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Digital Camera World
Digital Camera World
Rod Lawton

Sigma 500mm F5.6 DG DN OS Sports is a surprising downsized super-telephoto

Sigma 500mm F5.6 DG DN OS | Sports.

Super-telephoto lenses usually come with compromises. The best telephoto lenses are also the heaviest and most expensive, and while you can get cheaper consumer level zooms, they typically don’t have the same durability or optical quality. But the new Sigma 500mm F5.6 DG DN OS | Sports aims to fix this by combining professional performance with a more affordable price tag.

The Sigma 500mm F5.6 DG DN OS | Sports is a mirrorless-only lens which will come in L-Mount and Sony E-Mount versions. Sports and wildlife fans may already be familiar with the older Sigma 500mm F4 DG OS HSM | Sports lens for DSLRs, and while this new mirrorless alternative is one f-stop slower at f/5.6 vs f/4, it’s also massively smaller, lighter and cheaper.

Despite this, Sigma appears to have thrown all its optical and design expertise at this new super-telephoto prime. It uses “exclusive” low-dispersion glass elements, including convex low-dispersion elements towards the front of the lens barrel to help keep chromatic and axial aberrations to a minimum, and “Refractive” lenses control ghosting and flare in backlit situations in an optical configuration consisting of 20 elements in 14 groups.

Sigma has designed this lens to appeal to both enthusiasts and professionals, especially those shooting fast moving subjects like birds in flight. The Sigma 500mm F5.6 DG DN OS uses a high-speed HLA linear motor for “fast, accurate and near silent” autofocus. The lens also incorporates optical stabilization using Sigma’s latest OS2 algorithm for 5 stops of compensation with a regular Mode 1 and a Mode 2 for panning shots.

Other physical features include a detachable tripod mount, a focus limiter switch, custom mode switch and a de-clickable aperture ring. The Sigma 500mm F5.6 DG DN OS is also compatible with Sigma’s TC-1411 (1.4x) and TC-2011 (2.0x) teleconverters for extended focal lengths up to 1000mm, 

The Sigma 500mm F5.6 DG DN OS is made using TSC (Thermally Stable Composite) materials and magnesium and incorporates weather sealing and a water and oil resistant coating on the front element.

The new Sigma 500mm F5.6 DG DN OS | Sports is a premium super-telephoto prime at a much more affordable price point. (Image credit: Sigma)

Sigma 500mm F5.6 DG DN OS | Sports specifications

Construction: 20 elements in 14 groups (3 FLD, 2 SLD)
Angle of view: 5 degrees
Diaphragm: 11-blade rounded
Minimum aperture: f/32
Min focus distance: 3.2m
Max magnification: 1:6
Filter size: 95mm
Dimensions: 107.6 × 234.6mm
Weight: 1370g

Sigma 500mm F5.6 DG DN OS | Sports price and availability

The Sigma 500mm F5.6 DG DN OS | Sports will be on sale from March 14 2024, at a price of $2,999 / £2,779 (about AU$4,569). That’s higher than the cost of a typical consumer telephoto zoom, but less than half the price of the Sigma 500mm f/4 DSLR lens and one-quarter the cost of an own-brand super-telephoto prime.

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