Sigma 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6 D DL Macro Review

View Sigma AF 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 D DL MACRO

View Sigma AF 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 D DL MACRO

This review shows the Sigma 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 D DL MACRO - DL Macro 14/11 version with 1 SLD element.

Characteristic features of the Sigma 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 D DL MACRO, by which you can determine the version:

  • large convex switch 'NORMAL || MACRO at 300 '
  • macro mode only works at 300 mm focal length
  • the prefix D DL MACRO in the name
  • thin focus ring (diameter smaller than zoom) marker 'NORMAL' near 1.7 meters
  • scale with magnification only for values ​​1: 3.5, 1: 3, 1: 2.5, 1: 2


There are a huge variety of various modifications, versions and subversions of Sigma class 70 (75) -300 mm lenses (approximately 13 versions).

The reasons for this wide variety are:

  1. Continuous lens improvement. For example, older versions designed for film cameras have been updated for better compatibility with digital cameras. Marking versions optimized for digital cameras includes the prefix 'DG'(latest versions from this line - DG, Apo dg, OS DG) First of all, the updates concerned enlightenment.
  2. Improvement of lenses by increasing the number of low dispersion elements Sigma SLD (Special Low Dispersion). Sigma lenses with 14/11 and 14/10 optical designs may have different numbers of SLD elements. An increased number of SLDs can be recognized using the prefix APO (apochromat) and red decorative ring. The APO 14/11 version has 1 SLD element more than the NON-APO version. The APO 14/10 versions have 2 SLD elements more than the same NON-APO versions.
  3. Non-observance of unitary marking for lenses with different mounts. So, for example, for Nikon cameras, some 70-300 Sigma lenses in their name written on the housing may include the additional letter 'D'(indicates the possibility of transferring the focusing distance to the camera). Also, the same version / sub-version for cameras of different systems can have a different style of its name on the body (for example, different parts of the name can be written in golden letters). Over time, the same version / subversion could change the location and method of applying name markers on your case.
  4. Most likely the versions of Macro Super, Macro Super II, unlike earlier models, have the ability to macro in the range of 200-300 mm. Earlier models had this mode only at 300 mm focal length.
  5. Improvement of lenses with body design changes... There are so-called 'second' lens sub-versions, for example DL Macro Super -> DL Macro Super II, APO Macro Super -> APO Macro Super II. Identification is complicated by the fact that there is no 'II' indication on the case, the 'II' mark is found only on the box and / or instructions. Such subversions can be distinguished the width of the focus ring, newer versions have a focus ring that is smaller in diameter than a zoom ring. There are also versions with a velvet-coated housing.
  6. In 2008, the DG and DG APO for Nikon cameras are updated to sub-versions with a built-in focus motor. New versions with a built-in focus motor do not have an aperture control ring, and number of microprocessor contacts increased to 10. All previous Sigma / Quantaray lenses for Nikon cameras came with no built-in focus motor.
  7. These lenses were also branded Quantaray. Finding out which version of the Sigma 70 (75) -300 is hiding under the name 'Quantaray' can be more difficult than with the original Sigma lenses.

In the general case, four main classes can be distinguished (depending on the optical design):

  1. Optical design 14/11, used in the first versions. APO subversion used 2 SLD elements. Conventional subversions used 1 SLD element. It is easy to distinguish by the very 'chubby' switch 'NORMAL MACRO 300' (only 300).
  2. Optical design 14/10, used in a huge variety of subversions. APO subversion used 3 SLD elements. Conventional subversions used 1 SLD element. Easy to distinguish by the small / conventional 'NORMAL MACRO (200-300)' switch (in the range of 200-300). Curious that the lens Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6 ED Replicates the Sigma 14/10 optical circuit with 3 SLD elements.
  3. Optical design 16/11, used only in the latest version with image stabilizer.
  4. Lenses with a 14/11 optical design are easily recognizable by the focal length range of 75-300 mm.

List of major versions:

  1. APO Macro 14/11 (2 SLDs)
  2. DL 14/11 (1 SLD)
  3. DL Macro 14/11 (1 SLD)
  4. DL Macro Super 14/10 (1 SLD)
  5. APO Macro Super 14/10 (3 SLD)
  6. DL Macro Super II 14/10 (1 SLD)
  7. APO Macro Super II 14/10 (3 SLD)
  8. DG Macro 14/10 (1 SLD) (for Nikon, there are 2 options depending on the focus motor and aperture ring)
  9. DG APO Macro 14/10 (3 SLD) (for Nikon, there are 2 options depending on the focus motor and aperture ring)
  10. DG OS 16/11 (1 SLD)
  11. 14/11 with a focal length of 75-300

The information I provided may not be accurate or incomplete, please, experienced users, please indicate inaccuracies in the comments.

All my reviews of such lenses (marking according to the inscriptions on the case):

  1. Sigma 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6 (for Canon, Macro 200-300)
  2. Sigma 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6 D D.L. Macro (for Nikon, Macro AT 300)
  3. Sigma 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6 D DL MACRO SUPER (for Nikon, Macro 200-300)
  4. Sigma 70-300mm D 1: 4-5.6 Apo dg (for Nikon, Macro 200-300)
  5. Sigma 70-300mm 1:4-5.6 DG OS (for Canon)
  6. Quantaray 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6 D LDO Macro (for Nikon, Macro AT 300)
  7. Quantaray 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6 D LDO Macro (for Nikon, Macro 200-300)
  1. Sigma Zoom AF-APO 1:4.5-5.6 f =75–300mm multi-coated Macro (for Nikon)
  2. Quantaray TECH-10 NF AF MULTI-COATED 1: 4-5.6 f =75–300mm (for Nikon)

A catalog of modern Sigma telephoto lenses is available see here.

Sigma AF 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 DL MACRO

Sigma AF 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 DL MACRO

The first impression of the lens is that it is not heavy at all. When used, you immediately feel that the zoom ring is quite large, rubberized with very rough rubber. When zooming, the trunk extends as in most 70-300 zooms.

View Sigma AF 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 DL MACRO at 70mm

View Sigma AF 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 DL MACRO at 70mm

Important points about the Sigma 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6 D DL Macro lens (both good and bad):

  1. The lens is also suitable for full-frame cameras and for cameras with APS-C cameras. That is, the lens will work on Nikon D3 and Nikon D50.
  2. When used on cameras with an APS-C sensor (on a cropped matrix), the angle of the field of view will be narrower and equal to the focal length lens 105-450mmThat is a real body range. If it’s not clear, read the article about crop factor.
  3. The lens has aperture control ring, which means it can also be used on film cameras, and also, this is a very useful feature for various kinds of photo experiments, for example, for shooting macro in the reverse position of the lens. In order for Nikon cameras to be controlled from the camera, you need to set the minimum aperture F22 on the lens. If this is not done, the camera will not recognize the lens and will write fEE in the aperture value field. To lock the position of the diaphragm and use the automatic iris control, a special lock button on the lens is used. When set to F22, it can lock the aperture ring in that position. This is exactly how the aperture ring is arranged, for example, on a native Nikon lens Nikon 50mm F1.8D.

    Sample photo on Sigma AF 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 D DL MACRO

    Sample photo on Sigma AF 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 D DL MACRO

  4. The lens has macro opportunity... This is the only option available with a focal length of 300mm and 'Macro at 300' mode enabled. When switched to 'Macro at 300' mode, the focus ring can rotate a few more degrees, lengthening the trunk and achieving 1: 2 macro. Of course, 1 to 2 isn't a real macro, but it's a very useful feature nonetheless. Also, keep in mind that zooming is blocked in this position. When the 'Macro at 300' mode is on, you will not be able to zoom until you switch the lens to the “Normal” mode. Most interestingly, autofocus works in both modes. The camera can focus itself in the “Macro at 300” mode. For example, a lens Nikon 35-70mm f / 2.8 AF-D ZOOM-NIKKOR cannot automatically focus in macro mode.

    Example macro photo on a Sigma AF D 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 DL MACRO shot with hands in macro mode

    Example macro photo on a Sigma AF D 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 DL MACRO shot with hands in macro mode

  5. The lens contains all the necessary indicators - aperture, focal length, focusing distance, depth of field (for F11, 16, 22), as well as the magnification factor in the 'Macro at 300' mode.
  6. The diameter of the front lens under the filter 58mm.

    Macro on Sigma AF 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 DL MACRO

    Macro on Sigma AF 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 DL MACRO

  7. When focusing, the front of the lens (trunk) and moves back and forth and turns. This makes it quite difficult to use special photo filters (gradient and polarization). Brother Nikon 70-300mm f 4.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor does not have such an ailment.
  8. When zooming, the back of the lens moves, drawing in air. This is normal for this class of lens. But still, air therefore contributes to the absorption of dust into the chamber.
  9. There is no focus mode switching ring on the lens, it is not always convenient when using.
Photograph on Sigma AF 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 DL MACRO

Photograph on Sigma AF 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 DL MACRO

It's important: auto focus with this lens is available only when using him on cameras with built-in motor focusing.

Exact list Nikon DSLR cameras with a built-in focus motor, on which this lens will focus automatically:

Exact list Nikon DSLR cameras without a built-in focus motor, on which this lens will not focus automatically:

Only auto focus and sound confirmation of focus will not work with these cameras, all other important functions, such as automatic exposure metering and automatic iris control, will work well.

You will find a lot of useful information on the types of cameras and lenses Nikon here.

About the picture: The lens gives a sharp picture up to 200mm. Excellent sharpness is achieved at an aperture of 8.0 - for a budget telephoto, this is quite normal. From 200 to 300mm you have to work very hard to get a sharp image. Surprised that HA even at 300mm, even in very contrasting areas of the image within normal limits. Vignetting is even present on the crop, you can carefully look at the photo with a flying airplane yourself. The contrast is not very good, the color rendering is excellent. Distortion is almost invisible, but still takes place. The lens is great for photographing portraits, a large focal length allows you to well control the depth of field, which depends inversely on the square of the focal length, so do not pay attention to the fact that aperture the lens is small.

Sample photo on a Sigma AF 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 DL MACRO

Example macro photo on a Sigma AF 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 DL MACRO

Personal impressions: autofocus at the lens is slow, this is due to focusing with a screwdriver and the fact that in macro mode the angle of the focus ring increases significantly and the camera needs to turn the lens focuser for a very long time. This is not pleasant enough when in macro mode the focuser goes there for about a few seconds. With the trunk extended, the lens has a rather funny look. In general, the lens did not produce РІРІРμС ‡ Р ° С,Р »РμРЅРёС Р. My native Nikon 70-300mm f / 4.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor better in a row of indicators except macro. You always need to remember important how to take pictures, and not on which technique, and then the photos will be great.

Sample photo on Sigma AF D 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 DL MACRO

Sample photo on Sigma AF D 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 DL MACRO

If you still really want to use the lens on non-motorized cameras like Nikon D40, Nikon D3000, then all other functions will work in the same way as on autofocus lenses, and the green dot in the lower left needle of the optical viewfinder will indicate the accuracy of focusing. Well, if you have a camera like Nikon D5000, Nikon D3100, Nikon D5100, then you can focus on sharpness in Live View.

Sample photo on Sigma AF D 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 DL MACRO

Sample photo on Sigma AF D 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 DL MACRO

Sample photos on Sigma 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6 D DL Macro (without processing, the picture is like the ADC gave birth to it Nikon D200, RAW -> JPEG, resized 1600 * 1200, watermark).

On sale Sigma 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 D DL MACRO new not found. To use it is preferable to look at a newer model Sigma APO DG 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6, prices for which you can see hereor in the price block located below:
All prices on Sigma APO DG 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6

All Original Similar Nikon FX Telephoto Lenses

Below is a list of all Nikon Nikkor telephoto lenses without high aperture and with auto focus support:

  1. Nikon AF Nikkor 70-210mm 1: 4, 1986-1987
  2. Nikon AF Nikkor 70-210mm 1:4-5.6, 1987-1993
  3. Nikon AF Nikkor 75-300mm 1:4.5-5.6, 1989-1998
  4. Nikon AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1:4.5-5.6D, 1991-1999
  5. Nikon AF Nikkor 70-210mm 1:4-5.6D, 1993-2000
  6. Nikon AF Micro Nikkor 70-180mm 1: 4.5-5.6D ED, 1997-2005
  7. Nikon AF Nikkor 75-240mm 1:4.5-5.6D, 1999–2000
  8. Nikon AF Nikkor 70-300mm 1:4-5.6D ED, 1998-2006
  9. Nikon AF Nikkor 70-300mm 1:4-5.6D, 1998-2006 (?)
  10. Nikon AF Nikkor 70-300mm 1:4-5.6G, from 2000 to 2014, black or silver
  11. Nikon AF S Nikkor 70-300mm 1:4.5-5.6G ED VR IF SWM, from 2006 to 2017
  12. Nikon AF S Nikkor 70-200mm 1: 4G ED SWM VR IF N Nano Crystal Coat, from 2012 to the present day
  13. Nikon AF-P Nikkor 70-300mm 1:4.5-5.6E VR ED, 2017 to present

The names of the lenses are indicated according to their spelling on the case.

The catalog of modern Sigma telephoto lenses can be viewed here.

Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment.


Sigma turned out to be pretty compact and nice lens. True, autofocus will work only on cameras with a built-in motor, and you need to close the diaphragm at the long end to get a sharp enough image. Very pleased with the macro at 300mm, however, to visit the sharpness in macro mode at 300mm is quite difficult.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Please, if this material was useful to you, help my project. And don't forget that everyone can write your review for one or another photographic equipment.

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Comments: 118, on the topic: Sigma 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6 D DL Macro review

  • Stas

    I can not get a review on the sigma 70-300 dg os іz stabilizer for nikon

  • Max

    Thank you for the review, but still you need to clean the matrix before shooting for a review

  • Tanya

    Hello, tell me, I want to buy a 70d camera, and a lens suitable for sigma 70-300mm there ???

    • Oleg

      On my Nikon D70s Sigma 70-300 APO DG works without problems. There is no internal motor in the lens, but since there is a focusing motor in the camera itself, this is not a problem. Since there is no stabilizer in my model, do not forget to look at the shutter speed, taking it off hand. If you shoot with a tripod and when using the remote control, the difference is that there is no lens with a stabilizer and without it, but when shooting with your hands, the presence of a stabilizer, of course, helps a lot if shooting requires relatively low shutter speeds.

  • Alexey

    Good evening, experts! Tell me if you can: today I bought myself a used camera with a sigma 70-300 lens. BUT not DL not DG, but simply D. I rummaged through half-Internet, but did not find such a lens anywhere, even on the off site sigma. Who can say what kind of animal it is? maybe what kind of fake?

    • Oleg

      The DG designation only means that the lens is made for a full-frame matrix (if DC - then the lens is suitable only for cropping), APO - that special lenses are used to reduce chromatic aberrations. If there is no HSM abbreviation, then the lens does not have an internal focusing motor, and if OS is not written, then there is no stabilization system. If your lens does not have these abbreviations, it just says that the lens is as simple and cheap (inexpensive) as possible.

      The letter D on your lens is not written separately, as the above abbreviations are written, but together with a focal length of 70-300mmD, this means that, most likely, it does not mean anything like that. Obviously, the lens is far from new, and DG is not, because then Sigma did not make lenses purely for crop, so there was no need to highlight it somehow.

      The letter D is 70-300mmD, but this is only an assumption, it may mean that the lens is compatible with Nikon cameras and is autofocus (focusing works on cameras with a motor). Then this letter was removed, apparently, since by definition they were all autofocus, unless HSM (the presence of an internal focus motor) was indicated.

      • Artem

        The absence of the HSM inscription does not mean that there is no built-in motor, the motor may be but not the HSM type (not ultrasonic).
        To recognize it is better to see the full lens. In your photo, Macro looks similar to DG, but not him. focus ring is different.

        • Oleg

          There are no more abbreviations. Here on ebay this one sells for $ 38
          Photo from ebay

          • Artem

            Let me assume that this is the same DG macro, but with a screwdriver. Analog D lenses from Nikon.

            • Oleg

              Well, I immediately assumed. Apparently, the DG marking began to be applied after Sigma began to make lenses not only for full-frame cameras, but also for crops. Then the DG marking began to denote full-frame, and DC - for the crop. Until that moment, there was no point in additionally marking, since all lenses were made for a full frame, although they can be used on a crop.

              • Alexey

                Thank you so much for the clarification! I have exactly the same as on ebay above. Just as I managed to notice, there is some kind of malfunction in mine. When the trunk is extended as far as possible, the macro switch jumps off and stands in the middle between the normal and the macro and does not switch to any of the positions, and with it the zoom ring starts to wedge. It only helps to turn off the aft focus on the carcass and twist the sharpness ring to the end, after which the switch can be returned to the normal position. Do you think it probably makes no sense to bother with the repair, it will be cheaper to buy another from the same ebay?

              • Artem

                There, it seems like a macro is only from 180 to 300. Maybe at this moment your focus is less and something like protection works

  • Alexey

    In general, there are from 200 to 300, but regardless of this, even at 300 the switch jumps off and does not switch to any of the positions

    • Oleg

      I also do not switch, this is probably the case for everyone. It also switches only after focusing to the minimum value. Inconvenient, but not critical. It is more inconvenient if at this moment the hood is screwed on in the stowed position, then it is difficult to get close to the focus ring, and it is inconvenient to twist behind the brand - it often flies off the thread. So you have to put up with this nuance. I have APO DG.

  • a lion

    People sells like DL super, but in the photo it seems to be an ARO with a red ring. Or was the red edging not only placed on the ARC?

  • Anya

    and if you buy this lens on a camera without a motor (Nikon D3200), then this greatly degrades the work or is tolerable. Did you get something?

    • Oleg

      Disable autofocus on your lens to 3200 and shoot different scenes, including dynamic ones, and you will understand whether it is convenient or inconvenient to use the lens without autofocus. In this regard, other people's advice is not very relevant.

    • BB

      Switch the focus to manual mode (MF) on your lens / device and try to shoot by focusing manually (using the accurate focus indicator or LiveView mode) and find out the answer to your question.

      • anonym

        The fact is that I still do not understand well and therefore ask. I don’t have a lens yet, so I’m asking. Still, tell me to shoot without auto focus is difficult and what are the problems? Recommend a telephoto to my autofocus model

        • ы

          If you take a picture from a tripod, then you can still manage somehow.
          And if you simultaneously try to hold the carcass and the telephoto, then this is an ass.
          Let me explain: the grip on the telephoto is somewhat different than that of the 24-70 (28-70) /2.8 - the glass outweighs the light carcass. And i.e. You have to hold the glass and focus at the same time.
          This option will pass: a) if you worked in a circus and developed motor skills of hands b) you have a third hand c) you have a tripod.
          I do not recommend using telephoto cameras without AF - this is a perversion. Therefore, look for glass with a motor or change your carcass for one that has a screwdriver (D90, D200, D300 / D300s, D7000).

          • ы

            I forgot to add one more thing - on telephoto cameras, the chance of blur is especially great, and with increasing focal length it only increases. This becomes especially noticeable after 135mm, especially if the glass is "dark" (aperture 4-5.6, not 2.8). And on a “dark” telephoto lens, AF is dispensed with only with manual focus - this increases the chance of blurring or defocusing.

        • Oleg

          I shoot with this lens, only with a newer one, sometimes I focus in manual mode, but it's really much more inconvenient. If you shoot objects that do not move and are in no hurry, then there is no big problem, except for the loss of time - it is possible to check the focus on the green point in the viewfinder, but if you shoot the dynamics, then there is no time to look at the green point, and understand, in focus object or not, you have to literally "by eye" and hope that there were few misses in focus.

          • Arkady Shapoval

            Can you please send a photo of your copy. There are a lot of such Sigma, as indicated in my review.

            • Oleg

              If this is a question for me, then I already sent a photo when there was a question that the inscription APO DG is golden, but the lens is without a motor.

              • Arkady Shapoval

                ok, super) thanks :)

  • Jury

    I want to adapt the SIGMA 70-300 4-5.6DL MACRO SUPER lens from Soni ALPHA FOR NICONA 3200 Please advise if you can use an adapter (adapter) and which one.

    • B. R. P.

      According to the working segment is not suitable. Not to mention autofocus, etc.

  • 111

    But still, airy because (typo)

  • Tim

    At the end of winter, I got such a thing with a golden border and Made in Japan, like I haven’t seen anyone else like it here. Is there any information about her, or is there nothing at all on the Internet?

  • Stas

    What to take, this Sigma or Tamron AF 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6 LD Tele-Macro on the Nikon 5200?

  • Sergei

    Sigma 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 D DL MACRO This lens can be adapted to Sony A200 /

    • twm

      Finding the “native” version for Minolta / Sony A-mount is an option.

  • Somebody

    low exposure in the review

    • Somebody


      • Somebody


        • Somebody

          APO version

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