Inspiration

Exploring the heartbeat of our planet.

Exploring the heartbeat of our planet: SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sports

- Michael Ginzburg

Ever since I can remember I have had a passion for, and been fascinated by, the polar regions. Perhaps it is because humankind only conquered the poles half a century before we flew into outer space and walked on the moon. Perhaps it is that both Antarctica and the Arctic hold so many secrets and mysteries yet to be solved.

For me however, the biggest compulsion is that witnessing the polar wonders feels like being as close as possible to the heartbeat of our planet. Transferring knowledge and raising interest of these regions through photography and film has become my goal in life. I strive to build a bridge between these wonders, the science behind them, and the general public, by documenting them as best I can.

When size matters, the focal range is paramount; especially at the short end. As a wildlife photographer, it is less of a problem to get close enough to your subject. In fact, this is where the skill lies. But moving away from a bear as it comes towards you and keeping it in the frame isn’t easy, especially if you’re sitting on a rock spur with no space to move. This is why I depend on zooms with less than 200mm at the short end. 

SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sports, Sony α7S III, ISO 500, F11, 1/1000 s, 150mm

SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sports, Sony α7S III, ISO 100, F5.6, 1/2000 s, 194mm

I took the SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sports out for a month in the arctic. It took quite a beating as the weather was not particularly great. When working from fast tender boats or snowmobiles, my gear has to withstand sea spray, snow, and sub-zero temperatures, as well as take the one or two knocks in the heat of the moment. In the field, I want to focus 100% on the subject and not spend my time taking care of the equipment against the elements – it is a working tool and not a Fabergé egg, after all. Even if there are some water splashes , by a quick wipe with a lens cleaner, the lens has to be good to go again. 

SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sports, Sony α7S III, ISO 400, F6.3, 1/2000 s, 600mm

SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sports, Sony α7S III, ISO 500, F6.3, 1/2000 s, 600mm

The moving element is usually the biggest problem for me as this is where seawater, salt and dust create the most damage. The SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sports had no issues with this whatsoever, with all switches and buttons surviving punishing sea spray without any damage. The build quality of this lens pushes the standards of the whole Sports series to the next level with an excellent haptic feel. In the challenging light conditions of the high Arctic the performance and the optical quality were beyond my expectations, and coming natively for e-mount, it is an absolute no-brainer for Sony users. Paired with an α7S III, for example, it is a beast. Even the variable aperture does not bother me anymore since Sony alpha cameras can handle high ISO settings. 

SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sports, Sony α7S III, ISO 400, F6.3, 1/2500 s, 600mm

The moving element is usually the biggest problem for me as this is where seawater, salt and dust create the most damage. The SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sports had no issues with this whatsoever, with all switches and buttons surviving punishing sea spray without any damage. The build quality of this lens pushes the standards of the whole Sports series to the next level with an excellent haptic feel. In the challenging light conditions of the high Arctic the performance and the optical quality were beyond my expectations, and coming natively for E-mount, it is an absolute no-brainer for Sony users. Paired with an α7S III, for example, it is a beast. Even the variable aperture does not bother me anymore since Sony alpha cameras can handle high ISO settings. 

SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sports, Sony α7S III, ISO 500, F6.3, 1/2500 s, 600mm

Will this lens replace my 600mm prime? Will it replace my 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Sports? No. But it will certainly stay in my standard kit along with the 600mm F4 and my beloved 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Sports for situations where I cannot afford to carry the big glass on a climb, long-distance ski mission or horseback. And for the times when the nature of an expedition offers very little room for additional gear, this versatile and lightweight optic offers a great single lens option.

SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sports, Sony α7S III, ISO 800, F11, 1/1600 s, 600mm

SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sports, Sony α7S III, ISO 400, F6.3, 1/1600 s, 600mm

SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sports, Sony α7S III, ISO 1000, F6.3, 1/1000 s, 600mm

SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sports, Sony α7S III, ISO 1000, F6.3, 1/1600 s, 600mm

The SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sports is a great way to bump up wildlife photography for ambitious amateurs, and serves the needs of professionals whose work is focused primarily on long-lens work. 

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Michael Ginzburg
Wildlife Photographer / Filmmaker

Michael is a Russian but Germany-based wildlife photographer and filmmaker specializing in the Arctic, Antarctica and the former Soviet Union. He pushes beyond the ordinary and spreads a contagious curiosity for natural wonders on his expeditions, be it at sea, overland or horseback.

Michael’s reference list includes National Geographic, BBC, PBS, and features in Playboy Germany, Spiegel Online and CNN Travel.


Website  |  Instagram

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