Sigma 300-800mm f/5.6 EX DG HSM

Lens Reviews / Sigma Lenses i Not yet tested
300-800mm $7,828
average price
image of Sigma 300-800mm f/5.6 EX DG HSM

(From Sigma lens literature) This lens covers the telephoto range from 300mm to the ultra-telephoto range up to 800mm. By continuously varying the angle of view from 8.2 degrees to 3.1 degrees, the lens takes a lot of the footwork out of picture composition.

The new multi layer lens coating and lens design reduce flare and ghost, which is a common problem with digital cameras and also creates an optimum color balance.

Two ELD glass elements in the front lens elements reduce chromatic aberration to a minimum and also ensure sharp, quality images of high contrast.

The HSM models provide silent, high-speed and precise auto-focusing with full time manual focus override.

It also features a drop-in 46mm filter holder in the rear part of the lens barrel, which can be rotated to facilitate the use of filters, including a polarizing filter.

Since focusing and zooming do not change its overall length, this lens is easy to hold and use. In addition, since the front of the lens does not rotate, a circular polarizing filter can be easily attached and use.

When this lens is used with the 1.4x EX or 2x EX APO Tele Converters (optional), it becomes a 420-1120mm f/8 MF lens or a 600-1600mm f/11 MF lens respectively.

Sigma 300-800mm f/5.6 EX DG HSM User Reviews

10.0/10 average of 2 reviews Build Quality 9.0/10 Image Quality 9.5/10
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by (3 reviews)
    Zoom, soft color, contrast and sharpness
    finish could be better, heavy

    I own this lens a little over a year and I am very pleased with the results. I hesitated between the Nikon 500 and this lens. The Nikon had more contrast and sharpness and a more blue character.
    I use it for birdphotography. I like it’s versatility. The ability to zoom gives you a high hitrate. With 300mm you search and once you found your target you zoom in. The color, contrast and sharpness is very pleasing. I also own Nikon lenses and I discovered that in CS2 I try to make the Nikons look like the Sigma!
    Up until 700 mm the lens is very sharp but also 800mm can be used. Although wide open already gives wonderful images I like to stop down a little. I find myself often choose a higher iso to be able to use f6,3 or f7,1. The only wish I have is that I could focus a little faster in low light.

    You can see what I do with the lens at:

    You can see that I slowly improve my photography. I like to think that it is thanks to this piece of equipment.

    reviewed December 16th, 2006 (purchased for $6,550)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by (1 reviews)
    wonderful image quality
    size and weight plus high minimum focussing distance

    I saw this lens demonstrated and thought I could never justify spending so much on such a vast product - strange how view change. The important thing to say is that without a gimbal head like a Wimberley it is totally impractical - with one it becomes a dream. The zoom range is wonderful and the action smooth and well engineered . It weighs 13 lbs so humping it about requires a degree of fitness. I took it out to the Bass rock ( Eastern Scotland ) to photograph the Gannet colony in July . The results were absolutely stunning. Sharpness is excellent even at full aperture . Because of the enormous focal length minimum focussing distance is around 20 feet . This can be a problem if the wildlife is tame .
    The lens comes in a heavy duty and very practical case like a holdall which is easy to use and big enough to keep the camera ( a Nikon D2X) in place during transport . This makes management apart from the weight very simple. Overall I cannot sing its praises too highly.

    reviewed August 20th, 2006 (purchased for $7,500)