The Sigma 500mm F/4 OS HSM Sport is a unique lens. It’s a third party option competing in a space dominated by first party lenses. It’s an expensive lens that doubles as a relative value.
The size, weight, and expense of a lens like the 500S makes it clear that it isn’t for everyone. Lenses like this take a lot of skill to use well (and strength, too, if you try to handhold it). A lens like the Sigma 60-600mm OS Sport is going to be more affordable and versatile, and, if you have a tight budget, a lens like the Sigma 150-600mm OS C can give you some incredible images for under a thousand bucks. But there’s no question that the 500S gives you a different kind of versatility. The ability to shoot in more lighting situations with both better autofocus performance and image quality. The ability to get incredible subject isolation. And, when adding teleconverters to the mix, an incredible amount of reach while retaining autofocus ability.
The whole review is available as video review.
D. Abbott’s review comes with a rich set of test shots and discusses every aspect of the Sigma 500mm F/4 OS Sport lens. If you’re looking for this lens we recommend you have a look at Dustin Abbott’s review.
Rumor has it that the first super telephoto lens for the Canon EOS R system could be the RF 500mm f/4L IS.
No announcement date or specifications so far. However, there is a Canon patent application (US 20190155003) with describes the optical formulas for various super telephoto lenses for the EOS R system, among them a 500mm f/4L:
Focal length: 490.00
F value: 4.12
Angle of view: 2.53
Image height: 21.64
Lens length 412.08
The rumor might have some validity. When Canon will announce a mirrorless alternative to the Canon EOS-1D X series, then they likely will/could also announce this telephoto lens. But it’s a long way to go in opinion. The next Canon EOS R camera will most likely be a high resolution model.
The Sony a9 is touted as the Jack of all Trades. Impressive specs, and a lot of hype coming from a devoted fan community.
However, all that glitters is not gold. The video below, shot with a Sony a9 using a $9000 Canon EF 500mm f/4 lens on a Sigma MC-11 adapter, isn’t so impressive after all. The Sony a9 is not able to track focus after the shutter has been fired. The Sony a9 just started shipping so we don’t know if this phenomenon is limited to adapted Canon lenses (guess it is).
If you are a professional photographer, stick with Canon and Nikon and stay safe with proven gear and great and reliable professional service. If you have money to waste for gadgets, get a Sony a9. The specs are truly impressive and once more show how much Sony is pushing technological innovation.
Photography Blogreviewed the Sigma 500mm f/4 DG OS HSM Sports lens, a pro lens selling at $5,999 and still being substantially less expensive than Canon’s counterpart, the EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM.
From the conclusion:
The Sigma 500mm f/4 DG OS HSM Sports lens is a much more affordable alternative to similar lenses from Canon and Nikon without any sacrifice in image quality or performance. […]
The Sigma 500mm f/4 DG OS HSM Sports is tack-sharp at both the centre and edges of the frame when stopped down by one-stop, and it’s also very good even when shooting wide-open. Vignetting is apparent at f/4, but it almost completely disappears by f/8, or it can be easily removed in post-processing. Chromatic aberrations are noticeable only by their absence, and distortion is very well controlled too. Optically, there’s very little to complain about.
Build quality is excellent, with the brass lens mount and sober all-black design adding to the high-quality feel and the dust/splash-proof construction adding some peace of mind, plus there’s a very good carbon fibre lens hood and padded case. Read the review…
Outstanding optical performance, ultra-wide zoom range, and versatile flagship sports lens headline the Sigma line-up at Photokina 2016
Cologne, Germany – September 19, 2016 – Sigma Corporation of America, a leading camera, DSLR lens, flash and accessories manufacturer, unveiled its new 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art, 12-24mm F4 DG HSM Art and 500mm F4 DG OS HSM Sport Global Vision lenses at the Photokina 2016 event (hall 4.2, stands B020, B028 and C029).
“We are thrilled to announce three state-of-the-art additions to the Global Vision line. The Sigma 85mm 1.4 Art has been a highly requested lens and we are very confident those customers who have been waiting for us to deliver this lens will be more than pleased with the superior optical performance and zero compromise,” states Mark Amir-Hamzeh, president of Sigma Corporation of America. “In addition, the re-engineered 12-24mm F4 and highly competitive 500mm F4 Sport lens both embody the world-class performance our Global Vision lenses are known for. We look forward to seeing the incredible images our customers will create using these new Sigma lenses.”
Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art – The Ultimate Portrait Lens
Delivering the ultimate in creative expression, the new Sigma 85mm F1.4 Art lens is engineered to support the highest resolution sensors on the market with an exceptional degree of sharpness. The high-performance optical system is purpose-built by Sigma R&D to produce the attractive bokeh effect sought after by discerning photographers. The lens’ advanced architecture features two SLD (special low dispersion) glass elements and one glass element with a high rate of anomalous partial dispersion and refraction. A re-engineered AF system brings 1.3X the torque of its predecessor, while other features such as a full-time manual focus override have been added, which can be controlled when the focus ring is rotated, even during continuous AF.
The Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens supports Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts. The Nikon mounts feature a brand new electromagnetic diaphragm.
The Sigma 85mm F1.4 Art lens will be available in late October and retails for a recommended street price of $1199.00 USD.
Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG HSM Art Ultra-Wide Angle Zoom for the Era of Ultra-High Resolution Digital Cameras
Boasting the renowned Global Vision image quality from center to edge, the new Sigma 12-24mm F4 features the largest aspherical glass mold in the industry, offering photographers an ultra-wide angle zoom with virtually no distortion, flare or ghosting. Encompassing the long history of Sigma wide angle lens development expertise, the new 12-24mm F4 performance highlights include constant F4 brightness and the brand new Sigma AF system with 1.3X torque boost. The 12-24mm F4 features lens elements made with FLD (“F” Low Dispersion) glass, which is equivalent to calcium fluorite in performance. Combined with an optimized power distribution, the result is outstanding image quality from center to edges. With a minimum focus distance of 9.4 inches at 24mm, photographers can compose incredible close-up shots with expansive backgrounds.
The all new Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG HSM Art lens supports Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts. The Nikon mounts feature the brand new electromagnetic diaphragm.
The Sigma 12-24mm F4 Art lens will be available in late October and retails for a recommended street price of $1599.00 USD.
Sigma 500mm F4 DG OS HSM Sport Lens – Pro Fast-Aperture Prime Super Telephoto
The flagship Sigma super telephoto 500mm F4 Sport lens incorporates the very latest in Sigma optical technology and innovation. Designed for the professional sports and wildlife shooter, the ultra-durable lens features magnesium alloy components, a carbon fiber hood, a water and oil resistant front element, and is dust and splash proof. The 500mm F4 features a drop-in rear filter slot for polarizers, UV and other critical filters. To help prevent damage during shooting and maintenance, the lens is also compatible with the exclusive SIGMA Protector LPT-11 (sold separately).
The lens incorporates two FLD and one SLD glass elements, while the optimized power distribution helps minimize spherical aberration and axial chromatic aberration. The optical system also effectively minimizes transverse chromatic aberration, which can affect the edges of the shots taken in the telephoto range. In addition, image quality remains exceptional when the lens is used with a Sigma Telephoto Converter (sold separately).
Other key performance features include Sigma’s two-mode Optical Stabilizer for enhanced performance when shooting handheld for still subjects or panning and tracking for moving subjects. There is also a customizable AF “return” function for setting the focus position of one’s choice and returning to that preset distance.
The all new Sigma 500mm F4 supports Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts. The Nikon mounts feature the brand new electromagnetic diaphragm.
The Sigma 500mm F4 Sport lens, in Canon and Sigma mounts, will be available in late October. The Nikon mount will be available in late November. The 500mm F4 will retail for a recommended street price of $5999.00 USD.
All Sigma Global Vision lenses, including the new 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art, 12-24mm F4 DG HSM Art, and 500mm F4 DG OS HSM Global Vision lenses, can be updated with the latest lens firmware from a workstation or laptop using the Sigma Optimization Pro software and Sigma USB Dock (sold separately).
Tested for Optimum Performance
Sigma lenses are born of well thought-out design concepts, exceptional Japanese craftsmanship and manufacturing, and advanced lens performance testing and evaluation. To this end, Sigma has developed its own A1 proprietary MTF (modulation transfer function) measuring system using 46-megapixel Foveon direct image sensors. Even the most elusive high-frequency details are within the scope of Sigma’s quality control inspections. Every Global Vision lens is A1 tested, analyzed and approved before leaving the factory, ensuring maximum performance out of the box.
For more information on Sigma’s industry leading testing, please visit http://blog.sigmaphoto.com/2012/a1-mtf-testing-for-new-sigma-lenses/.