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Sigma 100-300mm f4 EX IF HSM APO

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Reviews Views Date of last review
98 363319 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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blossom
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Registered: Mar 29, 2005
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 30, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: SHARP! FAST! Excellent colours and contrast!
Cons:
heavy and so not to travel with it. If possible use it with a stative.

Using it for the first time was a wonder to me. I was taking pictures of birds and every feather is sharp and the colours are superb. Only very little corrections with Photoshop needed.

Mar 30, 2005
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talattad
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Registered: Jan 5, 2005
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 1284
Review Date: Jan 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, warm color, good contrast, easy to hold, well balanced and good mechanics. The best performance to price ratio that you can get for this zoom range.
Cons:
Expensive filter but I can not fault the 82mm size filter, it is f4.0 at 100-300mm.

I like this lens for it's sharpness when used above f4.0 from 100 to about 250mm. I have noticed that the sharpness degrades at around 300mm but I think it is still sharper than other zoom lens in this range. I tried also using this lens with a Sigma 1.4X teleconverter and I did not experience any problems on focusing and the images are still acceptable. I think this lens is the sharpest zoom lens that Sigma has made.

Jan 5, 2005
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Brian Wadie
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Registered: Jan 3, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 5
Review Date: Jan 3, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Speed, resolving power at distance, constant F4 and handling
Cons:
weight

I wanted lens with better resolving power at distance than the sigma 70-300 APO macro 2 which I already had for my Canon 300D. I missed a good 2nd hand Canon 300 F4 prime, couldn't afford a new (or second hand) canon 100-400 LIS and saw a review of this lens.

Checking out it seemed to be the best lens that nobody was talking about so I took the plunge and purchased it.

At first I was worried about the weight (I'm in my '60s and a bit arthticky) but after a while I learnt to handle it. I usually carry it with a monopod attached via a ball-head which lets me tuck the shaft of the monopod under my right arm. This acts as a brace and I find I can now carry the lens for 3-4 hours without problem including some shooting from hand as well as monopod.

So far it has done everything I want of it, including getting me some reasonable shots with stacked EX 1.4 and EX 2 xTCs.

Playing recently I find I can also get good close-up shots using 65mm of extension tubes. A tripod is essential for this however.

So, in my view, a great success at a very reasonable price, strongly recommended if you can't afford Canon L glass prices but want good results


Jan 3, 2005
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L. Smits
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Registered: May 4, 2004
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 2
Review Date: Nov 26, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $999.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Strong build / Fast / Quiet / Sharpness! / HSM / F4
Cons:
Collar obtrusive to hand holding.

This is a superb lens. Sharp and crisp. Fast. Mechanical great performer. Ideal for sports photography.

Nov 26, 2004
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Marc Kurth
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Registered: Nov 13, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 2876
Review Date: Oct 26, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $875.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, very fast focus, good contrast. This is a great lens for the money
Cons:
I don't like the bokeh, but no real complaints when you consider price

Reasonable images at f4, great images from f5.6 to f22. Decent results with the 1.4X only if you shoot at f6 to f11. Overall images quality not as good as the 120-300 f2.8, but this lens is just light enough to shoot handheld and to carry around all day – which is what I need.

When used with the 1.4X at 420mm, I suspect that many people will get soft images by not following good long-lens practices - or shooting wide open. Once you get the hang of it, this combination performs quite well in good light.

Here is a small group of images - all shot handheld, all with 1.4X http://morrobayphotos.com/Sigma/100-300/



Oct 26, 2004
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pranic
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Registered: Oct 2, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 923
Review Date: Jun 29, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $850.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: sharp images, excellent build quality, very stylinsh and professional looking (especially with the lens hood on), excellent price/performance ratio. Excellent carrying bag.
Cons:
a little bulky, and could sometimes be heavier than what you'd like to carry around.

This lens has great reach, awesome images, and renders nice warm colors and skintones. I have used this lens together with a 28-135 IS, and would always choose this one whenever I had to go over 100mm.

Very fast autofocus when paired with my 1D and 10D bodies, and is a super lens for sports. The front filter size of 82mm is somewhat larger than I would have liked, but you can't really fault this lens.

I mostly used it hand-held, but occasionally put it on my tripod with the attached tripod collar.



Jun 29, 2004
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JCDoss
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Registered: Jan 1, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 1089
Review Date: Jun 10, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Range, f/4, optically very good, excellent build quality, inexpensive
Cons:
Somewhat heavy, zoom ring sticks a little, large filter thread size

This is a fantastic lens at all focal lengths. Sharpness is good wide open, but very good to excellent at f/5.6. I use this lens with the Sigma 1.4x converter with no discernable loss in quality. The f/4 aperture is the perfect mix of speed at this focal length and size/weight. The lens is big, has a big front element, and doesn't fit in my Nova 5 bag unless it's lying horizontal. It's 8.8in long and will have trouble fitting into most shoulder bags.

When I first got this lens, the zoom ring was somewhat difficult to turn. Thankfully, it loosened up with time and use, and is now quite smooth. The focus ring is very large, and extremely smooth. Overall build quality is excellent: the lens is metal, the rings are rubberised and easily grippable, and the tripod collar is removable.

The only thing that would make this lens better is IS, although I've been able to successfully handhold this lens at least a stop below the 1/focal length rule.

Several examples can be seen here: www.dhvp.net/jcdoss/index.htm, particularly in the zoo gallery.

[EDIT: 12/8/2004]
This lens is fantastic with the 1.4x TC, but the 2x TC makes some funky bokeh and brings with it a significant degradation in image quality. That said, I've printed some images with STACKED converters that were fairly nice! http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/157903

I had trouble finding a bag (shoulder bag, not backpack) that will accommodate this lens. Finally, I chose the Lowepro S/F system. The lens with camera mounted (w/ or w/o grip) fits great into a Toploader 75, and Lens Case 4 is perfect for this behemoth.

I'm also happy to report that the zoom ring stiffness that was present in the new lens did go away after a few months of use. It's fairly smooth now and very comfortable. The manual focus ring is extremely smooth and easy to use. Grade 10/10 for ergonomics!


Jun 10, 2004
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Unregistered
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Location: United States
Review Date: May 24, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $799.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very Good Lens, reliable
Cons:
Sigma warranty no good and service worse.When I sent for repair they charged me $110.00 instead of repairing under the warranty, very slow in repairing and not to professional when you call Sigma USA.y

This lens is very reliable goood for action sports having the ability to go from 100 mm to 300 mm in seconds. 2.8 is fast lens, good price but we service after you buy the lens is not GOOD, THEY NEED TO GET MORE SERVICE PERSONNEL IF THEY CANT HANDLE THE REPAIRS, ALSO NOT CHARGE CLAIMING THAT LENS WASN'T DAMAGED NORMALLY, WHEN YOU ARE SENDING A NICE CLEAN NOT DAMAGED BY FALLS OR ANY TYPE OF NICKS LENS FOR REPAIR.
SERVICE AND WARRANTY GET AN...... F RATING


May 24, 2004
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jypsee
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Registered: Mar 16, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 258
Review Date: Apr 30, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great optics and very sharp at all focal lengths; decent bokeh.
Cons:
HEAVY and the hood is clumsy.

I can just barely handhold this lens; mostly I use it on a tripod after I get tired of handholding strain. Even when I buy the Canon 100-400 L IS, I won't be getting rid of this lens because I like it that much.

Apr 30, 2004
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Misc
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Registered: Jun 13, 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 208
Review Date: Apr 29, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $635.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Extremely sharp lens, good autofocus speed, excellent contrast and colorful image, good construction and it's f/4 to all focal lenght.
Cons:
Not a really smooth zoom, bad design of tripod collar and misplaced with zoom ring, Big filter 82mm $$$, Weight...But it is a problem???



Apr 29, 2004
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Location: Canada
Review Date: Apr 8, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $759.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, excellent color and contrast, very well built and handles well for a big lens, great value.
Cons:
Takes awkward filter size, weighs 3lbs, no IS.

This is probably the finest lens Sigma makes, if their other EX lenses were this good Canon and Nikon would be sweating bullets.

Gives you very sharp images wide open from 100 to 250mm and sharp from 250-300mm. Works really well with a 1.4 converter. Doesn't suffer from the yellow tint of other Sigma Lens. HSM auto focus is fast and quite.

If your looking for a zoom in this focal range you will love this one.


Apr 8, 2004
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spartan123
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Registered: Nov 9, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 3683
Review Date: Feb 9, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $640.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp and VERY nice colors. Very well built.
Cons:
A little heavy for being an f/4. But worth it to have the "IF" and "HSM" features.

I find this Sigma lens comparable in build and photo quality to some of my Canon "L" glass. So far every EX lens I have purchased from Sigma has given me more bang for my buck than I expected. Very happy with their lenses. Great with 1.4X TC.

This lens has become my favorite medium range zoom. I use it more than the 70-200 f/2.8.


Feb 9, 2004
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Pixist
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Registered: Sep 11, 2002
Location: N/A
Posts: 1
Review Date: Feb 2, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp throughout its range - even wide open at f4. Excellent contrast. Fast and quiet focus. Easy to handhold. Solid build.
Cons:
Can't think of any. But most anything can be bettered...

This is a unique lens, presently - there is nothing else currently like it. Sharpness is excellent as are colour and contrast. It combines the popular 70-200 range (almost) with the equally popular 300 and all at f4. So it is two lenses in one. Flare and CA are well controlled. Has FTM and HSM, is a constant length and is made of metal - very solid lens which is upto the rugged outdoors. Though it is handholdable, a tripod and good tripod technique can give better results.

I too saw the PP review and note the field test and conclusion here:

"In the field: Test slides were very sharp and contrasty from the center to the corners at all apertures at all focal lengths, with the exception of f/32 at 200mm and 300mm, where the corners were slightly soft. Light falloff was gone by f/5.6 at all focal lengths. Flare was very well controlled at all apertures and focal lengths, with no ghosts.

Conclusion: After you get past one slight weakness—close-up performance at the longer focal lengths—what you're left with is an exceptionally sharp zoom lens with top-notch mechanicals, well worth the price."

Now that fits with my experience and that of 99% of others of which I have read. Unrealistic expectations and/or a bad copy(s) can make a lens look bad.


Feb 2, 2004
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Bizonkid
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Registered: Mar 11, 2003
Location: Belgium
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jan 13, 2004 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Fast, silent AF. Build Quality.
Cons:
Quality starts to degrade after 200-220mm.

After reading several (user)reviews, saying that this lens was "Extremely sharp, "Comparable to Nikkor AF-S 300/4.0 IF ED" and so on, I thought that can't go wrong. Well, guess what.
I'm not that happy with this lens I bought for my Fuji S2. I have to say that at 100mm, this lens is incredibly sharp, even at f4.
But once you get over the 200mm focal length, image quality starts to degrade. At 300mm, i don't like the sharpness even at f8! It has nothing to do with handholding, because I tried it on a tripod too. So why do all these people come up with superlatives for this lens? I honestly don't know.

Also, I don't think I have a bad sample. Look at this review: http://www.popphoto.com/article.asp?section_id=2&article_id=291

And also as a part of this review: http://www.popphoto.com/article.asp?section_id=2&article_id=291

That last article is an SQF-chart (Subjective Quality Factor). It gives a good impression about the sharpness throughhout the focal length and aperture range.




Jan 13, 2004
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RollCast
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Registered: Dec 3, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 582
Review Date: Dec 20, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $750.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Super sharp, great contrast, fast focusing. Works extremely well with the Sigma 1.4x EX APO TC.
Cons:
None so far

I have just put together my first DSLR system, selling off my 35mm body and eight prime lens. Needless to say I'm very much a fan of sharp, contrast images one expects when using primes. After much research I decided to go against my normal approach and build my digital system with zooms.

I can say I'm very impressed with the image quality of today's modern zoom lens.

The Sigma 100-300EX has far exceeded my expectations. The focus is fast and precise, even in less than optimum light. While I do realize that all digital images will be better with some post processing though software such as Photoshop. I can say that the results straight out of the camera are quite usable. The Sigma images are right in line with my Canon 70-200L, a slight color difference between the two. I would compare this to the difference between Kodachrome and Ektachrome.

I'm not a big fan of filters so the 82mm size dose not bother me. Those that do use filters may find the cost something to consider. Overall I can highly recommend this lens to anyone needing the focal length with a useable f/4 aperture.

Sample images, unprocessed http://www.pbase.com/rollcast/test_canon_rebel


Dec 20, 2003
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traveler
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Registered: Jan 8, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 3434
Review Date: Oct 16, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $750.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp as a prime across it's entire focal range 1.4x teleconverter neither limits the speed or sharpness Nice balanced weight and tight as a drum, professional grade construction all the way
Cons:
cost of filters this size

I chose this lens over the 50-500 APO Sigma primarily as I don't require the super long tele, and also this doesn't change it's length like a trombone. The construction is as one would expect from any professional lens....metal and not cheap plastic. The zoom is smooth and nicely damped. The glass is nicely coated. The tripod mount is solid as a rock, which only helps the sharpness result. With a 1.4x teleconverter attached it autofocuses just as fast with NO hit in speed like the Canon's do. The sharpness of the lens is a virtual equal to what one would expect from a prime lens. Either I got a good one or if they are all like this than this particular model accels at accomplishing this result. I like the constant aperture as well. After having owned a 70-200 2.8L IS, which was very sharp indeed, I consider this lens NO less a provider of sharp, contrasty and colorful output. There are more than enough detractors of Sigma lenses out there, and in some cases for good reason. I'm happy to say this one passes the muster. It's about as good as it get's for this focal length, and for this price you can't touch it by another manufacturer..

Oct 16, 2003
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Sigma 100-300mm f4 EX IF HSM APO

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
98 363319 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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