Well, by now we all know that Sigma has been continually updating their lens lineup to fit into one of the three categories… there are the critically acclaimed Art lenses, the formidable Contemporary lenses and the Sports lens lineup… of which I own the extremely well made 120-300 f2.8 Sport.
Sigma recently asked me early in the year if I wanted to take the new Sigma 150-600 Contemporary lens for a test run… last year I took out the sport version, so I was eager to try out the lighter contemporary version during a cold winters day.
This super-telephoto zoom lens fits into Sigma's 'Contemporary' line-up of lenses and this lens provides a lower priced alternative to their 150-600mm Sports… and in my opinion was more of a direct competitor to the 150-600 Tamron… cause my test last year proved, to me at least, proved that the Sport version far exceeded the Tamron in quality of images.
Overall, the Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary is a very nice, sharp lens that produces very good images. Its light to carry and is very well built.
The slant on the lens, for me at least, it tended to be sharper at the shorter focal lengths, but that's the case with most super telephoto lenses i have used -- though it's not a severe drop in sharpness at the longer focal lengths by any means, its still there and, well, I'm not a pixel peeper and was extremely satisfied with my images.
The Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary lens is built out of 20 elements in 14 groups, including an FLD ('F' Low Dispersion) lens and three SLD (Special Low Dispersion) lenses. These high-quality glass types are the reason for the sharpness… The Sports lens does include one more SLD element, which is the reason you will see more sharpness at the longer focal lengths… but don’t let that convince you the Contemporary is not a quality lens… look at this fox photo… would you be satisfied with this image if you took it? I was, and this was taken at 500mm.
My conclusions are as follows…
Sigma has once again created a lens that produces quality images at a great price. Its approximately $1280 in the USA and about $1600 in Canada.
PROS of this lens
Good sharpness throughout the zoom range... stronger at a shorter length, but still good at the longer lengths.
Well built lens that has been individually tested in the lab before it was shipped.
Great price to acquire this long focal length
Very effective stabilization
With the docking station, AF customization can be obtained to create more aggressive focus modes to shoot different shooting styles.
Focuses relatively close for a 600mm lens compared to competition.
CONS of the lens
The tripod mount is not far enough away from the lens barrel to allow for comfortable carrying with my big hands.
The focal zoom requires multiple turns to go from 150-600mm. In reality, you don't often go from 150 up to 600 with an immediate need... but i just wanted you to be aware of this.
No weather sealing, except for a rubber gasket on the lens mount... keep in mind i was out in a Canadian winter and experienced no issues.
Would I buy this lens? Yep, for the quality of images that it produced, at this price… it would make a great addition to my arsenal.