Sometimes you need longer focal lengths, even above 300mm. However, they don’t exactly have the reputation of being cheap, especially for the full-frame range. One exception is the Sigma lens.
In my Canon equipment I had 100-400mm/4.5-5.6 and to the Lumix G9 I had the Lumix 100-300mm To my Lumix S5 I have the 70-300mm/4.5-5.6, but sometimes the desire for more focal length arises. That’s when the choice fell on the Sigma 150-600mm/5.0-6.3 Sports with L-mount.
The Sigma lens is also currently the only zoom lens for the L-mount with a longer focal length, so you don’t really have a choice. Nevertheless, the question arises whether such a lens for just under 1,400, – €, that one must call inexpensive in comparison to the Canon, Nikon or Sony lenses, really can be any good.
So much I can say, I dared it and was not disappointed.
Features and equipment
The lens weighs 2.1 kg which is why I actually always use it from a monopod. Even at the zoo or animal park, for example, it’s not easy to wait for the right moment with the camera ready to shoot without such an accessory. Unlike many other zoom lenses in this range, however, the tripod clamp is already included with Sigma. This, of course, can be snapped into place in both landscape and portrait modes, which is very convenient. And with the tripod clamp, the Arca-Swiss compatible plate is already built in and the lens can be used here immediately.
Another striking feature is the rather large diameter of the front lens at 95mm, so you won’t be using filters here very quickly.
The shortest shooting distance is 58cm, which gives a reproduction ratio of 1:2.9, which is quite remarkable for a zoom in this focal length range.
What is very nicely solved in the Sigma lens is the zoom ring. There is the switch with position L(ocked) , T(ight) and S(mooth). With the latter setting, you can pull the front of the lens or squeeze it and then have
a sliding zom in terms of handling. I always have the switch in the S position when I shoot, which suits my way of working.
Of course there are also settings to change the focus to manual, a focus limiter, so that the focus is determined only in the range from 10m and of course a setting for the stabilizer. This either provides a stabilized image, is more suitable for follow alongs, or turns the stabilizer off completely. On a monopod, I always have the switch in position 1.
In addition, there is a custom switch that can be freely assigned with the Sigma USB dock. But I have no experience with this, because I do not own such a dock.
I find the quality excellent and it surprised me how well then works in conjunction with the Lumix S5 the animal detection. We spotted the heron in the morning in our park and I went out the next day with the Sigma 150-600mm lens.
Also, there is virtually no need to stop down, the images are crisp, even if you stop down just a little at the long end of the zoom lens.
But maybe the slight stopping down is just for your own peace of mind 🙂
In any case, the quality convinced me, even if the size and weight of the lens is not one that you always have in your backpack. But if you have the sigma with you, it is a guarantee at least for sharp shots.
The Sigma 150-600mm is an excellent lens. It rbings equipment advantages with and despite the stabilization I would not use it as a rule without (monopod) tripod. And here the built-in Arca Swiss plate also comes in handy.