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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Sigma 70-300 APO DG, hit or skip?
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05/20/2007 04:10:08 AM · #1
When I first got my 30d I wanted to get this lens. I forgot about it until now. It's only $220. Is it worth it or will it be a waste of money? I really want the 70-200 F/4L but just can't afford it right now. Plus the extra 100mm will be nice.
05/20/2007 07:02:41 AM · #2
Well, I don't have this lens, but I've recently been researching tele-lenses. Many people are recommending this lens, although don't believe everything you hear. It is a decent lens for the price, and better than anything around it's price or cheaper.

Yes, any of the 70-200 lenses are better, and I would definitely go for the Canon 70-300IS over the Sigma APO, but the Canon and the 70-200s are in a price class well beyond the APO. If you can afford any of the better lenses, get them. If you can't, the Sigma sounds a good choice.

Disclaimer: I don't own this lens, and I've never used it, so my opinion is based only on much reading. :) Maybe someone else will chime in here with some experience.
05/20/2007 07:13:49 AM · #3
I recently purchased the Sigma 70-300APO. We too would love to have one of the better lenses but the price difference is just too far out of reach for us anytime in the near future. I bought it for the zoo primarily and I have done pretty well with it, both in challenges and my every day images.
05/20/2007 09:01:09 AM · #4
funny you should post this question ... I have the lens and am considering selling it to upgrade to the 70-200 f/4L ... I've had the Sigma for less than a year and it's in great shape, always in the case when not on the camera ... body shows no signs of wear and there are no scratches on it ... PM me if your interested, I'm asking $160 (includes shipping)

edit to say that mine is the APO DG version ...

Message edited by author 2007-05-20 09:16:16.
05/20/2007 09:12:03 AM · #5
Yeah, it's a good starter zoom, not to the quality of the expensive glass, but definitely a good choice for the price. The Tamron version is comparable. Both lenses are slower focusing as they rely on the focus motor in the body, but the 30D has a faster and stronger motor for that. I've found that the Sigma focuses a measurable amount faster and more accurately on the D200 than the D70. I think you'd be pretty happy with it.

I know it's not even in the same league/price-range, but I'd love to have a Tokina 80-400.

BTW - Do NOT be fooled, do not get the non-APO DG version of the Sigma. It is total crap.
05/20/2007 06:48:01 PM · #6
I could be wrong, but I don't believe that any Canon cameras have focus motors in the body. The body motor drive is a feature of the Nikon mount. All autofocus lenses for Canon mount will have a motor in the lens. This includes the Sigma 70-300 APO, which has a standard microdrive motor.
05/20/2007 07:32:52 PM · #7
Originally posted by wavelength:



BTW - Do NOT be fooled, do not get the non-APO DG version of the Sigma. It is total crap.


I can attest to that. I was very unhappy with our non apo version.
05/20/2007 07:35:49 PM · #8
' . substr('//i25.photobucket.com/albums/c63/humphouse/smileys/idhitit.gif', strrpos('//i25.photobucket.com/albums/c63/humphouse/smileys/idhitit.gif', '/') + 1) . '
05/20/2007 08:11:34 PM · #9
okay so i found that with my XTi in temperatures under like 5C there would be a communications error sometimes and the shutter would only go half way.
other than that im quite happy with it
05/20/2007 09:45:37 PM · #10
Originally posted by surfdabbler:

I could be wrong, but I don't believe that any Canon cameras have focus motors in the body. The body motor drive is a feature of the Nikon mount. All autofocus lenses for Canon mount will have a motor in the lens. This includes the Sigma 70-300 APO, which has a standard microdrive motor.


You're right, Canon bodies do not have an internal focus motor but instead depend on the lens to focus itself. I've heard nothing but good things about the 70-300mm lens but have never used it myself. You can go here for some more information on it.
07/13/2007 09:40:44 PM · #11
Originally posted by Elvis_L:

Originally posted by wavelength:



BTW - Do NOT be fooled, do not get the non-APO DG version of the Sigma. It is total crap.


I can attest to that. I was very unhappy with our non apo version.


Excuse my ignorance, but what is the difference? I just bought a lens, not knowing there were two different ones, and now I find it's the non-APO version.
07/13/2007 09:48:52 PM · #12
I believe the non-APO version is an older model (although maybe I'm wrong and maybe you can still get it). APO is a special type of good lens/glass, so the APO version is a higher quality lens with better image quality, even though it has the same specs for zoom and aperture. The APO will give a sharper image, better contrast, less chromatic aberration, etc.

Message edited by author 2007-07-13 21:50:32.
07/13/2007 09:55:38 PM · #13
Originally posted by surfdabbler:

I believe the non-APO version is an older model (although maybe I'm wrong and maybe you can still get it). APO is a special type of good lens/glass, so the APO version is a higher quality lens with better image quality, even though it has the same specs for zoom and aperture. The APO will give a sharper image, better contrast, less chromatic aberration, etc.


yup, what he said

The chroma fringing on the non-APO is particularly horrid in high(and even medium) scenes.

edit- That's the purple halo you'll have on your subjects due to light being reflected back from the IR filter that covers your cameras sensor.

Message edited by author 2007-07-13 21:57:55.
07/13/2007 09:57:51 PM · #14
Just bought the Sigma 70-300mm APO DG and I would recommend it 110% for someone starting out on a budget.
07/13/2007 10:00:48 PM · #15
Originally posted by wavelength:

Originally posted by surfdabbler:

I believe the non-APO version is an older model (although maybe I'm wrong and maybe you can still get it). APO is a special type of good lens/glass, so the APO version is a higher quality lens with better image quality, even though it has the same specs for zoom and aperture. The APO will give a sharper image, better contrast, less chromatic aberration, etc.


yup, what he said

The chroma fringing on the non-APO is particularly horrid in high(and even medium) scenes.


The salesman didn't even tell me there were two versions. Just that it was a good lens. I'm really worried now. I seem to be getting everything wrong. I started out with a second hand Canon 75-300, which was really awful. I thought I was lucky to get rid of it as a trade-in. I was so pleased with the few shots I took compared to what I'd done with the Canon. Now I read this and it looks like I'm stuck with something that's not so good either.
07/13/2007 10:10:28 PM · #16
Originally posted by GinaRothfels:

Originally posted by wavelength:

Originally posted by surfdabbler:

I believe the non-APO version is an older model (although maybe I'm wrong and maybe you can still get it). APO is a special type of good lens/glass, so the APO version is a higher quality lens with better image quality, even though it has the same specs for zoom and aperture. The APO will give a sharper image, better contrast, less chromatic aberration, etc.


yup, what he said

The chroma fringing on the non-APO is particularly horrid in high(and even medium) scenes.


The salesman didn't even tell me there were two versions. Just that it was a good lens. I'm really worried now. I seem to be getting everything wrong. I started out with a second hand Canon 75-300, which was really awful. I thought I was lucky to get rid of it as a trade-in. I was so pleased with the few shots I took compared to what I'd done with the Canon. Now I read this and it looks like I'm stuck with something that's not so good either.


I'm sorry Gina, I bought that lens on a whim and didn't notice the problems till later. For most uses, is a fairly acceptable lens, and will help you learn. But any high contrast situations will show the fringing when you blow the picture up. Think, bird against bright, blue sky.

Most people wouldn't worry about it, but if you want to print a large picture of a shot you just got, and then you have to clean off all the purple, you'll get frustrated.

FWIW - Many sales people may not know the difference, so it's probably not that the guy intentionally mis-informed you.
07/13/2007 10:19:29 PM · #17
The thing is the people at this shop are all supposed to be photographers. This guy says he earns money out of digital photography, but for fun he shoots film and does his own processing. So I'm a bit surprised he doesn't know.
07/13/2007 10:27:17 PM · #18
Originally posted by GinaRothfels:

The thing is the people at this shop are all supposed to be photographers. This guy says he earns money out of digital photography, but for fun he shoots film and does his own processing. So I'm a bit surprised he doesn't know.


Gina, I'm sorry, your lens is a newer version of the one I have. It has coatings to reduce ghosting and flare.

Sorry to scare you like that :|

The APO one is better, but that one should be just fine. Oops.
07/14/2007 07:59:45 AM · #19
Originally posted by wavelength:

Originally posted by GinaRothfels:

The thing is the people at this shop are all supposed to be photographers. This guy says he earns money out of digital photography, but for fun he shoots film and does his own processing. So I'm a bit surprised he doesn't know.


Gina, I'm sorry, your lens is a newer version of the one I have. It has coatings to reduce ghosting and flare.

Sorry to scare you like that :|

The APO one is better, but that one should be just fine. Oops.


Actually I hope I've got the right one listed on my profile. On the box it just says 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG MACRO.

How many different versions are there?

I haven't had time to try it out in bright light yet, so I don't know how it will perform.
07/14/2007 08:07:57 AM · #20
I Love my Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG MACRO , especially the macro part: ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/8891/thumb/553025.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/8891/thumb/553025.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
07/14/2007 09:22:01 AM · #21
You sold me!
Amazon.com via 47th street, $183 shipped.
I KNEW I didn't want to get into this DSLR thing. I'll be broke and wanting for the rest of my life.
07/14/2007 09:57:12 AM · #22
Ya know i've got one of these lenses... not sure which one, but it's the one without the red band at the top and it's isn't too bad. It cost me $120 from eBay and it performs pretty well at doing what I need it to do.

The cat picture on my profile was taken with this lens as well as a couple of others. For the money it's one of the best zoom macros I can think of.
07/14/2007 10:43:19 AM · #23
The Sigma APO is not a bad lens for the money but do not confuse it with a great lens overall. It is very soft everywhere except f/8-f/11. If you use this lens, I recommend staying in that range. I had a chance to compare it to a 75-300mm IS (the old version of the 70-300mm IS lens sold today) and at f/8 and f/11 it was comparable but at f/5.6 and beyond f/11, it was very soft. Here are some sample shots I took.

These were taken from my front porch. The power pole was about 100 yards away and the lenses were set to 300mm. I shot them with my Rebel XT in fine jpg mode. They were then cropped to 400x400 with no other modifications.

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/67844/thumb/554665.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/67844/thumb/554665.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/67844/thumb/554666.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/67844/thumb/554666.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

From what I understand, the Canon 75-300mm III lens is very similar to the old 75-300mm IS lens in optical performance. I would recommend buying the USM version instead of buying the Sigma.

Message edited by author 2007-07-14 10:49:40.
07/14/2007 11:00:59 AM · #24
I had one prior to getting my 100-400L, and really was very happy with it- so much so that I have decided not to use it but to keep it as a back-up, and for those times when I want the reach but not the conspicuousness! This photo was taken with the lens:
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/67258/thumb/554173.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/67258/thumb/554173.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' the only post-processing was a slight levels adjustment, sharpening with the high pass filter, and a vignette burnt in.
07/14/2007 11:19:04 AM · #25
Gina,

I have the D, version, not the DG. The D version had digital contacts for TTL metering in Film cameras. The DG that you have has the extra coatings on the rear element that reduce the ghosting and flare caused by the IR filter above the ccd/cmos sensor in most digital cameras.

The APO version means is has Aprochromatic lenses, which produce better color and less chroma abberation, because it focuses all colors of light more closely on the sensor. Wikipedia
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