Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro
Very inexpensive for a full-frame format lens, and it even includes a macro facility
Quite compact for an FX-format telephoto zoom, this Sigma is only about two-thirds of the weight of the more upmarket, stabilised Nikon and Tamron 70-300mm lenses. Even so, its build feels pretty robust. The zoom and focus rings are both large and smooth in operation but, as with many other lenses in the group, the focus ring rotates during autofocus, which is not ideal for comfortable handling.
The design is based on 14 elements in ten groups, of which one element features SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass, aiming to reduce chromatic aberrations. A neat trick this lens shares with the other Sigma and the non-stabilised Tamron lenses on test is a 0.5x macro facility. This can be engaged via a switch on the lens barrel, enabling shorter focusing distances when using the long end of the zoom range – in this case between 200-300mm.
With its basic electric motor, autofocus is a little noisy but not overly slow. Sharpness isn’t quite a match for most of the other lenses in the group at short to medium focal lengths, but the drop-off at 300mm isn’t quite as pronounced as in some competitors. Overall, this budget Sigma is a decent buy on a shoestring budget.