Oz Lens Ambassador Lina Hayes reviews the Sigma 300mm F2.8 EX APO DG HSM (Canon Mount)
The Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (Canon mount) is a strong, nicely built lens that has a sleek, matte black finish.
The Sigma doesn’t look like your average zoom lens – it’s definitely one that will turn a few heads when you are out and about shooting!
One of the first and most important features of the Sigma 300mm f/2.8 is its fantastic compression and beautiful bokeh. The long focal length combined with a fast f/2.8 aperture makes for fun and creative shooting. Whether you are shooting up close or from a distance, this lens offers you a new perspective on whatever your scene or subject you’re shooting.
Take for example the image below, where I pointed the lens towards some waves crashing on the beach just after sunrise. At f/2.8, the lens creates incredible bokeh from the golden light shining onto the sea and sand. Bokehlicious!
The long focal length on the Sigma allows you to shoot from a distance
The long focal length on the Sigma allows you to shoot from a distance and gives you the advantage of being able to photograph subjects that would normally change their behavior or be scared away at a closer distance.
The autofocus on the Sigma 300mm f/2.8 is fast, however it can struggle to pull focus when shooting smaller moving objects (such as a bird or small animal). The lens itself is almost silent when focusing and it feels smooth as the focus adjusts itself. I was pleased with the sharpness of my images overall – if you do your job of focusing right, then your images from this lens will turn out sharp.
I did the majority of my testing with this lens on the beach. It was refreshing to have a lens that could capture scenes from far away for a change, meaning that I wouldn’t have to quickly run from one side of the beach to the other if there was something of interest that I wanted to shoot! This lens was a perfect companion for shooting waves and surfers. Having the foreground compressed also added some interest and context to my shots.
Whilst this lens turns heads with its looks, the downside is that it can get very heavy after a period of time.
I did a lap of the beach before the muscles in my arm started to feel it! I would recommend picking a spot and using a tripod or monopod to take your shots. This lens would not necessarily be ideal for long walks or hiking due to its weight and size.
When looking through my images on Lightroom afterwards, the Sigma 300mm f/2.8 appears to show minimal distortion in its images. There is noticeable chromatic aberration and slight vignetting, which I corrected in post-processing. Apart from these minor issues, image quality is quite impressive. It’s also worth noting that Lightroom has a lens profile for this specific lens, so it’s easy to apply corrections when importing into Lightroom.
There a lot of people out there who don’t want to believe that third party lenses can be competitive and comparable to Canon and Nikon made lenses. I found the Sigma 300mm f/2.8 to be a competitive and high quality lens that would be a great option for a range of photographers, particularly those interested in shooting sports and wildlife. Try this lens out at a local sports game, car-racing event or just out and about on the beach and see what you think for yourself!
About the Author
Lina Hayes is a professional photographer based in Sydney shooting predominately couples, families and landscapes. Lina founded Wild at Heart Photography to document genuine and honest moments between couples and families. Lina loves to create stories with her photography by getting to know the people she works with and what matters to them most.