Introduced in August 2021, the ultra-sharp 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sports is SIGMA’s first Sports-line lens designed specifically for mirrorless systems. It comes with full weather sealing, Dual-Action Zoom, a customisable AFL button, a new Zoom Torque function, 4-stop OS, and a very close minimum focusing distance of 58cm. The lens is perfect for fast-action photography such as sports and wildlife and is available for L-Mount and Sony E-mount cameras.
We put a pre-production sample of the new 150-600mm into the hands award-winning motorsport photographer Nick Dungan, who was able to test it out at two recent racing events. Here are his thoughts.
I’m Nick Dungan, a professional motorsport photographer based in the UK. As part of my profession I am very fortunate to get to travel to some of the most prestigious racing events around the world and work with some of the biggest clients in the industry, including Aston Martin, McLaren and Ford.
Sigma recently approached me with the opportunity to test a pre-production sample of their new Sony-fit 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sports. I’ve used Sigma lenses since I started my career and have always held them in very high regard, so I was keen to see what this new lens could do. I was especially excited that this lens was designed specifically for mirrorless cameras, so I wanted to see how it compared with SIGMA’s DSLR lenses that I’ve used in the past.
Superb build quality and features
The second thing that really caught my eye, almost as soon as I picked it up, is the lens’s remarkable build. It’s is every bit as good as SIGMA’s Art-line lenses that I’m more familiar with, and certainly robust enough for heavy professional use. The body feels very solid, and the quality of the movement of the zoom ring and focus ring are excellent.
There are a lot of features on this lens, especially given its size and weight. I particularly like the push-pull zoom because it means I can punch in and out quickly on a fast-moving subject. When a car is moving away from you at 200mph, being able to react quickly is very important. And I like that I can change the resistance of the zoom ring with the flick of a switch, especially to help avoid lens creep if I’m carrying the lens to a new location.
The fact that I can use this lens is the rain is a big plus because I’m pretty much always at the mercy of the elements, and my kit has to be able to handle that.
I took the lens along with me to two jobs: Formula E in London and an exclusive track day.
Once using the lens on track I was amazing by how quick the autofocus was across the whole range of the lens, and in my experience it worked flawlessly with Sony’s object tracking to keep the subject in focus as it moves towards or away from the camera.
I shoot a lot of panning images, so having an Optical Stabilizer with a panning option was very handy. I believe the OS offers a 4-stop advantage, and it seemed to work extremely well during my testing.
Ultimately it is the image quality that matters the most and there are certainly no concerns here. This 150-600mm DG DN produces incredibly sharp images throughout the range, and importantly at 600mm images are absolutely pin. The bokeh is excellent too, and never distracts from the in-focus subject. At this price point this is a seriously impressive package.
The only obvious downside I can see to this lens is that it doesn’t have an ultra-wide aperture like some (much) more expensive and heavy ultra-telephotos on the market, which tend to be primes. This means it’s not as easy (although still possible) to shoot fast action subjects after dark, like at Le Mans, but for all daytime work it’s really stunning. But of course, it’s horses for courses – a wider aperture means more weight, more size and considerably higher cost, so you have to decide what’s important to you.
As a professional sports photographer I would highly recommend this lens to anyone looking for a very sharp, affordable, robust and well-specced long-telephoto zoom. Brilliant!
To see more of Nick’s work, visit nickdungan.co.uk, or check out his Instagram account @nickdunganphoto