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


TPF Noob!
Nov 29, 2005
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Finally I'm getting this lens! It will be my first to go on my D50.
I'm getting it as a BD gift! :mrgreen:

Anyone here has it? and how do you like it? Honestly!:wink:

I have a Sigma 70-300 APO for a film camera (Pentax AF mount) and I love it! Sharp as a tack.
Thanks Mitica!

I just realized mine is not APO just DG...:confused:
Does that make a difference?
I believe the APO means Apochromatic which is an extra pair of lenses which adjust the focus of each colour band so that all colours are in sharp focus.

Since all colours travel at different wavelegnths they each focus slightly differently, creating a slight "glow" around the image (usually red/orange glows around blues/greens).
Oh.... bummer I don't have that...!!:(

Thanks for your explanation Plastic!
It's not such a big thing. It really only comes into noticeable effect under f11-f8. Smaller apertures have a longer DOF allowing non Apo lenses to get a better overall focus on all colours.

It's the exact same principle that makes a prism split white light into it's component colours.
Definition of apochromat from Wikipedia:

An apochromat, or apo lens, is a photographic or other lens that has better color correction than the much more common achromat lenses. Chromatic aberration is the phenomenon of different colors focusing at different distances from a lens. In photography, it produces soft overall images, and color fringing at high-contrast edges, like an edge between black and white. Astronomers face similar problems, particularly with telescopes that use lenses rather than mirrors. Achromatic lenses are corrected to bring two wavelengths (typically red and blue) into focus in the same plane. Apochromatic lenses are designed to bring three wavelengths (typically red, green, and blue) into focus in the same plane. The residual color error (secondary spectrum) can be up to an order of magnitude less than for an achromatic lens of equivalent aperture and focal length. Apochromats are also corrected for spherical aberration at two wavelengths, rather than one as in an achromat.

My Sigma has, I believe, only the front and the rear cell color corrected. It's very sharp indeed. Is it sharper than a non-apochromatic lens? Yes, it's noticeably sharper, but it's also more expensive. It is really up to the photographer to decide whether it's worth spending the extra $$ on color correction. Just my thoughts...

If you go to the above link you will find that the 70-300 APO has 3 SLD (Sigma's verbiage for APO) elements while the other 70-300 has only 1 APO element.

I was shocked when I read the post because I didn't think anyone was still making a 300MM lens without any APO glass. APO becomes critical beyond 200MM in film and in digital your 300MM becomes a 450MM equivalent and I suspected you were going to get junk.

Now that we see that it DOES have an APO element I don't think you will have an issue. I suspect that with 3 elements it would be just a tad sharper, all other things being equal, but would probably require an enlargement of 11X14 or 13X19 to be noticeable...and then minimally so.

I hope this helps.

Thanks everyone for your input!
Actually, I'm a bit dissapointed in the seller... I am a newbie and I usually ask alot of questions and I'm quite surprised he didn't mention this... I guess he thought I wouldn't notice...

I think I'm drop by the store this week, to ask... more questions! hehehe!!

Thanks again! Really appreciate it! :heart:
I'm looking at getting this lens too (non apo version due to buget.) Does anyone know if it's infrared compatible? Some lenses give a bright spot (aka hot-spot) in the middle of IR photos.

If anyone knows about this please let me know!

I almost bought the Sigma 70-300mm lens, and thank God I didn't!

I saw a used one in a local camera shop while I was buying film, and since I only had my 35-70mm AF-D at the time, I was considering a telephoto lens because I desperately needed one.

I was shooting earlier so my camera was already with me, and I decided to take a look through it.

First off, there is no way with its max aperture that I would be able to handhold it at 300mm without using ISO 400 film (in broad daylight). Because it’s a compact, the f/stop changes throughout the zoom, which really blows because if your indoors, shooting even with ISO 400 film, you’d be lucky to get a shutter speed of 1/500 or 1/250 at 300mm and f/5.6. IMO, that’s flat-out unacceptable.

The build quality of it just isn’t’ there either. Its all plastic and weighs maybe ¼lbs. that might be a plus for some, but it tells me that its cheap.

I loaded up some film in my FE and took some snaps with it outside using my tripod (which was needed at 300mm). I wasn’t impressed, the images were nice and sharp at 70-150mm, but from 150-300mm, it became softer as you increased the focal length.

Personally, I’m really glad I didn’t buy it because it really isn’t that good of a lens. Instead, I bought an AF Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 AF-D which is absolutely amazing. It is worth every penny of the extra cost because it has more elements, isn’t made out of just plastic, and is above all, f/2.8! However, it’s a bazooka. It can get heavy after carrying it around for a long time and the tripod collar is too small.

I paid $935 for it with shipping, UV filter, and an HB-1 lens hood, but it seems B&H lowered the price since I bought mine.

EDIT: Unless you're in broad daylight, there will be very few times when you'll be able to hand hold a camera at 300mm without VR, so looking at a 70-300mm lens IMO is a wasted effort becuase you'll never go beyond 200 or 210mm unless on a tripod. If you need to reach out to 300mm, consider 200-300mm, or 200-400mm lenses becuase you'll get awful results from a lense with a minimum focal length of 70mm going all the way out to 300mm especially with a compact lens.
As I've said before, for the money it's really not a bad lens. I reviewed the APO version here, I'm not sure the non-APO version would really be that much different. For the cost, you can't expect it to be a world beating lens, but if you want a cheap telephoto that performs reasonably, it's great. A 300mm lens withan aperture large enough that you can handhold will cost loads more (such as the Nikkor recommended above).
Well, after a whole month of owning the lens, I'm learning to love it...
Sure, it's not a professional lens, but hey! I'm not a pro either ... ;)

I'm quite happy with it. Since it's a hobby for me, I just can't afford to put too much $$ in a lens.

I recommend it for the newbies like me out there.

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