Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary Lens Review: The best bang-for-your-buck supertelephoto zoom?


posted Monday, March 30, 2015 at 1:44 PM EST


At this most recent Photokina tradeshow, Sigma introduced a pair of updated full-frame supertelephoto zoom lenses: the 150-600mm f/5-6.3 'Sport' and a smaller, lighter 'Contemporary' version. We had a brief weekend to experiment with the Sport version back in October, but now we've been able to get our hands on the Contemporary model for a longer span of time and run it through the paces here in our test lab.

As the lighter weight version of Sigma's pair of 150-600mm lenses, the Contemporary still uses a similar barrel construction and finish as its larger sibling, but instead uses a different optical layout with 20 elements in 14 groups, with a single FLD and three SLD glass elements to keep the size and weight down -- plus, it's only weather-sealed around the lens mount.


The Sigma 150-600 Contemporary is a very good lens, with an outstanding performance to dollar ratio, and the build quality feels excellent. It's a great bargain, given both its versatility and the prices for the alternatives from the major manufacturers. While image quality isn't super tack sharp, especially at 500-600mm (and the corners aren't as crisp on full-frame cameras), if you factor in all the cash left in your bank account as opposed to purchasing a 500mm or 600mm prime lens or something like the Canon 200-400mm f/4 lens, you'll be thoroughly impressed and chuckling all the way to the bank.

Available at this time for pre-order in Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts, the Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary ships with a soft case and strap, a removable tripod mount with another strap that hooks to the tripod foot, a large barrel-shaped lens hood, tripod mount protector as well as front and rear lens caps. The lens has a pre-order retail price of $1,089. It should be noted that a Sony A-mount version was also mentioned during the initial product announcement, but this version has since been removed from both Sigma's website and online retailers. Check out Adorama or B&H for more info on pre-ordering. Buying this lens, or any other item, at one of these trusted affiliates helps support this site and keeps the reviews coming!

For all the details from our review, including our analysis of both full-frame and APS-C image sharpness plus chromatic aberration, vignetting, distortion as well as handling and AF performance, head over for our in-depth Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Contemporary review!

In the meantime, check out some sample photos shot by our lens technician Rob Murray using the Canon 1Ds Mark III and William Brawley using the Canon 7D. You can view more sample photos, plus download the full-resolution files, over at our Flickr page.

Canon 7D: 600mm, f/6.3, 1/1250s, ISO 640
(Converted from RAW using Adobe Camera Raw default settings.)
Canon 1Ds Mark III: 600mm, f/6.3, 1/640s, ISO 400
Canon 7D: 600mm, f/7.1, 1/800s, ISO 640
(Converted from RAW using Adobe Camera Raw default settings.)
Canon 1Ds Mark III: 600mm, f/6.3, 1/640s, ISO 400
Canon 1Ds Mark III: 150mm, f/5.0, 1/500s, ISO 100

Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary review