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| p.3 #9 · Hands-on: EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4X |
I looked up the compare tool on TheDigitalPicture.com and compared the old version Sigma 120-300 OS to the Canon 300 2.8 IS version I (which is what I currently have) and there is a noticeable difference in image quality between the two.
I have been trying to decide if the new version of the Sigma would be worth exchanging my canon for. I still plan to wait for more test results but right now it doesn't look like I will make the trade . . .
While that site is helpful, looking at test charts only tell you a 2d story at a fixed distance. Real-world use will offer a broader range of information from various shooting distance, AF performance for the types of photography you do, foreground/background rendering characteristics, etc.
Ron, you have had the lens in your possession for over 24 hrs, and we do not even have an elementary sharpness test shot yet ? Such as a shot of a wine bottle, a cereal box, or a dollar bill, taken at 400mm and 560mm, wide open, perhaps 12-15 ft focusing distance (so that you could do it indoors if need be). Show the original, and then 100% crop. As simple as eating a square pie.
Yes Peter, that is true, however, as I indicated in my opening post, I'll be shooting with it over the weekend. I've had other obligations to attend to today and have just been checking in from time to time. Patience my friends!
But since you asked so nicely, I was able to step out late this evening for a few impromptu shots, though less than ideal conditions because it was getting dark...
The following images were made from a tripod, 1DX, aperture priority, ISO 400, live view contrast detect AF, 10-second timer, processed in Lightroom 4 at the defaults, though WB was set to the same for each scene and exposure compensation set to attain a pleasing exposure and minor tone curve tweak for a touch more contrast.
At about 17 feet:
280mm (w/1.4x TC in place)
There are two crops above from 560mm... I believe the first was by just flipping the TC in place and not refocusing, the second one was refocused. There is a slight difference but I didn't test this extensively to determine whether there is a consistent difference.
The following were of the neighbour's driveway across the street. I forgot to check the distance, but would guess around 20m.
If you desire, you may download the full-rez files from this link.
I still plan to shoot the lens against my 400 IS v.1, but so far I don't think the zoom beats it. Sharpness should be similar, though the zoom at 560 might be a tad better than what I get with the prime and the v.2 1.4x TC. I haven't tried the v.3 TCs yet (is there much difference with the 1.4s?). With the zoom's TC in place, my impression is contrast drops a touch and perhaps also a slight change in WB/tint. In the shot across the street, you can see a bit of SA edge blur in the out of focus leaves in the background towards the edges (in the full-rez files linked above). My guess, and based on Canon's MTFs, the lens will probably have a central sweet spot for best wide open sharpness. BTW, the files look better with more sharpening applied, but I just left it at the defaults. The crops have not be sharpened, but the full frame images sized down to 1000px have had some sharpening applied by Photo Mechanic.
And lastly, draw what you will from these images. By no means was it a scientific test with multiple repeats to minimize all undesirable variables. Hence, I'm really looking forward to using it this weekend at an actual event.
Edited on Jun 01, 2013 at 01:45 AM · View previous versions