Sigma APO 50-500mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM £1000, $1660
This is a chunky, heavy lens, but it’s the one that reigns supreme for outright zoom range
A maximum focal length of 500mm isn’t a standout feature in today’s market, but this Sigma has a class-leading 10x zoom range. Naturally, it’s debatable how often you’ll want to use a 50mm lens that weighs almost 2kg. The only times it might be useful is if you’re shooting at long telephoto settings and suddenly want to capture a wider angle but don’t have time to swap lenses, or conditions are dusty or humid.
Like the Sigma 150-500mm lens on test, this one lacks weather seals and has no focus-range limiter switch. Unlike the other lens, the closest focus distance is variable, going from 50cm to 180cm as you extend through the zoom range. Other similarities include ring-type ultrasonic autofocus and dual-mode stabilisation. The latter feature wasn’t included in the original ‘Bigma’ 50-500mm lens, as it was known. It’s possible to fit front-mounted filters, but the thread size is 95mm.
Levels of sharpness at the long end of the zoom range are similar to those of the Sigma 150-600mm, with the same ability to maintain sharpness at the widest available aperture. However, barrel distortion is noticeable at 50mm and chromatic aberrations are a little higher than average.