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Sigma APO 100-300mm F4 EX DG

Sharpness 
 9.6
Aberrations 
 9.3
Bokeh 
 8.6
Handling 
 8.4
Value 
 9.4
Autofocus 
 8.3
Reviews Views Date of last review
30 80,854 Thu June 6, 2019
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $1,052.91 9.66
Sigma APO 100-300mm F4 EX DG
supersize


Description:
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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Forum Member

Registered: June, 2016
Location: Paris
Posts: 80
Lens Review Date: June 6, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: AF speed, IF, zoom ring, IQ, construction
Cons: hard to find
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-1    Autofocus: 10    New Or Used: Used   

this lens is overkill. spent 2 weeks with it from the day i finally managed to find one. used it at 30-35°Celsius for hours and some rain with no protection, better built than most of pentax's recent wr lenses. fast temperature/ pressure change didn't do anything, the lens is so well built.

IQ is crazy sharp at all focal lenghts. it's impressive. I love the fact that it's like the FA* 80-200mm 2.8 in terms of contrasts, very nice smooth shadows rendering.

autofocus is crazy fast too. AF tracking is excellent in daylight and almost dark situations. smooth fast and spot on.

it's becoming my best lens for sports or any moving subjects, tracking, where i honestly don't see the point of having a 2.8 ..at 200 to 300mm. honestly for what? just to focus miss out more?
It's an excellent lens for portraits too.
I think it's the best zoom Sigma ever made and will ever make.
And one of the best zooms ever.
this lens is not only a 70-200 and 80-200 killer, but a 300mm prime killer too.
Never been so impressed by a zoom lens.
Voilą.
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 148
Lens Review Date: August 17, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp output, Excellent color, and excellent bokeh.
Cons: There are no negatives to report
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-70, K3, and K5iis    Autofocus: 8    New Or Used: New   

Bought this version two lens in almost new condition two weeks ago. It had just been listed, and I wasted no time in sealing the deal. Everything good I had read about this lens was 100% true.

I have taken it out on four photo treks already, so have had the opportunity to get a real feel for this lens. The photo quality has been nothing short of phenomenal. So far I have used this lens on the K3 only. In the near future I will introduce it to my K5iis.

Update 4-24-2018: This lens continues to perform great on all three cameras (recently added the K-70 for higher ISO). The photos are very sharp in camera and razor sharp with some photo editing. The lens is big but not overly heavy for its size. The bottom line? It is a great lens. It's too bad Sigma no longer makes the updated lens for Pentax mount.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: May, 2008
Location: London, UK
Posts: 911

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 19, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Pretty much everything!
Cons: No longer available new (Sigma - Listen UP!)
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5, K-3, K-3 II    Autofocus: 10    New Or Used: 8   

Apologies if I have reviewed this lens (V2) before, but if I have then I can't find it!

Anyway, I "robbed" someone in the UK around 2010 when I got it for around £570 to go with my newish K-5 - wont' be selling anytime soon as it's still working well with the K-3 II.
Edited Oct 2017: autofocus is lightning quick on the K-3 II - unless it overshoots! MUCH faster than the 150-500 OS HSM, which is totally "turgid" by comparison.

Can't add much to all the previous reviews in this thread, but I love it.

The only thing I might add is that, if using the body AF mode then keep the lens in (screwdrive) manual focus mode as you then effectively get the same sort of "quickshift" manual override that you get with many Pentax (and other) lens - OTOH, if you put it in lens AF mode then you lose that override.

However, a warning: there are few if any spares available for this lens, so "try before you buy".
   
Junior Member

Registered: August, 2011
Location: Bournemouth
Posts: 29

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 22, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $865.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build, focus option, sharp
Cons: Weight, hood design
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 7    Camera Used: K20D, K-30    Autofocus: 9   

Wonder of wonders I never would have expected owning this lens knowing this had been a discontinued Sigma model but I was carried by the many positive reviews about it. So I never would have expected seeing this lens popping up on ebay in 'mint' or 'New (other)' category on ebay UK. On the first try I failed winning the bid but fate must have caught up with me so when the winning bidder failed to pay for the lens and it was relisted by the seller, I took my chance which had me risking selling 3 of my lenses to afford it. I let go of my Pentax DA 55-300mm f4-5.8 ed, DA16-45 f4 ed al and my 'prized' pentax dfa 100mm macro wr (which I suffered a few sleepless nights afterwards). The only benefit I'm looking forward was to be able to avoid hiring a DA* 300mm F4 from SRS Microsystems when shooting airplanes on airshows and to that regard, I wasn't disappointed.

When I got hold of the lens it was literally 'clean' inside out despite my fears of fungal signs that one must gamble when buying used lenses at ebay. As technology do have its 'quirks' however which you get as a bonus after paying to own a device which promises to deliver it, it isn't perfect but came just all 'too perfect' to fulfill my intentions of doing away with hiring a dedicated telephoto lens to shoot airplanes on airshows. One notable aspect of this lens is rendering propeller blur just as appropriate when shooting propeller driven airplanes and helicopter main and tail rotors. It's simply awesome. As for a macro lens, it's not that bad when you need it without a dedicated macro lens for the purpose. You could judge by my sample pictures.



This was a sample of the macro capability of this lens taken handheld on a Pentax K-30 with focal length at 280mm, 1/200 shutter speed, f/10 aperture at 100 ISO on shutter priority.



Royal Navy Merlin HM1 helicopter with lens at 300mm, 1/250 secs shutter speed, f/10 aperture and 100 ISO using spot metering at shutter priority mode on a Pentax K-30 mounted on a monopod.



Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress taken at
300mm, 1/250 secs shutter speed, f/8 aperture and 100 ISO.



DC-3 Skytrain taken at 300mm, 1/320 secs, f/11 aperture and 100 ISO.



A RAF Eurofighter Typhoon, a mach 2 class air superiority, multi-role fighter taken at 300mm, 1/1250 secs. (should be 1/2000 or higher), f/4 aperture and 100 ISO on shutter priority (handheld). The image may not be that perfect at closer look but I suppose I knew the exact settings when I have another chance at a similar opportunity as this one.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: November, 2013
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 403

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 18, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, colours, bright, quality of the lenses
Cons: weight
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 9    Camera Used: K3 and K5    Autofocus: 8    New Or Used: Used   

Bought this lens after having the Pentax 55-300mm DA F4.5-5.8 ED four years, wich is a lens I have had lots of fun with, but I wanted to go a step forward, and improve.

In my K5, this lens that I have been using for about 2 months, it's just perfect for motorsport like rally.
This past weekend I have been at Sweden for Rally Sweden, and I have had amazing pictures at low light I could have never dreamed about with the Pentax 55-300mm.

Overall is better in everything, except of losing some focal range at the beggining, and because it is bigger and it weights much more than the Pentax. But image quality is far away. And this is what I was looking for.

Got it for 600 euros after being asked for 900 to 1000 euros quite a few times, so I think I was lucky.
It is a shame Sigma does not sell this lens brand new anymore, because I believe this is a gem, and I will not sell mine!

Here goes an example of what you can do with a copy of this wonderful lens.

IMGP5296 by danigonzi_2000, on Flickr

YES, I recommend it!


UPDATE : January 24th 2019

I do still have my copy and still love it as the first day.
I have updated my opinion on it's bokeh because it compresses so much the image that can produce beautiful bokeh.

I'd also like to share more images taken with my copy.
I have been shooting at Rally Events like Rally Sweden for years and also Rally Catalunya with no problems but producing beautiful images. I did also shoot at Formula 1 Events in the support series (F2, Porsche Supercup) at Monaco and shooting Formula 1 at Spa Francorchamps last year.

Here you'll see some images taken with that beauty,

Formula 1 Images
_IMG4160-2 by Daniel Gonzalez Aguilera, en Flickr

_IMG6644-2 by Daniel Gonzalez Aguilera, en Flickr

_IMG8020-2 by Daniel Gonzalez Aguilera, en Flickr

Formula 2 Images

_IMG6901 by Daniel Gonzalez Aguilera, en Flickr

_IMG6887 by Daniel Gonzalez Aguilera, en Flickr

_IMG4235 by Daniel Gonzalez Aguilera, en Flickr

Rally Images

_IMG0936 by Daniel Gonzalez Aguilera, en Flickr

_IMG6353 by Daniel Gonzalez Aguilera, en Flickr

So, as you can see if you wonder: Is it good for sports? Well, it is indeed! Very good!
I also have been shooting wildlife for fun and the lens is great also for that purpose.

Nowadays I do use it mostly with a Pentax K3 and it pairs very well with it, better than with the K5 (and it used to pair well together).

As said before, if you find one and you are wondering what to do.... you will not regret yourself grabbing one
   
New Member

Registered: May, 2012
Posts: 14

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 7, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, quick focus, minimal quality loss with TC
Cons: heavy
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 5    Value: 10   

Yes, it's a 10. This lens is absolutely amazing. Sharp enough from F4, at 5.6 is razor sharp. AF is very fast and silent (is not as silent as an HSM model but is not really noisy)

There's a minimal lose of quality with a TC 1.4 giving a 420mm focal length and a crealy bokeh.

On the counter parts, it's heavy and uses 82mm filters, otherwise it's optical design beats the Sigma 120-400mm hands down.

Used with a tripod or monopod it gives really sharp and contrasted images.

Some examples:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cvicente1932/13195782563/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cvicente1932/13195617155/in/photostream/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cvicente1932/13195718293/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cvicente1932/13149858854/in/photostream/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cvicente1932/13149852774/in/photostream/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cvicente1932/13195659615/in/photostream/
   
Pentaxian

Registered: September, 2008
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 1,443
Lens Review Date: May 7, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, Sharp as 300 Prime, Did I mention Sharp?
Cons: 82mm filters are pricey, and yes it's heavy
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 10   

I have the original DG IF version, and the only complaint is that the AF is a little messy at times when trying to track fast moving objects or it you have a lot of limbs and leaves in the way of your subject. If only it could read my mind an KNOW what I wanted it to focus on, it would be the perfect lens.

So why did I sell my Bigma to buy this lens? Because it weighs about 3 lbs less and when hiking over many miles that's a huge plus. Also, my images at 300mm cropped are better than anything I could get from the Bigma at 500mm, even with a tripod.

There's a reason this lens doesn't show up for sale very often, because no one is willing to part with it, in fact I think I'd rather lose a kidney first.

Oh, I did think of another issue as a type this review, the 6ft minimum focusing distance can be a pain in the butt because I find myself preferring this lens to my DA* 50-135. In fact, I find myself using this lens more than every lens in my bag except for my FA20-35 because the IQ is so awesome.

To wrap things up, one thing that's not ratable apparently, is the Lens Envy it evokes from others around you. It's like carrying around a sniper rifle, it's that big and heavy. But I can't help but smile every time someone walks by and I hear the comment, "Look at the lens that guy has!"
   
Pentaxian

Registered: February, 2009
Location: egypt
Posts: 413
Lens Review Date: December 16, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: tac sharp
Cons: may be heavy
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

It is my favourite lens. this is what a lens should be.tac sharp. pro build quality.
   
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.
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2010
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.
   
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.
   
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.


   
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2007
Location: Florida Gulfer
Posts: 3,055
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.
   
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.
   
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:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/41918127@N03/3883273677/
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