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Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG OS review

Completely redesigned, this zoom lens isn't just an old dog with new tricks

Our Verdict

For

  • Sharpness is good at 300mm, even when using the largest aperture of f/5.6
  • Effective 4-stop optical stabiliser
  • Robust build quality

Against

  • Autofocus motor is quite noisy in operation
  • Front element extends and rotates during focusing
  • Lacks the 0.5x macro facility of Sigma's older 70-300mm APO lens

At a glance, it's easy to think that this is a newer version of Sigma's 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro lens, but with an optical stabiliser fitted (OS). Sure enough, the Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG OS is still a 'DG' lens designed for full-frame DSLRs and equally compatible with APS-C bodies that have smaller image sensors, but it's a completely different lens.

Available in various mount options for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sigma and Sony bodies, the effective zoom range is 112-480mm on Canon APS-C cameras and 105-450mm in all other fitments.

On current Pentax and Sony bodies, you get the choice of whether to use the Sigma's optical stabiliser or sensor-shift stabilisation featured in the camera. Using both stabilisers simultaneously can lead to problems and, in our tests, we've found the in-lens optical stabilisation works rather better, especially at long telephoto zoom settings.

There's no HyperSonic Motor (HSM) autofocus actuator, the lens relying instead on a standard electric motor. By contrast, the OS is relatively high-tech and delivers a 4-stop advantage in beating camera-shake.

Unlike the cheaper Sigma 70-300mm APO, the Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG OS lens features just one Special Low Dispersion (SLD) element rather than three.

Overall, there are 16 elements built into 11 groups and a 9-blade diaphragm which enables an aperture range of f/4-5.6 to f/22-32. Another crucial difference is that this lens lacks the APO version's macro facility, the maximum magnification factor being 0.25x instead of 0.5x.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLens
Maximum Focal Length300 mm
Minimum Focal Length70 mm
Lens Mount TypeNikon F
Maximum Aperture Wide4
Maximum Aperture Tele5.6
Optical Zoom4.2x
Brand NameSigma
Filter Attachment Diameter62 mm
Lens TypeTelephoto Zoom
Application/UsageCamera
Minimum Focus Distance1.50 m
Minimum Aperture22
Diameter76.5 mm
Depth126 mm
ColourBlack
Compatibility

Nikon DSLR Cameras

Magnification0.25x
ManufacturerSigma Corporation
Product Model572-955
Product Name572-955 Lens
Manufacturer Part Number572-955
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sigma-imaging-uk.com
Marketing Information

This telephoto zoom lens incorporates Sigma's original OS function and is housed in a compact construction. The OS function offers the use of shutter speeds approximately 4 stops slower than would otherwise be possible. The SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass element provides excellent correction for all types of aberrations. High image quality is assured throughout the entire zoom range. The Super Multi-Layer Coating reduces flare and ghosting and provides high contrast images throughout the focal range. This lens has a minimum focusing distance of 150cm (59.1") throughout the entire zoom range and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:3.9, making it ideal for close-up photography.

Package Contents
  • 572-955 Lens
  • Lens Hood
  • Front and Rear Caps
  • Instruction Manual
  • 1 Year Warranty Card
Weight (Approximate)610 g