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Keywords: Sigma Canon Nikon Minolta Pentax Tele Zoom 35mm DG HSM APO tested


assafb

Registered: November 2010
Posts: 2
Sigma 100-300mm f/4 EX DG HSM APO review by assafb
Review Date: 1/4/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

How disappointing, you have deleted my comment, so I have to post it again:


I find the comparison to the way cheaper Sony's 250$ lens extremely uninformative when Sony's 800$ G lens of roughly the same coverage is the real competitor.


Choosing to compare this lens to the cheap one is totally unhelpful, as if someone is contemplating between the Sigma and alternatives on Sony's cameras, he would probably like to see a comparison against the 800$ G lens. For that matter you could have compared this lens to a UV filter and it would have been just as useful to a Sony user.


Please do not delete this comment, even though it is criticism.
ZinMe

Registered: January 2010
Posts: 3
Sigma 100-300mm f/4 EX DG HSM APO review by ZinMe
Review Date: 1/4/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $900.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, sharp, did I say sharp, even at f4, sturdy, focuses fast
Cons: need more room btw the zoom ring and tripod bracket

This lens is sharp. At 300mm, I stop-down to f4.5, and it is perfectly sharp. At 200mm it is sharp from f4. The focus is faster than Nikon AFS lenses. It is small enough to hand-hold for most people. The f4 is a trade-off with f2.8 lenses, but I find the advantages of the smaller lens is very helpful in shooting sports-- I can hand hold and react to the action much more quickly. With the newer sensors with good high ISO performance, f4 isn't really a limitation. Besides, many f2.8 lenses have to be stopped down so you really aren't gaining much anyway. It is a full frame lens, so sharpness on my D300 is great across the frame. Focus is fast and true with no hunting even in low light. At $1000 this lens is a fantastic buy. This lens is fantastic all around.


I also bought the Sigma 1.4x TC. My results with the TC were not too good unless I stopped down by two stops, but then again, I have never had good results with TCs- even on Nikon lenses. I would avoid the TC for this guy.
goldenpiggy

Registered: March 2009
Posts: 6
Sigma 100-300mm f/4 EX DG HSM APO review by goldenpiggy
Review Date: 11/12/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $700.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Simply unreal how sharp this lens is wide open across entire zoom range
Cons: She's a beast! That big MF ring gets in the way. OS would be nice.

I own the fabulous Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 AF-S and the very good 70-300VR. Always wanted more reach than the 80-200, and wasn't happy with the 70-300VR at 300 (70-220 is really, really good). Anyway, I picked up a used Sigma in Nikon mount based on various reviews.


This Sigma lens is simply unreal. It is so sharp wide open, across the entire frame, from 100-300mm! At 300mm, it is a tad softer and less contrasty than from 100-200mm, but stop down just one stop restores that magic. I am floored by how sharp this lens is, not to boot the great contrast and color rendition.


Autofocus is very fast, almost as fast as the lightning quick 80-200 AF-S, and quicker than the 70-300VR. It has superb target acquisition, never hunting. Has full time manual focus override, although I wish the MF ring wasn't so darn big! The MF and zoom rings are just silky smooth, far cry from the 70-300VR's cruddy MF ring.


It's built as well as any Nikon gold ring pro glass. All metal barrel. The tripod collar is a little weak, but usable. The lens is fairly heavy for handholding, but manageable. Quality glass can't cheat gravity.


Comes with a nice softcase. Lens cap sucks, so I'm putting on the Canon 82mm cap. Yes, it takes 82mm filter. She's big.


This lens just about matches the image quality of my 80-200 AF-S (although the 80-200 AF-S, being a fast lens that's truly usable wide open, gives more pop and has warmer colors). The Sigma has longer reach, and is a lot cheaper. I can't say enough good things about this phenomenal lens. It is world class, right up there with the best from Nikon.


If they come out with a optical stabilized version, I would jump at it in a heartbeat. For now, a monopod will have to do.
Seppo

Registered: September 2008
Posts: 1
Sigma 100-300mm f/4 EX DG HSM APO review by Seppo
Review Date: 9/8/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,225.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: IQ, AF function, silence, constant length.
Cons: A bit heavy.

First: I am not a pro, have not even photographed much. Still, after some experience with a cheaper 70-300 zoom, and after first thinking of a zoom reaching to 400-500 mm, I am now happy that I bought this one.
Before deciding, I carefully went through all the test information of the possible alternatives.
Also in practice, the image quality does seem to overcome what I could have gained putting my pennies in image stabilization or longer reach.
With my Nikon 300D:s 12 MP APS-C size sensor, pixels clearly are the resolution-limiting factor.
A good quality TC, in my case Kenko Pro 300 DG 1.4, gives extra reach up to 420 mm, and this glass really seems to tolerate it.
Technically the tube works smoothly, accurately and silently, and is a joy to work with. Extra convenience comes from its lenght staying invariably the same.
I hesitated about the lacking stabilisation.
Now, the objects, like birds, often move fast, so a short exposure time is needed anyway, (and the 300D with its good high-ISO area allows it).
And with a tripod, stabilisation would be off.
So the only thing I could think of -I donĀ“t actually miss it.
Nikola_Konsulov

Registered: October 2007
Posts: 10
Sigma 100-300mm f/4 EX DG HSM APO review by Nikola_Konsulov
Review Date: 12/7/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $999.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, fast AF, constant f4 aperture, silky smooth Focus and Zoom Rings, pleasant bokeh, scales under glass, build and finish
Cons: None

I feel this lens is everything that it is supposed to be. Build and optical quality at a pro level, but minus the OEM prices of Canon, Nikon, Sony/Minolta, Pentax/Samsung and Olympus/Leica/Panasonic.


I've only made some test shots thus far. The quality is surely there. The lens is magnificent in my opinion. The bokeh is so nice and creamy. The CA's are very well controlled. I even tried it with my Sigma 1.4x EX DG APO Tele-Converter and there doesn't seem to be any loss in sharpness. If there is, it is so minor that I can't tell off hand with out pixal peeping. The Tele-Converter does slow down the AF mechanism due to gear reduction.


Since I have the non-HSM version (Alpha mount) I just want to say that I feel the Auto Focus is fast. I've read some reviews from Minolta people that say the lens is average or even slow in AF speed and is prone to hunting. I have measured the speed of the AF from minimum focus distance to infinity (with the lens cap on). It moves along at 1/2 a second with my Maxxum 5D from one end of the focus range to the other when at 100mm. I also do not think it is prone to hunting. It will hunt when there is a lack of contrast for the AF system. Any system will hunt when there is a lack of contrast. That is the one constant universal flaw of AF systems.


If you're in the market for a high quality pro zoom lens with this range, but find that the OEM lenses are a bit too much in price. Especially, for the f2.8 lenses out there. Try this one. The optical quality is high and a constant f4 aperture should be bright enough. An f2.8 lens will not make a "make-or-break" difference when compared to this lens.
julioalperi

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 15
Sigma 100-300mm f/4 EX DG HSM APO review by julioalperi
Review Date: 11/20/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $892.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Resolution,distortions,vignetting,CAs,bokeh.Good tripod collar.Price.
Cons: None.

This is an excellent lens. Great resolution , low vignetting, low distortions, nice bokeh,low CAs and excellent build quality . It woks fine with the Sigma 1.4x converter ( some CAs and a somewhat lower resolution can be noticed ). Silent and fast HSM. Good tripod collar. I highly recommend this lens ( combo).
Powerdoc

Registered: February 2006
Posts: 7
Sigma 100-300mm f/4 EX DG HSM APO review by Powerdoc
Review Date: 2/14/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,500.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Optical quality, AF, build quality, internal focusing, hold well the 1,4 TC
Cons: a little soft wide open at 300

I tried this lens on several cameras : 10 D, 20 D and 5D. It's sharp at all aperture and focal lenght except wide open at 300 where it's a little soft.
So at 300 mm, I will recomand to stop down at F5,6 or more.
It hold well the 1,4 TC if you stop down at F8 at 420 mm.
The build quality is superb, the lens is a little bit heavy, the internal focusing and zooming is great. The AF is on par with the best USM from Canon.
This is a very nice lens, but I would recommand to use a monopod with it. It's one of the best sigma zoom


 






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