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Thread: Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 EX DG OS APO HSM

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    Senior Member qwRad's Avatar
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    Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 EX DG OS APO HSM

    Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 EX DG OS APO HSM:
    http://www.sigmaphoto.com/shop/120-3...apo-hsm-sigma1

    Does anyone here own or have any experience with this lens? It looks like the perfect wildlife lens to accompany my 7D so I'm very interested in it. What do you think of it? Any opinions or info would be highly appreciated, thanks!

    I haven't found too many good reviews of it on the net so far.
    The only proper one is photozone.de: http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff...120300f28oseos

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    Senior Member bob williams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qwRad View Post
    I haven't found too many good reviews of it on the net so far.
    The only proper one is photozone.de: http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff...120300f28oseos
    Rad, Though I don't own nor have I ever used this lens, given the $4700 ($3100 @ b&h) price tag, I could think of several lens that I would consider before looking at this one.

    1. The first and closest to the specs of the Sigma is the Canon 300 F2.8L----This lens has outstanding image quality and canon L quality build and is highly respected throughout the photography community--its not a zoom, but if you are seeking a wildlife lens, you probably wouldn't need the zoom. You can probably find this lens on the used market for about $4000 maybe less.

    2. The Canon 400 5.6 is also a very good option and much cheaper. Excellant IQ, L quality, much lighter, no 2.8 aperature but is that 2 stop advantage worth the extra $$$$$$ to you.

    3. The Canon 300 f4.0 L, same as above but with only a 1 stop disadvantage.

    4. The canon 100-400L, very good IQ, much cheaper, has a very useful zoom range, but does have a variable aperture----This is still one of my go-to favorite. lenses for wildlife.

    5. The Canon 70-200 f 2.8l IS II---- A Highly regarded lens by most that have ever used it, fast aperature, fast AF, Extremely good IQ, L quility build. Managable size and very useful zoom range. Combined with a 1.4 Extender it will give you a focal length of 280 and the IQ will still be better than the sigma in all liklihood.

    6. In the focal range you mentioned is the Canon 70-300L. This lens has had some very good reviews but is a variable aperature lens as well. But for the price, its hard to beat.

    7. These are just some of the choices you have, but if money is an issue, consider one of the above choices, and with whatever is left over, buy yourself some nice goodies.

    Finally, If wildlife really is what you are most interested in, The Canon 500 f4L is the choice of many pro wildlife photographers---Yes, it is $6800, but if you are considering this sigma, you are already halfway there, save a little while longer and go for the big gun, you won't regret it.

    Hope this helps
    Last edited by bob williams; 11-13-2011 at 02:16 PM.
    Bob

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    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob williams View Post
    The Canon 500 f4L is the choice of many pro wildlife photographers---Yes, it is $6800, but if you are considering this sigma, you are already halfway there, save a little while longer and go for the big gun, you won't regret it.
    Not anymore.

    The major vendors (and even the minor ones) all list the MkI version of the 500L as discontinued and/or out of stock - the MkII is due out next month. Same thing happened with the 300/2.8 and 400/2.8 a short while before the MkII's hit the stores.

    So, instead of saving for a $7K lens and being halfway there, it means saving for a $10.5K lens and being one-third of the way there.

  4. #4
    Senior Member bob williams's Avatar
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    Dang, Your right John---But there is always the used market
    Bob

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    Senior Member qwRad's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions Bob.

    The price of the Sigma is actually quite ok here in Finland. I can get it for 2099€ (~2890$US) with a protector, a CPL filter and tripod collar + case included. I have considered the EF 300mm f/4.0L IS USM and 400mm f/5.6L USM primes and will rent at least one of them for testing. Sadly I can't rent the Sigma since the renting business is really small here.

    The Canon primes cost both around 1400-1500€ (1900$US - 2100$US) here, the longer being cheaper, so the savings wouldn't be that great after buying filters and tripod collars compared to the Sigma. Same holds true for the 70-200mm f/2.8 II which is 2000€ here. And anything above 2500€ (3500$US) would be too much for my already strained budget so the really big guns are out of the question at the moment.

    I think I would like the flexibility of the zoom in any case. Also I already have the 70-200mm f/4.0L IS USM for a light walkaround lens (one reason against the f/2.8 II version upgrade and the 70-300L) so the weight isn't such a problem with the Sigma. It also has weather sealing now and based on photozone's review the IQ seems to be there. Also it will take the extenders and can become a 240-600mm f/5.6 with the 2x which is quite a feat for the price.

    Here is a review in Finnish and some photos with extenders: http://www.janneheimonen.net/Artikkelit/Sigma-120-300mm-f28-EX-DG-OS-APO-HSM-arvostelu/8/

    I
    f I end up buying it I will surely do some testing if you are interested.

  6. #6
    Which other lenses do you own? The 70-200 is a very good addition to any kit to take portraits etc. Perhaps you should also look to other uses for your next purchase(unless you shoot only wildlife ofcourse). I don't have experience with it, but I've been trying for years to convince my dad to buy the 100-400.

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    Senior Member btaylor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neuroanatomist View Post
    Not anymore.

    The major vendors (and even the minor ones) all list the MkI version of the 500L as discontinued and/or out of stock - the MkII is due out next month. Same thing happened with the 300/2.8 and 400/2.8 a short while before the MkII's hit the stores.

    So, instead of saving for a $7K lens and being halfway there, it means saving for a $10.5K lens and being one-third of the way there.
    Not anymore...

    according to this http://www.the-digital-picture.com/N...aspx?News=1439

    So now there's no Canon 500mm primes... forever?
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ben_taylor_au/ www.methodicallymuddled.wordpress.com
    Canon 5D Mark III | Canon 5D Mark II | Samyang 14mm f/2.8 | Canon 35mm f/1.4L USM | Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM |Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II |Canon 2 x Teleconverter III | Canon 580 EX II Speedlite | Really Right Stuff TVC 34L | Really Right Stuff BH55 LR | Gorillapod Focus | Really Right Stuff BH 30

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    Senior Member qwRad's Avatar
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    I saw the Sigma in a shop the other day and briefly tested it. I have to go back again with my 7D so I can take some test images home. I have to say it is HUGE and HEAVY, maybe too much for me. I wish I could rent it for a weekend to properly test it and get a feel for the weight during a full day of photographing. I might have to reconsider the 70-200 f/2.8 II upgrade again.

    Pieter, you can see my current gear on my profile page. I am considering selling the 17-40L and 70-200 f/4 L IS and upgrade to 15-85/Sigma 17-70 OS HSM + 70-200 f2.8 II/70-300L.

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    Senior Member qwRad's Avatar
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    Just an update. I ordered the 70-200L f/2.8 IS II and it should arrive next week. Got it for 1809€ delivered so it's a little cheaper than the Sigma (I have to buy filters though) and also the Siggy was just too big to handle, I couldn't possibly see myself walking around with it and handholding it on a regular basis. I can go to the shop and take some comparison pictures when my 70-200 arrives if people are interested.

    EDIT: One reason to go with the 70-200 was that I hope Canon will update the 100-400L (Canonrumors had a post about it a while back) soon. So I'm thinking the 70-200 + extender(s) will do until that comes out.
    Last edited by qwRad; 11-30-2011 at 01:00 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    Lots of people have been hoping for an update to the 100-400mm, for several years. Still not convinced we'll see one soon, but I hope so.

    The 70-200mm II with a 2x is decent, though.

    Congrats on the new lens!

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