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  • Writer's pictureIan Miller

Sigma 70-300 f4.5/5.6 DL Macro zoom

If you want a budget-friendly telephoto zoom lens with macro capabilities, you might be interested in the Sigma 70-300 f4.5/5.6 DL Macro zoom. This lens is compatible with Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony DSLR cameras, and offers a versatile focal range for wildlife, sports and portrait photography. But is it any good? In this blog post, I will share my experience and opinion about this lens, as well as some sample photos I took with it.

The Sigma 70-300 f4.5/5.6 DL Macro zoom is a relatively old lens, first introduced in 1999. It has a plastic body and feels lightweight and cheap. However, it also has some advantages, such as a switch that locks the zoom ring at 70mm to prevent zoom creep and a macro mode that allows you to focus as close as 95cm at 300mm. The lens has a manual focus ring and an aperture ring, but no image stabilization or autofocus motor. This means that you will need a camera body that has an in-built autofocus motor to use the autofocus function of this lens and that the autofocus will be noisy and slow.

The image quality of this lens is decent, but not outstanding. The sharpness is acceptable at the wide end, but drops significantly at the long end, especially at 300mm. The contrast and colour rendition are also average, and the lens suffers from chromatic aberration, vignetting and distortion. The bokeh is smooth and pleasing, but the aperture blades are not rounded, so the out-of-focus highlights are hexagonal. The macro mode is useful for capturing close-up details of flowers, insects and other small subjects, but it is not a true 1:1 macro.

Overall, the Sigma 70-300 f4.5/5.6 DL Macro zoom is a cheap and versatile lens that can be fun for beginners and hobbyists who want to experiment with telephoto and macro photography. However, it is not a high-performance lens, and it has many limitations and flaws that may frustrate more advanced users. If you are looking for a better quality telephoto zoom lens with macro capabilities, you may want to consider other options, such as the Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro or the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM.

All images here were taken today with a Nikon D3S body at f5.6, (except the first which was a Nikon D100.

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