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Author Topic: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed  (Read 21209 times)

AlanF

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #30 on: August 02, 2013, 07:12:00 AM »
The big problem is the weight: as TDP writes "There is no question that this lens can be handheld and that OS aids in doing so – but such use will be avoided most of the time by all but the strongest photographers. " It weighs a full kilo more than the Canon 300mm f/2.8 II and 200g more than the 500mm f/4 II. I tried it out and found it far too heavy for hand holding for me. Also, the IQ is ruined by a 2xTC, unlike that of the 300mm prime.
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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #30 on: August 02, 2013, 07:12:00 AM »

CarlTN

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #31 on: August 02, 2013, 01:19:49 PM »
The big problem is the weight: as TDP writes "There is no question that this lens can be handheld and that OS aids in doing so – but such use will be avoided most of the time by all but the strongest photographers. " It weighs a full kilo more than the Canon 300mm f/2.8 II and 200g more than the 500mm f/4 II. I tried it out and found it far too heavy for hand holding for me. Also, the IQ is ruined by a 2xTC, unlike that of the 300mm prime.

But the prime is a prime, and can't zoom...which is the main reason to own the Sigma...besides the far lower cost, at around half or less than half of the Canon.  It's not a fair comparison to judge the Sigma against a prime that weighs less and costs twice as much.  If the Canon were a zoom it would weigh closer to what the Sigma weighs...Canon's only super-tele zoom, the new 200-400, weighs even more than the Sigma!  And anyway, why not use a monopod?  I use a monopod on my smaller and lighter 120-400, so I would definitely use one for a heavier lens.  A monopod can be cumbersome at times, but as long as it has the "flip" latches rather than the "screw" ones, it can be extended and retracted fairly quickly...and once retracted, it can aid in the use of hand-holding the lens, by simply propping it against your chest/stomach.  Couple this with a good strap, and you could carry it around all day and use less energy than carrying around a 70-200 f/2.8 (without support).  I'm not exactly a weak guy, I used to lift weights...but I'm also not remotely as big as a WWE wrestler either.  When I'm doing photography I prefer to not ever have to strain my muscles, haha.  I like it to feel as luxurious as possible.

AlanF

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #32 on: August 02, 2013, 01:55:41 PM »
The Sigma is too heavy for me in absolute terms, not just relative to the 300mm prime.  If you are strong or don't mind using a monopod, then you may be happy to lug it around.  The rest of us will have to make do with a 100-400 or a 70-300L with a smaller aperture but at a fraction of the weight if we need a zoom.
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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #33 on: August 03, 2013, 06:02:14 AM »
I don't consider myself to be strong, as I have rather thin arms and never do any exercise. But I have lugged the older 120-300 EX OS around and can hand hold that for a day. No, it isn't as easy as the 100-400L, which itself I thought was heavy until I got used to it. Maybe using this kit is weight training for my arms!
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Plainsman

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #34 on: August 05, 2013, 03:46:33 AM »
Very odd ISO 12233 crops for this new lens on the-digital- picture which Sigma refer to as the DG OS HSM/S lens.

First of all scrolling down two OS lenses are listed but not DG OS HSM/S specifically.

So we have to assume that the latest lens crops are actually the "DG OS HSM" crops.

What is odd is that the "EX DG OS HSM" (the first OS version?) gives very much sharper 1.4x and 2xTC crops than the new lens!!

Are Sigma going backwards here or does it show wide variability in the Sigma product compared to Can/Nik?
« Last Edit: August 05, 2013, 05:40:07 AM by Plainsman »

GMCPhotographics

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #35 on: August 05, 2013, 06:41:15 AM »
Explained in article.

 Roger, after tearing down both OS versions of the 120-300, said it appeared that elements in these lenses could be interchanged. The optical design seems unchanged. When questioned about this, Sigma replied that the 120-300 "S" has 2 FLD Glass elements instead of one. FLD glass has performance equal to fluorite, which is excellent.

So 2 FLD elements instead of one so better IQ.
One major problem with that... if you look back to the older one, Sigma says that has two FLD elements, and further references to this can be found in various reviews like at photozone and lenstip. The only way this unspecified source at Sigma could be right now is if Sigma were originally lying about having two SLD elements. Doesn't add up.

I'd speculate it could still be down to sample variation, especially if Sigma have tightened up their build quality.

I think there's a bit of confusion to which version is the "old" one. I can't help wonder if TDP have confused the older non-OS version with the first OS version. From my spec reading, the new S version is optically the same as the old OS version, but different from the original non-OS version.
I had the old OS version and optically it was very strong. With a Canon 2x mkII TC, it needed to be stopped down to f6.3 and the results were very usable.
I found this lens awkward and heavy to use. It's fine for domestic / hobbiest use where occasion use is implied. But for professional use, it lacks the AF accuracy and Speed of Canon's white lenses. It's OS is unrefined and the focal drop at MDF isn't ideal. There's the weight too, I would rather save for a 300mm f2.8 L IS II and have a slightly sharper, lighter and more consistent performer. But if i was only going to use it occasionally in a non-pro guise then it would be high on my list. Although having two 5DIII bodies and a 70-200 f2.8 L IS II....the zoom function of this lens is of limited appeal to me.

weixing

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #36 on: August 05, 2013, 07:04:03 AM »
Hi,
   When comparing the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM S with 2x converter (F5.6) with my EF 400mm F5.6L with 1.4x (F8), the Sigma doesn't look that good... only step down to F8 then the IQ is on par with the EF 400mm F5.6L with 1.4x (F8).

  Then I compare the Sigma with 2x converter with the Nikon 300mm f/2.8G AF-S VR with 2x converter, I was very surprise... did TDP get a bad copy of Nikon 300mm f2.8 or is the Nikon 300mm f2.8 that bad??

  Suddenly, the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM S look like a very good value lens... the only issue is did Sigma solve the sample variation issue??

  Have a nice day.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2013, 07:06:02 AM by weixing »

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #36 on: August 05, 2013, 07:04:03 AM »

AlanF

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #37 on: August 05, 2013, 07:50:34 AM »
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=278&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=1&API=0&LensComp=0&CameraComp=0&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0

The 400mm f/5.6 L is not very good with a 1.4xTC, so saying that the Sigma with a 2xTC is on a par with it is not exactly a selling point. 

Ps On checking, I think you need to have the Sigma at f/16 to have it on a par with the Canon at f/8.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=278&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=1&API=1&LensComp=803&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=7&APIComp=6
« Last Edit: August 05, 2013, 11:51:57 AM by AlanF »
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CarlTN

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #38 on: August 14, 2013, 02:30:14 AM »
The Sigma is too heavy for me in absolute terms, not just relative to the 300mm prime.  If you are strong or don't mind using a monopod, then you may be happy to lug it around.  The rest of us will have to make do with a 100-400 or a 70-300L with a smaller aperture but at a fraction of the weight if we need a zoom.

I still don't understand your resistance to a monopod...and implying "the rest of us", as if most people who use a 300 f/2.8, always handhold it.  That's absurd...most use some kind of support.  I've personally not tried this lens, but I have rented the 200 f/2, which is about the same weight.  I damn sure never carried it around for long without its strap, and without it being mounted to my trusty monopod.

And again regarding the weight...I had thought the Sigma was 6.1 pounds, but apparently it is 7.45 pounds.  The Canon 300 f/2.8ii is listed as 2350 grams, which is 5.18 pounds...so the difference is 2.27 pounds.  It's more significant than I had thought...yes...but again...I feel the comparison is not fair because one is a zoom, the other is not.  And one costs more than twice as much as the other.  To argue that whatever faults this Sigma has, make it not worth owning...I just don't see it.  It's definitely worth owning.

You would have to be pretty strong to carry a Canon 300 f/2.8 around all day, and hand-hold it the entire time you're shooting.  I see no reason to handhold it, unless the subjects you are shooting are flying above you all the time.  If you're shooting subjects closer to your own level, you need to use a monopod.  I also don't believe anyone actually does walk around all day with a 300 f/2.8, and hand hold it for hours of shooting...never resting it on anything while shooting.  Maybe for less than two hours...but definitely not all day long.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 02:45:26 AM by CarlTN »

Apop

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #39 on: August 14, 2013, 03:31:36 AM »
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=278&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=1&API=0&LensComp=0&CameraComp=0&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0

The 400mm f/5.6 L is not very good with a 1.4xTC, so saying that the Sigma with a 2xTC is on a par with it is not exactly a selling point. 

Ps On checking, I think you need to have the Sigma at f/16 to have it on a par with the Canon at f/8.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=278&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=1&API=1&LensComp=803&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=7&APIComp=6


I wouldn't use it with the 2x teleconverter, the 300f2.8 IS II is much better with it.

However, the new sigma looks really really good if you don't opt for the 2x converter

With 1.4 converter and 1 stop down, you will have  a 1 stop disadvantage to the canon 200-400, but it's still remarkable for a zoom less than 1/3 the price of the canon

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=764&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=4&API=0&LensComp=844&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=6&APIComp=3

Then @ 300mm f4, it looks ''equally good'' as the 200-400 @ 300 f4 ( maybe slightly better than it).
Even on 300 f2.8 it looks close to the 200-400 @ f4

Which is pretty remarkable.
In case of emergency I guess a 2.0 converter could be added, but If you intend on buying the 200-400 with 1.4,
Consider getting the sigma 120-300 S and canon 300 f2.8 IS II and use it with two bodies

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=739&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=2&API=3&LensComp=764&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=5&APIComp=2

The 300 f2.8@600 6.3, looks slightly better than the 200-400 @ 560(which might be slightly shorter due to breathing).

You would have a
120-300 f2.8 (pretty sharp)
168-420 f4(f5.6 imo) with ;equal' iq to the 200-400
300 f2.8 ( the sharpest, lightest , fastest focussing etc)
420 f4   ( equally good to the 200-400, when the 200-400 breathes you get some extra pixels on targets with the 420 f4 compared to it, similar or faster focussing and much lighter).
600 f5.6 (f6.3-f8 imo) , again more pixels on target than the 200-400 @560.

And instead of a 70-200 on a second body you can put a 24-105 on a third body! ^_^

also price wise, where the 200-400 is 11k euros , you can get the other two for around 9-9.5k, which leaves room for a second body! ( I think most people already have a backup body anyway)

the sigma 120-300 without tc on one body
canon 300 with 1.4 on another body

sigma 120-300 with 1.4 tc (shooting at 5.6) on one body
canon 300 with 2x tc (6.3-f8) on another body.

Im only thinking for wildlife photographers here, it may be cumber stone to walk around with

Or just the sigma 120-300 on one body ,

When the price comes down, or there is another sale ( one guy recently bought it for 1871 euros!) , I am sure to pick one up


« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 03:41:51 AM by Apop »

candyman

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #40 on: August 14, 2013, 04:29:16 AM »
When the price comes down, or there is another sale ( one guy recently bought it for 1871 euros!) , I am sure to pick one up
That must be the old version.
Actually there are 2:
- Sigma AF 120-300mm f/2.8 EX DG IF HSM  (around 1350 euro)
- Sigma AF 120-300mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM (around 2000 euro)
 
The new version - the sports 120-300 - is for sale around 3500 euro

Plainsman

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #41 on: August 14, 2013, 05:55:28 AM »
When the price comes down, or there is another sale ( one guy recently bought it for 1871 euros!) , I am sure to pick one up
That must be the old version.
Actually there are 2:
- Sigma AF 120-300mm f/2.8 EX DG IF HSM  (around 1350 euro)
- Sigma AF 120-300mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM (around 2000 euro)
 
The new version - the sports 120-300 - is for sale around 3500 euro

I think you are incorrect the latest is called the DG OS HSM/S (ie drop the EX). Confusing!!

Now looking at tdp crops it would appear that the previous EX DG OS HSM model is sharper on axis than the current expensive one with TCs. Very odd maybe Sigma have a QC problem here!!


Apop

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #42 on: August 14, 2013, 10:12:36 AM »
When the price comes down, or there is another sale ( one guy recently bought it for 1871 euros!) , I am sure to pick one up
That must be the old version.
Actually there are 2:
- Sigma AF 120-300mm f/2.8 EX DG IF HSM  (around 1350 euro)
- Sigma AF 120-300mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM (around 2000 euro)
 
The new version - the sports 120-300 - is for sale around 3500 euro

Jep , but there was discount according to the outside temperature, and it was around 37 degrees Celsius in germany.

This guy practically stole it for 1871 euros :/

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #42 on: August 14, 2013, 10:12:36 AM »

GMCPhotographics

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #43 on: August 14, 2013, 10:32:56 AM »
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=278&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=1&API=0&LensComp=0&CameraComp=0&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0

The 400mm f/5.6 L is not very good with a 1.4xTC, so saying that the Sigma with a 2xTC is on a par with it is not exactly a selling point. 

Ps On checking, I think you need to have the Sigma at f/16 to have it on a par with the Canon at f/8.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=278&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=1&API=1&LensComp=803&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=7&APIComp=6

I had a good copy of the Canon 400mm f5.6 L for about 7 years. It was nice and light weight, but it's MFD was quite far out and not that useful. I found mine was still very sharp with a 1.4x TC, but the issue was that the tripod collar wasn't that stable (especially with the hood extended) and the AF wasn't as accurate. If I manually focused it and really bolted down the tripod collar, I got very sharp results.

macroman1

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #44 on: October 12, 2013, 02:32:26 AM »
For those concerned about the weight, I was too, so I hired one for a motor racing weekend. I used it hand-held for 3 days, panning/tracking at 1/100 to 1/160th for blur, shooting thousands of frames with my 1-DX on burst. I'm a 70kg middle aged weakling, so I felt it, but persevered without untoward after effects.

Suffice to say that I was impressed enough to purchase it off the hire company, 4 months old, cUS$900 under new price. I strongly recommend anyone even remotely interested in this lens hire it and see for yourself.

I now need to get a definitive answer to which 1.4x (Sigma or Canon) will work best with this beast?

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #44 on: October 12, 2013, 02:32:26 AM »