Sigma is a top manufacturer of third-party lenses for Canon, Nikon, and Sony cameras. It has a good range of zoom lenses under $500 that are compatible with both full-frame and APS-C sensor cameras. In this guide we specifically look at four of the best Sigma zoom lenses under $500.
When looking at Sigma lenses, it is important to consider the different features and categories and what they mean. Firstly, Sigma has A, C, S, and EX. A is the Art range and are usually high-quality prime lenses. C is the Contemporary range and are usually variable zoom lenses.
S is the Sports category of lenses and are usually telephoto zooms, and finally, EX represents the highest-quality Sigma lenses. Sigma also has Optical Stabilization (OS) and Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) features which are important for zoom lenses.
1. Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM Contemporary (Overall Winner)
Our top choice for Sigma zoom lenses under $500 is the Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM C. This is a versatile multi-zoom lens that covers everything from wide-angle to telephoto. Despite its varied focal distance, it does not sacrifice quality.
Images are sharp and have great color depth even at the edges of the photo. Also, various features help reduce distortion and external influences like lens flare and ghosting.
For operation, this lens benefits from both Optical Stabilization and a Hyper Sonic Motor. This means that you can comfortably use it hand-held and autofocusing is quick and accurate. The zoom motion is smooth, and you can transition between the different focal distances with minimal effort.
The lens element features Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass that helps improve image quality. Also, it has a great minimal focusing distance of 39cm. The macro capabilities are improved by a 1:3 magnification ratio so you can capture great detail on your subjects.
2. Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM Contemporary
This variable Sigma zoom lens is available for Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Pentax cameras. It is an affordable lens that can be used as a standard kit lens and a decent macro lens too.
For macro photography, it has a close focusing distance of 22cm. Combine this with the maximum aperture of f/2.8 and you can create excellent macro shots in normal and low-light situations. The Optical Stabilization makes this zoom lens easy to use handheld.
For moving macro objects like insects and birds, the Hyper Sonic Motor helps, providing an accurate autofocusing system.
For portability, the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM Contemporary is also 30 percent smaller and lighter than conventional Sigma lenses. This makes it incredibly convenient to carry. The lens element uses FLD Low Dispersion glass to ensure that image quality remains consistent throughout the different focal distances.
3. Sigma 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM Contemporary
Similar to the Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM Contemporary, the Sigma 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM Contemporary is a good variable zoom lens that offers an extra 100mm focal distance. If you want super-telephoto capabilities, this is a good choice.
This affordable lens is available for Canon, Nikon, Sigma, Pentax, and Sony DSLR cameras. It has a complex lens element including four FLD, one SLD, and three aspherical elements that combine to give superior image quality and minimal distortions.
Even at the extreme focal distances, the image quality is still sharp and consistent. You may notice a little vignetting and softness, but this is marginal. This lens has both Optical Stabilization and a Hyper Sonic Motor, so when shooting at telephoto distances, the lens easy to use.
As a macro lens, this budget option has a minimum focusing distance of 39cm. It also has a 1:3 close-up magnification for extra detail shots.
4. Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM (Budget Winner)
Our budget choice is the Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM. This standard kit lens is an affordable option at just over $250. It is available for Canon, Nikon, Sigma, Pentax, and Sony DSLR cameras.
The Optical Stabilization system allows you to use this lens handheld at up to four shutter speeds slower than usual and the HSM autofocusing motor means you can quickly and accurately focus, even in low-light situations.
This lens has a range of special lens elements to improve image quality. For example, it has two “F” Low Dispersion (FLD) elements that improve light transmission and reduce ghosting and flare. The rounded diaphragm also means you can create rounded bokeh effects for blurred backgrounds.
Finally, this budget lens is lightweight at just 19.9oz, as a result, it is easy to carry and a great option for a travel lens or for outdoor usage.
Go Third-Party with Sigma Zoom Lenses Under $500
Sigma is one of the best third-party lens manufacturers that offers good lenses at an affordable price. The quality of even its basic lenses is excellent. These Sigma zoom lenses under $500 offer good versatility and can allow you to undertake a range of different photography.
When choosing a budget zoom lens, always look at the features it has. Firstly, some form of image stabilization is important. Sigma’s image stabilization is Optical Stabilization and it is included in all of the lenses listed above. Also, look for the autofocusing system and lens element features.
A fast and quiet autofocusing system is important as this helps when tracking moving objects or focusing on low-contrast subjects. The lens element should have some form of protection to help reduce smearing and external damage.
Considering these features, you should be able to pick a suitable Sigma zoom lens under $500 to suit your needs.