Wildlife photographers are really the ones who are going to love the Sigma 60-600mm f4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports. In truth, very little is as great as getting some of that fantastic morning light in a shot with gorgeous wildlife. This lens is built for exactly that. Not only does it autofocus quickly, but it’s built solidly. And while there is nothing wrong with this lens, I wonder why it was made for DSLRs. In fact, I find it almost to be a waste. Mirrorless cameras are just so much more capable and that would have easily extended the capabilities of this lens.
Editor’s Note: Some of these images were shot with the Canon EOS 90D while on a press trip with Canon. This trip was all expenses paid for by Canon. Of course, this does not affect our review’s authenticity. To that end, we are transparent with our audience while being true to our words.
Pros and Cons
- Good image stabilization
- Built like a tank
- Fast to autofocus on the Canon EOS R
- Weather sealed
- Better balance than Sigma’s 70-200mm f2.8
- Beautiful image quality
- Not a bad price
- I feel like they should have made this lens for Mirrorless cameras
We tested the Sigma 60-600mm f4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports with the Canon EOS R.
Specs taken from the Adorama listing
- Lens Mount: Canon EOS
- Lens Format: Full Frame
- Maximum Aperture: f/4.5-6.3
- Lens Type: Telephoto Zoom SLR Lens
- Image Stabilization Type: Yes (OS)
- Lens Series: Sigma DG Series
- Filter Size: 105mm Lens
Look at that. The Sigma 60-600mm f4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports has a massive 105mm filter thread on the front, so you’ll need some very big glass. It’s highly recommended that you get a filter for it if only to protect the lens and the front element. Then again, the Sigma 60-600mm f4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports costs far less than other options on the market.
Make no mistake, this is a big lens. Here it is with a WANDRD PRVKE 31 pack. Attached to the Canon EOS R with an adapter, it’s massive. But part of this length is the big lens hood. The Sigma 60-600mm f4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports has two major rings: one for focusing and one for zooming. Along the zoom ring is a lock. At each of the designated focal lengths, a photographer can lock the lens. This prevents the inevitable lens creep that’s bound to happen.
Here’s the Sigma 60-600mm f4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports extended all the way. Of course, it becomes larger. It’s also not an internally zooming lens.
On the side of the Sigma 60-600mm f4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports is where the controls are. When you pull the lens out of your bag, you’ll set it to exactly the way you want it. In practical terms, you should never be fidgeting with this area. If you do, it will be rare. But even so, the switches are well built.
See that tripod collar foot? That foot keeps the entire unit stable when placed down. It’s fantastic.
When testing the Sigma 60-600mm f4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports, we found that it’s not only super heavy, but it’s also really big. Who would’ve thunk, right? What’s really awesome though is that when shooting with the Canon EOS R, we were able to get handheld photos with minimal blur. Of course, we also shot photos with blur in them. But most of them had none. It was wonderful and part of this is due to the lightweight design. We say that with caution though: this lens isn’t light and not really a joy to carry around all day. We strongly recommend a monopod.
The Sigma 60-600mm f4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports boasts weather sealing all around. And though we didn’t make it through the rains like we normally do with lenses we test, we’re pretty confident in Sigma’s abilities here. If they told us to not take a lens into the rain, we’d believe them. But a lot of their lenses give us room to abuse.
Ease of Use
The Sigma 60-600mm f4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports has many controls on the side. If you’re careful not to hit them while shooting, then your experience is going to be straightforward. In most of our shooting situations, it was a “set it and forget it” scenario. We’re confident you’ll have the same experience. What’s best about the Sigma 60-600mm f4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports is that I was able to handhold it and shoot. The image stabilization here is good, but it could surely be better. Just remember to have your ISO set to a high number, even during the day.
On the Canon EOS R, the Sigma 60-600mm f4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports was able to track subjects like this California Sea Lion. While it was able to track it, it wasn’t always great at doing so. To get the most from this combo, you’ll need to go into the menu system and calibrate the tracking sensitivity while balancing it with locking onto a subject. Face detection worked once, even though the Canon EOS R doesn’t have the same AI abilities of Sony’s latest cameras. Most of the time, I chose a zone or wide focusing area and had the camera and lens track a subject through the scene.
Despite tracking not being the perfect solution, the Sigma 60-600mm f4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports was able to get focus pretty quickly. On top of that, it was often very accurate in Single point and while not in Tracking Servo mode. So, if you’re photographing a stationary bird or something, you’ll be fine.
When photographing race cars in Atlanta, things were much different. The 90D was able to keep the subjects in focus. Granted, we also stopped the lens down. So when the lens is stopped down it’s going to work for sure. But when shooting wide open and shooting smaller subject matter, you’ll probably run into issues.
If you were to have any concern with the Sigma 60-600mm f4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports, then I can assure you that it wouldn’t be with image quality. In fact, the image quality from this lens is stellar. All around, it’s a solid performer. The wildlife and sports photographers that reach for this lens will be very happy with the overall looks that it renders. Not only is the bokeh there, but the sharpness and everything else you could possibly need is too.
Wow! Look at that bokeh. It’s gorgeous. If you’re the type to love photographing the occasional flora, then you’ll really like this lens. But more importantly, it means that when the light is right that you’ll get some of your best photos. With that said, venture to go out during the golden hour.
I was fully expecting to find something here in terms of fringing or any other issues. But truthfully, I couldn’t find any. So let’s move on.
Earlier on in this section, I said that when the light is right that you’ll get some gorgeous photos. This mallard almost looks like it’s right against a painting. I adore the colors from the Sigma 60-600mm f4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports lens. And if you’re in the great outdoors or on a safari, I’m sure you will too. I just really wish that Sigma made this lens for mirrorless cameras. If that were the case, the Sony E mount and Panasonic/Leica L mount cameras would have made the most of these optics.
Though we usually test lenses with a flash, it made no sense here. This lens is very sharp providing that it works with the camera to get your subject in focus. Once that’s all done, you’ll really enjoy the images.
Extra Image Samples
- Image quality
- Autofocus in most situations
- Build Quality
- The inevitable jokes you’ll get from people about how you’re trying to compensate for something.
- Yes, I know it’s well done for what this is, but still
The Sigma 60-600mm f4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports is an exemplary lens in the hands of the right photographer. With lightning-fast autofocusing capabilities, near diamond standard build quality, and images well worth their weight in a print, this lens is the one that many photographers should reach for. If you’re shooting landscapes or wildlife, this could easily be the only lens that you carry with you. And that’s honestly a great thing. While it’s still a heavy and cumbersome lens, it’s much better than what it potentially could have been. And it also offers some of the widest zoom range that we’ve seen while keeping the apertures fairly consistent. We really like the Sigma 60-600mm f4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports. And we think you will too.
We’re awarding the Sigma 60-600mm f4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports four out of five stars. Want one? Check out Amazon for the latest prices.