Sigma 60-600mm Sport Field Test: Return of the “Bigma” telephoto zoom lens


posted Friday, February 22, 2019 at 4:15 PM EDT

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Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 Sports Field Test


Sports and especially wildlife photography oftentimes require massive, heavy telephoto lenses, particularly telephoto prime lenses. These big prime lenses fantastic optically, but they are also usually extremely expensive, very heavy and not all that versatile given that they are single focal length lenses. For many photographers, enthusiasts and hobbyists in particular, an exotic telephoto prime lens is not a worthwhile expense. However, there are affordable telephoto zoom lenses available which offer plenty of reach, but also the versatility of a zoom, all at a price much more palatable. One such lens is the Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports lens.

I recently had the chance to test the lens on a pair of Nikon DSLR cameras, including a full-frame camera. While there's a general lack of variety in terms of wildlife to photograph in Maine this time of year, I had ample opportunities to photograph small, fast-moving subjects such as birds and rodents. These critters are often quite challenging for a lens with respect to autofocus, but the Sigma 60-600mm impressed me. While it is not as fast a super-expensive prime lens in terms of focusing speeds or maximum aperture, the lens still worked well and did a nice job. Plus, it costs around $2,000, which makes it a really nice value in its category.

Shot with Nikon D800E. 600mm (600mm equiv.), f/6.3, 1/640s, ISO 140. This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw.

Optical performance is good, although with some notable limitations. Sigma's optical engineers had a very delicate balance to maintain between performance, usability and affordability with the 60-600mm lens given its impressive zoom capabilities. Regarding the lens' build quality and usability, it is a ruggedly-built lens and includes weather sealing. Understandably, it's quite large and heavy, but it balances nicely on a DSLR camera. You can see how the size of the lens compares at 60mm and 600mm in the product image below.

Sigma 60-600mm DG OS HSM Sports lens. Top image: 60mm focal length. Bottom image: Lens set to 600mm focal length.

To read my full thoughts on the Sigma 60-600mm Sports lens, head over to my Field Test

• Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 Sports Field TestGallery