Sigma 120-300 2.8 OS (Second Version) - Some Siggy Love and Pics!
/forum/topic/1155623/0



MakoShark
Registered: Jan 05, 2011
Total Posts: 1200
Country: United States

I thought with some of the recent challenging posts about the struggles of this lens, mine included from a while back, Siggy deserved some love. I have seen a few recent issues in which this lens has been driving some folks, like me, nuts. Like many others my first copy was a bit of a mess. It wouldn't focus quite right past a certain length not to mention just not snappy. The lens was always crisp when it locked, again when it actually locked. Didn't matter if I was in continuous focus or not. I tried tons of settings to no avail.

I sent it to NY SIGMA after almost throwing it! Those folks up there straight up rock! Very nice, responsive, fast and listened to every word I had to say about my lens. They really cared and promised to get it right. When I received the lens back, very quickly I might add, HOLY CRAP!!! Its a BEAST and locks on like an animal. Yes I have my D3s settings pretty dialed in, and now its my technique that needs more improvement, but dayum. If all their lenses were like this out of the box, I am not sure I would own many Nikkor lenses for the difference in price. Here are just a few shots so folks thinking about this lens can get an idea of its capabilities. Again I am still working on my technique with this lens so there are some areas I need to work on as a shooter. But the only reason this lens misses is if I MISS!

It locks on in any light and these shots might show it. I noticed no difference in focus in sunlight or dark fields like these. At 300mm or 120mm focus is rapid and it doesn't hunt at all. Sure is you focused last at 120 let the camera go to standby then wake it up and zoom out to 300 then try to acquire focus it takes a split second for the motor to push out to that 300mm. But jeez, a little planning on my part to follow the action and I don't usually run into that problem.

This is the OS version that's currently out, not the very brand new version just announced. Anyways Hope this may help some folks looking at this lens or the new version which added the limiter switch and slight body style change. Optically they are the same lens from what I have heard. EXIF should still be intact. Some shots are cropped more than others. Some action happened unexpectedly and very close and no issues locking on, other than me trying to get myself together to try and catch it!



MakoShark
Registered: Jan 05, 2011
Total Posts: 1200
Country: United States

Thanks for checking them out, and hope its helpful!



acoll123
Registered: Jan 23, 2012
Total Posts: 306
Country: United States

Nice shots. I was thinking about selling my canon 300/2.8 IS and getting this for some flexibility. How do you think it compares to a prime?

Thanks,

Andy



MakoShark
Registered: Jan 05, 2011
Total Posts: 1200
Country: United States

Andy,

The flexibility of this zoom for my type of shooting it works. Factor in the price and it was a winner. A little bit of a headache to get a great working lens, but now after a visit to Sigma and a few games and events completed I would say its a winner in every angle. I only use this lens and a wide prime. I can shoot the game then turn around and shoot the bench, fans, whatever in any light.

Primes will always be a tad faster I feel, but man this thing rivals my Nikon 70-200 easily. Along a 300mm 2.8 I am guessing there would be a small difference in sharpness, its a prime after all. But the flexibility is just so nice. Unless you're really pushing things its a sharp, fast lens.

I think if I was shooting a game where I was in one spot and couldn't really move around, then sure 400mm would be my choice, but being able to move with the plays or to use this for any type of event shooting in general it's really nice. Yeah its heavy and if shooting a game monopod is a must. But you can handhold it with great results using the OS. Now that this copy is stellar it can't be beat at this price and as you mention flexibility. Just my .02 cents..



adamo99
Registered: Apr 22, 2006
Total Posts: 427
Country: Canada

I used one of the EX DG HSM versions (no HSM) for a couple of seasons, shooting superbike racing, and did not miss having the 300mm prime at all. These really are spectacular lenses.



knower
Registered: Aug 13, 2012
Total Posts: 111
Country: Canada

Hi Mako,

I read about you having the same AF issue I am having. The lens is amazing but actually it seems mine doesn't focus properly in the 20+m range. It's hit and miss and sometimes has front focusing issues.

Thanks for posting this, since I was going to return it to take a Nikkor. I'll send it in and pray that they will fix it properly.
It's a great lens and super versatile, I really don't want to go with a fixed one.

G.



trenchmonkey
Registered: Oct 22, 2004
Total Posts: 35483
Country: United States

Hey, Manny! Looks like a keeper...now. Nice job...I'm happy for ya.



MakoShark
Registered: Jan 05, 2011
Total Posts: 1200
Country: United States

adamo99 wrote:
I used one of the EX DG HSM versions (no HSM) for a couple of seasons, shooting superbike racing, and did not miss having the 300mm prime at all. These really are spectacular lenses.


Glad to hear more success stories! Thanks for adding yours. So far I think this is a great fit.



MakoShark
Registered: Jan 05, 2011
Total Posts: 1200
Country: United States

knower wrote:
Hi Mako,

I read about you having the same AF issue I am having. The lens is amazing but actually it seems mine doesn't focus properly in the 20+m range. It's hit and miss and sometimes has front focusing issues.

Thanks for posting this, since I was going to return it to take a Nikkor. I'll send it in and pray that they will fix it properly.
It's a great lens and super versatile, I really don't want to go with a fixed one.

G.

Good luck G! Hopefully it works out for ya! Let us know.



MakoShark
Registered: Jan 05, 2011
Total Posts: 1200
Country: United States

trenchmonkey wrote:
Hey, Manny! Looks like a keeper...now. Nice job...I'm happy for ya.

Thanks Will! Hope all is well.

So far so good



SSISteve
Registered: Jul 19, 2005
Total Posts: 1962
Country: United States

Those are some sweet images. I was leaning towards this lens until it got some bad press for having a slow AF and too many missed shots. I will be curious as to how the new model turns out.

Steve



MakoShark
Registered: Jan 05, 2011
Total Posts: 1200
Country: United States

Thanks Steve. The first copy was horrid until Sigma did their magic. Now forget it, my go to for this type of event.

Have a great day.
Manny



fraga
Registered: Sep 10, 2005
Total Posts: 2238
Country: Portugal

Received mine a few days ago.
Still testing it.
Up to now, looks very promising!




MakoShark
Registered: Jan 05, 2011
Total Posts: 1200
Country: United States

Nice.



fraga
Registered: Sep 10, 2005
Total Posts: 2238
Country: Portugal

Thanks.

I have quite a few test shots wide open, stopped down and with 1.4x tc.
Also comparing directly with nikkor 28-300 VR, if anyone interested.

I can share them latter tonight, again if anyone interested.

It has less focus breathing than the Nikkor, BTW.