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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

"New" Sigma 120-300 Thoughts?
Doug Stroud, Photographer
Centreville | VA | USA | Posted: 9:38 AM on 12.23.14
->> Anyone use the "new" Sigma 120-300? This looks like a very interesting lens, fixed f/stop of 2.8 and is under Sigma's new sports series. I own their 35mm art series and love that lens.

If you do use it- would you share your experiences and if you would advise to purchase it?
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Stanley Leary, Photographer, Photo Editor
Roswell | GA | | Posted: 9:53 AM on 12.23.14
->> I owned the first one they made and bought the most recent "Sports" version.

Here is my review
http://blog.stanleyleary.com/2013/09/sigma-120-300mm-28-dg-os-hsm-s-lens.ht...

I also bought and use the USB docking station which lets you calibrate the lens to your cameras. Unlike the Nikon D4 which only gives you 1 fine focus adjustment you have 16 fine tuning adjustments possible with the software and the USB docking station.

Here is my comments on doing this on a blog
http://blog.stanleyleary.com/2013/08/sports-photographythe-day-before-game....

The DXOMark rates this lens sharper than the Nikon 200-400 and equal in sharpness to the Canon 200-400.
http://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Sigma/Sigma-120-300mm-F28-DG-OS-HSM-S-Nikon

Sigma also just introduced new 1.4X and 2X converters made for this lens. I haven't bought these but will be getting them soon.

For me the quality rating alone justifies this.
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Doug Stroud, Photographer
Centreville | VA | USA | Posted: 11:01 AM on 12.23.14
->> Thank you Stanley. Will the Nikon TC work with this lens?
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Stanley Leary, Photographer, Photo Editor
Roswell | GA | | Posted: 9:56 PM on 12.23.14
->> No it will not work.
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Bryan Woolston, Photographer
Philadelphia | Pa | USA | Posted: 11:29 PM on 12.23.14
->> Doug,

Stanley has the technical aspects covered like a blanket. Ill stick to my opinion…

I have been shooting with the lens for about 6 months. (All of the images, less the last one, on my profile are taken with it) I love this lens. I use it for sports and news. The focus is fast and sharp. The VR works great as well. Paired with a 24-70, rarely do I ever get the 70-200mm out of the bag.

I have found a few downsides. 1. Its heavy. 2. The collar sucks, slides off far too easy, and 3. The hood tightening screw has fallen off.

As far ar converter, It does work with the Sigma TC1.4. But it is slow and tends to be soft.

Still, I highly recommend the lens, I think Allen's Camera (www.allenscamera.com) in Levittown, PA may have a few used ones.

Feel free to shoot me a question is you are wondering anything specific. Happy hunting.
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Jim Karczewski, Photographer, Assistant
Hammond | IN | USA | Posted: 3:59 AM on 12.24.14
->> On the Canon side it does work with the 1.4xIII as I used that with the 7DII a couple of weeks ago to shoot state finals for football. Last half of game 2 and game 3 I pretty much stayed in the end zones and shot the whole game with the exception of plays from the red-zone where I'd switch to the 1dx and a 70-200/2.8II.
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Stanley Leary, Photographer, Photo Editor
Roswell | GA | | Posted: 12:46 PM on 12.24.14
->> Bryan

Is the converter the latest one just released? Also we are talking about the latest version.
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 4:21 PM on 12.24.14
->> This is a sweet lens...significant improvement over the original 120-300/f2.8, and a lot like having a 70-200 and 300 in one lens.

http://sportsphotoguy.com/sigma-120-300mm-f2-8-dg-os-hsm-s/

Bryan is right on about the collar...had mine fall right out on me this football season and drop about three feet. :( If you're not using the lens the only safe position for the collar is locked down.
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Alexei Agaryshev, Photographer
Washington | DC | USA | Posted: 7:48 AM on 12.25.14
->> This is my favorite lens. I had the original model and now the second generation (the one prior to the most current). Both worked fine for me. I have no complaints about image quality.
Autofocus wise there is something that is rarely mentioned. One should not zoom in or out and focus track a moving object at the same time. If you do that images will be soft. This lens has to be pre-zoomed before focus tracking starts, then images will be tack sharp. It is just the way this lens is designed and nothing can be done about it.
I also have Canon 100-400 (old version), which is also a tack sharp lens and a bargain for the money (I love it too). It doesn't produce as nice a background separation as Sigma (f5.6 lens vs. F2.8), but with the rapidly improving low light capabilities of modern cameras, f5.6 is less of an issue. Canon 100-400 can be used easily both handheld and swung around, Sigma mostly stays on the monopod.
In daylight Canon does the job faster (produces more salable images in lesser time), in low light or at nighttime Sigma comes out of the bag.
For background separation (bokeh) Sigma is best of the two by far, but it doesn't seem to make a difference to my clients and I often need to move on to my next assignment ASAP so find myself using Canon as long as I can.
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Stanley Leary, Photographer, Photo Editor
Roswell | GA | | Posted: 11:47 AM on 12.25.14
->> Alexei

The current version we are talking about is far superior to the earlier versions and even sharper and in my opinion better color/contrast due to the new coatings.

Try this lens and then compare to the 100-400mm Canon
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Alexei Agaryshev, Photographer
Washington | DC | USA | Posted: 1:52 PM on 12.25.14
->> Stanley,
I have no problem with image quality. And as I said, I like the lens. It's the size and weight and price. Canon is still smaller and lighter.I was very lucky to buy my first Sigma new on ebay from Henry's (Canada) for $1700. I paid $2800 for my second Sigma (US). I bought Canon refurbished on sale for under $1200. Before old Sigma used to do 100% of the job. Now Canon does about 80%, Sigma 20%.
I am talking about doing my job which requires delivering a certain amount of usable (not stellar) images in a very limited time, or traveling when I am limited to one carryon bag on an airplane.
In many such situations while being optically inferior old Canon 100-400 (for less money) will retire both Sigma 120-300 and my newest Canon 70-200 altogether.
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Bryan Woolston, Photographer
Philadelphia | Pa | USA | Posted: 2:26 PM on 12.25.14
->> Stanley,

Yes, I have the most current version of the Sigma TC 1.4. I believe the TC to be not the greatest. I have had to tighten the screws on the mount several times. The seem around the barrel of the converter always appears to be loose. I do not have, and have not used, the focus calibration adapter. Does it makes that much of a difference?

Just a bit more on the lens... When my old Nikon 300mm f/2.8 AF-I died, I took several weeks and tested many replacements. (several older versions of the Nikon 300mm 2.8, the Nikon 200-400, and the newest Nikon 300) All of these are great glass. But I found the Sigma to compete equally in every category. I believe it focuses faster than the 200-400 f/4. Additionally, even at super high ISO, the f/2.8 is necessary for several of the high school stadium in which I shoot. Last point. Being able to back off and open the lens to 120mm is clutch. All that wrapped in a lens that is "affordable" (half the Nikon 300) for the working photog makes it, IMHO, an amazing lens. LOVE this lens, not a fan of the converter.
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 3:02 PM on 12.25.14
->> Bryan -

This converter:

http://www.sigmaphoto.com/product/teleconverter-tc-1401

Or this converter:

http://www.adorama.com/SG14XNKAF.html

:)

The "newest" one is just becoming available and has a finish that matches the new Global Vision lenses. It also has a front element that protrudes into the lens body ala Nikon's TCs.

The one with the "sandpaper" finish is indeed a dog and is known for constantly falling apart.
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Patrick Murphy-Racey, Photographer
Knoxville | TN | USA | Posted: 4:33 PM on 12.26.14
->> I know this might be slightly off-topic but... I've been using Sigma's ART series lenses on my Sony mirrorless system for the past two years and they are sharp, have loads of contrast, and focus very quickly. I recently stopped in at Roberts in Indy to try their 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. I wondered if the great quality of the ART had been affecting that lens as well. It has the newer (much nicer) finish but when I tried it on a body in the store, I could tell that the AF was pretty tired. It hunted a little even through the showroom is very well lit. The salesman suggested that I try the same lens on the Tamron side and when I made a face, he laughed and handed it to me anyway. Going from one to the other, it was instantly obvious the Tamron's AF motor was just like what we are all used to in the USM and SWM. It was dead silent, made almost no noise or vibration, and was wicked fast. Not only was it fast, but the transitions from focusing on something close then far and back again were really smooth. As I shoot more video than stills these days, this more "organic" AF would work great in video where you want to avoid the "on steroids-herky-jerky high speed AF." I thought about it and pulled the trigger and purchased one for right at $1150. I have not shot it much yet but I'm very impressed so far. With a price point at less than half of the Nicanon versions, it appears at least to me that Tamron is a new player in making fast lenses that might be excellent alternatives to what we've all been buying for years. The Tamron came with a 6-year USA warranty!!! The key to finding the right version, you ask? Search for Tamron "USD" and you will find a new 15-30, 24-70, and the 70-200 all sporting f/2.8. If they ever make a reasonably priced 300mm f/2.8 like Sigma does and put that USD motor in it???? "Fugedabodit."
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Stanley Leary, Photographer, Photo Editor
Roswell | GA | | Posted: 5:36 PM on 12.26.14
->> Sigma has only made two S lenses. 120-300mm and the 150-600mm.

The 70-200mm was prior to their new technology. I would expect Sigma to introduce more of their newer lenses like the fine art and Sport lenses going forward.

The Tamron rated better than the Nikon and Sigma on DXOMark

http://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compare/Side-by-side/Tamron-SP-70-200mm-F28-D...
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Bryan Woolston, Photographer
Philadelphia | Pa | USA | Posted: 12:32 AM on 12.27.14
->> Chuck,

I do not have the one just becoming available... I do look forward to hearing of its performance.
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Stanley Leary, Photographer, Photo Editor
Roswell | GA | | Posted: 4:07 PM on 04.28.15
->> Wrote about the new Sigma 2X

First Shoot with Sigma TC-2001 2x paired with Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S

http://blog.stanleyleary.com/2015/04/first-shoot-with-sigma-tc-2001-2x.html
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 6:31 PM on 04.28.15
->> I got a loaner form sigma used it with a canon 1 dx . I had the orginal version for a year and hated it. This new version rocks, color is great sharpness is fine. The af is fine used it on skiers and icesakating. I was happily surprised the old lens never gave me that wow that is gorgeous. The new one does. One caveat it is heavy not easily hand held.
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Corey Perrine, Photographer
Naples | FL | USA | Posted: 7:30 PM on 04.28.15
->> Before you decide if you have a Canon 70-200 II and a 1.4x converter II or III, it might not be economically wise.

"You also may think "280mm is not 300mm". This would be a good time to mention that specified focal lengths are not always exact - especially on zoom lenses. The Canon 300 f/2.8 IS II frames a just-under 4' wide target at 33.19' while the Sigma 120-300 OS S must be moved 2.24' closer (to 30.95') for the same target framing. The Canon 70-200 IS II frames the same target at 29.75' at 280mm (w/ 1.4x) - just 1.2' closer than the Sigma. Basically, the difference between the focal length of these lenses is not very significant."

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Sigma-120-300mm-f-2.8-DG-OS-HSM-...

In short. Both lenses are in about true 280mm (Canon armed with a 1.4x).

But you need to ask if f/2.8 is worth the price.

If you shoot Nikon it's worth it IMHO since the 70-200 VR II is an effective 60-130mm. or 84-182 with a 1.4x TC.

https://www.flickr.com/groups/d600club/discuss/72157647296609035/

For me, this was my deciding factor not to pull the trigger on this wonderful lens. I already have a 70-200 and 1.4x and the one stop wasn't worth the price. My two cents.
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Marvin Gentry, Photographer
Birmingham | AL | USA | Posted: 3:19 PM on 04.29.15
->> David which new model did you get ? The Sport?
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Stanley Leary, Photographer, Photo Editor
Roswell | GA | | Posted: 4:28 PM on 04.29.15
->> Marvin

There is only the Sport model 120-300mm the C is only with the 150-600mm

Corey

The DXO testing of the lenses actually would differ with your assesment. The Canon 70-200 II is the worst of the three lenses: Sigma 120-300mm and the Nikon 70-200mm. Hey but don't take my word just look at the research.

http://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compare/Side-by-side/Sigma-120-300mm-F28-DG-O...
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Stanley Leary, Photographer, Photo Editor
Roswell | GA | | Posted: 5:53 PM on 04.29.15
->> Marvin

I am referring to current model and not older model of the 120-300mm.
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 9:06 PM on 04.29.15
->> HI Doug I was testing the sport the original model is a dog stay far away the os I have heard and seen some nice photos but I just tested the sport which is a very great lens.
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Al Goldis, Photographer
East Lansing | MI | USA | Posted: 9:31 PM on 04.30.15
->> Stanley,

The Sigma and Nikon lenses may very well be better but that comparison is not really accurate because the Sigma and Nikon lenses were tested with a different camera (a much higher resolution Nikon D810) than the Canon 70-200.
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Stanley Leary, Photographer, Photo Editor
Roswell | GA | | Posted: 9:40 PM on 04.30.15
->> Al

Even when I compared to the 16 megapixel Nikon D4 they are equal, but the Canon is a 21 meg sensor. So based on this observation the research still shows the Canon not at sharp.

Here is the list using the Nikon D4 verses the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III with the lenses

http://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compare/Side-by-side/Sigma-120-300mm-F28-DG-O...
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Stanley Leary, Photographer, Photo Editor
Roswell | GA | | Posted: 9:44 PM on 04.30.15
->> My observation seems to be similar to Patrick Murphy-Racey – Sigma is making some incredible glass and it is second to the Nikon and Canon glass it is better in some cases.

Sony, Fuji, Samsung and Olympus are also no longer second to Nikon and Canon as general rule. Nikon and Canon are running up against some serious competition in cameras and lenses.

I have no camera gear sponsors and just going from my personal experience.
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Randy Rimland, Photographer
Charlotte | NC | USA | Posted: 4:37 AM on 05.01.15
->> I have had all 3 and the latest is the 1st one that compares favorably to the Nikon 300 2.8 VR
AF is fast and accurate and image quality is very good
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Al Goldis, Photographer
East Lansing | MI | USA | Posted: 1:30 PM on 05.01.15
->> Question for you guys... It looks like the original Sigma 120-300 (non-OS) is rather poor but the new S version is on par with Canon and Nikon glass. What about the second or middle version (the OS version)?

Also, Stanley,

The closest camera to the D4 on the Canon side would be the 1Dx. If you use a 1Dx and D4 for the comparison, the Canon lens is not the dog it is in the earlier comparison.
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 2:11 PM on 05.01.15
->> From what i have seen and heard the os is very close but not quite the quality of the sport also the af is not as good as the sport so if you shoot sports get the sport
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Stanley Leary, Photographer, Photo Editor
Roswell | GA | | Posted: 10:24 AM on 05.04.15
->> I recommend the latest sport version. The earlier versions just don't stack up to today's technology in all lenses.

The post was about the "NEW" and not the older lenses anyway.
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Randy Rimland, Photographer
Charlotte | NC | USA | Posted: 12:35 PM on 05.04.15
->> IQ is close but AF is a huge improvement, way more accurate....so is being able to AF on a D300 (8 years old) and a D7200 (newer than my lens)
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Corey Perrine, Photographer
Naples | FL | USA | Posted: 2:28 PM on 05.05.15
->> "The DXO testing of the lenses actually would differ with your assesment."

I'm talking about focal length Stanley. Correct me if I'm wrong, DXO didn't address that.

DXO is one entity to measure things, but it's not the authority on why to buy a piece of equipment. Numbers are numbers and real world is real world.

I merely pointed out new information that no one was talking about and my personal reasoning what I didn't pull the trigger.

While a fine piece of glass and build, just reiterating, the Sigma doesn't reach the 300mm focal length, kind of a let down.
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Corey Perrine, Photographer
Naples | FL | USA | Posted: 2:33 PM on 05.05.15
->> It's also kind of a given putting a 1.4x TC will diminish quality a tad, but not by much. What you might lose in ever-so-slight image quality, you gain in versatility (an easier walk around combo IMHO). Just pointing out other things to think about.
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 7:32 PM on 05.05.15
->> The only thing you are forgetting Corey is put a 1.4 on the Sigma and a crop camera say sony a 711 or a canon 7d mk11 and you are getting something cheap that can shoot football with and almost rival what a 400 witha 1.4 can do on a full frame body or a 200-400 canon or nikon
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Marvin Gentry, Photographer
Birmingham | AL | USA | Posted: 11:13 PM on 05.06.15
->> David and Stanley , I know Stanley shoots Nikon so David I believe you shoot Canon. so this might geared more for you. I am replacing my Canon 300 2.8 non is and I am leaning toward the Sigma 120-300 sport. I have never had good results with non Canon Lenses. Do you think I will be happy with the Sigma?
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 11:57 AM on 05.07.15
->> HI Marvin
I shot it with a 1dx and never thought of it being a non canon lens. Make sure you have one with the latest software or buy the usb thingy as it has had problens with the 1d mk 1v with older software. I bevieve they are now fixed. I think you will behappy but agian rememeber ti is not easly hand held which I was more comftable with a canon 300 2.8 L is . I am still undediced about selling my 300 2.8 which at this point is more of a concert lens for me then a sports lens. I shoot 400 2.8 for sports. I would see about finding a rental for a weekend and shoot with it.
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Robert O'Rourk, Photographer
Setauket | NY | USA | Posted: 5:26 PM on 05.07.15
->> I am looking at a Verizon Ellipsis 7 tablet, which runs the Android system. Are there any apps to import Nikon raw files, look at tagged files or all files, and output selected files to jpg version?
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Robert O'Rourk, Photographer
Setauket | NY | USA | Posted: 5:28 PM on 05.07.15
->> Scratch t he last entry, my goof
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Dave Smith, Photographer
Menomonee Falls | WI | USA | Posted: 9:26 PM on 05.07.15
->> I have used the Sigma 120-300 Sport with my 1Dx for around 18 months now and I am very happy with the combination for both the quality and flexibility it provides me. It is a great value lens and it also works great with Canon's latest 1.4TC.

I have also used it with my backup body, a 1D Mark IV, and I can't make the same claim with that combination. Sigma released a software upgrade to the lens last year that improved the focusing ability of the lens when paired with the 1DIV, but to me there is still a very noticeable performance issue, I just do not get consistent focusing results and I have tried to calibrate it several times. I would not recommend the Sigma for use with a 1DIV.
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Stanley Leary, Photographer, Photo Editor
Roswell | GA | | Posted: 10:52 AM on 05.09.15
->> Interesting that the VR technology seems to be the exact same at the Nikon.

http://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2015/04/21/nikon-and-sigma-reach-settl...

I would assume the lens I bought has that technology, which does make a difference.
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Thread Title: "New" Sigma 120-300 Thoughts?
Thread Started By: Doug Stroud
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