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Any Sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro owners?

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by MrScott, 28 Dec 2006.

  1. MrScott

    Gangster

    Joined: 26 Jun 2004

    Posts: 416

    Location: Durham

    Hello. I'm looking to get a 70-300mm ish lens for my 350D, and I'm stuck deciding between this Sigma and the Canon 75-300 USM. I know this was asked not long ago and the answer was resoundingly the Sigma, but I've got a more specific problem with deciding.

    I've seen tests / sample shots where the Sigma is better optically, plus it has 2:1 macro capabilities which is handy. However....

    I've also heard that the Sigma is slow to focus and hunts around in low light. This could be a problem 'cos I want to be able to use it occasionally for sports / cars / planes / wildlife (birds, etc) i.e. things which move fairly fast. I've had a play with the Canon and was very impressed with the speed of it, but I haven't been able to try out the Sigma.

    What I want to know is what are people's experiences with the Sigma's focus speed / accuracy? Is it quick enough to use fairly reliably at motor / plane / sports events? How usable is it in low light?

    Ta, Scott.
     
  2. JBuk

    Capodecina

    Joined: 28 Nov 2002

    Posts: 11,070

    Location: Cumbria

    just sold mine a few weeks back, i found the focus hunted quite a bit , also the front turns as it focuses (very annoying) , i wouldnt recommend for action shots

    for general use its not bad though
     
  3. ElDude

    Mobster

    Joined: 8 Apr 2004

    Posts: 2,734

    Location: Wrexham

    Yeah, I was selling mine until I thought I'd wait until I actually sell the 300D n bits, so I can actually afford a better replacement. If you've got time to set up for the shot, it seems fine. Not great, just fine. It does tend to seek a bit as said above, and I found it to be a little soft in places.

    Don't get me wrong, I've taken some great shots with it (according to others, I thought they sucked so they got deleted :D) and for the price it's a good everyday lens.
     
  4. themask70

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Feb 2006

    Posts: 1,156

    Location: Saffron Walden, Essex

    I have this lense at the moment as my telephoto and I feel that as long as you keep it below 250mm it stays quite sharp, but as soon as it goes over it softens a lot. But yeh go for it in my opinion!
     
  5. Nazbit

    Mobster

    Joined: 11 Dec 2004

    Posts: 3,870

    Yer I have the 70-300 and use it a lot for motorsport.

    Personally I find the focus quite fast enough. As for it hunting around, it does in low light, however as long as you are on top of the game and you are ready and waiting for a shot a few seconds before the cars emerge from a corner or whatever, then its not an issue at all.

    Its only ever an issue if you are slow to react or if a car comes in to view when you were not expecting it, in which case it will still focus in time, you wont miss the shot, but you might miss the magic shot you were hoping for.

    For the money it is excellent and it has served me well so far at motorsport events, I cant wait for the superbikes and touring cars to come back up here in a few months time.
     
  6. Wile E. Coyote

    Hitman

    Joined: 24 Mar 2006

    Posts: 818

    Location: Sunderland

    I have the none APO version, as said above it can hunt a bit in low light (used it to at newcastle airport today and was shouting at it a couple of times :p ). However for the money it carn't be beat plus the macro is useful also. Will be keeping mine until I can buy something a bit faster like the sigma 70-200 2.8.
     
  7. A.N.Other

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 6 Nov 2005

    Posts: 8,064

    Location: MK45

    I've had this lens for a while now (about 6 months). The focus is fast enough for most things and I've never noticed it struggling to focus in low light levels, but it isn't great at focusing on low-contrast items. When I went out to do some photos in the mist we've been having, it was just going in and out, in and out - had to switch to manual.

    People say that it isn't brilliantly sharp around the edges of zoom range, but I think it's quite reasonable. When Practical Photography mag (I think it was that one, anyway) did a sort through of the affordable zooms, the sigma 70-300 DG APO macro and the tamron equivalent came out on top.
     
  8. MrScott

    Gangster

    Joined: 26 Jun 2004

    Posts: 416

    Location: Durham

    Hmmm ok thanks guys, I don't think I'll need particularly fast focussing in low light so that's OK. If it's fast enough for motorsport it will probably be fast enough for me, I'm just worried in case I want to start shooting sports etc with it. I'll probably go for it in the new year.
     
  9. Johnny|lucidcomposure

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 5 Nov 2004

    Posts: 9,303

    I have the 70 - 300 APO macro going for £40 coz its got a scratch in the front element and will show up when the apeture is stopped down. Fine wide open though.
     
  10. Scam

    Capodecina

    Joined: 20 Oct 2002

    Posts: 14,355

    Location: London

    Is there a vast difference in the APO and non-APO versions of this lens? Been thinking about one for my D50. I desperately need a zoom!
     
  11. Wile E. Coyote

    Hitman

    Joined: 24 Mar 2006

    Posts: 818

    Location: Sunderland

    The none APO version I have can show signs of chromatic aberration at the long end of the zoom, but apart from this the lens is nice and sharp. For the price I carn't really fault it.
     
  12. rich_g85

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 12 Jun 2003

    Posts: 2,033

    Location: Either Tonbridge or Biggin Hill

    I have this lens, I use it mainly for equine events and motorsport. It's a very good lens for the money, although as people mention above it does hunt for focus quite a bit in low light conditions.

    Also the focus is quite loud, which can be irritating/embarassing in situations such as a dressage test (quiet please!)

    Long-term, I plan to replace the Sigma with the Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR when I can afford it.
     
  13. Joe T

    Capodecina

    Joined: 1 Apr 2003

    Posts: 11,772

    Location: Northampton

  14. A.N.Other

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 6 Nov 2005

    Posts: 8,064

    Location: MK45

    Yeah, forgot to mention that. It is very loud compared to more expensive lenses.

    You get what you pay for, though. For the price, it's great.
     
  15. Joe T

    Capodecina

    Joined: 1 Apr 2003

    Posts: 11,772

    Location: Northampton

    Sums it up well tbh. :)
     
  16. nivlo

    Gangster

    Joined: 10 Jun 2004

    Posts: 140

    i wish the memebrs market was open to sell my nikon one.....but nice enough lens and cheap
     
  17. Fireblade2K4

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 9 Nov 2004

    Posts: 1,691

    Location: West Midlands

    I've got this lens with my 400D, not had much chance to use it yet though thanks the our lovely UK weather, hope to get out a little more in the new year.

    Stu