Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG OS A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 11   
reviewer#39954 date: Oct-10-2017
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100-300 APO
Sony 70-300 G SSM
Minolta 70-300 New
Tamron 70-300 USD
price paid:150 EUR used
positive:Central sharpness
In lens stabilization
Manageable weight and size
negative:Noisy AF
Peripheral softness
Hood mounting on the AF engaged rotating barrel
comment:I have been trying to find a perfect medium telephoto lens for quite some time now. I have had some exposure to all the lenses I list in the "Compared to" section and so far the conclusion still stands - I haven't found it yet ;)
The Sigma has a bit of a split personality. Some of the design choices are atrocious. Mounting the hood on the front barrel with engaged AF drive just makes me wonder how much the gears can handle. Yes, it's possible to switch to manual focusing before, but it can surely be done differently (like with the pinch hood of the Minolta APO).
The AF noise is scary (again fearing the longevity of the gears). By the way, the Dyxum description is not correct, it is not a screw driven lens from the body. It does have a built-in focusing motor, but it's certainly the lowest cost motor Sigma could find - it's even more screechy than the in-body screw drive of the Minolta.
Having vented my frustration about the negatives - let's see the bright side. Central wide open sharpness is outstanding - even at 300mm. For medium to long distance shots, it very slightly bests the Minolta APO, which in turn is better than the Sony G SSM (surprise, surprise - see my review of the APO). For close focus shots (1.5-3m) it's about on par with the Sony SSM - it's where the Minolta starts to fall apart unless stopped down heavily.
The problem is, the central sharp spot is narrower than the Minolta or Sony SSM - and I am using it on APS-C. Arguably, it's the center that matters for telephoto, but there can be situations where the peripheral softness becomes limiting.
The lens OS is helpful, it provides stabilized viewfinder view on cameras that don't have it. I have tested with A58 where this is indeed the only way to achieve it, however, the A77II which I also tested already has the feature courtesy of the stabilized sensor. Based on my non-scientific testing, I feel the lens OS is more effective than the sensor stabilization (which has to be switched off to not interfere with it). I got pixel-sharp shots at 1/10 sec at 300mm! It could also be useful for the Sony mirrorless bodies with no sensor stabilization (I haven't tested these though).
Focusing speed is ok, it can get slow with longer focal lengths, but it is accurate. This wasn't a given in older Sigma designs, however it looks like they have improved recently.
Subjectively, the bokeh is the best of all the telezooms I tested, but it still can get a bit swirly with busy backgrounds and shorter focal lengths.
So in summary - it's a strange lens. For the price the used ones go right now, it's probably worth to buy for amateurs. For the asking price of a new one however, Sigma should have included HSM AF motor. It could have been the budget telezoom king.
reviewer#26551 date: Apr-15-2016
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100-300 APO D
Minolta xi 100-300
Minolta 75-300 Big beercan
Minolta 70-210 Beercan
Minolta 70-210 f3.5-4.5
Minolta 100-200 f4.5
price paid:200 Euro New
positive:Sharp
Great stabilization
Good price
negative:Slow af att 300mm
comment:Great lens!
Nicer feel to the zoom than the newer Minoltas(Not the Beercans)And it's sharp.The downside is that the focusing is very slow att the long end. 200-300mm
reviewer#24469 date: Jan-16-2016
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 2
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:-sal75300
-sel70200G
-Minolta 135 f2.8
price paid:180 USD (used)
positive:-Incredible value!
-Optical Stabilization
-Works on Minolta Maxxum 7
-Excellent sharpness
-Low to no CA
-Great reach and MFD on crop sensor
negative:-Not very sharp wide open at 300mm (to be expected)
-AF a bit slow and hunts
-AF a bit noisy
comment:This is an absolute gem of a lens that can be had at a steal. Optical stabilization lets me hand-hold this thing all day. On my a77, I can get to 1/60th shutter at 300mm easily. 1/30th and slower if I lean on something and fire off a few shots. You'll never come close to this with IBIS.

I didn't expect much in terms of sharpness, but this lens really surprised me. Excellent sharpness at F/8 throughout the range, except for 300mm where f/11 is best. Doesn't compete with the FE 70-200g, but certainly sharp enough to make great photos. Results wide-open are mediocre at the tele end, as one would expect from a lens at this price point. Fortunately, OS allows you to keep the lens stopped down to work at reasonable ISOs. OS makes this a far more practical alternative to the sal70300g for my work.

AF is a bit slow, noisy, and choppy. This doesn't bother me one bit since I mostly use outdoors on non-moving objects. You'll have a hard time focusing in low light (a77 mki) or on fast moving subjects, so I wouldn't recommend for sports or events.

OS makes a subtle grinding and high-pitched ringing sound that's only audible when you put your face to the camera. Would only be a problem for video shooters, in which case you shouldn't be using a mic on the camera anyway - especially with a telephoto lens. The OS noise is a non-issue, just a bit unusual.

The lens is mostly plastic and feels flimsy, but cheap enough that if it breaks you can get another one. It's lightweight for its size, and the black exterior is great for discreet shooting on the street. My white FE 70-200g draws far too much attention when walking about, so this is a fantastic lens for FE bodies as well.

This Sigma has quickly become my favorite telephoto lens, which caught me completely off guard. Great reach on crop sensor, great OS, dirt cheap price and great optics makes this lens a must-have (unless you shoot sports). AF and OS work on my Maxxum 7 - Bonus points!
reviewer#12144 date: Feb-18-2015
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 70-300 USD
Sony 55-300
Minolta 100-300APO
price paid:180EURO new
positive:Very sharp even at 300mm fully opened
Very good OS, better than A 58
negative:Nothing
comment:I use this lens especially for available
light photos i.e. in concert halls and I'm very satisfied
reviewer#11094 date: May-4-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 1
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 70-300mm APO DG
price paid:250
positive:Sharpness
negative:- Front lens turn with AF
- no switch to block the zoom (zoom turn when you set the lenshood, zoom fall whan walking)
- AF not internal
comment:Too Expensive only for the OS. Lost the APÖ
reviewer#10955 date: Mar-1-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 70-300 LD Di A17S
Minolta 100-300 APO
price paid:199 GBP mint
positive:Sharp even at 300
Great colour
OS
Solid build
negative:Not HSM
No macro
AF hunts in low light
comment:Internet reviews dont rave about this lens. Forget them. In real life this lens delivers. Superb IQ throughout the full range with marvellous colours. Very sharp at 300.

Can't say if its better than the Tamron USD and I don't intend spending another £300 to find out. No need, I am more than happy with the results from this lens.

The AF on my copy isn't as noisy as some suggest but it isn't HSM standard and it does hunt a bit in low light.
reviewer#10159 date: Apr-29-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100-300 APO
Tamron 70-300 Di USD
Sony 70-300
price paid:10.500 CZK
positive:- sharp
- nice bokeh (9 aperture blades)
- nice color
- perfect OS
- solid build
- no CA
- very low vigneting
negative:- noisy and slow AF
- no HSM
- no macro
- rotate filter when focusing
- attaching lens hood is awkward and turns the focus ring with a nasty grinding noise
comment:I hesitated between the Tamron Di USD and Sigma DC OS,winner is Sigma.

Tamron 70-300 Di USD
+ USD, fast AF
+ price
- most CA in 200-300 mm
- inaccurate AF (in A35) - from 10 photo 3x unsharp
- unsharp on 300 mm
- cold color
- bad bokeh

Sigma 70-300 DC OS
+ color
+ perfekt OS (better than A35 - in OS Sigma 1/15, in A35 1/30)
+ sharp on 300 mm
+ no CA
+ no vigneting
+ nice bokeh
- slow and noisy AF (from body)
- tight lens hood
- no HSM (with HSM ideal lens)
reviewer#9324 date: Aug-12-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-400 4-5.6 G SSM
K/M 75-300 Big Beercan
K/M 70-210 4.5-5.6
K/M 70-210 4 Beercan
Tamron 200-400 5.6 LD NEW
Sigma 75-200 2.8-3.5
K/M 100-400 5.6-6.7
price paid:235USD
positive:works on film 5,7 & 9 SSM!!
sharpness
colors
stabilized VF
light
negative:no macro
comment: This is a really good lens for the price. Good sharpness and colors. The stabilized OVF is a nice feature. I put it on a Maxxum 5 and the stabilization worked. I then put it on my Maxxum 7 and Maxxum 9 SSM and they all autofocused and stabilized. The Maxxum 7 was the slowest focuser of the 3. I recommend this lens for a stabilized film experience. On digital, the lens performed well all around.
reviewer#8941 date: Apr-18-2011
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron AF 70-300 F4-5.6 Di LD Macro
price paid:250 GBP (New)
positive:Fairly sharp across the range.
Built in lens Optical Stabilisation that works well.
Cheap for an OS lens!
negative:Noisy Motor.
Attaching lens hood is awkward and turns the focus ring with a nasty grinding noise).
No MACRO, APO element has been dropped (but not necessarily to the detriment of IQ).
comment:I picked up this lens as a bargain, having previously picked up the cheap but disappointing Tamron 70-300 (dissapointing at 300mm anyway). This lens seems pretty sharp at all lengths and the built in OS appears to match and possibly exceed the in body steadyshot stabilisation on my a55. its a little noisy, lacks the MACRO function and the APO element from the previous version but IQ looks pretty good so that may not be a real world negative. My main concern is that the lens hood is a tight fit and you need to make sure you have fully extended / closed the lens when you attach / remove the hood or you hear a nasty grinding noise as you force the internal motor, possibly damaging the lens. However, overall this feels like a decent budget zoom and it is a step up from the cheap and cheerful Tamron (although I picked that up for 100 pounds so it was less than half the price of this one).
reviewer#8864 date: Apr-3-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:150 EUR (new)
positive:Pretty sharp for the value paid. Good quality, balanced colours, great OS sytem which really does the job.
Just like this lens.
negative:Noisy and slow AF, sometimes hunting under difficult light conditions forcing you to switch to manual focusing.
comment:Made a good deal by eBay.
I am not a professional but this lens overrides all my expectations on my SONY a550.
Now, after a long period I can update my post here. I am using this lens with SONY SLT a57 camera whithout any problems at the moment. Looks like the lens is SLT-compatible.
reviewer#7788 date: Aug-7-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 70-300 F4-5.4 APO DG Macro
Sigma 17-70 F2.8-4.5 DC
price paid:359 Euro
positive:Sharp
Nice colors
Good working OS
Nice bokeh
Build solid
negative:No Macro
comment:Purchased this lens to replace my Sigma APO 70-300mm which was broken for the second time(gear problems). Sigma advised me this lens. It is more expensive than the APO version. But the build quality is much better. You have to turn of the OS(optical stabilisation) of the camera. But the OS of the lens works much better then the OS of the body.So far I am very satisfied of this lens.
reviews found: 11   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 11
  • sharpness: 4.45
  • color: 4.64
  • build: 3.82
  • distortion: 4.36
  • flare control: 4.27
  • overall: 4.31

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