A little over a year ago and after much success with their 150-600mm lenses, Sigma began selling an ultra-zoom 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports lens offered in Canon EF, Nikon F, and Sigma SA mounts. I went with option D and adapted it to Sony FE.
The Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports lens has a wild 10x zoom range that goes from a standard field of view, to a “portrait” telephoto, to a “sports” range telephoto, to a super-telephoto. It’s really impressive to me that not only was this product imagined and created, but it’s very similar in weight and form factor to the Sigma 150-600mm Sports, yet adds nearly 100mm more focal range at the wide end.
What I Liked
- Let’s start with the obvious: its drastic zoom range. This one lens has the versatility to create truly different looks.
- Lens foot has an Arca compatible dovetail built in rather than a useless blob of material that would require third-party replacements or add-ons.
- On that note, the lens foot collar also has stops for fast and perfect vertical and horizontal alignment which is something I really wish my similarly priced Sony FE 200-600mm had.
- The 60-600mm appears to have good weather sealing, and I shot with it in heavy snowfall on more than one occasion without trouble from the lens itself.
- Autofocus tracking in AF-C mode was reliable.
- The lens comes with a screw-on lens hood rather than the bayonet style.
- Using a Sigma USB dock, the lens’ performance can be customized in Sigma Optimization Pro.
What Could Be Improved
- There’s heavy color fringing at the wide end.
- I thought the focus ring was way too stiff. On the plus side, it is a full-time manual focus override on my Sony.
- I’m not completely sure if it’s as designed or from being a rental copy, but the zoom ring lock switch will unlock itself if a little bit of rotational pressure is added to any of the marked focal lengths except 60mm. At 60mm the lock did stay locked even with pressure added. I’d like it to act this way at all the lockable spots.
- I wish the lens hood had more length to shield the front element better from snow and rain falling at an angle. This very well could be an impossible feat if it needed to be that short to accommodate the 60mm focal length without vignetting from the hood.
The Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports lens is currently on sale for $1,759 and available now.
Adapting Telephoto Lenses With the Sigma MC-11 Adapter
Having already owned the Sigma MC-11 EF-to-FE mount converter for temporarily adapting my Canon 500mm f/4L IS USM and Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM as I transitioned over to Sony cameras, I had previous experience in both using the adapter and using the adapter for telephoto lenses. After reviewing the 60-600mm and now using these three adapted lenses in total, it’s quite clear to me the similarities they all share.
In a way, the good news is that it’s easier just to talk about the couple bad things because for everything else, there’s really no noticeable difference I could see. So what should those who are looking to adapt be aware of?
First, while the autofocus performance is generally comparable to no adapter, one thing I noticed across the board are hiccups in dramatic sweeps of focus changes. Going from near focus to infinity, or infinity and back again would cause the two Canon lenses to just give up. Instead I would either need to manually focus to assist it going from one end to the other, or I could incrementally focus on things between the two distances to get there. With the Sigma 60-600mm, it could autofocus through a great change in focus distance but it was slow to do so.
Second, the MC-11 itself is a weak link to otherwise durable products. There is no rubber seal at the mount for weatherproofing, and with an adapter I’m essentially doubling the chances of problems in this area. I’ve also noticed that the MC-11 has developed some wiggle as time goes on. I’m guessing this comes from anything on the lens that places rotational stress on the converter such as turning the zoom ring or focus ring, or rotating the lens within in the tripod collar.
Overall, bringing these Canon EF-mount telephoto lenses over to Sony with the MC-11 was much less of a compromise than I thought it would be. I was expecting constant autofocus issues or weird buggy glitches that needed me to unmount and remount the camera and lens regularly. Maybe some people have experienced those things in previous firmware versions or still do today, but in my own tested experience over a couple months it wasn’t the case.