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

NPhoto - - Test Team -

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.

Per­for­mance

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.

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