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

reviews found: 16   
reviewer#44375 date: Sep-26-2019
sharpness: 3
color: 4
build: 4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 75-300 (all)
Minolta 100-300 (original and xi)
Minolta 70-210 (all)
price paid:12 GBP
positive:Cheap
negative:Image quality
comment:This is not a great lens, as someone who is not very impressed by Minolta's efforts in this range it was interesting to try a lens that is worse than the worst of them. The one redeeming feature is a reasonable macro range (1:3).
The build quality seems more substantial than the later Minoltas - but there is the ever present concern about the plastic gearing that so many report problems with. Mine came with a large lens hood which is rather loose fitting, it doesn't click into place, just rattles a bit!
I cannot recommend this lens when the Minoltas are so cheap.
Of all my zooms in this range (list above) the 100-300mm xi gives the best IQ 200-300 and the beercan (70-210mm f4) is the pick overall.
reviewer#20398 date: Oct-28-2015
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta AF 70-210mm 4.0 (beercan)
Tamron AF 28-300mm XR Di LD ASL
price paid:85€ (used)
positive:Sharper than expected, very cheap
negative:AF is noisy and unreliable
comment:I tried this Lens on my A7r and didn't expect much, but - big surprise! Quite sharp even wide open from 70-300mm on a 36MP sensor, that's very good for such a cheap piece of glass. Visibly better IQ than the Minolta AF 70-210 f4! Some purple fringing is visible, but not too bad.
Sadly the AF (tested with LA-EA4 Adapter) is noisy and not reliable. I will keep the lens because of its IQ but tend to use manual focus for important shots.
reviewer#16325 date: Jul-25-2015
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 70-300
price paid:100 € (NEW)
positive:- good built quality for price category
- most sharp
- with normal light the AF not as bad as reviewed
negative:- full plastic incl. connector (bajonett)
- zoom ring sometimes not smooth
- macro switch bad quality
comment:for the most time i used it on a a58 sony.
better photos than i would expect
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:120GBP new
positive:Cheap
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.
reviewer#8716 date: Feb-28-2011
sharpness: 4
color: 3
build: 3
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-55
Minolta 28-80
price paid:70 (used)
positive:-Massive, feels unbreakable
-Sharpness
-Zoom and aperture range
-Good use next to kit lens
-Neutral colors
-Macro mode (1:2)
-Bokeh!
negative:-Hunting AF in bad light
-Weak AF gear (stripped mine)
comment:Great lens, feels strong and well build, to0 bad it isn't. Stripped my AF gear on Sony A230 body after just 2 months!
So only manuel focus for me now.

Leaving that aside it's a great lens, sharp all over the zoom and aperture range, in good light fast AF, OK colors (Sigma colors ye) and nice zoom range.

Only in macro mode images tend to get a bit soft.

Bokeh champion in my line-up!
reviewer#8068 date: Oct-9-2010
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 1
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.1
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 75-300
price paid:180 USD
positive:metal mount
colors
negative:breaks easily
ragular bokeh
comment:Broke the autofocus now I have to focus manually.
reviewer#8044 date: Oct-5-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 1
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.2
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:150GBP
positive:sharp.
color.
distorsion.
metal mount.
negative:AF gear breaks easily.
construction and appearance should be better.
chromatic aberration.
comment:Stinking lens, the autofocus was broken in a matter of a week and at most 500 photos. Until it broke the AF is also highlighted in all, this lens will buy recommended by a friend, what a failure, had read that broke the AF gear but thought it was fake. Not recommend it to anyone. I've read that also happens to APO version of this same model, not only about the minolta mount lens.
reviewer#5458 date: May-26-2009
sharpness: 3
color: 3
build: 3
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:100
positive:I'm just flabbergasted by Sigma's poor customer service. I got nothing but excuse after excuse regarding this poorly designed product.
negative:Build quality is horrible. My a300 stripped the AF gear after less than 200 shots.
comment:While I was able to get a few nice shots with this lens, it simply didn't last. I ended up with a stripped AF gear very soon after purchasing it. I spent more time and effort into getting this lens repaired than I think it's worth.

Sometimes the saying "you get what you pay for" truly holds true.

My advice would be to spend the extra money to get a better quality product...and service.
reviewer#3947 date: Aug-10-2008
sharpness: 3
color: 4
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
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Minolta APO 100-300, Sony 75-300, Tamron 18-250
price paid:
missing
positive:Quality for the price paid. Macro 1:2. Speed and sharpness in 70-210 range. Build and look. Flare control.
negative:Not very sharp at 300 mm. AF hunts sometimes. Some edge CA visible.
comment:I had this lens for 3 months and took some nice pics with it. When you treat it as 70-210 lens it is almost perfect. Never seen flare or distortion. Macro mode is useful for timid insects (you got 1:2 macro from ~1 m distance) with F8-F11 and stabilised body. Some CA visible at edges. Some faster and better built (also bit heavier and larger) than comparable Minolta/Sony zooms. At 300 mm wide open sharper than my copy of Minolta APO 100-300, while Minolta became sharper from F8 on. AF hunts sometimes.
reviewer#3366 date: Mar-16-2008
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 2
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:70-210 f4.5-5.6 Minolta
80-200 f4.5-5.6 Minolta
70-200 G
price paid:110.00
positive:Very Sharp
Great colors

Covers a great range

negative:Heavy
Hunts at full zoom
comment: Turns out to be a great portrait lens. Very sharp clean colorful pictures. @300mm it does hunt a little. With a 2x teleconverter it takes very respectable pictures@600mm. Compared to the Minolta 70-210 and the 80-200 I think it blows them out of the water in sharpness and color! Poor quality build with a company that won't back there products.

Edited for lens breaking after exactly 1 year.
reviewer#3152 date: Jan-7-2008
sharpness: 3.5
color: 3
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:sigma 28-70mm f2.8
sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5
minolta 50mm f/1.4
price paid:110€ New
positive:Inexpensive
Good Build, no ratlle
Lightweight
Nice sharp up to 180mm steped down
When AF locks, it's exactly right
Nice macro
negative:Very slow AF
Often miss subject, try cacthing a bird on movement
Very low contrast
comment:Everything is said above, i would just add that the build quality of this lens is very very good for the price, and when i say low contrast, i mean that i have to put my D7D in +2 on contrast to have the same apperence with 50mm f1.4 with the setting on -1, just to give an idea.. Still good business
reviewer#2800 date: Sep-29-2007
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 75-300 f4.5-5.6
price paid:GBP90
positive:fast manual zoom and focus
looks the part
inexpensive
Sigma build
negative:unsharp at max zoom
fairly slow auto focus
comment:My Sony a100 came with the 75-300 which was average at best. After reading a popular photo magazine review of these lenses the Sony was totally rubbished (but that does seem to be a trend in many of the UK mags) and the Sigma hailed as the best.
I sold my Sony on ebay for a good return and with the proceeds bought this lens new, for a discount as the shop was closing down.
Most work it has done was at an all day wildlife workshop and I found, because of the movement of the animals, it worked best for me on manual. It was quick and easy to focus with the hood fitted in reverse (no sun) and zoom was a simple push and pull. (Results on my website).
I like this lens for a cheap alternative to Sony's, but will buy better when I know what I want.
reviewer#1635 date: Jan-11-2007
sharpness: 3.5
color: 3
build: 3
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3.1
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:EUR 85 (used)
positive:Cheap, lightweight, good value for money.
negative:Unsharp at 300mm, slow AF, AF hunts a lot in poor light.
comment:In general ok for a beginner like me, at least for the money spent on it.
reviewer#1301 date: Oct-11-2006
sharpness: 3.5
color: 3
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
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
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Konica Minolta 28/75 - 2.8
price paid:150
positive:in AF continuos panning ok, at 70 up to 100 sharpness good, low weight.
negative:AF very bad in low light
Not sharp on large apertures
Zoom does not run very freely
Up to 100 mm the quality of image is low
comment:Very good for portrait at 70 / 90 mm not over 150 mm.
Go to see my photo at http://www.digilabnet.it/stefano/giostra_europea.htm. Most photos are shotted with this lens at 200 mm or 120mm.
Is very affordable and good lens for sport events without problems. Not for quality works, but in any case is onest.
reviewer#858 date: May-31-2006
sharpness: 3
color: 3
build: 3
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Konica Minolta 18-70 3.5-5.6 (Kit)
Minolta AF 50 / 1.7
Minolta - AF 28 / 2.8
price paid:160 Euro (new)
positive:Cheap
Macro (1:2) possiblity
Sharp on smaller apertures
negative:AF not good in low light
Not sharp on large apertures
Zoom does not run very freely
comment:All in all, this is a good buy
It is not very sharp on larger apertures, but if you change the aperture to 8 it gets a lot better and from around 10 you actually get pretty sharp results
I have tried the KM 75-300mm a couple of times and seen pictures from it, and I think the Sigma is just as good, plus you get a better magnification (1:2)
I often use it with a cheap 2x teleconverter and can get good results even on 300mm (600mm)
Tested on Dyanx/Maxxum 5D
I have used this lens a lot for indoor portraits in studio, and it gives great sharp portraits
reviewer#399 date: Jan-10-2006
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 2
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
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
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:excellent at 70mm, this lens is perfectly usable up to 120mm.
negative:weak at 220-300mm, very soft.
comment:if you want a lens that's perfect from 70mm to approx. 120mm, very good until 180mm and "reasonable" until 220mm, get this one. For the money it's worth it.

It' plastic and light, don't expect the "EX" quality with this low budget lens.

I didn't test flare coz I have no shots with a liught source in front of the camera. Will update this.

Macro 2:1 is a nice addon feature to this tele-lens.
reviews found: 16   

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

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