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Sigma APO 100-300mm F4 EX DG

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30 87,829 Thu June 6, 2019
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $1,052.91 9.66
Sigma APO 100-300mm F4 EX DG

Sigma APO 100-300mm F4 EX DG
Sigma APO 100-300mm F4 EX DG

According to sigma history pages this lens was introduced in 2001. Pentax versions are screw drive only. No longer in production.
Comes with hood and well padded case.

Weight: 1440g/51 oz
Length: 226.5mm/8.9 in
Filter Diameter: 82mm
Max. Diameter: 92mm
Min. Focus: 180cm/70.9 in
Max. Magnification: 1:5
Horizontal FOV: 24.4 -8.2 degrees
Horizontal FOV on APS-C: 16.3 -5.5 degrees
Min. Aperture: F32
Optical Construction: 16 Elements in 14 Groups
Autofocus: Yes, screwdrive
Mount Type: Pentax KAF2/KAF (screwdrive AF)
Price History:

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Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2006
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,432

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 17, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,099.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, build, contrast, balance, FF coverage

I have been shooting with Pentax lenses professionallymfor 30 years and have puchased and used more than 50 of them.

This Sigma EX DG IF APO f4 100-300 is one of the finest lenses that I have ever mounted to a Pentax camera. The lens is large and somewhat weighty, though it does balance particularly well in the hand and the solid tripod collar is removable.

Images are rendered with excellent contrast and sharpness wide open and only get better over the next few stops. But even wide open sharpness it is critically sharp. Contrast appears to remain high even at the long end of the zoom range.

The lens focuses very quickly and is responsive in good light and as is typical for most low light environs hunting for a focus lock is occasionally encountered.

The black matt finish is professional looking even though it is prone to collecting smudges, which can be wiped off after use. Engineering wise the lens is probably without peer in this focal range from any manufacturer.

When coupled with the dedicated EX APO converters image quality shows minimal quality loss with the 1.4 and only modest loss with the 2.0.

This is a serious lens made to professional standards. One of the best lens purchases dollar for dollar that I have ever made.

I have experienced no FF or BF issues with this lens(or the Sigma EX DG IF APO 70-200 f2.8 or the Sigma 180 EX DG IF APO f3.5 Macro) at all. If performs perfectly.

While I do most of my shooting with this lens hand held a monopod or tripod would only enhance the images.

Registered: January, 2007
Location: Warsaw
Posts: 338

5 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 24, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,000.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: sharp from f4, works nice with TC1.4, easy to manual focus
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9   

I used it for last 3 years. Very good performer. Hood is very deep/big so there is no problem with sun.

Very sharp from 4, handy, easy to focus manually, works with AF with my *istDS. I use it very often with TC1 .4 and from time to time with TC2.0.

During my trips I mainly use my 100-300/4 with TC1.4.
When I started to use it with K20D and later with K5 it was obvious that it has big back focus. It was not possible to adjust the lens, so manual focus was the only way to use it. I decided to move to Sigma 50-500.
For 6 years it was my favorit zoom for birds and animals.

More samples are here
Veteran Member

Registered: September, 2006
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 665
Lens Review Date: April 30, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $769.95 | Rating: 10 

Pros: optical quality, mechanical construction
Cons: absolutely none

This is a Sigma EX 70-200/2.8 on steroids. They are virtual twins of each other, and the comments I made about the 70-200 are the same as I would write here. Of course, this one is larger and heavier than the 70-200, but the optical quality is akin to each other as is the construction quality.

In fact, I used this lens at a high school baseball game in a steady drizzle, light rain. No ill effects from the weather at all. Of course, I had a hand towel draped over the lens and camera body and after getting to the car after the game was called, the rig was "damp". All I needed to do was wipe the lens down.

I mostly use this lens for sports and at air shows. As with the 70-200, this lens also works very will with the Sigma EX teleconverters. The Sigma web site states that you lose auto focus capability when using the 2x converter with this lens. That has not been my experience. Auto focus works just fine. Must have been something the lawyers made them say. You know, to protect themselves.

Even though this lens is larger and heavier than the 70-200, it balances very well on a camera. However, you really don't want to hand hold the rig for very long. A monopod or tripod is highly recommended.

If you can find one, get it! You will not be disappointed. Price I paid was in March of 2005 from Sigma4less for the pre-DG version.
Veteran Member

Registered: April, 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 1,901

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 14, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,099.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: SHARP, balances well and versitile.

I have found absolutely no fault with this lens. Very sharp. The balance of this lens makes it handle with ease. also to handhold.
Simple switch from MF to AF with the push-pull on the zoom with a fast AF.
The 100mm to 300mm range makes it very versitile. Moderately fast f/4 thoughout.
IQ of a prime!!
With the use of the Sigma APO 1.4x TC there is minimal IQ loss and you have a SHARP 420mm at f/5.6 for around $1100.00. Hard to match ( if you can ).

This is with the Tamron 1.4X MC4

Standing alone

Veteran Member

Registered: September, 2007
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 2,978

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 28, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, can be easily used with 1.4 TC
Cons: Weight, and size with the lens hood

I have no reservation in giving a 10 for this. Extremely sharp throughout the range, good contrast, buttery smooth bokeh. A perfect lens except for the weight and size. But, it is hand holdable, as in the image below.

I've tested the Vivitar 2X TC, and the Pentax 1.7 AFA both gave poor results. 2XTC Bower MC Pz/AF that I just got is giving me results I can live with, like the image below. Not bad for a 2X TC..but very difficult to use, tripod and a very steady subject.

Senior Member

Registered: June, 2008
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 194
Lens Review Date: April 19, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: While others may say it's heavy. It is somewhat, but I like that, as I don't want to feel like I'm holding crap. Sharp, smooth, just great!!
Cons: Uh, none.

For the price, pretty darn fast and just plain daman great!!
Senior Member

Registered: February, 2009
Location: SLovakia
Posts: 141
Lens Review Date: September 3, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp, very good in direct sunlight, perfect build quality
Cons: could be dust sealed

Direct sunlight test:
Senior Member

Registered: July, 2009
Location: Perth, Australia
Posts: 180
Lens Review Date: September 20, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $2,300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp all the way from f/4 | Super fast AF | IQ | Build Quality
Cons: None that I can think of

I bought this lens in favour of the BIGMA. I had two BIGMA copies that I took back with AF issues.

What a great lens this is. Absolutely crisp from 100-300mm with no degregation in IQ. It is tac sharp all the way from f/4.

Performance in low light conditions is very admirable considering it's only f/4.

I am completely in love with this lens, and can highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good quality zoom. Team this up with a Sigma 1.4x TC and you have an effective range of 140-420mm f/5.6.
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2007
Location: Florida Gulfer
Posts: 3,057
Lens Review Date: December 25, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,034.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very Sharp, Very Well Built, Awesome Lens
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 9   

I agree with what everyone else said.
I think it's the best lens in my bag. It's like owning a 100 thru 300 Prime lenses.
Throw in a great teleconverter and you won't need a 400mm lens either.
Anyone who buys this lens will never be dissapointed with it's quality.
Junior Member

Registered: February, 2009
Posts: 38
Lens Review Date: June 18, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Well built, excellent IQ, very good IQ even with 1,4x TC
Cons: some (correctable) front focus, weight - but they all are heavy :)

Now that's how telephoto zooms should be made. Although throw of the focus ring is only about 90 degrees, it is still great gor manual focusing - ring is huge and excellently damped, almost like oldschool stuff. No plastic feel there - except maybe for aperture ring, but at least on digital it has not that much of use anyway. Superb mechanics.

Only drawback may be related to the lack of the HSM, but not because of the lacking itself, but because this causes the lack of the full-time MF possibility - there is a push-pull clutch mechanism on the focusing ring and of course the lever on the camera body.

It is just a bit tricky to switch over, nothing more. On the other hand - there's less stuff to break down in the lens - and what a great lens this is...

P.S. About the weight - although it is regarded as "70-200/2,8 on steroids" specifications are saying, that 70-200 has weight of 1370g and this lens here has 1440g. Dimensions are different, but the weight pretty much equals them transporting-wise.

Other thing may be the tripod collar, which can not be used as carrying handle like on Bigma and other bigger lenses - there is a solution for all Sigma telezooms with this small collar. Sigma has a TS-41 collar as optional accessory, which solves the problem.

Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2007
Location: Billings, MT
Posts: 12,471
Lens Review Date: July 29, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,100.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very sharp throughout the range
Cons: Perhaps a little weighty

I actually have 2 of these. I bought the 1st one new for my K10D, and I bought a used one this week for an old Canon 1D Mk II N. The HSM on the Canon mount is absolutely silent and I hope Sigma will eventually add it to the Pentax mount. This is a very versatile lens to use in Yellowstone. I've used it with the Sigma 1.4 TC and except for being a stop slower I can't tell from the IQ of the images that I've used it.

K20D, 300mm + 1.4 TC, 1/320 @f/4 (f/5.6), ISO 400.
Inactive Account

Registered: November, 2008
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 102
Lens Review Date: November 5, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $950.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp at 100mm thru 300mm, Good Detail
Cons: A bit heavy

I've been using the A*300mm for the past four years. It is a fine lens and image quality is excellent; however, I'm at loss of words to explain how this third-party zoom is every bit as good from my first tests here today. Kudos to Sigma for making this stellar glass.
Senior Member

Registered: September, 2010
Location: Kent, UK
Posts: 104
Lens Review Date: December 19, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,300.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, solidly built, easy to control on tripod (well balanced)
Cons: Heavy as walkaround (to me)

Very good lens.

I used it with the 1.4 TC and have sharp shots of the moon as well as birds. I found it too heavy to carry casually. Would recommend a tripod but, given its expected use, this should not be an issue. Solidly built. No wobble of the camera even with the TC.

Have sold mine as have got into Macro and want to buy the Macro 150 OS next year.

That said, if you want distant nature: strongly recommended.
Lens Review Date: February 14, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Exceptional sharpness, colors, contrast and bokeh
Cons: Cumbersome auto/manual focus switch

I used this lens for two year and was very impressed. Image quality is comparable or even better than fixed pentax lenses (I have pentax 100mm F2.8 macro and Pentax 300mm F4.5). Sure you pay quality in terms of weight but I can't think it's possible to have constant F4 and such performance packaged in a lighter lens. Only one minor issue: to switch between auto and manual focus you have to move both the switch on the camera an on the lens.
Senior Member

Registered: June, 2007
Location: Europe - Belgium - Antwerp
Posts: 213
Lens Review Date: April 13, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: superb image quality - fast focusing - build quality
Cons: the weight , the size but what would you expect

this was my first professional telelens and after 4 years still my favorite.
The imagequality is stunning.
Autofocus is real fast.
Lately i've been using it with a kenko 2x tc or tamron 1.4tc with great results. (autofocus is slow then)
It's sorry that Sigma stopped with this lens, I only hope it comes back.
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