First Impressions: Sigma 150-600mm F/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Telephoto Zoom Lens

We take Sigma's new monster zoom lens for a spin

Sigma 150-600mm OS Zoom Lens First Impressions Review

Sigma 150-600mm OS Zoom Lens First Impressions Review

Blood Moon

Blood Moon

I was lucky enough to have this lens on-hand when the recent blood moon happened. For this shot, the lens was coupled with a Canon 7D for a bit more reach. It was mounted to a tripod and I was using a shutter release cable because at 1 second and 600mm, triggering the camera without blurring the shot was a challenge. Tech Specs: 600mm at ISO 800. 1 second exposure at an aperture of F/6.3.
Foliage

Foliage

Here's an example of the super-smooth bokeh that's possible when you get close and zoom to 600mm. This was actually shot hand-held when I was trying out the image stabilization system. At 1/320 sec, it actually performed admirably. Tech Specs: 600mm at ISO 3200 on a Canon 5D Mark III. Aperture F/6.3 for 1/320th sec.
Statue

Statue

Another hand-held example shot at 600mm. This time, the shutter speed was cranked up a bit to 1/500 to make things a little more manageable. This one is actually very sharp right out of the camera. I did add a small amount of brightness in Lightroom. Tech Specs: ISO 1600 at 600mm. F/6.3 for 1/500 sec.
Bokeh

Bokeh

Here's a clear example of the bokeh capabilities of the lens. This is a shot of some trees from below. You can see, there's not an overwhelming amount of contrast as you might expect from a scene that's so contrasty. The circles form nicely and blend into one another in a pleasant way. Tech specs: ISO 1,000 at 512mm. F/6.3 for 1/1,250 sec.
Dog

Dog

I didn't run across all that much wildlife during my testing period, so I settled for what fauna I did have access to. Shot at 600mm, you can see the compression effect making the top of the head look tall, but it's extremely sharp. Tech Specs: ISO 1,000 at 600mm. F/6.3 at 1/320 sec.
More foliage

More foliage

Another leaf shot because, frankly, it's hard not to shoot leaves this time of year. ISO 3200 at 600mm. F/6.3 at 1/320 sec.
Bird

Bird

The bird isn't perfectly sharp, but that's a product of my own screw up rather than the lens. This shot is more to demonstrate the lens's ability to create nice separation between the subject and the background. In the hands of a more capable bird photographer, this could be a monster of a lens. Still, it's pretty impressive how close to sharp I was able to get hand holding a 600mm lens at 1/40th sec. Tech specs: ISO 1600 at 600mm. F/6.3 at 1/40th sec.
Portrait

Portrait

The complete lack of distortion at 400mm makes shots with straight lines easy to pull off. Tech Specs: ISO 3200 at 400mm. F/6.3 for 1/320th sec.
Headshot

Headshot

This is why you don't shoot head shots at 600mm. The Frankenstein head effect is real. The bokeh and skintones are both really nice, though.
Plane

Plane

Here's an example of the vignetting that you can expect to see. This was shot into a clear sky at 600mm.
Blood Moon

Blood Moon

Another shot of the blood moon. This one was taken as the sun was beginning to come up so the background is lighter.
More bokeh

More bokeh

Here's another example of how the backgrounds can melt into bokeh. The blob in the back is another yard. Contrast added in Lightroom. Tech Specs: ISO 3200 at 600mm. F/6.3 at 1/160th sec.
High contrast foliage

High contrast foliage

This high-contrast scene seems like an easy place to make chromatic aberration happen, but it wasn't the case here, even on the really high-contrast borders.
Bokeh at 300mm

Bokeh at 300mm

At 309mm, the bokeh leaves a little more detail in the background. ISO 3200 at 309mm. F/5.6 for 1/640th sec.