Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM £700, $1070

The cheap­est lens in our group loses out to a cou­ple of newer de­signs, but is still great value

NPhoto - - Test Team -

Any­body look­ing for se­ri­ous telephoto reach at a bar­gain price should find this Sigma a good com­pro­mise. It has a vari­able (and not ter­ri­bly fast) widest aper­ture of f/5.66.3, but the trade-off is that it’s quite light, at just 1.78kg. The build is ba­sic, with­out weather seals or even a rub­ber seal­ing ring on the mount, and there’s no fo­cus-range lim­iter switch, but plus points in­clude ring-type ul­tra­sonic aut­o­fo­cus and a dualmode op­ti­cal sta­biliser of­fer­ing both static and pan­ning modes.

Op­ti­cal con­struc­tion in­cludes three SLD (Spe­cial Low Dis­per­sion) el­e­ments which are de­signed to help with chro­matic aber­ra­tion (colour fring­ing), and Sigma’s ‘Su­per Multi-Layer Coat­ing’ to re­duce ghost­ing and flare. The fil­ter thread is typ­i­cally large at 86mm, but still smaller than in the newer Sigma and Tam­ron 150-600mm lenses.

Per­for­mance

Im­age qual­ity is re­spectable for a su­per-telephoto zoom lens at this price. Sharp­ness is good through­out the zoom range, but it’s best to stop down to around f/8 at the long end of the fo­cal length range, where lat­eral chro­matic aber­ra­tions are also more no­tice­able than with com­pet­ing lenses in the group. In our lab tests, the sta­biliser gave an im­prove­ment equal to about three stops.

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