You would receive some very strange looks if you photographed your child’s birthday party or a family picnic with the Sigma 150–500mm f/5–6.3 DG APO OS super-zoom lens. A lens of this size and extreme telephoto focal length can certainly be useful in common digital photography settings, but it needs the wide, open spaces to show its stuff.
The Sigma 150–500mm craves grand landscapes and spectacular vistas and bringing sharp, color-rich and detailed visions of nature and wildlife to the camera, the photographer and those who view his or her work. To experience what this lens will do for your photography, you must take it where the two of you can roam free and discover and record images that can’t be found in the city.
2. The Mountain Sheep of Glacier National Park.
Tucked into the northwest corner of Montana is one of the country’s great natural wonders, Glacier National Park. When Sigma designers created the 150–500mm with a full-frame angle of view of 16.4–5° (full frame), they must have been thinking of the narrow, glaciated valleys and majestic granite spires of the mountains at Glacier.
Sigma also made sure that the focusing capabilities of this new lens were far superior to its predecessor, the 170–500mm. Take your Sigma 150–500mm super-zoom to the top of the park and find a location to photograph the wild mountain sheep. You’ll discover that the Sigma lens tracks the scampering sheep very well, allowing you to capture more amazing photos of their behavior and habitat.
3. To the Top of Mauna Kea, Hawaii.
Where better to benefit from the excellent optics of the Sigma 150–500mm than 14,000 feet above the Pacific at the top of Mauna Kea on the Big Island? This is the highest point in Hawaii and is the location of the famous international group of telescopes. The air is so clear here that you will see the sun and the night sky unlike few places on earth. You can take a sunrise picture from above the early morning clouds that will completely cover the lower slopes. Shoot grand panoramas of the surrounding sea, and then the sunset’s incredible light show.
The Sigma’s 21 glass elements in 15 groups (three elements are SLD glass) will give you the sharpness and precisely rendered colors and contrast that photos from one of the planet’s most amazing places deserve. You’ll find the rear focusing on the Sigma 150–500mm much easier, as you wait patiently for the light and landscape to create living paintings that exist but for an instant.
4. Wander the Deserts of Arizona.
With the Sigma 150–500mm super-zoom, you can capture the different environments and lighting effects of the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Meteor Crater, the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest, and all in one state. As you explore these magnificent places, you’ll appreciate Sigma’s Optical Stabilization (OS) technology that eliminates the need for a tripod. The OS allows you to shoot hand-held at a slow shutter speed of approximately 1/100, but capture sharp images as if you were at a shutter speed four times faster.
In the bright, high-contrast mountains and deserts of Arizona, the Sigma’s deep lens hood reduces flare to a minimum and the super, multi-layer coating on the glass elements controls ghosting very well.
5. At High Altitudes in the Alps.
When you do shoot with the Sigma 150–500mm super-zoom on a tripod, such as the high-mountain and valley landscapes of Zermatt, Switzerland, you’ll like this lens’ sizeable tripod collar, which can also be used as a convenient carrying handle. As you take the train to where you can hike through a high-altitude region of pristine and picturesque lakes and the 9,000-foot observation point on the Gornergrat to photograph the Matterhorn, you’ll be happy this Sigma lens becomes quite compact for a super-zoom. The hood can be attached in reverse and the lens then fits into most camera bag.
6. Come to the California Coast.
Few locations on Earth present the sea in such dramatic terms as Point Reyes National Seashore on the Marin County coast. Seastacks and cliffs, wild beaches and headlands frame the environment without dominating it. This national park is filled with a wealth of unspoiled habitats, estuaries, grasslands, coastal scrub and forest that attract many migrating and wintering birds. Nearly 490 avian species have been observed in the park and on adjacent waters.
The Sigma 150–500mm f/5–6.3 super-zoom lens was created just for the challenge of photographing nesting birds and birds on the wing. The subjects move fast and the best images are fleeting, but you’ll have great control with this lens’ exterior switches: an AF/Manual switch for focusing and an OFF/1/2 switch for the OS system. You’re also more likely to capture the pictures you imagined with the Sigma 150–500’s auto-focus over-ride capability. You’ll be able to focus manually with auto-focus still engaged.
7. The Buying Adventure.
For the hobbyist, who wants to expand his or her photography experience, or the pro, who shoots landscapes and wildlife, buying the Sigma 150–500mm f/5–6.3 DG APO OS super-zoom lens is a stress-free adventure. At approximately $900 to $1,070, it is an extraordinary value and compares favorably to one of its few competitors, the Tamron AF 200–500mm f/5–6.3 SP Di LD; however, it does not include optical stabilization technology, which should put the Sigma 150–500 at the top of photography adventurers’ list.
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