Sigma 100-300mm F4 EX DG IF APO A-mount lens review by PMacinSeattle

reviewer#3026 date: Dec-3-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 70-210 f4 (beercan)
Tamron 180 3.5 Macro
Tamron 200-500
price paid:1099 USD(new)
positive:fantastically sharp from wide open
built like a tank
distortion, whats that???
flare, no such thing
negative:Colors a trifle flat
AF a little slow
comment:This is a beast of a lens, its big (huge with hood in place), heavy and a little awkward with the tripod foot in place. This was, by far, the biggest lens I had ever used and when I first fitted it to the A100 I was really worried that I would have have better off going with the Minolta 100-300 APO or 100-400.

Then I took my first photo.

Prime like sharpness throughout the entire range from wide open is the first thing you'll find. The lens has almost no distortion and no flare (thanks in part to the enormous hood).

I love this lens so much that despite buying it as an "occasional" use lens (for events such as kids soccer, dedicated wildlife shoots etc) I've now stopped using my shoulder bag for the camera and just take the pack everywhere just so I can ensure the 100-300 is always close by.

Finally its not perfect:

Colours and contrast are a trifle flat straight out of the camera and require a tiny bit of tweeking in processing. ultimately this means nothing to me as I process every shot out of the camera anyway but to people who like to shoot jpg and then go straight to print/web this might matter.

On the A100, AF is a little slow. Obviously its a lot faster than the 180 macro, and it feels about the same or a fraction quicker than the beercan but compared to other lenses I have recently tested on nikon and canon bodies it is clearly lagging a bit. Again, in other mounts this lens comes with HSM and I think this is why.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 29
  • sharpness: 4.71
  • color: 4.72
  • build: 4.86
  • distortion: 4.76
  • flare control: 4.62
  • overall: 4.73 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania