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Archive 2013 · Upgrade Sigma 120-300 Non DG to Sport?
  
 
rachelsdad
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Upgrade Sigma 120-300 Non DG to Sport?


I have a non DG 120-300 (also non OS) and am thinking about upgrading to the new stabalized sport model. would I notice a significant improvement in the AF and image quality? I am shooting with a 7D and shoot primarily sports (Soccer, Little League).. Thanks, Steven


Jul 09, 2013 at 09:35 PM
dreamplayer
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Upgrade Sigma 120-300 Non DG to Sport?


All of reviews saying the optical performance of both versions is identical. But sport version can be adjusted focus parameter by using USB dock.

siggy 120 300 has focus shift issue, sounds like it can be fixed by that calibration software and hardware.

you can read reviews about that lens on lensrental website.



Jul 10, 2013 at 03:42 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Upgrade Sigma 120-300 Non DG to Sport?


dreamplayer wrote:
All of reviews saying the optical performance of both versions is identical. But sport version can be adjusted focus parameter by using USB dock.

siggy 120 300 has focus shift issue, sounds like it can be fixed by that calibration software and hardware.

you can read reviews about that lens on lensrental website.


But you talk about the two versions with OS or ? The non OS is not identical



Jul 10, 2013 at 03:54 AM
rachelsdad
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Upgrade Sigma 120-300 Non DG to Sport?


Lars Johnsson wrote:
But you talk about the two versions with OS or ? The non OS is not identical

Yeah, that is what I am trying to figure, thanks for clarifying it. I have the original ( not even DG), if the new is clearly superior, I will upgrade. Steven



Jul 10, 2013 at 04:03 AM
jimmy462
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Upgrade Sigma 120-300 Non DG to Sport?


rachelsdad wrote:
I have a non DG 120-300 (also non OS) and am thinking about upgrading to the new stabalized sport model. would I notice a significant improvement in the AF and image quality? I am shooting with a 7D and shoot primarily sports (Soccer, Little League).. Thanks, Steven


Hi Steven,

I shoot both the 120-300mm EX DG and the 120-300mm OS (non-sport) and I can tell you in a word, yes...on both counts. Sigma has done a fine job on improving, what I've always considered, a fine lens. That you've got a camera shop nearby that has the newer lens in stock, take along your current lens and camera and do a side-by-side in the store...then take your CF card home and pull the comparison images up on your computer. Methinks your budget priorities will change in that moment.


Jimmy G



Jul 10, 2013 at 04:26 AM
rachelsdad
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Upgrade Sigma 120-300 Non DG to Sport?


I wish I had a store within 3 hours of home that carries Sigma! No body in Washington state that I can find carries them.


Jul 10, 2013 at 04:43 AM
robbymack
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Upgrade Sigma 120-300 Non DG to Sport?


I think it's a good deal if you can swing it although read Rogers (lens rentals) blog on the lens. I would highly consider a used version of the DG OS over the new Sport seeing as they are identical other than the USB dock. It remains to be see whether that's worth the price premium.


Jul 10, 2013 at 04:52 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Upgrade Sigma 120-300 Non DG to Sport?


robbymack wrote:
I think it's a good deal if you can swing it although read Rogers (lens rentals) blog on the lens. I would highly consider a used version of the DG OS over the new Sport seeing as they are identical other than the USB dock. It remains to be see whether that's worth the price premium.


They are Not identical other than the USB dock. Roger also write that in his blog. The build is different. Just look at the two lenses and you can see that they are different.
http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/06/sigma-120-300-f2-8-part-ii-comparative-anatomy



Jul 10, 2013 at 05:17 AM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Upgrade Sigma 120-300 Non DG to Sport?


I have the the MK1 OS (non sport) and its a fab lens . I would love to test the Sport version against it to see if things like the AF speed are any different .

The non Sport I would say is OK in the AF speed department but not upto Canon USM speeds . Although I think it seems better than my old 100-400 (I would have been great to test the 2 head to head , but i sold it to purchase the 120-300)

Ive never used the non OS but from from what Ive seen and heard the OS was a decent upgrade in IQ and af speed .

at the moment for me the difference in the price of my OS v the Sport is just too high to consider the upgrade as I can find a few good 300L's around the price of the Sport .



Jul 10, 2013 at 06:35 AM
Photonic
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Upgrade Sigma 120-300 Non DG to Sport?


Steven,

I owned the non-DG 120-300mm and eventually upgraded to the DG/OS version. The difference in image quality was imperceptible. I can no longer remember if there was a difference in AF speed. The new Sports version is based on the same optical formula and as such I do not think you will see any improvement in IQ from what you are currently using. Having used the new dock to micro-adjust focus on my 35mm f/1.4 I can tell you I would not even think about trying to take advantage of this "feature" of the new lens.




Jul 10, 2013 at 04:01 PM
 

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rachelsdad
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Upgrade Sigma 120-300 Non DG to Sport?


Photonic wrote:
Steven,

I owned the non-DG 120-300mm and eventually upgraded to the DG/OS version. The difference in image quality was imperceptible. I can no longer remember if there was a difference in AF speed. The new Sports version is based on the same optical formula and as such I do not think you will see any improvement in IQ from what you are currently using. Having used the new dock to micro-adjust focus on my 35mm f/1.4 I can tell you I would not even think about trying to take advantage of this "feature" of the new lens.


Thanks!



Jul 10, 2013 at 04:25 PM
johnctharp
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Upgrade Sigma 120-300 Non DG to Sport?


Photonic wrote:
Steven,

I owned the non-DG 120-300mm and eventually upgraded to the DG/OS version. The difference in image quality was imperceptible. I can no longer remember if there was a difference in AF speed. The new Sports version is based on the same optical formula and as such I do not think you will see any improvement in IQ from what you are currently using. Having used the new dock to micro-adjust focus on my 35mm f/1.4 I can tell you I would not even think about trying to take advantage of this "feature" of the new lens.



As someone interested in Sigma's new technology, why specifically would you advise against using the dock on the Sports zoom? I'd think that even if it wasn't effective at quelling the focus accuracy issues some are reporting with the 35 Art, it would still be incredibly useful for the active sports shooter.



Jul 10, 2013 at 05:08 PM
Photonic
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Upgrade Sigma 120-300 Non DG to Sport?


John,

My experience with the dock and the 35mm lens is that it takes an extraordinary amount of time to complete the tuning process and that the improved results do very little to improve real world performance given the basic inconsistency of the cameras AF system.

It's like shimming the legs of a table to level it when the top is heavily warped.

Entering your first set of adjustments is relatively straight forward and completed in under an hour. If you stop here you will be a very happy camper. If you repeat the process a day later to check if these adjustments are repeatable you are going to be greatly disappointed and you will spend an inordinate amount of time doing multiple rounds of testing. You will learn that the tuning process is INCREDIBLY sensitive to the distance of the lens to the target (significant difference for even 1/4 inch on the 35mm lens at close distances). I spent many many hours tuning my 35mm over the course of a couple of days. I finally determined what I felt were good and consistent set of numbers but noticed very little real world difference in IQ (because of the basic inconsistency of the cameras AF system - which is independent of the lens in use).

Going through this process with the 120-300 where you have four times as many numbers to determine seems like it would be a good exercise for someone with a whole lot of free time on their hands :-) In the end I reset all numbers on my 35mm to zero and returned the dock. I remain very happy with the lens which is exceptionally sharp.

YMMV.




Jul 10, 2013 at 10:58 PM
jimmy462
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Upgrade Sigma 120-300 Non DG to Sport?


Lars Johnsson wrote:
They are Not identical other than the USB dock. Roger also write that in his blog. The build is different. Just look at the two lenses and you can see that they are different.
http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/06/sigma-120-300-f2-8-part-ii-comparative-anatomy


Hi Lars,

Thanks, from this 120-300mm user, for the link. Just to clarify your post, for all the mechanical and design feature differences between the Sport and non-Sport version of the OS version of this lens, it needs to be made clear that the optics in both are the same...this information directly from a Sigma rep to my face and from their online schematics of these lenses. Also, Roger corroborates this in his tear-down from your link...

<<The optics, and as best I can tell, electromechanical construction is unchanged between the original and the new version.>>

...we both know how information can get easily confused on the internet! The optical design between the non-OS and OS versions of this lens are different.

Jimmy G



Jul 11, 2013 at 01:18 AM
robbymack
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Upgrade Sigma 120-300 Non DG to Sport?


Lars Johnsson wrote:
They are Not identical other than the USB dock. Roger also write that in his blog. The build is different. Just look at the two lenses and you can see that they are different.
http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/06/sigma-120-300-f2-8-part-ii-comparative-anatomy



The shell is different yes, and the usb dock, but the optics right on through the AF motor are identical. This is ostensibly the same lens dressed up for the ball so you gotta plunk down another grand to take her on a date. For some that may be worth it but I think for most it's nice to know a used option may be just as good. All that being said I still think this is a great lens at this price point, range, and f2.8. It really has no equal. If my kids were a bit older and heavily into field sports this would be on my wish list.



Jul 11, 2013 at 04:55 AM
johnctharp
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Upgrade Sigma 120-300 Non DG to Sport?


Photonic,

Thanks for the response. I agree that setting up the 120-300/2.8S would be a nightmare, especially if focus isn't consistent to begin with. That particular lens is out of my range, but I'm sure Sigma has more primes and zooms coming!



Jul 11, 2013 at 06:17 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Upgrade Sigma 120-300 Non DG to Sport?


robbymack wrote:
The shell is different yes, and the usb dock, but the optics right on through the AF motor are identical. This is ostensibly the same lens dressed up for the ball so you gotta plunk down another grand to take her on a date. For some that may be worth it but I think for most it's nice to know a used option may be just as good. All that being said I still think this is a great lens at this price point, range, and f2.8. It really has no equal. If my kids were a bit older and
...Show more

Not only the shell. The inside, mount, circuit boards and a couple of programmable switches. So it's not the same lens just dressed up. Except for the optics it's nearly a new lens with a lot of options that the old didn't have.
I agree that the old lens can be a good option because of the lower price.


Edited on Jul 11, 2013 at 08:40 AM · View previous versions



Jul 11, 2013 at 06:52 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Upgrade Sigma 120-300 Non DG to Sport?


Photonic wrote:
John,

My experience with the dock and the 35mm lens is that it takes an extraordinary amount of time to complete the tuning process and that the improved results do very little to improve real world performance given the basic inconsistency of the cameras AF system.

It's like shimming the legs of a table to level it when the top is heavily warped.

Entering your first set of adjustments is relatively straight forward and completed in under an hour. If you stop here you will be a very happy camper. If you repeat the process a day later to check if these adjustments
...Show more

I don't agree at all. I also have the dock and the 35/1,4 lens. It don't take MANY hours to do the adjustment with the dock. And the result will not change from day to day if you test it at the same distance every time.
The way you did it according to what you wrote in other threads here, that's not the way to test the lens and use the dock. You tested it in nearly every distance (not four different) and you also tested the lens at every setting from -20 to +20. That's not the way to do it. Unless you have plenty of time and like to play around with your MFA...



Jul 11, 2013 at 07:02 AM
Photonic
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Upgrade Sigma 120-300 Non DG to Sport?


Lars,

I am happy you are pleased with your method.

You have, however, misrepresented my approach. My first step was to test at four distances to enter the appropriate values per the Sigma software. My goal for doing this, of course, was so that my lens would perform better at all distances. My second step was to verify that this was the case by tested over a full range of distances (this is the part that is not required unless you want to understand how valuable step one was).

What I learned by doing this extra step is that the focus inconsistency of the camera itself (Canon 5DM3) is large compared to the micro-focus adjustments of the lens. I further observed that the real world improvements (i.e. photos at arbitrary distances) to IQ were essentially imperceptible between my lens with default settings versus the fully tweaked settings. In the end, even after putting in all the work, I was content to return the values to default and return the dock.

I am not telling anyone that they should not micro-adjust their lens. I am only sharing the conclusions I reached after doing very extensive testing with a 35mm (which I believe is reapeatable if anyone else wants to put in the time). For all I know the results could be very different on the 120-300mm.

My guess, however, is that you would not be able to distinguish between photos taken with the new Sports model (fully micro adjusted) from those shot on an earlier version of the lens. There are plenty of other good reasons to justify an upgrade to the S model (better weather sealing, USB software updates, better tripod ring, nicer looks to name a few). I just don't think IQ is one of those reasons. I asked this very question of a Sigma rep at the CES show in Las Vegas earlier this year and he acknowledged as much.



Jul 11, 2013 at 05:40 PM
jimmy462
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Upgrade Sigma 120-300 Non DG to Sport?


Photonic wrote:
My guess, however, is that you would not be able to distinguish between photos taken with the new Sports model (fully micro adjusted) from those shot on an earlier version of the lens. There are plenty of other good reasons to justify an upgrade to the S model (better weather sealing, USB software updates, better tripod ring, nicer looks to name a few).I just don't think IQ is one of those reasons. I asked this very question of a Sigma rep at the CES show in Las Vegas earlier this year and he acknowledged as much.


Hi Photonic,

I just want to make sure we're both talking "oranges" here...are you (and the rep) saying their is no IQ difference between the two OS versions of the 120-300mm, or are you (and the rep) saying there are no IQ differences between the non-OS and OS versions? I'm suspecting that you and the rep might have been saying different things.

As I stated earlier in this thread, there is a distinct improvement to both IQ and AF between my EX DG non-OS, and my non-Sport OS, the OS version being, um, "better". YMMV.

To be clear, the two original non-OS 120-300mm lenses, the EX and EX DG, were both optically identical except for the DG lens coatings. The two OS versions, the non-Sport and Sport, differ as Lars points out, though, optically the two OS versions are optically identical. The non-OS and OS versions are not optically identical.

Just trying to keep confusion at bay here!
Jimmy G



Jul 11, 2013 at 06:15 PM
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