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

reviewer#3048 date: Dec-7-2007
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
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 AF 70-210 f4 & Sony 70-200 f2.8
price paid:
positive:Sharp, Fast AF, silky smooth Focus and Zoom Rings, nice supple rubber focus and zoom grips, in AF mode focus ring does not rotate when placed in AF setting, constant f4 aperture through the zoom range, internal focus, deep lens hood & nice touch keeping the scales behind glass.
comment:I love this lens! It seems to be everything everyone has said it is except one thing; It does have fast auto focus for a non-HSM lens. I measured its movement through the focus range from minimum focus distance to infinity and back again at approximately 1 second from start of movement to stop on my A700. As a note to mention the screw drive has 6-1/3 turns total.

It is sharper than the "Beer Can" and it does compare to a "G" lens. I was able to compare it with a friend's Sony 70-200 f2.8 SSM lens and I have to say I was very pleased and surprised. I mainly tested it out at 200 at f4 for both lenses. The Sigma beat the Sony. Yes, it did and the Sony was stopped down to f4 which is wide open for the Sigma. But, to be fair the Sigma was smack in the middle of its zoom range while the Sony was at full zoom. Need I say more?

Its bokeh is quite dreamy. I like it a lot. Its build is tank like. It is heavy and tough to be sure. I don't mind the weight. Probably because I weight lift regularly (LOL).

I have nothing negative to say about this lens. All my positives are listed above. I do have the dedicated Sigma 1.4x EX DG APO Tele Converter. Here is where I have a negative comment, but for the tele converter. As I place it on the lens and camera I find that the tele converter does not modify the information for me in the EXIF file. 100mm still reads as 100mm when it should read 140mm. Same goes for the whole range. Also, the aperture wide open still reads as f4 instead of f5.6. I was under the impression that these numbers were to be modified automatically by the tele converter. I read about the tele converters in the tele converter section of this web site and read that most 1.4X tele converters do not convert this information for you. It is a minor annoyance.

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