Sigmas 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DL Macro Super is a compact
4.3x Zoom lens, capable of
focusing down to 1:2 (half life-size) reproduction ratio at 300mm
focal length, with superb optical quality. A detachable
bayonet hood is provided. The lens materials used in this product are lead and arsenic free ecological glass, including one
Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass element
and the the macro capability on this Sigma is unbelievable! There are a couple of versions of this lens. Both are have a
Macro function but the quality of the glass used is different.
If you need a low light lens, this isn't it. If your primary objective is to take pictures in low light situation such as wedding and concerts, then get the
50-150mm f/2.8 HSM or the 70-200mm f/2.8 HSM instead.
On the older lens there used to be a "DL" version (I believe) with a gold ring and a version labeled the "DL
Macro Super" with a red ring.
Of the two the "DL Macro Super" with the red ring is the better one.
The new version of this lens is simply labeled as the "APO DG Macro. Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro
This lens was an upgrade from my old Sigma 75-300 zoom, which was fine in it's time but just plain worn out. For those who aren't familiar with the Minolta Maxxum series, be aware that this lens has a pretty slow auto focus, but that is a limitation of the body and not the lens and it is still usable. You'll get more satisfaction from going manual focus.
I love this lens. Very accurate at all focal lengths, below average lens "flair" even without the included lens hood, and very comfortable in the hand. The ergonomics are first rate; you can hand carry it all day without much discomfort unlike the new Canon USM lens's, which are truly excellent and fast but Really Heavy.
The best thing is the Macro feature, which at 300mm gives a 1:2 ratio. This translates to incredible close-up 300mm shots at just 9 inches away!!! Fantastic, but bring your tripod (which you should have anyway).
Not a second of regret for this one.
A Great Lens for Sports, Close-Ups or Girl Watching, May 11, 2001
By MartyHansen (Los Angeles, CA USA
This review is from: Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 DL Macro Super Lens for Nikon-AF Camera (Electronics)
As a telephoto zoom, this lens is very versatile. Its a fine (100-135mm) portrait lens. Its great for sports or animal photography (135-300mm). With the macro feature, its wonderful for taking photos of flowers and nature. And with its long telephoto capability, it makes a cool girl watching lens. For capturing the mood of summer or of being on vacation, nothing says it better than a pretty girl photographed in the location in local attire. (With a telephoto zoom lens, even for a portrait, its easier to separate the subject from the crowd or background in order to frame the composition perfectly.)
As a Nikon owner, I use this lens with my Nikon N-90, which has a flash sync speed of 1/250th of a second, fast enough to hand hold with a telephoto lens. I also use the dedicated Nikon SB-28 flash which has a zoom head to extend the flash's range; and when combined with the Nikon "D" lens mount on the Sigma lens (which tells the camera subject distance) and Nikon's 3-D Matrix Metering, this combination of equipment allows me to shoot telephoto fill-flash in broad daylight (with no extra thinking required. Just compose and shoot). Nothing makes the subject pop -- in terms of brightness and color -- more than fill-flash. I'll usually use the Sigma 70-300 in this set-up to capture animals or people. (My friends are always amazed at the brightness and color saturation of my photos. They think I use special film.)
I also employ this lens/camera/flash combination (using 400 or 800 speed film) to photograph my son's basketball games indoors. By using a fast enough film, I can perfectly balance the ambient light with the flash to create perfectly natural indoor sports photos. (Using flash makes the color of his jersey pop. Attempting to shoot indoors using only available light will leave the colors murky.)
When I'm out and about, I'll normally carry, as a back-up to my Nikon/Sigma set-up, an autofocus point-and-shoot 35 mm camera (such as my Olympus Stylus DLX 28-90) so I don't need to change lenses. (It's much easier to whip out the autofocus camera for the wider angle shots than it is to switch lenses. It's also much lighter to carry.)
What's best about the Sigma 70-300 is that it does all of the above -- at a very affordable price. If you're looking for a great telephoto zoom, this is the lens to get.
Photos shot with this Lens. Click a Photo for Larger Image
Hand held Sigma 70-300.
Focal length 300 + 1.5X TC.
400mm effective length