70-300mm F4-5.6 DG MACRO

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by hankejp, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. hankejp

    hankejp TPF Noob!

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    I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with a Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG MACRO.
    I was actually looking at getting a Nikon AF-S 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6G IF-ED DX VR. I wanted it for this weekend, but can't order it until Friday. I checked out Best Buy, but they want $300 for it. So I contacted a different store. They don't carry the 55-200, but they have the Sigma lens for $189.
    Just wondering if anyone has used this lens and what are your thoughts on it? Does it seem to be a durable lens? Any pics you can share?
    I'm looking to use it for some outdoor, wildlife/landscape photograpy. And if the lighting is good enough some indoor gymnastics. I still have my 55mm 1.2 to fall back on for the gymnastics if need be.

    Thanks



    Also, will this lens work on the D40???
     
  2. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I don't have experience with the Sigma 70-300, but I read that it's pretty soft beyond 200mm. I have the 55-200 VR and it is sharp throughout the zoom range.

    You're not considering using either of these telephotos for indoor sports, are you? Because they will be useless slow lenses in those situations.
     
  3. hankejp

    hankejp TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for your inpt Epp. I was actually going to see what it would look like shooting the lens indoors for sports. I had a feeling it would be useless, but thought I would give it a shot once. I am bringing the 55mm because I thought the "big" lens would be bad indoors.
     
  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    the 70-300mm is softer past 200mm and I would not recomend it as a good lens for indoor sports - it needs good lighting to work well, and indoors your rarly get good lighting. Its also not the best lens generally past about 5-6m of range - softness starts to appear then as well.
    All in all I think its strongest point is actually macro flower photography, where its macro mode (1:2) and long focal range work best and its softness is hardly noticed at the macro ranges. For more far reaching stuff its just too slow (both af and aperture) and too reliant of good lighting conditions for what you are aiming for.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2008
  5. Do'Urden's Eyes

    Do'Urden's Eyes TPF Noob!

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    Well considering it only goes to 300mm how can it be soft BEYOND that?:p
     
  6. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I have no idea what you are on about - methinks you need your eyes testing though ;)
    :p
     
  7. hankejp

    hankejp TPF Noob!

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    LOL, took me a bit, but then I went and re-read your post. Clever.....

    Thank you for the post. Is it really soft past 200, or just slightly. I'm wondering if using the Sharp feature in my PP (Photoshop 6) would help this out.


    Thanks
     
  8. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    its debatable. In good light with a tripod its useable, I have used mine in zoos and smaller wildlife parks and provided I was not pushing it for range I could get accpetable results.
    If you want better Doenoe uses one to far better effect than me - though if you are going for that lens try for the APO edition - it has better lens coatings and from what I have seen gives a better photo quality.
    Its a cheaper budget lens that does a lot but really does none of it especially well - barring the flower macro
     
  9. roadkill

    roadkill TPF Noob!

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    I have the 70-300 and for the price it's great... out doors. Ultimately I'm looking to pick up the Nikon 70-200 f1.8 but don't have an extra 1600 laying about. But I get a lot out of the 70-300 4-5.6
     
  10. roadkill

    roadkill TPF Noob!

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    I meant the 70-200 f2.8 LOL. 1.8 would rock though
     
  11. hankejp

    hankejp TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for your input Roadkill. I think that I will pick it up, probably just not from the store like I wanted to. I tihnk Amazon has a good price for it right now.
     
  12. rubbertree

    rubbertree TPF Noob!

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    i don't have experience with the 70-300 but this past winter I did purchase the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 specifically for indoor sports (I was shooting events for the provincial winter games here) and it was great. Not soft, fast lens, perfect for indoor in poor light. I've used it so much, indoor/outdoor, whatever.
    Just an FYI, it is not a true macro, even though it has the word in the title! It is a "close up" lens at best, not a true macro.
     

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