Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG Macro A-mount lens review by a850

reviewer#9849 date: Jan-24-2012
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 2
distortion: 5
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 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
price paid:120GBP new
Covers a wide range of focal lengths
Sharp enough
negative:Build quality
Breaks easily
Zoom creep
Purple fringes
Terrible from 70-300
comment:This lens is good if you occasionally shoot in the longer range. For casual use and shooting at f5.6-f11 it works fine.

Build quality is fairly rubbish. It doesn't feel too cheap, but the AF gears broke in mine on my old a500.

In fairness, I sent it back to Sigma on a Monday and got it back, mended (and cleaned!) on Wednesday morning, for free of course. I'm in the UK and sent it to the address on the Sigma website.

The lens zoom creeps like crazy. When I got it back from Sigma it was tighter, but after a few times of using it, it creeps again. It must work itself loose somehow.

The focus is slow, noisy and it hunts in low light. The front element also rotates. But for shooting distant things which aren't moving towards/away, it works fine.

Coupled with the Steadshot in your Sony camera, it becomes a lot more useful, so bear that in mind when reading other reviews or considering the slow aperture.

Image quality is actually not that bad. From 70-135 it is actually excellent wide open. From 135-200 you get more purple fringes wide open. And from 200-300 is terrible wide open but useable at f8.

Macro mode is semi-useful, but focusing is almost painfully slow, and you can only engage the macro switch between the 200-300mm range and with the focus in a certain position. It's annoying, but 2:1 isn't bad!

Like I said, if you occasionally go into the longer focal lengths, it's useful to own this lens. With steadyshot, the f4-5.6 becomes more useful, and it doesn't go f5.6 until between 200-300mm, which is quite good!

It works on full frame too without much vignetting.

Overall not bad for casual use. If I was more serious I would get a 70-300G. If I wanted even longer, I would get the 70-400G, and if I needed faster I would get a 70-200/2.8.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 16
  • sharpness: 3.59
  • color: 3.69
  • build: 3.00
  • distortion: 4.13
  • flare control: 3.75
  • overall: 3.63 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania