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Sigma 100-300mm f4 EX IF HSM APO

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Reviews Views Date of last review
98 365353 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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Bob.Conklin
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Registered: Aug 26, 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Aug 26, 2012 Recommend? no | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 2 

Pros: Perfect zoom range
Cons:
Poor auto-focus quality, backward zoom mechanism.

Bought used and had it serviced by Sigma. Passed 100% from Sigma. Lens would not auto-focus with my Canon 1D Mark II & IV. Manual focus worked fine with excellent results. However, I shoot auto 99% of the time so the lens failure to work with my camera left me nothing but a bad taste. This was the second Sigma lens that failed me.

Aug 26, 2012
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SasRelic
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Registered: Jun 1, 2009
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 2
Review Date: Jun 4, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Constant aperture, very sharp at 100mm-250mm, pretty sharp to sharp at 251-300mm, very well build, fast and takes a 1,4tc pretty good.
Cons:
Hit or miss lens, don't crop with this lens!

When i bought this lens i was really happy with it. Very fast zoom lens and capable of delivering sharp to very sharp images.

The main problem i encountered, was that you really have to be close to your subject. Distances further than 8 meters and the images starting to get soft. This problem was even worse with the 1,4tc on it.

This was the main reason to sell the lens and buy a prime.
Bought the Nikon 300mm F4 AF-S and this baby is way better in every aspect! And i really was a Sigma fan...


Jun 4, 2011
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flowatrack2002
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Registered: Feb 12, 2011
Location: Ireland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 12, 2011 Recommend? no | Price paid: $999.00 | Rating: 1 

Pros: none
Cons:
New lens had AF defect - lack of QC from Sigma - DON'T BUY IT!

I bought a new 100-300 F4 APO EX DG HSM after reading the reviews here. Well, this was the last Sigma lens what i bought. I owned lot's of Sigma lenses but i never had this problem before.
I bought it online and after i received i tried it...well without luck...the AF didn't worked, no noise from the HSM motor, nothing, the focus ring was alsomt stuck. Contacted with the seller but he refused to pay my money back because i tried the lens, so now it's used. How can a lens hit the shelves without testing it???? Is this the new Quality Control from Sigma? and now i have to pay the shipping costs to the Service and back, so now i'm really dissapointed with Sigma...


Feb 12, 2011
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jmazza1984
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Registered: Dec 24, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 12
Review Date: Jan 12, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $899.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Extremely fast HSM autofocus, great image quality, sharp even wide open, good build quality.
Cons:
Weight... after nine hours of this on a 7D in the sun, unhappy arms. And while the overall build quality is very good, the finish is wearing off.

I got this lens about four years ago now and its been an absolute workhorse. It has extremely fast autofocus (perhaps due to the HSM motor although my other sigma with it doesn't focus this fast), great color, contrast, bokeh, etc etc etc. Its sharp wide open which is good because I really wanted the 2.8 version :-/ so I'll take as much light as I can get. Its definitely heavy but well built. The finish is coming off a bit now but I'm not sure if thats because of the lens or my own ineptitude in taking care of my gear. Other telephotos I've used include; Nikon 80-200mm f2.8 via my old job, older but lovely however I shoot Canon now, not Nikon. Canon 75-300mm III that I borrowed on a road trip from a friend and immediately handed it back to them. Sigma 120-300mm that a friend let me try.... but I don't have $3000. Canon 55-250mm IS and 70-300mm IS but I wanted a fixed aperture. I can definitely recommend this lens for sports as well as nature photography. A little hefty in weight as well as price right now but well worth it.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexianimages/5198302781/in/set-72157625320596539/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexianimages/5198266533/in/set-72157625320596539/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexianimages/5198244345/in/set-72157625320596539/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexianimages/2144379472/in/set-72157614430807083/


Jan 12, 2011
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maddog76
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Registered: Oct 11, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 1, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Zoom range. HSM. Build quality. Finish.
Cons:
None.

I've had the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 Mk II, for the last 16 months, this was both fast and reliable in focusing, but not sharp wide open, a lot better at f4.

Replaced my 70-200 with this, the Sigma 100-300, based on reviews, as this focal length suits me better.

Wide open at f4, this lens kicks the A!*e of my 70-200. At all focal lengths the images are crisp, focusing is fast and silent and no signs of the dreaded front focusing.

This lens is slightly heavier about 100g, but the weight is more evenly distributed, and the lens feels well balanced on my 40D.

Bottom line, I would recommend this lens, but be sure to test well beforehand, thankfully I have an honest local camera shop who weed out the bad ones, rather than sell them.


Jul 1, 2010
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robertw164
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Registered: Jan 25, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 7
Review Date: Mar 28, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, fast focus, f/4 is usually fast enough, zoom to 300mm on full frame is great. Decent value for a pro quality lens.
Cons:
Tripod collar is too stiff and I wouldn't mind VR.

I shoot sports professionally. I have a 70-200 but this is the lens I use for most outdoor action. On a D300 the added reach is great for getting action on the other side of the field; on a D700 the extra reach is welcome too. It focuses fast, is sharp and has a nice smooth feel to the zoom action.

I'm not sure why it's not a bigger seller. I don't think I've ever seen Sigma advertise it but if you're considering a Nikon 80-400, check this out first. Not quite the reach but of so much better. And if you can give up a stop, and with the low noise of current sensors you should be able to, this is a much better value than a 70-200 f/2.8. Or for not that much more, it's a much better lens than the 75-300 even with the VR. I own all 3 and this is my lens of choice for outdoor action every time.

Add VR and a better tripod (monopod) collar and it's a perfect.


Mar 28, 2010
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Deorum
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Registered: Dec 22, 2004
Location: Greece
Posts: 23
Review Date: Mar 22, 2010 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: Nice focus, Pro build, Sharp from 100~230, Nice Colours, Sharp when stopped down.
Cons:
Trully bad at 250-300mm, if wide open, unuseable images. Needs stopping down to f8~f9 to clear the images.

I had this lens back in 2005, during an airshow.
It was big, it was pretty fast to focus, and sharp from 100 to 200mm. However at least in my copy at 300mm wide open everything fell apart. Not even usuable.

Stoping everything down to f8~or f9 gave me nice images... but if I wanted an f8 lens (or an f5.6 lens) I wouldn't need to carry this little monster around.



You can see some photos here. These are not good photos, but it is also my bad techninque responsible (shutter 1/400 for jets??)

http://www.georgespyros.com/Airplanes/Jets/10874145_WcCrE#762477731_fLYvZ


Mar 22, 2010
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dseidman
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Registered: Jul 29, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 571
Review Date: Feb 1, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $950.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, good range, solid build, fast and accurate autofocus.
Cons:
No IS/VR and the lens is a little heavy but that's to be expected.

I bought this lens a few years ago after reading lots of reviews. From what I had read, it appeared that this lens is comparable in image quality to Canon's telephotos of similar zoom range. Well after owning this lens for three years and using plenty of Canon's lenses during that time, I can say that this lens really is as good but at a much better price. I have been extremely pleased with its performance. So far it has survived three camera bodies (20D, 40D, and now 5D2) and it's still going strong.

I mostly shoot landscapes with the camera mounted on a tripod so the f/4 aperture is something I don't have to worry about but I can see it being of some concern for sports photographers. Also, the lack of image stabilization can make it a little tough to use handheld. Other than that, I have nothing bad to say.

Here is a gallery full of images I've taken with it over the years:
http://www.northwestcapture.com/keyword/100300


Feb 1, 2010
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margilli
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Registered: May 13, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 56
Review Date: Jan 24, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Stunning sharpness across the board. Excellent build quality. Auto focus is fast and never misses. My best lens purchase to date.
Cons:
82mm filter size.

I replaced a 70-200 vr1 and 80-400 with this lens. I have not missed either of those lenses at all. I now have as good or better image quality and performance, a lighter back pack and a fatter wallet.

Jan 24, 2010
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LMT1972
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Registered: Oct 26, 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 743
Review Date: Nov 22, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,700.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp wide open in the 100-250mm range. Well priced.
Cons:
Soft @ 300mm & AF is lacking compared to the Nikon 70-200VR. No OS.

Used this lens on a D300 for about 6 months and as a zoom it's a pretty decent performer but there are compromises.

Wide open this lens is tack sharp @ 200mm (at least as good as the 70-200VR and better in the corners) but gets softer near 300mm. While it's still useable, the 70-200VR + 1.4/1.7 TC is just as good in terms of sharpness. Colour and micro contrast are good but still a bit behind the 70-200 IMO.

AF is reasonbly fast in good light but starts to struggle a bit with lower contrast subjects compared to the 70-200VR. The Nikon is also clearly better when it comes to tracking subjects moving directly towards the camera.

Also used the lens with the Sigma 1.4 TC and it works pretty well with minimal loss of IQ (unless you are manual focusing, other TC's are useless on the Sigma lenses).

Build quality is excellent and it is handholdable if you are used to 70-200 2.8 or similar weight lenses.

In summary, if you absolutely need a zoom in this range it's hard to beat as long as you are aware of its limitations. but if you are shooting mainly at 300mm, get a prime lens (I've since bought the Nikkor 300VR 2.8 and the extra cost is most definitely worth it).

Cheers
Leigh


Nov 22, 2009
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Marc Kurth
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Registered: Nov 13, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 2876
Review Date: Sep 1, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: $875.00

Pros: This is a follow up after 5 years of heavy use. See page 7 for my original comments in 2004. It's on it's last legs now, after being mistreated for 5 years - but it has been worth a whole lot more than I paid.
Cons:
How can I complain about this lens investment?

This lens has produced a huge number of my "money shots" in situations that my primes couldn't do it for me. Primarily shooting boat-to-boat in big surf and salt spray. That is a solid statement of lens quality.

http://morrobayphotos.com/uscg/USCG%20MLB%20Action

After all of these years of getting salt water soaked/banged around/dropped, it is finally time to replace or repair it. I don't baby my equipment. Bodies and lenses are tools required to get the shot - sometimes at the expense of the tool. The HSM mechanism has become too sloppy to be reliable. The optics are still stellar.

I've heard complaints about focus speed and accuracy, but they seem to be related to Canon bodies. This lens has always been dead on for me with several generations of Nikon bodies over the years, starting with the D70. It's never been serviced or "calibrated" - it just kept ticking.

Just my two cents about an old f4 workhorse.


Sep 1, 2009
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ajnspencer
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Registered: Jan 26, 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 13, 2009 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Most of the build quality, image quality.
Cons:
Focus issues on three copies, tripod collar.

Ok, let's get the plus points out the way, this is a well built lens that feels great and sturdy, it really feels like it could have mechanically lasted a long time. Also, when it worked properly the image quality was excellent but, and it's a big but, it rarely did.

When I got it home and checked the images I'd shot out and around Brixham and on the way home... out of the 200 or so different shots I'd taken only about 10 were actually usable, and before anyone cried "user error" (I probably would) some of these were tripod shots at 1/1600th of a static subject, nigh on impossible to blur as much as I was seeing.

After a few tests I found out that the lens was front focussing badly, a good inch too far forward, and this was causing nightmares at smaller apertures.

Deciding against having to wait for Sigma to mess around with it I took it back to where I got it (Mifsuds, can't praise that shop highly enough!) and two of the shop staff and I spent half an hour doing a variety of tests on my original copy and the other two they had in stock at the time, only to find all three had the same issue, ranging from an inch to two inches front focussing.

I had been confused by the reviews on here, when most were saying it was excellent at all settings but some were complaining of image quality wide open, I now wonder if their copies may have the same issue as these did...

So, seems to be a great lens but may have some build issues with the focussing to worry about... in the end I decided to bite the cash bullet and rather than wait for the lenses to get calibrated and sent back I got myself a Canon 300mm f/4 prime instead.

To be fair the only other problem I had with the lens was the tripod collar being too small to allow good hand holding when switching between tripod and hand.

So, if you really need the zoom, I'd say give it a try. It does seem to be a lovely and solid lens with excellent IQ when working, but for the love of Canon, make sure you run some tests to make sure the focussing is working properly.


May 13, 2009
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NikonianBG
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Registered: Jan 27, 2009
Location: Bulgaria
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 27, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very good image quality and color rendering, sharp, constant f4, fast enough, nice and convenient tripod collar, affordable price
Cons:
Weight, no OS

Iíve been using this lens with Nikon D80 quite a lot for more than 2 years and I really love it. It can hunt sometimes but itís not a problem. Weight Ė well Iím used to it and I often carry it for several hours in a row while shooting at events with no problems, but for someone it might be heavy. Of course the lack of OS is a drawback for any lens within that range, but for the price you get a very nice piece of photo equipment. I had read tens of reviews before buying it and I was completely satisfied with its image quality, sharpness and overall performance when I got one. After so many photos taken with it I havenít noticed any flare problems or at least any serious ones. The zoom ring works smoothly. Iíve tried it also with FX and it works wonderful.

Jan 27, 2009
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FatBoyAl
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Registered: Sep 4, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 670
Review Date: Jan 14, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: IQ from 100-250, constant f4, build
Cons:
Weight, IQ from 250-300

I still think it's a good lens, but here's some observations after using it a bit more. First, in less than perfect light, it can hunt. A lot. I was using it on a sunny day but in the shade. It had real troubles locking on even using my D300. I then tried my 105VR (yes, the macro) and it had no problem. Of course, the macro is a 2.8, not a 4, so I'm sure that had something to do with it.
Wide open, it's sharp, but gets much, much sharper as you go to f8. As most lenses do. I've done some tests and they show as you get to 300mm, it softens up just a bit. Enough to put a bit of blur in a bird's eye that isn't there at 250.
Still and all, for the Nikon system, it's a great lens. Combine that with the price and there's still no competition. That said, I think either my 70-200 (any model) or 100-400 in Canon mounts were far, far sharper when used at the extremes. Any zoom lens, used away from the ends of it's focal range and in the 5.6-8 area is going to be sharp - so that's no surprise here. What sets a lens apart is when it's still sharp at each end of the range and wide-open. I don't think that's the case with the 100-300.


Jan 14, 2009
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FatBoyAl
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Registered: Sep 4, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 670
Review Date: Dec 12, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: IQ!!! AF speed, color rendering, BUILD, constant f4 aperture though zoom range
Cons:
WEIGHT, No VR/IS (though I knew it going in)

I got this used and for a very good price. Tried it the first day I had it on a hawk in flight and wow. Excellent AF speed and accuracy. Very, very nice even wide-open.

No other zoom matches this (in Nikon mount) for range, IQ, and fixed aperture. A real bargain at the price.


Dec 12, 2008
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R10
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Registered: Jan 4, 2008
Location: Germany
Posts: 49
Review Date: Nov 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very impressive image quality, a real bargain lens
Cons:
Edge/corner sharpness wide open, color rendering a bit on the warm side

IQ of this zoom lens is really impressive. Edge/corner resolution is a bit weak wide open, esp at 300mm, but very good from f8. Center quality is a pleasure throughout the range and at all apertures. Color rendering is, like with many Sigmas, a bit on the warm side. Centering of my sample was excellent. (ĎwasĎ, because I use now the Leica-R 105-280, which is beyond comparison but, unlike the Sigma, no bargain...). The Sigma has a very fast ultra sonic AF, but on my 5D it was often not accurate. Not an issue for me because I rarely shoot moving objects and focus mostly manually anyway, but itís a bit annoying esp. with such a (potentially) sharp lens. Maybe this was an unusual phenomenon, to a large extend just due to the individual pairing of my samples of lens and body.

In a nutshell Ė highly recommended!


Nov 13, 2008
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†††



Sigma 100-300mm f4 EX IF HSM APO

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
98 365353 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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