Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Third-Party Pentax Lenses - Reviews and Database » Sigma Lenses » Legacy Zoom Lenses
Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM Review RSS Feed

Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM

Reviews Views Date of last review
23 87,979 Fri September 1, 2017
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $869.08 8.86
Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM

Latest OS version of the Sigma 150-500mm lens.
"The Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 is ultra telephoto zoom designed for Full Frame sensors but may also be used with smaller APS-c size sensors with a corresponding effective increase in focal length to about 255mm to 850mm on the Sigma SD format. An Optical Stabilizer (OS) allows for handheld photography even in low light scenarios, while a Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) ensures quiet, high speed, and accurate autofocusing. This unique lens is an excellent optical performer featuring three SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements for optimum color correction and sharpness throughout the entire zoom range, rear focusing system corrects for fluctuation of aberration due to focusing. It compact size of a mere 10 inches and weight of only 4 pounds for its focal length..." Sigma web site.

tech specs here.
Buy Lens: Buy the Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM
Price: $1069
Mount Type: Pentax KAF3 (in-lens AF only)
Price History:

Add Review of Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM Buy the Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 23
New Member

Registered: June, 2015
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: September 1, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Distance shots
Cons: Big
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Handling: 5    Value: 7    Camera Used: K-30    Autofocus: 7   

Climemountainway review is pretty good, even if posted in a literal translation of the Latin I think it was written in. This lens is a beast to be broken then ridden nicely. I'm still at the breaking. Birds is ok, but I generally shoot nature, yachts, at 5ks plus. If yer off the mark with red dot by even a fraction, yer done and a fence post or breaking wave gets the sharpness. Think, said the mountain, before you use the beast cos it don't do quick action anyway, much. It's not point and shoot. Although there's plenty of controls to make it work. I'm gradually increasing the per cent of shots worth saving as the bigma overtakes my much loved 55-300 WR for long distance stuff, but it's line ball below 100 meters.
Great fun, get one. You'll also need a gym subscription to build up yer strength to carry it - but that's a pro not a con.
New Member

Registered: September, 2012
Location: Grand Lake, Colorado
Posts: 15

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 8, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $750.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Good size for field work, well made, sharp, excellent color. Better than old K, M A, F, and FA single focal length comparable aperture series. Focuses well, stablizes well.
Cons: Usurped by the newer Sigma zooms up to 600 mm, but such only can be custom modified for Pentax. Needs adequate light, so do all extreme teles. Not moisture sealed.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-3, K-5, MZ5n, LX    Autofocus: 9    New Or Used: 10   

This lens surprizes and challenges in the field. Not good for fast sports, AF cannot quite keep up. Its provided attributes must be understood to meet its rendering challenges of subject and environment. There are switches and focus and zoom controls on the lens body, a balancing support mount "foot", and requirements it places on the camera controls for best employing its attributes. I keep trying the variations between mounting options for such long lenses: large tripods, with and without gimbals, monopods, with and without varied ball heads, crouch low on the ground spreadable lightweight packable tripods, or window mounts with medium to beefy ball heads (for determining workable shutter speed to achieve focal length sharpness needs, etc.). Add to this the use of two switchable optical stabilizers inherent to the lens, or the one in the selected DSLR. When and which to use, or not?

I am challenged living by Rocky Mountain National Park, where resident animal behaviors are easily addressed by the autofocus, and its overrideable manual focus tweaking capability. I love the challenges of orchestration. The lens is also just under too big to be not easily used as intended for stalking moving subjects. I most often use it premounted on a monopod. This carry to be ready gear posture is best used with the in lens Optical Stabilizer, position "1". The in camera OS does not work well with this configuration. Only one OS can be employed at a time, or they will work against one another. The lens compacts in size into a special lowepro case (Toploader Zoom 55AW takes in the complete lens without the camera, padded OK, and is quick in and out and as carried, unlike the supplied Sigma storage case), which grants quick weather protection for packing it in and out of wilderness without it becoming a drag on a shoot. I occasionally use the Tamron 1.4X F teleconverter which achieves autofocus (by spin gear link, or,) in this case by camera linked to power in lens silent motor focus: in very bright light it indeed adds a sharp focal extension with full autofocus (compares well with the SMC A-S 1.4X manual focus results).

One has to carefully use its capacities to handle properly lit illuminance, as can be of diffused, and of front lit situations which it handles well. Always calculate ratios for possible flash, reflector, or led light fill when highlights or backlight can overarch the presenting subject's on lens axis possible detail rendering of an acceptable exposure range. To avoid related noise, all the way up to ISO 3200 or so, noting the available evenness of light is the challenge; for in frame field view not blowing out highlights or back scene light taking over what is renderable as to detail watch for their indicative in scene illumination ratio. Also, for low contrast light, factoring exposure controls to not mush details or sharpness the lens can provide is monitorable in the field. These are the leering realities which allow skill of lens use to grow with subject in scene capture allowances through experiment and experience over time. This is true too of fixed focal length extreme telephotos, as well as complex 21st century optical formula zoom extreme multiattribute telephotos like this one.

Chrominance adjustments can be predictably previewed on scene after dealing with the above adjustments. There remain trade offs for constant observation of how too the various sensibilities and sensitivities of the DSLRs sensor abilities may best apply the adjustments and capacities of this fine and fieldable optic. For its handling, it won't be merely a point and shoot day, but a calculate best settings way which will bring out the best of this lens. Yes, it can be sharp fully extended, if properly stabilized. It works best when at least a stop or two from wide open can be achieved -- all lighting realities considered. It offers wonderful color, feather stand out details, intimacy discovery as to how to kiss its subjectscape, and better quality than early K, M, A, F and Fa fixed focal length 400 to 600 mm SMC Pentax extreme lenses of similar maximum apertures (there were wider aperture fixed focal lengths which are of better image quality but cost up to eight times more and seem too large for subject stalking).

Over the years lenses like this one have evolved to incorporate special elements, special coatings, internal focusing, self adjusting optical stabilizers, in lens focusing motors, complex movements of elements and element groups inside the lens when zooming, and when focusing, etc. Precise manufacturing and design must be of greatest quality control to produce such complex instruments of imaging consistency. A great value, where all the specs posted as available were made so for less than two years of its manufacturing product life. Dropped was the in lens OS for part of its Pentax KAF product life. All these features work in concert to grant tremendous possibilities for those wanting to master the deal.

I hope to get back here to post a few shots from this area.
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2010
Location: Brookfield, Victoria
Posts: 4,054
Lens Review Date: March 19, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $900.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Accurate focus, quite sharp, OS
Cons: Slow focus

A heavy beast but I knew that when I ordered it used from Japan. I try to use it mostly on a monopod where I often use the OS on setting #1 I find the auto focus to be very accurate but quite slow. Not too good for sports action but OK for most other purposes. The zoom setting will not stay set if the camera is tilted which is a bit annoying but I can live with it.
Otis Memorial Pentaxian
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2015
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 5,764
Lens Review Date: April 24, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $585.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Focal length, hand holdable, build quality
Cons: Needs a lot of light to work well
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-3    Autofocus: 9   

I find this lens to be very good on my K-3. I use the optical stabilization in the lens rather than the shake reduction in the camera as Sigma has designed the system to suit their lens specifically. The in-camera shake reduction is great with Pentax lenses, but when 3rd party lenses with OS are used, I prefer the in-lens stabilization. I have tried both separately and found the in lens stabilization to be better. The camera / lens combination is quite hand holdable, but for prolonged periods I do recommend either a tripod or a monopod. The only real draw back that I have encountered with this lens is that it is quite slow and needs a lot of light to hand hold effectively. Raising the ISO to compensate for low light diminishes the image quality a little too much for me. This is a very good lens, but not a great lens. It has limitations, but I can recommend it highly.
Site Supporter

Registered: April, 2011
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 11
Lens Review Date: March 21, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,049.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Good when I used it with my K-5
Cons: Auto focus does not work with my K-3
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: 3 yrs.    Autofocus: 7   

I loved this lens when I used it with my K-5. But, when I bought a K-3 a year and a half ago, I found that the autofocus would not work with it. I could only use manual focus with the K-3. I wonder if any one else encountered this problem. Luckily, I am still comfortable using manual focus.
In either case, this lens is a little on the heavy side when using it hand held. But, if I was having a good day, I was able to pan with and get some sharp photos of ducks and geese in flight.
Due to some family issues, I haven't been out as mush as I used to. And now that I've tried to get out a few times, the auto focus issue seems to have reared its head at me.
I'm open to any help I can get on this issue.

Registered: May, 2008
Location: London, UK
Posts: 846
Lens Review Date: August 29, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $650.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: Good reach and not TOO heavy
Cons: Vulnerable HSM motor?

Bought used about a year ago from a UK forum member but a pity I didn't check it more closely when I bought it, but I was not very well at the time and for a few months thereafter - result is that I haven't used much and then found it very slow to focus on the K-5 and K-3, so used it even less.

So took the lens into Sigma UK this morning and they confirmed that it needs a new motor and they weren't too happy about the focusing at extreme distances - well that's Tariff 7 = 131.99/$200 (inc return P&P if necessary) and about 1-2 weeks, so could be worse (maybe?)

Therefore, maybe, I will adjust my ratings when I get it back and actually use it: confused:

Edited 20 March 2016:
Well, I tried the repaired lens with the K-3 last Autumn, and that showed the K-3 needed to be serviced - which was done soon after. However, I still think the AF focusing will be slower than the 100-300 F4 screw-drive, based on what Sigma told me this time last year about the relative technical designs of the two lenses.

Edited again 25 May 2017
Last year, after a lot of experimentation, I concluded that it works better on the K-5 (original) AF than on the K-3 AF! Why, because, it seems, the K-5 AF is slower and so it does not try to refocus as quickly as the K-3, and so the lens does not have to work so much to "stay with" the requested AF point" - but that only really works when a subject is moving across the field of view, and not when it is moving towards/away from me.
PS: Don't try to manually focus on a moving subject because the focus ring has to be rotated a lot, and the mechanism is very heavy (for that read "turgid"!) and takes a lot of manual effort to turn!

New Member

Registered: May, 2014
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: August 5, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 


Great focal length for photographing wildlife. The new version is to very good use already open. The autofocus may be a little faster, but is very accurate. Very quiet autofocus and OS. However, if you must wear all day, the weight, you do not need more gym.
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2009
Location: North Syracuse, NY
Posts: 14,032

10 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 22, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $869.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Reach, Cost
Cons: Slow, Size

I almost switch to Nikon for the Tamron 150-600, but this lens found its way into my bag instead.

The autofocus isn't really faster than my DA L 55-300, but at least it is silent.

It would have been nice if it was a bit sharper at F6.3, but at F8 it is nicely sharp and at F10 it is very sharp.

The only issue I have had is that zoom creep set in after less than a month of use.

_IGP3153 by bmcgann1, on Flickr

_IGP3387 by bmcgann1, on Flickr

_IGP3566 by bmcgann1, on Flickr

_IGP4292 by bmcgann1, on Flickr

_IGP4437 by bmcgann1, on Flickr

_IGP4648 by bmcgann1, on Flickr

_IGP4672 by bmcgann1, on Flickr

_IGP4782 - Version 2 by bmcgann1, on Flickr

_IGP5316 by bmcgann1, on Flickr

_IGP5623 by bmcgann1, on Flickr

_IGP5952 by bmcgann1, on Flickr

_IGP5988 by bmcgann1, on Flickr

_IGP6049 by bmcgann1, on Flickr

_IGP6058 by bmcgann1, on Flickr

_IGP6071 by bmcgann1, on Flickr

_IGP7168 by bmcgann1, on Flickr

_IGP8262 by bmcgann1, on Flickr

_IGP9028 by bmcgann1, on Flickr

_IGP9043 by bmcgann1, on Flickr

_IGP9417 by bmcgann1, on Flickr

_IGP9960 by bmcgann1, on Flickr

_IGP9972 by bmcgann1, on Flickr
Junior Member

Registered: July, 2013
Posts: 40
Lens Review Date: June 17, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: telephoto range, value, image stabilization
Cons: big, long

I just got back from using the lens all weekend for the 2014 NCAA Track and Field Championships. It was very long, poking into the aisles when extended at 500mm but with my monopod and K20D it still felt balanced on its mount. I didn't use it handheld much but I think it is amazingly clear and sharp even when panning during the sprints on the monopod while zooming.

Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2007
Location: Arnold, Md.
Posts: 751
Lens Review Date: May 8, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $799.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Big bang for the buck
Cons: none so far

Bought this direct from Sigma as a refurb. Looks new and smells new. No gritty zoom feel, smooth and no creep. Super quiet focus and is faster on the K3 than the K5. Others have mentioned a clicking sound from the OS. I must be deaf, I don't hear it. I'm amazed at the hand held performance at 500mm, I didn't think it was possible and fully expected to have to use it on a tripod. I'll not complain about size or weight as it is what it is and I'm more than satisfied. It has exceeded my expectations.

Registered: November, 2007
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 5,217
Lens Review Date: January 13, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $950.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharpness throughout focal range
Cons: heavy...but with that much glass and size this is no surprise

I've had mine, which I bought new... for about 8 months. It's sharp and has very good AF. I generally use it for photographing birds of prey in the wild and drag racing cars at the track.

I use it with my K-5, haven't tried it with my Km or K10D yet.

The only issue so far, is the physical size .

As far as the size goes it's not a huge deal.

To me, it's just a function of the amount of glass and after is a 500 mm lens.

I'm an older guy and generally either sit with it...or if I do take it on a nature trek...I'm good for about 45 minutes before I tire from the weight.

I know I could use my monopod or tripod but I do like to use my lenses, hand held.

All in all I love this lens.

It's definitely a keeper. The end product the photographs are very sharp. I like the lens handle attachment...very effective in handling this sizeable piece of equipment.

I'm quite pleased that Sigma has produced this excellent 150-500 with a Pentax mount.

I just wish I had bought it sooner.
New Member

Registered: April, 2010
Location: Dordogne, France
Posts: 15
Lens Review Date: January 12, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,000.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: sharp, bokeh pretty good, no abberations, in lens stabilization is excellent
Cons: needs a lot of light, heavy

A nice lens, but not for everyday use imho. It is big and cumbersome. A nice lens for birding. Surprisingly it can be used handheld, thanks to the excellent in-lens stabilization. No point going out on a dull day, you need Sunshine and lots of it, certainly if you want to keep iso down. I have the lens for about a month now and no regrets, great value for money, it is sharp and the bokeh is pretty good too. Downside for me is slow focussing, perhaps better with a k3, I use a k5.
Veteran Member

Registered: February, 2013
Location: Lometa, TX
Posts: 402
Lens Review Date: May 5, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $950.00 | Rating: N/A 

Pros: Quiet Focus, Sharp Bang for Buck
Cons: A bit heavy

The lens took a little getting used to, it is big. Can be be hand held but is easier for me to use a tripod because It Is Big. BigSig for me is a Home Run !
Veteran Member

Registered: February, 2012
Location: Below sealevel
Posts: 1,100
Lens Review Date: November 22, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $700.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Affordable, handholdable, sharpness
Cons: Slow aperture, sharpness, zoomcreep

Bought this lens 2nd hand for a good price (see above), just to give it a try. At first I was sceptical but after some workout I became positively surprised.
I also have the sigma 100-300 F4 and the while 150-500 is not upto par with that in terms of sharpness and IQ, it does produce nice and relatively sharp images.

IMHO one needs to avoid F6.3-F7.1 at the long end for distant shots, at those apertures it is rather soft. F8 is the best compromise between sharpness and DoF, it wil produce very fine images. The downside is offcourse that this makes it even slower that the lens allready is, so you need lots of light or/or a sturdy tripod.

My specimen has zoomcreep, so the transportlock is a welkom addition. OS works fine but you can hear it kicking in. As for the AF: it is virtually silent (a nice feature if you`re shooting birds or wildlife) but not really fast.

The bottomline:
While not as good as my sigma 100-300 F4 I can recommend this lens. It is an affordable and yet delivering alternative if you can`t or don`t want to spend 4-5K on a 500mm prime. It has it`s limitations but if you can figure it out it can perform very nicely.
New Member

Registered: December, 2010
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 7

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 21, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,069.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness! Optical Stab., Size, CA, HSM AF
Cons: Size! A bit slow; but with OS, who cares? DOF is plenty short

This is a wonderfully sharp lens. I'm amazed how sharp it is wide open at 500mm (equiv. of 750mm!!!!) I've never had this kind of reach. Sharp, sharp sharp. It's big! No kidding; but for equiv. 750mm? Not bad at all. I pack it all the time. Nice lens hood that you don't need: The thing just doesn't flare. Big, heavy, grippy, convenient tripod mount you also don't need: The OS covers you.

The OS is like magic. I've never used OS before: It is superb. I can hand-hold down to 1/30 at 500mm and get sharp results. It also helps you frame at long FL handheld. The lens AFs then switches to OS and goes into steady-cam mode. Much easier to frame! It's like magic!

Examples (all with OS-1): (moon) (kestrel form over 100-feet) (from about 12 feet)

I am totally in love with this lens as my sole really long lens. So sharp wide open at all FLs tested that I really haven't used it stopped down.

Very decent bokeh (though this is probably its weakest point -- not very weak). No CA. Basically none.

Superb value for the money.
Add Review of Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM Buy the Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:19 PM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]