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Cameras, Lenses and Accessories: Discuss SIGMA 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO Macro...Been umming and arring about this lens. I need a Macro but need good results I cannot run to 400 ...
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Old 28-02-2009, 23:06   #1 (permalink)
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SIGMA 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO Macro

Been umming and arring about this lens. I need a Macro but need good results

I cannot run to 400 roughly for 105 mm Nikon yet ( having just bought a 2nd hand 18-200 VRII Nikon lens for 400 I dont see me getting past the wife as yet lol plus also looking ahead to a major dosh telephoto)

So I am wondering what performance this lens could have as its so cheap stop-gap wise until I stump up the cash for a prime

I have looked at various reviews but I am still undecided , just wondering if anyone else has had any experience of this particular lens? Macro-wise.
Sorry if this has been posted before I am a newbie to this particular forum

Last edited by Visual-Devotion; 28-02-2009 at 23:08. Reason: Punctuation
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Old 28-02-2009, 23:14   #2 (permalink)
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Re: SIGMA 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO Macro

Obviously it doesn't have the close focussing capabilities of a dedicated macro lens, but 30cm odd at 300mm isn't bad at all. The only thing that might hold you back is the fact that it isn't that fast when you're zoomed in that far and focussed so close (as in, the aperture isn't very wide), so if you're doing handheld macros in slightly darker conditions, you could run into difficulties. I've managed some of my favourite macros with it tho, and it's definitely a good all rounder lens, especially for that price. HTH
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Old 28-02-2009, 23:38   #3 (permalink)
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Re: SIGMA 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO Macro

Unlike Jack, I've not owned one of these, but I have got a Sigma 70-200 f2.8 'macro' and I don't think the macro performance is worth a light. The Sigma 70-300 gets very good reports, and at the price is terrific value, but if you are interested in macro, you could use extention tubes with your standard lens and get possibly better results, although you would need confirmation from someone who has tried both to get the definitive answer.

Extention tubes are quite inexpensive too.
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Old 28-02-2009, 23:42   #4 (permalink)
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Re: SIGMA 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO Macro

Hmm, not sure about tubes vs this lens actually Dabs, sure you'd get closer, but you'd sacrifice IQ, plus not have another lens to play with
On the other hand, from a value / money perspective, if this really is just a stop gap whilst you're waiting to buy a macro prime, then maybe tubes would be better since they are even cheaper than the Sigma (which is very cheap itself now). I guess it's your choice (duh )
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Old 28-02-2009, 23:57   #5 (permalink)
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Re: SIGMA 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO Macro

I'm sure I've seen some pretty good macros on here taken with standard lenses and tubes.

I guess another option is to rent a lens.
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Old 28-02-2009, 23:58   #6 (permalink)
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Re: SIGMA 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO Macro

Oh sure I'm not saying you can't get good images, but there is certainly a reduction in quality of one sort or another.
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Old 01-03-2009, 00:04   #7 (permalink)
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Re: SIGMA 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO Macro

Cheers for the advice guys , I did think of ext tubes for my current lens but they dont work I think with the Nikon VR II series I read somewhere, I Might be wrong. ( I sold my 18-135 Standard )

But I have seen that Sigma lens APO version go for about 80 on EBay- It might be worth a try, if it doesnt work I will sell it again lol.

Lower light conditions are not too much of a problem as I would use it for nature shots where 300 mm would come in handy (450mm with my sensor size) distance wise but then the aperture might still create probs when needing faster speed shots I suppose for capturing insects etc

I was lookin at the SIGMA 70-200MM f2.8 APO EX DG MACRO as well, is this the same as the one you mentioned Dab? If it is Im not looking anymore after what you said lol

On reflection now I might just be patient and save up longer for a decent Nikon Micro
Anyway you have both given me food for thought
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Old 01-03-2009, 00:16   #8 (permalink)
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Re: SIGMA 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO Macro

Just out of interest Jack why would IQ suffer with extension tubes.

There's no glass in tubes they are just that a tube.

I only ask as I'm thinking of useing my Canon 24-104 L IS USM on a 12mm or 24mm auto tube for macro as it's a darn sight cheaper than a Macro lens.

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Old 01-03-2009, 00:17   #9 (permalink)
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Re: SIGMA 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO Macro

Quote:
Originally Posted by Visual-Devotion View Post
I was lookin at the SIGMA 70-200MM f2.8 APO EX DG MACRO as well, is this the same as the one you mentioned Dab? If it is Im not looking anymore after what you said lol
I only said that it was c**p at macro. In all other respects it is very good.
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Old 01-03-2009, 00:21   #10 (permalink)
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Re: SIGMA 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO Macro

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris H View Post
Just out of interest Jack why would IQ suffer with extension tubes.

There's no glass in tubes they are just that a tube.

I only ask as I'm thinking of useing my Canon 24-104 L IS USM on a 12mm or 24mm auto tube for macro as it's a darn sight cheaper than a Macro lens.

Think it's to do with the distance that it moves the rear element from the sensor, allowing light to 'stray' and things...(why you tend to get those very imposing blue aberrations)

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But I have seen that Sigma lens APO version go for about 80 on EBay- It might be worth a try, if it doesnt work I will sell it again lol.

Lower light conditions are not too much of a problem as I would use it for nature shots where 300 mm would come in handy (450mm with my sensor size) distance wise but then the aperture might still create probs when needing faster speed shots I suppose for capturing insects etc
t
That's a great price and if you're not planning on spending lots of money on fast teles in the near future, then it's a good lens to have in that respect as well.

Quote:
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I only said that it was c**p at macro. In all other respects it is very good.
I think the extra 100mm helps to make the 70-300 a decent punter for macro, and I definitely wouldn't describe it as cr*p at macro (I know you didn't either, I'm just trying to steer the OP away from having that conception of the 70-300)
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Old 01-03-2009, 00:30   #11 (permalink)
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Re: SIGMA 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO Macro

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I think the extra 100mm helps to make the 70-300 a decent punter for macro, and I definitely wouldn't describe it as cr*p at macro (I know you didn't either, I'm just trying to steer the OP away from having that conception of the 70-300)
Fair comment Jack - but I was referring to the 70-200 as being c**p at macro not the 70-300. I just thought that tubes and a standard lens would be the best VFM solution. AS OP has not got a standard lens, plan 'B' is the way forward.
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Old 01-03-2009, 11:34   #12 (permalink)
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Re: SIGMA 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO Macro

I had this Sigma 70-300 APO lens but it was a Canon fit, I don't think there would be if any difference in performance on Nikon or Canon, what I can say it's a bloomin good lens for the price. Not a true macro lens but if you can't afford one at the moment then the 70-300 APO is a good choice afaic. below is 3 shots I took with the APO lens and I'm almost sure the macro switch was enabled at the time of shooting. I didn't have ext' tubes when I had the APO lens so can't help there but if you already have them experimenting won't hurt.





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Old 01-03-2009, 12:58   #13 (permalink)
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Re: SIGMA 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO Macro

Thank you Chilliman for uploading those images, its really helpful and I think I am just going to have a bash and get the lens ( Unless I see a real Nikon Macro bargain somewhere)
I thing bang for buck its very good for the money outlayed it seems
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Old 01-03-2009, 13:00   #14 (permalink)
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Re: SIGMA 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO Macro

You could also look at the other favoured macro lenses, that are not of the Nikon brand. The two main ones seem to be the Tamron 90mm f/2.8, which I have (and rate very highly for IQ, it's excellent), and the Sigma 105mm 2.8, both of which are cheaper than the Nikon, but may not lack much in the image quality stakes.
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Old 01-03-2009, 13:12   #15 (permalink)
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Re: SIGMA 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO Macro

Funny enough I was looking at the Sigma 105mm as a consideration have you got any examples of macro shots with this lens? I would be very grateful if you have. I think I could get one around the 200 mark secondhand If I push the boat out a bit lol
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Old 01-03-2009, 13:14   #16 (permalink)
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Re: SIGMA 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO Macro

Just like to add:
105mm being my bottom mm mark as I need to not disturb the subject hopefully by getting too close
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Old 01-03-2009, 13:15   #17 (permalink)
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Re: SIGMA 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO Macro

http://www.pixalo.com/community/shot...tos-22488.html
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Old 01-03-2009, 13:24   #18 (permalink)
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Re: SIGMA 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO Macro

OMG they are great, I think my mind is made up with those shots.

Thanks very much JM for your time

Now going to hunt for one
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Old 01-03-2009, 13:26   #19 (permalink)
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Re: SIGMA 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO Macro

[see below]
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Old 01-03-2009, 13:27   #20 (permalink)
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Re: SIGMA 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO Macro

LOL, glad you're so enthusiastic, and don't worry, it's what we're here for on Pixalo
Certainly don't think it'll disappoint you
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Old 01-03-2009, 14:23   #21 (permalink)
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Re: SIGMA 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO Macro

Hi ,just one more question lol

I am looking at prices and the 70MM version of this Sigma lens is much cheaper, this will give me 105mm with my sensor size.
Will I lose anything optically or sharpness-wise if I go for the 70mm instead of the 105mm, the specs are identical otherwise?
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Old 01-03-2009, 14:48   #22 (permalink)
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Re: SIGMA 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO Macro

The 70mm version won macro lens of the year award or something like that in 2007, it's considered very good, so perhaps that's also worth looking at, but you mentioned 105mm as being your lowest length, so that's a consideration (as of course 105mm would be 158mm or so on an APS-C sensor)
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Old 02-03-2009, 11:49   #23 (permalink)
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Re: SIGMA 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO Macro

I've used tubes when starting. And I still sometimes use them with my 100mm F2.8 Canon Macro. Can't say that I've ever seen much IQ drop off.
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Old 02-03-2009, 15:49   #24 (permalink)
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Re: SIGMA 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO Macro

I have the Sigma 70-300mm 4-5.6f Macro DG. Bought from Jessops for 100 when it was on offer. The APO version is currently 199 (mine now 150) but it think its a great lens and not had any issues with it.
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Old 02-03-2009, 16:17   #25 (permalink)
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Re: SIGMA 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO Macro

I have both the Sigma 70-300 APO macro zoom and the Sigma 105 macro. Obviously the dedicated macro lens turns in the better performance but if you require more reach, i.e. further from the subject, the zoom is helpful. Only snag with it is that when it is fully extended it is long and somewhat front heavy and prone to vibration (even when fitted on a tripod) simply due to its length - it could do with a tripod mounting ring to restore the centre of gravity but there's no space for one. Handheld macros at full extension would be prone to camera shake as well as focus accuracy, so at this setting it has to be regarded as a tripod lens in my view - shake reduction in your camera if it has it would be a help. For insects, etc., the 70 mm macro would be a bit too short I think.

I have since added the Sigma 180 mm macro which gives superb results though I haven't had much opportunity to use it much as yet.
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Old 09-03-2009, 23:16   #26 (permalink)
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Re: SIGMA 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO Macro

As a newcomer and novice, I hope I'm not overstepping bounds, but I take issue with the Sigma 70-200mm macro performance being described as 'not worth a light'. This may not be a brilliant macro shot, but it's not bad for a zoom lens. What do you think?



I think it's a great lens. And to me, of course, it's not a third party lens either. As to the 70-300mm, it's one of the few lenses I did get rid of. I couldn't stand the rotating front element. No offence meant to anyone.

Last edited by sigma user; 09-03-2009 at 23:52. Reason: typo:70-30mm should have been 70-300mm
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Old 10-03-2009, 18:44   #27 (permalink)
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Re: SIGMA 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO Macro

Hi ,lovely Pic Sigma User btw. I hunted for a 70mm Sigma 2.8 EX countrywide and a shop from the southcoast came up trumps with an A1 condition Secondhand lens for 240 + 10 p&p which i didnt think was a bad price.
E-Bay didnt offer much with this lens and I found it pretty difficult to get hold of this lens as many people keep them as they are very good so prices stay reasonably high.

As this lens won a TIPA award ,as previously mentioned in this thread, I though Id better go for this lens. The Sigma 70-300 gives great results for the money but as I need great pro pictures for use with my business I had to stretch my cash to go for a prime lens

I know its 70mm but with my D80 sensor it will be 105mm which more acceptable for me. I will get the lens Thursday night and will try it out asap lol I will post some pics to show the results if anyone is interested

Thanks again for everyones help in this thread - brilliant

Last edited by Visual-Devotion; 10-03-2009 at 18:57.
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Old 17-03-2009, 20:24   #28 (permalink)
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Re: SIGMA 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO Macro

Thanks, V-D :o)
I have three Sigma macros, everyone a gem. I don't have the 70mm, but I'm pretty sure it will be up to the standard. Focussing is slow in low light, but macro work is manual focus anyway. I'm sure you'll be pleased with your choice.
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