Review of SIGMA 70-300mm 4.0-5.6

When I decided to purchase a new lens a couple of months ago, I wanted a lens with zoom. It was one of those features I lacked on my D40 kitlens (which is only 18-55mm). I wanted to try new techniques within photography, and I wanted a tele-zoom lens at a cheap price. I was out of luck until I, by chance, stumbled upon a SIGMA 70-300mm lens on a trip to Japan.

Appearance, feel and weight

The outer parts of the lens are coated in a black, rubber-ish material with a special feel to it. It has a definite touch of quality and style, and besides being rather good to look at, it comes very much in handy when zooming or focusing (as it provides good grip). The filter-size of 58mm means many lenshoods and filters will fit – many of them making the lens look very professional when viewed at a distance. Weighing around 550g it’s neither clumsy nor difficult to handle, and it feels very good when resting in one’s hand.

Features and quality of image

As I lack different lenses to test, I can’t really comment on the quality of it. All I can say is that I am happy with the quality – it’s enough for my needs. At maximum zoom a tripod is mandatory as the lowest aperture one can shoot at it 5.6. Also, due to its lack of Vibration Reduction (VR) (Nikon’s stabilizing engine), hand-shot images can sometimes be slightly blurry if taken in low lighting-conditions. It has a built-in auto-focus engine that does its job – however if you let it work too much it will consume a lot of battery!
The reason the lens is called a macro-lens is because of its ability to focus at objects at a mere 1.5 meters distance! If you select the special “macro-mode” this distance is even lower – 95cm! This means one can come very close to subjects and still get a crisp, clear image – very handy to say the least.

Conclusion

The SIGMA 70-300mm lens is a great lens for amateur photographers looking for some serious zoom. Shooting at 300mm is fun and interesting – this lens will unlock the door to a whole new world of detailed photography. Examples of areas of use are during sports-events, wildlife photography and portrait photography. Considering its very low price, a minimum of around $200, it is an excellent addition to your collection of lenses if you’re lacking tele-zoom abilities.

  • Pros
    • Price
    • Quality and feel
    • Appearance
    • Zoom capabilities
  • Cons
    • Lack of Vibration Reduction (VR)
    • Small aperture
    • Badly optimized auto-focus engine

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