Lens review

Sigma S 500 mm f/4 DG OS HSM

Sigma S 500 mm f/4 DG OS HSM
5 September 2017
Arkadiusz Olech

1. Introduction

When it comes to fixed focal length telephoto lenses with focal lengths starting from 200 mm upwards the Sigma’s line-up has never been exactly extensive. In fact for years that producer was concentrating on three models: the 2.8/300, the 4.5/500 and the 5.6/800. Just three lenses – really not much if you compare that to, say, the Canon’s offer which features as many as 11 lenses (the 2/200, the 2.8/200, the 2.8/300, the 4/300, the 2.8/400, the 4/400, the 5.6/400, the 4/500, the 4/600, the 5.6/800 and the 5.6/1200).

Still Sigma have been developing their ‘primes’ line in leaps and bounds – after a whole array of launches in the 14-135 mm range the time has come for longer focal lengths. In September 2016 we were shown the Sigma S 500 mm f/4 DG OS HSM which is not only a bit faster aperture-wise from its predecessor but also equipped with an optical stabilization unit and an ultrasonic autofocus motor, two ‘must-have’ features when it comes to top-of-the-range telephoto lenses.

The majority of lenses presented by Sigma in the last several years have been real gems of optics; gems usually sold at prices lower than those of competitors and offering you a sensational image quality all the same. In the case of this lens the strategy remains the same: excellent optics and mechanics quality is offered for a sum two times lower than the price of 4/500 devices produced by Canon and Nikon. Still, apart from mechanics and optics, in this kind of equipment the autofocus performance is crucial too. How the new Sigma fared in our test? Let’s find out in the following chapters – enjoy your lecture!

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We would like to thank the Sigma ProCentrum company for sending us very quickly the final specimen of the lens for testing.

You are also invited to get acquainted with our test procedure, described in the article "How do we test lenses?" If you feel it’s still not enough, please go to our FAQ section where you can find some further explanation.

Sigma S 500 mm f/4 DG OS HSM - Introduction