My Precious

The Poor Man's Best Macro Lens.

My Baby
Taking Time To Smell The Flowers
Blending In
Moth on the Court!
What Could It Be?
Hanging On
Fish Tails

Earlier this year I was searching for an amazing macro lens at an amazing price. I was just setting myself up for great disappointment. The fast, amazing macro lenses I would have loved to own were in the $500 plus range, which was beyond my budget. Even the older Minolta A-mounts were becoming ever more pricier with the refound popularity due to Sony's adoption of the line.

I decided to set my standards lower than what I could only dream of and did some research. I came upon the cheap Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro lens. It's Sigma [which never let me down in image quality], it has SLD [Special Low Dispersion] glass, and a maximum magnification of 1:2, which is pretty nice for $210. So i ordered it expecting a mediocre, okay macro lens. But, it'll get the job done.

So about a week or two later, this lens arrives at my door step. I unpacked this bulky lens, and mounted it on my camera expecting somewhat decent photos at a slow aperture of 4-5.6. Boy, was I surprised.

What I got was a lens that gave me brilliant, sharp images true to the Sigma line. Clear and concise photos of butterflies, bees, lizards, flowers, spiders, anything I pointed it at. Even at a slower aperture, I was getting great pictures of butterflies flying from flower to flower. It has a great minimum focusing range of 37.4 inches [95cm], so I can get closer to my subject.

Not only is it great for macro, but for portraits and sports as well. I've shot ballet recitals and tennis matches with it. I've also used it in studio situations where I wanted close-ups on my subject, and it repeatedly gave me amazing results.

It is one of the most used lenses in my bag. As well as the cheapest. It is a lens dedicated to giving the "photographer on a budget" razor sharp, vivid images. As well as having a great solid build that makes it feel a bit more expensive than it actually is.

If you're a photographer with a strict budget, but want a macro lens that'll give you the quality that's almost as great as a $500 top-of-the-line lens, this is the lens for you. And it will always give you the best images. All for a great price of $210.

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4 responses

  • Sven Schroeder

    Sven Schroeder said (13 Oct 2008):

    I also had this lens and it's more than ok for the price you pay.
    Macro's up to 1:2 is a woderful feature!

  • Nathalie Atienza

    Nathalie Atienza gave props (26 Dec 2008):

    Cool! I'm trying to save up for the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro Lens which costs an arm and a leg. You just gave me a more viable option. Thanks!

  • Aelica

    Aelica (Deleted) said (7 Jul 2009):

    What you wrote is sooo interesting, thanks for the review! This is really a valid option.

  • Marinus Vesseur

    Marinus Vesseur said (27 Nov 2010):

    True, it is a great lens, pretty amazing for the price, but... build quality is not nearly as good as the old Minoltas. Like many before me, I've had the focusing break down. It got repaired on warranty, but there's always this worry that it might happen again.
    And then there is the fact that macro is at the far zoom end, in other words 300mm. You'll need a tripod for anything that isn't very well lit.
    This is a good suggestion if you really can't spend more than 100 dollars, but if you have another 50, get an additional older Minolta 28-80 or the like.

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