A Quick Comparison of Budget Long Telephoto Zoom Lenses for Sports & Bird Photography

With the release of Nikon’s New AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens the game of budget telephoto zoom lens has heated up. Mother company like Canon and Nikon have lenses at 100-400mm range but they cost more than $2000. This is very expensive for non professional yet highly enthusiastic photographers. Till now only Sigma and Tamron have been making long telephoto zoom lens for this big group of bird and sports photographers. Now Nikon has joined the game and they release it at a price few can believe. When Nikon sells their AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II at $7000 its really surprising to see them release a lens like AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR at $1399. Moreover with release of every new lens Canon is rising the price while Nikon haven’t. Most of the Nikon lovers are very happy with this policy of Nikon. I hope Canon will hear the cry of their loyal consumers. Here is a quick comparison among the four currently available long range tele-photo zoom lenses.

Long lens comparison

Sigma 150-600 vs Tamron 150-600 vs Nikon 200-500

Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM (New)Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM ContemporaryTamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USDAF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR
Focal Length150 – 600mm150 – 600mm150 – 600mm200 – 500mm
Max. Aperture5-6.35-6.35-6.35.6
Minimum Focusing Distance8 ft 6.4 inch9 ft 2.2 inch8 ft 10.32 inch7 ft 2.4 inch
Elements/Groups24/162 FLD & 3 SLD Elements20/141 FLD and 3 SLD Elements20/133 Low Dispersion Elements19/123 ED Elements
Diaphragm Blades9999
Weather SealingSplash and Dust Proof MountSplash and Dust Proof MountMoisture Resistant
Image StabilizationYesYesYesYes (4.5 stop)
Tripod CollarYesYesYesYes
Filter size105 mm95 mm95 mm95 mm
Length11.4 inch10.2 inch10.1 inch10.5 inch
Weight2.86 kg1.93 kg1.95 kg2.3 kg
MountCanon, Nikon & SigmaCanon, Nikon & SigmaCanon, Nikon & SonyNikon
 Available Here B&H B&H B&H B&H


Lens Construction

Long lens comparison Construction

MTF Chart Comparison

Diffraction_MTF150-600_5-63_dg_os_hsm_cs3How to read MTF Chart