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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)

Sharpness 
 8.7
Aberrations 
 9.3
Bokeh 
 8.0
Autofocus 
 9.0
Handling 
 8.3
Value 
 9.5
Reviews Views Date of last review
5 24,724 Sun April 9, 2017
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $519.67 9.20
Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro HSM (Contemporary)

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

Description:
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 and sports an updated design and silent in-lens autofocus.

Mount Type: Pentax KAF3
Format Compatibility: APS-C
Angle of View: 76.5 - 5.4
Minimum Focus Distance: 15.3" (38.9 cm)
Maximum Reproduction Ratio: 1:3
Elements/Groups: 17/13
Diaphragm Blades: 7, Rounded
Image Stabilization: In body only
Autofocus: Yes (silent, in-lens)
Front Filter Thread:72 mm
Dimensions (DxL): 3.11 x 4.00" (79 x 101.5 mm)
Weight: 20.6 oz (584 g)
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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Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2015
Location: Connacht, Ireland
Posts: 64
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    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5, K-30   

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!
   
Senior Member

Registered: December, 2010
Location: Phoenix Arizona
Posts: 209

2 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.
   
Moderator
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2010
Location: North East of England
Posts: 6,120

2 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

1 user 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    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K3II   

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


68mm,f6.3


300mm,f6.3


35mm,f22
   
New Member

Registered: November, 2008
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 2

5 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    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K5II   

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 https://www.flickr.com/photos/94779902@N00/ 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 ramelcc@yahoo.com.
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