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Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro HSM (Contemporary) Review RSS Feed

Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro HSM (Contemporary)

Reviews Views Date of last review
10 63,646 Sun May 13, 2018
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $488.14 9.20
Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro HSM (Contemporary)

Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro HSM (Contemporary)
Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro HSM (Contemporary)
Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro HSM (Contemporary)
Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro HSM (Contemporary)


The Sigma 18-300mm "Contemporary" is Sigma's longest superzoom lens for Pentax. As a Sigma Global Vision lens, it is compatible with the Sigma USB dock which allows for firmware updates and adjustment of focus parameters.

This lens has a†16.6x zoom ratio covering focal lengths from wide to telephoto and it also†offers a 1:3 (0.33x)†macro ratio. The lens has a built-in HSM autofocus motor.†

A close up lens AML72-01 is available as an optional accessory.†It offers a maximum magnification ratio 1:2 (0.5x).

Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro HSM (Contemporary)
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Automatic, 7 blades (rounded)
17 elements, 13 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
AF (in-lens motor)
Min. Focus
39 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
72 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 76.5-5.4 ° / 66.7-4.5 °
Lens Cap
Weather Sealing
Other Features
AF/MF Switch,Zoom Lock
Diam x Length
79x101.5 mm (3.1x4 in.)
584 g (20.6 oz.)
Production Years
$399 USD current price
$579 USD at launch
Product Code
User reviews
In-depth review

Buy Lens: Buy the Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro HSM (Contemporary)
Price: $579
Mount Type: Pentax KAF3 (in-lens AF only)
Price History:

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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-10 of 10
Junior Member

Registered: January, 2010
Location: Philly
Posts: 34

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 13, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, reasonably light
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: k3    Autofocus: 10    New Or Used: New   

I think this is the best walk around lense on the market for Pentax APS-C.
I own a lot pro glass, DA* 60-250, Tammy 17-50 2.8, Tammy 70-200 2.8, Sigma 50-150 2.8, The sharpness in the center is very close in good lighting.
This is the lense is the best for travel, I used to own Pentax 18-250, and still have 18-135, but none of them match SIgma.
I only take it off, when I need 2.8 lense. My usual travel; kit is in addition to this lense, are Tammy 17-50 2.8 and Sig 10-20 3.5, pentax 18-135(For rainy day)., and small flash.
New Member

Registered: December, 2015
Location: Capelle aan den IJssel
Posts: 1

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 29, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $469.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Nice and sharp (Lekker scherp)
Cons: Quite Big (Vrij groot)
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-5 IIS    Autofocus: 10    New Or Used: New   

The lens purchased to replace my 18-250 because I still find some more range still pleasant. In practice, the difference between 250mm and 300mm is not great, but I do not regret my purchase because the lens is visibly sharper than the 18-250. A very nice walk around lens and the sharpest in its class. Of course the light intensity is not great, but for what I use the lens, sufficient. I really like the autofocus, even in low light conditions.

De lens aangeschaft ter vervanging van mijn 18-250 omdat ik nůg wat meer bereik toch wel prettig vind. In de praktijk is het verschil tussen 250mm en 300mm niet geweldig groot, maar ik heb toch geen spijt van mijn aankoop omdat de lens zichtbaar scherper is dan de 18-250. Een hele prettige walk around lens en de scherpste in zijn klasse. De lichtsterkte is natuurlijk niet geweldig, maar voor hetgeen ik de lens gebruik, voldoende.
Ik vind de autofocus echt super goed, ook bij geringe lichtomstandigheden.

And here: some more pictures with the Sigma 18-300
New Member

Registered: July, 2012
Location: Pune
Posts: 16

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 10, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Solid Build Quality, Sharp images, Silent Focus
Cons: None
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: K5    Autofocus: 9    New Or Used: New   

For a super zoom this lens is very sharp even at the extremes. Auto focus is good and bang on target. Gives beautiful vibrant photos.

Photo taken at 300 zoom -
Junior Member

Registered: September, 2009
Posts: 27

5 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 17, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $440.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: solid built, excellent image quality, prime like performance in the center
Cons: adverse handling, consumes lots of light, weak corners
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 4    Camera Used: K-3    Autofocus: 8    New Or Used: New   

After trashing a great DA 18-250 with an unfortunate stuck lock pin, I had to decide between a DA18-270 and this Sigma 18-300. The sigma seems to offer a more sophisticated and recent lens formula and a more solid built quality; itís way cheaper and comes with enthusiastic reviews. The Pentax on the other hand provides for Pentax-feeling, in camera lens correction, while offering better and rightly handling at less weight; but the tests and opinions including those for the original Tamron 18-270 suggest a rather mediocre performance and built. If only available I would have bought another DA18-250, which would be the fourth after one found crashed, one stolen and the last one now worn out. That was really a fantastic lens, but today itís becoming very scarce.

I didnít do extensive brickwallframing, so the following conclusions are rather based on a few standards slides and very personal impressions and they follow the beaten path anyway confirming otherís findings:

Positive impressions:
+ very solid built;
+ accurate colours and exposure;
+ excellent and prime like sharpness in the center, at least until below 100mm;
+ tack sharp AF even in medium to low light;
+ no zoom creep present;
+ AF is fast, but it seems faster on Pentax DC lenses (like the DA16-85) and itís not fully silent;
+ K-3 handles the lens very well in terms of exposure;

Negative impressions:
- vignetting may be present indeed, but it donít care much for it, I had it always even in those old days with my Pentax ME, that's part of photography; after the test results published, I expected it to be worse;
- chromatic aberrations are present, they are not disturbing, but I thought they would be less, after reading the professional tests; however they do not excel infamous aberration champs like the DA10-17 and they are not intrusive at all;
- I found zoom breathing present as forecasted, so the nearer the subject, the smaller your magnification will be;
- itís my first Sigma lens, so I found the "wrong" zoom rotation direction to be rather disturbing, you maybe get used to if you use the lens often, but if you continue swapping lens between Pentax and Sigma you will further continue enforcing wear on your mount by accidentally driving in the wrong direction;
- the poor mega zoom like corner performance was to be expected; I think itís acceptable though, I feel my old DA18-250 showed better corner performance; but maybe that one was on the other hand less good in the center, and better in the corner with a more equal distribution of sharpness, so with less falloff to be noticed between center and corner;
- the lens is heavy and bulky, but if you are used to the DA16-85 there is not much difference in size or weight;

IMO this lens has to two major problems one should be aware of:
- using the stiff zoom ring is really a pain and it will drive wear on your mount and especially lock pin, every time your rotate the ring, you feel the lens skidding in the mount; probably it will not wear out the mount, before other parts of the camera fail, but it's not feeling good, because all my other 20 some lenses manage to stick glued to the mount without moving in it;
- the lens needs really a lot of light, ISO3200 will become almost your standard grain if not framing fully sunlit objects; transmission must be much lower than at any other lens I have had before including other zooms; so this lens is really for sunny days outdoor only which was not the case for my old DA18-250 which performed indoors not worse than the stock DA18-55 lens.
Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2009
Posts: 41

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 16, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $449.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp,practical, Image quality, versatility, build quality, silent focus
Cons: None art this price point
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: k-70    Autofocus: 8    New Or Used: New   

This all in one, jack of all trades lens is the best I've had to date.
In this photo I'm about 2 feet back from subject f11 on a tripod, ISO 200. Focal length 190mm.
This plant is about 1/4 inch wide. This is a 100% jpeg crop, no post processing. I could knock down the highlights with Raw, but I thought I would leave it as is.

You know the rule always bring the camera. I've made a compact kit with k70 this lens with a few basic filters.
These are in a small Lowpro bag about 9" x 9" x 6". always at the ready to grab and go.
My rating numbers will be based on the type of all in one lens this is. I'm not comparing it to a prime lens.
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2015
Location: Connacht, Ireland
Posts: 442

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 9, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Image quality, versatility, build quality, silent focus
Cons: Not compact by any means, force needed to turn zoom ring, abrupt vignette
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 7    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-5, K-30    Autofocus: 8    New Or Used: New   

I've owned this lens for almost a year and it has been a most pleasant surprise, overall. This lens attracted my attention as an upgrade over my previous "do-all" lens (a Tamron 18-200) for two main reasons; silent focus and a little bit more reach. What I actually got with the purchase of this lens was a lot more than that - and most of it very good. So far, I've used this lens at Christenings (with only natural light), at symposia (with bounce/fill flash) and for travel and informal landscapes with good results.

I'll get the complaints out of the way first. This lens is pretty big in comparison to the 18-200 it replaced and is about an inch longer and a half an inch wider in diameter. While it's certainly not as big as some of the fastest, full-frame zooms, it's not much smaller (and is designed for APS-C). Combining the weight of this lens with a K-5 or similar body ends up being unexpectedly heavy. But, of course, with a super zoom, one only has to carry one lens, so it does tend to balance out. This lens doesn't have any zoom creep, which is great, but my copy requires a lot more force to rotate the zoom ring than any of my other zooms. My only concern is that the force will accelerate wear on the camera's locking pin and/or the pin slot on the lens' mount. The zoom ring does, however, rotate with a smooth, precise feel, so that is good.

Now on to the good stuff! This lens is really, really sharp for a super zoom and is also competitive with most of the standard zooms at similar focal lengths I have tried. This lens doesn't feel like too much of a compromise in everyday use and I don't often find myself saying "I wish I had X lens" instead of this on the camera. At 300 mm, it's completely at home with centralized subjects and I could not be happier with the performance (and especially at the price). On the wide end, the performance is no less impressive to me (with the exception of "abrupt" vignetting in the corners that doesn't really go away even at f/10 and beyond). In between, the performance is more than pretty good across the board. This lens has really good control over chromatic aberration and is much better behaved in this respect to any other super zoom I've auditioned. At it's worst (18 mm and above f/5.6), red/green fringing is incredibly minor and hardly noticeable. Mounted on a K-5, I have found the focusing to be pretty fast and surprisingly accurate even in artificial and/or poor natural light and definitely better than I would have believed. It's a little faster on the K-30, but only in some situations.

Overall, I'm rating this lens a 9 for what it is. It is a highly versatile lens capable of doing many, many things well. Highly recommended!
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2010
Location: Phoenix Arizona
Posts: 811

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 1, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $499.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great zoom range, silent focusing
Cons: a little heavy

Fantastic performance in a super zoom! Auto focus is fast, and dead silent on a K5IIs. Images are really sharp with good contrast. Well worth the money.
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2010
Location: North-East of England
Posts: 16,507

6 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 21, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Wide focal length range, sharp at centre, silent AF, well built
Cons: Slow, not so sharp at borders, minor bokeh issue, not WR
New Or Used: New   

I've owned this lens for almost four months now and have used it quite extensively.

It's surprisingly sharp in the centre from wide open, but border performance is lacking unless you stop down to f/10 - f/11, and even then it's not great - but it's a superzoom, and that's one of the compromises for enjoying such a wide focal length range. Another compromise is the maximum aperture at each focal length, which means this a lens to use in good light only - otherwise, you quickly find yourself shooting at high ISOs. Bokeh is very nice, so long as you ensure sufficient distance between the subject and background. As with Tamron's superzooms and Pentax's own 18-270, there is a tendency to reproduce just-out-of-focus specular highlights as tiny donut shapes - it's annoying, but common with this type of lens and you simply have to be aware of it and work around it. There is a tiny amount of purple fringing noticeable in very high contrast areas, more pronounced in the borders and corners than in the centre, but it's not intrusive - in fact, it is so minor that I rarely bother removing it in post-processing, but it's easy enough to do if required. Autofocus is silent, accurate and reasonably quick. Manual focus isn't ideal because of the short focus ring throw, but it feels nice enough and is actually surprisingly effective - however, you have to switch both the lens and camera to MF; there is no full-time override. Build quality is surprisingly good for a consumer-grade lens - it feels solid and tight with no play in the components. The zoom ring is a little stiff in places, and rotates in the opposite direction to other manufacturers' zooms. You soon get used to it... my Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 also operates this way, and although it caught me out a few times initially, after a little use it becomes second nature. It's not WR but then neither is any other superzoom I know of, and with the amount of travel in the telescoping barrel, I imagine making this kind of lens WR would be difficult, as the air inside and outside the camera has to go somewhere!

So... it is, as expected, a lens of many compromises - but that goes with the territory. As a single lens solution for general photography it works very well indeed - ideal for holidays, or those days when you just don't want to carry several lenses around with you. It won't compete with decent primes or the better smaller range zooms, but it's sharp in the centre and - with a little care - will produce very nice images indeed. I'm impressed, and have rated the lens a "9" for how it performs within this class, rather than in relation to better lenses in general.
Junior Member

Registered: January, 2016
Posts: 48

7 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 22, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $560.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp,well build,practical
Cons: None,for the price.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K3II    Autofocus: 9    New Or Used: New   

I like it a lot. I think its very sharp to be a superzoom.
Fast focus to be a slow lense.



New Member

Registered: November, 2008
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 2

8 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 23, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Excellent walk-around, high quality optics
Cons: Haven't encountered any yet - well maybe disparaging comments from brand snobs.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Camera Used: K5II    Autofocus: 10    New Or Used: New   

I bought this to replace my wonderful Sigma 18-250 (which my talented 19 -year old granddaughter got to go with the K5 I passed on to her). I use a K5ii, Lightroom, PS Elements and Topaz Clarity, and the LR Lens Correction set and Detail sharpening set put the 18-250 on par with much more expensive brands, and the same is true for the 18-300. The processing software isn't essential to a great result, but it provides good optimization for an already fine lens.

Both are about the same size and easy to carry. A few comments are that the K5ii and 18-300 seem a bit heavy, but I remind those folks that often that's all I need to carry.

When I'd like more image of a scene then the 18 allows, vertical and horizontal panning and PSE sticking solve that nicely.

See for 18-250 samples. I'd provide a couple of 18-300 samples, but the link offered is unsuitable for my use. However, you can contact me at
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