Sigma launches twin 150-600mm lenses, TCs; sets price, availability for dp1 Quattro and 18-300 lens


posted Friday, September 12, 2014 at 1:00 AM EDT


For fans of versatile telephoto-to-super-telephoto zoom lenses, Sigma is not letting Tamron have all the fun, announcing not one but two variants of a full-frame 150-600mm f/5-6/3 image stabilized lens. Tamron's all-around 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD SP  will now have some healthy competition, thanks to the announcement of the 150-600mm F/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports and 150-600mm F/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary lenses.

Why two lenses with the same range? The 'Sport' version of this "hyper-telephoto zoom" lens, as Sigma puts it, is a professional-grade lens with increased image quality performance thanks to a whopping 24 elements in 16 groups, including two "F" Low Dispersion and three Super-Low Dispersion glass elements. These FLD glass elements have an extremely high light transmission, which Sigma characterizes as being equal to the optical quality of fluorite elements. Given the complex optical configuration with numerous elements, the 'Sport' variant is the larger of the two, measuring in at over 11 inches long and almost five inches in diameter, with a weight of around 6.3lbs. (2.9 kg).

Sigma 150-600mm F/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports @150mm with lens hood attached.

The more consumer-focused option is the 'Contemporary' model and is much more compact and lighter in weight thanks to a wholly different optical construction. Offering a much more comfortable, 'hand-holdable' design, the 150-600mm Contemporary lens features an optical layout consisting of 20 elements in 14 groups, with a single FLD and three SLD glass elements. While weight of this model is not currently available from Sigma, the dimensions will be 4.1 inches wide and 10.2 inches long. For photographers looking to balance high performance with better portability, the 'Contemporary' version should be right on the money.

Sigma 150-600mm F/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary @ 150mm without lens hood.

Another point of differentiation between these two models is the degree of dust- and weather-sealing. The Sport version is said to be more fully sealed, with Sigma stating that it features "a splash and dust proof construction," whereas for the Contemporary model, the lens is only said to be  dust- and splash-proof around the mount.

Both versions, however, offer water- and oil-repellant front and rear lens elements, and built-in optical image stabilization with an accelerometer that Sigma says aims to improve vertical and horizontal panning, which is great for bird and other wildlife photography, as well as motor sports. Autofocus performance should be fast and silent as with other Global Vision lenses, thanks to the Hyper Sonic Motor AF system.

Sigma 150-600mm F/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports

And being two of Sigma's latest Global Vision optics, both 150-600mm lenses are compatible with Sigma's USB Dock calibration and updating system, as well as its Mount Conversion Service. Both the Sport and Contemporary versions of the 150-600mm lens will be available in Canon EF, Nikon F and Sigma SA-mounts.

Now, if you feel that 600mm is simply not long enough, Sigma has also introduced two new teleconverters -- the first produced under their Global Vision design focus. The TC-1401 and TC-2001 offer 1.4x and 2x focal length magnification, respectively, with the same 1-stop and 2-stop losses in aperture size.

The TC-1401 (left) and TC-2001 (right)

The TC-1401 includes one SLD glass element, while the TC-2001 includes two, which should help minimize chromatic aberration and maintain the sharp optical performance of the original lens.

Both teleconverters are compatible with the new 150-600mm lenses, however other lens compatibility is unknown at this time, but we'd very much expect the fast 120-300mm f/2.8 Sport lens to be compatible.  The TC-1401 will have a retail price around $350, while the TC-2001 will go for around $400, and both will come in Canon, Nikon and Sigma mount varieties. Availability has not yet been stated.

Also announced alongside the new teleconverters are four new Global Vision lens filters: a standard Protector filter and a water-repellant version, as well as water repellant UV and Circular Polarizer filters. All but the standard Protector glass filter are considered anti-static as well. All four styles of filters will be offered in 13 different sizes to fit the full range of Sigma lenses, and feature Sigma's Super Multi-Layer Coating for reduced flare and ghosting aberrations.

Sigma 18-300mm F/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM Contemporary

Finally, Sigma announced pricing and availability details for two previously-unveiled products. The 18-300mm F/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM Contemporary lens, a 16.6x high-ratio zoom for APS-C cameras, is set to be available in October for a street price of $580, and will be available in Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony Alpha and Sigma mounts. Alongside this lens is an optional close-up lens for enhanced macro shooting capabilities, and it will also be available in October for $55.

Also Sigma's wider-angle version of their Quattro series of Foveon-based compact cameras, the dp1 Quattro, also received availability information today. The dp1 Quattro with its fixed 19mm f/2.8 lens is set to be available in December. 

Announced alongside the dp1 Quattro was the introduction of a new LCD magnifying viewfinder accessory. Attaching to any of the three Quattro cameras' LCD screens, the LCD View Finder LVF-01 provides a 2.5x magnification (with diopter adjustment) to help with critical focusing and shading in bright lighting conditions, as well as a third point of body contact for improved stabilization. The LCD View Finder LVF-01 is set to hit stores in December as well, but pricing is currently unknown as of press time.

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