Lens Guides

Steady As She Goes: Photographing Wildlife with SIGMA’s OS2 Optical Stabilization Technology

As a nature photographer who primarily shoots without a tripod, I was excited to hear about the upgrades to SIGMA’s optical stabilization system in their most recent DG DN telephoto zoom lenses. SIGMA’s OS technology has always been great and the main reason I began to shoot exclusively with SIGMA lenses. However, with these new improvements – known as OS2 – I can push the capabilities of the lenses even further. Currently (as of June 2023), the new OS2 algorithm is available for the mirrorless-only 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sports and 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sports lenses.

The specifications are impressive to say the least!

60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sports

150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sports
60mm: 7 stops of stabilization150mm: 6.5 stops of stabilization
600mm: 6 stops of stabilization600mm: 5.5 stops of stabilization
Please note the 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sports may require a firmware update if manufactured prior to June 2023.

Total confidence, even at 600mm

Most of the time, when I am hiking, kayaking or generally out in the field, wildlife presents itself quickly. This makes setting up a tripod difficult and impractical. If I took the time to set up a tripod, it might result in me losing the shot. With SIGMA’s new OS2 technology, I have FULL confidence that I will be able to grab the shot quickly and sharply without a tripod. I am truly amazed with the shots I am able to capture handheld at full zoom with the new OS system. Panning with moving subjects, especially birds in flight, is no issue and I can get incredible results!

Adding to the handheld capability of these lenses is the relatively light weight and compact size for the range. While they’re not exactly tiny, considering the huge 600mm telephoto range and the superb optical quality of both lenses, either lens makes an excellent choice for a full day of outdoor photography.

Recently, I found myself hiking through a gloomy forest, which was dark due to wildfires in Canada, just north of my location. Smoke from the fires gave us DAYS of heavy haze and low-light conditions, even at midday. While in this forest, I came upon a Barred Owl with its prey. The lens’s impressive OS2 system and quick autofocus allowed me to lock onto the owl and capture it without issue.

Additional highlights of the 60-600mm and 150-600mm DG DN OS | Sports lenses

Fast, precise autofocus

Both lenses offer a quick and accurate autofocus system. I photograph many birds, and as you might imagine, this can be somewhat tricky. Birds seldom stay still for long. Accurate, FAST AF is a must in this line of work! Thankfully, both lenses perform extremely well.

Surprising macro capability

Also, both the 60-600mm DG DN OS | Sports and 150-600mm DG DN OS | Sports lenses offer impressive magnification ratios (1:2.4 and 1:2.9 respectively), so I took some time to try out the macro capabilities, in this case with the 150-600mm. I have an abundance of wildflowers and was astounded by the beautiful macro images I was able to get. Bringing in those small, wonderful details of a world seldom seen and usually overlooked was easily achieved. I shot my macro images in a way to give them an almost painted, surreal feel with different focus points and surrounding the subject with all the beauty that is found around it.

Overall, I am incredibly pleased with the updated OS2 system and the fast autofocus of both lenses. It allows me more time composing and capturing unique images, and less time worrying if my subject is crisp and sharp.

One of these two lenses will always be at the top of my must-have gear when I am out I the field, capturing both nature and wildlife.

Whether you go with the 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sports or the 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sports lens, you will NOT be disappointed, and will be as happy as a bird with a french fry, over how beautiful and easily you’ll be able to capture the world of nature around you.

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