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Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG Macro

Sharpness 
 7.6
Aberrations 
 6.9
Bokeh 
 7.4
Autofocus 
 6.8
Handling 
 7.3
Value 
 8.7
Reviews Views Date of last review
30 94,626 Sun January 13, 2019
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
80% of reviewers $120.79 6.97
Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG Macro

Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG Macro
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Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG Macro
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Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG Macro
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Description:
The 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 "apo" version.

This is the least expensive of the Sigma 70-300mm autofocus zoom lenses. It has a macro mode offering 0.5x magnification. Its range is useful for portraiture, amateur sports, and trips to the zoo.


Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG Macro
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
Diaphragm
Automatic, 9 blades
Optics
14 elements, 10 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F4
Min. Aperture
F32
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
No
Min. Focus
95 cm
Max. Magnification
0.5x
Filter Size
58 mm
Internal Focus
No
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 °
Hood
Included
Case
Lens Cap
Included
Coating
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
76.6x122 mm (3x4.8 in.)
Weight
545 g (19.2 oz.)
Production Years
(in production)
Pricing
USD current price
Reviews
User reviews

Buy Lens: Buy the Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG Macro
Price: $169
Mount Type: Pentax KAF2/KAF (screwdrive AF)
Price History:



Add Review of Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG Macro Buy the Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG Macro
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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 30
Pentaxian

Registered: April, 2013
Posts: 436
Lens Review Date: January 13, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $166.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: good zoom spread, auto and manual aperture, macro mode
Cons: weight, awkward transition from normal to zoom and vice versa

Bought this one new primarily for the macro mode. A good auto focus lens that gives a very respectable spread of zoom. The macro mode has a longer minimum focus distance than I am used to but gives a good magnification whilst not crowding the subject. Like Sigma lenses f this type, switching from normal to macro and vice versa needs to be within a certain set of parameters, it took me a little while to get used to it but with time it would become easier. Works well with the older body and the new, generally a very useful lens.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2016
Location: Alberta
Posts: 3,536
Lens Review Date: July 22, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $70.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Inexpensive, focal range, relatively sharp for what it is, very nice and usable macro!
Cons: zoom creep, not tack sharp, not the fastest aperture
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 7    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K-S2   

This was one of my first lenses and I was extremely happy with this one for a long time! It was my go-to birding lens forever (I replaced with 50-300 PLM )
These guys are pretty cheap and can get you come excellent results including some nice macro work!
I was really disappointed with the zoom creep, I ended up buying a huge rubber band to put around the lens to stop the creep - pretty annoying.
Still a decent lens regarding optics though!
   
New Member

Registered: June, 2011
Location: Hawai'i
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: April 15, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $130.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Versatility of this lens is good under good conditions.
Cons: Turns soft under less then optimal conditions
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-1 Mark II   

I had all but written of this lens that I have had for years, but as I moved to the full-frame Pentax K-1 Mark II body, I decided to give it another shot. It was pleasantly surprising how well quality turned out compared to the low price and large range of this lens. Great value under perfect conditions.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2014
Posts: 137
Lens Review Date: May 5, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $75.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, Macro, Good Value
Cons: Need to shoot wide open to maximise light, so very thin DOF. Zoom Creep
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 6    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K3ii   

I bought this and started to use it with my K-30. The results were very poor.
I nearly returned it, since it was sold to me as the APO version, but wasn't.

Then my K-30 broke, and I tried it with a new K3ii. The results were on a different planet.

The Macro capability gives great results, being able to close focus on the children for outdoor portrait shots, and on bugs and birds. Quite why it behaved so differently on the two cameras, I have no idea.

I'm just waiting for a dark clear night to attempt an astro shot with it.
   
New Member

Registered: December, 2013
Posts: 23

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 10, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp enough, good walkaround, budget lens
Cons: big and heavy for some users
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: Used   

Certainly this lens is not a pro lens, and not suitable for pro quality shootings. On the other hand you will have to pay at least five to six times more to buy a similar focal length pro lens like 70-200 f/2.8.

So, for hobbiests like me it is an ideal budget lens to use for nature photography, shooting birds and other animals. 1/2 macro is another bonus for this lens to shoot butterflies, and you don't have to get too close to them cause they fly away easily.

Conclusion, af zoom lens for this price with acceptable results, you should always keep it in your bag, you may always need it...
   
Senior Member

Registered: February, 2014
Posts: 241
Lens Review Date: June 9, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Cost Good sharpness
Cons: CA but not as bad others have mentioned
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-50   

I just got back into the photo game having learned ages ago on a Minolta film camera. I bought this used from the marketplace here and have been having a lot of fun with it. CA can be manages. For example the Cedar Waxwing has pretty high contrast but no CA.

The lens is great when you have a good target such as a perched bird. It can be frustrating when trying to pick up a fast moving object. The macro only works at 300mm but I've gotten some nice shots using it.

It is a little bulky compared to the Pentax 55-300 but not so much that I would consider an issue for me. Best sharpness is a stop or two down from wide open.

I know this is not prime sharp but none the less it is pretty darn good for under $100 lens. At full retail I would likely opt for the Pentax 55-300 but if you are on a budget and can get a good price on a used copy I say go for it.

Cedar Waxwing. © Ted Werth by tw0759, on Flickr

IMGP2879 by tw0759, on Flickr

Maco function:
IMGP2981 by tw0759, on Flickr

IMGP2015 by tw0759, on Flickr

2014-04-12 14.17.23 by tw0759, on Flickr

IMGP1503 by tw0759, on Flickr

IMGP1477 by tw0759, on Flickr

Not a 100% crop but probably 75-80%
IMGP3723 by tw0759, on Flickr

Near 100% crop - Edited to sharpen detail.
2014-04-12 14.28.30 by tw0759, on Flickr
   
New Member

Registered: September, 2011
Posts: 12
Lens Review Date: April 15, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: lightweight, wide zoom range, macro
Cons: Chromatic aberration
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Sony Alpha A700   

Cheap lens, good price-performance ratio. Sweet point at F8 and around 200mm, moving to the extremes gets worse but not bad. I'd recommend it.
   
Forum Member

Registered: November, 2012
Posts: 64
Lens Review Date: May 26, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $170.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Cheap, light, sharp, fast AF, 1:2 Macro
Cons: CA , font element rotates, poor macro
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New   

I rate this lens 10 because it is great for its price.

I have used this lens quite a bit on my K5 and I like it. I use it in situation where I need different focal for fast subjects. For example, it is very convenient in amusement parks and animal shows. The AF is very fast and pictures are ok. So, I am very satisfied with the results.

My copy is decent sharp at all focal lengths. I got excellent results, very sharp at 70 mm, not as sharp as my FA77 but enough. It is weaker beyond 200 mm, but it can still give acceptable results even at 300mm in good light.

It shows some CA in situations with high contrast but it is easily corrected in PP.

The front element rotates during focus. This is problematic with filters.

I never got a macro shot that I really like with this lens, so I would not recommend it for that.

It is light, cheap and very efficient in good light, so I recommend it as a very useful zoom.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: February, 2013
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 2,524

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 20, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Cheap
Cons: Hunts - has problems locking in focus
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 4    Handling: 6    Value: 6    New or Used: Used   













There are two aspects to this lens , normal 70-300 and Macro 200-300 ..

In normal mode this lens works rather well , especially if there is enough light . On a nice sunny day the lens can perform like a champ , take nice sharp pictures , but as the light fails so does the lens ( seems normal for budget lenses ) , and performance suffers with diminishing light .

In macro mode , if everything is right , the lens can work effectively , but you will want a tripod or something as at 200-300 Macro their is a fair bit of movement hand held . Also with more complicated subjects ( last image ) the lens simply refused to lock in the focus , and was stepping in and out of focus constantly ( stuck in a sort of loop ) . With the last picture , I gave up on the auto focus and switched to manual , to be able to take the picture ..

This is a very average lens overall , if you can find it cheap enough it might be worth trying . In good light , and no macro , it might serve your needs well enough , certainly worth a try if your on a budget .

I would recommend this lens with reservation : Macro performance ??? - Low light performance ?? - Used in nice sunlight , it may very well do the job , just expect there to be limitations to what the lens can handle .. Perfect conditions = Good pictures , Bad conditions = not so stellar performance
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2012
Posts: 15

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 17, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Good IQ, natural colours, affordable
Cons: None
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New   

I have enjoyed taking photos for 50 years, and shooting Pentax for 40, but I have never spent much money on my equipment, so although I can compare this lens to many others, I'd be surprised if any of them would be found in a professional arsenal. That said, I bought this new, and a second hand Pentax FA 80-320 (for slightly more than I paid for the new Sigma 70-300), with a view to keeping one for myself and giving one to my daughter. I played with them on holiday for a couple of weeks, and found I liked them both very much. The pictures didn't look the same, but I couldn't say I liked one more than the other. In the end I gave my daughter the Pentax, because I have longer lenses than 300, and she doesn't. Since then she has taken many fantastic shots with the Pentax on Safari in Africa, and I like much of what I have taken with the Sigma. Indoors with a big flash bouncing off the ceiling, outdoors with a Circular Polariser zooming in to landscapes and seascapes, and garden birds or butterflies on buddleias. I find the sensor noise on my Samsung GX-20 very annoying if I have the ISO set higher than 100. So trying to shoot my nephew playing Rugby didn't work. I got better results with the Tair 300, even though it weighs a ton, it wasn't on a tripod, and I was focusing manually. Since then, I have picked up a second-hand Pentax K-x, which I find acceptable at ISO 800, so I have now taken photos at Rugby matches with this lens that I felt were satisfactory.

At 300 mm wide open (f 5.6), the Tair (f 4.5) captures more detail. The Revuenon (Tele-Ennalyt) (f 5.6) gets less. The Sigma 70-300 colours look nicer to my eye; more natural. The Sigma 75-300 APO gets less detail also, but its colours are nicer still (though possibly less natural). The Sigma 75-300 non-APO λ-2 also gets less detail; its colours more resemble the 70-300. With the 70-300, CA is apparent in high contrast OOF areas, this is the only time I notice CA.

At 200 mm, only my Komine Vivitar 200 mm (f 3.5) captures more detail, but the Sigma 70-300 (f 4.5) colours are much nicer; you would think that the tigers at London Zoo are black and white if you'd seen the Komine images straight from the camera. Detail-wise, the Sigma 70-300 matches the Tamron Adaptall-2 70-210 Model 52A and the model 46A (both f 4), exceeds by a small margin the Pentax F 70-210 f4-5.6 and the Sigma 75-300 APO (f 4.5), and a larger margin the Sigma XQ 80-200 f3.5, which in turn is better than the Tokina 70-210 f4-4.5, and the Samyang 70-210 f4-5.6. Apart from the Komine, none of my motley array of 200 f 3.5 prime lenses match the Tamrons wide open. Again, I like the colours of the Sigma 75-300 APO the best.

At 70 mm, my Sigma 70-300 captures more detail than my Pentax FAJ 28-80 f3.5-5.6, Pentax F 35-70 f3.5-4.5, Pentax FA 28-90 f3.5-4.5, Pentax FA 28-70 f4, Pentax F 28-80 f3.5-4.5 and Pentax FA 28-105 f4-5.6 PZ. Though I wouldn't necessarily say I prefer the Sigma to the Pentax images.

I have primes that out-resolve my Sigma 70-300 when the primes are wide open at 300 mm, 200 mm and 135 mm (the CZJ Sonnar 135 f3.5), but I have many more (faster) primes that do not. So good if not matchless IQ, nice colours, and fast and accurate autofocus, make for a pleasing package.

My son has the older version of this lens, the Non-APO 70-300 DL. He also obtains good, sharp, colourful results with it. Based on my experience of the colours from the APO 75-300, and how they differ from my non-APO copy of that lens, I would be interested in trying the APO version of this lens, but I am at a loss to understand why the non-APO lens is rated so poorly by so many others, based on the comparisons I can make with other lenses that are reviewed on this site that are more highly rated; the Pentax F 70-210 f4-5.6 for instance.

I have tried this lens with the Kenko MC4 Pz-AF DG 2x teleconverter. In broad daylight autofocus works from 70-200mm, that is, as long as the wide-open aperture is less than or equal to f4.5. I can discern more detail with the teleconverter than I can without it, but you effectively get a 1.4x teleconverter increase in range (300mm to 400mm) for the cost of the 2x teleconverter 2 f stops brightness. But I'm happy for £20.


UPDATE: I managed to pick up a Sigma 70-300mm f4-5.6 APO for £35, so I can finally comment on the differences. At 70mm on an APS-C D-SLR there is little between them; the APO seems to give slightly brighter colours is all I can see. The difference gets more pronounced as the focal length increases, but not by much. The MTF diagrams for the two lenses would suggest that most of the difference between the two lenses is to be seen outside the APS-C image area. The DG has a more flexible macro facility; the APO just has closer focus at 300mm. The APO doesn't work any better than the DG with the Kenko MC4 Pz-AF DG 2x teleconverter.
   
New Member

Registered: August, 2012
Location: Uppsala
Posts: 15

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 2, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $180.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: affordable, nice shots when used properly
Cons: few, given the price tag
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New   

The Bokeh Club-giraffe2.jpg i bought this lens as my first telezoom ever. I was actually quite new with DSLR's when I bought it but had extensive experience with primes from the film era. To my surprise, and contrary to many reviews, I believe that the lens delivered some nice shoots, and even so more, given the price tag. This lens is now with my daughter in Kenya and have taken some very nice shots of rare animals, including cervals.

I The Bokeh Club-imgp0270.jpg can certainly recomend this lens, if the shots are bad. It isn't due to the lens..The Bokeh Club-orphant.jpg
   
New Member

Registered: April, 2012
Posts: 4
Lens Review Date: April 10, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $125.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Macro function, good value for money.
Cons: Slow focus
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 4    Handling: 6    Value: 8    New or Used: New   

Cheap lens, good value. The downside though is that it's AF function is quite slow, so if you're an amateur sports photographer that needs to focus quickly, either use MF or go for a different lens. That's the biggest downfall for this lens.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2009
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 507
Lens Review Date: September 14, 2011 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $90.00 | Rating: 2 

 
Pros: cheap
Cons: cheap, extremely slow AF, poor IQ
Sharpness: 4    Aberrations: 4    Bokeh: 5    Autofocus: 1    Handling: 6    Value: 6   

This was the first "long" lens I owned and had great hopes for such a great value. Once I opened the box and was able to try the lens out I was very disappointed. No matter how hard I tried I could never get a "tack sharp" photo at any focal length. The auto-focus is extremely slow and often continuously searches with no results. You can get these used for some cheap prices but beware, the price reflects the quality of the lens. I've boxed mine up and put it in the closet. I couldn't morally sell this to someone with hoped of receiving a good lens.
   
Forum Member

Registered: February, 2010
Location: Tartu, Estonia
Posts: 83
Lens Review Date: September 1, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Price, zoom range, macro ability
Cons: Build quality, size
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 7    Value: 8   

I think this is the best you can get if you're on a budget like me. I gets you close to very far and very near objects. Being big, the lens is not easy to carry around, but the looks definetely adds to the cool factor. The greatest downside for me is build quality. Sometimes the lens loses connection with the camera and needs some wobbling to start functioning. The AF is not very fast, perhaps because of the weight of the glass and distance the motor has to move. However, since I don't use tele lenses very often, I'm happy with all the millimeters I get for the price.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2008
Location: Eckington, Derbyshire UK
Posts: 316
Lens Review Date: July 29, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $52.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Cheap (very), better than it's price would suggest.
Cons: slow auto focus, macro only above 200mm
New or Used: Used   

I bought this on a whim for £32 off eBay and it's a cracking lens. needs good light for auto focus to work quickly - never very fast.

On my K5 at 1600 ISO it gives f2.8 shutter speeds, but the auto focus is not good in low light.

Image quality is surprisingly good.



Chris
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