Sigma MF 300mm F/4.5 APO

Super telephoto prime lens • Film era • Discontinued

Sigma MF 300mm F/4.5 APO


APO The lens features apochromatic optical design.

Model history (4)

Sigma MF 300mm F/4.5 APOA8 - 62.5m⌀67 1981 
Sigma MF 300mm F/4 APO Macro ZENA10 - 71.2m⌀77 1994 
Sigma 300mm F/4 APO Macro ZENA10 - 71.2m⌀77 1994 
Sigma 300mm F/4 APO Macro HSM ZENA10 - 71.2m⌀77 1997 

Features highlight

Built-in hood


Production details:
Production status: Discontinued
Original name:APO-SIGMA 1:4.5 f=300mm MULTI-COATED
Optical design:
Focal length:300mm
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount and Flange focal distance:Canon FD [42mm]
Contax/Yashica [45.5mm]
Fujica X [43.5mm]
Konica AR [40.5mm]
M42 [45.5mm]
Minolta SR [43.5mm]
Nikon F [46.5mm]
Olympus OM [46mm]
Pentax K [45.5mm]
Rollei QBM [44.46mm]
Diagonal angle of view:8.2°
Lens construction:8 elements in 6 groups
Internal focusing (IF)
Diaphragm mechanism:
Diaphragm type:Automatic
Aperture control:<No data>
Number of blades:<No data>
On Nikon D APS-C [1.53x] cameras:
35mm equivalent focal length:459mm (in terms of field of view)
35mm equivalent speed:F/6.9 (in terms of depth of field)
Diagonal angle of view:5.4°
On Pentax K APS-C [1.53x] cameras:
35mm equivalent focal length:459mm (in terms of field of view)
35mm equivalent speed:F/6.9 (in terms of depth of field)
Diagonal angle of view:5.4°
Closest focusing distance:2.5m
Maximum magnification:1:8 at the closest focusing distance
Focusing modes:Manual focus only
Manual focus control:Focusing ring
Physical characteristics:
Weight:1040g (mount not specified)
Maximum diameter x Length:⌀74×193mm (mount not specified)
Weather sealing:-
Fluorine coating:-
Filters:Screw-type 67mm
Lens hood:Built-in telescopic round
Teleconverters:<No data>
Source of data:
Manufacturer's technical data.

Manufacturer description #1

Apochromatic color quality. APO-Sigma 300mm f/4.5 and 400mm f/5.6 telephoto lenses

Reaching out into the distance, you compress a faraway scene into your finder and onto film. But it's when you see that image on film that you see the difference. There is a crisp, clean quality, with the purest of colors, that you seldom get from a very long lens.

But if your lens is the 300mm or 400mm APO-Sigma, you can depend on exceptional image quality every time. The reason is in the name. "APO" stands for apochromatic, and that means that all three primary colors are focused in precisely the same plane. It's a quality usually found only in special lenses with unstable exotic glasses and four-figure price tags.

Not these long Sigmas. They deliver apochromatic color quality, with superb sharpness and contrast, without problem-prone expensive glasses. The result is outstanding long lenses at surprisingly affordable prices.

Sigma multi-layer coating, plus a unique electrostatic internal flocking process reduce flare and internal reflections to an all-time low, for still more contrast and "snap".

You can focus so close with these long lenses that you can even use them for portraits, with creatively-pleasingly soft backgrounds. And, as you focus, the lens remains in perfect balance, because it doesn't change length. Focusing is internal.

The APO-Sigma 300mm and 400mm lenses are long in focal length, but short in physical length, and remarkably low in price. It's a combination that's hard to beat!

Manufacturer description #2


Exclusive Sigma Apochromatic lens design eliminates chromatic aberration for unmatched sharpness and color saturation

At last! Sigma solves the greatest problem in long focal length lenses - chromatic aberration! And at lower cost than ever before possible.

Sigma Apochromats are virtually free of chromatic aberration. They produce exquisite color correction and crisp, high contrast images that up to now have only been possible with lenses costing twice as much.

How Sigma solved the problem

Long focal length lenses have poor contrast unless special materials such as costly fluorite elements are used to "apochromatize" the light rays. This results in the correction of all three primary colors (apochromatic) instead of only two colors (achromatic) as in ordinary long lenses. The breakthrough came when Sigma designers, using advanced computer technology, developed an optical formula that uses standard high-density flint crown optical glass. The result is apochromatic performance at the lowest price ever!

Unsurpassed image brilliance

A remarkable degree of image brilliance that simply can't be achieved by ordinary long focal length designs. Colors are fully saturated and sharpness across the field from corner-to-corner is unmatched!

New flocking reduces flare further

Using a Sigma developed flocking technique involving a static electricity process, internal reflections have been reduced to the absolute minimum further enhancing the contrast gains achieved by the apochromatic design. This unique method is a Sigma exclusive.

Sigma's multi-layer coating

Begin with the most advanced multi-coating technology for ultimate transmission, superb color rendition, contrast and resistance to flare, then add in-house computer design and the finest rare-earth glasses. The result is a lens with the kind of sharpness and snap that sets your photographs apart.

Manufacturer description #3

With 6x magnification, this Sigma apochromatic, high contrast lens lets you move right into magnificent scenery, exciting sports action, nature and once in-a-lifetime situations. Utilizing advanced computer-aided lens technology, Sigma eliminated the difficult problem of chromatic aberrations in this extremely compact, ultra-long focal length lens by using high density flint crown optical glass instead of costly, fragile, heat and shock-sensitive fluorite glass or low dispersion glass. The result is a lens that compensates for chromatic aberrations across the entire visible spectrum, producing superior images in color and sharpness, at a more economical cost.

The minimum focusing distance of the APO Sigma 300mm f4.5 telephoto is only 250cm (8.2 ft.) and Sigma's unique internal focusing system moves quickly and smoothly from minimum focus to infinity without any change in the overall physical length of the lens. The lens is always in perfect balance. Optimum light transmission and superb color rendition are assured by the exclusive Sigma multi-layer coating and a new electrostatic flocking process reduces internal reflections to an absolute minimum for better contrast.

A built-in hood slides forward for use and back for convenient storage, and there is a convenient, built-in tripod mounting socket, too.

From the editor

The lens was also produced for the Ricoh K system under the name RICOH XR RIKENON APO 1:4.5 300mm.

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Super telephoto prime lens

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Apochromatic optical design

All glass elements in an optical system refract light in certain colors to a different extent. This leads to the effect that not all rays of light from a multi-colored subject are focused at a single imaging point – the result of this is chromatic aberration.

In this lens, the chromatic aberration is minimized by apochromatic correction.

A need for apochromatic correction arose with the increasing popularity of color film. Now, with high-resolution digital sensors, the need for superior control of chromatic aberrations is even more pertinent than when film changed from monochrome to color.

Professional model

  • Combination of focal length and speed meets professional demands
  • Apochromatic optical design

Copyright © 2012-2023 Evgenii Artemov. All rights reserved. Translation and/or reproduction of website materials in any form, including the Internet, is prohibited without the express written permission of the website owner.

35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm
  • Area: 864mm2


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Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.


Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),


CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.


A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance can also be different.

The flange focal distance (FFD) is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.


The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Fixed focus

There is no helicoid in this lens and everything is in focus from the closest focusing distance to infinity.

Internal focusing (IF)

Conventional lenses employ an all-group shifting system, in which all lens elements shift during focusing. The IF system, however, shifts only part of the optics during focusing. The advantages of the IF system are:

Modified M42 mount

The mount has been modified by the manufacturer to allow exposure metering at full aperture.

Manual diaphragm

The diaphragm must be stopped down manually by rotating the detent aperture ring.

Preset diaphragm

The lens has two rings, one is for pre-setting, while the other is for normal diaphragm adjustment. The first ring must be set at the desired aperture, the second ring then should be fully opened for focusing, and turned back for stop down to the pre-set value.

Semi-automatic diaphragm

The lens features spring mechanism in the diaphragm, triggered by the shutter release, which stops down the diaphragm to the pre-set value. The spring needs to be reset manually after each exposure to re-open diaphragm to its maximum value.

Automatic diaphragm

The camera automatically closes the diaphragm down during the shutter operation. On completion of the exposure, the diaphragm re-opens to its maximum value.

Fixed diaphragm

The aperture setting is fixed at F/4.5 on this lens, and cannot be adjusted.

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.


Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.


Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.


Teleconverters increase the effective focal length of lenses. They also usually maintain the closest focusing distance of lenses, thus increasing the magnification significantly. A lens combined with a teleconverter is normally smaller, lighter and cheaper than a "direct" telephoto lens of the same focal length and speed.

Teleconverters are a convenient way of enhancing telephoto capability, but it comes at a cost − reduced maximum aperture. Also, since teleconverters magnify every detail in the image, they logically also magnify residual aberrations of the lens.

Lens caps

Scratched lens surfaces can spoil the definition and contrast of even the finest lenses. Lens covers are the best and most inexpensive protection available against dust, moisture and abrasion. Safeguard lens elements - both front and rear - whenever the lens is not in use.