Sigma 70-300 mm f/4-5.6 DG OS
The Sigma 70-300 mm f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro model was undoubtedly one of this company’s best-sellers. Decent optical properties, generous selection of accessories, long guarantee period, a quite good substitute of macro mode and an affordable price made it a very interesting kit lens complement. Some years ago I had an opportunity to work with this instrument for a longer time myself. If I had a chance to report my impressions to the constructor my main reservation would concern the lack of stabilization but I would also mention the fact that an ultrasonic autofocus motor would be a very welcome addition.
When Sigma started to include optical stabilization (OS) and ultrasonics (HSM) in even cheap devices I was almost sure a new version of the popular 70-300 mm APO model would be one of the first equipped with these features. The new version of that lens indeed appeared on the market but the reality proved to be not so rosy.
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Optical stabilization was included but an HSM wasn’t. As if it wasn’t enough a very useful macro function disappeared as well ( the mapping scale changed from 1:2 into 1: 3.9). At the same time the price was almost doubled. Because of that in the moment of launch the 70-300 mm f/4-5.6 DG OS model found itself exactly at the same price level as its biggest rivals : a Canon EF 70-300 MM F/4.0-5.6 IS USM and a Nikkor AF-S 70-300 f/4.0-5.6 VR. Both these lenses were very positively assessed in our tests and they feature an ultrasonic focus motor. Sigma, being every bit as expensive as them, lacks such a motor. Without the macro mode it seems to compare badly with its competitors. To be successful on the market it would need a lot better optical performance than similar devices. Is it really the case? If you want to find out, feel invited to read the next chapters.
The lens was lent to us by the K-Consult company.
Information about our review method can be read in our article “How do we test lenses?"