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01-13-2014, 11:28 AM   #1
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Sigma 300mm f4 APO tele macro

I have a chance to pick this lens up locally for $350. I was curious if anyone had experience with it and how it compares to the pentax equivalents or the Sigma 400mm tele macro. The sigma 400 has a great reputation so this would be a good buy if it is close in quality.
There is one review but not much info here on the forum. A few reviews for other mounts would suggest it is close though not quite as good as the 400. I have the Sigma 400 APO manual focus which can give good results, but I suspect this 300 would have better IQ and AF would be nice.

01-13-2014, 04:40 PM   #2
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01-14-2014, 03:50 PM   #3
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There is just one entry for this lens in the database...
I can speak about mine. It's a nice lens. The images produces are sharp but lacking a bit of contrast when the lens is wide open. The pictures benefits from a bit of post-processing. The close focus ability is really nice. Bokeh, when the aperture is stopped down, is so so.
The AF limiter is really to be used otherwise the lens can hunt a lot. The internal AF mechanism is known to be a bit fragile but easy to fix.
The only other 300mm I have used is the DA*. Obviously the DA* is much better, but so much more expensive.
01-15-2014, 01:56 AM   #4
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In terms of Value for Money (or Bang for your Buck ) it is probably unbeatable for an F4 autofocus 300mm. It isn't as good as the DA* at maximum aperture but just a half stop down it's sharp and quite contrasty. Nice to have an AF limiter (not found on many lenses nowadays) and the "macro" (well close focus really) feature is quite handy. As Zav said - the DA* is better, but at twice the price it should be

01-17-2014, 08:44 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input. I went ahead and picked it up. So far I could only test indoors and at almost dark so I hope to take it for a spin tomorrow. It's a well built lens and the AF is faster than I expected.
11-28-2014, 12:57 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Grabbed some shots with the Sigma of the annual pelican visitors we get in Baton Rouge. I was pretty impressed with the lens and K5iis combo handheld. I will hopefully make it back out before they leave with a tripod. This is definitely a good lens if you can find it for under $400. If the 400mm tele macro is as good or better, I'd certainly like a copy of it as well.

There is a common problem with the AF gears that apparently occurs with the strong AF motors in modern dslrs. It happened to me after not much use. I'll try to fix it sometime, but the AF is not a problem as long as you don't try to go across the focus range. The switch between MF and AF is very easy to use, placed near the focus ring.











---------- Post added 11-28-14 at 02:05 AM ----------









12-03-2014, 05:09 AM   #7
Des
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Very nice sharp images. Quality looks like its sibling, the Sigma 400mm f5.6 tele macro (77mm).

I see a fair bit of vignetting in those photos with the 300, but that would be fixable in PP.

Thre is a fix for the AF problem:
Sigma 400mm apo tele macro - stripped gear - advice needed: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
Sigma 300mm Apo - step-by-step repair guide en francais; use Google for a rough translation

Last edited by Des; 01-21-2015 at 05:12 PM.
01-27-2015, 06:16 PM   #8
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Thanks for the links. I've seen those before but can now easily jump to them when I get around to doing the fix. I hesitate because I have two old lenses I disassembled a year ago and never got around to reassembling!

The vignetting was added in post. I don't think the lens shows much if any on aps-c out of the camera. I find that I do that automatically most times. I don't have enough patience sometimes for PP. I usually just go into lightroom and haphazardly adjust until the image clicks for me.

Most of these images are cropped a good bit because those son of a buggers were keeping to the center of the lake. When I was driving home I passed a clearing and caught a gorgeous view of the setting sun with these guys pouring in around the trees, haloed -a really beautiful scene. I knew by the time I parked and walked over it would be in shade. Oh well, I will just keep snapping my puppy until I get another chance at a good outing, 6 months to a year from now.

01-27-2015, 08:30 PM   #9
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I have had unwelcome vignetting introduced by a lens, so I'm touchy about it. But the vignetting you put in works very well in those images - directs attention to the subject.

If the images are cropped, it shows how sharp that lens is. In the same park as F*300 or FA*300 at half the price.

We have a different species of pelican, but they are just as much fun. They travel great distances to breed in massive numbers in outback Australia after major rains - nobody yet knows how they know.
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