Me with the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM SPORT

Recently, I embarked on an exciting trip to Ladle Hill, eager to photograph the RAF Parachute Display Team as they made a spectacular drop at the Highclere Castle Show. Despite the less-than-ideal weather conditions, I was determined to test the limits of my Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM SPORT lens on my trusty Canon 5DS R. With its class-leading 50.6MP image resolution, my Canon, despite its age, still holds its ground as a formidable camera, even in challenging situations. It’s worth noting here that I was approximately 3 to 4 miles away from Highclere Castle!

Battling the Elements

Me with the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM SPORT

The journey to Ladle Hill began with a pleasant walk across from Watership Down, where the late spring sunshine bathed the landscape in a warm, golden light. The serene start was deceiving, as the weather quickly turned cruel. The clear skies gave way to a breezy afternoon, with showers sweeping across the hillside and transforming the once gentle day into a challenging environment. As I positioned myself for the parachute drop, the conditions deteriorated further. I found myself photographing against a very dark background, accompanied by light rain and gusty winds. These rapidly changing conditions posed a significant challenge, but also provided an opportunity to push my equipment to its limits.

Me with the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM SPORT
AspectInitial ConditionsLater Conditions
WeatherLate spring sunshineBreezy with showers
SkyClear and brightDark and overcast
Walking ExperiencePleasant and sereneChallenging with gusty winds and rain
LandscapeWarm, golden light over Watership DownHill transformed into a moody backdrop
Photographic ChallengeIdeal lightingDark background and light rain
Highclere Castle hidden behind trees. View from Ladle Hill.

The Sigma 150-600mm Experience

The Sigma 150-600mm is a beautifully crafted lens, embodying Sigma’s new design philosophy that emphasises both aesthetics and functionality. The lens, while essentially black on black, showcases an exceptional mix of textures and materials that make it look sleek and modern. Holding it in your hands, you can immediately feel the premium quality. The soft-touch, rubberised sections at key points enhance the user experience, making it not just a tool but a joy to use. Even the lens hood feels meticulously designed, exuding a sense of durability and thoughtfulness.

Lens AspectDescription
Build QualityPremium materials, rubberised sections, weather-resistant construction
DesignSleek and modern, excellent mix of textures and materials
HandlingComfortable, smooth zoom and focus rings, well-balanced
Weather ResistanceProtected against dust and moisture, ideal for challenging conditions
Optical PerformanceMaintained sharpness in low light, high resolution
Image QualityHigh detail retention, excellent performance when cropping
Lens HoodEffective in blocking stray light, sturdy construction
Comparison to CompetitorsSuperior build quality to Tamron 150-600 VC, rivals Canon’s high-end telephoto lenses

When comparing it to the Tamron 150-600mm VC, which is an excellent lens in its own right, the Sigma Sport stands out in terms of build quality. The Tamron offers fantastic optical performance for its value, but the Sigma Sport is in a league of its own, rivalling the construction of high-end Canon telephoto lenses. This lens doesn’t compromise on anything, delivering a premium, professional feel that is crucial when working in demanding conditions.

Capturing the Jump


As the RAF Parachute Display Team made their jump, I focused on capturing every moment. Despite the challenging lighting and weather, I was pleased with the results. The Sigma lens performed admirably, allowing me to crop in significantly without losing detail, thanks to the incredible resolution of the Canon 5DS R. The images, even under the dark and rainy conditions, turned out sharp and detailed, showcasing the capabilities of this formidable lens-camera combination.

RAF Parachute Display Team jumping into Highclere Castle Show ground.
RAF Parachute Display Team jumping into Highclere Castle Show ground.
RAF Parachute Display Team jumping into Highclere Castle Show ground.
RAF Parachute Display Team jumping into Highclere Castle Show ground.
RAF Parachute Display Team jumping into Highclere Castle Show ground.

Final Thoughts

My trip to Ladle Hill was not just about photographing an event; it was an opportunity to test the endurance and performance of my gear in less-than-ideal conditions. The Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM SPORT lens, paired with the Canon 5DS R, exceeded my expectations. Sigma’s dedication to quality and design is evident in every aspect of the lens, making it a worthy investment for any serious photographer.

Despite the weather, the adventure was a success, and I left Ladle Hill with a collection of images that I am truly proud of. This experience reaffirmed my belief in the importance of having reliable and high-quality equipment, especially when nature decides to throw a curveball your way.

Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM SPORT Review



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