Don’t forget, you can also watch the Sigma 70-300mm video review
Sigma is another company that produces lenses that fit a number of the main camera manufacturers. The 70-300mm APO lens incorporates Sigma’s low dispersion technology glass which limits colour aberration. This generally reduces the fuzziness that can sometimes appear around the edge of objects within the frame of your shot where there is a somewhat large difference between the luminosity of the object and the background. Basically, it means a Sigma lens with APO technology will produce sharper images than a Sigma lens without it.
Sigma 70-300mm lens construction
The lens itself weighs 530g, this places it pretty much in the middle, when compared to competing 70-300mm lenses. It is important to note that the magnification levels when using this lens will vary depending upon the size of the sensor within your digital camera. When using a cropped sensor digital camera such as the Canon EOS 60D, the image will be cropped, making it look magnified unto 1.6 times the actual focal length you are using. So, for example, taking a photo at 300mm will in effect be 480mm. If, however, a full frame digital camera is used, such as the Canon EOS 1DS, the image captured will be the same as the focal length of the lens.
The lens feels sturdy and well built. The focusing mechanism offers a suitable amount of resistance which makes it easy to move between different focal lengths. The macro toggle only works once the barrel of the lens has been extended beyond 200mm. Turning the macro function on and off can be a bit difficult, and does require a certain amount of fiddling with the focusing and the extending / contracting of the lens. Like the Tamron 70-300mm, it is necessary to stand around 1m away from the desired target when using Macro mode.
Sigma 70-300mm image quality
70-300mm is a popular focal range and there are a number of manufacturers that produce lenses at this level. Sigma and Tamron both produce lenses at a similar price. Canon produces a 70-300mm with image stabilisation and a USM ring motor. This produces superior results however it costs more than twice the price of the Sigma 70-300mm. Finally Nikon produces a number of 70-300mm lenses, a basic version without any extra functions, and a more expensive version with vibration reduction – Nikon’s version of image stabilisation – and this would be a similar price to the Canon 70-300mm USM IS.
For those on a budget, the Sigma 70-300mm APO DG is an excellent purchase allowing many types of photography ranging from nature photography through to portrait work ending up in macro photography. In my opinion it is slightly superior to the competing Tamron 70-300mm lens due to its slightly faster focusing and better build quality.