Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Review
The Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports is a versatile 10x telephoto zoom lens for full-frame DSLR cameras, and APS-C sensor cameras with an effective increase in focal length. It's actually the world’s first 10x optical zoom telephoto lens with a tele end of 600mm.
Incorporating 25 elements in 19 groups, the Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports features a rounded 9 blade diaphragm which creates an attractive blur to out-of-focus areas of the image, built-in optical image stabilisation with an effect of 4 stops and an accelerometer for vertical and horizontal panning, and a Hyper Sonic Motor for fast and quiet autofocusing.
There's also a zoom lock switch that can be locked at any focal length that's marked on the lens barrel, manual override (MO) which is activated by rotating the focus ring while using autofocus, a maximum magnification ratio of 1:3.3 (at the 200mm focal length), a water and oil-repellent coating on the front and rear lenses, and a dust and splash-proof construction.
The Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports lens is available in Sigma, Canon and Nikon mounts priced at £1899.99 / $1999.99 in the UK and the US, respectively.
Ease of Use
Weighing in at a whopping 2700g and measuring 27cm in length, the Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports is a very big and heavy lens indeed, although it is slightly lighter and shorter than the similar Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports lens.
As seen in the photos below, it dwarves even a full-frame camera like the Canon EOS 5DS R. This is not a lens that you can hand-hold for too long, being much more at home mounted on a sturdy tripod or monopod, and we'd recommend attaching a battery grip to the camera body too. The lens also extends by quite a long way when zoomed out from 60mm to 600mm.
Build quality is excellent. The Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports lens has a complex part magnesium, part Carbon fiber reinforced plastic, part Thermally Stable Composite (TSC) construction. It incorporates a brass bayonet mount that's claimed to be more durable. The optical elements are made of high-grade glass with three FLD glass elements (performance equal to fluorite) and one SLD glass element, while the lens has a dust and splash-proof construction.
In terms of features, the Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports offers everything that you need from a professional telephoto zoom lens. This very usefully includes built-in Vibration Reduction, activated by the OS switch on the lens barrel, which offers around 4 stops of compensation. The OS system has two modes - mode 1 is suitable for general photography, and mode 2 is best for panning shots of moving subjects in a horizontal direction (not vertical).
Focusing is internal and manual focusing is possible when set via the Focus switch on the lens barrel. Full-time manual focus override is also available by setting the Focus switch to the MO mode and then rotating the focus ring.
The Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports lens has a large focus ring, and it is ridged for easier grip. There are hard stops at both ends of the range, making it easier to set focus at infinity. Polariser users should be pleased that the massive 105mm filter thread doesn't rotate on focus.
When it comes to auto-focusing, the Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports zoom is a quick performer, taking about 0.15 seconds to lock onto the subject when mounted on the Canon EOS 5DS R that we tested it with.
We didn't experience very much "hunting", either in good or bad light, with the lens accurately focusing almost all of the time. It's also a very quiet performer, thanks to the built-in HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor).
The focus limiter switch has three settings, Full, 6m-infinity and minimum focusing distance-6m, which helps speed up the auto-focusing if you know how far your subject is from the lens. You can also use the USB dock to customise these ranges to your own needs. A clear distance scale in both feet and meters runs from the closest focusing distance of 60cm at 60mm / 260cm at 600mm, to infinity.
The Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports lens also offers a a zoom lock switch that can be locked at any of the marked focal lengths, which is useful when storing the lens to prevent zoom creep.
The tripod collar has a locking knob that allows the lens and camera to rotate freely to position them horizontally or vertically. The tripod socket has both a 1/4" and 3/8" screw holes, and is Arca Swiss compatible.
The Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports ships with a good quality soft case, a shoulder strap, and a very large circular metal lens hood (LH1144-01). It accepts 105mm filters.
At the 60mm focal length the angle of view is 39.6 degrees.
Field of view at 60mm
At the 600mm focal length the angle of view is 4.1 degrees.
Field of view at 600mm
Chromatic aberrations, typically seen as purple or blue fringes along contrasty edges, are for the most part very well controlled. Here are some examples (100% crops).
With the lens set to its maximum aperture, there is significant light fall-off in the corners at both ends of the zoom range. Stopping-down to f/11 virtually eliminates this. There's some barrel distortion at 60mm, but no obvious pin-cushion distortion at 600mm.
Light fall-off at 60mm
Light fall-off at 600mm
The Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports isn't claimed to be a macro lens. It has a minimum focusing distance of 60cm at 60mm and 260cm at 600mm and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:3.3 (at 200mm). The following examples demonstrates how close you can get to your subject.
Bokeh is a word used for the out-of-focus areas of a photograph, and is usually described in qualitative terms, such as smooth / creamy / harsh etc. In the Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports lens, Sigma employed an iris diaphragm with nine rounded blades, which has resulted in very nice bokeh in our view. We do realise, however, that bokeh evaluation is subjective, so we've included several 100% crops for your perusal.
In order to show you how sharp this lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following pages.