Sigma 300mm F2.8 EX APO A-mount lens review by Basil

reviewer#9795 date: Jan-17-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
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 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-400G
Minolta 80-200 2.8 (images cropped)
price paid:1300 usd used
positive:Sharp and fast
Takes 46mm filters (with thumb wheel for CPL)
Quick and accurate focus
Mates with Sigma 2x teleconverter beautifully
compact size
Solid hood design
negative:Heavy. It's possible to hand-hold, but I prefer to use a monopod or tripod
The vinyl lens cover doesn't offer much protection
Needs a PP contrast boost
comment:I picked this lens up at a decent price and have been very happy with it. It's sharp wide open and gets very sharp when stopped down. It's fast to focus in good light and only hunts slightly in low light. It works well with Sigma APO teleconverters (1.4x and 2x), having very little image degradation. This will be my lens of choice for low-light shooting of larger wildlife. Adding a TC will give it more range as the light improves. Coupled with my 70-400G, I will have a flexible one-two combination.

It's a heavy lens that needs some care in handling until the hood is mounted. The vinyl lens cover offers limited protection to that large front element. I find that I need to use a monopod or heavy-duty tripod with this lens, so it's not going to spend a lot of time in my backpack while I'm hiking. I use more for stationary shooting from a blind, or for when I'm near my car.

The pictures need a contrast boost in PP to bring out their best.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 2
  • sharpness: 4.75
  • color: 4.50
  • build: 4.50
  • distortion: 5.00
  • flare control: 5.00
  • overall: 4.75 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania