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

Very in­ex­pen­sive for a full-frame for­mat lens, and it even in­cludes a macro fa­cil­ity

NPhoto - - Test Team -

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.

Per­for­mance

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.

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