1. Welcome to NikonCafe.com—a friendly Nikon camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Sigma 100-300 f/4 EX HSM

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by DABO, May 16, 2007.

  1. DABO


    Jan 13, 2006
    Continuing the quest....

    I had previously posted some pictures from a Sigma 70-200 DG EX Macro here: https://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=110872

    No responses, but hey, that's okay. Maybe it'll help someone down the line. I sold that lens, mostly because I didn't think the sports pictures that I took with it were great. I bought this lens for slightly more money.

    For comparison purposes, I took similar photos:

    This one is at 200mm (actually 210mm) at f/4:
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    This is a 100% crop of the same picture:
    View attachment 95877

    This lens doesn't have a "macro" feature, but I got just about as close as I could and still e able to focus:

    This one is at 300mm at f/5.6:
    View attachment 95878

    And a 100% crop of that picture:
    View attachment 95879

    My quick conclusion with regard to these pictures is that the Sigma 70-200 macro is better at, well, macro. And that the 100-300 is pretty sharp at f/4, while the 70-200 wasn't really sharp for me until f/5.6.

    The better test for my purposes will be how this lens performs outdoors with sports. To be continued....

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  2. Hi DAB, the 100-300mm f/4 is on my wish list for a sports lens. I would love the nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 but the extra 100mm with the Sigma at the long end offers that much more options when shooting soccer matches.

    Keep us posted as to your thoughts on this lens.
  3. You have a very good sample(lens) there and a keeper.
    My first telephoto was the 100-300 f4 but I was never happy with the clarity/sharpness of the lens so made a quick change for the 70-200 vr.
  4. Same here, although I kept it for about 2 years as I couldn't afford better at the time. Tested it against a friends 70-200 VR (with 1.4x TC attached) and the 70-200 blew it away in every respect.

    I think thats where my lust for the pro lenses came from :rolleyes: 
  5. Hi this may be of some help, I won't bore you without many lenses I've had and tested in my time at needless to say it's been a considerable amount, this is a test I did a while ago.

    I must point out that I reguard the nikkor 300 AF-I the best of the 300 nikkors wide-open having one extra ED element if this lens doesn't outperform the Sigma 100-300 zoom then it's time to give up buying the manufacturer's own lenses.

    What was a surprise was how close the Sigma came to matching the nikkor, my copy of the Sigma has been better than the two versions of the 70-200vr nikkor I have had and sent back both the images were both processed exactly the same the only slight difference is in the focus point my Sigma seem to back focus after I had snapped it in two and had it repaired this is now been rectified.


  6. Donzo98


    Nov 10, 2005
    Merrick, NY

    The Nikkor seems noticably better on my screen here at work.
  7. DABO


    Jan 13, 2006
    Maybe you had a bad copy of the 100-300? I used to own the Nikkor 70-200 vr and did some tests here: https://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=68110

    After your comment I figured I'd try to do a comparison. Not exactly apples to apples unfortunately. Different distances, different focal lengths, indoors in one, outdoors in another, and a different newspaper (the Sigma is focussed on the classifieds with more crowded and smaller print). The Sigma shots have no sharpening in camera and no sharpening out of camera either. I don't remember, but I expect that I didn't sharpen the Nikkor shots either.:

    Nikkor 70-200 at 200mm at f/2.8:
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Sigma 100-300 at 300mm at f/4:
    View attachment 95881

    Nikkor 70-200 at 200mm at f/5.6:
    View attachment 95882

    Sigma 100-300 at 300mm at f/5.6:
    View attachment 95883

    To my eyes, both lenses seem pretty sharp. Even if you decide that the Nikkor is sharper (and don't forget that you're comparing 200mm to 300mm), the Nikkor in no way blows the Sigma away.

    I would also agree that Phillip's Nikkor 300mm prime is sharper than his Sigma 100-300. But it looks very close to me too.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017

  8. Hi it's much closer than it actually looks, I did point out that the Sigma is back focusing slightly in this image, I really should do the test again as this was taken about eight months ago to prove to Sigma that the lens was back focusing, although saying this if my 300 mm prime( Stoped down one-stop) doesn't do better than a 100-300 zoom wide open well:eek:  .

    I do have to say thou that the Sigma is a very fine lens in fact I am vrey impressed with all my Sigma lenses.


    :smile: :smile:
  9. Nikhe


    Oct 8, 2006
    The 100-300 is a very, very good lens.
    I sold my Nikkor 80-200/2,8 since it was no better then the sigma after some slight PP ( except at 2,8. I now have the excellent Sigma 50-150 for 2,8 work ).
    I would only replace my copy with a Sigma 120-300/2,8 since Nikon has no alternative for motorsports/sports at variable distances.

    Nikon seems to take more lenses off the market than they release, and Sigma has introduced some very good lenses the past few years so I think I will continue to buy lenses from Sigma as long as they are as good as the 100-300, 50-150, 30/1,4, 150mm macro and so on. And the money I save can be used to....a lot.
  10. dgh3


    Mar 13, 2006
    Syracuse, NY
    You might want to reconsider this. Check out Photozone's and Photodo's reviews. The 100-300 f/4 Sigma is one of the best zoom lenses they've tested. The 120-300 f/2.8 goes wider, but it is not as sharp as the 100-300 f/4.

  11. stane1967


    Aug 18, 2007
  12. snakeman


    Feb 26, 2006
    I agree..its a cracking lens and was going to replace with the 120-300mm 2.8 but decided against it now and spent most my money on the 85mm 1.4..lol
    I really can't fault my copy and works flawlessly with a 1.4 converter
  13. I'm interested in trying this lens again (the first copy I tried was poor).

    Seems to have a lot of mixed opinions - having owned the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 (superb), Nikkor 300mm f/4 AF-S (superb) and the Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 VR (awesome!), I'm now looking to step back into smaller glass for long walks and bike rides.

    On paper the 100-300 f/4 does sound good, but I'm still mentally scarred by my initial experience with this lens.

    Opinions here are mixed - could this be due to sample variations, or differing definitions of what is "sharp"?
  14. snakeman


    Feb 26, 2006
    sharp enough for me
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  15. Thanks for the post, Stuart :) 

    Its impossible to judge sharpness web-sized (my target is for large prints, not small images via web deployment) - do you happen to have something shot around 300mm you'd be willing to show a 100% crop from?
  16. snakeman


    Feb 26, 2006
    I'll have a look but I lost a load of raw files recently and only have whats in my photobucket..My copy is very sharp though and I knoew a few others that own this lens and love it for its sharpness wide open.
  17. Great, I'd appreciate that.

    Its a lens I'd like to give a 2nd chance too, I as thought the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 was excellent, and I figured (hoped!), this lens might offer 95% of its bigger brothers performance, for half the weight and 1/3rd the cost :) 
  18. snakeman


    Feb 26, 2006
    Well I am pretty sure it does just that..although you do get the odd lens which isn't always 100% although haven't heard many storys of variation in this particular one. I do like its size and its easy to hand hold all day which is a bonus.
  19. shoei

    shoei Guest

    I hired one for a week and used it a bike race. Got some cracking pics from it.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    But here is a 100% crop with no sharpening applied.


    Very soft. And having seen a 100% crop from a Nikon 70-200AF-S VR with a 2x TC fitted thats pin sharp, think that this 100-300 was a bit of a "friday afternoon special".
    Still cant decide between the 70-200 and 100-300.
  20. Andy if I've told you once I've told oyu a hundred times, the 200-400 isn't THAT much bigger and heavier...

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


    (100-300 to the left, but its got its hood off so it looks smaller...honest...haha)
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.