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Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Review RSS Feed

Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM

Reviews Views Date of last review
11 86,836 Tue June 25, 2019
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $1,527.38 9.67
Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM

Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM
Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM
Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM


This is Sigma's second-generation 50-500mm lens featuring built-in optical stabilization as well as HSM autofocus.

This lens with its 10x zoom ratio covers the standard-to-super-telephoto range. Sigma’s own Optical Stabilization is an alternative to using the shake reduction mechanism of the camera body. It offers the use of shutter speeds approximately 4 stops slower than would be possible without shake reduction according to Sigma.

This lens is suitable for landscape photography at the short end of the zoom range, and has enough reach for wildlife at the long end.

The filter size of this lens is diameter 95mm and the lens is supplied with a step down ring enabling digital cameras with an APS-C size image sensor to use an diameter 86mm filter. It is, however, not possible to use a Polarizing filter with the step down ring.

Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Automatic, 9 blades
22 elements, 16 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
AF (in-lens motor)
Min. Focus
50 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
92 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 32.1-3.3 ° / 27-2.7 °
Full frame: 46.8-5 ° / 39.6-4.1 °
Lens Cap
Weather Sealing
Other Features
AF/MF Switch,Tripod Mount,Zoom Lock
Diam x Length
104x219 mm (4.1x8.6 in.)
1970 g (69.5 oz.)
Production Years
USD current price
Product Code
User reviews
In-depth review
The closest focus distance varies with focal length

Buy Lens: Buy the Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM
In-Depth Review: Read our Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM in-depth review!
Price: $1659
Mount Type: Pentax KAF3 (in-lens AF only)
Price History:

Add Review of Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Buy the Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-11 of 11
Forum Member

Registered: May, 2012
Location: North Coast, NSW, Australia
Posts: 79
Lens Review Date: June 25, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Outstandingly useful zoom range
Cons: Heavy
Sharpness: 10    Value: 8    Camera Used: Pentax-Kp, K-1(ii), Canon 6D-II    New Or Used: New   

This is just a note for others who may be contemplating this lens:

Pentax Mount : CR Kennedy (Australia) advised me to have the "K-1 Full-Frame" mount-adjustment done, as the original lens-mount may, possibly, damage the K-p camera lens mount.

Canon Mount : To work correctly, in Autofocus mode, on 6D-II, lens required a firmware update. CR Kennedy (Australia) did this for me, under warranty.

Hope this is useful

I am now using this lens on a Pentax K-1(ii) Full-Frame, coupled with Kenko (Pz-AF) 1.5xTC, along with D-FA 28-105.
Find myself not using any other FF lenses on K1.
Senior Member

Registered: May, 2017
Posts: 126

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 23, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $850.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Stabilizer!!!, very good IQ, realy fast focus even from the back to the very end, range from around normal to mid supertele, relatively cheap to other options with that reach
Cons: no drop in filter, no lock stops starting from 300mm, no focusing limiter
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-70    Autofocus: 10    New Or Used: Used   

Very good IQ overall while offering a zoom range not to beat...

The AF speed is equal to those of market ruling camera producers.

Sharpness is there up to 500mm, admittedly it may be a bit better below ~400mm

OS is very effective, you get that when you switch it off and see whats going on when zoomed out to 300mm...
0 - OFF
1 - Normal Stabilization
2 - Panning Stabilization

"Best Bang for the Buck"-nature and journalism tele-lens...

drawbacks you are willing to take at that price-tag(but where a reason for me to vote a 9 for handling):
no drop-in filter system (would come in handy lookin at the filter thread with a whopping 95mm diameter - but i understand why it is not there.. )
no zoom lock-stops (that would make sense to have every 50mm beyond 300...)
- though it has one at 50mm to prevent zoom-creep (what will actually happen, if not locked and you carry it with the front element looking direction-floor...)

no focusing limiter
(the lens AF drive is fast, but as professionals always want to set focus as quick as possible, I have to tell you: if you focus closest possible by accident, the lens has to go all the way back to the distance your subject is at)

in ever other point this lens is a real performer... not to beat at that price tag.
Junior Member

Registered: November, 2014
Location: Slovakia
Posts: 28
Lens Review Date: April 4, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: N/A 

Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 8    Camera Used: Pentax K3    Autofocus: 8    New Or Used: New   

Senior Member

Registered: October, 2007
Location: Thach, Alabama
Posts: 169

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 28, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Good usable focal length zoom
Cons: heavy
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K10D, KX, K7    Autofocus: 8    New Or Used: New   

Received this lens as a gift from a generous soul I knew on a forum. I to this day am stunned in having that happen. It is the older non HSM model but it came with a matched 1.4 multiplier. I have used it now for many years shooting small birds and just about anything else I could get in the viewfinder. I shoot at my grand children's sporting events and at family gatherings. With the 18-55 kit lens and this 50-500mm lens they cover such a large expanse of focal length that they are my walk around lenses for as long as I own them. With the order of a K1 I hope to continue using and learning with this lens. A TRUE KEEPER. I shoot this lens hand held almost exclusively. Most would be advised to use a tripod.

New Member

Registered: June, 2013
Posts: 5

6 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 1, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,660.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: starts at 50, sharpness and IQ, nice for portraits, OS
Cons: heavy and slow
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 8    Autofocus: 8    New Or Used: New   

This is going to be my 1st review here and English is not my language but I think it will do.

I will tell immediately what this lens can't do : action !
Do not buy it if you would like to take photos of Kite Surfers or something like that. It starts at F4,5 and the Bigma becomes often a Grandma. Do not buy it either if you live in a country with long, dark winters - this lens needs the sunlight as you need oxygen to breathe.

So, this had to be said

Here for example what the lens can do very nicely: calm wildlife, big airplanes or helicopters, portraits (!)...., so everything which isn't moving like hell.

The OS works very fine and let you shoot quiet sharp pictures even hand-held. The AF is ultra sonic and does it's job nicely as well. Very quiet (so important for wildlife) and fast. Depending on the situation it can creep around and try to annoy you but most of the time it is ok. Impressive is the range from 50-500mm and it's good usable from one end to the other. Sure, around 350 or 400mm the IQ is better than at 500mm but not worlds of difference. Biggest issue for me is contrast starting 400mm.

This lens has in all a nice build quality, good IQ and is very versatile because of it's range but it is slow, a bit heavy and need full daylight.
You may need to buy a tripod which is resistant for up to 6kg, just to give a stable base when shooting. If money is not an issue, than buy one of these pro-lenses which start around 5000 USD and skip this one. On a budget and just for fun, I think the Bigma is the best what your money can buy. I'm happy with this lens !

One photo I took at 500mm but being quiet near to the little birdy.It is missing a bit of sharpness, maybe because it is made without tripod ? I had a stable position but....maybe 500mm was to much

next Edit:
I may look now a bit stupid but I tried again and again to shoot some action with this lens and I have finally some results. Shot at 1/1250 or 1/1000, F 7.1, approx. 250mm and at full tropical lunchtime Sunlight ! So you need some practice and best conditions. Anyway, maybe nice shots but by far not perfect.
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New Member

Registered: July, 2013
Posts: 2

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 23, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Good sharpness, value, quality construction
Cons: Mediocre contrast, length when zoomed, slow
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 4    Value: 9    Autofocus: 6    New Or Used: New   

Bought this lens new about five years ago, as my first big commitment to going digital. It was simply the only affordable way to get super telephoto capability at a reasonable price. I also bought the compatible 1.4X converter at the same time.

I'm completely happy with the Bigma. It provides superb results, considering the zoom range and price. It pretty much completely loses autofocus capability with the converter, but since you're using 500 to 700mm, autofocus probably isn't your main concern.

I wouldn't have considered a lens this slow back in my film days, but with the ISO's typically used in digital photography, this lens becomes very practical. One caveat - you need to practice to become proficient with it. It's quirky - it grows to about twice its nominal length at the long end of the range.

I got a Bushmaster shoulder stock for it, which suits this lens very well - hunting for images, and capturing them on the fly. The stock steadies the camera considerably, without the awkwardness and time consuming tripod setup. Nice.
Veteran Member

Registered: May, 2010
Location: Hong Kong / Irvine, CA
Posts: 634

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 20, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: OS, good sharpness, good range
Cons: 95mm filter is not common
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Autofocus: 9    New Or Used: Used   

very good tele lens.
I prefer this one over 300/4 class.

The AF speed is very good.
The sharpness is very good up to 400mm. You will notice slightly sharpness drop from 400-500mm.
The range is very useful because you can start from 50mm.
Marco is very good at 200mm.
Hand held is usable and I can carry it around for a few hours without problem. The tripod ring is very good.
OS is effective, but you need to remember to turn off SR for the camera.

Money spent is worth it.
Inactive Account

Registered: December, 2011
Posts: 17

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 4, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,500.00 | Rating: N/A 

Pros: Range of zoom - 500mm is lots!
Cons: None yet
New Or Used: New   

I have had this lens for a few months and really enjoyed it. I have deliberately not completed the scores out of 10 as I haven't done a detailed or technical analysis to truly comment on things like sharpness etc.

I have not become aware of any deficiencies I can notice in a technical sense, so I have no problems with its focus, or sharpness, or colours or fringing, or vignetting, or speed, or noise etc. everything works for me just I would expect it to; I think it does the K-5 justice and vice versa.

I can give my subjective review - it is great, certainly I have got some fabulous pictures. It is particularly good for nature, in the zoo I had a great time getting head-shots of all the animals. Also at an airshow I got a few excellent pics (for me). It is almost always at full zoom 500mm, only for some portraits I have zoomed out really

It is difficult to take photos of fast moving low flying planes if they leave the focus area it begins to hunt but I don't think that is the lens as much perhaps as the photographer

My only gripe is the availability and cost of filters. For a polarising filter I ended up gambling on a step-down ring that I did not know if it would work until it arrived, plus a cheap set of (I think) 72mm or 77mm filters from Polaroid which are fine for an APC sensor like my K-5 has. There was literally one supplier in the UK I could find sellling this adapter ring online. The full-sized Sigma CPL filter is about £100 here ($150)!

At least the filters work, and I haven't seen substantive vignetting. There is definitely a bit of vignetting if you believe Lightroom - because when I correct for this lens it lightens up the edges a bit, but not severe. I consider it a plus that it is supported in Lightroom, although it doesn't tag/send its identity so automatically as the Pentax own lenses do you can still find it in the Adobe menus; that might of course be the camera's doing not the lens's.

I still kept my Tamron 70-300mm because that has a macro feature that his doesn't, although looking at some other people's photos (nice butterfly above) perhaps "macro" mode is not really necessary.

Another area for potential improvement is, the lens has 3 modes of optical stabilisation; 0, 1 and 2. 0 seems to be "off" and consensus is (and instructions do indicate) to switch the lens' stabilisation on, and switch off the camera's own anti-shake. Which I have occasionally forgotten to do. But there is no indication at all as to what the difference is between the choices of 1 or 2, why to choose one over the other. So "instructions could be better" Sigma.

Finally, you do feel like a complete paparazzi with this thing on your camera, it does attract attention. It comes with an additional hood for APC sensor cameras that means the hood extends maybe 6" onto and already big structure. I have received quite a few and variety of comments from strangers when I am using it!

Of course giving you an extra hood is thoughtful, it feels like overkill to run a full frame lens on an APC sensor with a massive hood, but so what - I certainly don't see much lens flare

Probably impossible to ruggedise such a beast but I will be in the market for one of the shroud/protectors too
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2011
Location: The Canadian WetCoast
Posts: 380

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 25, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $2,000.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: 10X range. IQ. Size. Value.
Cons: f/6.3 starting ~ 150mm. Look & feel like a Thermo mug.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Autofocus: 10    New Or Used: New   

This is an exciting & not-so-exciting lens at the same time.

It is exciting to have that 10X ability to "scout & reach" for wildlife or not-so-wild subjects. It can focus rather close for small critters or a really tight head shot of people. IQ is great and the lens is very portable despite large size. The Sigma DG 95mm filter cost as least $110, which can cause an excitement by itself. This is currently the only offer for Pentax dSLR in that range. The Battleship grade SMC Takumar 135-600/6.3 which I collected is in the similar reach, but that is more a museum piece.

It is not-so-exciting mainly of its' appearance. Look & feel like a super-sized Thermo mug. It also reach f/5.6 very early at ~ 120mm, which limited its' use mostly on sunny day.

Here is sample of the 500mm reach:
Senior Member

Registered: June, 2010
Location: Östergötland, Sweden
Posts: 216

9 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 23, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,950.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very flexible (50mm to 500mm), Cheap than other tele lens alternatives, Powerful body kit
Cons: External zoom system (but this is not a critical problem), Weight (not easy to carry for a long at the field for somebodies)
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Autofocus: 10    New Or Used: New   

I bought this lens at 9th February 2011. I always use on handheld when I take photographs. Perhaps a little bit heavy for video shootings especially, but you can use a sturdy tripod. You must be careful at when use in dusty areas. Because the lens has got an external zoom system and this situation might be a problem. I recommend also a water & dust proof hard case (like Vanguard Supreme series) for transport. I'm using a hard case and a compatible neoprene cover (LensCoat).

I can say briefly; this is an excellent "Wildlife Photography" item and I strongly advise to you... (You can check my website for sample images: Best regards...


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Otis Memorial Pentaxian
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2011
Location: Richmond, Virginia USA
Posts: 2,883

6 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 31, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,659.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast focus, excellent picture quality
Cons: weight and cost

I drooled over this lens for weeks before i bit the it thursday of last week so had this past weekend to play with it...spent time shooting pictures of osprey on the river flying and in their nests...i had the lens fully extended, handheld and i was amazed at the picture quality...i do have a k5 so was able to set my shutter speed and aperature where i wanted but OMG i love this lens and wish i had gotten it sooner...if you on the fence and want to take nature photography this is the lens for you!!!
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