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Lens review

Sigma 150-500 mm f/5.0-6.3 APO DG OS HSM

16 July 2009
Szymon Starczewski

11. Summary

Pros:
  • good or very good picture quality in the range of 150-370 mm,
  • solid barrel and good workmanship quality,
  • good control over chromatic aberration,
  • low vignetting,
  • low distortion,
  • quite well-controlled astigmatism,
  • low coma,
  • autofocus silent and quite quick,
  • generous selection of accessories,
  • two-year long warranty period, with a possibility of one-year extension.

Cons:

  • weak frame edge picture quality at wide aperture,
  • too low picture quality at 500 mm focal length,
  • f/6.3 already from 290 mm,
  • average work against the bright light,
  • huge filters diameter.

It is really difficult to sum up this lens’s performance in a objective way as there is practically nothing you can compare it to. The only rival in its class is the Tamron 200-500 mm and we haven’t had the opportunity to test it so far. Honestly, the Sigma 150 –500 mm is one of the cheapest ways to get 500 mm focal length and a working autofocus system. Of course there are other ways to achieve it but they are always pretty tricky. When you use the lenses of the Canon 5.6/400, 100-400 mm IS class or a Nikkor 80-400 mm VR, you must buy a 1.4x converter and cover the contacts to make the autofocus work. It is not only more expensive but also it doesn’t guarantee getting any outstanding results because converters almost always deteriorate the picture quality. In the case of Sony we can buy a 8/500 lens but it is a reflex instrument and not everybody likes it. You won’t find anything similar to the Sigma 150 –500 mm on the Pentax or Olympus offer. If you want to have the 500 mm focal length, an image stabilization and you don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for it, for the time being there’s the Sigma and nothing else…

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The testing of both new Sigma telezooms with the stabilization mechanism provoked one more reflection. I regret that Sigma decided to diversify its offer. Now, there are two decent lenses at affordable price. Perhaps it would be better if one of these lenses belonged to the EX series, having significantly better optics. I know it would mean a higher price but, I suppose, a lot of people would gladly pay more to get a better picture quality.


Sample shots:

Sigma 150-500 mm f/5.0-6.3 APO DG OS HSM - Summary Sigma 150-500 mm f/5.0-6.3 APO DG OS HSM - Summary Sigma 150-500 mm f/5.0-6.3 APO DG OS HSM - Summary
Camera: Canon 1D MkIII
Parameters: 150 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/250 sec., ISO 100
File: JPG, 3888x2592 pix, 3.3 MB
Camera: Canon 1D MkIII
Parameters: 313 mm, f/6.3, exp. 1/250 sec., ISO 100
File: JPG, 3888x2592 pix, 3.1 MB
Camera: Canon 1D MkIII
Parameters: 439 mm, f/6.3, exp. 1/250 sec., ISO 100
File: JPG, 3888x2592 pix, 2.7 MB
Sigma 150-500 mm f/5.0-6.3 APO DG OS HSM - Summary Sigma 150-500 mm f/5.0-6.3 APO DG OS HSM - Summary Sigma 150-500 mm f/5.0-6.3 APO DG OS HSM - Summary
Camera: Canon 1D MkIII
Parameters: 289 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/250 sec., ISO 100
File: JPG, 3888x2592 pix, 2.8 MB
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 500 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/1250 sec., ISO 400
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 2.9 MB
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 313 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/200 sec., ISO 400
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 2.4 MB
Sigma 150-500 mm f/5.0-6.3 APO DG OS HSM - Summary Sigma 150-500 mm f/5.0-6.3 APO DG OS HSM - Summary Sigma 150-500 mm f/5.0-6.3 APO DG OS HSM - Summary
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 370 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/320 sec., ISO 400
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 2.3 MB
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 500 mm, f/9.0, exp. 1/800 sec., ISO 400
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 2.6 MB
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 500 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/400 sec., ISO 400
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 2.5 MB
Sigma 150-500 mm f/5.0-6.3 APO DG OS HSM - Summary Sigma 150-500 mm f/5.0-6.3 APO DG OS HSM - Summary Sigma 150-500 mm f/5.0-6.3 APO DG OS HSM - Summary
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 500 mm, f/6.3, exp. 1/640 sec., ISO 400
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 2.5 MB
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 150 mm, f/7.1, exp. 1/1000 sec., ISO 200
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 2.9 MB
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 267 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/1250 sec., ISO 200
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 2.7 MB
Sigma 150-500 mm f/5.0-6.3 APO DG OS HSM - Summary Sigma 150-500 mm f/5.0-6.3 APO DG OS HSM - Summary Sigma 150-500 mm f/5.0-6.3 APO DG OS HSM - Summary
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 370 mm, f/6.3, exp. 1/1000 sec., ISO 200
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 2.6 MB
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 340 mm, f/6.3, exp. 1/1000 sec., ISO 400
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 4.7 MB
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 313 mm, f/6.3, exp. 1/1600 sec., ISO 200
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 2.6 MB
Sigma 150-500 mm f/5.0-6.3 APO DG OS HSM - Summary Sigma 150-500 mm f/5.0-6.3 APO DG OS HSM - Summary Sigma 150-500 mm f/5.0-6.3 APO DG OS HSM - Summary
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 150 mm, f/5.0, exp. 1/80 sec., ISO 400
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 3.1 MB
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 500 mm, f/6.3, exp. 1/800 sec., ISO 400
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 2.9 MB
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 439 mm, f/7.1, exp. 1/500 sec., ISO 400
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 3.0 MB
Sigma 150-500 mm f/5.0-6.3 APO DG OS HSM - Summary Sigma 150-500 mm f/5.0-6.3 APO DG OS HSM - Summary Sigma 150-500 mm f/5.0-6.3 APO DG OS HSM - Summary
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 340 mm, f/6.3, exp. 1/800 sec., ISO 400
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 2.8 MB
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 150 mm, f/5.0, exp. 1/2000 sec., ISO 200
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 3.2 MB
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 500 mm, f/6.3, exp. 1/640 sec., ISO 200
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 2.5 MB




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