I RARELY use a tripod, and handhold most of my shots. The OS system allows me to pan along with moving objects (birds specifically, in flight) handheld without compromising sharpness.
With how I hike, climb onto things, and am all over nature in general, the carbon fiber-reinforced lens hood included with this lens has prevented glass damage more than once! I tend to climb up trees, down steep inclines, and around boulders, all with my main gear on my hip. Inevitably, I bump the lens on things. The added security of having that durable lens hood attached gives me piece of mind that I will not damage the glass when maneuvering through my surroundings. It also prevents light leaks and lens flares from sneaking into my shots.
When I do use a tripod, it’s nice to have a quality tripod foot. This one is made of magnesium alloy, is strong and sturdy, and easily connects to any standard 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch, or Arca-Swiss tripod. For me, I will also occasionally use it as a handle to improve stability when I shoot more difficult subjects and am handholding my camera.
A MUST for photographing wildlife. Animals can be directly in front of you one moment and gone the next, so quick, accurate, lock on focusing is everything! Particularly when shooting birds in flight. This lens allowed me to not only lock onto a bird flying by, it did so quickly and easily. Better yet, it worked seamlessly with both my Nikon DSLR and Nikon Z7 II mirrorless camera, so no matter which camera body I used, performance was excellent.
Probably a feature most do not think about but is important to me, especially on telephotos with a large zoom range like the 60-600mm. As stated above, I do hike around with my camera and lens hanging from my hip, and with the lens locked, the barrel will not creep on you. Lens creep can be extremely annoying, but with the lock switch engaged, it’s no problem at all.
An Outdoor Photographer’s Verdict of the SIGMA 60-600mm
Overall, I am extremely pleased with the outstanding performance, durability and zoom range of the SIGMA 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports lens. I am absolutely swooning over it and I am confident you will be too.