Sigma 120 300mm F2 8 Used

By | 27/10/2022

Sigma 120-300mm f/2.eight EX DG HSM Lens Review

Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM Lens

The Sigma 120-300mm f/ii.8 EX DG HSM Lens is unique in it’s capabilities – at this fourth dimension, no other Canon-mountain zoom lens can maintain an action-stopping f/2.8 aperture beyond 200mm.
This lens has action-sports written all over it. Perhaps more than than from any other Sigma lens, I was hoping for great things from this i.

Though useful for many other photography needs, the flexibility offered by a long focal length f/2.8 zoom lens for shooting sports is very attractive. The f/ii.8 aperture is wide enough to shoot in low light – even indoors if the lighting is decent and ISO values are set high. The 120-300mm focal range covers virtually sports needs for 1.6x and 1.3x FOVCF trunk users (full-frame body users will probably want more focal length for the larger field sports). This additional-needed focal length can be had by calculation a compatible Sigma 1.4x Teleconverter or a Sigma 2x Teleconverter – but of course we lose the f/2.viii aperture with the combos. With the 120-300mm zoom, track a histrion in horizontal or vertical orientation (as with a prime lens) AND zoom in/out every bit desired to become the proper framing without a resolution/image quality reducing cropping step during post-processing – A big advantage for this Sigma.

Unfortunately, the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM Lens has a significant shortcoming that affects action sports photography –
Autofocus tin can’t keep upward
with activeness quickly moving toward or away from the camera. People running to exist more specific. I missed a pregnant number of shots when tracking activeness in AI Servo mode (on a Canon ane-Series trunk) – all focused behind the management of the activity. AF is powered by HSM – Sigma’s premier Hypersonic Motor. This is generally a expert affair and HSM in this implementation is very placidity, includes FTM (Full Time Manual) focusing, is rear-focusing, does non extend and the front chemical element does not rotate. Focus speed fifty-fifty sounds deceptively fast because of its quietness.

The other big AF trouble I had was that this lens severely front-focused at the wide end of the focal length range on 2 unlike Canon-calibrated bodies. The 120-300 and one of my bodies required a trip to Sigma service to be taught to play together nicely. Sigma is ever willing to service their gear under warranty – I was much less pleased to receive my camera dorsum with a VERY dingy sensor.

Focus accurateness for slower-moving and stationary subjects is decent.

I more focus anomaly – Catechism’s EOS Utility cannot make micro focus adjustments when attached to a Canon EOS-1D Mark 3 in Live View style. I accept withal to try a large multifariousness of lenses in this scenario, but the reckoner-driven micro focus aligning is very useful when shooting tethered.

This lens does not have a focus limiter switch, simply it hasn’t proven necessary to me.

Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM Lens compared to 3 Canon f/2.8 Lenses

Shown above from left to correct are the Catechism EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM Lens, Canon EF seventy-200mm f/2.8 Fifty IS USM Lens, Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM Lens and Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens.

The Sigma 120-300mm f/2.eight EX DG HSM Lens is large (four.four” 10 x.six” / 112.8mm 10 268.5mm) and heavy ( lb / 2.6 kg), only it is handholdable for short periods of time. For longer periods of shooting such as for the duration of a sports event, you are going to desire a support – a monopod is the choice of most sports shooters.

Like about Sigma EX lenses, the Sigma 120-300 is very solidly built (thus the heavy weight). Zoom and focus rings are firm but smooth and nicely sized. The matte EX finish is not my favorite, but others similar information technology a lot. It is stealthy, just shows marks easily (fifty-fifty from peel) – and I find it slippery.

Image quality from the Sigma 120-300mm f/ii.8 EX DG HSM Lens is decent. It has decent sharpness broad open and gets really nice stopped down a stop or and so. Based on comments from others, I expected sharper results broad open up than I am getting – especially on the ISO 12233 resolution chart results. I shot this test on 3 different occasions (a very fourth dimension-consuming process) – each including many samples shot using AF, MF with a Canon Angle Finder C, bracketed MF and i last time using laptop-tethered Live View from a Catechism EOS-1D Mark 3 to go another precise manual focus sample. The best of the results were similar each time. As e’er, I shot many other comparison tests – and the ISO 12233 chart brings out the worst in this lens – equally information technology ever does. I volition also note that the left side of this lens produces a slightly sharper prototype than the right (bottom-most ISO 12233 crop), simply the difference was not big.

Color tends to the yellow side of neutral. Vignetting ranges from very minor on the wide stop to not too bad at the long end – definitely more noticeable at 300mm than 120mm. Baloney is pocket-size – a little pincushion at the longer end of the focal length range. Flare command is decent – stronger at the long cease than the wide end with the same bright low-cal source at the corner of the frame. CA (Chromatic Aberration) is well-controlled with a small amount showing at the wide stop of the focal length range in strong contrasting areas. Exposures are averaging a bit bright – oftentimes virtually ane/3 stop brighter than compared-to Canon lenses. The discontinuity is a 9-bract design though the bokeh tends to exist slightly harsh.

Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM Lens compared to 2 Canon f/2.8 Lenses - with lens hoods in place

Shown above from left to right with included tripods rings and lens hoods in place are the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.eight L IS USM Lens, Sigma 120-300mm f/two.eight EX DG HSM Lens and Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens.

The Sigma 120-300’due south MFD (Minimum Focus Distance) is specified as a range – from four.nine’-8.two’ (1.five-2.5m) as zoomed from 120mm to 300mm. At it’south MFD, the 120-300 tin can delivered a MM (Maximum Magnification) of 1:8.six or .116x – a relatively low number, but not an unusual one at 300mm f/two.8. As I mentioned before, the 120-300 is compatible with the Sigma 1.4x and 2x Teleconverters. Since MFD does non alter with teleconverters in place, MM is direct increased by 1.4x or 2x when using these.

Sigma 120-300 cap

The Sigma 120-300 comes with a cervix strap that attaches to the besides-included removable tripod ring (which makes a nice handle). Also included is a rather small, metal lens hood that attaches via a bayonet mount and locks with a thumbscrew. Normal screw-in filters can be used on this lens, but the 105mm-sized filters are going to be very expensive if of expert quality. The included lens cap/cover (shown above) is an unusual but nice pattern – It is a flexible, padded-nylon, slip-over cap with a less-flexible, protective terminate. A slot in the embrace provides the hood thumbscrew space to pass through and a claw-and-loop closure keeps the cover in identify.

The Sigma 120-300 ships in a nicely padded case – it would exist squeamish if the camera fit in the same case (though no other factory Canon-mountain lens cases adjust camera bodies). For transport and use, I used a Lightware z300. The fit with a pro trunk attached is snug, but it works well.

The Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM Lens is available in Catechism (reviewed), Nikon (D) and Sigma mounts. My obligatory standard disclaimer: You should know that there are potential issues with third political party lenses. Since Sigma reverse engineers (vs. licenses) manufacturer AF routines, there is always the possibility that a new body might non support an older third party lens. In that location are examples of this happening in the by. Sometimes a lens can be rechipped to be fabricated compatible, sometimes non. 2d, at that place is the risk of a trouble that results in the lens and body manufacturers pointing arraign at each other. However, Sigma USA’s 4-year warranty is far superior to Canon’south standard one yr warranty (though many credit cards will double the Catechism warranty for you).

Alternatives to the Sigma 120-300 include the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens and Canon EF 300mm f/ii.8 L IS USM Lens. The Sigma is close to the Catechism lxx-200 L IS in sharpness at overlapping focal lengths, but is not equally sharp at 300mm equally the very impressive Canon 300mm f/ii.viii L IS. Of course, you need both Canons to encompass the same focal length range as the Sigma – and this makes lens changing an issue unless you have 2 bodies (which requires camera swapping during the action). The Sigma 120-300 costs significantly more than the smaller/lighter Canon 70-200 f/two.8 L IS, but far less than the larger Canon 300 f/2.8 L IS. The Sigma is not quite equally long as Catechism’due south 300 f/2.eight at 300mm and not quite as broad as a Catechism 70-200 f/2.eight IS reporting 120mm – simply the differences are not major. The Canon lenses mentioned include IS – not important for sports photography but very helpful for other handheld scenarios. The Canon lenses deliver a more-neutral colour. And of course, the non-IS Canon EF lxx-200mm f/2.eight L USM Lens is a very close alternative that costs far less than the IS version.

Sports photography is the primary market place for the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM Lens, just there are other good uses for it. On a full frame body, compressed portraits are one. On a i.6x body or with extenders, wildlife is another. Basically, any requirement met by the 120-300mm focal length range with a fast discontinuity and not-extremely fast AF where size and weight are non an issue can be met. Though not a cheap lens, information technology is a decent value.

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