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

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Case, Sep 23, 2007.

  1. Case

    Case TPF Noob!

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    What are your thoughs on this lens?

    Quality?
    Sharpness?

    I want a lens that can do most things and really excel in macro as well. Can this lens do these things well..?

    Also, this would be going on a Rebel XT if that helps with anything..

    Thanks!
     
  2. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

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    Depends on your standards. No one lens will excel at all aspects. Only a true dedicated macro lens will give you the sharpness and clarity that most macro photographers demand. They are almost always single focal length lens in the large aperature range; f/3.5 or larger. Though zoom lenses have macro capability, i.e. zoom in relatively close, optically it's not the same. You won't get the depth of field that a larger aperature provides or sharpness. As good as my 300 and 70-200 are, the IQ from the 60 macro puts them to shame. As I said, it depends on the level of quality you want.
     
  3. Case

    Case TPF Noob!

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    Can anyone else say anything about this lens, say someone who maybe owns it? I want just something that can take sharp decent photos. Could this lens do that?
     
  4. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I own it and I like it.
    It is not brilliant. But I cannot AFFORD to buy myself the really BRILLIANT telephoto lenses.
    If you check me out here on TPF, you will find that most of the photos I post here (particularly among those taken earlier than June of this year) were taken with that very lens. Find out for yourself if the photos are both "sharp" and "decent" :D.
     
  5. doenoe

    doenoe TPF Noob!

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    I got that lens and im happy with it. You cant expect the most sharp pics from it, but i can live with it. When shooting bugs, i also use a speedlite 430EX for some extra light on the subject. Also you cant expect to get sharp macro pics from the beginning. You have to get used to the lens. You will probably get lots of motion blurred pics in the beginning, but you just have too learn to work with it. So keep on shooting with it and keeping your hands steady.
    And as mentioned, this isnt a true macro lens. But you can get nice results with it. Especially when you can use a higher F-number. Cropping works great too.
     
  6. Case

    Case TPF Noob!

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    If some of you with the lens could post one or two of the photos you have gotten with it that would be great! Both Macro and anything else are the types of examples im looking for! Thanks!
     
  7. doenoe

    doenoe TPF Noob!

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    you allready seen mine in the threads you posted :)
     
  8. Case

    Case TPF Noob!

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    So your saying all those beautiful butterfly/zoo/hawk killing pigeon are all taken, or at least some with the lens in question? If so, im SOLD!
     
  9. SMG

    SMG TPF Noob!

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    I have one of these also, in a Nikon mount. I like it for the range, but do find that anything over about 200mm is soft. The macro is good, not great. I bought mine as an all around lens as the first aftermarket lens for my camera. I quickly bought a 105 f2.8 Sigma for macro stuff. The difference is frankly amazing.
    Personally, if you shoot Nikon I would look at the 70-300 VR lens instead of this one. There is a huge difference in price, but the IQ is totally worth it. FWIW, the 70-300 VR will probably be my next lens, either that or an 80-200 f2.8, there is nothing like a fast lens. :)

    Oops, just reread your OP, forget what I said about Nikon mounts.

    Cheers,
    SG
     
  10. Case

    Case TPF Noob!

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    Yea this lens will be going on a Canon. So anyone else can tell me some good or bad things about this lens? Any alt. lens I could get at a comparable price?

    Again I want a all arounder, something that does macro, maybe a tiny bit of sports, and all around photos.
     
  11. sothoth

    sothoth TPF Noob!

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    I'd consider the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM as an alternative. It's not one of the "through the roof" expensive tele zooms, but it does have some of the nicer features, esp image stabilization and a *relatively* fast zoom.

    I looked at the two lenses myself (sigma, canon), but after trying the Canon in person, decided it was worth the extra money. For me, a big decision maker/breaker was the IS since I wanted to take a lot of photos in Alaska (wildlife, some shot from a boat on a day cruise) and it made a big difference. The boat vibrates a lot, so the IS was a must-have. For wildlife, it makes a noticeable difference at 300mm.

    My dad had his 28-300 Tamron with him, and we swapped them back and forth (we're men, we have to see whose is bigger and better) and it was nearly impossible for me to get clear shots on the boat with his lens, and it was about a 2 stop improvement for wildlife shots (not on the boat) at 300mm. I'm guessing the Tamron was a reasonable approximation of the Sigma, although I realize that's not an ideal comparison.

    As far as clarity goes, I think the Sigma is pretty good for the $$. I tend to think they're the best entry-level lenses out there (at least for some of their lenses) so this is not to disrespect them in any way. But the Canon has more functionality and should run you about $550 on Amazon or from B&H or Adorama.

    Again, just my two cents, but if I'd gotten the 70-300 from Sigma or Tamron I'd have felt a little bad about it when I could drop another $300 or so for a lens than I like a lot better. If you can't afford the Canon, you will be OK with the Sigma, it's a decent lens.
     
  12. Case

    Case TPF Noob!

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    Thanks a bunch, a valuable 2 cents at that! The reason I went for this lens instead of the Rebel XT Kit lens is because some of the best macro insect/butterfly pictures I have ever seen in my life were taken with that lens (taken by doenoe). It could be he is just a talented photographer who can make any lens take quality pics. But his pics seem crisp, sharp, and very well taken. I am pretty much sold on this lens for my Refurbish Rebel XT body.

    About the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens. Frankly If was to spend 549 on that lens I woud probably bump it up to Canon Zoom Telephoto EF 70-200mm f/4.0L USM. I've heard TREMENDOUS things about that lens. I am looking into photographing Baseball for my fathers league since they have no full time photographers. That lens would be my prime choice.

    I am also looking into Canons 100mm Telephoto EF 100mm f/2.8 USM as a Christmas present. Maybe even the 70-200mm f/4.0L USM for Christmas, see how the parentals feel about it.

    I'll probably stick with the Sigma for a awhile and get some decent shots with it before I get another glass, or not get such an expensive one such as the lens' mentioned.
     

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