Impression of the Sigma APO 150-500mm F/5.0-6.3 DG OS HSM

This past Saturday I was able to borrow a friend’s Sigma APO 150-500mm Zoom lens to take some shots over at Greenhorn Park.

ISO 400, 500mm, f/6.3, 1/1600sec, Image size 1543 x 1706

I thought I would include the cropped image sizes for these photos to give you an additional insight into the editing done.

I was very impressed with the sharpness of the lens at 500mm.  The focus of the lens on my D800 was accurate, quick and silent.  The lens didn’t focus quite as quick as my Nikon 300mm f/4, but it was fairly quick and didn’t hunt much for focus.

ISO 400, 500mm, f/6.3, 1/1600sec, Image size 7360 x 4912

One thing I noticed after I spent a couple of hours taking photographs with this lens is its weight.  It weighs 4.21 lbs (1910g), while the Nikon 300mm f/4 weighs 3.1 lbs (1406g).  Most of the time it wasn’t an issue, but at one time a bluejay perched in the top of a pine tree and stayed there for an extended period of time.  I took the opportunity to take a bunch of shots.

ISO 400, 500mm, f/6.3, 1/1600sec, Image size 2223 x 1727

I just looked at the time stamps of the 24 photographs I took at that time and it was just over 3 minutes.  You wouldn’t think that holding a 2 lb camera and a 4 lb lens would be very hard, but I found it difficult to hold the lens steady by the end of the 3 minutes.

ISO 400, 500mm, f/6.3, 1/1600sec, Image size 2812 x 2429

ISO 400, 500mm, f/6.3, 1/1600sec, Image size 7360 x 4912

The one thing that took me a little while to get use to with the Sigma 150-500mm is the fact that the zoom ring rotates backwards to a normal Nikon zoom lens.  A Nikon zoom lens rotates clockwise as it zooms from wide to telephoto.  While the Sigma follows the Canon zoom set up and zooms out with a counterclockwise rotation.

ISO 400, 500mm, f/6.3, 1/1600sec, Image size 2461 x 2310

I am anxious to try this lens the next time I go over to the Klamath wildlife refuge to see how it performs with the eagles and hawks in flight.

Overall I was pleasantly surprised with the sharpness and the performance of this lens.  Definitely a good alternative for getting to 500mm without spending 6k.

Here are the rest of the photographs from the days shoot, there are actually a few photos included that I took with my 300mm f/4 and the 1.4x teleconverter.


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