Topic: Lens Review: Sigma 300mm f4 APO Tele Macro
With all the long tele shots posted here recently, I got the bug too and decided to purchase one. I went with the Sigma 300mm f4 APO Tele Macro a autofocus lens in Nikon mount. There have been 3 versions of this lens. The first one was a 300mm f4 APO and it's not considered a very good lens. You can easily tell them by a thin focusing collar. The lens was then redesigned and that's the version that I have. The third and final version looks the same as the second version had the same optics with the addition of a faster HSM focusing motor before being discontinued about 1-2 years ago. You can spot the 2nd and 3rd versions easily by their large manual focusing collar.
Sigma also produced this lens in a Canon EOS version but with their 'chiping problem' you can't use these lenses on most modern digital EOS cameras, you get an Error 99 and can only shoot with them wide open. That's why I picked up the Nikon AF version because it has a aperture ring that you can stop down and with a large focusing collar it can be used as a manual focus lens with an appropriate Nikon/EOS adapter ring.
Unlike some of the older M42 300mm's which are quite heavy, the Sigma is relatively light weight at 1335g, a nice built in extendible lens hood so you don't have to carry one around, 77mm filter size, 9 blade aperture, and what's really neat a minimum focus distance of 1.2m that yields a magnification ratio of 1:3 of full frame cameras and even higher magnification on a 1.6x body. It also comes with a tripod collar, but mine is missing this unfortunately.
Here is a lens test that I conducted with my 20D. I've also included a image with my closest tele for comparision, the Leica 180mm f2.8 Elmarit. I've also posted a couple of test images shot with this lens in the Gallery section including the close focusing capabilities of the lens.
Last edited by Sandeep (2009-09-18 18:29:08)