Sigma APO 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro £150, $200
The APO edition aims for enhanced image quality
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.
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.