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150-600mm Contemporary and Sports

We received information (thanks) that Adorama is shipping the Nikon-mount 150-600mm Sports, and B&H the Nikon-mount 150-600mm Contemporary.

Going through the various reviews, something stands out: the three 150-600mm f/5-6.3 lenses (Sigma S, Sigma C, Tamron) are very close in the image quality department.

Sample variation, shooting technique and subject distance most definitely favor one or the other. See the dissonance between TDP’s conclusion and Lenstip’s, for instance.

May the high-megapixel Canon 5DS reveal more differences in resolving power between these lenses? I don’t think it will, but we’ll find out soon. In the end, AF and build quality could be the deciding factors.

Note that all listed reviews are made on the Canon platform. The Nikon-mount 150-600mm lenses from Sigma are still not very widespread.

Sports version

The Digital Picture

vs. Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II

The Canon easily bests the Sigma in sharpness and contrast over the entire shared native focal length range. Add a 1.4x to get the Canon up to 560mm and the two lenses have similar image sharpness.

vs. Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 VC

The Sigma has sharper corners at 500mm and I would rather have either of the Sigma lenses when I need 600mm. The same lenses retain their sharpness advantage at f/8, but the advantages are slight except at 600mm where the Sigma rules. The Tamron has slightly stronger pincushion distortion. I found the Sigma to more consistently focus accurately and to be handholdable at longer shutter speeds.

Click here to read the full review.

Dustin Abbott

The price may seem high in comparison to the Tamron, but after using this lens I feel that the price is actually extremely reasonable for what you are getting, and would probably still be a decent value if it were $1000 more.

Click here to read the full review.

Focus Numérique

Handheld at 600mm and 3 meters away from the subject, we managed to get a sharp picture at 1/80s with OS on. This is around 3 stops of stabilization.

Click here to read the full review.

Contemporary version


It seems the results of our resolution test are inconclusive as they don’t make a choice between the Sigma and the Tamron any easier. It is true that the Sigma fares a bit better on the edge of the APS-C sensor and noticeably better on the edge of full frame but in the frame centre, at the very important longer end of the focal range, the duel is actually won by the Tamron…

Click here to read the full review.

PC Mag

I was curious to see how the lens focused with the 6D, as its 11-point autofocus system isn’t as robust as higher-end Canon cameras. When using one of the two outlier focus points, the lens could struggle when focusing on a darker area, but that’s more of a knock on the 6D than on the lens. With the center point active, the lens focused nearly instantly in normal field conditions.

Click here to read the full review.

Camera Stuff Review

In the practice shots, we did not come across any visible chromatic aberration, recognizable as colored edges at sharp contrast transitions. In the shots of the test card, we make chromatic aberration visible by blowing up the shots to proportions that you would never use in practice. Chromatic aberration is simple to correct with software, but I wonder if you would ever really need to do so.

Click here to read the full review.


Priced at around £900, this 150-600mm lens from Sigma appears to offer excellent value for money when compared to other lenses offering a similar field of view. Although this lens lacks the dust and moisture resistance of its more expensive Sports series equivalent, it is around £600 less expensive, so it may be worth it to you, if you can live with the slight compromise.

Click here to read the full review.

  • Just Me

    Yeah….I’ve seen people debate a lot of minutia. Sure, use the differences to pick your lens, but all of these seem like good options. I do shoot Canon, so the 100-400 II is an option. But it is the most expensive option (~$2,650 with the 1.4x TC) and, as you say, at least 840 mm is possible. The images are ok, IMO, at ~f/11. Also, adding an extender to the 100-400II limits you to the center AF point only whereas the Sigma 150-600S/C have all AF points at your disposal at 600 mm.
    So, while the 100-400II is tempting….sometimes very tempting…I am very impressed with my 150-600S. So, when you are happy, sometimes you should just stop worrying and be happy…..

    • EarlFargis

      Haven’t still really dug into these reviews like I wanted but did notice one mention at f/11 the new Sigma teleconverter works pretty well with the Sports which was my observation. At first the combo disappointed me but I was shooting wide open.

      Yeah, I have no regret thus far with the Sports. If the extra $1k isn’t a problem I’d say it’s the one to get though I don’t think the minor IQ advantage alone is $1k worth if that makes sense.

  • animalsbybarry

    I got the Tamron
    Sharp everywher except 60mm f6.3
    The new a7rii was anounced for August release
    It allows phase detect hybrid AF with A mount using just an LAEA4 adapter
    What I think that means is we will soon see 3rd party adapters allowing high speed autofocus on Sony E mount with Canon and Nikon glass..we will have to see.
    I am no longer in need of a 150-600 so maybe a future 300-800 update or a lightwieght suprlong prime.
    At this time I am very reluctant to even consider buying a sigma.
    I have ordered the Sony 90mm fe macro 2.8….ad this point it seems to be abought the sharpest lens out there.
    At 2.8 it mtf looks real good, at f8 all the resolution lines seem to sit on top of the 100% line.
    I will also get an a7rii as soon as preordering opens up, but delivery will not begin till August.
    This camera will really hurt Canon because thier d5sr is not even in the same league.

    • EarlFargis

      My earlier (briefer) reply to you appears to be ‘eaten’ by Disqus so apologies if it shows up later as a dupe.

      My belief thus far is that’s the Sports’ advantage: sharpness at 600mm f/6.3 over the pair of cheaper rivals. Worth $1k if you don’t care about build differences? (Rhetorical question)

      I figured you’d be satisfied with the Tamron. Glad it worked out.

      Yeah, I don’t know about a Sony a7R II. A refurbished a7R might be a fun toy to play with my collection of Minolta glass if the price crashes. I’m curious to see if Sony let’s Niikon in on the new sensor or plays games. Silence on Nikon Rumors doesn’t bode well.

      Frankly, I can’t get excited over the new Canon or Sony bodies but maybe reviews will persuade me they’re worth a premium.

      • Jeffry De Meyer

        Yeah to much fanfare about the a7r2, I like it more when it slowly builds like it did the a6000 the nx1 and d750

  • Jeffry De Meyer

    I would pick the sigma, just because you can adjust the focusing properties, it will degrade as time goes by and with the dock you should be able to fix some of the issues

    • Florent – SigmaRumors

      Yep, it’s a real plus of the Sigmas.

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