about | support
home
 

Search Used

Sigma 100-300mm f4 EX IF HSM APO

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
98 363674 Aug 26, 2012
Recommended By Average Price
87% of reviewers $2,325.71
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.29
9.28
9.2
100-300if_1_

Specifications:
Sigma 100-300mm f4 EX APO IF HSM is one of several EX-Series lenses. This telephoto zoom lens provides a large constant F4 maximum aperture at all focal lengths. The use of Apochromatic design and 4 SLD (The Special Low Dispersion) glass elements (two SLD glass elements are utilized in the front lens group and two in the rear group) for full correction of chromatic aberration and providing a high level of optical performance. The AF drive for Sigma SA, Canon and Nikon cameras is equipped with silent, responsive and high speed HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) as well as fulltime manual focus. A removable tripod mount is provided with the lens. This lens incorporates an internal focusing system, which eliminates front lens rotation, allowing the use of a Perfect Hood and easy to use circular polarizing filter. Since focusing and zooming do not change its overall length, this lens is easy to hold and use. It is also possible to use this lens with Sigma 1.4x EX and 2x EX Apo Tele Converters to make ultra tele-zoom lens. The lens materials used in this new lens are lead and arsenic free ecological glass.


 


Page:  1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7  next
       †††
jedbone
Offline
Image Upload: Off

Registered: Jan 30, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 19, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Image sharpness, fast AF, build quality, works with Canon 1.4 TC
Cons:
Weight (but what do you expect!?)

I researched this lens to death whilst looking for a good quality medium-long zoom. There are any number of options, and along with this lens, I looked at a number of others.

The Sigma 80-400 was one. Trying one, it had fairly good image quality, but the autofocus was painfully slow. Trying to capture moving objects was pretty hard work.

I also tried out the 50-500 - an impressive lens, but the image quality lacked a little something. I also felt that, when fully extended, it lost its balance - the lens became very front heavy.

The other obvious alternatives were Canon zooms, specifically the 70-300 DO IS lens, and the 100-400L. After some research on this site, and the excellent Photozone site (www.photozone.de) which provides lab tested resolution figures, I discounted the 70-300, mainly on a value for money basis. It's stats don't add-up for the £700 or so.

Which leaves the 100-400. This is a mighty lens, but having tried one out in the shop it felt a little light weight compared to the Sigma 100-300. Referring again to the experiences of others, I'd read that beyond 300mm it becomes pretty soft, negating the benefits of its extra reach. Looking at the resolution figures (Photozone again), the 100-400 doesn't really come close to the Sigma. And at nearly £400 more than the Sigma it just didn't seem to tally so...

I ordered the Sigma, and haven't looked back. This lens is a true gem - well worth the risk to anyone scared of moving away from the Canon brand offerings. The autofocus is lightening fast, and once locked onto a subject stays there. The overall feel of the lens is just right to: it doesn't extend when zooming or focusing, retaining a constant length at all times, so after a while you can judge the balance of it perfectly. Also, it's a constant F4 - F4 at 300mm is actually pretty fast. Oh, and did I mention the 5 year guarantee?

But the big thing with this lens is the image quality. In resolution terms, it's nearly untouchable. The resolution is greater than that of many more expensive lenses, including some of the Canon primes (the 300mm F4 for example). The images just have a 'punch' to them that you wouldn't expect from a zoom. In fact the only zoom I've tried which I'd place next to it is the Canon 70-200 F2.8 IS. My sister has a copy of this, and whilst it clearly has huge advantages over the Sigma lens in low light, it's impossible in good light to tell the difference.

Another hugely pleasant surprise was the discovery that this lens works with the Canon 1.4 MkII teleconverter - despite all of the guidance from both Sigma and Canon that it won't. I'll confess at this point that I initially bought a Sigma 1.4 converter with this lens, and to test my new found faith in the Sigma brand, it was completely pants. Very poor image quality, AF speed reduced, overall a pointless investment. However, I went back to the shop to see what I could get as a trade on the Sigma converter and decided to try the Canon one. To the surprise of both myself and the shop guy it worked a treat. There are obvious trade-offs in quality, but not significant.

The downsides to the lense? Well, it's very big and heavy - people usually look puzzled when you appear to be pulling some kind of heavy weapon from the camera bag. Some might also argue it's slow at F4. However, sigma have produced the 120-300 F2.8, and it's truly enormous, and has few other benefits over this lens. Oh, and it could have image stabilisation. However, I'm happy without it. Again, it would make an already large and heavy lense larger and heavier (and more expensive).

One final question is whether this truly great lens is a fluke given the superiority of Canon's lenses in most other instances. Possibly. There are lots of 3rd party lenses that aren't very good. I'd rather think, however, that in this case Sigma have got it right by keeping it simple and eschewing pressure to provide a more versatile lens. If the zoom range had been stretched further (70-300 or 100-400) the quality and AF speed would have suffered (though perhaps Sigma would have sold more copies). Instead it has an unfashionable zoom length, and rocks.

All of this speculation, and I'm not too worried if Sigma don't produce any more miracles - this one is enough. If you're in the market for this kind of thing, and are dubious about going for a third-party offering, this lens will challenge every preconception, and all for a very competitive price. A great value investment in view of the competition and one I don't regret making at all.


Nov 19, 2006
View profile View recent posts View reviews Add jedbone to your Buddy List  
sdgphoto
Offline
Image Upload: Off

Registered: Apr 14, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 145
Review Date: Oct 9, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great build quality, Excellent image quality, Use it with confidence wide open throughout 100mm-300mm, Fast HSM AF, Full-Time Manual focusing, Nice bokeh, Takes 1.4xTC well, Price.
Cons:
Use a monopod/tripod for sharpest images (not much to complain about with this lens).

This lens is a true gem, and this is coming from someone who has some good "L" glass in the same range. I use the "DG" version and I'm always impressed with the quality of the images and the solid build.

Oct 9, 2006
View profile View recent posts View reviews Add sdgphoto to your Buddy List  
Navyo
Offline
Image Upload: Off

Registered: Sep 28, 2005
Location: Nepal
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 8, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: very sharp, super fast focus, VERY well going with DSRL
Cons:
somewhat heavy

I shearched long for a good zoom in the range of 70-300.

Finally after using 70-200 I got to Sigma EX 100-300 F4 DX HSM. Fortunately I got the new version due to some delay in decision making.

I am just amazed by the sharpness, even do F4 looks firstly somewhat slow, I found it very easy, as the focus works superfast.

Pictures are well balanced in color, aberration is nearly non existent. The triphood ring I found also good and easy to use.

Would just reccomend it, but as others said, it's a huge lens. But worth every penny.



Aug 8, 2006
View profile View recent posts View reviews Add Navyo to your Buddy List  
tellingthm
Offline
Buy and Sell: On



Registered: Jan 26, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 337
Review Date: Jul 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: solid build, HSM, great handling, excellent iq
Cons:
"backwards" zoom ring, lens cap never stays on, 82mm filters

I had the 70-200 f/4 L, but I wanted something with a bit more reach. So I upsized to the Sigma, and I have not regretted it one bit.
I figured that the AF speed would take a hit, as the L was lightning fast. But after a couple months of use, I am still surprised at how fast the AF is on this lens- it keeps up with the 1D's AI Servo quite well. It's also deadly accurate- I've had no problems on either my old 20D or now with my 1D. Focus is spot-on, even at 300mm, f/4, and focused ten feet away.
Same thing goes for the image quality. I'll admit I'm not a pixel-peeper, but images look fantastic, even wide-open at both ends- good colors, contrast, sharpness, saturation, etc.
I don't find the lens extremely big or heavy, although I probably don't view things like that the way most people do because I'm 6'8" and in good shape. Although my shoulder can get a little sore after carrying this thing in my Domke bag all day, I have shot with this lens on my 1D for several hours straight on numerous occasions and really don't find it bad at all. The lens is very well built and balances very well with the camera (it helps if you have a grip if not using a 1-series body). The only way I think the build could be improved is if it had weather-sealing, which is obviously out of the question for a Sigma lens (unfortunately). And maybe I'm just used to it now, but I really don't think of the lens as being huge (although the hood adds a lot of length).
I do wish that Sigma lenses didn't zoom "backwards," but it didn't take me all that long to get used to it. The lens cap doesn't do a good job of staying on, but I don't use lens caps very often so that doesn't bother me too much. I wish this lens had a 77mm filter size, but other than that I don't have any complaints.
FYI/FWIW, I bought this lens used here on FM (non-DG). Of the four Sigma lenses I've owned, three were bought used and all were excellent. The one I bought new couldn't AF properly. I'm not one of those people who stays away from Sigma at all costs, but I certainly don't mind letting others play the Sigma QC game for me.


Jul 21, 2006
View profile View recent posts View reviews Visit Homepage Add tellingthm to your Buddy List  
mbarrow67
Offline
Image Upload: Off

Registered: Aug 21, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 15
Review Date: Jul 20, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Amazing images, super fast focussing, makes my L-lenses look bad!
Cons:
size/weight, but this is a fair compromise, 1.8m min. focus

I spent a long time trying to decide between this and the three 70-200 Canon lenses, but in the end I decided I needed the extra 100mm more than IS, and if anything the images from the Sigma were more pleasing than with any of the Canons (I think the 70-200 F4 came closest).

I have been using this on a 20D for 9 months, and have always been pleased, but I purchased a 5D last month, and since then I haven't been able to put this lens down.

I took it to the zoo this weekend, and found that 19 out of 20 shots are perfect. Focussing was always lightning fast, and extremely accurate - shooting running animals and flying birds in low-contrast and low-light situations still worked well.

Build quality is excellent, and there is a small amount of over-run on the very large focus ring, and the both Zoom and Focus rings feel smooth and solid.

As mentinoed, image quality is excellent with no noticable vignetting or C.A. (unlike my 17-40L and 24-105L which suffer from both on the 5D).

Be prepared that this is a big lens, and is quite heavy, but it comes with a tripod collar, so monopod use is recommended.


Jul 20, 2006
View profile View recent posts View reviews Add mbarrow67 to your Buddy List  
toby creamer
Offline
Image Upload: Off

Registered: Oct 5, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 179
Review Date: Jun 30, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast aperture +focus, no exterior movement (stays same length at all foacl lengths and focus ring or front element do not move.), just light enough to hand hold relatively comfortably. Sharp! Looks professional with the hood attached! It feels very solid.
Cons:
Slightly stiff zoom ring but it loosens. I am not a fan of the manual focus ring as it requires just the tiniest of movements to change focus quite a long way which makes manual focus difficult.

Although the price I paid (I have the DG version) seems quite high it included the sigma 1.4x converter as part of the deal, from the same dealer, www.warehouseexpress.com, the lens by itself costs £750. This is an upgrade for me from the canon 75-300mm f/4-5.6 and it has been worth every penny. The focus is far faster, I have compared the two going from infinity to minimum focus with the lens cap on and it is definately a lot quicker. One thing where the canon is better is closest focus distance, I believe the canon is 1-1.5m (can't quite remember) but the sigma is 1.8m.
My prefered method of using the lens is with a monopod and the tripod ring makes this easy, especially when switching from horizontal to vertical (now all I need is a grip for my 20D).
I also can't get over how sharp the lens is, I was comparing some hockey shots taken the other day with those taken with the old lens and the sigma was infinately sharper even when the canon was shot ISO 400 1/3200sec in bright sunlight and the sigma was shot at ISO 800 1/2000sec as the sun was setting. I couldn't believe that I thought those shots were sharp with the canon.
Whilst it is the perfect length for the sports I shoot at school it does sometimes feel a little short for wildlife but the 1.4x helps (although with a little loss of aperture and quality), however it is probably my lack of ability to approach animals quietly enough more than anything!
My one gripe is that the manual focus ring is just a bit to sensitive with a movement of just half a cm enought to change the focus by several metres, this is mainly an issue when hand holding as I often rest the palm of my habd on the MF ring and, with full time MF this can cause it to move so losing focus. I don't consider it too much of an issue though as I rarely use MF, mainly when the focus is struggling (if I am trying to lock on to a subject through a tangle of branches for example) in which case I will focus roughly on the subject thus allowing the AF to find it.
In all a fantastic lens and well worth the money.


Jun 30, 2006
View profile View recent posts View reviews Add toby creamer to your Buddy List  
RBohacs
Offline
Image Upload: Off

Registered: Jan 16, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Jun 26, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Amazing build quality, razor sharp, great contrast and great (slightly warm) colors.
Cons:
..maybe that it doesnt have OS.

I think its rather funny that so many Canon ďLĒ lovers canít seem to appreciate that another manufacturer built a great lens. You should have heard what the sales people where trying to say about a comparison between the Sigma 100-300 versus Canon 100-400 IS L, it was comical.

Prior to the Sigma 100-300 f4, the greatest lens (by far) that I have owned was the Canon 70-200 f4 L. The performance of the Canon was stunning, razor sharp and slightly warm colors (just what I prefer). After buying a 10D, the zoom range was rather unusable, so I sold the lens.

Anyway, I have been searching for a longer range zoom for wildlife (not birding) and I was seriously looking at the Sigma 80-400, but then stumbled across the 100-300 f4. According to Photozone.de, its one of the sharpest lenses every tested. Itís sharper then the infamous 70-200 2.8, and by far sharper (almost embarrassingly to Canon) then the proclaimed 100-400 IS L. Its barely sharper then Canonís 300 f2.8 prime.

Yes, its heavy, but if thatís what it takes to produce great images then so be it. The only thing that I wish it had was the OS. If it had OS I would pay $500 more for it. And NO, I would not buy the Canon 100-400 for that price, its just not worth it.

This is my first Sigma and I must say that the company has undergone some serious engineering and quality changes. I wouldnít be surprised if they become one of the leading lens manufacturers over the next few years. The reason I say that is because Canon (makes great lenses by the way) hasnít move forward very far, while Sigma jumped 10 miles.

For anyone who is looking at this lens as an option, you would be a fool to pass it up for $900t. Itís a great piece of glass and under priced. Donít let the blind ďLĒ lovers derail you from this lens, its far better then many of the Canon Lís.


Jun 26, 2006
View profile View recent posts View reviews Visit Homepage Add RBohacs to your Buddy List  
azezo
Offline
Image Upload: Off



Registered: Feb 20, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 154
Review Date: May 31, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $820.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp from 100-300,constant f/4, good colors, great build, everything is included (hood, tripod ring, case) for a very reasonable price.
Cons:
The tripod ring gets in the way of the zoom ring. 82mm thread. No IS.

This lens is really sharp through the entire zoom range. I get sharp pictures at f/4 but it does get sharper stopped down a bit. By 5.6 to 8.0 it's as sharp as you could ask for. For me this is only for outdoor shooting in daylight so f/4 works for me. If you need faster look at the 120-300 f/2.8 but it'll cost and weigh A LOT more.

My only real complaint is that the tripod ring gets in the way of the zoom ring. Not a big problem. When shooting hand held (which is most of the time) I just leave the tripod ring off. If it's mounted on a tripod you have to grab the zoom ring from the top as the tripod ring's mounting plate is too close to the lens' body and prevents your fingers from grasping the zoom ring from under the body. Not a huge deal, but it is something they should correct. You could buy a different tripod ring from Sigma that gives plenty of clearance but it costs about $160 I think. Not worth it to me.
Also it has a 82mm thread size, not a convenient size.

Even with these minor negatives I give it a 10 because for the price the image quality and build quality of this lens is great.

IS would be nice but that would jack up the price and weight and I can hand hold this lens in normal daylight without it.

It's a big lens (long) and can get heavy too, but I'm young so not that big of a deal to me.


May 31, 2006
View profile View recent posts View reviews Add azezo to your Buddy List  
barabus
Offline
Image Upload: Off



Registered: Jan 22, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 441
Review Date: May 26, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros:
Cons:

In furtherance of my review below, I did a shoot-out with my friend's canon 300 f4L lens. The sigma is only slightly less sharp, but much less contrasty.

May 26, 2006
View profile View recent posts View reviews Add barabus to your Buddy List  
barabus
Offline
Image Upload: Off



Registered: Jan 22, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 441
Review Date: May 16, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $815.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: 100-300 zoom, internal focus, nice tripod ring, constant apperature
Cons:
Soft, and seems to have focusing errors and exposure errors when teamed together with my canon 5d.

I gave up a canon 300mm f4L IS to get this zoom in the new DG versions. Well, the main thing I like is the zoom range. However, this is not going to be a birding lens for me. It is too soft at 300mm and even softer with a canon 1.4x tcII. I chose this over the canon 100-400L IS to save money and now have some regrets. I know that zooms will never be as sharp as primes. Never listen to the reviewers that say they are. I rented the 100-400L Is before buying the Sigma and also noticed some softness and didn't like the push/pull. There isn't any perfect choice as far as I can see. You have to pick your pro's and con's.

May 16, 2006
View profile View recent posts View reviews Add barabus to your Buddy List  
Light Sleeper
Offline
Image Upload: Off



Registered: Jan 23, 2006
Location: France
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 11, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $750.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp Excellent build Range Works great with TC
Cons:
Size and weight No IS

Now still up and running on my 30D, after 2 years services on 10d. Sharper than my 70-200 F2.8, excellent contrast, gorgeous colors.
Only cons, due to the weight and size, I almost always use a monopod with it. Sometimes I close my eyes and just imagine this lens with IS...


May 11, 2006
View profile View recent posts View reviews Add Light Sleeper to your Buddy List  
cdryall
Offline
Image Upload: Off

Registered: Mar 19, 2005
Location: South Africa
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $790.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Best lens I have, stunning resolution especially 100-200, HSM superb, very well built, works very well even with 1.4 TC, incredible value for wildlife photography especially with 1.6X digital SLR's
Cons:
Heavy and no IS



May 4, 2006
View profile View recent posts View reviews Add cdryall to your Buddy List  
Matt Hunt
Offline
Image Upload: Off



Registered: Aug 18, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 16
Review Date: Apr 26, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: For the money paid, the build feels very solid and it moves smoothly but with a reassuring feel. It focuses well, it is the only lens around this length I've tried that did not 'hunt' when testing. It is heavy enough to hold solidly but not tiring and when fitted with the 2x converter the balance is still good.
Cons:
Slightly nose heavy which may be off-putting, the collar can sometimes get in the way - but then it can always come off. Nothing else for the value.

bought this after reading the reviews here and though I've yet to get images developed I am already adoring this purchase. It fits the hand well and as mentioned in the 'pros' in heavy enough to hold stable for hand shooting but not arm fatigingly so.

The front ring for manual focusing comes easily to hand and offers a good firm grip, only the zoom ring is prone to obstruction by the collar.

For the money spent I am well pleased with the result.


Apr 26, 2006
View profile View recent posts View reviews Visit Homepage Add Matt Hunt to your Buddy List  
serkolemma
Offline
Image Upload: Off

Registered: Apr 13, 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build quality, bokeh, sharpness, hsm
Cons:
weight

beautiful product. i am very glad to buy it. if i didn't buy this lens then i would surely go for 120-300 but it is so expensive for me. par with 70-200 L f4 may be better. it is sharp, fast hsm focusing. hard to handheld use but tripod fix it. i am completely disagree with softness issue the only problem should be uncalibrated product if you had sent it to sigma they would have fix that problem. so only problem is sigma quality management (maybe some bad copies but extremely rare) but they are fixing products and you will have full opportunities this lovely lens. as long as i could use it without shaking it produced good bokeh and good portraits at 100mm. 200mm or longer needs tripod or monopod otherwise impossible to take good photos. all in one great investment of money for mid range tele; extremely succesful optics to bargain price.

Apr 13, 2006
View profile View recent posts View reviews Add serkolemma to your Buddy List  
jalabert
Offline
Image Upload: Off

Registered: Apr 11, 2006
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 102
Review Date: Apr 11, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 2 

Pros: Build, unique range
Cons:
Soft, doesn't work with EOS 20D.

Had two examples of this lens, neither worked with my Eos 20d. So soft that even the crappy little kit lens blew them into the weeds when I tested them on newsprint - unusably so. After reading the reviews on here I was shocked, but the guys I bought it from said they were aware with issues with lots of sigma lenses on the 20d - I sent back a 24-70 which was just as soft. Nice build quality but if it isn't going to work with THE most popular prosumer digital camera out there - what's the point? And why market it as being compatible?

Putting my money in L glass from now on. Liked the sigma's solid feel, but wouldn't trust one as far as I could throw it after my recent experience.


Apr 11, 2006
View profile View recent posts View reviews Add jalabert to your Buddy List  
Powerdoc
Offline
Image Upload: Off



Registered: Feb 4, 2005
Location: France
Posts: 10
Review Date: Mar 8, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Image quality, build quality, HSM AF, Internal focusing and zooming. Great combo with the 1,4 TC
Cons:
a little weighty but it's the price of quality

This lens is very sharp, and is one or perhaps the best zoom produced by sigma. This lens is as sharp as many primes in the respective range, both on the 20 D and the 5D.
The build quality is great, the AF is fast and silent, the internal focusing and zooming are great features. The level of geometrical distorsion is very low.
This lens make a great combo with the 1,4 TC (sigma or Canon : did not tried others brands), with only a little loss of resolution.

I higly recommand this lens


Mar 8, 2006
View profile View recent posts View reviews Visit Homepage Add Powerdoc to your Buddy List  

†††



Sigma 100-300mm f4 EX IF HSM APO

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
98 363674 Aug 26, 2012
Recommended By Average Price
87% of reviewers $2,325.71
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.29
9.28
9.2
100-300if_1_


Page:  1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7  next