Sigma 150-500mm f5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM Sony and Pentax mount lens review: Versatile super-telephoto zoom

By Kevin Carter - Friday, February 07, 2014

Lens Review
Introduction | Sigma 150-500mm f5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM mounted on Sony SLT A99: Good performance | Sigma 150-500mm f5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM mounted on Pentax K-3: Slightly disappointing sharpness | Sigma 150-500mm f5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM vs. Sony 70-400mm f4.5-5.6 G SSM II mounted on Sony SLT A-99: Competitive IQ | Sigma 150-500mm f5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM vs. Pentax smc DA 55-300mm f4.5-5.8 ED mounted Pentax K-3: Uncompetitive at 300mm | Conclusion
Sigma 150-500mm f5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM Sony and Pentax mount lens review: Versatile super-telephoto zoom

Sigma are well known for their accessibly priced models and at just under $1,100 the 150-500mm f5-6.3 APO seems like a promising alternative to the premium offerings from the camera makers. Although one of the older models in the firm’s range now, does it still have what it needs to compete with more modern rivals?

Introduced only six years ago, the Sigma 150-500mm f5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM has yet to be included in the firm’s revamping initiative but as one of the few zooms with a 500mm maximum focal length and modest price of under $1,100 it’s a popular model with wildlife photographers.

As well as the tempting zoom range the Sigma has four-stop image stabilization (Sony and Pentax users are advised to turn off respective in-body stabilization according to Sigma) and an ultrasonic-type AF motor for fast and quiet autofocus. The optical construction consists of 21 elements arranged in 15 groups and includes three low-dispersion glass elements to correct chromatic aberration.

Wildlife photographers will also appreciate the useful minimum focus distance of 86.6” (2.2m) at all focal lengths including 500mm and the lens’ maximum magnification of 1:5.2. With a 86mm accessory thread and measuring 9.9 x 3.6” (252 x 94.7mm) it’s a comparatively compact model but it’s no lightweight at 62.8 oz (1,780g).

Please note that we’ve yet to complete our assessment of the promising new SP 150-600mm f5-6.3 Di VC USD from Tamron, which was unveiled in November last year at $1,999 (though already available at around $999). However, our review will be posted soon.

Sigma 150-500mm f5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM mounted on Sony SLT A99: Good performance

Sigma 150-500mm f5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM mounted on Pentax K-3: Slightly disappointing sharpness

Sigma 150-500mm f5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM vs. Sony 70-400mm f4.5-5.6 G SSM II mounted on Sony SLT A-99: Competitive IQ

Sigma 150-500mm f5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM vs. Pentax smc DA 55-300mm f4.5-5.8 ED mounted Pentax K-3: Uncompetitive at 300mm

Conclusion