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03-19-2017, 07:45 AM   #1
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Sigma 100-300 f4 owners: is this what I should expect from this lens??

I recently got myself a Sigma 100-300 f4 from the forum marketplace. It is supposed to be a birthday gift to myself. The owner selling it had described as "Amazing IQ - incredibly sharp wide open" which had me all excited and happy with anticipation. I won't rant about the lack of common sense I displayed when buying a used item by not asking the seller for sample pictures or checking his previous feedback on the forum (lesson learnt). But to those who have this lens, are the following images representative of its image quality?

All shot on a tripod, in live view with a 12 second timer.

https://goo.gl/photos/WWZN4TZHwVsBboFc9

https://goo.gl/photos/ZBaPLkCe67zLXd638


For comparison, I also shot a couple of pictures using the HD 55-300 and the DA* 300.

https://goo.gl/photos/3SoBjtHdDeyxuKuz9

https://goo.gl/photos/9g8ZegCRQGK6LfHB8

BTW, the seller is refusing to take the lens back when the above and other pictures I had taken with this lens previously were shown to him.

I need to know from other forum members what their experience is with this lens and any advice they might have to give in this situation.

Thanks!


Last edited by isb.deep; 03-19-2017 at 08:00 AM. Reason: Pictures were not displaying,urls updated.
03-19-2017, 07:48 AM   #2
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Your photos are not displaying for us.
03-19-2017, 08:31 AM   #3
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Have you tried to do any kind focus calibration? The first shot looks out of focus. The second one looks better, but still could be out of focus. 300mm F4 results in an incredibly thing depth of field. Are you shooting the DA* at the same aperture as well? I feel like there is pretty significant difference in the depth of field between the two shots (and it looks like it might be higher aperture than F4).
03-19-2017, 08:35 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by MadMathMind Quote
Your photos are not displaying for us.
Thank you. I updated the urls pointing to full size jpegs. The downsized images are below:


With the Sigma:







With the HD 55-300:





With the DA* 300:





03-19-2017, 08:36 AM   #5
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That is a bit disturbing considering the fact that this lens (I had one and sold it - NOT because of its lack of IQ) is super sharp at the long end and at f4.0 as well.
The second shot (with the Sigma) looks better than your first and the second shot with the DA* 300 looks even better.
However, how many shots have you tried since you have it?
Where can we find the EXIF data? That would help.

Edit: I was replying to your post from the samples you had given originally.
03-19-2017, 08:38 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by oxidized Quote
Have you tried to do any kind focus calibration? The first shot looks out of focus. The second one looks better, but still could be out of focus. 300mm F4 results in an incredibly thing depth of field. Are you shooting the DA* at the same aperture as well? I feel like there is pretty significant difference in the depth of field between the two shots (and it looks like it might be higher aperture than F4).
These were all shot in live view which would use contrast detect AF, so I believe that focus calibration should not be an issue. The focus point selected for all the shots is the Stop sign. Initially, I thought it was a calibration issue so tried to adjust for back focus but then eventually realised that no matter what adjustment setting I used, the lens continued to be soft when shooting wide open. It gets better stopped down, but then even at F5.6 is not stellar by any chance, and definitely not worthy of what I paid for it.

---------- Post added 03-19-17 at 11:45 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
That is a bit disturbing considering the fact that this lens (I had one and sold it - NOT because of its lack of IQ) is super sharp at the long end and at f4.0 as well.
The second shot (with the Sigma) looks better than your first and the second shot with the DA* 300 looks even better.
However, how many shots have you tried since you have it?
Where can we find the EXIF data? That would help.

Edit: I was replying to your post from the samples you had given originally.
Which is the sole reason I bought it to shoot it wide open and pair it with a TC. I have tried more than 30 shots, indoors, outdoors, in live view as well as using the viewfinder. All with the same result. It is much better at F8 but then so are my other lenses that are 300 mm capable. The quality I am getting from this lens at F4 and F5.6 is pathetic to say the least.

Last edited by isb.deep; 03-19-2017 at 08:46 AM. Reason: Typo fixed
03-19-2017, 09:03 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by isb.deep Quote
The owner selling it had described as "Amazing IQ - incredibly sharp wide open"
Different individuals have different points of view as to what is considered incredibly sharp. I always read reviews of any lens before purchase. This gives a wider window of opinion to consider.
03-19-2017, 09:53 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by csa Quote
Different individuals have different points of view as to what is considered incredibly sharp. I always read reviews of any lens before purchase. This gives a wider window of opinion to consider.
Agreed and I did. Universally, it was mostly touted to be a sharp lens which doesn't take anything away from the fact that I should have researched more and put less faith in seller's assessment of the lens. I was never let down by marketplace purchase previously, so was not prepared for this. And to top all this, It had to happen with my most expensive purchase of all times as well

03-19-2017, 09:55 AM - 3 Likes   #9
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I used to have the Sigma 100-300 f4 among other telephoto lenses (Pentax A* 400 f5.6, Tokina At-x 400mm f4.6, Sigma 400 f5.6 Apo Macro, Sigma Ex Dg 300 f2.8, Pentax F* 300 f4.5 & DA* 300 f4) In terms of IQ the EX 300 F2.8 was the top of the heap, followed by the DA* 300 f4 in my experience. One reason why i got such good performance from the 300mm f2.8 was due to its three trips to sigma services for chipping & calibration ( the previous owner was a stickler, he kept the receipts) Personally I liked the 100-300/4 flexibility, more than its IQ, i know there're people who swear the lens is very sharp @ 300mm f4.0 but that wasn't my experience (my copy didn't like being pushed past 280mm)

Personally I think that not all lenses are the same, especially in the case of 3rd party manufacture lense which requiremore service and calibration to achieve optimal results. In contrast, i've been very happy with the pentax telefoto offerings, from the F* 300 f4.5, to the Da* 300 f4, they seem to require less adjustment from all other telephotos I've used.

On a side note, i find it troubling when seller's here on the marketplace refuse to accept returns. No-matter the price of the lens, the seller should stay behind his offerings and make sure the buyer is satisfied. We are a community after all who are trying to help one another, and not peddlers of junk trying to make a buck or two.



Sigma Ex Dg 300 f2.8


Sigma 400 f5.6 Apo Macro


Pentax A 400 f4.6


Pentax F* 300 f4.5


Crop:
[url=https://flic.kr/p/rzy6d7]

Last edited by Stavri; 03-19-2017 at 10:01 AM.
03-19-2017, 10:36 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stavri Quote
On a side note, i find it troubling when seller's here on the marketplace refuse to accept returns. No-matter the price of the lens, the seller should stay behind his offerings and make sure the buyer is satisfied. We are a community after all who are trying to help one another, and not peddlers of junk trying to make a buck or two.
You hit the nail on the head there, especially when the transaction involves a reasonably significant financial amount. Thank you for your samples, they are beautiful images.
03-19-2017, 10:45 AM   #11
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I've never owned a Sigma 100-300 so I'll speak more generally. I owned a DA 300 at one time and virtually any zoom is going to fall short in comparison. Expectations need to be realistic. Also, fiddling with back focus adjustments won't tell you if it's front focusing. I usually shoot a brick wall at a severe angle with center focus Point, then check if the center Point is in focus or is it focused in front or behind. If you really want to know if the lens itself (meaning glass alignment) is flawed, manually focus using focus peaking and see if you can get a sharp image. If you can, then it likely needs autofocus adjustment. If you can't.....

I tend to agree with Stavri re returns. I've bought and sold many lenses on the Forums and never had an issue, and I always offer returns if the lens is not as described, and I'm very careful to describe any worts. I do not, however, accept returns if someone just had expectations beyond what I described. As a seller, I take some financial responsibilities that I can't recover (such as shipping) so I won't take returns simply for buyer's remorse. There needs to be something wrong with the lens that I missed. If you can Identify a flaw that wasn't disclosed, seller should accept a return and refund.
03-19-2017, 11:01 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jrpower10 Quote
I've never owned a Sigma 100-300 so I'll speak more generally. I owned a DA 300 at one time and virtually any zoom is going to fall short in comparison. Expectations need to be realistic. Also, fiddling with back focus adjustments won't tell you if it's front focusing. I usually shoot a brick wall at a severe angle with center focus Point, then check if the center Point is in focus or is it focused in front or behind. If you really want to know if the lens itself (meaning glass alignment) is flawed, manually focus using focus peaking and see if you can get a sharp image. If you can, then it likely needs autofocus adjustment. If you can't.....

I tend to agree with Stavri re returns. I've bought and sold many lenses on the Forums and never had an issue, and I always offer returns if the lens is not as described, and I'm very careful to describe any worts. I do not, however, accept returns if someone just had expectations beyond what I described. As a seller, I take some financial responsibilities that I can't recover (such as shipping) so I won't take returns simply for buyer's remorse. There needs to be something wrong with the lens that I missed. If you can Identify a flaw that wasn't disclosed, seller should accept a return and refund.
I agree that a zoom and a prime is not even a fair comparison. But then the seller's description of "incredibly sharp wide open" is not matching with what I am seeing. Again, using live view should eliminate any focus calibration issues with the camera body. My angst is that in-spite of the claims that the seller made (and now refuses to back up), this particular lens cannot even match a consumer zoom lens at matching apertures, let alone a prime.
03-19-2017, 11:08 AM   #13
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Have you shined a light down thru the lens and looked for any fogging, debris, damage ?
Using a lens hood ?
No filter I assume.

IMHO, the lens has problems. Should not be that foggy.
03-19-2017, 11:08 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by isb.deep Quote
Agreed and I did. Universally, it was mostly touted to be a sharp lens which doesn't take anything away from the fact that I should have researched more and put less faith in seller's assessment of the lens. I was never let down by marketplace purchase previously, so was not prepared for this. And to top all this, It had to happen with my most expensive purchase of all times as well
Having bought several lenses here (Market Place) and sold many as well, I would expect some sort of seller's feedback in terms of :
1. The lens does not have the IQ of what was advertised ? (if that is the case)
2. In spite of the fact that the seller said "No Returns" (you might have agreed with that?), one would expect such a lens to perform as advertised.
3. "Due process" discussion via email/P.M. and to try to resolve the matter.
Again, the Sigma 100-300/4 has great reputation and I certainly would encourage you to find a way to come to terms with the seller if it (lens) doesn't match what was originally assessed in the Marketplace ad.

Hoping you will be able to conclude the matter in a satisfying way.

Cheers!
03-19-2017, 11:15 AM - 2 Likes   #15
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I own/have owned 3 different copies of the Sigma 100-300 f4 for nearly 10 years.

I also own the Sigma 300 f2.8 and Sigma 500 f4.5. I have owned a Sigma 150-500, 50-500, Pentax 55-300 and 150-450 and Tokina 80-200 and 400 f5.6.

I wish I had experience with the DA* so I have 100% clarity, but I feel my experience with long zooms gives me a pretty good feel for what to expect.

In my experience the 100-300 outperforms every lens I have owned save the Sigma 500 f4.5 and Sigma 300 f2.8.

I would expect images from a 100-300 to be similar to the DA* 300.

Here are several other things to consider;

Sigma lenses are notorious for NOT playing well with Pentax CDAF. Any focusing testing should be done via manually focusing. Calibration is also tricky because of this, but it just takes a extra time little time.

The Sigma 100-300 comes in TWO different versions, version 1 has square dimple like grip, version 2 has a vertical ribbed grip. If you have version 1 it is a well documented fact that some copies of this lens have irreconcilable back focusing issues at f4. I owned two copies of version 1 and suffered through this frustration for years before selling and eventually acquiring a version 2.

here is my marketplace ad for my most recent sale (my first version 1 was stolen and replaced with another version 1 before I "knew" better:

Sigma 100-300 F4 - Great Price - As is - Read Description Carefully - PentaxForums.com

note the discussion in the ad as well as a link to another thread as well: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/288879-sig...ml#post3161437

if you have version 1, you may be suffering from this lens idiosyncrasy.

In terms of returns, I can only speak from my perspective: based on lens performance in pictures, I would ask to return the lens. From a seller perspective, I would ensure you have covered all calibration and focusing methods, even walking you through the steps. If in the end, your camera and this lens just do not play well together, you would ship the lens to me at your expense (fully insured) and upon receipt of the lens, I would refund you your purchase price less incurred original shipping.

QuoteOriginally posted by Stavri Quote
I used to have the Sigma 100-300 f4 among other telephoto lenses (Pentax A* 400 f5.6, Tokina At-x 400mm f4.6, Sigma 400 f5.6 Apo Macro, Sigma Ex Dg 300 f2.8, Pentax F* 300 f4.5 & DA* 300 f4) In terms of IQ the EX 300 F2.8 was the top of the heap.
FWIW I own Stavri's 300 f2.8 now...

Last edited by nomadkng; 03-19-2017 at 11:33 AM.
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