Sigma 600mm F8 Mirror A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 18   
reviewer#43031 date: Mar-16-2018
sharpness: 3.5
color: 3
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 3.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Rokinon 800mm F8 DX
Sony DT 55-300 SAM + 2X TC
Minolta AF 100-400 F4.5-6.7 APO + 1.4X TC
Sigma 150-500 F5-6.3 DG APO HSM OS
Various telephoto zooms
price paid:120 USD (used)
positive:Chipped (Steady Shot)
Long, smooth focus throw
Hood
Tripod collar
negative:Low resolution and contrast
Heavy
95mm front filter thread
comment:A nice looking copy of this lens purchased from another Dyxum user. The original front lens cap, hood, and clear filter (rear) were included. The metal screw-on hood is flocked on the inside. "MADE IN JAPAN"

It is sharper than either copy of the Rokinon, but APS-C captures are noticeably soft even at 2 MP. The better x-300mm F5.6 zooms are sharper with more contrast when used on a 2X MC7 teleconverter, and this lens is only about a third stop brighter than those combinations. There is quite a bit of astigmatism and/or coma that makes it impossible to get a achieve consistent focus at all angles.

This version is chipped and Steady Shot works well on the A68. I find Steady Shot with Shutter is needed to be able to use focus magnification hand-held.
reviewer#11978 date: Sep-11-2014
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 70-300mm
price paid:165 USD..complete
positive:Inexpensive with lots of zoom. Built like a brick.
negative:poor sharpness, need to use tripod for the most part, poor contrast, bokeh looks like a Duncan Donuts convention
comment:600mm of zoom if your desperate. If you have some patience and use it in the right circumstances you can get some useable photos.
reviewer#11055 date: Apr-19-2013
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 55-300mm
price paid:£85
positive:Long range
Well made
Sharp pictures in bright sunlight
Can be bought cheap on ebay.
negative:Difficult to get sharp pictures without a tripod.
Needs bright sunlight for best shots
comment:I bought this for a reasonable price on ebay, as did most people, and had no idea what to expect in terms of picture quality.
After 2 days I have realised this lens works best in bright sunlight, and don't bother using this lens if the sun is not shining on your subject.
With good sunlight, this lens produces sharp pictures.
Best not to use this lens on cloudy days.
It's very difficult to focus this lens properly due to the limited depth of field and being able to hold it steady, so really a tripod is needed for best results.
reviewer#10643 date: Nov-3-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:LZOS 500mm f8 mirror
LZOS 1000mm f10 mirror
price paid:150 USD (used)
positive:A pretty decent lens that requires thoughtful user camera settings suited to the task at hand.
negative:The usual for this type lens. Focus is critical, Need to be careful with hot spots.
comment:This lens is a very good buy for the photographer who is willing to live with its limitations. I can't think of a bigger bang for the buck.
reviewer#10624 date: Oct-27-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 500mm F4.5
Canon 200mm F1.8
price paid:£77 + £15 shipping
positive:Build
Size
Weight for the focal length
negative:Manual Focus
comment:First, let me clarify that there are TWO versions of this lens. One that has an 85mm aperture, and the other that has a 95mm aperture. I own the 2nd, which looks exactly like the pictures of this lens here (same finish, and same color).

The lens itself is great for a mirror lens. For the focal length, its pretty compact and light. The DOF is hair thin, as expected from any 600mm lens. Owning the Canon 200mm F1.8, I was a bit prepared for the shallow DOF, as that lens too renders very shallow DOF.

Optically, the lens is hair splitting sharp on my A65. Really really sharp if you focus it correctly. SLT cameras give this type of lenses a new life with their focus peaking and focus magnification functions. SSS also works great with this lens. I was able to get sharp images handheld at 1/60s!!! (keep in mind the effective focal length on a crop sensor is 900mm)

Even when paired with a 2x Kenko Pro 300 TC its plenty sharp for my taste. At the closest focusing distance of 2 meters, the combination gives a 1:1.5 magnification!

I'm still learning how to use this lens, and adjusting to having no aperture control, and hence no DOF control, but its a fun lens and definitely worth quite a bit more what I paid for it given how sharp it is.

Yes, color and contrast are not comparable to a good refractive lens, but if you shoot RAW it can be processed to your liking quite easily. Yes, it flares badly without the hood (the lens came without it, but found its original hood, in the same color, on ebay and its on its way) but I can't complain about that given the price.

To sum up, if you own an SLT camera and want a long telephoto on a tight budget, this lens should definitely be on your shortlist. Very compact, and very much hand holdable in good daylight.
reviewer#10422 date: Aug-1-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Conventional Sigma 500mm APO.
price paid:105 USD (w/S&H)
positive:On 1.6x APS-C, view equals a 1000mm!
Very solidly built.
Surprisingly sharp in the right hands.
Small & relatively unobtrusive in use.
Cheap enough to risk in the field.
Amenable to major IQ improvement in PP.
negative:Susceptible to all CAT limitations:
Funky bokeh (tho' occasionally a plus!)
Small effective aperture -> dark viewing.
Shallow DOF -> difficult focusing.
Low contrast prior to PP.
Unsaturated colors prior to PP.
Sensitive to mirror slap, atmospherics, etc.
comment:I've just bought my second example of this lens, so you can tell I'm a fan. Indeed, having used this on several generations of film & digital SLRs, I've now gone to a Sony "mirrorless" specifically to dampen the main problem with any extreme telephoto: camera vibration or shake. (The NEX-type cameras have no mirror to "slap", plus hands-off electronic triggering... which = better sharpness. Pity the current NEX generation doesn't offer in-camera shake reduction too.)

Anyway, in brief, this is a fine lens and is capable of pictures which rival comparably long refractor teles costing 10 to 50 times as much (and which you would never dream of taking into a swamp!) It does, however, require practice and thought to get the most out of it - possibly a lot more so than any other lens you might use. And it is not a fast-to-use lens: it's great for scenics with distant but compressed foregrounds and backgrounds, and nearly stationary wildlife can sometimes be managed, but taking it to a fast moving sporting event would, in my opinion, be madness!

Do not be afraid of post production work in software! If you shoot in RAW and then use the computer intelligently, the lens' normally subdued contrast and color saturation can be easily adjusted: the data is there in the RAW format. And even the odd CAT lens' donut bokeh can be processed out, if one so desires (although it is also avoidable in the "taking" phase, by careful attention to out-of-focus highlights.)

Start with a higher ISO and shutter speed, use the heaviest tripod you can manage (I sometimes use one that retired from a career in cinematography)... or improvise in the field with a view towards solidity, ample light and a motionless camera (I like to use big boulders on location, paired with a lead-shot beanbag rest like the ones used by competitive marksmen and an infrared triggering accessory.) Then... have fun finding just the right compositions to exercise the CAT's strengths.

reviewer#10372 date: Jul-11-2012
sharpness: 3
color: 2
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:70-210 beercan
20-200 G with Tc
price paid:£100 used
positive:build
size
price
negative:Sharpness
colour
Aperture
comment: As an almost exclusive Mf shooter i can say that with a tripod the focusing is accurate, images can be soft anywhere out of centre frame and the lens doesn't create nice colors. The images can be dull and flat.

Obviously for a mirror it has fixed aperture however some of the more modern mirrors have a wider Aperture.

For the price its a great lens to play around with however its really a gimmick and i am disappointed with results. It normally would stay at home. However you probably would struggle to find any mirror lens thats decent. I haven't used the minolta/sony AF mirror however i would assume due to limitations of design it would perform similarly

The 70-210 beercan would always find its way in my bag however with this sigma i struggle to find reasons to bring it out. Probably because its too slow, a bit too long for a lot of uses and the images have no wow factor. I also find that with the a900's sensor i would rather crop with a sharper, better colour rendition and speedier lens than carrying around this thing. Also no steady shot is a bummer.

Build quality is very good, all metal except for the cheap plastic filter inserts and massive 95mm front cap.
reviewer#10371 date: Jul-10-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 3
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Nothing to compare it to.
price paid:160 USD (used)
positive:Razor sharp when you get it right.
Built like a tank.
Huge hood.
Length!
Surprisingly good closeup/macro.
negative:Weighs a metric ton.
Requires a good tripod or 10 second countdown.
Bokeh donuts.
comment:I picked this up because frankly it was cheap and I was bored. This is a fun lens to play with, but I need my tripod. I was pleasantly surprised at the 1:3 magnification at 2 meters. On the A77 I was able to get the helix detail on a dragonfly's eye. I am still getting used to the lens. I haven't had a nice enough day to try to handhold the lens. I've had to use a tripod. The colors seem a bit bland, but I am holding off until I know the white balance is good to fully judge colors. The bokeh donuts are either a homerun or a strikeout, but never in between. I don't have a sturdy enough tripod to take advantage of the quickness of the A77. I have to set the camera in delay mode. Focus peaking shines big time with this lens.

Updated on 1/4/2013 to reflect use on A99. This lens does well on the A99, except the colors tend to be a bit off. The greens show up on the gray side. Fixable to a degree post-processing. I am also spoiled by good colors from other lenses.
reviewer#8924 date: Apr-14-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 3
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 50-500mm "Bigma"
Sony 500mm F8 Reflex mirror
price paid:£85.00 (2nd hand)
positive:Well balanced.
Large & smooth focus ring.
Effective lens hood.
Not that heavy compared to lens of a similar range.
Very compact for FL.
negative:Screw-on lens hood. Its metal against metal, not the quietest to set up!
Colours seem to be a bit toned down compared to Sigma/Sony/Tamron glass that I own.
comment:I'd read the earlier reviews a few times and by chance, found one of these lenses on eBay in good condition complete with 4 filter inserts and a carrying box.

Bearing in mind it only arrived this morning but I've already taken it out with the tripod and had some play around. I find it balances quite well with my a580 camera body.

The images taken with it are quite sharp, although as already stated; for static subjects only. I can only compare the MF ring to such glass as the Tamron 90mm and 180mm macros; very smooth and easy to use. I did try mounting the lens on my 2x TC which produced blurry images although its more likely an issue with me. I'll check back later on that one.

My feelings concerning this lens is that it has more of a range than my 50-500mm zoom, yet comes along as less than half the weight. Its a very compact piece of kit, even when compared with Sony/Minolta 500mm mirror. If you are taking this lens out somewhere, I'd certainly suggest a nice sturdy tripod and a remote commander.

**I am somewhat interested in hearing if this lens will work on an SLT, if anyone can throw any light on that, please drop me a message/email. Thanks

***As a reply to my above query about the Sigma 600mm mirror lens to dSLT compatibility, all I can say is that it works fine on my a55 although due to the camera body being so light, it doesn't balance all that well. A heavier body might make more sense but it does work alright.
reviewer#6978 date: Mar-1-2010
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 250 f8 MD
Sigma 400 f5.6
price paid:200 CND (used)
positive:Short
Good price
Solid build
Focus ring has nice 'feel'
negative:Very difficult to focus
Manual focus
Not terribly sharp
Low contrast
comment:Pretty much as you'd expect for a long lens at low price - sharpness is adequate though of course doesn't compare with an APO conventional lens (costing thousands)

Build quality is very, very good. Solid metal, very sturdy.

The front element is almost flush with the end of the lens barrel making it prone to dirt and fingerprints. Keep the (very deep) hood on at all times when in use!

This lens is a BEAR to focus requiring delicate adjustment of the focus ring. Don't even try it handheld unless you are a sharpshooter...

No interface to camera, so MF only.
reviewer#6114 date: Sep-24-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 3
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:RF 250 / RF 500
price paid:80 EUR
positive:focal length - weight ratio
all metal design
sharp if focused properly
flare control is good if hood is used
negative:manual focus
dull colors
usable only for not moving objects
comment:I dreamed of a mirror lens since I got my first SLR, so I was glad to get this one at a good price (with hood, both covers, all filters and a box).
I tried it and was disappointed because I couldn't get a sharp picture.
I learned: I need to use an angle viewfinder to magnify and a splitimage focussing screen.
With that and a fast shutter I could take pictures that are usable but not perfect.
Anyway, I like the special bokeh and used the lens a lot to take pictures of plants.

Meanwhile I upgraded to RF 250 (paid four times the price) which is smaller, sharper and has much better colors (and usable on a-mount with adapter if someone doesn't care about infinity focus)

reviewer#2829 date: Oct-7-2007
sharpness: 3.5
color: 3
build: 5
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:have nothing else this big
price paid:£ 73 ebay
positive:Built like a tank
short easy travel lens.
900mm on digital body.
sharp at high shutter speeds. on digital body better, as you increase iso to compensate for lack of light
negative:low contrast and soft images
loads of light needed
manual focus only
really is f11 as you over expose by 1 full stop to gain same light image as in viewfinder on a100 but perfect f8 on a700.
A priority only as no electric contacts.
comment:Bargain at £73 with 4 filter inserts and case, like new condition. When used correctly you can get very sharp images that can be tweaked for contrast later. Needs plenty of light, dull cloudy days a waste of time, images very grainy or noisy due to high iso and cropping is a disaster. Used as backup when 300mm zoom just cant get close enough.
reviewer#2385 date: May-28-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 3
build: 3
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3.2
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:have no one like that.
price paid:160 €
positive:Very good lense for less prize.
easy to handle.
negative:MF and the hood to screw
comment:got this lense for a good prize and for some reasons it's a good lense.
reviewer#1688 date: Jan-22-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 2
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Various Minolta primes and zooms (although nothing in this range).
price paid:Part of a kit.
positive:Sharp if used correctly.
Fairly compact (it is a mirror lens, after all).
negative:Difficult to get good results.
Very low contrast.
Colours are pretty poor.
No electrical contact means no anti-shake.
comment:This is a tricky lens to handle and get good results with. For a while I thought it was soft (as well as having poor colour and contrast) but soon realised I was using far too slow shutter speeds to hand hold. Testing at shutter speed greater than 1/1000s or using a flash got sharp results. Anti-shake should probably be turned off if, like my version, there are no electrical contacts on the lens.

To get decent pictures on a digital body, colour and contrast need to be bumped right up in the processing. For film I'm not sure what you could do really. If you can get the hang of it I'm sure you could take some fairly good pictures with this lens, but it's tricky.

External build quality seems good, but I did have a problem with the central column coming loose.
reviewer#1629 date: Jan-10-2007
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Sigma 70-300 F/4-5.6 APO Macro
price paid:$250 USD (ebay)
positive:Built like a tank. Focus ring has about 270 degrees of rotation which means fine focusing is easy. Very sharp pics of the moon. Great lens to reach out and touch something way far away.
negative:Heavy. Manual focus. Fixed aperture. Can't find the 30.5mm drop-in filters for it. Only one came with my eBay purchase. Would like to have others to vary the light since no F-Stop changes can be made.
comment:I like this lens for shooting the moon. I've used my 2x teleconverter and it works very well with it. Very sharp pics of the moon. With the 2x tc basically I have a very high quality telescope setup for my camera. Haven't been able to use it to my satisfaction in my backyard on birds and wildlife. I'm probably too close for the DOF unless you are at least 50 feet from the subject. I'll work with it more and report back later.
reviewer#817 date: May-20-2006
sharpness: 3
color: 3
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:See comments
negative:
missing
comment:Se my pics and review here:
http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/forum_posts.asp?TID=4022
and here:
http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/forum_posts.asp?TID=4023
reviewer#797 date: May-16-2006
sharpness: 1
color: 3
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 3.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:awesome build
nice MF feel
comes with 4 filters
tripod collar
cheap (beware)
negative:picture quality is useless
shutter lock has to be turned off
comment:this lens is built like a tank...it feels awesome when you get it out of the box...then you feel the MF ring - solid!

it even looks great when you view through your optical viewfinder.

what records to your CCD is another story!

the picture quality produced from this lens is pure Garbage!...junk.

bad in every way a photo could look bad...this lens is cheap for a reason

stay away if at all possible!
reviewer#676 date: Apr-11-2006
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Samyang 500mm mirror lens
price paid:
missing
positive:Cheap price
Lightweight
1:3 "Macro"
Long reach for a short lens
Fairly sharp (for a mirror lens)
Built like a tank
Tripod collar
negative:Mirror lens 'donuts'
Slow, fixed aperture
Screw-on lens hood
comment:Compared to the cheap Samyang 500mm mirror, this lens is tack sharp! Actually, for a mirror lens, it takes remarkably (reasonably) sharp pictures. Big reach for a little lens, especially on a DSLR with the crop factor - great for moon shots! The 1:3 macro feature gives you some nice close focusing distance, closer than the Minolta 28-135mm.
reviews found: 18   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 18
  • sharpness: 3.83
  • color: 3.33
  • build: 4.72
  • distortion: 4.39
  • flare control: 4.33
  • overall: 4.12

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