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Author Topic: Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 OS for action sports  (Read 7166 times)

pwp

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Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 OS for action sports
« on: November 20, 2011, 11:40:54 PM »
I've been more than happy shooting action sports on 1D4 bodies with 300mm f/2.8is and 70-200mm f/2.8is, but a lens that has been demanding my attention is the new stabilized Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 zoom.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/755328-USA/Sigma_136101_120_300mm_f_2_8_EX_DG.html
http://www.sigmaphoto.com/shop/120-300mm-f28-ex-dg-os-apo-hsm-sigma1
http://www.rytterfalk.com/2011/04/30/exploring-the-new-sigma-120-300-2-8-os-lens/

The old version of this lens was never quite there, but initial responses to the new OS lens are looking very promising. If this lens works as advertised it would be a fairly compelling lens for shooting action sports.

Any CR shooters use this lens? Links to meaningful independent reviews? Even the Fred Miranda lens reviews have not passed an opinion on the new OS lens yet...must be too new.

Paul Wright

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Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 OS for action sports
« on: November 20, 2011, 11:40:54 PM »

Imagination_landB

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Re: Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 OS for action sports
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2011, 12:07:13 AM »
Go to youtube there's some reviews of it. Seems pretty good but there isn't any serious test for the moment on the net..
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dr croubie

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Re: Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 OS for action sports
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2011, 12:58:45 AM »
http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/629-sigma120300f28oseos
But there's nothing to compare it to at 300mm f/2.8, only the 70-200 f/2.8s, 70-300L, and 300 f/4L
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AprilForever

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Re: Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 OS for action sports
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2011, 02:17:54 AM »
Go to youtube there's some reviews of it. Seems pretty good but there isn't any serious test for the moment on the net..

But I hate video reviews! And video tutorials. Seems Largely to be the lazy way... Even still, the 120-300 is intriguing!
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Edwin Herdman

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Re: Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 OS for action sports
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2011, 05:30:00 AM »
Go to youtube there's some reviews of it. Seems pretty good but there isn't any serious test for the moment on the net..
Don't speak so rashly.

Besides the Photozone.de review (which I would have to agree is a bit silly - low score despite being a really outstanding lens?  The only negative pointed to was sharpness in the corners!), the lens has been thoroughly gone over at Photography-On-The-Net:

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1039709&highlight=sigma+120-300mm+os

I've had one since July or August and love it.  If you need 300mm and f/2.8, I don't see how you could go wrong.

Only concern is the number that appear to be showing up with the AF broken, but I've had absolutely no problems with mine (except for the huge front element fogging up like nobody's business - it's big enough that it takes a long time to defog!) in terms of construction.

I can't really comment about AF - my camera's not up to spec.  AF is very fast though, and I can get some very long exposures handheld (~f/5.6 and 1/40 second at 300mm with a 2X TC on just the other day!)

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Re: Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 OS for action sports
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2011, 07:36:53 AM »
On photozone, they gave it "3 to 3.5" stars out of 5, that's not a low score. It is above average. And yes, they do factor border performance into the score which is likely why it didn't go even higher despite the good centre performance. My opinion is generally to avoid looking to closely at overall single value scores, since unless you value the factors that go into it exactly the same way they do, it will vary from your needs. Look at the detail and decide if the lens is the one for the job. Also note their scale is absolute not relative. A good lens for its type can still score low. e.g. even expensive zoom lenses can struggle against budget primes in score.

Forgot to say, they also have a "field quality" score which tries to look at it from the view how it would meet the needs of how it will be used, and there it scores 4 out of 5 stars for sports and wildlife usage.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2011, 07:39:36 AM by lol »
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handsomerob

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Re: Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 OS for action sports
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2011, 08:26:54 AM »
Photozone tested it on FF and when the OP mounts it on his 1DIV the 1.3x crop factor will help getting better corner sharpness (sweet spot effect) than on FF. If he upgrades to the 1DX then it might indeed get worse on the corners.

It looks like a great package really: very, very useful focal length, f/2.8, very fast AF (according to photozone), latest generation optical stabilizer and compatible with extenders... what is not to like? If you can justify paying all that money on a third party lens...

Maybe you could rent it to see if it lives up to your expectations.

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Re: Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 OS for action sports
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2011, 08:26:54 AM »

pwp

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Re: Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 OS for action sports
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2011, 09:12:12 PM »
Thanks for the responses. Yes, there are a couple of very long threads over at http://photography-on-the.net Canon User Forums with some useful viewpoints.

However they did tend to get bogged down with the minutia of the lens when used with a variety of x1.4 & X2 converters.

My interest is how the lens performs unadorned with extras...shooting fast moving action in it's native 120-300 f/2.8 configuration on 1-series bodies. The technical information at Photozone http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/629-sigma120300f28oseos is a useful perspective, but responses from working photographers out there in the heat and dust and rain and sleet under pressure to deliver classy images to their clients is what I'll pay the closest attention to.

In the likely event I pickup this lens, I'll post my experiences across differing work environments. Hopefully very positive...

Paul Wright

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Re: Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 OS for action sports
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2011, 06:29:58 AM »
 I currently use a Nikon D3s with 70-200mm f2.8 VR2 and Nikon 300mm f2.8 VR with Nikon's 1.4x converter for motorsport. I covered a meeting in Scotland and had to fly there so to keep the weight down, I borrowed the new 120-300mm OS. After getting back to the Media Center and down loaded my photos I was VERY surprised to how good this lens actually is. Wow, it was stunning!!

Due to the nature of the subjects I photograph I'm seriously considering changing to a 1D mk 4 kit with a 120-300mm OS replacing the need of a Canon 70-200mm f2.8 and a 300mm f2.8. Sadly i didn't get chance to test the 1.4x. Am I mad? no, it really is that good! I would like to see a focus limiter and better lens hood but that's being picky 

Edwin Herdman

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Re: Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 OS for action sports
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2011, 02:11:15 AM »
On photozone, they gave it "3 to 3.5" stars out of 5, that's not a low score.
It's a low score for what this is, and for what it's compared to.  Merely "above average" is misleading, I think, when you consider that Photozone weights resolution so heavily and yet I find some higher-scoring prime lenses suffer more than the 120-300mm when a TC is attached, which rather belies the findings.

When you consider that he's knocked off two stars for only one category being less than perfect, on a camera that is likely not the first choice for users of this lens, it starts to look sloppy or worse.

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Re: Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 OS for action sports
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2011, 03:16:33 AM »
They don't rate with TC, which to me is an omission but that's their current policy. And while the 5D2 may not be the 1st choice for many applications with this lens, the results would be easily transferable to those with 1Ds class or upcoming 1D X bodies. Maybe it would score higher if they also tested on a crop sensor body. It wouldn't be the first time if so, but it doesn't seem unreasonable as a full frame result. Again, they give a "field rating" of 4/5 separate from the base rating. I don't get the impression it is a 5 star lens so that seems about as good as it's worth. "best in class" doesn't mean "best everywhere".
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Flake

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Re: Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 OS for action sports
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2011, 03:56:51 AM »
I have the non IS version of this lens, and it's quite capable of producing commercial quality images even with  a 2X TC at 600mm on a 5D MkII.  The thing is that there's nothing else similar on the market, and if you want to go with Canon it means two bodies a gap between 200mm & 300mm and enormous expense.

pwp

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Re: Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 OS for action sports
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2011, 04:20:05 AM »
I currently use a Nikon D3s with 70-200mm f2.8 VR2 and Nikon 300mm f2.8 VR with Nikon's 1.4x converter for motorsport. I covered a meeting in Scotland and had to fly there so to keep the weight down, I borrowed the new 120-300mm OS.
I'm seriously considering changing to a 1D mk 4 kit with a 120-300mm OS replacing the need of a Canon 70-200mm f2.8 and a 300mm f2.8.

That's a big wrap for the Sigma. Thanks. Did you use the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 OS on the Nikon D3s or on a Canon?

I know first hand that the 1DMk4 is a fabulous body and a great performer, but why would you consider an expensive platform change from Nikon?


Paul Wright

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Re: Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 OS for action sports
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2011, 04:20:05 AM »