Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro

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70-300mm $169
average price
image of Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro
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Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro User Reviews

6.6/10 average of 12 review(s) Build Quality 7.2/10 Image Quality 6.3/10
  • 4 out of 10 points and not recommended by transiently (26 reviews)
    On 24MP crop sensor, optical performance at F8 between 70 and about 135mm is spectacular: superb sharpness, contrast and colour across the frame at infinity. Nice bokeh and great sharpness at closer distances too. Close focus mode (200-300mm) can give goo
    At or near infinity, the drop off in optical performance after about 135mm is very, very great indeed. Slow AF. Can flare dramatically (but quite pictorially).

    I tested this on a 24MP Nikon D3300. I wasn't expecting much, so shot it only at F8. When I shot it near infinity, I found it excellent at around 70-135mm, with superb detail at pixel level, but already dropping off slightly at 150mm, noticeably worse at 180 and 200, and very poor at 300mm. I'm confident it's not misfocusing at 300, as Canon's cheap 75-300 lens famously tends to. Maybe they aren't all like this one, which is only about 4 years old...but I wouldn't count on it!

    I then tested it at closer distances and found less severe fall-off than at infinity, but even in close focus mode, 300 never gets as good as 200, and at these focal lengths, F11 seems best.

    I can't recommend it for general use as you have to know and understand quite a lot to get the best from it, but actually....I probably won't be selling it.

    Interestingly this seems to perform fairly similarly to an example of the APO version I had for Canon sensor crop a while ago.

    If you need a good lens for the 70-135 focal length on a sensor crop camera and you see one of these cheaply, go for it. Just be aware that it's much weaker at longer focal lengths. Just to re-iterate, I shot this only at F8 to give it a chance to show its best. If, like most people, you want to use it at long focal lengths, I can't recommend it, although a much lower pixel count will show its softness less (un)clearly.

    reviewed August 10th, 2021
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by CJonasSostand (1 reviews)
    This lens is Solid ,sharp,great on a Pentax K5IIs

    Sigmas 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG Macro is a budget telephoto zoom lens that can be used on both APS-C and full frame cameras. With a range that is useful for candid portraiture, capturing children playing in the backyard, amateur sports or even wildlife at the zoo, its great on vacation for capturing scenic details or even groups of flowers in a garden. Sigma makes several different 70-300mm lenses - here the APO designation means premium optics, and Macro means relatively close focusing, but this model doesn't offer image stabilisation Pentax K5IIs have in Body SR it really great on a Pentax focus fast

    reviewed April 23rd, 2016 (purchased for $142)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by thomasjohnlynch (2 reviews)
    price, quality, speed
    no canon logo? maybe TOO complicated to work as GREAT lens.

    I would agree with those who say this is an above average lens. My use is for ALL outdoors, sun, so fast shutter (no need for IS) and also I can take the high F need. All of these features of this lens mean it's a specialty lens. there are a lot of stuff in there and every element cuts it down. The 300 zoom is not as good as the lower magnifications. However, for this price point who cares? You get the shot. I got a 2X Magnifier for this and I think when zooming in for that single bird (in center of field) it is perfect and exactly what I needed. Macro has been great for small wildlife and undisturbed shots. I am very happy with this lens and can go buy 3 more of other sizes to play with for what the Canon would have cost me.

    reviewed January 6th, 2009 (purchased for $190)
  • 5 out of 10 points and recommended by andrew720 (6 reviews)
    the price, f4 at 70mm makes for a useful portrait lens
    poor image quality after 200mm. auto-focus very disappointing

    I bought this lens in the pentax k mount for my K10D. I have to say that for the most part I'm mostly disappointed with the autofocus of this lens which tends to hunt in all but the brightest conditions.
    If used in the 70-200mm range the lens doesnt perform too badly, but there are better lenses available even if on a budget and several brands of 50-200mm kit lenses look to be the better option.

    reviewed June 7th, 2008 (purchased for $187)
  • 6 out of 10 points and recommended by owashi (4 reviews)
    very very cheap, not as bad as you may think IQ-wise
    noisy and slow AF, very poor over 250mm

    No need for a negative review as it's such a cheap lens. Just know its' limitations. When I got my new DSLR I ordered this lens from the store unaware there was a better APO version. I stuck with it though for a few months until I got a Canon 70-300 IS which is obviously much better but was 5 times the price.

    At around 200-230mm at F8 (or lower, light permitting) you can get some OK pictures. I got some reasonable bird photos and the macro function is surprisingly good for bugs and flowers. At lower mags it's not so bad for portraits.

    I don't think anyone who buys this lens is expecting it to do wonderful things considering the price level. It was my first telephoto lens and I enjoyed using it. I'd get the APO version though unless you were really strapped for cash. For the price of this version I couldn't complain.

    reviewed December 15th, 2007 (purchased for $120)
  • 3 out of 10 points and recommended by ckhorne (8 reviews)

    Wow- I'm not sure how this lens ever got out of the engineering department. The build quality is ok, and the price is good, but the image quality is just downright poor.

    Most people with this lens will try to use it at the 300mm end, which has the worst image quality of the range, even stopped down a bit. The rest of the range is ok, but overall lacks contrast and color saturation.

    Macro is a bit misleading as well; to use macro, switch into manual focus and use the 1/4" left on the focus dial to set the focus; hardly a useful range.

    I'd recommend looking elsewhere for a telephoto zoom...

    reviewed January 14th, 2007 (purchased for $200)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by matthewporter (12 reviews)
    Price, Macro mode
    Switching between Full and Limit, Barrel extension

    Actual amount paid: £95(GBP)

    This lens was purchased as a second lens to complement the Nikon 18-55 that is the kit lens with the D50. My father is new to photography and wanted to learn more without having to make a significant outlay. This lens is not only a long telephoto lens but also gives him a macro capability which is a great combination for what is a very cheap lens.

    The focussing mechanism uses a rotating (and extending) barrel. This causes problems when changing between normal and macro focusing ranges. In order to switch to macro, the lens must be within the 200mm-300mm range and to switch back to normal you must be focussed on a distant target. This can either be achieved using the auto focus or by flicking to manual. Either way it is a bit awkward.

    I would recommend this over the comparable Nikon offering (Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6G AF Nikkor) as for the same price you get the added Macro functionality. I also found that the Sigma was easier to handle.

    Construction is good and Sigma even throw in a lens hood to top off the package.

    It is worth noting that Sigma also make the 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro APO. This features Special Low-Dispersion elements to reduce chromatic aberration and costs approximately 50% more.

    This lens may not be fully functional on the D40 due to its lack of an internal motor.

    reviewed January 14th, 2007 (purchased for $184)
  • 5 out of 10 points and not recommended by silverbluemx (16 reviews)
    Cheap, kind of macro mode, light
    Quite soft, macro switch

    This is a average zoom for a small price.
    Image quality is good from 70mm to about 150 when stopped down, but I couldn't get sharp pictures at 300m even at f/8 (and you need a lot of light to keep shutter speed high enough).
    The macro mode can be useful but is not really easy to use : you have to be at the long end to switch to macro mode and then you're locked, you can't switch to normal mode unless you focus to something far away... not really straightforward.
    Build quality isnt that bad for the price.
    If you want a zoom in the 70-300 range, try the APO version instead, it is quite better.

    reviewed January 8th, 2007
  • 6 out of 10 points and recommended by crmorse (11 reviews)

    Overall, not a great performer compared to top quality lenses. In fact, I won't even use it at 300mm.

    Shorter focals seem ok but it always seems to lack contrast ("punch"). It's always a bit soft however, at 300mm you'd be better off shooting with a good quality 150mm and just cropping; it's that bad. It's like shooting through fog.

    Macro mode is a gimmick too. Closest focusing distance is nearly a meter, hardly macro. However, you do get 1:2 magnification which isn't too bad.

    The other thing that has always bothered me about this lens is that you have to flip a mechanical switch to get into Macro mode which can only be done above 200mm and then proceed to focus into macro. Then, to get back you must focus on something further away than macro before you can flip the switch back. The focusing motor doesn't like you to do this manually (sounds like if you turn too fast it would strip the gears) and trying to do that on a camera is difficult if indoors.

    Overall, mine is going on ebay and I'll just use my 135mm and crop down if necessary until I can get a different tele.

    reviewed January 5th, 2007
  • 5 out of 10 points and not recommended by mimic (7 reviews)
    price, size and weight
    soft, macro not really usable

    an average quality zoom.

    sharpness is good from 70 to 200, but decrease a lot to 300. in my my mind 300mm is not really usable.

    macro mode is a gimmick since the lens is too soft and not contrasty at zoom focal length.

    buying this zoom secondhand can be a good buy since it is very cheap.

    reviewed December 14th, 2006
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by Ross_Alford (36 reviews)
    macro focusing to 1:2
    slightly soft, particularly at macro and full tele wide open

    I used one of these for a while for long tele and macro work on a D70 and a D2x. The macro mode is really nice; although the effective focal length gets shorter as you focus closer, it still gives a really good working distance for things like veomous snakes that you don't want to get too close to, and things like dragonflies, which are hard to get close to. I suspect the real focal length is about 200 mm at 1:2, making it a far less ecpensive alternative to the 200 mm prime macro lenses by camera makers.

    Its drawback is that it does seem to lose a bit of sharpness and contrast in the macro mode, and also when used wide open at the longer telephoto settings for distant shots. I have for now swiched to an older Nikon 75-300, which is bigger, heavier, focuses to 1:4, but is sharper in macro and wide open in distant tele work.

    reviewed December 1st, 2006
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by nohm (11 reviews)

    Was a bit disappointed with the lack of a "snap" in the sharpness, but this lens does produce wonderful color and acceptable contrast.

    The lens is fairly compact for a super tele, but the barrel extends out nearly 50% of the body when zoomed out to the max 300mm (may cause unbalance in handholding).

    Build quality is great with the velvety texture yet sturdy feel that Sigma's offer.

    reviewed November 27th, 2006
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by chanjits (1 reviews)

    It is great lens I used it with my nikon D 50 very fast to focus. The images are v sharp but not true macro and bit heavy. considering it's price Rs 6500/- it is great lens

    reviewed February 26th, 2006

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