Sigma 500mm f5.6 REVIEW: The BEST “Budget” Prime Lens for Wildlife & Sports? (vs Sony 200-600)

Are you a wildlife or sports photographer looking for an affordable prime lens that delivers stunning results? If so, the Sigma 500mm f5.6 might be the perfect option for you. This lens has been a popular choice for photographers who want a high-quality telephoto lens without breaking the bank. In this review, we will compare the Sigma 500mm f5.6 to the Sony 200-600, another popular choice for wildlife and sports photography. We will delve into the features, image quality, and overall performance of the Sigma 500mm f5.6 to help you determine if it is truly the best “budget” prime lens for your photography needs.

Sigma 500mm f5.6: The BEST “Budget” Prime Lens for Wildlife & Sports?

When I first got my hands on the Sigma 500mm f5.6 DG DN OOS Sport lens, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. As a review of this lens, I can confidently say that it is a game-changer. Specifically designed for Sony E Mount, and hopefully available for other mounts in the future, this lens is a compact and lightweight powerhouse that delivers impressive results.

Size and Weight

One of the standout features of this lens is its size and weight. At 9.2 inches tall (23.5 CM) and weighing in at only 3 lbs (1365 G), it is significantly smaller and lighter than other lenses in its category. For comparison, the Sony 200-600 lens comes in at 12.5 inches (31.7 CM) in length and 4.65 lbs (2115 G) in weight. This makes the Sigma 500mm a great option for photographers who need to hike, travel, or shoot handheld for extended periods.

Handling and Build

The lens feels fantastic in the hands, offering a balanced and comfortable grip. Its compact size means that you can easily shoot handheld without the need for a monopod, making it ideal for wildlife and sports photography on the go. Additionally, the built-in Arca Swiss plate in the lens collar adds convenience and versatility for tripod and mounting options.


The lens boasts a range of convenient features, including switches for AF to manual focus, full to limit focus, and OS on/off. It also includes customizable buttons and a 95mm filter thread for various filter options. The 11 aperture blades deliver beautiful bokeh and exceptional sharpness, as evidenced by the stunning images captured at the Philadelphia Zoo.

Impressive Results

During my practical use of the lens at the Philadelphia Zoo, I was able to capture stunning images of wildlife and sports. The sharpness and clarity of the images, particularly when zooming in on subjects’ eyes, were truly impressive. The lens’s ability to produce beautiful bokeh and accurate color tones added to the overall quality of the photos.

Overall, the Sigma 500mm f5.6 DG DN OOS Sport lens proves to be a compelling option for photographers seeking a budget-friendly prime lens for wildlife and sports photography. Its compact size, lightweight build, and exceptional image quality make it a standout choice in its category.

Whether you’re an avid wildlife photographer, sports enthusiast, or simply looking for a versatile telephoto lens, the Sigma 500mm f5.6 is worth considering. Its portability and performance make it a valuable addition to any photographer’s gear arsenal.

FAQ – Sigma 500mm f5.6

What is the Sigma 500mm f5.6 lens?

The Sigma 500mm f5.6 lens is a prime telephoto lens designed for wildlife and sports photography. It offers a focal length of 500mm and a maximum aperture of f5.6, making it ideal for capturing distant subjects with high clarity and detail.

Is the Sigma 500mm f5.6 a budget-friendly option?

Yes, the Sigma 500mm f5.6 is considered a budget-friendly prime lens, especially when compared to other similar telephoto lenses on the market. It provides excellent performance at a more affordable price point.

How does the Sigma 500mm f5.6 compare to the Sony 200-600 lens?

While both lenses offer telephoto capabilities, the Sigma 500mm f5.6 is a prime lens with a fixed focal length, whereas the Sony 200-600 is a zoom lens with a variable focal length. The choice between these two lenses depends on the specific needs and preferences of the photographer.

Is the Sigma 500mm f5.6 suitable for wildlife and sports photography?

Yes, the Sigma 500mm f5.6 is well-suited for capturing wildlife and sports events due to its long reach and fast aperture. It enables photographers to capture subjects at a distance with excellent clarity and detail, making it a popular choice for these types of photography.

I hope you find useful my article Sigma 500mm f5.6 REVIEW: The BEST “Budget” Prime Lens for Wildlife & Sports? (vs Sony 200-600), I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.

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