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Author Topic: sigma 120-300 f2.8 OS (The new one)  (Read 5819 times)

wickidwombat

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sigma 120-300 f2.8 OS (The new one)
« on: May 22, 2012, 09:08:44 PM »
anyone got one of these? i'm looking for some reviews

my questions to any owners

wondering how it is for AF speed say vs the 70-200 f2.8L IS II
sharpness though the range image quality?
do canon mkIII TC fit onto these?
build quality? I have the 85mm f1.4 is the build and finish the same?

i found this review but it doesnt really cover what i'm chasing
Sigma 120-300 F2.8 OS Review with Sample Images

edit: I found this review wich is a bit better
http://www.bobatkins.com/photography/reviews/sigma_120-300os_review.html
« Last Edit: May 22, 2012, 10:49:24 PM by wickidwombat »
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sigma 120-300 f2.8 OS (The new one)
« on: May 22, 2012, 09:08:44 PM »

ScottyP

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Re: sigma 120-300 f2.8 OS (The new one)
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2012, 12:15:57 PM »
Apparently the lens can distort hair, making it look absurdly bushy.

Seriously, though, good question.  If it is a good lens it certainly would be a useful range.
Canon 6D; Canon Lenses: EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF 85 f/1.8; EF-S 17-55 f/2.8; Canon 1.4x Mk. III T.C.; Sigma Lens: 35mm f/1.4 "Art"

darth mollusk

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Re: sigma 120-300 f2.8 OS (The new one)
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2012, 05:31:44 PM »
I bought the lens 3 months back based on a number of reviews, including this one here:

http://webservice.gentec-intl.com/GentecInc/Awards/OS120300HS-sigma_120-300mm_review_john_e_marriott.pdf

My experience with the lens has been similar to John's - it's tack sharp right through the range, only slightly (virtually unnoticeable) less wide open.  I use it on a 7D - which effectively removes the 'soft' edges.  I know it takes the Canon TC's, however, I use the Sigma 1.4 and 2.0 - reviews suggest the difference between the Canon and Sigma TC's are marginal and for the cost difference I went with the TC's made for the lens.  Of course you have the slower autofocus that comes with any TC and if you're far out of focus (complete blur) I have found it needs to be brought in manually (only happens in the extreme for the 1.4).

I don't have a 70-200 so can't compare - some say the Sigma is sharper, others say it's close, all I know is that it's damn sharp.  AF is fast (though apparently just slightly slower than the 70-200, but again I haven't compared them first hand).

Build quality is nearly to L standards (with the only downfall being that the front element apparently isn't weather sealed - for wet or dust conditions I use a UV filter, just in case).  Focus and zoom are smooth and everything feels solid.  Mine shipped from Australia to Canada - the box was really banged up after 10 days of travel though airports and customs.  Consequently I made sure to test it thoroughly to be sure the OS, AF and IQ were all perfect.  No problems - it appears to have taken a beating and still function as designed.

I use it primarily for wildlife and there are two things I have been surprised with: 1. the OS works so well that I use this lens handheld more than on a tripod.  2. I use the zoom more than anticipated (as I was considering the 300 2.8 it appears I made the right choice).
« Last Edit: May 26, 2012, 06:48:25 PM by darth mollusk »
Canon 7Dii • Canon 100L 2.8 • Tokina 11-16 2.8 • Sigma 120-300 2.8 • Canon 17-55 2.8

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Re: sigma 120-300 f2.8 OS (The new one)
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2012, 07:14:52 PM »
As someone who bought one noted, it does not dovetail with other f/2.8 focal lengths, so one should ask how it fits into their overall scheme of things before buying it and then asking what lenses do I buy to go with it.  That focal lenght definitely does not mesh with Canon f/2.8 lenses, I'm not sure it does with Sigma either, and  Sigma does not really have top quality lenses that form a 3 or 4 f/2.8  lens system.

darth mollusk

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Re: sigma 120-300 f2.8 OS (The new one)
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2012, 06:06:23 PM »
both shot handheld with the 120-300 os, minimal processing.

the heron (shot this morning):  300mm f3.5 iso400 1/1600s 50% crop (os wasn't switched to pan, but it didn't appear to affect the outcome significantly).

the squirrel (the first 'real world' test shot when I got the lens):  200mm f2.8 iso200 1/640s
« Last Edit: May 26, 2012, 06:08:24 PM by darth mollusk »
Canon 7Dii • Canon 100L 2.8 • Tokina 11-16 2.8 • Sigma 120-300 2.8 • Canon 17-55 2.8

ScottyP

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Re: sigma 120-300 f2.8 OS (The new one)
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2012, 03:44:54 AM »
As someone who bought one noted, it does not dovetail with other f/2.8 focal lengths, so one should ask how it fits into their overall scheme of things before buying it and then asking what lenses do I buy to go with it.  That focal lenght definitely does not mesh with Canon f/2.8 lenses, I'm not sure it does with Sigma either, and  Sigma does not really have top quality lenses that form a 3 or 4 f/2.8  lens system.

Not exactly dovetailing, but that unique range is the genius of the lens, according to some lens critics (TDP, Lens Rentals, et al).  I am not telling you anything you don't already know in saying most people don't have ALL mm's covered by lenses.
This one is very interesting.  I was very curious about it a while back, but we have very little in the way of high-end "try it out" camera stores where I am.  If I'd had an opportunity to try one out first, (and seriously liked it) I might not have bought my 70-200 f/2.8 IS II, even though I'd have a hole between 55mm and 120mm.  Not having actually tried it, I guess I have to sit down and shut up.
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wickidwombat

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Re: sigma 120-300 f2.8 OS (The new one)
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2012, 05:27:30 AM »
see i kind of have 2x 70-200 f2.8L IS II lenses (one for me and one for my wife)
now since i got the sigma 85 i use that lens more and when i'm shooting long i tend to use the 300f4L more
so i was tossing up the idea of selling my 70-200 and getting the 120-300 since if 120 is too long i'm probably going to be using the 85 a 50 or my 16-35

thanks for the feedback,
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Re: sigma 120-300 f2.8 OS (The new one)
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2012, 05:27:30 AM »

pwp

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Re: sigma 120-300 f2.8 OS (The new one)
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2012, 11:19:53 PM »
both shot handheld with the 120-300 os, minimal processing.
the heron (shot this morning):  300mm f3.5 iso400 1/1600s 50% crop (os wasn't switched to pan, but it didn't appear to affect the outcome significantly).
the squirrel (the first 'real world' test shot when I got the lens):  200mm f2.8 iso200 1/640s
Sheesh you must be Mr Muscles! The Sigma AF 120-300mm f/2.8 APO EX HSM DG OS (isn't that a nice long name for a lens?) weighs in at a beefy 2950g vs 2400g for the Canon 300 f/2.8 vs 1490g for the 70-200 f/2.8isII. Hand-holding the Sigma would deliver the dual advantage of being a great lens and a gym weights workout rolled into one. As an 80Kg weakling, I'd be packing the monopod. The 70-300L is a svelte 1050g.

I was very interested in this lens about a year ago when the new OS model started shipping, but there was so little information about it that I let the whole thing slide. But if it works as advertised, it's a very compelling lens. I have read that the older model Sigma 120-300 actually does not make it all the way to 300mm, it's more like 280 at the long end. Is this also true of the 120-300mm f/2.8 APO EX HSM DG OS?

At just a bit over $2k it's very very tempting. http://www.shopbot.com.au/m/?m=Sigma%20AF%20120-300mm%20f/2.8%20APO%20EX%20HSM%20DG%20OS

PW


wickidwombat

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Re: sigma 120-300 f2.8 OS (The new one)
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2012, 12:41:37 AM »
darth mollusk those shots are really great seams like a pretty awesome bang for buck lens
also out of interest what bag do you have that fits that in? i dont think my current bag will hold it
I was going to get a gura gear but they have extortionate shipping charges
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darth mollusk

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Re: sigma 120-300 f2.8 OS (The new one)
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2012, 01:23:02 AM »
darth mollusk those shots are really great seams like a pretty awesome bang for buck lens
also out of interest what bag do you have that fits that in? i dont think my current bag will hold it
I was going to get a gura gear but they have extortionate shipping charges

thanks - those results are relatively typical for this lens, on the 7D it certainly rivals the canon equivalents (70-200 and 300 2.8 ).  pwp is right - it is a beast, weighing in at nearly 3kg, but consider that you get a sharp f2.8 at 300mm with the ability to zoom back (it's surprising how much you'll use it).  I bought a blackrapid strap for it, screws right into the tripod mount, so the lens sits comfortably at my side.  My arms certainly will burn out relatively quick (I weigh in at a slight 80kg as well) - but the lens is only up for 20-30 seconds at a time.  I find I'm slightly quicker without the tri/mono-pod (depends on the situation of course).  I had it on the tripod today to shoot my wife running an adventure race... a good example where f2.8 was essential for low forest light and the zoom got me twice as many shots.

I bought the f-stop sartori - absolutely brilliant bag, relatively expensive, but you get what you pay for.  geez - sigma and f-stop should be sponsoring me for this.  the Sigma 120-300 fits vertically, attached to the 7D body, inside the large ICU along with my tokina 11-16, 430ex, extension tubes, tele-converters and the 50mm 1.8. 

Not sure about the actual focal length - whether it's less than 300 or not?  keep in mind also that Sigma have (at least historically) a reputation for suspect quality control - so there may be a risk that you'd acquire a bad copy (likely low - but be aware).  for that reason I bought it new and tested it thoroughly - my copy was sharp.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2012, 01:26:55 AM by darth mollusk »
Canon 7Dii • Canon 100L 2.8 • Tokina 11-16 2.8 • Sigma 120-300 2.8 • Canon 17-55 2.8

wickidwombat

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Re: sigma 120-300 f2.8 OS (The new one)
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2012, 01:42:52 AM »
thanks for the added info, i have the sigma 85mm f1.4 which i sent back to have recalibrated so i know about their QC however the 85 is my favourite lens so if this is the same build and quality as that lens then i know it will be awesome.
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Re: sigma 120-300 f2.8 OS (The new one)
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2012, 03:03:40 AM »
I got the Sigma earlier this year, with the intention of it giving me more reach when the 100-400L doesn't cut it. Primarily used on 7D, the AF is reasonable but not super fast. IS is strong. f/2.8 is a bit softer than stopped down where it perks up and remains great. That can make it a little challenging hand holding 600mm f/8 balancing ISO and shutter speed if I want the best quality. I can feel my arms getting stronger already. It is easily usable hand held, but the question is more for how long?

On focal length, an ideal 300mm f/2.8 would have an aperture of 107mm. The Sigma uses 105mm filters so they had to... do a bit of number rounding somewhere. But all the lens manufacturers do that to some degree, including Canon.

To me, I don't care if the range doesn't tie in with others in my collection. I pick them for coverage of the task at hand, so outdoors I usually pair it with a 15-85 on 2nd body in case I need much wider angle.

The only other lens I can compare it with is the Canon 300mm f/2.8 (no IS) which from memory the AF speed was similar. The Canon had far worse vignetting though, sharpness comparable for a given aperture setting.
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Re: sigma 120-300 f2.8 OS (The new one)
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2012, 03:03:40 AM »