s_firestone's reviews

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

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    versatile, excellent macros, pleasant images
    soft in some cases, slow optically

    The first 50 images I shot with this lens were overly soft. As I worked more with the lens the images improved dramatically.

    I typically start in manual mode and begin testing based upon what I know about light and exposure (which I'm learning slowly over time). I also switch to auto or programmed AE periodically and compare my results with what the camera's logic comes up with. I'm delighted to find when I get more consistent shots than the camera does automatically. Such is the case with this lens. Leaving it up to the camera usually blows the shot.

    This is not a fast sports lens but this lens performs admirably given enough light. I have captured bees and butterflies in flight in direct sunlight. I have captured roses in windy conditions. I have shot cityscapes at night on long exposures and gotten tack sharp results on details 10 to 15 miles away. I have shot people candidly with no flash (tripod) as well as handheld with flash and have gotten great results, giving up only moderate detail at high ISO.

    Odds are for every complaint someone levies about this lens, I can present a real-world example in which I got a successful shot.

    This is a roughly $200 lens and I do not expect the performance of a lens at double or triple this price point. However it has routinely gotten shots that rivaled that which I know to have been taken by more expensive lenses.

    It has met my expectations (and in a lot of cases exceeded them). It is also not a prime lens, but its not meant to be either. There are cases however that I have gotten shots that are as sharp as my nifty 50, and not just at the low focal lengths.

    This lens especially has a very pleasant blur in the depth of field and subjects are well saturated. It adds to the pleasant look of images.

    It is well built, and does not feel plastic like the canon kit lenses. The housing of the lens has a micro textured matte coating. It includes a hood.

    Is it a perfect lens? No. But gets as much use as either of my other lenses.

    reviewed February 14th, 2010 (purchased for $200)