Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM | S £1200, $2000
What’s good: Enormous telephoto reach, high-end features and performance, weather seals. What’s bad: Its weight makes it uncomfortable for prolonged handheld shooting. Our verdict: It’s a fabulous super-telephoto zoom and excellent value at the price.
Sigma’s 150-600mm S has a mighty zoom range, while retaining excellent sharpness and contrast at all focal lengths. It also has super-fast autofocus, highly effective stabilisation and refined handling. The only down side is that, at nearly three kilograms, it’s a heavyweight.
For maintaining the same zoom range in a lighter package, the Sigma 150600mm C is an unbeatable bargain buy with its advanced feature set. The Tamron 150-600mm is a little more basic and is softer at the long end, but boasts a more extensive set of weather seals.
Nikon’s 200-500mm loses out on zoom range but combines very good image quality with impressive performance, and is good value. The Nikon 300mm is only worth considering if you’re after a relatively compact prime lens, while the Nikon 80-400mm zoom is poorer value than other options. In the 70-200mm f/2.8 camp, the Nikon reigns supreme, but the Tamron is very capable and is the best choice if you’re on a tight budget.