Sigma’s 150-600mm f/5-6.3 lens is a beast. Designed for sports and wildlife photographers, it offers a very versatile focal length range, but photographers looking for even more reach can pair the lens with Sigma’s 1.4x teleconverter. But there’s a hitch: When using that combination on Nikon’s new APS-C flagship, the D500, the resulting images can be overexposed. Fortunately, Sigma seems to have caught the issue early on and has released a firmware update that corrects it.
Yes, this is a rather specific issue, and it won’t affect a wide swath of photographers. However, as the Nikon D500 is also geared toward the sports and wildlife crowd, it’s likely one of the more common cameras that will find itself mated to super telephoto lenses and teleconverters. The D500 began shipping in April, but is still on backorder at many retailers. This makes Sigma’s fast response in identifying and correcting the problem all the more impressive.
There are two ways owners of the lens can apply the update: by sending the lens to Sigma for service, or doing it at home with Sigma’s USB Dock. The $60 Dock connects the lens to a Mac or Windows PC and uses Sigma Optimization Pro software to install the firmware. (The Dock can also be used for calibrating the autofocus system in the event of front- or back-focus issues with a user’s particular camera.) The updated firmware can be found here.
Sigma announced the pair of 150-600mm lenses last year. The two are equal in focal length and aperture, but key differences in both the exterior and interior design lead to the Sports version costing roughly twice as much ($2,000, compared to $1090 for the Contemporary version). The Sports lens is both larger and over two pounds heavier, but is fully weather sealed, comes with a metal lens hood, has a more robust manual focus ring, and uses more low dispersion glass elements.
For more information, visit Sigma’s website.