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Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports & Contemporary mechanical comparison

Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports & Contemporary mechanical comparison (click for larger)

DC Watch met the developers of the 150-600mm Sports and Contemporary lenses for a long interview. The awkward Google translation (the truth about Sports lenses is at the end of this post) likely made me miss a few bits of info, but here you go nonetheless.

  • Although the two lenses were unveiled at the same time, Sigma took a few extra months to refine the Contemporary version.
  • The extensive use of metal in the S plays a big role in the extra weight (2,860 g) compared to the C (1,930 g), which utilizes more plastic (TSC I guess).
  • The size of the front lens was mostly determined by the position of the diaphragm. The closer to the sensor plane, the larger the front lens has to be, for a given level of peripheral illumination. That’s why the S boasts a larger front element. It’s not a matter of corner resolution.
  • There should not be any noticeable difference in OS effectiveness between the two models. Both incorporate the latest advances in this technology, with just a few differences in how the units are integrated.
  • Following the previous point, Sigma didn’t want to cripple the 150-600mm C, even though it is supposed to be a lower-end lens. In particular, it offers the same feature-rich switch panel as found on the S version.
  • The slit at the base of the C’s lens hood helps eliminate debris and reduce motion when the wind blows, by allowing the air to flow out.

[Source: SIGMA 150-600mm|Sports & Contemporary, at DC Watch]

The Fun Bit

Thanks to Google Translation for revealing what Sigma’s Sports category is all about (but we already had a hint)…

For a model that has been planned as APO 150-500mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM successor, would contradict the specification occurs when the you can put the all the elements required for the super-telephoto zoom of this class, robustness and reliability and differentiate into two products of and sex-oriented “Sports” line, of portability and mobility-oriented “Contemporary”.

  • tpalmer

    Just got a notice from Adorama that they are shipping my 150-600 sport – Nikon mount !!!. I had placed my order in January

    • Florent – SigmaRumors

      Finally! Canon or Nikon mount ?

      • tpalmer

        Nikon

  • animalsbybarry

    A magnitude 8 earthquake occured today off the coast of Japan.
    This may have an effect on production, but it is difficult to see how it can make Sigma lens production any worse.

    • CERO

      the quake was pretty far away from land as far I know (middle of the sea)

  • Nikos Delhanidis

    S = I get better than 200-400 VR + TC 14E-II/III performance in AF, stabilization, sharpness and color (except aperture) plus 150mm minimum focal length instead of 300mm, for 1800 euros, new, instead of the minimum 3700 + 350 for used Nikon. That for me as a client is aligned with what i expect from photographic equipment manufacturers, brand or third party, and so its of the few times i can applaud for a product concept.

    Now if the C = Tamron i really don’t know with what criteria Sigma expects customers to choose the C instead of the Tamron. Maybe they should had devoted the C resources to sort out the production of the S (leading to more and faster sales, which could result in further price drops maybe) and possibly refine it also in the direction of further reduced cost or weight such as exploring maybe new lighter weight glass possibilities etc. They should maybe had focused on how to strengthen the competitiveness of their unique in the market S rather than choking it with poor delivery while they try simultaneously to release a Sigma version of the Tamron.

  • animalsbybarry

    Sony has nothing in a long lens of any interest.
    They are definitely overdue to make a superzoom…with the popularit of this class a 300-600 f5-5.6 seems like a smart move for them. Mayby even 300-700mm

  • Just Me

    Considering the comparative reviews I have seen…it is more than just being “sexy.” But I’ll take the sexy with all the other pros of the “S” 😉

    • EarlFargis

      Sigma’s marketing spin begs the question why not make 2 versions of the Contemporary, one plastic and one metal, if build quality and styling were the principal design considerations?

      Sigma’s sold a slew of Sports and are now priming the marketing pump for the Contemporary.

      • animalsbybarry

        How can they have sold a slew of lenses when they have only built a handfull of lenses.

        • EarlFargis

          I’m sure they’ve sold many, particularly overseas not to mention the queue going around the block in America.

        • EarlFargis

          Alternative theory: Sigma realizes their Sports production woes are a hopeless epic fail and are trying to redirect customers to the Contemporary which they think they can produce in larger numbers. This would fit my theory Sigma is choking on meeting Sports demand because of exotic glass supply issues. Glass problems could have been tied to their previous QA production slowdown.

          • animalsbybarry

            My issues have been so frustrating because there are multple issues.
            I want to upgrade both my lens and camera..
            Sony is certain to eventually be making the high res camera I want.
            I currently use A mount but Sony appears to be switching to E mount..I say apparently because everything is still so secret..
            Sony makes no good long lenses, and Sigma has decided not to make thier lenses in A mount.
            Canon has the first high mp camera but there are too many things I do not like about it, and I can only guess that so mm eday Nikon will come out with high res.
            So I decide to buy the less expensive d5500 so I can get a sport lens..and I wait, and wait, and wait with my new Nikon. Equipment tjat is totally useless to me…to the point where I am missing opportunities because I am waiting too long.
            I have to totally gamble on who will make the new equipment I really want because no real information is coming.
            Since the only lens I can reasonable get in the predictable future is Tamron I now talked B&H into taking back all my unused Nikon stuff I have had for 2 months…thank you B&H…and I will get the Tammy for A mount.
            It’s not my lens of choice and may not be the correct choice, but its the leastexpensive choice and the only one I can do NOW.
            I expect my decision will be a mistake and I will upgrade this new lens soon, but as far asmistakes go this is the least expensive mistake I can make, and I will only risk the cost of the lens.

          • EarlFargis

            I know you probably more than anyone I know want high resolution gear so anything I say probably wont help but you’re looking at paying a huge sum (Sigma Sports + Nikon APS-C now + $3k+ 50 MP FF in year or so) versus a perfectly fine Sony a77II + Tamron which will deliver 95% of the IQ for $1k. You could buy a used Minolta 600mm prime cheaper than all that Nikon gear and end up with sharper images with little loss of detail.

          • animalsbybarry

            Exactly my logic for the Tamron.
            The old Minolta is big , heavy, expensive, slower to focus, and a single focsl length, so I will not go that option…plus it’s white..I dont want a big white lens that will scare my subjects away.

  • Mac

    I ended up ordering mine from abroad to get it for the Nikon mount. Also, I just cancelled my US order, so you should be moving up in the queue.

    • EarlFargis

      You won’t be disappointed. Enjoy it!

  • SimenO

    There is so many layers of metal and plastic adding to the weight. Do they have to make lenses to mechanically complicated? How could they reduce the weight? How many percent of the total weight is glass?

    • Cyrille Berger

      I am sure that if they could do with less mechanical complexity they would. But the mechanical structure of the lens is probably as important as the glass used in the lens when it comes to performance and quality. You need to keep the glass elements at the correct position, while controlling their motion for the auto focus and vibration reduction, and that require a good mechanical construction.

      • SimenO

        I’m shure they could if weight that was top priority, but i guess its not.

        I imagine a lens with a simple lightweight barrel (sandwiched or extruded sandwich-like structure) and each lens element mounted on 3 rails inside the barrel. In stead of a rotating ring type ultra sound motor they could have linear ultra sound motors inside each rail. That would enable better freedom of movement and programability combined with reduced weight.

  • animalsbybarry

    This is how Sigma will build these lenses.
    When do they plan to start?

  • animalsbybarry

    Delivery of my sport version has once again been pushed back . They now say June 22.
    I have already missed most of the best sprlng wildlife opportunites…the Wood ducks in my pond have left thier box with 13 chicks and are gone till next year.
    I am returning all my new Nikon equipment that I have been unable to use because I have no lens for it…B & H was considerate enough to allow me to return it even though I have had them longer than thier policy permits.
    I may either get a Tamron for Sony, or get another Nikon camera after my lens ships.
    After I resolve this lens issue I have no current plans to buy any more Sigma products. It will take quite a bit of convincing before I will buy anther Sigma product, if ever.

    • Russell Ferris

      You did this to yourself, preordering such a hot product.

      • animalsbybarry

        I guess I should be ordering the crapiest lenses that no one wants instead so I can actually get it. 😉

        • Russell Ferris

          It’s not that, sometimes you may have to wait for a hot product from a small company. In this case the product is also a pain in the ass to build(well).

          • animalsbybarry

            After many many promised amd changed arrival dates….one of which was today….the latest one is June 22…but I am also being told even that is not certain.
            I have sent back all my Nikon stuff and I plan to cancel all my Sigma orders and purchase a Tamron in Sony mount.
            Even if this layest promise were to be kept…which is highly unlikely..it will be way too late to be acceptable to me.
            I will be saving a lot of money so if someone makes a better lens…whi

          • Russell Ferris

            This sounds like you should be boycotting the liars who are shipping you the lens.

          • animalsbybarry

            I cant do that…no one is shipping me the lens, otherwise I would have it.
            I cannot fault the retailer for passing on the delivery information provided to them by Sigma

          • animalsbybarry

            Canon is rumored to be working on an economical superzoom…slower than f4

          • EarlFargis

            Since Canon will be the first out the door to break the 50 MP barrier this should give you some small glimmer of hope about the future. I doubt they would come out with a lens that couldn’t keep up with it.

          • animalsbybarry

            Sony has already said all thier newest lenses are ready for the high resolution sensors that are coming, as has Sony and even Tamron is claiming thier very newest lenses are ready…not the 150-600…
            I spoke with a Sigma tech rep about resolution and he claimed both 150-600s could handle the 36mp Nikon…but when I spoke about the new 50 mp sensprs, and even about 24mp apsc sensors…he backed off and would make no promises about handling anything more than the 36mp sensor..claiming it can handle the cameras that are currently available but specifically avoiding any claims about the 24mp apsc.
            The mtf charts on these lenses indicate room for improvement…particularly at the higher resolutions.
            I expect that whichever of these lenses I get I will probably want to upgrade soon…so spending as little as possible now seems to make sense.

    • Pittsburgh Kid

      Why didn’t you rent something from Lensrentals?

      In over 40 years of photography I have NEVER missed an opportunity due to the lack of one lens.

      If I don’t have the lens I need, I improvise, adapt and overcome. I still use my older long teles while sorting out whether I want to try the 300PF or one of the Sigma zooms.

      • animalsbybarry

        I shre my time between working, photography , and painting.
        I have been trying to keep up with the painting and did not want to reshoot with the new lems.
        The animals are in my own pond so I was hoping the lens would arrive in time to use it.
        I did not know how long my Wood Ducks would stay.
        I have an important shoot comimg up. If I wait a month I will cut it too close, so unless Sigma surprises me I will be cancelling all my Sigma stuff and going with Tamron.
        This will save me money too because. I can use my Sony cameras and do not have to buy a Nikon.
        If soneone like maby Sony comes out with a better long lens I can put the money I saved towards that.
        I would really like it if Sony makes a 300-600 f5.6.
        If Sigma makes one I will not be preordering it.

    • EarlFargis

      That June 22nd surprises me though I should be used to Sigma’s pathetic attempts at unraveling the mysteries of mass production by now.

      The Tamron should serve you well and save you a bundle to boot. Sorry about your lost opportunities. I shared your pain for the longed time and, like you, I am no mood to forgive Sigma for being such slugs.

      • animalsbybarry

        I think it was meant to be…an entire new generation of hogher resolution ready lenses are coming out…and thes three lenses are not part of that generation.
        I will be getting enough money back to pay for my Tamy…I will have very little money invested in thos lens so I am ready for this next generation pf superzooms.
        I jave preordered the new 90mm f2.8 macro for Sony fe mount…it appears to currently be the best macro made, lots of new tech.
        Latest press releases make it crystal clear that A mount is being discontinued, but new E mount adapters are sure to show up.
        Nikon has been the most silent of them all about new cameras.
        The othe big thing happening is the multi exposure, sensor shift, high res modes that everyone seems to be building. If this csn somehow become usable handheld it would be awesome. As is it is of limited use.

  • Pittsburgh Kid

    Instead of doing interviews, the Chairman should have plunked their behinds down on the production line until they were caught up.

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