Sigma APO 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro £150, $200

The APO edi­tion aims for en­hanced im­age qual­ity

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Look­ing like a go-faster ver­sion of Sigma’s other 70-300mm lens on test, this one fea­tures a sporty red stripe around the front. But it’s what’s in­side that counts: while the more ba­sic edi­tion has a sin­gle SLD (Spe­cial Low Dis­per­sion) el­e­ment at the rear, the APO (apoc­hro­matic) ver­sion in­cludes two large-di­am­e­ter SLD el­e­ments in the front group.

When it comes to build qual­ity, handling and fea­tures, both Sigma lenses are iden­ti­cal, al­though the APO ver­sion adds a soft case to the in­cluded ex­tras. Both lenses have a metal rather than plas­tic mount­ing plate, but nei­ther fea­tures a weather-seal, as fit­ted to a cou­ple of the Nikon lenses on test.

Per­for­mance

Au­tofo­cus per­for­mance is the same as in the cheaper Sigma lens, and is a lit­tle quicker and nois­ier than in the Tam­ron AF lens. Im­age qual­ity is a mixed bag: the APO lens is a bit sharper than the other Sigma at f/8 to f/11 with short to mid zoom set­tings, but softer at the widest aper­tures. Con­versely, it’s rather sharper at 300mm when us­ing the widest aper­ture.

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