Sigma 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6 review (Canon version, full review)

According provided by the Sigma 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6 lens (version for Canon EOS cameras) is huge thanks to the store you can find a huge number of different used photographic equipment, including similar lenses for Canon cameras.

Sigma 70-300mm 1:4-5.6

Sigma 70-300mm 1:4-5.6

Browse Navigation:

  1. Browse Navigation
  2. In short
  3. History
  4. Main Specifications
  5. Assembly
  6. Focusing
  7. Macro mode
  8. Image quality and sample photos
  9. My personal experience with the lens
  10. Results
  11. User Comments
  12. Add your review or question on the lens

This review shows the Sigma 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6 lens for cameras. Canon EOS. Most likely, the rubber coating on the zoom ring has been replaced at the lens.

Sigma 70-300mm 1:4-5.6

Sigma 70-300mm 1:4-5.6

In short

The Sigma 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6 is an old telephoto lens from Sigma. Countless similar lenses have been released, most likely this review shows the DL MACRO SUPER II version with a 14/10 optical scheme with 1 SLD element (there is no exact data on this issue).

Characteristic features of the Sigma 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6, which can be used to determine which Sigma lens lies at its core:

  • small switch 'NORMAL || MACRO (200-300) '
  • macro mode works in the range of 200-300 mm focal length
  • lack of a decorative ring on the focus ring
  • thin focus ring (smaller than the zoom ring)
  • marker 'N' near the value of 1.5 meters
  • does not reach the APO versions optically

Sigma 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6 attracts with its low cost, special macro shooting mode and good image quality. Repels uncertain focus with some cameras.

Sigma 70-300mm 1:4-5.6

Sigma 70-300mm 1:4-5.6


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 70-300mm 1:4-5.6

Sigma 70-300mm 1:4-5.6

Main technical characteristics of Sigma 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6:

Review Instance Name Sigma 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6 LENS MADE IN JAPAN 1159764 Ø58 inscription
Basic properties
  • Lens designed for full-length SLR cameras
  • SLD (Special Low Dispersion) - use of elements with extremely low dispersion
  • AF-M (Auto Focus - Manual Focus) - the lens is equipped with a focus mode switch
  • built-in micro motor for auto focus
  • multi-illuminated optics
  • Normal / Macro (200-300) - special mode for macro photography in the range of 200-300 mm
  • Important: a lens from a third-party manufacturer, which imposes some restrictions on its practical use.
Front Filter Diameter 58 mm
Focal length 70-300 mm

Zoom ratio 4.26 x
Designed by for full-format SLR cameras (produced in versions for different systems)
Number of aperture blades 9 straight petals
  • focusing distance in meters and feet
  • focal lengths for 70, 100, 135, 200, 300 mm
  • DOF scale (only for 70 mm, marked with 'w' - 'wide' - 'wide') for f / 11 and f / 22
  • scale 1.5 m / 4.9 ft with a magnification ratio in standard mode for values: 1: 16.5, 1:12, 1: 8.9, 1: 5.9, 1: 4.1
  • scale [200 mm] with a magnification factor in macro mode for 200 mm for values: 1: 5, 1: 4.3, 1: 3.6, 1: 2.9
  • scale [300 mm] with a magnification factor in macro mode for 300 mm for values: 1: 3.5, 1: 3, 1: 2.5, 1: 2
  • R mark for infrared operation
  • '►N' mark on the focusing distance scale for switching to standard (normal) lens operation
  • bayonet mount mark
  • 70mm - F / 4.0-F / 22
  • 100mm - F / 4.0-F / 22
  • 135mm - F / 4.5-F / 25
  • 200mm - F / 5.0-F / 29
  • 300mm - F / 5.6-F / 32
MDF (minimum focusing distance)
  • 1.5 m over the entire range of focal lengths in normal mode, the maximum magnification ratio is reached by 300 mm and is 1: 4.1
  • 0.95 m in the range of 200-300 mm when using the macro mode, the maximum magnification ratio is reached by 300 mm and is 1: 2
The weight  approximately 600 grams
Optical design 14 elements in 10 groups

Optical design Sigma 70-300 Macro

Presumably, one super dispersion element Super Low Dispersion is used (shown in blue)

Lens hood bayonet mount, model Sigma LH 635-01
Manufacturer country LENS MADE IN JAPAN (Japan)
Price Prices for modern Sigma telephoto lenses can be viewed here.

In the review I have visited many versions of Sigma 70-300 lenses, the latest version is the best - Sigma DG OS 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6.

Sigma 70-300mm 1:4-5.6

Sigma 70-300mm 1:4-5.6


Sigma 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6 is assembled not bad, but, as for me, the Normal / Macro switch (200-300) is too flimsy and can be broken if handled ineptly.

The retractable body frame (trunk) consists of one very long section.

When changing the focal length, the rear lens is movable and can act as an air pump.

A nice feature is the small diameter of the front filter - only 58 mm, the same as that of a whale baby Canon Zoom Lens EF-S 18-55mm 1: 3.5-5.6 IS STM.

The Sigma 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6 came to my review with an original, large and strong plastic hood, which is fixed in special grooves located near the front lens of the objective. When the focal length is changed, the hood moves in conjunction with the movable frame of the body. The hood can be installed in the opposite direction for transportation. In this position, access to the focusing ring is lost in the range of 70-200 mm. With the hood attached, in focus mode 'M', the focusing distance can change under the weight of the hood (the hood pulls the trunk), while the focal length does not change on its own (this may possibly start over time).

Устройство aperture comprises 9 not rounded petals and forms a hole with a regular 9-gon.

Sigma 70-300mm 1:4-5.6

Sigma 70-300mm 1:4-5.6


Auto focus speed average... Focus speed is independent of camera orientation or focal length. The focusing time from MDF to infinity and back in 'Macro (200-300)' mode is long enough for comfortable work.

For focusing, a conventional micro focusing motor is used, which very noisy. The nature of the noise is unpleasant.

The lens does not use internal focus. During focusing, the front lens, together with the frame for the filters, rotates and drives forward. Using polarizing and other specialized filters will be difficult. When changing the focal length, the front lens does not rotate.

Focus ring rotates 90 degrees in 'Normal' mode and 180 degrees in 'Macro (200-300)' mode. The movement of the ring is smooth, but you need to make an effort to break the ring from its place. When the focus ring rotates, there is a feeling of 'plastic on plastic'.

When used on a camera Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi (aka Canon EOS DIGITAL 450D, aka Canon EOS Kiss with very simple 9-point focusing system) the lens behaves badly. Often mistaken in focusing, often there are twitching of the focus ring. Also on camera Canon EOS DIGITAL 450D the lens behaves poorly in Live View focusing mode - it is inaccurate and takes a long time to aim (theoretically, accuracy with stationary objects should always be perfect). Probably there is trouble with poor compatibility with some cameras. I visited a lot of versions and sub-versions of Sigma 70-300 for Nikon cameras, with which there were no problems with accuracy and tenacity of focus.

Focus Features:

  1. Sigma 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6 has focus mode switch 'AF-M'. To perform manual focus lens required must be in focus mode 'M'. Sigma 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6 does not have the function of continuous manual focus control.
  2. During auto focus focus ring rotates and cannot be touched.
  3. There is a strong effect of 'Focus Breathing' (changing the viewing angle during focusing). During focusing towards the MDF, the viewing angle decreases.
  4. Sigma 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6 - a lens from a third-party manufacturer. It may happen that it will not work correctly with some Canon EOS cameras.
  5. When changing the focal length, focusing is a bit confused.
  6. There is depth of field scale, but only for 70mm focal length (indicated by 'w' mark) and only for values aperture F / 11 and F / 22. There is a label for working in the infrared spectrum.
  7. The lens has scale with focusing distance in meters and feet. Such a scale in itself is of little use and is present more for show (justification of this thought here) The distance scale is plotted on the focus ring, and not made using a special window.
  8. Sigma 70-300mm 1:4-5.6 focuses poorly in live view (tested on Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi). Problems are associated with long 'run' of the focusing system and inaccurate focusing, even on stationary subjects. Other similar lenses focus much better in Live View.
  9. Unknown compatibility with teleconverters.
  10. Sigma 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6 does not have hard stop (hard infinity mechanical stop) which allows you to accurately and quickly focus the lens at infinity under any external conditions.
  11. There is a special switch for switching to macro mode, which will be discussed below.
Sigma 70-300mm 1:4-5.6

Sigma 70-300mm 1:4-5.6

Macro mode

Sigma 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6 can use the macro mode, which is activated by a special switch Normal / Macro (200-300). This mode has a number of features:

  • it is possible to switch to macro mode only when the focal length is set in the range from 200 to 300 mm. Actually, the inscription 'Macro (200-300)' just gives a hint about this. For example, at a zoom position between 70-200mm, the switch slider cannot be moved, but if force is applied, it can be broken.
  • using the zoom ring in the 'Macro (200-300)' mode, the focal length can only be changed in the range of 200-300 mm
  • in the 'Normal' mode, focusing is available from 1.5 meters to infinity
  • in 'Macro (200-300)' mode, focusing is available from 0.95 meter to infinity
  • when the focal length is set from 200 to 300, you can switch to the 'Macro (200-300)' mode at any convenient time and at any focusing distance.
  • switching from the 'Macro (200-300)' mode to the 'Normal' mode is possible only if the focusing distance is more than 1.5 meters. There is a '►N' prompt on the focusing distance scale near the 1.5m focusing distance, which says that the focus ring must be rotated beyond this mark to enter the 'Normal' mode. It is possible to break the mode switch if you try to turn on the 'Normal' mode when the focusing distance is set to less than 1.5 meters.
  • auto focus works in either 'Normal' or 'Macro (200-300)' modes
  • to switch from 'Macro (200-300)' mode to 'Normal' mode, you often have to turn off automatic focus using the 'AF / M' switch, manually move the focusing ring beyond the '►N' mark, then turn on the 'Normal' mode and back to auto focus using the 'AF / M' switch. You can also force the camera to automatically focus beyond the '►N' mark and then switch to the 'Normal' mode. Such manipulations are extremely inconvenient.
  • due to the strong effect of 'Focus Breathing' during shooting with a 1: 2 magnification, the actual value of the focal length is in the region of 450 mm.

On the extendable part of the frame of the case there are three scales that are responsible for the magnification:

  • scale 1.5 m / 4.9 ft with magnification factor in 'Normal' mode with values: 1: 16.5, 1:12, 1: 8.9, 1: 5.9, 1: 4.1
  • scale [200 mm] with magnification factor in 'Macro (200-300)' mode for 200 mm with values: 1: 5, 1: 4.3, 1: 3.6, 1: 2.9
  • scale [300 mm] with magnification factor in 'Macro (200-300)' mode for 300 mm with values: 1: 3.5, 1: 3, 1: 2.5, 1: 2

You can quickly get used to the logic of the lens. The ability to shoot macro with a maximum magnification of 1: 2 and support for autofocus is a very strong point of this lens.

Sigma 70-300mm 1:4-5.6

Sigma 70-300mm 1:4-5.6

Image quality and sample photos

Unfortunately, the sample from the review does not shine with special image quality. On top of that, frequent focusing errors have a big impact on the final result. Other similar lenses that I had on review for Nikon cameras (see the list in the 'History') produced a better image.

I suppose that I didn’t have the most successful copy at the review.

Pictures from Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi (aka Canon EOS DIGITAL 450D, aka Canon EOS Kiss) The photos in the gallery below are shown without processing, on camera JPEG.

Download source files in format JPEG can at this link (41 files in the '.JPG' format, 250 MB).

Sigma 70-300mm 1:4-5.6

Sigma 70-300mm 1:4-5.6

My experience

I like these inexpensive televisions, you can squeeze a lot from them, especially if you find a good copy.

On sale Sigma 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6 (such an option, as in the review) can not be found new. I recommend a newer model for use Sigma APO DG 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6, prices for which you can see here.

Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. Many different photographic equipment can be found on AliExpress.

Sigma 70-300mm 1:4-5.6

Sigma 70-300mm 1:4-5.6


Sigma 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6 is a rather interesting lens (as well as its entire subversion and version).

Main advantages

  • low cost. Many offers in the secondary market
  • good maximum magnification ratio for macro shooting, which is 1: 2
  • the ability to use different focal lengths in macro mode from 200 to 300 mm (macro lenses with zoom are very rare)
  • normal build quality, small diameter filters, the lens does not change the focal length under its own weight
  • good image quality
  • 9 not rounded petals aperture, while the lens creates fairly smooth discs of blur
  • fast enough focusing in 'Normal' focus mode
  • three scales with a magnification ratio depending on the focal length and focusing distance + scale focusing distance, depth of field mark and shift during infrared shooting
  • smooth drop of aperture from 70 mm to 300 mm (up to 135 mm F / 4.0 is available, F / 5.6 occurs only at 220 mm)

The main disadvantages

  • ordinary micro focusing motor instead of an ultrasonic motor (or similar), which use original lenses
  • frequent focusing errors with the camera Canon EOS DIGITAL 450D, including in Live View, most likely there will be a problem on some other cameras
  • strong and unpleasant noise during auto focus
  • inconvenient switch to switch to macro mode (inconvenient to switch to 'Normal' mode, read the details in the section 'Macro mode')
  • auto focus is not fast enough when shooting in macro mode
  • rotation of the focus ring during autofocus and, as a result, lack of the function of constant manual focus control
  • rotation of the front lens and the frame for the filters during focusing (inconvenience when using polarists and other specific filters)
  • noticeable decrease in resolution with increasing focal length
  • focus ring plastic, grooved but not rubberized
  • the weight of the hood can change the focusing distance in focus mode 'M' (the lens trunk is extended)
  • the zoom ring rotates in the opposite direction (inconvenience for those who have original Canon zoom lenses)
  • movement of the rear lens while changing the focal length, strong effect of a vacuum cleaner / air pump
  • strong 'Focus Breathing' effect (changes in viewing angle during focusing)
  • obsolete model that is difficult to find on sale with a guarantee
  • there is incompatibility with some cameras and / or teleconverters (no exact data)

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

Add a comment:



Comments: 17, on the topic: Sigma 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6 review (Canon version, full review)

  • scif

    Sikhma is ugly again. Arkady rob warehouses with Zeiss, mitacon chtoli ...

    • Rodion

      Provide such a warehouse - there will be Zeiss every day.

      • Sergei

        I look here:, and There are a lot of video reviews on youtube. Here, rather, information for navigating the secondary housing, well, and related thoughts of people in the comments ...

        • Rodion

          On the contrary, I don't like "synthetic" tests. Numbers are cool, but photography is still not perceived through them. Therefore, the materials on this site are very useful.
          And yes, focusing on the secondary is extremely necessary.

      • Sergei

        Probably the future of this project will be reviews of readers who are passionate about their business or hobby. The capabilities of one person (both financial and time) are probably not enough ... Of course, it is interesting sometimes to read about relics, but in most cases there is no practical benefit from this. Well, if only pleasant (or not so) memories. And again, the following informative (or not so) flame in the comments ...

    • Radmir

      Send a couple of boxes, there will be Zeiss ;-)!

  • anonym

    sigma 100-400. someone used?

  • Alexey

    Good detailed review. I am amazed at your performance.

  • Alexander

    A full frame lens on a crop camera is the same as a crop lens on a full frame camera, sorry. You would have checked it back on four thirds)).

    • B. R. P.

      Aerobatics of criticism.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Unfortunately, this sigma was not available in the Micro 4/3 mount. What might not suit you in the review yet?

    • Pokemon

      Alexander, please do not write nonsense.

  • pkuutn

    On Nikon D5600, autofocus does not work, despite the fact that it did on 5100.
    They say that the service can be changed, but I suppose that it will cost me more than the lens itself ...

    • Alexey

      this is nikon's modern policy - exclusion / blocking of the work of third-party optics.

  • Michael

    How much I don’t read information about lenses on this site, it seems that among the budget ones, in general, there is nothing normal positive, and in other pricing policies too. All lenses are crooked, poor sharpness, wrong focus, etc. and so on. Maybe it's just that those who write this just have their hands growing out of their asses? Probably not otherwise. You just need to be able to handle technology, and not hack everything in a row !!!

  • Jury

    Hello. Is it worth buying this lens used for 7 thousand rubles?
    I'm looking for a replacement for the kit 1200d for automotive photography. You need versatility in shooting small objects (1cm d) and medium ones (approximately 15cm in diameter).

    • B. R. P.

      Understand the basics first, and then buy a camera. This lens is NOT a replacement for a whale. This is a telezoom, and the whale is a standard zoom. Take pictures, as you were advised, on your phone. Otherwise, this search for the “ideal” is tiring, and it also costs you some money.

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