Sigma 500mm F5.6 DG DN OS Sports review: he ain’t heavy, he’s a super-telephoto prime that’s easy to live with

The relatively lightweight Sigma 500mm F5.6 DG DN OS Sports takes a load off, but still packs a load of up-market features and handling finery

Sigma 500mm F5.6 DG DN OS Sports
(Image: © Matthew Richards)

Digital Camera World Verdict

With the Sigma 500mm F5.6 DG DN OS Sports I can keep shooting handheld for as long as I like. That’s a change for the better, where super-telephoto primes are concerned, especially as there’s barely any compromise in terms of image quality, all-round performance, build quality and handling.

Pros

  • +

    Relatively lightweight but strong build

  • +

    Excellent image quality

  • +

    Impressive autofocus and stabilization

Cons

  • -

    Lacks the versatility of a zoom

  • -

    Limited mount options

  • -

    Sigma teleconverters only in L mount

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Sigma revitalized its lens line-up back in 2012, introducing its ‘Global Vision’ optics that were divided into distinct Art, Contemporary and Sports categories. The Art lenses aim to maximize creative potential, while the Contemporary range is designed to have a modern look and feel, while keeping size and weight to easily manageable proportions. Sports lenses go all-out for speedy performance, generally in terms of autofocus and effective optical stabilization, making them ideal for action, sports, press and wildlife photography. Most of the Sports lenses that I’ve tried (and I’ve tried pretty much all of them) are weighty beasts that can be a challenge to carry around for long periods of time, and make handheld shooting a struggle for anything other than short bursts. The new 500mm Sports lens for Leica L and Sony E mount cameras aims to be one of the best telephoto lenses, while giving you the best of both worlds, combining high-end handling and performance with a relatively manageable size and weight.

The lens is easily lightweight enough for prolonged handheld shooting. You can unscrew the Arca-Swiss compatible tripod foot but the mounting ring remains in place. (Image credit: Matthew Richards)
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Mount optionsLeica L, Sony E (FE)
Lens construction20 elements in 14 groups
Angle of view5 degrees
Diaphragm blades11
Minimum aperturef/32
Minimum focus distance3.2m
Maximum magnification0.17x
Filter size95mm
Dimensions108x235mm
Weight1370g
Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports

If you prefer the versatility of a zoom lens, there’s the <a href="https://www.digitalcameraworld.com/reviews/sigma-150-600mm-f5-63-dg-dn-os-sports-review" data-link-merchant="digitalcameraworld.com"">Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports in Leica L and Sony E mount versions. It measures 109x264mm, weighs 2,100g and costs around £1,249/$1,499.

Sigma 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports

Superzoom meets super-telephoto in the <a href="https://www.digitalcameraworld.com/reviews/sigma-60-600mm-f45-63-dg-dn-os-sports-review" data-link-merchant="digitalcameraworld.com"">Sigma 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports. This lens stretches all the way from a fairly standard field of view to a really long focal length. It measures 119x279mm, weighs 2,495g and costs £2,099/$1,999, again in Leica L and Sony E mount options.

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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 


His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 


In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.