Sigma AF 100-300mm f/4 EX HSM APO - Review / Lab Test Report
Lens Reviews -
Canon EOS (APS-C)
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Special thanks to Powerdoc for providing this lens!
The Sigma AF 100-300mm f/4 EX HSM APO is one of only two moderately fast 100-300mm zooms
on market. It's seems as if this niche never got really popular. Sitting in between
fast 70-200mm f/2.8 and long 100-400/4.5-5.6 lenses this class of lens is not really
fast enough for portraits and not long enough for wildlife photography. However, the
latter may not be true anymore when using the lens on APS-C DSLRs where the field of
view is equivalent to 160-480mm - during the film
days many photographers would have lusted after such a lens. The Sigma is fairly affordable
at around 800 EUR/US$ so it remains within reach of many amateurs.
The tested sample is the older non-DG variant. The current DG lens only adds better
coating so the findings in the scope of this review should be pretty much representative
for both lenses.
The optical construction is made of 16 elements in 14 groups including four SLD (Super
Low Dispersion) elements. The lens features 9 aperture blades. The min. focus distance
is 1.80m resulting in a max. object magnification of 1:5 at 300mm.
The lens has a size of 227x92mm with a total weight of 1440g incl. the detachable tripod
mount. In absolute terms this may appear a little hefty but it's really not heavier nor
bigger than a 300mm f/4 fix-focal - see also the product shot above with the Canon EF 300mm f/4 USM L IS.
The filter size is 82mm so be prepared to take another blow when intending to buy
a polarizer for it.
The build quality of this lens is exceptional. Both the zoom and focus rings operate
very smooth and very well damped and the typical EX finish (smooth crinkle style)
helps to maintain a good grip when carrying the camera/lens combo.
The lens features a HSM (Hypersonic Motor) AF drive providing fast and
near silent AF operations. The AF 100-300mm f/4 EX is compatible to both Sigma AF EX
converters as well as the Canon EF 1.4x II (not sure about the 2x).