Is the Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports Lens for Sony E Mount Worth Your Money? We Review.

Do you all remember the when Sigma released the “Bigma” in 2001? The Bigma, or Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3 EX DG HSM, dominated the amateur and semi-professional market. 22 years later, in a time of mirrorless cameras and high-end optics, the next Bigma is here. Welcome to the new Sigma 60-600mm for Sony E. Is it worth your money? Read on to find out.

With mirrorless cameras increasingly growing in popularity, new lenses are steadily being developed to match their DSLR predecessors. This is an exciting time for photography. As technology presses forth, we reap the benefits of better features, optics, and tools suited for our needs. With a market ready for more focal length, it was only a matter of time until the grand-pappy of them all, the iconic Bigma, stepped forth in all its glory to claim the mirrorless throne. Well, it has finally happened. Sigma has released the Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports Lens for Sony E.

Let’s go over the specs and features, and then, I will share with you my experience in the field with the Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports.

Key Features

  • f/4.5-6.3 to f/22-32
  • HLA linear focusing motor
  • Dual action zoom system
  • OS image stabilization
  • SLD and FLD glass elements
  • Brass bayonet mount and Arca-type foot
  • Rounded 9-blade diaphragm

The Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports Lens for Sony E lens, with a slew of features in one handhold-able package. Let’s break down what this all means for you.

If you photograph on a full frame mirrorless, you get the reach of 60-600mm. You can also use this on an APS-C camera, however, for an impressive 90-900mm equivalent focal length range. Whether you want to create a wide environmental portrait or zoom in on the action, you can do it all with this one lens. The focusing motor is a new design called the High-response Linear Actuator. The design significantly increases the focus speed and precision while reducing motor noise. This is great news for wildlife photographers. Even more good news is a brand new optical stabilization algorithm called OS2. This allows for image stabilization improvements of 7 stops at the wide end and 6 stops at the telephoto end. We like a lens we can handhold for freedom to capture all that action.

Speaking of handholding, the weight of the Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports Lens is 88 oz / 2.5 kg. That is 5.5 lbs in a zoom lens that can handle any focal length between 60mm and 600mm. Most 600mm prime lenses are just shy of 7 lbs, and while you do get aperture benefits, you are stuck at 600mm. As a wildlife photographer, the freedom of a zoom is crucial. I have frequently gotten photographs that I would have missed had I needed to swap lenses or even reach for a second body with a wider lens. Action happens fast, and handholding a zoom lens is a chef’s kiss in the field. Plus, with a minimum focusing distance of 13.8′ / 4.2 m, you really can be up all up in the action.

Aside from the more obvious improvements, there is a lot going on inside the lens to appreciate. The upgraded glass inside is pretty cool. There are now three Special Low Dispersion (SLD) elements and two F Low Dispersion (FLD) elements. To minimize glare and ghosting, the glass has Super Spectra Coating and Air Sphere Coating. All of this is wrapped in a multi-material build structure that is dust- and water-resistant. 

So, on paper, the lens sounds great. Want to see how it performed in the field? Well, before the Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports was even announced, I had a secret assignment to test and review it for you all. I took the lens on one of my wild camping trips through blizzards and across three states. I used this lens to photograph everything from landscapes to wildlife, and if you know me, you might be able to guess one of the subjects. Yes, I took it to see the iconic wild horses of the American Southwest.

Let’s start at the beginning. In my personal kit, I use my very old Sigma 50-500mm f/4.5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM Lens for Canon EOS with the Sigma MC-11 Mount Converter/Lens Adapter on my Sony a7R IV. Excluding when I am testing gear, almost every single wildlife photograph in my portfolio was taken with the Sigma 50-500mm. This often surprises people when they comment on my photos to ask what gear I use. While my lens has seen better days, it has held up to a lifetime of adventure. So, when approaching testing the Sigma 60-600mm, this is my baseline on what I use, also having tested many Sony E mount telephotos back to back.

The Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports Lens feels comfortable to use as a telephoto zoom user. It is similar in weight to my 4.34 lbs Sigma 50-500mm with the required 0.705 lbs adapter to use it on a Sony E mount body. The balance felt good to me. Most importantly, with the small footprint of a retracting zoom, you don’t need an extra bag. The lens and camera body easily fit into all of my camera backpacks’ standard center compartments.

With even more bang for your buck, the Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports does come with a nice padded zippered case should you want a separate bag for it along with a hood cover with Velcro closure and a tripod strap. It also includes a tripod foot which I found to be a bit small. This is because, as mentioned, I like to handhold my lens. In comparison, my original Sigma 50-500mm has a much longer tripod foot that is so perfect for handholding that it even has grippy indents in it for your fingers. This might not matter to you if you photograph on a monopod or tripod. There are also optional tripod feet to add on, such as the Sigma TS-101 Tripod Mount. I just really enjoy the old design tripod feet.

The big differences were the added 100mm of reach, the faster autofocus, and the upgraded optical stabilization, all of which are a trifecta of improvement for wildlife photography: more reach, faster speed, and better handholding/low-light capabilities.

Those three improvements are what I put to the test by photographing birds in flight, deer in a whiteout blizzard, low-light landscape details, and my beloved wild horses. With every hair on the mane rendered in fine detail, every wing frozen mid-flight, and the soft light of sunrises over the snowy landscape captured perfectly, the quality of this lens impressed me.

One aspect to note is that, as you all realize as photographers, many viewers look at a photograph and admire the subject. However, I am sure you all can see the conditions I was in by the subject’s environment. In photographing during a complete blizzard, both I and the gear were completely covered in snow. This is where that water resistance and special lens coatings came into play. When out there in the thick of it, the lens didn’t fog or retain water from the melting snow. After winter sessions, I dried off any leftover water droplets lovingly, as one does with our precious gear and placed it back into the backpack, and it was ready for its next adventure.

With all of these improvements and a huge focal range, this is easily a lens that I would add to my kit and can recommend for you all too. It is just a huge step forward and never let me down, no matter what I was photographing in any weather or light. If you want to check out more details on the Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports Lens for Sony E or add it to your cart, check here.

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