Wildlife and nature are the best subjects for photography. There is so much beauty out there that we want to capture it all. And, that’s what inspires wildlife photographers. However, just clicking away with your camera is not enough. You need to do justice to the wonders of nature and capture it with your lens. Every photograph you take must be a true representation of reality.
To ensure this, a good camera lens designed specifically for wildlife and nature is a must. But hey, finding one is not the difficult part. There are many options out there. Choosing one from the many options is a challenge, especially when 2 or 3 of them feel alike. If you are reading this, we are sure you are in this dilemma too, specifically with the Nikon 200-500 and Sigma 150-600 Sport. As we progress in this article, we shall speak about each and compare them to help you understand which one you should go for.
Nikon 200-500 vs Sigma 150-600 Sport – The features
When Nikon came up with this lens, we were all taken aback. The zoom on this one was that good! It is the perfect gift to any pro photographer! Its aperture is f/5.6, which we think is reasonable enough for wildlife and nature photography. Some of its other features are as follows:
- Weight: 4 lbs
- Zoom use: Very smooth and easy to control
- Image stabilization: Easy and quick without any problems
- Focus tracking: This comes in handy when you are shooting birds and we are happy to say that Nikon 200-500 is very good here. It can track your subject and give you a sharp, focused image.
- Focus speed: Not once will you feel like the lens couldn’t catch up with your subject. Whether it is still or in motion, you will be able to capture it smoothly.
- Clarity: Speaking of clarity or sharpness, you should know that Nikon 200-500 is actually quite good. You will get the sharpest pictures at 500mm and close focusing.
Sigma is also known for its amazing zoom, which is why it takes Nikon 200-500 head on. The biggest difference we noticed is that Sigma 150-600 has variable aperture – f/5-6.3. We are sure you are aware that while using a variable aperture, the lens closes down as you zoom and starts losing light. This may make it harder to handle. But, let’s explore more features before we conclude.
- Weight: 6 lbs
- Zoom use: Tight – usually requires more effort
- Image stabilization: No issues here. We were very happy with the image stabilization it offered throughout the shoot.
- Focus tracking: Here too, we would say we were happy with what we got. There’s always room for improvement when compared to more expensive choices. But, this was good enough for us to work with.
- Focus speed: The lens does a great job in keeping up with the subject and taking the shots you prefer.
- Clarity: If you like center sharpness, you will like the Sigma 150-600. Through the entire focal range, you will see excellent clarity in the center. In the corners, though, you might notice softness.
Nikon 200-500 vs Sigma 150-600 Sport – Comparison
|f/5.6 – fixed
|f/5-6.3 – variable
When you compare both these lenses, you will see that they are mostly similar in features but there are quite a few differences as well. For example, not many photographers prefer a variable aperture because it affects the zoom speed. Fixed aperture lenses have faster zooming capabilities. Besides that, two points that stick out for us are weight and zoom usage. Sigma 150-600 is heavier and can be harder to handle but we won’t go to the extent of saying that it is unmanageable. Some photographers are actually comfortable with the extra weight.
Zoom usage, though, is a matter of concern for us. We like a smooth zoom that’s seamless and that’s what Nikon offers to us. The Sigma zoom is tight and takes effort, which is not really a great feature.
Here, we would also like to talk about the focus tracking and speed. Even though we said that we had no complaints, you might point out that there are other lenses that are better. Well, if you want the best focus features, you will have to spend in five figures. They are extremely expensive. These two lenses, on the other hand, are good enough in that they do justice to their price tag.
Nikon 200-500 vs Sigma 150-600 – Verdict
Based on our observations, we vote for Nikon 200-500 for wildlife and nature photography. It is more affordable than Sigma 150-600 and has an excellent zoom. If you don’t mind the weight and the tight zoom, the 150-600 is also a fine choice. It always boils down to personal choice.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Let’s take a look at a few common questions and their answers now.
What is a 150-600mm Lens Good For?
It is good for wildlife, birds, football matches, airshows, etc.
What is the Difference Between Sigma 150-600 Contemporary and Sport?
The contemporary model is lighter and cheaper. It is a good one to start your photography journey with. The sport model is sharper and faster. It is also more expensive. It is a good choice for pro photographers.
How Far Can a 600mm Lens Shoot?
It can shoot up to 15 ft.
Is Sigma a Good Brand?
Yes, it is popular and reliable. The lenses are of premium quality and are not overpriced.
What Nikon Lens should I Buy?
This depends on your usage. For wildlife, the Nikon 200-500 is an excellent choice.
Both Nikon and Sigma are very good brands with multiple benefits and features. We hope this comparison helped you narrow down and choose. If you have any more doubts, feel free to ask us.