The old and the new Sigma super telezooms
I should say that on many occasions, I am not patience enough when snapping shots . This is due to the fact my early experience in photography hinges on covering events, namely weddings. I try to present a story without much or any manipulation of the subjects unless it is a pose shot. No problem at all in getting sharp images because the maximum focal length that I use at that time was 135mm for half body and head & shoulders portraits. Eventually, I learned to shoot quickly and be done with it without the subjects knowing my action in advance. Now that bird photography is one of my favourite subjects, I have to slow down and not getting too excited because photographing birds require a totally different approach.
The Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM, that’s quite a mouthful, is the lens of my choice after some reading and consideration. It is sharp when I’m relaxed and just trying it out, but on my outings, very few turned up good. I have to admit that I’m quiet new to bird photography, thus I may still be lacking in techniques and experience. I have yet to try using hide and/or give tips to the birds, that is food in return for pictures which I am sure that I can get good results but I am not going in that direction at the moment. Hence, I always wonder what could be wrong with my way of shooting or that I am missing something. I have no other lenses to compare until I got hold of the new Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary. Just after one initial outing, my heart fills with satisfaction when I review the images on the computer screen. I now know the reason why and am sure about it.
Being the successor, the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 has many improvements over its predecessor. On paper, it has focus limiter, more reach, zoom lock, sharper image and programmable via Sigma USB dock, but on trial, well…I like the taste of the pudding. It is faster in focusing and less hunting, quick and snappy stabilisation and a much more silent motor. Even the lens hood has improved. It is much more thicker, the locking mechanism is now a ring and the hood attached to it. This makes the mounting end of the hood stronger and harder to flex. Many have complained about the thin and flexible hood of the 150-500mm lens detaching, mine decided to jump into the sea while I was in a ferry shooting at the terns following it.
Unedited image of Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary converted and resized into Jpeg through Faststone
The hood of Sigma 150-600mm (left) and the hood of Sigma 150-500mm sharing the same type of locking mechanism
My only critic is that the base of the tripod collar is short, resulting in less grip in holding down the lens with the camera attached and extra care must be given to hold it and not to let it slip while holding. All said and without doubt, Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM is a good lens but Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary is better. Probably Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Sport DG OS HSM is the best of them all.