Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG APO Macro A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 66    1 2 3 >>
reviewer#12073 date: Dec-31-2014
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Tamron 70-300mm Di LD, Sigmas 135-400 and 170-500mm.
price paid:$300
positive:Image Quality
Great Bokeh
Macro Performance nothing short of Stellar
Quick and responsive focus in decent to good light
Bang for Buck Outstanding
negative:Lens creep
Well documented plastic gears often fail
comment:Shooting in the Florida sun, I first ordered the Tamron 70-300mm Di LD. And while I loved the color, sharpness, and image quality, the chromatic aberrations were too severe for the regular bright sun. Then I purchased this lens and used it regularly for two years on a A300 and A350. No gears stripped and it was mounted to my camera often.
I really couldn't wait to sell it; just to get something in a longer reach, more money and better quality knowing it had served me well.
As I look back at my photos of Bald Eagles and other wildlife, I am constantly amazed the picture was taken with this lens. IQ, color, and sharpness are amazing in my opinion...even printed and blown up! And I want to give a different lens the credit...but the images I took with this lens often go to the top of my list.
Macro performance is stellar also. After selling this I have shot mostly butterflies with the Tamron SP 90 2.8 and the Sigma 180 ex apo 3.5 and again, when I look back at what I was able to do with this lens I am completely surprised.
Keeping my 70-210 beercan forever, but looking to purchase one of these used again. For me, a must have; even with the likely gear issue rearing it's ugly head.
reviewer#11638 date: Jan-26-2014
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.8
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:Tamron 70-300 DI USD
70-200 G SSM
price paid:
missing
positive:light
cheap
1:2 Macro
negative:Hunts in low light
No zoom lock
Gear stripping
comment:I have used this lens for many years, has also taken many good pictures with it.
it was replaced by Tamron 70-300 DI USD.
reviewer#11304 date: Aug-10-2013
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.8
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:Tamron 70-300 DI
Tamron 70-300 LD
Minolta 70-300
Sony 70-300
price paid:100
positive:Cheap, especially in Quantaray version.
Sharper than comparable Tamron, Minolta or Sony.
Very little flare
Low purple fringing
Full frame
Good but long-distance macro
No zoom creep
negative:Gears can strip, ruining autofocus.
From 250mm no improvement
Autofocus is somewhat loud and hunts in low light/contrast
comment:This is indeed the best bang for the buck in this price category, bar none. If you want it really cheap: look for the Quantary LDO version - basically the same lens.

I still prefer the Tamron 70-300 DI, though: quieter, faster, sharper wide open. The Tamron 70-300 DI and the Sony 70-300G are a close match in most respects. This Sigma lens is second rate, compared to those lenses, but obviously is also a lot cheaper. I like its image quality better than that of the beercan, for example (but certainly not the build quality!).

These lenses have small gears inside them that cannot withstand the force of some of the more powerful Sony DSLRs, particularly the A700. At this price it's worth taking the risk, I find. So far no issues on my A57, except that from approx 250mm there is no notable improvement in sharpness.
reviewer#10871 date: Jan-24-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 3
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:Minolta 100-300mm APO D
Minolta/Sony 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6 D
Sony 70-300mm SAL SSM G
Sony 70-400mm SAL SSM G
Sigma 70-300mm f4-5.6 DG HSM OS
Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD Di Macro
price paid:
missing
positive:The level of sharpness and detail when correctly focused is superior to any other comparable lens, including the 70-300mm G and 70-400mm G, in a wider range of conditions and focus distances. The very small size, 58mm thread, and light weight make it ideal for travel especially if you are expecting to encounter small animals, insects, birds, flowers.
negative:It's a cheap barrel design with superb glass but mediocre mechanicals. Mine has a rubber lens band to help damp the zoom. Nasty lens hood fit.
comment:I have the 70-400mm G and never use it, it's too soft at 400mm wide open for the A77 (to my standards) although it was fine on the A900. I also have the Sigma 70-300mm HSM OS, which is a far better lens than the 70-300mm SSM G - using both side by side, I sold the G and kept the OS, which was also useful for video on NEX (the OS works). But I really, really missed the close focus I had on my Tamron 1:2 macro 70-300mm - not its extreme mess of aberrations though. And the 70-300mm SSM G managed at least 1.2m, where the Sigma OS only goes to 1.5m. So I bought an APO Macro despite their reputation for focus gear stripping, just for field and travel close-ups. That was an eye-opener. Optically it's the best of the lot - quite amazing at 300mm, which is where tele zooms usually trip up, and also at 1:2 macro (crude setting method). Bottom line is that enlarging a crop from this at 300mm generally beats the 70-400mm at 400mm uncropped. I just wish Sigma had put this design into a premium quality mount with superior coatings and assembly standards. It would be a legend.
reviewer#10633 date: Oct-31-2012
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 2
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.5
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:200 USD
positive:Light, cheap, macro
negative:sharpness, build, rotating front element
comment:When I bought it, it's seemed a good choice for a rookie, as tests wrote. After 4 years of not heavy use, I'am disappointed. Quality of pictures far not so good, in cold weather became very stiff( don't live in Canada), and the focus mechanism broke. Some cheap plastic element cannot survive motor torque, check on youtube. Repair cost half price now, not worth it.
Not recommended.
reviewer#10629 date: Oct-29-2012
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.9
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:tamron 70-200 f2.8
price paid:140 $ new
positive:good range
macro
good in 70-200 range
negative:slow af
not so great up 200mm
comment:great lens with a100 but with a77 is not a good mariage. up 200mm u need a tripod .

color are good, nice work for macro even indoor
reviewer#9751 date: Jan-3-2012
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 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 used to own this lens
compared to:Tokina 828 AT-X Pro 80-200/2.8
Phoenix 650-1300/8-16
CZ Sonnar 180/2.8 (P6 mount)
price paid:~ 70USD used mint
positive:Best quality-for-money-paid ratio
Nice zoom range
negative:One can die of old age waiting for it to focus when the light isn't perfect
the build quality is not the best
comment:The lens is OK for newbies, unfortunately usually too slow to get the moment.
The colors are fine, but the build quality is terrible - broken the AF ring inside the lens twice while just focusing (the guys at the Sigma shop told me it was a known issue and replaced it twice within the warranty).

If it's your first lens in that range - go for it if the price is reasonable. But if it's not "too good to be true" cheap, go for a beercan, or something a little bit more expensive and save yourselves the nerves.
reviewer#9719 date: Dec-27-2011
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:129 GBP (new\)
positive:Great range for general use
Available at a great price
Good image quality
negative:Focus ring not too smooth
Hunts a lot when on AF
comment:I love this lens simply because of the range and difference of subjects it allows - as an amateur it is brilliant. I put a 4 for build rating because the lens sometimes sticks/clicks when zooming. The focus ring has started to remain stuck when the camera is first turned on if in MF, but this has only happened recently and not sure why. Otherwise great.
reviewer#9185 date: Jun-27-2011
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 1
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 3.6
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:209 (new)
positive:Image quality (most of the time), Color, Price.
negative:Built quality (gears stripped!), focusing.
comment:This is the first lens I bought when I started shooting with A330. A week after I upgraded to A580, the lens stripped its gears and Sigma made it as difficult as possible to stand by its (non-existant) 3 year warranty.

While it lasted, the lens produced quite nice images. Had the lens remained functional, I would say it delivered the best bang for the buck. Since it died, I say save your money. Buy the Sony version for a few more bucks or the Tamron equivalent.
reviewer#8844 date: Mar-29-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.3
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:Sony 75-300 f/4.5-5.6
Tokina AF 75-300 f/4.5-5.6
price paid:A$250 (new)
positive:Light weight
Excellent IQ
Great value for money
No PF seen so good CA control
bonus Macro (1:2) ability
negative:No zoom lock
Filter ring rotates with focus
comment:Was looking for a not-too-heavy 70-300 for my a55. The Sony example was lighter than the Sigma but rubbish IQ and lots of CA (mainly PF). The Tokina (a mid-90's push/pull) was sharp but at over 800g was too heavy for extended use on the a55. Also the Tokina suffered badly with PF, although it's easy to remove in PP. The Sigma is a great lens for the money and at around 580g is a good "fit" for the weight of the a55. Lack of a zoom lock is a bit of a pain, but all is forgiven when one sees the quality and sharpness of the images. 1:2 macro is handy (200-300mm range only). Build quality is "light" and I wouldn't suggest this lens as a work-horse but for the money, it's exceptional value in my opinion. Comes in a nice case which offers better protection than your more common vinyl lens bag. Very happy with mine. Eventually replaced it with the Sony 70-300 G SSM.
reviewer#8039 date: Oct-4-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
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 SAL75300 75-300mm
minolta af 100-300 zoom xi
price paid:£150
positive: nice and sharp,great colour especially in macro,CA not a problem unlike the sony lens and much sharper images for me (an amateur) is well worth buying
negative:lens creep when carrying,bit heavy
does hunt at full zoom sometimes to focus
comment:definitely reccomend this lens works well for me only bought the sony lens because it said sony on it being new at this game didnt know about the vast choice of lenses available i now own a dt 1.8/50 sam (super sharp images) minolta zoom xi 100-300 (novel)sigma 1:28 super wide II (great macro and sharp)and the 18-55,18-70 kit lens the latter came with a200 and the 18-55 came with the a450 bargain camera which is like my a200 but so much better
reviewer#7811 date: Aug-12-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 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:
missing
price paid:130 E
positive:-cheap
-metal mount
-looks and feels good
-nice 1:2 macro
-good range
-quite good colors
-sharp until 200mm
negative:-slow focus and noisy
-lack of zoom lock button (has the tendency to shorten when used at 300mm pointing up)
-58mm filter (was better to follow Sony lenses 18-55, 18-70, 55-200, 75-300 etc which all have 55mm filter and not to buy new ones)
-rotating filter
comment:I see comments like: "useless indoor". Why would somebody use an 70-300 indoor? You can experiment a lot with this lens.. F4 constant from 70 to 135, nice colors, usefull 1:2 macro, range covers most situations, not very heavy to carry but feels strong. The negative sides are the not very fast focus, sometimes AF noise is annoying. There is a catch at macro switch..you can activate it only between 200-300mm. If you want to set back to normal you have to put the focus to manual and rotate the focusing ring to infinite. Not very confortable.

At all i am pleased with it, it is not a big investment but it performs well in most situations and it's a good experimenting lens giving you the option to upgrade to an more expensive one with minimal loss.
reviewer#6459 date: Nov-25-2009
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 1
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.3
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 G 70-400mm
price paid:Ł120
positive:-Cheap
-Good zoom range
-Lightweight
negative:-Flimsy build quality
-Hopeless autofocus
-Not great in low light
-Struggles in strong sunlight
-Not true macro
comment:Not impressed with this lens at all, but I guess you get what you pay for. For the price, it would make a very good beginners zoom lens.

It is lightweight plastic, and feels like it might fall apart at any minute. When I first got it I used it a lot, but I hardly touch it now, in fact it's back in it's box. I'm almost scared of using it!

In bright sunlight images look washed out, even with the hood and a polariser. Indoors it is almost unusable. The autofocus is slow, and sometimes struggles to lock-on, and is VERY noisy. Thats not an exaggeration, people turn and stare at me to see what the noise is! I usually use manual focus to avoid this. Even manual focus isn't great - quite fiddly and difficult to fine tune.

I've gone and plumped for a Sony G 70-400, and it is utterly incomparable to this budget lens, as you'd expect of course.

In ideal conditions though it is reasonably sharp, and colours are warm and rich. No flare issues or distortion either.

Overall though I feel let down by this lens.
reviewer#6175 date: Oct-4-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.8
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:-Beercan
-Big Beercan
-Minolta 100-200
price paid:$200 USD
positive:-Great build quality
-Free carrying case
-Cheap
-1:2 Macro ability
-Relatively light
negative:-Almost useless indoors
comment:Bought this lens to complement my Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX Macro. It does great for outdoor/lots of light shooting. 1:2 macro is great. It's cheap and light, but feels solidly built. Hunts big time in the any type of low light situation. Overall great lens. I am a newby shooter, so IQ wise vs the beercans, I couldnt tell a huge difference, but the beercans were slightly, just slightly better.
reviewer#5967 date: Sep-3-2009
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Great @300mm!
negative:
missing
comment:Great birding lens! I also love the macro!
reviewer#5943 date: Aug-30-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
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:349 AUD (new)
positive:Nice sharp pictures, good build quality, good zoom and manual focus mechanism.
negative:Trouble some times with auto-focus at full zoom.
comment:
missing
reviewer#5363 date: May-9-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
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:Kit Lens
Not really comparible to my other lens
price paid:Ł127 new
positive:1.Cheap
2.Good IQ
3.Nice bokeh
4.Build quality
negative:1.Slightly soft thru200-300mm
2.Will probable outgrow the lens in time
comment:I bought this lens new at x-mas 08.I was initially unimpressed by the lens mainly due to my inexperience in using this type of lens.I have recently used in on a regular basis and have formed the following views
1.Build quality-for the price paid i am very impressed by the general feel of this lens.The zooming ring has a very nice feel ( a little sticky between 200and 300mm )and i have used manual focus around 50% of the time and again found it to have just the right feel.Others have noted issues with gears stripping-so far i have had no issues on my A200
2.Image quality-i am very impressed with the IQ of this lens.It IS sharp from 70 thru' to 200mm where it then softens up as it goes thru' the 200-300mm range.However,sharpening in PP can give very exceptable sharpness at 300mm even wide open(f5:6)see image samples.
3.Bokeh-i think the bokeh of this lens is very good and was a very nice suprise to me.
4.On camera feel-the lens is nicely balanced for me and is easily handled in the field.It is possible to hand hold at 300mm wide open and get good sharpness down to 60th sec which is very useful particulary with the poor light found in N Ireland
5.CA-none!
SUMMARY - This is a perfect first buy for a those on a budget.It has made me want something maybe a little longer, but having paid so little for this lens its not going to hurt when i upgrade.I wholeheartedly recommend this lens
reviewer#5174 date: Apr-6-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
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 70-300G f4-5.6
Tamron 70-300 f4-5.6
price paid:189 USD
positive:Great warm colors and sharpness is excellent as well. Not as much CA as people have been saying. Macro mode works well, even better with a teleconverter
negative:Very soft at 300mm. Very slow AF in low light, but a tripod will help out.
comment:I already own the Tamron 70-200 f2.8 but I needed a small telelphoto so that I can carry around easier. Plus I like the fact that it was so cheap. I could not pass up this deal! I used the Sony 70-300G at B&H and did not see a big difference in quality. Recommended as a budget telephoto.
reviewer#4875 date: Feb-18-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
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:Sony DT18-70 (Kit lens)
Minolta 75-300 (Big Beercan)
price paid:209 US$
positive:1- Colors & low CA.
2- Sharpness below 200mm.
3- Light weight
4- Macro mode 1:2
5- Good external finish
negative:1- BUILD QUALITY (see below).
2- Soft between 200-300mm
3- Extends too much while zooming/focusing.
4- Focus hunt in dim light.
5- No focus limit switch.
comment:I'll explain my +/- remarks here:
1- Build quality: I got this lens for my film body (Dynax 5), it kept working well for about a year without any problem, till I used it with my new A700, after a couple of weeks something inside the barrel got broken & stopped working, it was a failure in the poor plastic gear wheel inside. This problem is actually reported by so many people used this lens on A700, but it might not be the same for smaller bodies. (here I would like to compare it to the kit lens, it has that plastic body but no one reported such a failure).
2- Front part of the lens extends too much while zooming & extends more when focusing, which takes its CG far from the camera body & results in bad misbalancing.
3- Poor focus (focus hunt and/or bad focus) in dim light, while it's fairly fast & accurate in daylight.
4- Good external finish, feels like one of the pro sigma lenses.
5- light weight, which makes it easy to use & carry for a long time.
6- Macro mode 1:2, extends the abilities offered by this lens, noting a very accurate AF in macro mode.
7- its low CA through all aperture range, results in a good & pure image, pretty pleasant for such a low cost lens.
reviewer#4827 date: Feb-9-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
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:SAL18-70
price paid:249 euros
positive:- Incredible image quality (sharpness, color) for price
- Lightweight
- 0.5 macro is "nice to have"
negative:- macro switch seems a bit flimsy
- I keep hearing rumors of gear stripping on the powerful AF of the a700 (I have a200) but I don't have a problem
comment:This was the first lens I bought to add to my kit lens and it's such a shocking improvement I found myself constantly inventing situations to use a telephoto zoom so I could avoid having to shoot with the lowly 18-70.

People say it's a little soft beyond 200mm but really, that's just being nitpicky.

At 0.5 the macro function is better than nothing but certainly having a true macro lens is a-whole-nother ball game.

Basically CA is well under control, pictures are very sharp, color is very good, it's nice and light and it's SUPER CHEAP.
reviewer#4759 date: Jan-28-2009
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:Beercan
Kit lens
Tamron 200-400
Minolta 75-300 New
price paid:240EUR )new)
positive:Light
Sharp
Apo
Macro mode
Cheap
negative:Not that fast focus(BIF)
Macro mode beter in manual focus
not to be used with TC
comment:I bougth this lens new after a lot of rechearch. It served me well until It strip the gears, due to a TC. Still used in manual focus a lot .
The AF is fast in good light but hunts a lot in dim light.
Macro mode is sharper than my beercan at 210/f8 - 1.1m
The APO coattings work well, no CA at all.
Used with tubes and closeup lens is a easy and cheap way to get 1:1 macro and more
Don't use it with a teleconverter, it migth strip the focus gears.
I took most of my nature photos with this lens and it does the work well. Could it have faster AF and be a bit better build? Yes, but I'm sure that it would cost a lot more than it does now.
This is probalbly the best lens in the 70-300 range and a good pair for the kit lens.
Take a look at my Flickr to see what this lens is capable
reviewer#4563 date: Dec-18-2008
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.7
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:
missing
price paid:267 USD (new)
positive:The macro fuction at 1:2 is great when using an aperture of f/8 or smaller.
No CA
negative:Loud AF, very slow unless there's plenty of light available.
comment:Sharp at f/8, softer at bigger apertures.
Usable as a 1:2 macro lens at 300mm but you need to stop it down to approx. f/8 or more to get reasonable sharpness!
reviewer#4319 date: Nov-3-2008
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 1
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.4
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:Minolta 28-135
Tamron 17-50/2.8
Minolta 50/1.4
Sony 18-70
price paid:200€
positive:sharp wide open between 70-200mm
light
cheap
1:2 Macro feature
negative:soft from 200mm onwards
AF-gear stripped
poor Service-support
comment:This is a very good lens for the focal lengths 70-200mm. Also the Macro-feature can be handy. But it is very soft from 200mm onwards and stopping down won't help much.

Edit: The AF-gear stripped after 10 months and Sigma denied to repair it, because it's a damage that arose from normal wear! I'm very disappointed and I can only advice anybody not to buy such a lens from Sigma. What is a warranty worth if they won't repair damages due normal wear!
reviewer#4127 date: Sep-23-2008
sharpness: 2
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.2
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 24-135 f/2.8-4.5; Minolta 70-210 f/4.5-5.6 (black not silver); Minolta 17-80 kit lens
price paid:210 USD (new)
positive:Cheap, not too heavy
negative:So soft on the long end! Or maybe I actually have a focus problem? Macro only in the 200-300mm soft range, minimum focus still 0.95m, otherwise minimum focus 1.5m
comment:I wouldn't have called the kit lens soft at all, I found the 135mm end of my other Sigma just starting to soften...this one just seems bad zoomed in, to say nothing of it's hard to handhold at an effective 450mm even with first-generation anti-shake.

Because of the softness issue I prefer to do macro with my Sigma 24-135 f/2.8-4.5, which has a minimum focus under 0.5m throughout the range. 135 at under half a meter is like 270 at under one meter, right?

If I hadn't gotten this as a gift from my Christmas list I would've taken it back and continued to use the Minolta 70-210, slow AF and all.
reviewer#4124 date: Sep-22-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 1
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.5
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 used to own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:180 $cdn (used)
positive:Price
lightweight
Macro Feature
negative:Build
Macro switch is a PAIN
Slow and/or hunting AF indoors
comment:Very satisfying for a budget lens, but can be quite picky when AF in low-light.
although not a true 1:2 Macro, still pretty decent.
Zoom can stick a bit, manual focus ring has good feel.
Would recommend this lens to a newbie, very acceptable results to experiment with.

AF gears stripped after less than 12 months use with a200. Did not bother with Sigma support for repair, replaced with an unbreakable Minolta Beercan.
reviewer#3963 date: Aug-12-2008
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
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:
missing
positive:Good images with sufficient light. Colour and contrast fine. I have some really sharp images at 300m but it needs the light.
negative:Focus will hunt at the long end in poor light. Could do with a focus limiter. It can be frustrating when it looses focus on your bird or butterfly and then zooms all the way out and back again.
comment:I like this lens it is a good macro lens even thouhg it will only close focus fro 200-300mm. I have used it for Bird photography and got some very good results. I am not fan of the Sigma matt finish coating but my 10-20 EX is the same.

P.S 2010
I still like this lens critics of its sharpness should use a higher shutter speed or a tripod.
reviewer#3929 date: Aug-4-2008
sharpness: 3
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 3.4
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:-zuiko 40-150mm
-Tamron 55-200 F4-5.6
price paid:150.00 on ebay
positive:nice focal range
relatively cheap
negative:-not very sharp
-AF hunts like crazy
-not all that sharp
-macro button a pain
-adjusting foacl length is sticky
comment:in a nutshell, this lens is donkey doodoo. Sharpness isn't all that good and produces photos that I found just plain unusable. The cheaper Tamron 55-200 blows this lens out of the water.
My theory with the proliferation of Sigma 70-300's on ebay, is that people buy them, find out they're crap, and then sell them on Ebay again hoping another sucker will buy it.
I think this is a lens with a high turnover rate.
reviewer#3860 date: Jul-16-2008
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 55-200 4-5/6
-Sigma 55-200
-Tamron 70-200 4-5.6 LD Di II

-Sigma 10-20 EX
price paid:220 EUR (new)
positive:-No flare, no CA, no PF
-Quite sharp 70-200 especially between 5.6-11
-Reasonably fast focusing outdoors
-Compact, easy to carry
negative:-A lot of hunting in medium and low light
-Rotating front element

comment:Bought new for 220 eu. I was initially disappointed, as I tried it indoors and had a lot of hunting around, but outdoors AF response was reasonably fast and accurate when the light was good (it's a 300mm at the long end, don't forget!). Please note this was on an A100, talked it over with a A700 owner and he had a different opinion, so maybe the shortcomings are on the camera rather than the lens.

The lens is rather sharp for the lower two thirds of its length, then gracefully softens at longer lengths.
Practically constant aperture up to about 150mm (maintains f4 all the way, is 4.5 at 200mm and only falls to 5.6 at about 250mm)
I am very impressed indeed with this lens' coating-I noticed virtually no CA/PF at very contrasty situations.
Macro capability a plus (but not what I would buy the lens for). My only reserve is contrast-although I have to test more on that aspect.

Build quality is decent-not bad at all, but you don't get the same feeling as Sigma's EX line and this also reflects to accessories. Hood is not a petal one and lacks the zen finish, you get the cheap lens cap. Anyway, build quality seemed much better than the Tamron equivalent or Sony's own budget teles.

My overall feeling is that I got top value for the money I spent. Not pro quality, but enough for my needs.
reviewer#3516 date: Apr-25-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.5
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:10-20mm Sigma
16-80mm Sony
18-70mm Sony
28-85mm Beercan
70-210mm Beercan
100-300mm Minolta Apo
50mm 1.7 Minolta
24mm Sigma
500mm Reflex Minolta
price paid:Ł100 (new)
positive:Good sharpness at 70mm
Decent sharpness at 300mm centre
Light
1/2 Macro

negative:Slow focus
Soft edges at 200mm plus
comment:Sigma traded my old 70-300mm APO (metal type) for this lens, plus Ł100. Didn't want to trade the old lens in as it's the sharpest lens I've ever owned, but fungus had got into the lens and affected the contrast badly. Build not as good as the old version, but a lot lighter. Not a fan of the Sigma finish, but it shouldn't mark easily.

Love the 1/2 macro, very useful. Lens very sharp at the short end, even in the corners. Centre sharpness pretty good at long end, but my lens suffers from a soft left hand corner, which is noticeable with building shots.

I've recently purchased the Minolta APO 100-300mm and the Sigma beats it for sharpness. Just wish it was as compact as the Minolta APO. Think this is one of the best value lenses on the market.
reviewer#3473 date: Apr-16-2008
sharpness: 4
color: 5
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:
missing
price paid:220
positive:small size for the zoom capabilities, macro capabilities, bokeh, cheap, decent sharpness until 200mm.
negative:cheap built (well the lens is cheap), annoying macro switch, hood is somewhat difficult to place in position
comment:My first telephoto zoom though I dont get good results past 200mm. All in one package with macro capabilities. large hood can be annoying for removing filters but it controls flare well. I use it for macro sometimes though should be careful with out of focus areas, as it can give out flat details. Once switched to macro you have to zoom to infinity to switch it back.
A pretty decent zoom for the price. A lot of people have complained about the color it gives but I find it pretty good for my use. It could definetly do better in sharpness.
reviews found: 66    1 2 3 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 66
  • sharpness: 4.07
  • color: 4.17
  • build: 3.55
  • distortion: 4.30
  • flare control: 4.36
  • overall: 4.09

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