As I get entrenched in photographing birds, I have considered owning a 600mm lens. My brother even wrote an article detailing what is the Best Nikon Mirrorless Camera Lens for Birding. As I was considering other options, I stumbled upon a promo from the local camera shop where I purchased my Nikon Z50. The offer for Sigma 150-600mm contemporary lens is hard to pass on, so I have decided to order it on Feb. 11, 2022.
It was a dream lens for me, and my desire of having it in my gear even grew stronger after I have made my Birding Diary.
Thus, acquiring Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG Contemporary super-telephoto zoom lens was another ultimate personal gift, yet again for myself.
Unboxing of Sigma 150-600mm DG Contemporary Lens
This time I will be sharing my experience with Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG.
Note that Sigma lenses will only work with a Nikon Z mount mirrorless camera by pairing it with a Nikon FTZ adapter.
The above-mentioned two new gears were ordered and redeemed at the same time.
The below image is the original box of the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG super-telephoto zoom lens that was presented to me at local Henry’s camera shop.
The Sigma telephoto zoom lens box is in good condition and has no signs of any damage.
Sigma 150-600mm DG Packing
The lens is packed separately in a polybag and inside its protective carrying bag.
While the hood and the protective cover were packed in a plastic bag separately and inside the white box.
I did not observe any obvious appearance issues or damage to the lens and its accessories (hood, tripod socket/collar, lens strap, and the protective cover).
Description of Parts
To have a better understanding of the lens, first, let us identify its parts.
The illustration below is taken from the supplied manual for Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG
1) Filter Attachment Thread
2) Zoom Ring
3) Zoom Lock Switch
4) Focus Ring
5) Distance Scale
6) Focus Index Line
8) Focus Mode Switch
9) Focus Limiter Switch
10) OS (Optical Stabilization) Switch
11) Custom Mode Switch
12) Tripod Socket (Collar)
13) Lens Hood
14) Protective Cover
Specification: Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG
|20 elements in 14 groups
|Dust and splash-proof
|Full-time manual mode
|Water/Oil repellent Coating
|Foremost lens element only
|Mount Conversion Service
|No. of diaphragm Blades
|9 (rounded diaphragm)
|MO (Manual Override)
|Min. Focusing distance
|Rubber sealing mount protector
|Max. magnification ratio
|Brass bayonet mount
|Dimensions (dia x length)
|Ø105.0mm x 260.1mm
|Zoom ring diameter
|1930g (1830g with protective cover)
|Sigma TC-14001, TC-2001
When assembling the lens, make sure to check the manual.
Strictly follow the mounting instructions and don’t force to avoid damage to any part and accessories of the lens.
Tripod Socket (Collar) and Strap Mounting
Tripod Socket and Collar
- Ensure this part is securely fastened
- Check that the locking knob is tight
- Do not set the tripod collar to remove position unless you are removing or attaching the tripod collar, as the lens may accidentally be detached from the collar and fall
- The tripod socket and collar can be detached if needed – you can replace tripod socket with the Protective cover to improve the hand feeling when using your mirrorless camera handheld
- Make sure to install the strap according to the instruction manual
- Instead of a camera strap, using the lens strap to carry your camera could avoid damage to the lens mount since the lens is heavy… to ensure proper protection always support the lens with your hand especially when you’re mobile
During the actual installation of the tripod socket and collar, I did not observed any difficulty by following the direction that was given in the instruction manual… the same way when installing the lens strap.
Lens Hood Mounting
When mounting the hood, make sure the following are observed
- Align the markers on the hood and the lens
- Make sure the grooves are properly located and matched
- To lock, turn the hood clockwise or to the direction stated in the manual
- You should be able to rotate the hood smoothly until it’s locked
- Do not force the installation if it’s very tight, it could damage the lens and the hood
During the actual installation of the hood to the lens, I did not observed any abnormality and I could rotate the hood smoothly until it’s locked
Attaching the Lens to Nikon Z50
After successfully mounting and securing the tripod collar and the hood, you can now install the assembled lens to the FTZ adapter that is already mounted to the camera.
- Make sure to align the marker on the lens and the FTZ adapter (in my case I got an FTZ II adapter)
- Make sure the grooves are properly located and matched
- To lock, turn the lens clockwise or to the direction stated in the manual
- You should be able to rotate the lens smoothly until it’s locked
- Do not force the installation if it’s very tight, it could damage the lens and the FTZ adapter
During the lens installation to the FTZ II and camera body, I did not observe any difficulty and I can mount the lens smoothly.
Mounting the Lens (with Nikon Z50) on Tripod
Now it’s time to test the lens by mounting it on my existing tripod.
Below is the overview of the complete assembled Nikon Z50 with FTZ II mount adapter and Sigma 150-600mm DG Contemporary telephoto zoom lens.
The lens fits well with my existing tripod. The tripod is sturdy and can safely hold the weight of the lens.
Testing Sigma 150-600mm DG
I have pointed out the need to update the firmware because at first, my Nikon Z50 cannot recognize the FTZ II adapter and the attached lens.
Nikon Z50 Firmware Update
After installing the lens and FTZ adapter correctly, and even before I could try to start shooting I must update the camera firmware to version 2.20
I have discussed the process of how to update the firmware in my previous article about the FTZ II mount adapter review for my Nikon Z50.
This firmware update is necessary so that Nikon Z50 can recognize the FTZ II adapter and the lens.
I have used the below lens settings for this test. I will be experimenting further as I familiarize myself with what this lens can do.
Adjusting the switches is smooth and easy. I did not find any difficulty setting or adjusting the switches.
Still Image Tests Shots
I received the Sigma telephoto lens and the FTZ II mount adapter in time for our family outing.
We headed north for a short holiday break and it was time to test my new gear.
Here I am sporting a camouflage shirt to trick the birds and wish they don’t fly away as I aim at them (grin).
Armed with my improved Nikon Z50, I will be trying to capture those elusive birds that my old Nikon zoom lens could not catch.
Hopefully, I could also capture new bird species so I can add them to my Birding Diary.
As I explore the area, I saw a water buffalo from a very far distance so it was a nice subject to try the lens… this is the first capture at 600mm.
As I stroll around the area, here are some of my bird shots with the lens fully extended at 600mm. These images were all taken handheld.
This one shot caught me by surprise when an eagle flew by me and I wasn’t ready. I was not fast enough to adjust the focal length so I was only able to take the shot at 150mm.
My initial experience with this lens is satisfactorily enjoyable. As I could capture even small birds at far distances which I couldn’t do with my old zoom lens. I would be working more to familiarize myself so that I could maximize the lens’s full capabilities.
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Sigma 150-600mm DG Pros and Cons
|+ Works well with FTZ II adapter and Nikon Z50 with a firmware upgrade to version 2.20
|+ Sharp image capture and fast auto-focus
|– Struggle in low light, especially, at maximum focal length
|+ Cheaper than the similar competitor third party lens
The Sigma 150-600mm contemporary lens offers the functionality that I was looking for in a super-telephoto zoom lens.
And based on my initial test, I am already loving what I saw and I knew I can even get better captures as I get myself familiarized with this lens.
Thus, having Sigma 150-600mm DG Contemporary super-telephoto zoom lens for me is worth it and a dream come true!
About Ronnie Medialdea
Hi! I’m Ronnie Medialdea, co-founder of this website and I am a photography and bird enthusiast.
“Birdwatchers take joy in not only seeing birds but in the entirety of the encounter experience with birds and nature in general.” – this is an excerpt from my son Raymund’s article in The LaSallian (proud father here )