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Author Topic: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed  (Read 22073 times)

Marsu42

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #60 on: October 15, 2013, 01:42:38 PM »
in the review by imaging resource they point out that the lens is slightly sharper on a sub frame camera than the full frame one.

This indicates the center is way better than mid-frame to edges.

dpreview made the statement that both jpegs and raws from the 70d were indistinguishable from those taken with the 6d up to about 3200iso.

... if looking at them at the camera lcd, or you're really drunk and everything gets fuzzy :-p ... no, really, for certain pictures with a lot of background blur where nr doesn't have that much of an impact Canon aps-c shots might be ok @100% crop, but iso3200 is where the small sensor really drops the ball. Face it, a aps-c with this Sigma cannot replace a ff+200-400 :-o

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #60 on: October 15, 2013, 01:42:38 PM »

CarlTN

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #61 on: October 15, 2013, 02:34:29 PM »
... if looking at them at the camera lcd, or you're really drunk and everything gets fuzzy :-p ... no, really, for certain pictures with a lot of background blur where nr doesn't have that much of an impact Canon aps-c shots might be ok @100% crop, but iso3200 is where the small sensor really drops the ball. Face it, a aps-c with this Sigma cannot replace a ff+200-400 :-o

Good point, but why not use a Canon full frame with the Sigma 120-300?  Just because it doesn't have enough "reach"?  What f/2.8 zoom has more reach than it?  Nothing under $40,000...and that one doesn't even have "OS"...and that one is also made by Sigma.

I've never even used any verison of the 120-300 f/2.8 lens (as of now), yet I feel comfortable stating that it is a fine lens for the money, and would work superbly on a full frame camera.  What's the absolute cheapest that a good copy of the Canon 200-400 f/4 will sell for in the future on the used market?  $8000?  $9000?  Probably closer to $10,000 US Dollars.  Maybe if it's deeply scratched all over and sunbleached, and internal elements soiled...it might get under $9000.

Canon needs to make a 50-300 f/3.5 IS, and charge $3500 for it.  Most of you would buy that instead of the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 OS.  Why?  Because IT'S A CANON "L"...

Marsu42

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #62 on: October 15, 2013, 03:04:57 PM »
Good point, but why not use a Canon full frame with the Sigma 120-300?  Just because it doesn't have enough "reach"?

No reason at all, and I would probably own the Sigma if it wouldn't be far more than double the price of my 70-300L - which is fine unless you want to use a tc. Also I have to say I'm currently very happy with the 6d-70-300L combination since it's both rather sturdy and still very portable, the Sigma is a "real" tele you don't just chuck into your backpack and carry around.

CarlTN

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #63 on: October 15, 2013, 03:18:06 PM »
Good point, but why not use a Canon full frame with the Sigma 120-300?  Just because it doesn't have enough "reach"?

No reason at all, and I would probably own the Sigma if it wouldn't be far more than double the price of my 70-300L - which is fine unless you want to use a tc. Also I have to say I'm currently very happy with the 6d-70-300L combination since it's both rather sturdy and still very portable, the Sigma is a "real" tele you don't just chuck into your backpack and carry around.

Good point, although I could carry the 120-300 around in my front pants pocket...:P

Yes sounds like a great combo...If I hadn't bought several other lenses lately, the 70-300L would have been nice to have.  I can get by without it, but eventually I might get one.  Would rather have something similar to what I mentioned above though, or better yet, something even faster aperture but narrower zoom range, yet also compact and affordable.  Probably never get built though.

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #64 on: October 15, 2013, 04:13:27 PM »
Canon needs to make a 50-300 f/3.5 IS, and charge $3500 for it.  Most of you would buy that instead of the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 OS.  Why?  Because IT'S A CANON "L"...

Why? 70-200L II + 1.4x TC gets you nearly there, is more compact and lighter, and costs less. 

CarlTN

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #65 on: October 15, 2013, 04:30:35 PM »
Canon needs to make a 50-300 f/3.5 IS, and charge $3500 for it.  Most of you would buy that instead of the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 OS.  Why?  Because IT'S A CANON "L"...

Why? 70-200L II + 1.4x TC gets you nearly there, is more compact and lighter, and costs less.

Why?  Because that combo does not "nearly get you there", it merely gives you a 100-280 f/4, and it weighs 3.5 pounds...and it costs not much less ($2200 + $500 = $2700).  It's also only f/4, rather than f/3.5.  So that's why.  Think about it...50-300 millimeters of zoom at f/3.5.  There's a lot of shots you can do in that range from 50 to 100mm that you would miss...and that you even miss with the 70-200 without a TC.  A "fast" ultra-wide zoom...wider and faster than the much-loved 70-300 f/4-5.6.  Weighing the same or less than the 70-200 f/2.8 ii...I want one!
« Last Edit: October 15, 2013, 04:32:35 PM by CarlTN »

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #66 on: October 15, 2013, 05:42:25 PM »
Re the weight issue (and FF), as I indicated in my original post, I'm using on 1DX - total weight 5.4kg, too heavy for my Manfrotto tripod and head which are rated at 5kg :-(
So yes, weight is an issue, but it's something I've found you just get used to. When I first handled a 7D I thought I'd struggle to manage it. Again when I first got my Sigma 120-400 I thought I'd never be able to handhold it, let alone pan/track racing cars with it - now it feels like a bit of a toy. (I got a lot of sharp shots at 400 on my 7D, but the 1DX seems to show up that lens' shortcomings.)

Shooting racing, I'm on my feet and carrying the lens round my neck for hours at a time. One issue that does annoy me is the form of the tripod foot - the edges are a bit square for comfort. I'm looking into a BushHawk as I think that would be ideal for tracking cars and also for carrying the combo around between corners, but can't find any agencies in NZ, and I've heard some folks had issues with the cable reliability.

Anyone with experience of 1DX + large lens on BushHawk?

Re backpack, I managed to fit it into my Kata 123 Go bag, admitted not attached to the body, so I lose the "slide, grab and shoot" convenience. I can fit my 70-200f4L IS and 24-105L and/or 100L Macro either side, with the 1DX in the top compartment.

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #66 on: October 15, 2013, 05:42:25 PM »

Imagination_landB

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #67 on: October 15, 2013, 06:35:58 PM »
Good point, but why not use a Canon full frame with the Sigma 120-300?  Just because it doesn't have enough "reach"?

No reason at all, and I would probably own the Sigma if it wouldn't be far more than double the price of my 70-300L - which is fine unless you want to use a tc. Also I have to say I'm currently very happy with the 6d-70-300L combination since it's both rather sturdy and still very portable, the Sigma is a "real" tele you don't just chuck into your backpack and carry around.
shooting sports a f5.6 vs 2.8 means 12800 iso instead of 3200. And if the lightning's bad, 25600 instead of 6400.. that's a reason big enough for me. Happy owner of the siggy 120-300os (non sport) on a 6d and shooting lots of events and sports.
6D, Gripped 60D. 120-300 2.8 OS, 50 1.8, 8-16, 24-70 VC.

candc

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #68 on: October 15, 2013, 07:01:25 PM »
in the review by imaging resource they point out that the lens is slightly sharper on a sub frame camera than the full frame one.

This indicates the center is way better than mid-frame to edges.

dpreview made the statement that both jpegs and raws from the 70d were indistinguishable from those taken with the 6d up to about 3200iso.

... if looking at them at the camera lcd, or you're really drunk and everything gets fuzzy :-p ... no, really, for certain pictures with a lot of background blur where nr doesn't have that much of an impact Canon aps-c shots might be ok @100% crop, but iso3200 is where the small sensor really drops the ball. Face it, a aps-c with this Sigma cannot replace a ff+200-400 :-o

the review goes in to detail of center sharpness on both bodies and such. I have researched this lens pretty heavily so i am pretty sure of what its qualities are.

here are the points i am making:

1) 120-300 on a crop body will act in practice as 192-480 on full frame
2) the lens sharpness, build quality are by all accounts in real reviews to be in the same category as the canon primes
3) its a stop faster than the 200-400 the consensus is that ff is 1.5 or 2 stops better than aps-c so you have a one stop equalizer
4) if you are really concerned about the depth of field, they should be very similar wide open

from what i have seen, the canon 300ii and the 200-400 are better on ff but its close, i have read that the sigma is slightly softer than the canon 300ii but not by much.

so as i said before, i think the sigma 120-300 on a crop body is a good alternative to the 200-400 on ff unless money is not a concern and you just want the absolute best that can be had

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #69 on: October 15, 2013, 07:07:20 PM »

Why? 70-200L II + 1.4x TC gets you nearly there, is more compact and lighter, and costs less.

Why?  Because that combo does not "nearly get you there", it merely gives you a 100-280 f/4, and it weighs 3.5 pounds...and it costs not much less ($2200 + $500 = $2700).  It's also only f/4, rather than f/3.5.  So that's why.  Think about it...50-300 millimeters of zoom at f/3.5.  There's a lot of shots you can do in that range from 50 to 100mm that you would miss...and that you even miss with the 70-200 without a TC.  A "fast" ultra-wide zoom...wider and faster than the much-loved 70-300 f/4-5.6.  Weighing the same or less than the 70-200 f/2.8 ii...I want one!

Right, f/3.5 is such a big difference from f/4:  1/3 of a stop.  And at <= weight of a 70-200L II.  You're dreaming!

Marsu42

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #70 on: October 16, 2013, 03:56:05 AM »
3) its a stop faster than the 200-400 the consensus is that ff is 1.5 or 2 stops better than aps-c so you have a one stop equalizer
4) if you are really concerned about the depth of field, they should be very similar wide open
[...]
so as i said before, i think the sigma 120-300 on a crop body is a good alternative to the 200-400 on ff unless money is not a concern and you just want the absolute best that can be had

Very good points, though I'd question the alleged consensus because from my experience 60d->6d ff is *more* than 2 stops better at *high* iso because nr works better on the newest ff sensors (might be the same for 70d, I don't know). But I'm very happy Sigma is releasing such competent lenses to put pressure on Canon, even if this Sigma also exceeds my budget.

GMCPhotographics

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #71 on: October 16, 2013, 09:25:53 AM »
in the review by imaging resource they point out that the lens is slightly sharper on a sub frame camera than the full frame one.

This indicates the center is way better than mid-frame to edges.

dpreview made the statement that both jpegs and raws from the 70d were indistinguishable from those taken with the 6d up to about 3200iso.

... if looking at them at the camera lcd, or you're really drunk and everything gets fuzzy :-p ... no, really, for certain pictures with a lot of background blur where nr doesn't have that much of an impact Canon aps-c shots might be ok @100% crop, but iso3200 is where the small sensor really drops the ball. Face it, a aps-c with this Sigma cannot replace a ff+200-400 :-o

I agree with you Marsu42. I would question any lens review which thinks that a 70D is anywhere near close to the IQ of a 6D between 400-3200iso....there is a lot more between those sensors and Aliasing filters than just that. My old 7D was questionable over 400 iso. The iso noise ramps steadily and I have yet found a 1.6 crop camera which come close to a full frame output and i'm not just talking about iso noise.

The problem I find with a lot of Sigma users these days is they emotionally fool themselves themselves that they are buying something identical for less..get one of those...only a lot cheaper...aren't I cleaver....when in reality they are buying something a lot less for less. A 200-400LIS on a full frame will blow away a 120-300 OS on a 70D in nearly every measurable area. The two are not equal and the reality is that the sigma doesn't come close. It is cheaper becuase it is cheaper. You get what you pay for.
It's a questionable lens, innovative - yes, but deeply flawed.   

GMCPhotographics

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #72 on: October 16, 2013, 09:33:25 AM »
Canon needs to make a 50-300 f/3.5 IS, and charge $3500 for it.  Most of you would buy that instead of the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 OS.  Why?  Because IT'S A CANON "L"...

Why? 70-200L II + 1.4x TC gets you nearly there, is more compact and lighter, and costs less.

That's exactly the conclusion I came to when I had one. Why pay for a lens which was short on it's focal length, darker than it's stated aperture, looses a ton of focal length at close distances, has irratic and slow AF and an OS system which is pretty clunky? It's unneccisarily heavy and very bulky. I've found my 400 2.8 LIS easier to handle for some reason.
When I compared it against my 70-200 2.8 LIS II with or with out TC's I found it a far better option. Even with the 1 stop drop with a 1.4x TC.

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #72 on: October 16, 2013, 09:33:25 AM »

GMCPhotographics

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #73 on: October 16, 2013, 09:45:44 AM »
in the review by imaging resource they point out that the lens is slightly sharper on a sub frame camera than the full frame one.

This indicates the center is way better than mid-frame to edges.

dpreview made the statement that both jpegs and raws from the 70d were indistinguishable from those taken with the 6d up to about 3200iso.

... if looking at them at the camera lcd, or you're really drunk and everything gets fuzzy :-p ... no, really, for certain pictures with a lot of background blur where nr doesn't have that much of an impact Canon aps-c shots might be ok @100% crop, but iso3200 is where the small sensor really drops the ball. Face it, a aps-c with this Sigma cannot replace a ff+200-400 :-o

the review goes in to detail of center sharpness on both bodies and such. I have researched this lens pretty heavily so i am pretty sure of what its qualities are.

here are the points i am making:

1) 120-300 on a crop body will act in practice as 192-480 on full frame
2) the lens sharpness, build quality are by all accounts in real reviews to be in the same category as the canon primes
3) its a stop faster than the 200-400 the consensus is that ff is 1.5 or 2 stops better than aps-c so you have a one stop equalizer
4) if you are really concerned about the depth of field, they should be very similar wide open

from what i have seen, the canon 300ii and the 200-400 are better on ff but its close, i have read that the sigma is slightly softer than the canon 300ii but not by much.

so as i said before, i think the sigma 120-300 on a crop body is a good alternative to the 200-400 on ff unless money is not a concern and you just want the absolute best that can be had

It's not a 120-300mm, please understand that. It's a 120-280mm and that's quite short. The max focal legth is the same as a 70-200mm with a 1.4x TC. This short coming magnifies with a 1.6x crop to only 450mm not a 480mm.
At close focussing distances, this lens looses a massive amount of focal length. By my measurements is around 240mm at 3m. By MFD it's even lower and not that different to a 70-200 f2.8. So lets look at those figures at close distance, on a full frame at MFD it's a 120-240mm.
Then there's the engineering aspect, it's not particularly durable. Just look back though this thread. There's been a lot of warrenty claims for such a low volume lens. I would question it's long term resell value and durability.
9/10 I was better served using a 70-200 f2.8 LIS II and a 1.4x TC. For the other 1/10 I was better served by other lenses (300mm f2.8 LIS mk I for instance).

CarlTN

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #74 on: October 16, 2013, 04:26:54 PM »
Re the weight issue (and FF), as I indicated in my original post, I'm using on 1DX - total weight 5.4kg, too heavy for my Manfrotto tripod and head which are rated at 5kg :-(
So yes, weight is an issue, but it's something I've found you just get used to. When I first handled a 7D I thought I'd struggle to manage it. Again when I first got my Sigma 120-400 I thought I'd never be able to handhold it, let alone pan/track racing cars with it - now it feels like a bit of a toy. (I got a lot of sharp shots at 400 on my 7D, but the 1DX seems to show up that lens' shortcomings.)

Shooting racing, I'm on my feet and carrying the lens round my neck for hours at a time. One issue that does annoy me is the form of the tripod foot - the edges are a bit square for comfort. I'm looking into a BushHawk as I think that would be ideal for tracking cars and also for carrying the combo around between corners, but can't find any agencies in NZ, and I've heard some folks had issues with the cable reliability.

Anyone with experience of 1DX + large lens on BushHawk?

Re backpack, I managed to fit it into my Kata 123 Go bag, admitted not attached to the body, so I lose the "slide, grab and shoot" convenience. I can fit my 70-200f4L IS and 24-105L and/or 100L Macro either side, with the 1DX in the top compartment.

Very interesting commentary and suggestions!  I'm glad to see a fellow 120-400 owner, and that you're getting good results with it.  What does the 1DX show as its shortcoming?  The slower AF tracking ability as compared to the 70-200 f/4?

What kind of racing do you shoot, and are you a professional racing shooter?

The Bushhawk has looked interesting to me for some time but I've yet to try one.  Will be interesting to hear your thoughts. 

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Re: The New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Reviewed
« Reply #74 on: October 16, 2013, 04:26:54 PM »