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Author Topic: Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 DG OS (new) impressions  (Read 6371 times)

CarlTN

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Re: Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 DG OS (new) impressions
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2013, 03:30:13 PM »
If the image quality is much improved over the 2011 version, then that, along with the ability to tweak the lens with the USB dock, more than justifies the slightly higher price of the new version over the 2011 version.  I personally still can't afford it, and don't currently have a professional need for one anyway.  But I hope to rent it at some point.

I mean, the 2011 version to me, looked like it was optically high enough in resolution to represent a great value for money (sharp enough...and able to zoom to 300mm with f/2.8 aperture...decent image stabilization)...provided that the autofocus was accurate and the build was robust enough to last a while.  According to what Roger said about the 2011 version, that might not have been the case.  Of course, his units get shaken a lot with all that shipping around, so stuff gets knocked loose.

Either way, if I had the money to blow, I would order one right this minute!

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Re: Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 DG OS (new) impressions
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2013, 03:30:13 PM »

alan_k

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Re: Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 DG OS (new) impressions
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2013, 03:45:15 PM »
Is there any information out there whether Sigma or Canon TC's are preferred?  I feel like I saw conflicting opinions with the 2011 version.
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 DG OS (new) impressions
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2013, 04:24:15 PM »
Sigma claims the MTF is identical, so its possible, likely even that individual tests might show one or the other as better.

meenanm

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Re: Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 DG OS (new) impressions
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2013, 12:17:10 AM »
Updated images after tweaking the lens with the dock. Images are from the State Baseball Championships in Indiana...
Camera Body: Canon 1Dx, ISO 320

f4.0


f4.0


f4.0


f2.8


« Last Edit: June 17, 2013, 12:25:39 AM by meenanm »
5DIII, 1Dx, 50D, lots of lenses...always room for 1 more.

meenanm

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Re: Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 DG OS (new) impressions
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2013, 12:20:37 AM »
A few more examples...

f2.8


Left Field shot from 1B dugout...

f2.8


Same with 100% crop...

« Last Edit: June 17, 2013, 12:26:18 AM by meenanm »
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bleephotography

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Re: Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 DG OS (new) impressions
« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2013, 01:50:22 AM »
Updated images after tweaking the lens with the dock. Images are from the State Baseball Championships in Indiana...
Camera Body: Canon 1Dx, ISO 320

Thanks for sharing. To my eye, those images are noticeably improved over your initial ones, so it seems the USB dock is almost necessary for this lens. Good thing it's relatively cheap!

What are your impressions of its AF performance in comparison to the 70-200L IS II, for example? Do you think it would fair well as a portrait lens?
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meenanm

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Re: Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 DG OS (new) impressions
« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2013, 08:09:15 AM »
AF is good, fast smooth. Not in the league of the 400 f2.8L II IS or the 70-200 f2.8 II IS.  I would say it is about the same as the 70-200 with the 1.4 converter. It does not seem to handle some tracking situations as well as the Canon L's.  My hit rate on focus was pretty good.

I also switched toa  custom lens setting about 1/2 the first of three games that day.  On this setting I restricted focus to >15' and set AF to fast.  I found the AF to be faster without any real downside. At times I needed to focus at 15-20' so having a setting beyond the switch default of 10m was nice.

As to portrait use, I'm not the best to answer that question. It is larger and heavier than I would need for portrait use.  I have the luxury of a Canon 70-200mm f2.8L II IS that I would use before pulling this one for portraits.
5DIII, 1Dx, 50D, lots of lenses...always room for 1 more.

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Re: Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 DG OS (new) impressions
« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2013, 08:09:15 AM »

TWI by Dustin Abbott

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Re: Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 DG OS (new) impressions
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2013, 11:11:26 AM »
The images look nice.  With your comments in mind, I would say that this looks like a fairly niche lens.  Good focal length for sports, but heavy for portraiture and too short for serious outdoors/wildlife work.  If someone is earning money from shooting sports, however, this seems like a nice addition.
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CarlTN

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Re: Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 DG OS (new) impressions
« Reply #23 on: June 18, 2013, 01:23:57 PM »
It's classified as a "sports" lens, so it would be silly to consider it for dedicated portraiture.  With my monopod I'm sure I could use it for some type of portraiture at the wider end of the zoom range if I had to.  But that's what smaller lenses are for.  As for 300mm not being long enough for serious outdoor professional use, not sure I agree with that.  It depends on how small the subject is, and how distant it is.  Also depends on if you need the f/2.8 for low light.  I would love that.

Again, the main advantage of this lens is its zoom capability and the f/2.8 capability through that range up to 300mm.  No one else offers such a lens, it's unique. 

When I am out wandering around doing shots of insects, wildflowers, birds, turkeys, deer, and whatever else is out there...it is nice to be able to zoom back and get wider shots.  Sometimes you want to include the clouds in the sky above the wildlife, or the trees, water, or other landscape elements around the wildlife.  With a zoom, you can both zoom in on the subject, and then get wider shots too...almost simultaneously.  I certainly enjoy this feature with my 120-400.

In my opinion you could easily use the 120-300 f/2.8 lens for more distant wildlife work, provided it took the Sigma 1.4x TC well enough.  Perhaps it's time for Sigma to offer a series 2 TC line.  Best of all would be an excellent 2x or even 1.7x teleconverter.

It's really time for Sigma and Canon to embrace the idea of a 1.7x teleconverter, it seems to me.

GMCPhotographics

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Re: Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 DG OS (new) impressions
« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2013, 07:09:26 AM »
Big question - other than the focus being perhaps a hair off, how fast and, most importantly, how accurate do you feel the focus is?
Focus is fast. Not quite as fast as the Canon 400 f2.8 II. But its pretty fast. Fast enough for sports.  As to the accuracy, not ready to put a stamp on it yet due to the back focus. I had some misses.  Not an exceptional number of misses for a softball game. Some that surprised me were the longer shots. For instance shooting an outfielder with center focus, I caught the fence more often than I thought I would. 

Update: I just spent some time tweaking the focus with the doc. I reset the 1Dx micro back to 0. I eventually worked my way up to a -15 setting on over 100'+. At that setting it is sharp!  I then started working on the 120, 150 and 200 mm settings. I did not have time to put on the 5DIII and test it with the updates.   I'll do a full review soon.

Suggestion, if you buy this lens, get the dock. Not sure if my situation is typical, but without it, I'd be calling Sigma or considering returning it.
-Mike

I used to have the previous model (OS) and mine was certainly sharp at 300mm f2.8...if yours isn't, it's either missing focus or it's out of adjustment. One of the nice things with this lens is that it's wide open sharpness is excellent. My copy's AF seemed a bit hit and miss, or slightly erratic.

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Re: Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 DG OS (new) impressions
« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2013, 07:09:26 AM »