Sigma 300mm F2.8 EX DG APO A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 6   
reviewer#11631 date: Jan-22-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta AF 300mm F/2.8 APO & APO HS G
Tokina AT-X 300mm F/2.8 AF PRO
Minolta AF 300mm F4 APO HS G
Tokina AT-X 300mm F4 AF (AF 304)
Minolta AF 500/8 Reflex
price paid:£1200.00 (used)
positive:Build quality
Sharp
Pleasant bokeh
Very nice colour rendition
IQ
CPL filter supplied as standard
Weight (compared to Minolta/Tokina AF 300/2.8)
Not HSM (hurrah)!
negative:Daft drain-pipe lens hood fitting (same as Minolta AF 300/4 APO HS G and Tokina 300/2.8 AT-X PRO) - not a sliding type
Slight softening towards edges at F/2.8 on FF (not an issue on APS-C)
Tripod foot too close to lens body
comment:If a fast telephoto prime is what you need, the Minolta is the benchmark for this focal length and aperture, so getting close to that is no mean feat.

It's extremely well built and is supplied with a very good set of standard equipment and features. AF speed and focal lock is fast, though colours aren't quite classic Minolta, but still delivers pleasing results. Sharpness and IQ is excellent and even at F/2.8 the centre portion of the image is sharp though does soften towards the edges on full frame (not an issue on APS-C), but with minimal stopping-down seems to deal with this. Bokeh is good and you can isolate a face in the crowd. I haven't experienced any horrendous CA/PF unlike the Tokina version of this lens or the Minolta 300/4 which were both awful.

It's no lightweight, but it exudes quality. As a 'next best' to a Minolta 300/2.8 APO/APO HS G, this is a very worthy contender and I'm happy to recommend it based on personal ownership and use of the comparison lenses. Oh, and it looks the part when fitted onto the A850 with a VG (very pro). A sweet bit of kit indeed and has exceeded my expectations as the bar had already been set high by the Minolta.
reviewer#10705 date: Nov-16-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:-sigma 400mm f5,6 (apo and APO Tele Macro version)
-Minolta 300mm f2,8 APO+ 2x TC
-sigma 300mm f2,8
-sony 70-200mm f2,8 G ssm + 2x tc
price paid:1900
positive:af precision
weight
negative:paint finish
circular polariser turning mechanism
comment:for the price, this is a lovely lens.
Focussing is fast and accurate, albeit a bit loud.

One of the best things is the ring that rotates the drop-in filter. By turning an accessible ring just in front of the drop-in filter holder, you can adjust the a circular polarizing filter to reduce reflection on water or shining leafs. This is not possible with the minolta-prime series and a major consideration for wildlife photographer who like shooting waterbirds.

This lens weight a lot less than the Minolta 300mm f2,8.

Also, the focussing ring is much more accessible.

Build is reasonable, but a mayor issue is the paint finish. (When will Sigma start listening to its customers?

Colour rendition is very pleasing, with a soft bokeh in.

Sharpness is ok, though a bit soft and with some CA at f2.8

Contrast could be a tad better, but nothing a bit of PP can't fix.

In short: this lens is worth its money.
reviewer#9987 date: Mar-2-2012
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 300 2.8G
Sony 70-200G
Sigma 70-200 HSM
CZ 135 1.8
price paid:1500 Eur (Used)
positive:- Good Af
- Reasonably sharp
- Size, not too big
- Nice smooth bokeh
- Works well with TC 1.4
negative:- Tripod collar, not smooth
- I prefer the color rendition of sony's lenses
- Not too sharp at 2.8
- Screw Drive. Why? Canon and nikon version are hsm
comment:A competent lens, very useable from max aperture, litte CA, nice build quality and good af.
Colors are a bit dull, minolta-sony's lenses are still better. Lacks a bit of contrast too, recovers a little when stopped down.
Screw drive work well but it is loud.

Mine works pretty well with A77 body.
reviewer#8965 date: Apr-26-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:1700 EUR
positive:A high-performance lenses.
Perfect match with Sigma converter 1.4 and 2.0.
Fast focus which fits birds photo.
Very good sharpness
negative:Is there any?
Possibly weight but good lenses are heavy.
comment:Was very surprised how well it perform together with Sigma converter.
Both 1.4 and 2.0 and fortfarnde bulking same time quickly.
You then uptill 600 mm with 5.6 aperture and do not think you have something better to the cost.
reviewer#4278 date: Oct-24-2008
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 100-300 F4
price paid:2100 Euro new
positive:Price
negative:Weight, but that is normal
comment:I was looking for a Minolta 400 F4.5 or a Minolta F2.8, I bought a 400F4 used, after a month he was broken, back to the shop, they sent him to Sony Europe, Sony Europe sent him to Japan, and after six months no lens... complaining at the shop, long discussions etc.. end of the story i bought this lens new for the same price I paid for the used Minolta. I'm very happy with this lens, very sharp and fast enough for my bird shots ! I still mist the extra 100mm but with a 1.4 extender it he is doing the job as well !!
Always use a tripod with this lens, to heavy !
reviewer#2649 date: Aug-22-2007
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:Tamron 200-500 f5-6.3
Sigma 70-200 f2.8
price paid:
missing
positive:Fair price
Good image quality
Fast and accurate AF for still images
negative:Heavy, bulky
Poor front cover design


comment:Realistically priced, this lens performs quite nicely, offering pretty good image quality even wide opened (a bit more contrast would be welcomed, but still...). In good lighting AF is fast and accurate (for still images; haven't evaluated it yet for its tracking ability). Poor lighting, and of course AF will 'hunt'.

Very well built as usual for EX series, but that cloth front cover would certainly benefit from a better design. The hood is sturdy, metallic, round, bayonet mount held by a screw, with a velvety non-reflexive interior coating. Unfortunately it is shorter than it could be — in order to fit backwards for storing, else it would bump against the tripod mount. As the large (105mm) front element is unavoidably quite vulnerable to flare, ...

Even if quite compact (215mm long without its hood) at almost 2.5kg it is quite heavy. I can handhold it, but certainly not for long. Tri and/or monopod are certainly a must.

All in all, for its price quite a good package.

PS - Sample images at http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/forum_posts.asp?TID=19604
reviews found: 6   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 6
  • sharpness: 4.67
  • color: 4.50
  • build: 4.67
  • distortion: 4.83
  • flare control: 4.83
  • overall: 4.70

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