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Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro review

Not the newest, but this Sigma zoom lens still has something to offer at the price

Our Verdict

For

  • Close-focusing 0.5x macro ability in the 200-300mm zoom range
  • Impressive build quality at the price
  • Sharp at all but the longest telephoto setting

Against

  • No optical stabilisation
  • Lacks Sigma's HSM autofocus, and the basic motor is quite noisy
  • Poor image contrast in dull lighting

In this day and age, it's easy to write off any 'slow' telephoto zoom lens with an f/4-5.6 maximum aperture that doesn't have optical stabilisation. However, the Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro still packs some impressive features at the price.

As a 'DG' lens, it's designed for digital full-frame DSLRs but is equally compatible with APS-C camera bodies that have smaller sensors.

The lens is available in Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sigma and Sony mounts, and is an especially attractive option for Pentax and Sony users, since current ranges of these cameras feature built-in sensor-shift image stabilisation, bypassing the need for an optical stabiliser in the lens.

Effective focal lengths on most APS-C bodies are 105-450mm, and 112-480mm for Canons.

With 14 elements in 10 groups, three of the Sigma's elements are Special Low Dispersion (SLD) to help reduce chromatic aberrations, or colour fringing, and earning it an Apochromatic (APO) badge. The nine-blade diaphragm enables an aperture range of f/4-5.6 down to f/22-32.

Autofocus is based on a relatively old-fashioned and basic electric motor, rather than Sigma's HyperSonic Motor (HSM) system, but the lens focuses down to just 95cm, at least in the 200-300mm focal range.

At its longest telephoto setting, the Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro lens has a 0.5x macro facility, similar to the Tamron 70-300mm Di LD Macro lens. The Sigma comes complete with a lens hood and soft pouch.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLens
Maximum Focal Length300 mm
Minimum Focal Length70 mm
Maximum Aperture Wide4
Maximum Aperture Tele5.6
Brand NameSigma
Filter Attachment Diameter58 mm
Lens TypeTelephoto Zoom
Application/UsageCamera
Minimum Focus Distance950 mm
Diameter76.6 mm
Depth122 mm
Compatibility

Nikon D-SLR Cameras

Magnification0.50x
ManufacturerSigma Corporation
Product Model5A8955
Product Name70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro Telephoto Zoom Lens
Manufacturer Part Number5A8955
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sigma-imaging-uk.com
Marketing Information

The performance telephoto zoom lens is capable of shooting with a maximum magnification of 1:2 at the focal length of 300 mm. It's the ideal lens for portraits, sports photography, nature photography, and other types of photography that frequently use the telephoto range.

Package Contents
  • 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro Telephoto Zoom Lens
  • Lens Hood
  • Fitted Padded Case
  • Front and Rear Caps
  • Instruction Manual
  • 1 Year Warranty Card
Weight (Approximate)550 g