Sorry, We Have No Sigma Today

As I expected, today’s Sigma’s 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 OS Sport lens announcement was Sony FE and L-mount only. 

While other sites have been suggesting that Sigma would announce a Z-mount version along with the Sony version, I’ve been hinting for some time now that I believe that the Nikon/Sigma negotiations are ongoing and not resolved. I do expect Sigma will release Z-mount lenses in 2023, but which ones and when are as far as I can tell still up in the air. 

Quite a few of you reading this keep telling me that the non-appearance of Nikon’s own 200–600mm lens is disappointing. Perhaps, though I’m not sure that this is just overreaction and lacks a full understanding of where that lens really falls. The upcoming 200-600mm is not an S-line lens, it’s more a consumer-oriented lens with a lower price point. Given how well the 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S performs, even with a 1.4x teleconverter, I’m not sure how necessary the 200-600mm will actually be for anyone other than the “need a lower cost solution” crowd. (As I’ve explained many times on this site, my predilection is to steer people to best solution, not just the lowest-priced solution. The reason for that is that buying low tends to create a product churn until you find the quality/performance you really need. In the end, you end up spending more when you churn your way up a product ladder.)

Sigma’s 60-600mm sort of falls in the same category as the future 200-600mm Nikkor: note that Sigma labeled it a Sports lens, not an Art lens (their highest line in terms of optical quality). Sports in Sigma jargon is “sophisticated and agile,” which tends to mean lots of configuration options/controls and an emphasis on dealing with fast-moving objects.  While the published MTF charts for the 60-600mm are decent, they remind me a lot of Nikon’s own 200-500mm f/5.6E, though Sigma’s numbers aren't quite as good at sagittal performance. 

Would it be nice to have the Sigma 60-600mm in the Z-mount? For sure, and we’ll probably eventually get it. More options are always better, but it hurts Nikon to see lenses available in the Sony FE mount that aren’t available in the Z-mount. Sony mirrorless users continue to have more lens options than Nikon mirrorless users, and that just feels bad in the competitive sense, even though I don’t personally believe that the Z-mount is uncompetitive. The lenses we currently have excel. However, you, the consumer, are absolutely asking for more lens options. 

Be careful what you wish for. I already get so many “which telephoto” questions about the Z-mount options that it’s difficult to just point to one and say “that’s what you should get.” (For most people, the current best answer is often to just get the 100-400mm and a 1.4x teleconverter, as everything else is marginal extra performance for price, and you’d need to validate your need for the performance). 

Update: As one reader noted, you could probably put the new Sigma on the Megadap FE-to-Z adapter and use it with the Z-mount bodies. I didn’t originally note that in the article because it is a bit too much on the speculative side. Until the lens ships and people can test it on the adapter, I’m hesitant to suggest this as an alternative. 

I believe the real desire for the 200-600mm on Nikon’s Road Map mostly centers on 600mm. That’s the “weak” focal length in Nikon’s current offerings at the moment, as it only comes via teleconverter (560mm) or an expensive lens (the f/2.8 TC VR S lenses). The 600mm coupled with the fact that it’s not likely an S-line lens seems to suggest that the 200-600mm will be the lowest cost way to get to 600mm on the mount, at least until other choices come about (and thus the disappointment that the Sigma isn’t in Z-mount form).

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