The Differences Between Sigma's 150-600mm OS Sports and Contemporary Lenses

I'm deep into reviews of the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports and Contemporary lenses. While their names differ by only one word and their image quality appears very similar, these two lenses are dissimilar in many ways. Here is my list so far:
 
  • Sports lens is nearly 2x more expensive
  • Sports lens is significantly more-ruggedly constructed
  • Sports lens is significantly heavier – including the hood, measured in-use weights are 6.96 lbs (3.16kg) compared to 4.49 lbs (2.04kg)
  • Sports lens is moderately larger in both length and diameter (especially with the hoods in place) and the zoom extension is a bit longer
  • Contemporary lens has a 1/3 stop wider aperture over a small subset of the focal length range
  • Contemporary lens has a larger zoom ring with no contour in diameter mid-ring
  • Sports lens has a more-serious manual focus ring that is significantly larger with much more grip surface
  • Contemporary lens utilizes smaller (but still large) 95mm filters vs. 105mm
  • Contemporary zoom ring rotates 146° vs. the Sport's 126°
  • Sports lens has very rigid aluminum hood with rubberized end and thumbscrew lockdown vs. bayonet mount lightweight plastic hood
  • Both lenses feature a rubberized push/pull zoom grip surface, but the Sports has a ridge for a more-sure pull-back grip
  • Sports model has a smoother and stronger non-removable tripod mount ring and foot with a better-positioned lock knob, click detents at 90°, a much larger (and removable) foot with 3 threaded inserts (vs. 1) and dual neck strap attachment points
  • Contemporary model has a removable tripod mount ring with a rubber-like replacement ring
  • Sports model has a classier look
  • Contemporary lens has a lower profile switch bank
  • Based on side-by-side testing at multiple times, my perception is that the Contemporary focuses slightly faster, but the Sports has been more consistently accurate at the wide end
  • Sports lens has integrated shoulder strap on the back of its case while Contemporary lens has removable neck strap that attaches to opposite sides of its case
  • Sports lens has dust & splash proof "construction" while the Contemporary has a dust & splash proof "mount"
  • Sports lens has two FLD (“F” Low Dispersion with performance similar to flourite) and three SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements vs. one FLD and three SLD glass elements
  • Sports lens has 24 elements in 16 groups while the Contemporary has 20 in 14
  • Sports lens gets water & oil repellent coating on both front & rear elements while the Contemporary gets this coating on the rear element only
I hope to have these full reviews completed soon.
 
B&H has the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens available for preorder (Sigma mount is in stock).
 
B&H has the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens in Canon mount in stock with other mounts available for preorder.
Posted: 5/27/2015 9:32:35 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
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