Sigma 70-300mm DG OS: a low-cost telephoto zoom put to the test

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lens Review
Sigma 70-300mm DG OS: a low-cost telephoto zoom put to the test

Today we are publishing the measurements for a popular, low-cost telephoto zoom lens: the Sigma 70-300mm DG OS for Nikon and Canon mounts.

This new version of the Sigma 70-300mm DG features a stabilization which is very useful for such focal lengths.

Let’s have a look at its optical quality.

Mounted on a high-resolution full-frame camera, the Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III, this lens offers a pretty good resolution of 50 lp/mm. At such a focal length, distortion is never really a problem, so it is not surprising that its distortion score is very low.

The DxOMark score map also tells us that this lens achieves an acceptable level of quality under low-light conditions up until 200mm at f/5.6. Overall, however, its quite low DxOMark score of 12 shows that this lens is not a great performer even when mounted on the excellent Canon 1Ds Mark III.

The measurements for the Nikon version are close; see the full results for this lens mounted on a Nikon D3x.

As we might expect, when mounted on APS-C camera, the Sigma 70-300mm DG OS gets even lower marks with a DxOMark overall score of 6 on a Canon EOS 7D and 10 on a Nikon D7000.

Canon mount vs Nikon Mount

If we compare the two versions of the Sigma 70-300mm DG OS on a Nikon D3x and on a Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III, we note that the Nikon mount achieves slightly better DxOMark scores, but this difference is mainly due to the better noise behavior of the Nikon D3x. See the sensor comparison: Nikon D3x vs Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III.

Sigma 70-300mm DG OS vs its predecessor

Here are:

These results show that the resolution of the previous version is slightly better, but the stabilization offered by the new lens should make it so much easier to use that we would still advise to choose the new model.