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

reviewer#4333 date: Nov-6-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
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:Sony SAL 75-300
Minolta 28-70 G
Sony 16-105
price paid:
positive:+ amazing color & bokeh
+ the 100-300 reach
+ built rock solid (except the hood)
+ BLACK (hate white lenses)
negative:- slow AF in low light
- lens hood feels cheap, and doesn't always seat well (especially when reversed)
- lens cap constantly popping off
comment:Built like a tank, and in the right light takes amazing pics. The bokeh and color just blow me away. Sharpness is fantastic in perfect light ... just a touch less than my Minolta 28-70 G.

In less than ideal lighting, this lens falls down a little...but hey, it's F4 : ) I am a little less than perfectly pleased in hazy and overly bright situations - the colors get muted and washed out...somewhat non-distinct IQ as well.

I have also noticed this lens will focus lock when I'm closer than the min focusing distance, but result in a crap shot - well, duh. Kinda wish it wouldn't lock, as I'm not always paying attention to how close I am.

When compared to my SAL75-300 ... well, there is no comparison. Gave the lens away after getting this.

I would love to have an F2.8 in this range. 200mm is just too short for the kinds of pics I use this lens for (I spend most of my time at 170-250) and I don't want to pop for the Sony or Minolta using a TC.

I've only had the lens for a couple months, and for now I'm pretty pleased.

(2010 update)...
A bit under 2 years with this lens and I'm still a happy camper. At times I get 2.8 Envy but I don't regret making this purchase. When comparing the images this lens produced vs. my Minolta 28-70 G it seems more 'natural' ... if that is the right term. To my eyes, the minolta G lenses produce a magical image ... almost other wordly in their perfection. The Sigma is more relaxed ... more 'as I remember it'. It's hard to put my finger on it, but think one area is sharpness ... the Minolta / Sony G lenses reveal detail more sharply. I love the richness of the color, and the bokeh of this lense and don't feel that I'm missing anything. At $900 vs. the $1500 ~ $1700 I could have paid for the various Sony options ... I can't hesitate for a moment to recommend this lens and would buy it again.

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