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Sigma 100-300mm f4 EX IF HSM APO

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Reviews Views Date of last review
98 364096 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.


 


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BillyBaldwin
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Registered: Feb 25, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 49
Review Date: Feb 25, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $780.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp as a tack, heavy build, f/4, Huge focus ring
Cons:
A tad heavy...82MM filter-size

I am amazed with this lens....Compared to my brothers 70-200mm f/4 "L" it is as sharp if not sharper, plus I get the benefit of an extra 100mm, and is still extremely sharp at 300mm. Once you pull it out of the box, you will instantly be impressed with the quality and build. !

Feb 25, 2006
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woodburyb
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Registered: Jun 23, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 5
Review Date: Feb 6, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $760.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great build quality, fast, quiet autofocus, sharp, sharp, sharp!
Cons:
Heavy-ish.

My first "pro" lens and I am extremely happy with it. I've not shot a lot of pictures, but a fairly good variety of them and this lens is very sharp. I was looking at the Canon 20-200mm f4/L and I'm satisfied I made the correct decision, same money with an additional 100mm of reach.
Terrific lens, very high quality in look and feel.
Did I mention it is sharp?
BW


Feb 6, 2006
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Asmodeous
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Registered: Aug 9, 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 139
Review Date: Feb 6, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, beautiful pictures. It isn't a Canon. Great range and speed on a 1.6x crop digital slr. positive and big zoom ring. Included tripod mount. etc etc everything about this lens, blah blah blah......
Cons:
Um, errr.... It doesn't press the shutter button for you? Big front filter is a nightmare to keep clean. hey, i'm really scratching for con's here!

What a lens! Sharp and contrasty. F4 at 300mm simply leaves everything else eating dust with the only possible exception being white primes made by Canon.
Compares with Canon's 70-200mm F4L really well making it immpossible to tell their shots apart. The only difference is the focal lengths, wieght and colour. I could not see any difference between the two, try as I might.

Thankfully, I don't have a problem with this len's weight on my 300D with battery grip but it can be said that it is heavy for some users.

Claims that this could be Sigma's best lens could be right on the money. Buy this lens and start building up those wrist and arm muscles!!


Feb 6, 2006
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aldiss
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Registered: May 21, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: great optical quality, built like a tank, extremely fast HSM, next to impossible to flare with the provided hood, good quality with 1.4x TC, not too heavy
Cons:
This is a long lens with no IS... this means you need to have a good technique to get good results. There is no IS to save you here...

I got this lens (non DG) in June 2005 and had trouble with it at first on my 20D : the lens would not focus consistently... really annoying... I did two weeks of intensive testing to track the problem (me? the lens?) and finally sent the lens to the canadian SIGMA service point. One week later they had fixed my problem (they changed some parts in the lens).

Now I'm more than happy with the lens. I'm using it mostly on tripod (Manfrotto 055+Arca B1e). The friction control of the ball head does a great job...

I did some testing and I can confirm too that : from 100mm to ~240mm the lens is very sharp at F4.0 and extremely sharp at F5.6.

At 300mm F4.0 it's usable if you've got no choice (poor light conditions) but on my copy it's sharp again if I stop down to F5.0 only ! Smile At F7.1 I get back microcontrast and the image quality is just great ! It improves again a bit at F9.0 but I seldom use the lens past F7.1.

With the Kenko Teleplus Pro 1.4x TC at 420mm you get average image quality at F5.6 but it's sharp again at F7.1 and by F9.0 it's extremely sharp. Compared to an upsized version of a photo the Kenko TC gives a slightly better job at F7.1 and much better results at F9.0.

I don't find the lens that heavy to handheld but much more difficult to use than on tripod. This is were you wished you had IS on the camera or on the lens Wink Even at high shutter speed (over 1/1600s) I will not get good results if I'm not perfectly still or if the lens is not resting on something.

Here are some photos taken at the last FINA 2005 - Swimming World Championships... all handheld.

http://www.pbase.com/blenistour/col_fina_2005

On a final note it's a SIGMA lens... you do get a slight yellow cast... which takes 1s to fix in Raw Shooter.


Jan 28, 2006
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mrvile7734
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Registered: Sep 1, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1234
Review Date: Jan 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $760.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: painfullly sharp @ f/5.6, fast and dead on focusing, price price price
Cons:
a bit soft @ 300mm wide open, focus hunts in low light or on a low contrast subject, weight

I bought this lens in the middle of December...bad decision, and with the weather I had to wait almost a month before I was able to go out and really test this thing. Shooting a few things around the yard doesn't really bring out the best in this lens.

But as soon as I took it out for its first field run, I couldn't believe what I got for the money. The pictures were slightly soft at f/4 (but only noticeable at 100% and if you're really pixel picking), but at f/5.6 it becomes tack sharp. I shot all my shots that day with AI-Servo, and the focusing was very fast and very accurate, and the focusing ring doesn't move, which really helps hand holding.

The focus, however, will hunt in low light or if you're focusing on a blank subject or at something complicated like branches (but what lens doesn't?). Also, the lens was much larger than it appeared in the pictures I saw of it online, which isn't a problem, but keep it in mind when you buy it.

Of course, even my praise doesn't do the lens justice. Here are some of the pics I took on my first run:

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a214/Mrvile/DSLR%20Photos/gooseslip.jpg

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a214/Mrvile/DSLR%20Photos/gooseblown.jpg

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a214/Mrvile/DSLR%20Photos/goosetimid.jpg

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a214/Mrvile/DSLR%20Photos/gooseflywater.jpg

And here's one from the backyard:

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a214/Mrvile/DSLR%20Photos/treesquirril.jpg

Highly recommended, you can't get better for this price.


Jan 21, 2006
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jgonzo
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Registered: Dec 17, 2005
Location: Germany
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 18, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: optical quality near to perfect, sharp(!!!), fast AF, good build quality, lens-hood, case,
Cons:
weight, cant reach lenscap when lens hood is mounted

One of the best lenses i ever had.
Very sharp, (even with sigma converter 1,4x and 2,0x), fast AF and very good build quality.



Dec 18, 2005
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mikaelwardhana
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Registered: May 4, 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 364
Review Date: Nov 26, 2005 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros:
Cons:

sorry the link i wrote before is incorrect. Here is the correct one:

http://www.mikaelwardhana.com/photo/comparison.jpg


Nov 26, 2005
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mikaelwardhana
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Registered: May 4, 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 364
Review Date: Nov 23, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $710.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very sharp throughout the zoom range and aperture range. Comparable to CANON L series zooms. Cheap!
Cons:
Heavy and big!

This is a very sharp lens. Comparable to canon legendaric 70-200mm f4L ..You dont believe me? you dont have to... I have run a comparison test which you can download and see for yourself.

Here...look at this.

http://www.mikaelwardhana.com/photos/comparison.jpg


Nov 23, 2005
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Leginmat
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Registered: Nov 21, 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 11
Review Date: Nov 21, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Produces sharp pictures, Fast! and very quiet.
Cons:
The weight...

After reading many good reviews on this lens, I wasn't too surprised how good it was when I used it for the first time.

Nov 21, 2005
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barisaxer
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Registered: Feb 21, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 503
Review Date: Oct 12, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: very sharp if you do not need a 2.8 buy it you will like it. I carry a 24-120 nikon vr this and a 12-24 and am very happy with the range and results. If you neeed closer focus look at a canon 2 elelment close up lens and you have a mean picture machine that goes as big as my 4800 will print easily.
Cons:
Heavy



Oct 12, 2005
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harbindj
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Registered: Mar 18, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 4, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: affordable ,very sharp , fast, constant f/4, great build,Excellent contrast,internal focusing.
Cons:
heavy ,82mm filter size.

This is the best telephoto zoom lens for the price sigma makes.This lens is truly amazing. It is my favorite lens.

Oct 4, 2005
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gamecockfan
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Registered: Mar 21, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 75
Review Date: Jun 17, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $899.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, fast, excellent color and contrast, well built. price
Cons:
HSM is not quite as fans as a Canon L, Softens a little over 250mm @f/4

I have no doubt this lens is pound for pound, dollar for dollar the best buy on the planet. I recently upgraded to the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 and planned to sell the f/4. I just couldn’t bring my self to sell it. I sold my Canon 300mm f/4 IS instead. I enjoy using it so much and (light permitting) the images I get from this lens are among the best I have taken. Some here seem to object to the 3 lb weight but I find it is relatively easy to hand hold for short periods. To my eye below 250mm or so it is as sharp as any zoom I have ever used.

I have to say, based on my experience with this Sigma, I purchased a 24-70 Sigma zoom. That was a very disappointing experience but this one has been nothing but joy.



Jun 17, 2005
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phidong
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Registered: Feb 19, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2503
Review Date: Jun 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: affordable, great reach (100-300 or 140-420 w/ 1.4x), constant f/4, great build (very solid), comes with hood and pouch, 4 year warranty for US, fast focus (hsm), very very very sharp
Cons:
minimum focusing distance sharpness

The Sigma 100-300mm f/4 EX HSM is an excellent lens. I would even dare to claim that it is Sigma's finest lens (and despite some hatred for third party, they do in fact have several great lenses). It is by far the sharpest zoom lens that I have ever mounted on my camera or used for that matter (This includes the 100-400L, 70-200L [all 3], 24-70L, 28-75, etc.)

The speedy focus, even with a 1.4x teleconverter, makes this lens a very special lens. An effective 140-420mm f/5.6 is a great lens for daytime shooting. I figure if I'm outside already, I could always use the little extra reach. For low light shooting, you probably want to put this lens away, unless you're tripod shooting still objects or your have incredibly steady hands. This is hardly a con in my opinion though because this lens wasn't designed to be a low light telephoto.

At minimum focusing distance (~5ft) the lens isn't as sharp as it is when a bit further away.

I definitely recommend this lens to anybody who needs reach. To put things into perspective, I was planning to purchase a 300mm f/4L prior to getting a great deal on this gem and now that isn't even in my plans anymore. The 70-200mm f/2.8L IS I was going to purchase has been moved to a way lower priority.

This lens is amazing. Get it if you can, you will NOT regret it! :O


Jun 10, 2005
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aggarcia
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Registered: Oct 30, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 40
Review Date: May 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $750.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: F4 from 100-300, build quality, A sigma EX lens
Cons:
Heavy, must be careful about handheld shots

This is the best 100-300 lens on the market for under $1k. Canon does not offer anything in this range with this lens specs. The closest is the 100-400 4.5-5.6 . I did not like the push-pull design of that lense. The only better lens in this range is the Sigma 120-300 2.8, but it is $2k. I wanted a lens with more reach and my 70-200 would only get close with a 1.4 telecon. on it. The HSM focus is fast. Even with a 1.4 telecon the 100-300 is fast. The only negative with an F4 is you need enough light. I was still suprised that I have been able to get some inside shots with this len. This lense is heaver than the 70-200, so handholding requires proper technique. A great Sigma EX series lense.

May 19, 2005
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Mert
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Registered: Apr 15, 2004
Location: Turkey
Posts: 2449
Review Date: Apr 16, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent contrast,very sharp (Even @ F4) Silent,good build quality,work's well with the Sigma 1.4 TC (AF still work's&image quality is excellent),good price/performance ratio,comes with a nice padded case&hood&tripod mounting ring,constant F4,internal focusing.
Cons:
Slightly heavy but hey it is a 300mm F4 lens,zoom ring is a little firm,82mm filter size.

For me : It is the best <300mm zoom lens under 1000$.Actually it is better than my other tele : Canon 100-400L and par with my 70-200L's.
I really like this lens.


Apr 16, 2005
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SamppaM
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Registered: Mar 4, 2005
Location: Finland
Posts: 99
Review Date: Apr 12, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Produces sharp pictures with excellent contrast, light weight, accurate AF, excellent design.
Cons:
None so far.

I bought the lens in summer 2004 for Nikon DSLR. I was unable to find other high quality lenses at this zoom range at f4. The lens also provides excellent pictures with Sigma 1.4x teleconverter.


Apr 12, 2005
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Sigma 100-300mm f4 EX IF HSM APO

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
98 364096 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_


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