• Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG APO Macro Motorized Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon SLR Cameras
  • Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG APO Macro Motorized Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon SLR Cameras
Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG APO Macro Motorized Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon SLR Cameras
Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG APO Macro Motorized Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon SLR Cameras

Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG APO Macro Motorized Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon SLR Cameras

SKU:HA12X61U2
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Dhs. 3,290.00
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  • Designed for use with full frame digital SLR cameras. May also be used with smaller APS-c size sensors with a corresponding effective increase in focal length to about 100 to 450mm with most cameras

Customer Reviews

Consider how you will use this lens before you buy it.I've had this lens and used it pretty extensively for almost 4 months now. I bought it based on the overwhelmingly positive reviews which I've begun to feel are a bit misleading so even though this thing has almost 250 reviews I'm hoping to help out at least a few of you looking to buy.Before you shell out for this lens I think it's important to know that this is more of a budget, specialty lens than anything else. If you're looking for something to run around with and get super tight wildlife or sports shots you're going to be frustrated or disappointed. I'm not going to go into a lot of detail but I'm going to assume that if you're on a budget or new to telephoto and hoping to score a killer deal you might not want to go this route.So let me try and explain.First of all at 300mm every tiny movement is amplified dramatically. If you have a cropped sensor camera (APS-C) like a Canon Rebel or a Nikkon D7100 you're going to be getting a 480mm equivalent zoom. While that extra length is pretty cool it also means that the shake is amplified even more. Even if you are a surgeon your hands will shake a bit and with this kind of zoom that means that hand holding for a nice shot is almost impossible. You'll get blur or out of focus areas almost every time.The more expensive telephoto lenses compensate for this with something called Image Stabilization (IS) or Optical Stabilization (OS) for Sigma. This lens has none.So if you want tight shots with sharp focus you'll need a tripod or a monopod at the very least.To compensate for the shake you can sometimes crank up your shutter speed to say 1/1000 of a second but you need a lot of light to be able to do this. Without lots of light you'll need to open up your aperture or crank up your ISO. The Aperture on this lens only opens to f5.6 at 300mm so you'll need a bright day, lots of light or crank that ISO which leads to noise in the image.On top of that this lens is very soft at 300mm with the aperture wide open. this means that at 300mm with an f stop of 5.6 you're not going to get very sharp images. To compensate for this you can shrink the aperture down to about f8-f9 and you'll get some of your detail back though you'll also increase your depth of field which may not be ideal if you're trying to set your subject apart from the background, and again, this decreases the light that will be coming into the lens so you'll need to compensate.So ultimately what this boils down to is that this lens is best used in bright light conditions with good stabilization methods and a small aperture if you intend to shoot fully zoomed in.To me that makes this a somewhat specialized lens.Now in those conditions this lens performs pretty well, I've used it for events, wildlife and macro and I've managed to get some really nice shots in each of those situations. That said in the wildlife and event photography situations it was incredibly frustrating to realize the limitations of the lens while in the field. I ended up needing a hot-shoe flash and a tripod to get the results I wanted in the event setting which isn't really plausible 90% of the time. In wildlife I was able to shoot subjects that remained very still and I got some great shots of dragonflies and other critters when they were willing to stop for a second. But if you've ever shot wildlife you know that most of the time that moment of pause is very brief.So then that leaves Macro, well this isn't a real macro lens. That is to say it will not give you a 1:1 ratio, this lens maxes out at 1:2, which is still pretty tight and with a crop sensor camera I think most people will be pretty happy with the results. Also at such a long focal length it means you can back away from the subject, you don't need to get so close that you scare butterflies and the like away. In a studio setting it gives you a bit more room to fill in with lights without the camera getting in the way.You might read some complaints about the shallow focal range in Macro mode. This is actually a typical product of macro photography, all macro lenses will have the same properties. You can shrink your aperture down at the cost of light which is pretty valuable in macro photography. But if you really want that impressive depth of field you see in most professional macro shots you'll need to look into something called focus stacking. I won't go into it but my point is that Macro photography inherently has a very, very shallow depth of field.So then lets just quickly discuss the general lens properties.BUILD QUALITY:It is a telescoping lens which means it's not going to be a good idea to have it out in the elements. Sand and rain will get into your lens pretty easily.It's mostly plastic but it does feel pretty solid. Considering it's focal length it's not very heavy but it will still be one of the heavier lenses in your bag.In the 4 months I've been using it the focus ring has loosened a bit and the auto focus has become a bit jittery, however I've also been pretty rough on it and in the event scenarios it's gotten bumped into quite a bit.Also Sigma's packaging is impressive. You get a really nice, custom case for the lens as well as a sturdy lens hood. For such a cheap lens the initial reveal was pretty high class.FOCUS & ZOOM:The focus ring is nice and big but it's also very loose in manual mode. Some people prefer this but I actually prefer a tighter/smoother feel to a ring when it's on a telephoto since adjustments become much more dramatic when zoomed in. The auto-focus is pretty noisy but it's also surprisingly fast for the range. Maybe not fast enough for a football game or catching a bird in flight but it's faster than I thought it would be at this price range.The zoom ring is a little smoother but it has definitely loosened up since I've owned it. I actually like the feel of the zoom a lot, it's nice and smooth, not too stiff but not to loose. It goes from 70 to 300 in a little over a quarter turn. Again it's a telescoping zoom so it's really susceptible to debris and water getting in, I'm pretty sure it's time to have mine serviced.SHARPNESS:Sharpness is all over the place with this lens, at 70mm with a wide open aperture it will get soft randomly and seems to suffer some focus issues (again, this could be due to abuse). At 300mm f5.6 it is always soft, you'll want to close down that aperture to compensate. In the middle it gives pretty acceptable results You're not going to be amazed if you're comparing this to a higher quality lens but you will get some acceptable shots and with some sharpening I'm usually satisfied with the results.In macro mode with lots of light and good stabilization, I'm pretty impressed. I get lots of details when I'm set up correctly.OVERALL USE:For everyday use I wouldn't recommend this lens. I just don't think you're going to be pleased with "walk-around" type shooting results and the amount of extra effort that is needed to get quality results isn't conducive to run-n-gun shooting. It's not weather proof so you'll need to be careful with it and keep it out of sand and rain.For sports I'd say probably not, unless you've got a monopod and it's a very bright day outside.If you're setting up for a still life, macro or a wildlife situation where your subjects are not dashing all over the place then you can get some solid shots out of this lens and on a budget I'd say yes it's worth the extra effort required to save that money.PRO's:Great PriceNice packaging. Custom case and lens hood included.Good at very specialized types of shots.Nice feel to the zoom ringReasonably fast focusPseudo-Macro mode bonus.CON's:Soft at full zoomSharpness is somewhat random and requires some testing/learning/compensationSlow for the length, hand holding at 300mm is almost out of the question.Telescoping lens is prone to dust and damageNo weather proofingNo Image StabilizationMay have focusing issues without micro-focus adjustments.OVERALL:Overall I like this lens when I have a use for it. It's not a walk around lens but when you need a stable shot in a controlled or well lit situation it's a nice option to have. If you can afford a nicer telephoto like the Canon f2.8 IS II well then you probably wouldn't be reading this but for shooters on a budget or people wanting to play around with a new style without fully committing to the tune of $2000+, this lens is a nice alternative.I don't use it as often as I'd hoped but I do have fun with it when I pull it out. It's got a pretty steep learning curve and I can't stress how much it is really a specialized lens.But if you know what you're getting into with it, it can be a lot of fun.3A noobs POVI bought this lens as a starter lens for my Canon T3i. I am not a pro or even semi-pro. The T3i is my first SLR camera. But I love to do close ups of bugs and other small animals and this lens with the macro capability (and no it is not "true" macro) at far distances is amazing for what I use it for. I am not a steady handed person but I still get great shots with this lens. I was a little scared of the fact that it didn't have image stabilizing abilities but I figured for the price what was the worst that could happen. I am "trigger happy" with my photos so I usually just take a few shots of the same thing. At least half of the pics are usually perfectly clear. Sometimes it has problems focusing on stuff. But for all I know that could be the fact that I am new to camera settings and just plain new to SLR period. It is a little fuzzy around 300mm but for less than $200 I didn't expect any amazing miracles :) My next lens will be the 18-250mm f3.5-6.3 DC macro os hsm. I will be getting that one just for the fact that there are still some shots I want that are a little closer to me than the 70mm low range gives me. But all in all I love this lens! Just remember this review was written by a noob ;)4Couldnt be happierIm no expert, but Im often the go-to for the local newspaper when they need photos of something. And I had a moment in life of wanting to be a photojournalist. Anyways I was looking for something to give me good quality photos or actually just better than what my stock lens was giving me. Something that wasnt upwards of $1,000 (a girl can dream though) And also the added benefit of a much better zoom. I couldnt be more happier and proud of the photos I have been able to get with this. For the price it cant be beat! Ive beaten my camera up over many years, so maybe im just excited about a nice new piece of equipment, but I doubt it, an upgrade I could afford is just plain awesome.5But so far out of the two days I shot with this lens I really like it. Like some have said the focus can ...First off. Read your manual. There are a few things with this camera lens that you need to do when switching from normal to macro. So to prevent damage by misuse make sure you're operating it properly.I am new to photography and getting my feet wet. But so far out of the two days I shot with this lens I really like it. Like some have said the focus can be a little hard to get a tack sharp photo (but that's why I take about 5-6 takes of one shot!). I haven't even used it with a tripod yet and I have gotten some pretty sharp pictures.The zoom isn't as smooth as I'd like it to be. From about the 135 range to the 300mm it's a little sticky. But maybe with some more use it will start to loosen up.I'd say I don't have any super fast lenses but this lens at least keeps up with me so there's no complaining there!4My first non kit lens. Love it.I love this thing. Seriously it's quickly become my go to lens for just about everything. With this and a 50mm Prime you don't really need much more for normal shooting. I've taken some really fantastic photos with it, ranging from extreme closeups on flowers to 8 mile distant skyline photos (I actually measured the distance in Google Earth). I have recommended this lens to other friends both in the Canon and Nikon families.One thing to note: many reviewers said the Macro/Normal switch is difficult to flip. It's not. Just make sure you're in the correct part of the zoom range to change the switch. If you're BELOW 200 mm and attempting to switch into Macro mode the lens will resist your attempts to change it and could cause damage I think. I'm pretty sure this is probably not the best thing for you to be doing to your lens anyway so pay attention to where your zoom setting is before flipping the switch. Set it in the middle between 200 and 300 then make your switch. This will lock the zoom adjustment to between 200 and 300 mm and you won't be able to adjust lower than 200 mm while the switch is engaged. Flip the switch back to Normal with the zoom about 250 again and you can then dial it back down to 70.5Go to all around lensThis lens is really a great go to lens for me. If I'm not really sure what I'm going to be doing I'll slap this on since it'll work in most situations. Its built of mostly plastic parts but still feels very sturdy. Zooming in and out can stick a little and fine adjustments are a little rough. Focusing is LOUD and I mean really loud but not as bad as my really cheap 50mm. If you are planning on sneaking up on bambi to get a shot you better switch to manual. The is sharp around f8 but anything lower than that will disappoint, also shooting at the full 300mm images will be very soft ( ie trying to get a bird at a distance) . For the bargain photographer this really is a good lens to have in your kit but you just need to work around the lenses weaknesses.4Absolutely amazing, near pro grade lens.I've been shopping for a zoom telephoto for a year, looking at Canon's choices as well as others from Sigma and Tamron, and I settled on this lens as the best performance-to-price winner. There is a lot to look at, here, so I will try to not write a book and keep it to the facts.First off, this is a true apocromatic lens, meaning the design double-focuses the light through the body to eliminate the prism effect that many lenses see, which is where we see the worst chromatic aberration or color fringing. Images are quite sharp and solid at 250mm, just beginning to show zoom softness at 300mm, and in truth only really noticeable if you are doing large magnification on the image afterwards. For general output, even poster-sized prints, this is captures stunning photos in beautiful color and depth.Zoom range on a Canon APSC sensor body will create an additional magnification, so you will be looking at a real range of 112mm to 480mm. Moon shots or even shooting across a gymnasium enlarge the subject so close it completely changes the style of shooting. This lens is totally compatible with EF and EF-S type cameras, which is a requirement I have for lens purchases as I will be working with both APSC and full frame camera bodies.Even though this doesn't compare to the wide apertured L series lenses, at full zoom this lens still maintains a solid f/5.6, allowing reasonably quick shots without forcing you to push the ISO too far. Daylight shooting is perfect, interior areas that are well lit do very well, but of course dimmer environments will likely force you to increase the shutter to more than 1/320sec, and I wouldn't ever do this without being tripod mounted and using a remote shutter release. Even 1/320sec at max zoom can produce poor images when handheld if you are not entirely stable, and I'd recommend 1/500sec if handheld unless your hands are super stable.The macro system allows shooting at 200-300mm at just over three feet from the sensor, which in truth is amazingly close. Even small objects often have me backing the zoom out closer to 200mm or even backing up to make sure I'm not cropping out. The macro switch can only be engaged at 200mm or larger, and will fix the zoom to that range. Switching back will usually require switching to manual zoom to dial the focus our of the macro range, because if you are focused that near the macro switch will lock.There is no cut-out for full-time manual focus, which can be annoying. Working with the focus while auto is engaged is rough on the motor and can damage the lens, and often useless because the AF system will often correct what you are trying to change. Learn the switch positions and be ready to use them, especially in darker environments which can often upset your camera's AF abilities with long lenses.There is no image stabilization on this lens, but in general I have had zero luck with IS on any long lens. The best stabilization is a solid pro tripod and a remote shutter release, and if you feel you need better, look at the pro lenses with wide apertures to allow for tighter shutter times.As far as aperture softness, this is quite minimal, especially considering the price of this lens, and really aren't dramatic on a crop frame APSC sensor, really only hitting the corners of the full frames. Reducing the aperture to f/8 essentially sharpens everything up, and at F/11 it is rock solid.This lens produces the image quality you expect from a good lens, offers a greater compatibility with camera bodies unlike Canon's EF-S and Tamron's Di II lenses which won't work with full frame cameras. The apochromatic structure pushes image qualities above Canon's mid-grade lineup, and while not as good as the pro lenses, this is far beyond what a hobbyist would necessarily be after, but there is no reason to not buy better than your needs if the price allows. It isn't compatible with the 2x teleconverters directly, but will mount and can be focused manually for incredibly close shots.Be aware that this lens is using a conventional focus motor, so this lens can be loud when focusing, and AF during video recording is absolutely not recommended.For the sub-$200 price range, this is without a doubt the best performer, and in many ways outclasses the more expensive competitors. Well worth it.5Good, cheap lensTo extoll the resolution or AF abilities of a lens this cheap would almost be disingenuous. If you buy this lens expecting 'L' quality and are subsequently disappointed, you have no one to blame but yourself. But if you're like me, and buy the lens because of its price point and based off of hundreds of example photos on sites like flickr, then you will likely be happy with your purchase, because you simply know what to expect.You can easily read a pro review and come up with the same information many others have expounded on here in the Amazon review section: the af is not particularly fast, and when it misses, it's by a lot. It has a tendency to be somewhat all over the place, especially when shooting macro. The af is loud. The aperture range ain't great. The sharpness at 300mm isn't anything to write home about.The thing about the negatives though is that you absolutely must weigh a product like this with its price in mind. That said, here are my list of positives (lens on the front of a Canon 5d mk ii):-70-300mm is a fabulous range, covering a huge amount of distance. This makes the lens a good walk-around companion, especially for a nature photog on the cheap who needs such range.-AF is slow, but not abysmal. While I'd question its viability for fast-moving sports with lots of players, it does just fine for the most part. Sure, it can get squirrel-y at macro range, but you should be using manual focus for that anyway.-300mm is absolutely useable. On my first outing with this lens, I had quite a few keepers at 300m, that were sharp enough to print a large size and be completely happy with the results. Sure, the sharpness drops off at 300mm. No question. And at that range you need a darn steady hand or a really fast shutter speed to keep things clear. But if you take your time, and utilize the correct settings and/or a tripod, you'll be pleasantly surprised.-1:2 macro capability is great for this type of lens. You only get that at 300mm, but again, this lens is less than $200, and has a ridiculous zoom range. The fact that you can get 1:2 out of it at all is pretty fabulous.-It's less than $200.So is it a 5-star lens? Nope. But considering the price/quality ratio, I feel quite comfortable giving it 4.4Wonderful for the priceI have used this lens for years and I still love it, especially for the price. I may not be an expert on glass but if you're on a budge but still want to get good wildlife/sports/events/etc photos I highly suggest this lens.Of course for those who do not know 4-5.6 aperture means that in low light it may not be good so for me I find this lens really works best during the day and especially if its a nice sun day. That is when I'm able to get my sharpest images and when I usually take this lens out for some photos.I've attached a few photos I've taken this year with this lens, some of them I did some heavier editing to go along with the 'film/vsco' look but this is just to show how I use this lens. I think Sigma is a wonderful brand and I cannot wait to be able to afford to buy more!5Wanted to love itI like sigma. Really wanted to love this lens. For the price, it's decent. Got a few good shots of the moon with it. But I expected too much from it (my fault!). It's pretty much useless without a tripod. Even in bright light with high shutter speeds, I couldn't get a crisp handheld image above 100mm. A monopod helped, but really only the tripod gave me usable images. The macro works, but again it's pretty useless without a tripod. Some reviewers have said the macro switch sticks. I didn't have any problem with that (you just have to make sure the lens is in the macro range before flipping it on). The switch felt a little flimsy, though. The overall build felt a little flimsy. Auto focus is pretty slow, loud, and not particularly accurate. Manual focus ring is good-sized, though. And fairly smooth (but not tight). The lens does move in and out pretty substantially when focusing so one might have a tough time with a circular polarizer. But I didn't try using one on the lens so I can't verify that. I'm giving it three stars because for the price, it's not a BAD lens. But it was pretty useless FOR ME, and there were a few too many things that felt "cheap" instead of "inexpensive." I'll have to shell out the extra dough for some sort of stabilization (or a faster lens!).3
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Description
  • Designed for use with full frame digital SLR cameras. May also be used with smaller APS-c size sensors with a corresponding effective increase in focal length to about 100 to 450mm with most cameras
Reviews

Customer Reviews

Consider how you will use this lens before you buy it.I've had this lens and used it pretty extensively for almost 4 months now. I bought it based on the overwhelmingly positive reviews which I've begun to feel are a bit misleading so even though this thing has almost 250 reviews I'm hoping to help out at least a few of you looking to buy.Before you shell out for this lens I think it's important to know that this is more of a budget, specialty lens than anything else. If you're looking for something to run around with and get super tight wildlife or sports shots you're going to be frustrated or disappointed. I'm not going to go into a lot of detail but I'm going to assume that if you're on a budget or new to telephoto and hoping to score a killer deal you might not want to go this route.So let me try and explain.First of all at 300mm every tiny movement is amplified dramatically. If you have a cropped sensor camera (APS-C) like a Canon Rebel or a Nikkon D7100 you're going to be getting a 480mm equivalent zoom. While that extra length is pretty cool it also means that the shake is amplified even more. Even if you are a surgeon your hands will shake a bit and with this kind of zoom that means that hand holding for a nice shot is almost impossible. You'll get blur or out of focus areas almost every time.The more expensive telephoto lenses compensate for this with something called Image Stabilization (IS) or Optical Stabilization (OS) for Sigma. This lens has none.So if you want tight shots with sharp focus you'll need a tripod or a monopod at the very least.To compensate for the shake you can sometimes crank up your shutter speed to say 1/1000 of a second but you need a lot of light to be able to do this. Without lots of light you'll need to open up your aperture or crank up your ISO. The Aperture on this lens only opens to f5.6 at 300mm so you'll need a bright day, lots of light or crank that ISO which leads to noise in the image.On top of that this lens is very soft at 300mm with the aperture wide open. this means that at 300mm with an f stop of 5.6 you're not going to get very sharp images. To compensate for this you can shrink the aperture down to about f8-f9 and you'll get some of your detail back though you'll also increase your depth of field which may not be ideal if you're trying to set your subject apart from the background, and again, this decreases the light that will be coming into the lens so you'll need to compensate.So ultimately what this boils down to is that this lens is best used in bright light conditions with good stabilization methods and a small aperture if you intend to shoot fully zoomed in.To me that makes this a somewhat specialized lens.Now in those conditions this lens performs pretty well, I've used it for events, wildlife and macro and I've managed to get some really nice shots in each of those situations. That said in the wildlife and event photography situations it was incredibly frustrating to realize the limitations of the lens while in the field. I ended up needing a hot-shoe flash and a tripod to get the results I wanted in the event setting which isn't really plausible 90% of the time. In wildlife I was able to shoot subjects that remained very still and I got some great shots of dragonflies and other critters when they were willing to stop for a second. But if you've ever shot wildlife you know that most of the time that moment of pause is very brief.So then that leaves Macro, well this isn't a real macro lens. That is to say it will not give you a 1:1 ratio, this lens maxes out at 1:2, which is still pretty tight and with a crop sensor camera I think most people will be pretty happy with the results. Also at such a long focal length it means you can back away from the subject, you don't need to get so close that you scare butterflies and the like away. In a studio setting it gives you a bit more room to fill in with lights without the camera getting in the way.You might read some complaints about the shallow focal range in Macro mode. This is actually a typical product of macro photography, all macro lenses will have the same properties. You can shrink your aperture down at the cost of light which is pretty valuable in macro photography. But if you really want that impressive depth of field you see in most professional macro shots you'll need to look into something called focus stacking. I won't go into it but my point is that Macro photography inherently has a very, very shallow depth of field.So then lets just quickly discuss the general lens properties.BUILD QUALITY:It is a telescoping lens which means it's not going to be a good idea to have it out in the elements. Sand and rain will get into your lens pretty easily.It's mostly plastic but it does feel pretty solid. Considering it's focal length it's not very heavy but it will still be one of the heavier lenses in your bag.In the 4 months I've been using it the focus ring has loosened a bit and the auto focus has become a bit jittery, however I've also been pretty rough on it and in the event scenarios it's gotten bumped into quite a bit.Also Sigma's packaging is impressive. You get a really nice, custom case for the lens as well as a sturdy lens hood. For such a cheap lens the initial reveal was pretty high class.FOCUS & ZOOM:The focus ring is nice and big but it's also very loose in manual mode. Some people prefer this but I actually prefer a tighter/smoother feel to a ring when it's on a telephoto since adjustments become much more dramatic when zoomed in. The auto-focus is pretty noisy but it's also surprisingly fast for the range. Maybe not fast enough for a football game or catching a bird in flight but it's faster than I thought it would be at this price range.The zoom ring is a little smoother but it has definitely loosened up since I've owned it. I actually like the feel of the zoom a lot, it's nice and smooth, not too stiff but not to loose. It goes from 70 to 300 in a little over a quarter turn. Again it's a telescoping zoom so it's really susceptible to debris and water getting in, I'm pretty sure it's time to have mine serviced.SHARPNESS:Sharpness is all over the place with this lens, at 70mm with a wide open aperture it will get soft randomly and seems to suffer some focus issues (again, this could be due to abuse). At 300mm f5.6 it is always soft, you'll want to close down that aperture to compensate. In the middle it gives pretty acceptable results You're not going to be amazed if you're comparing this to a higher quality lens but you will get some acceptable shots and with some sharpening I'm usually satisfied with the results.In macro mode with lots of light and good stabilization, I'm pretty impressed. I get lots of details when I'm set up correctly.OVERALL USE:For everyday use I wouldn't recommend this lens. I just don't think you're going to be pleased with "walk-around" type shooting results and the amount of extra effort that is needed to get quality results isn't conducive to run-n-gun shooting. It's not weather proof so you'll need to be careful with it and keep it out of sand and rain.For sports I'd say probably not, unless you've got a monopod and it's a very bright day outside.If you're setting up for a still life, macro or a wildlife situation where your subjects are not dashing all over the place then you can get some solid shots out of this lens and on a budget I'd say yes it's worth the extra effort required to save that money.PRO's:Great PriceNice packaging. Custom case and lens hood included.Good at very specialized types of shots.Nice feel to the zoom ringReasonably fast focusPseudo-Macro mode bonus.CON's:Soft at full zoomSharpness is somewhat random and requires some testing/learning/compensationSlow for the length, hand holding at 300mm is almost out of the question.Telescoping lens is prone to dust and damageNo weather proofingNo Image StabilizationMay have focusing issues without micro-focus adjustments.OVERALL:Overall I like this lens when I have a use for it. It's not a walk around lens but when you need a stable shot in a controlled or well lit situation it's a nice option to have. If you can afford a nicer telephoto like the Canon f2.8 IS II well then you probably wouldn't be reading this but for shooters on a budget or people wanting to play around with a new style without fully committing to the tune of $2000+, this lens is a nice alternative.I don't use it as often as I'd hoped but I do have fun with it when I pull it out. It's got a pretty steep learning curve and I can't stress how much it is really a specialized lens.But if you know what you're getting into with it, it can be a lot of fun.3A noobs POVI bought this lens as a starter lens for my Canon T3i. I am not a pro or even semi-pro. The T3i is my first SLR camera. But I love to do close ups of bugs and other small animals and this lens with the macro capability (and no it is not "true" macro) at far distances is amazing for what I use it for. I am not a steady handed person but I still get great shots with this lens. I was a little scared of the fact that it didn't have image stabilizing abilities but I figured for the price what was the worst that could happen. I am "trigger happy" with my photos so I usually just take a few shots of the same thing. At least half of the pics are usually perfectly clear. Sometimes it has problems focusing on stuff. But for all I know that could be the fact that I am new to camera settings and just plain new to SLR period. It is a little fuzzy around 300mm but for less than $200 I didn't expect any amazing miracles :) My next lens will be the 18-250mm f3.5-6.3 DC macro os hsm. I will be getting that one just for the fact that there are still some shots I want that are a little closer to me than the 70mm low range gives me. But all in all I love this lens! Just remember this review was written by a noob ;)4Couldnt be happierIm no expert, but Im often the go-to for the local newspaper when they need photos of something. And I had a moment in life of wanting to be a photojournalist. Anyways I was looking for something to give me good quality photos or actually just better than what my stock lens was giving me. Something that wasnt upwards of $1,000 (a girl can dream though) And also the added benefit of a much better zoom. I couldnt be more happier and proud of the photos I have been able to get with this. For the price it cant be beat! Ive beaten my camera up over many years, so maybe im just excited about a nice new piece of equipment, but I doubt it, an upgrade I could afford is just plain awesome.5But so far out of the two days I shot with this lens I really like it. Like some have said the focus can ...First off. Read your manual. There are a few things with this camera lens that you need to do when switching from normal to macro. So to prevent damage by misuse make sure you're operating it properly.I am new to photography and getting my feet wet. But so far out of the two days I shot with this lens I really like it. Like some have said the focus can be a little hard to get a tack sharp photo (but that's why I take about 5-6 takes of one shot!). I haven't even used it with a tripod yet and I have gotten some pretty sharp pictures.The zoom isn't as smooth as I'd like it to be. From about the 135 range to the 300mm it's a little sticky. But maybe with some more use it will start to loosen up.I'd say I don't have any super fast lenses but this lens at least keeps up with me so there's no complaining there!4My first non kit lens. Love it.I love this thing. Seriously it's quickly become my go to lens for just about everything. With this and a 50mm Prime you don't really need much more for normal shooting. I've taken some really fantastic photos with it, ranging from extreme closeups on flowers to 8 mile distant skyline photos (I actually measured the distance in Google Earth). I have recommended this lens to other friends both in the Canon and Nikon families.One thing to note: many reviewers said the Macro/Normal switch is difficult to flip. It's not. Just make sure you're in the correct part of the zoom range to change the switch. If you're BELOW 200 mm and attempting to switch into Macro mode the lens will resist your attempts to change it and could cause damage I think. I'm pretty sure this is probably not the best thing for you to be doing to your lens anyway so pay attention to where your zoom setting is before flipping the switch. Set it in the middle between 200 and 300 then make your switch. This will lock the zoom adjustment to between 200 and 300 mm and you won't be able to adjust lower than 200 mm while the switch is engaged. Flip the switch back to Normal with the zoom about 250 again and you can then dial it back down to 70.5Go to all around lensThis lens is really a great go to lens for me. If I'm not really sure what I'm going to be doing I'll slap this on since it'll work in most situations. Its built of mostly plastic parts but still feels very sturdy. Zooming in and out can stick a little and fine adjustments are a little rough. Focusing is LOUD and I mean really loud but not as bad as my really cheap 50mm. If you are planning on sneaking up on bambi to get a shot you better switch to manual. The is sharp around f8 but anything lower than that will disappoint, also shooting at the full 300mm images will be very soft ( ie trying to get a bird at a distance) . For the bargain photographer this really is a good lens to have in your kit but you just need to work around the lenses weaknesses.4Absolutely amazing, near pro grade lens.I've been shopping for a zoom telephoto for a year, looking at Canon's choices as well as others from Sigma and Tamron, and I settled on this lens as the best performance-to-price winner. There is a lot to look at, here, so I will try to not write a book and keep it to the facts.First off, this is a true apocromatic lens, meaning the design double-focuses the light through the body to eliminate the prism effect that many lenses see, which is where we see the worst chromatic aberration or color fringing. Images are quite sharp and solid at 250mm, just beginning to show zoom softness at 300mm, and in truth only really noticeable if you are doing large magnification on the image afterwards. For general output, even poster-sized prints, this is captures stunning photos in beautiful color and depth.Zoom range on a Canon APSC sensor body will create an additional magnification, so you will be looking at a real range of 112mm to 480mm. Moon shots or even shooting across a gymnasium enlarge the subject so close it completely changes the style of shooting. This lens is totally compatible with EF and EF-S type cameras, which is a requirement I have for lens purchases as I will be working with both APSC and full frame camera bodies.Even though this doesn't compare to the wide apertured L series lenses, at full zoom this lens still maintains a solid f/5.6, allowing reasonably quick shots without forcing you to push the ISO too far. Daylight shooting is perfect, interior areas that are well lit do very well, but of course dimmer environments will likely force you to increase the shutter to more than 1/320sec, and I wouldn't ever do this without being tripod mounted and using a remote shutter release. Even 1/320sec at max zoom can produce poor images when handheld if you are not entirely stable, and I'd recommend 1/500sec if handheld unless your hands are super stable.The macro system allows shooting at 200-300mm at just over three feet from the sensor, which in truth is amazingly close. Even small objects often have me backing the zoom out closer to 200mm or even backing up to make sure I'm not cropping out. The macro switch can only be engaged at 200mm or larger, and will fix the zoom to that range. Switching back will usually require switching to manual zoom to dial the focus our of the macro range, because if you are focused that near the macro switch will lock.There is no cut-out for full-time manual focus, which can be annoying. Working with the focus while auto is engaged is rough on the motor and can damage the lens, and often useless because the AF system will often correct what you are trying to change. Learn the switch positions and be ready to use them, especially in darker environments which can often upset your camera's AF abilities with long lenses.There is no image stabilization on this lens, but in general I have had zero luck with IS on any long lens. The best stabilization is a solid pro tripod and a remote shutter release, and if you feel you need better, look at the pro lenses with wide apertures to allow for tighter shutter times.As far as aperture softness, this is quite minimal, especially considering the price of this lens, and really aren't dramatic on a crop frame APSC sensor, really only hitting the corners of the full frames. Reducing the aperture to f/8 essentially sharpens everything up, and at F/11 it is rock solid.This lens produces the image quality you expect from a good lens, offers a greater compatibility with camera bodies unlike Canon's EF-S and Tamron's Di II lenses which won't work with full frame cameras. The apochromatic structure pushes image qualities above Canon's mid-grade lineup, and while not as good as the pro lenses, this is far beyond what a hobbyist would necessarily be after, but there is no reason to not buy better than your needs if the price allows. It isn't compatible with the 2x teleconverters directly, but will mount and can be focused manually for incredibly close shots.Be aware that this lens is using a conventional focus motor, so this lens can be loud when focusing, and AF during video recording is absolutely not recommended.For the sub-$200 price range, this is without a doubt the best performer, and in many ways outclasses the more expensive competitors. Well worth it.5Good, cheap lensTo extoll the resolution or AF abilities of a lens this cheap would almost be disingenuous. If you buy this lens expecting 'L' quality and are subsequently disappointed, you have no one to blame but yourself. But if you're like me, and buy the lens because of its price point and based off of hundreds of example photos on sites like flickr, then you will likely be happy with your purchase, because you simply know what to expect.You can easily read a pro review and come up with the same information many others have expounded on here in the Amazon review section: the af is not particularly fast, and when it misses, it's by a lot. It has a tendency to be somewhat all over the place, especially when shooting macro. The af is loud. The aperture range ain't great. The sharpness at 300mm isn't anything to write home about.The thing about the negatives though is that you absolutely must weigh a product like this with its price in mind. That said, here are my list of positives (lens on the front of a Canon 5d mk ii):-70-300mm is a fabulous range, covering a huge amount of distance. This makes the lens a good walk-around companion, especially for a nature photog on the cheap who needs such range.-AF is slow, but not abysmal. While I'd question its viability for fast-moving sports with lots of players, it does just fine for the most part. Sure, it can get squirrel-y at macro range, but you should be using manual focus for that anyway.-300mm is absolutely useable. On my first outing with this lens, I had quite a few keepers at 300m, that were sharp enough to print a large size and be completely happy with the results. Sure, the sharpness drops off at 300mm. No question. And at that range you need a darn steady hand or a really fast shutter speed to keep things clear. But if you take your time, and utilize the correct settings and/or a tripod, you'll be pleasantly surprised.-1:2 macro capability is great for this type of lens. You only get that at 300mm, but again, this lens is less than $200, and has a ridiculous zoom range. The fact that you can get 1:2 out of it at all is pretty fabulous.-It's less than $200.So is it a 5-star lens? Nope. But considering the price/quality ratio, I feel quite comfortable giving it 4.4Wonderful for the priceI have used this lens for years and I still love it, especially for the price. I may not be an expert on glass but if you're on a budge but still want to get good wildlife/sports/events/etc photos I highly suggest this lens.Of course for those who do not know 4-5.6 aperture means that in low light it may not be good so for me I find this lens really works best during the day and especially if its a nice sun day. That is when I'm able to get my sharpest images and when I usually take this lens out for some photos.I've attached a few photos I've taken this year with this lens, some of them I did some heavier editing to go along with the 'film/vsco' look but this is just to show how I use this lens. I think Sigma is a wonderful brand and I cannot wait to be able to afford to buy more!5Wanted to love itI like sigma. Really wanted to love this lens. For the price, it's decent. Got a few good shots of the moon with it. But I expected too much from it (my fault!). It's pretty much useless without a tripod. Even in bright light with high shutter speeds, I couldn't get a crisp handheld image above 100mm. A monopod helped, but really only the tripod gave me usable images. The macro works, but again it's pretty useless without a tripod. Some reviewers have said the macro switch sticks. I didn't have any problem with that (you just have to make sure the lens is in the macro range before flipping it on). The switch felt a little flimsy, though. The overall build felt a little flimsy. Auto focus is pretty slow, loud, and not particularly accurate. Manual focus ring is good-sized, though. And fairly smooth (but not tight). The lens does move in and out pretty substantially when focusing so one might have a tough time with a circular polarizer. But I didn't try using one on the lens so I can't verify that. I'm giving it three stars because for the price, it's not a BAD lens. But it was pretty useless FOR ME, and there were a few too many things that felt "cheap" instead of "inexpensive." I'll have to shell out the extra dough for some sort of stabilization (or a faster lens!).3
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