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Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG Macro

Reviews Views Date of last review
40 165,844 Thu October 10, 2019
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
98% of reviewers $189.33 8.05
Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG Macro

Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG Macro
Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG Macro
Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG Macro
Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG Macro

This 70-300mm zoom telephoto was made in numerous versions and generations by sigma - 4 versions listed in the legacy zooms section, two in the current zooms section (see here for the current non-"apo" version).

Sigma’s 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG APO Macro is a compact autofocus telephoto zoom lens with a zoom ration of 4 to 1. Its range is useful for portraiture, capturing children playing in the backyard, amateur sports and capturing animals at the zoo. In macro mode the lens offers 0.5x magnification.

Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG Macro
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
Automatic, 9 blades
14 elements, 10 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
AF (screwdrive)
Min. Focus
95 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
58 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 23.1-5.4 ° / 19.4-4.5 °
Full frame: 34.3-8.2 ° / 28.7-6.8 °
Lens Cap
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Diam x Length
76.6x122 mm (3x4.8 in.)
550 g (19.2 oz.)
Production Years
(in production)
$449 USD current price
User reviews

Buy Lens: Buy the Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG Macro
Price: $199
Mount Type: Pentax KAF2/KAF (screwdrive AF)
Price History:

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Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2007
Location: st. louis
Posts: 1,170
Lens Review Date: March 16, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 5 

Pros: price, pretty tough lens
Cons: my zoom ring is tight. not the sharpest lens. not very fast.

I got this lens as part of a kit with the 28-80 and 70-300 together for $250 USD...brand new with a warrantee.

I have always liked this lens. I dropped it once on to concrete from about 4 problems with it.

Its got a 'macro' switch which is really just a close focus switch, but it is usefull. Shooting macro at 300mm is pretty cool.

I bought this lens before I started on the professional route and I still use it on weddings when I need the reach....

I prefer to use this lens only outdoors in bright daylight. The aperture isnt very fast, so I need to keep my shutter speeds up. However, senior portraits, models, wedding pics turn out great with beautiful bokeh.

I like it.
Forum Member

Registered: January, 2007
Location: Yorkshire, England
Posts: 80

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 16, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $220.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: good range, macro switch, price
Cons: soft focus esp. at 300mm, slow

I like this lens, the soft focus can be used to good effect, especially when shooting macro at 300mm.

I have also found it useful for shooting candid portraits outdoors, once again the soft focus at the edges enhances this.

Biggest down side is that the lens is no good for indoor work.

Overall a good lens for the money.

After 2 years of good use I've upped my rating of this lens - I have taken on some of the comments made below and with the use of a tripod and manual settings I am getting much sharper images, the softer edges only occur really below F8. It has been bashed about and goes everywhere with me and is still performing like new.
Veteran Member

Registered: March, 2007
Location: Ankara, Turkey
Posts: 399

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 28, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Low price, fine performance
Cons: Almost nothing (see text)

It is for bright light; you have to live with that. Its resolution and color is just fine as long as you don't expect miracles. The contrast is not great; you have to play with, when necessary, during post processing.

It has a wide grip for manual focusing and the barrel rotates about a 1/4 turn from 1.5 m to infinity.

Between 200-300m it has a macro function (1:3), which is very useful. The rotation of the barrel is about 180 degress for macro focusing, which helps while doing it manually. No aperture ring is present.

The closest focus distance for normal use is 1.5 meters. (For macro, it is 95cm). So, theoretically it can be used as a portrait lens if you are satisfied with f/4. I tend to use the 17-70mm for portraits even though it is slightly slower at 70mm. Maybe I am too lazy to replace it with this one.

The verdict: This is a lens with a comparatively low price tag. You certainly have alternatives which cost more than two times the price, providing better image quality and better low-light performance. However, for an amateur who only occasionally uses a tele zoom, I cannot see anything wrong with this lens.
New Member

Registered: March, 2007
Location: San Jose
Posts: 17

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 30, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great colors, great sharpness, incredibly useful zoom range
Cons: Macro autofocus slow because of large travel distance

This lens has been a joy because it is sharp, the colors are spectacular, and it was cheap! The effective "zoom" of 12x normal focal length on the K10D is incredibly useful for picking up animals, far away objects while trapped in a crowd, and things you technically aren't supposed to photograph. I haven't used the macro much because it is incredibly shaky at 200-300mm and non 1:1 macro isn't that inspiring for me. But one is supposed to use a tripod for macro anyhow.

This lens is a great for portraits, too. The sharpness isn't harsh to faces and brings out very personable detail.

Others have said this lens isn't sharp. Maybe they did not buy the APO version. My experience has been entirely the opposite. As for sharpness at 300mm, I've never had a problem. Here's some examples. Even after being smushed by Google's JPG compression it is still sharp.

300mm macro: (I'm not good at aiming this... I just hold down the shutter and hope. But that's my fault as a learning photographer.)

This at 150:

These at 190:

This at 210:
New Member

Registered: June, 2008
Location: Ratlum Mountain
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: June 21, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: inexpensive & sharp
Cons: unwieldy for shooting macros at 300mm

Don't really have anything to add to what the other's have said except that the maximum image size is 1:2 not 1:3. That and I wanted to complement feralryan on his panda shots - they're awesome!

Here's a 1:2 macro shot 300mm, ISO400, f8, 1/20 sec.

And a (100% crop of a ) hand held shot of an eagle at 300mm, ISO200, f5.6 1/80 sec.

A link to a 70mm, ISO100, f8, 1/250 sec. hand held shot of the neighbor's house burning down.
New Member

Registered: March, 2009
Location: NWT
Posts: 3
Lens Review Date: March 7, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great value, macro, excellent 300m, tough
Cons: switching off the macro

I bought this lens with my MZ7 (8 yrs ago.. I think). I have taken so many shots with it. I originally bought it to really use it! I treated it like I didn't own it, I am so careful with most of my equipment, that i often didn't get the shot because I didn't want it to get wet, or covered in sand, or dropped. I bought this with the intention of breaking it eventually.

It does have a soft focus in macro, but if you play with it you can get it sharper. Works well with my K10D, and K20D.. to be honest it is always in my kit. It has been in my pelican case for the last 8yrs, I never go home without it. It works well in very cold temperatures (-55 C I live in the NWT), traveled across Europe, NZ, CAN, Tonga, Cuba, lots of pacific islands, it has been splashed with salt water, under fresh water (I dried it out, after a rinse with distilled water, no spots, works fine)
The macro is amazing for the price, you won't by a better lens at this price.

I am a teacher and I have let students use it, it has been dropped at least 3 times on the class floor, still works great. It has a plastic feel to it, but it is very sturdy at the same time , hard to explain. Kids use it a lot to make stop motion films.

It can be slow in low light, but go to manual you shouldn't have a problem. It looks really big in the picture with the lens hood on, but is much smaller when you take it off or flip it around.

The only negative is when the macro switch is on, sometimes you have to flick the camera to manual to bring in the zoom to turn it off.

I just got the DA 70-300mm, and as a pentax guy, I hate to say the sigma is staying in my kit, and the DA is staying at home most of the time. It just works better, and the colour is the same.

I own the 170-500mm sigma, and that has lots of problems, due to its size it doesn't always come on hikes. But the 300mm does a good job on birds.

Now that I have said all the positives, it will probably break the next time I use it.
Junior Member

Registered: April, 2009
Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Posts: 31
Lens Review Date: May 1, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Wide range covered, lightweight, price
Cons: Not sharp over the entire range, slow AF

I bought this lens together with the Sigma 17-70mm lens. Due to limited budget I decided to buy this lens, so I would at least have a long telephotolens. My first impressions were very good, nice pictures, especialy in the 70-170mm range, the lens realy is a great portet lens!
I had to practice a bit to get nice and sharp pictures in the range between 200-300mm. Some of my pictures are a bit flat, in lowlight situations colors seem to fade. In this range the lens fails a bit in contrasts.

What I realy like about this Sigma is it's low weight. Handheld shooting is made a whole lot easier!

Some sample shots;

90mm 1/640 @f9.0 -0.7ev

240mm 1/500 @f10 -1.0ev

Considered the fact that I bought this lens due to financial reasons instead of focal reasons, I realy am surprised. On low light situations, yes even normal cloudy days, this lens seem to suffer lack of color, and contrast. But when you can use a tripod, use it, stop this lens down to f8, or maybe even f10, and it will be a true lightweight friend.
Senior Member

Registered: March, 2007
Location: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 257
Lens Review Date: January 22, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Low Cost, Decent Build Quality, Macro Included
Cons: Could Be A Little Faster (Aperture)

I just recently picked this lens up as an everyday telephoto. I think for the price point, it's a great lens and having macro built in is a nice feature.

On my Pentax K-7 it does focus much quicker than on my other DSLR's which is a result of a faster focus motor on the K-7 and that's a nice benefit, albeit more the camera than the lens.

The build quality is decent and it feels like a tough lens, one I would not be afraid to take a light knock or two.

The zoom is smooth and there is no lens creep as my camera hangs downward off my neck or shoulder. The zoom collar feels good and is "grippy" enough to make light effort of quick zooming in and out.

The optics are acceptable for a lens in this price range. In low light it's not the best lens going, but on a nice bright day and good available light, you can get some really nice crisp shots with this lens. I find so far that f8 to f22 are all pretty nice stops to work within.

I use DA* series lenses as a rule, but I really wanted something that I could just hack about with and not be so concerned about being an everyday lens.

I'm impressed. Get some good light on your subject, go f8 or more and this lens will give many really nice shots that you will be pleased with.

Here is a shot I took today with the lens:
Lens Review Date: March 4, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Macro 1:2 at 0.95m is very cool for insect shooting, cheap
Cons: Slow AF

I got this lens a few months ago, it is quite sharp, good color under day light.

@70mm, f/5.6, 1/4000, ISO-200, +0.7EV

@70mm, f/11, 1/1250, ISO-200, +0.7EV

@300mm, f/8, 1/180, ISO-200
Veteran Member

Registered: December, 2009
Location: Bucharest
Posts: 482
Lens Review Date: April 24, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $270.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Excellent price/quality ratio, 1:2 macro
Cons: none really, for the price

Everything was already told above in the positive reviews.

It is an inexpensive zoom, with macro 1:2 that works ok, I have chosen it over the 55-300 from Pentax due to the price/quality, the macro capability and the fact that it is a FF lens that I can use on the MZ-L film camera.

Due to the length of the throw of the focusing barell AF is not the fastest in the world but if one avoids switching from 3 feet to infinity from frame to frame it works ok.
New Member

Registered: June, 2010
Location: Wiltshire
Posts: 24

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 24, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Value for money, flexibility, performance
Cons: For the price - too few to mention

In my view this lens is often unfairly maligned, especially for its so called 'poor performance' at 300mm. Whilst it may not bear comparison with a lens costing 10 - 20x as much, IMHO its very good for the price. The close focus facility and working distance are an added bonus, especially when photographing insects, as I hope you will agree these images captured with the lens show (originals can be seen in my album):
New Member

Registered: June, 2010
Posts: 15
Lens Review Date: June 29, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Good value, range from 70-250mm are sharp, over 250mm goes downhill but its acceptable, Marco function is a bonus and it does produce some good pictures if uses carefully
Cons: Zoom ring is kind of stiff but get used to it after a while

I would certainly recommend to people who does not want to spend more than 300 dollars on a tele zoom lens because it offers very good value and the build quality is relatively good.
New Member

Registered: October, 2009
Location: Oslo
Posts: 3
Lens Review Date: July 31, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Great focal range, optical quality at 70 mm, price
Cons: Noticeable drop down above 200mm, AF accuracy speed and noise, rotating front element

First of all, I went through the dilemna of: this lens or the original Pentax 55-300 (surely like many others)?
I chose this one because it was 30% shorter on price (which was big on my tiny budget) and because I was not planning on using the 300 mm much.

I love this lense at 70mm, especially for portrait. And the optical quality is there straight from f4.

The longer focal, the worse comes. The drop is noticeable after 200 mm which is acceptable for me, but not for the one planning on shooting regularly at longe range tele.

It makes me think this lense is a 70mm prime to which was added an option for longer focals.

The rings are not very smooth but the build quality is good even if it really feels plastic. The lense i heavy and this gives an "expensive lens effect" and the finition is acually quite nice.

The package comes with a nice lens hood which requires some trick to put on: if the lens is already mounted and the AF of the camera body engaged, you will notice that rotating the lense hood in place will turn against the AF motor - which is never recommended.

All in all, you will appreciate tele photography with this lense, at a low price.
Senior Member

Registered: July, 2009
Location: High Desert, California
Posts: 231
Lens Review Date: September 27, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $219.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Solid Construction, bang for the buck
Cons: Depends - there are better lenses

This is definitely a bang-for-the-buck kind of lens. Which means for the price paid you get a good deal but there are better options available if you wait and save. For example, save for the Pentax 55-300. Whether this is important to you depends entirely on how important the long end of the range is too you. I shoot a lot at the long end so the difference matters to me, the 55-300 is definitely a better lens. But that said this Sigma lens is not terrible by any means. The image center stays reasonably sharp throughout the range. The colors are good; the lens is built like a tank; the price is great. Also, the close-focus ability is fun to play with. Even tho I've upgraded to the 55-300, I've kept my copy of this lens for the times when I'm in rough conditions. So depending on your budget and/or your requirements for this focal range, this lens can be an excellent choice.
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2010
Location: san francisco bay area
Posts: 28
Lens Review Date: December 9, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $209.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: sharp wide end, macro, sturdy, nice hood, value, full frame
Cons: long extension, soft beyond 200mm
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 6    Value: 10    New or Used: New   

As some of the others have pointed out and as some professional reviews show (see slrgear, this is a pretty sharp lens from 70 to around 140 mm stopped down with good contrast and color. It also has no distortion or CA's in that range. As a result it is great for outdoor portrait shots of kids and pets. Surprisingly the out of focus background is smooth too.

The lens is even decent at 200mm @F10, but it gets progressively less sharp as you go from 200mm to 300mm and it is only sharp in the central part with soft corners. Honestly it is poor overall at 300mm.

Macro can be activated for the 200mm to 300mm range and it does very well with butterflies,bees and fl owers. A very useful feature, although it does not completely replace a true Macro lens (Tip, use HS flash setting on external flash if possible and get that F stop up with 250 shutter for better macro shots). Somehow it seems to be sharper with Macro on and close focusi ng.

The build quality is good and sturdy. However, the zoom ring is a little stiff and non linear which detracts some from the quality feeling. The focus ring works wells which is handy for Macro mode. The hood is large and it includes a nicely made and padded storage case. Relative to other z ooms it is fairly compact and light. It is not much larger than the DA 17-70 for example.

Overall I'd say it is a very good value. How is that, you say, when it is terrible at 300mm? Well it is so good at the other end that I strongly recommend this lens for outdoor portraits and larger macro work with the 200mm - 300mm range handy in a pinch. However, I do not recommend it if your primary goal is to take sharp nature photos above 200mm.

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