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Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 EX DG HSM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
93 328168 Nov 1, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
82% of reviewers $2,114.63
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.31
9.50
9.1
120_300_1_

Specifications:
This telephoto zoom lens has a large aperture of F2.8 that is constant throughout the zoom range. The angle of view of the 120-300mmF2.8 varies from 20.4degree to 8.2degree and offers great versatility of composition from a fixed position. Two Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass elements in the front lens group and two in the rear group offer effective compensation of color aberration. Since focusing and zooming do not change its overall length, this lens offers ease of handling. HSM ensures a quiet, high-speed, AF as well as full-time manual focus (for Sigma, Canon and Nikon mounts). A removable tripod collar is provided with the lens. As the front of the lens does not rotate, circular polarizing filters can easily be used. When this lens is used with the 1.4x EX or 2x EX Apo Tele Converters (optional), it becomes a 168-420mmF4 AF telephoto lens or a 240-600mm F5.6 AF ultra-telephoto lens respectively. The lens materials used in this new lens are lead and arsenic free ecological glass.


 


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zachfineman
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Registered: Nov 1, 2014
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 1, 2014 Recommend? no | Price paid: $3,899.00 | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: Built on a rock solid, reliable lens with a great track record.
Cons:
Build quality/quality control of the newer version of the 120-300mm OS (Sport) is not as good as the original 120-300 DG EX HSM.

I recently purchased the new Sigma 120-300mm OS (Sport). I have had several issues with it and remain quite frustrated as it does not perform as well as my older 120-300 EX DG HSM. The primarily reason for going to the new lens was to get the stabilizer features but this new lens does NOT hold focus through the full range of the lens like my older model did. Not even close. As well, the image tracks slightly as I push in. I have contacted Sigma themselves and it appears it is a known problem.

The dealer replaced it with another lens but I am finding the same problems. Even with the in camera calibration, back focus remains an issue through out the full focal range of the lens. This is a major issue for me needing to shoot in MF mode when I want to by pass the menu preset target focus range and reframe for a quick tighter shot.

I am going back to the older version of the 120-300mm DG EX HSM. Way more reliable. A rock solid lens with no issues, just put it on and start shooting every time.


Nov 1, 2014
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ebiggs
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Registered: Mar 16, 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 333
Review Date: Jun 22, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Well built. Outstanding IQ through out. Keeps it length when zoomed. Keeps it aperture when zoomed. What's not to like?
Cons:
Well this guy is heavy. I mean tripod heavy and it is not a cheap lens.

I got this Siggy simply because I can't afford Canon big lenses. But this thing is amazing. It is heavy and you are not going to shoot hand held. Not for very many shots that is.
On my 1D Mk IV it is truly a tripod or monopod situation.
The build is great. It is very sharp.
I intend to get Sigma's 1.4x for it. I have a Canon EF 1.4x but it looks kinda doppy on a big black lens. Did I mention this lens is big?
Anyone needing or buying this lens is going to be happy with it's pictures.


Jun 22, 2014
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Pepe Guitarra
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Registered: Jun 17, 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 53
Review Date: Mar 15, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,399.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp even with the Sigma 2xTC attached. A dream come true, no problem of any kind on my 1DIII, 5DII and 7D. Right on the money. You can see my photos at the Canon Forum (not the official, but the other one)
Cons:
Nothing, maybe just a bit heavy for my aging arms. However, I use a monopod if I need to stand a lot, otherwise, I will just carry it.

This is the one lens that satisfied me after trying others, including the Canon 100-400/5.6, the Canon 300/4, and the classic Sigma 100-300/4(no OS). This lens is sharp and great AF. Depending on the camera, the focusing was different, for example on the 1DIII, the focussing depended on what you were going to do. For example for birding on the 7D, I just use the center point and voila, no missing anything. I am glad I purchased this lens. It is the only Sigma lens that has gone up in price after discontinued. You cannot find it new for less than $2,750. You can find used one for less, but beware of those. Buy this lens if you can.

Mar 15, 2014
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Mark K
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Registered: Feb 15, 2003
Location: China
Posts: 120
Review Date: Jan 12, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, inexpensive, OS
Cons:
focusing adjustment

Have been looking through all super tele for years...and needless to say, an excellent choice for a beginner. Never planned it to replace any of the supertele primes but never thought a zoom can be so sharp.

Jan 12, 2014
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RandyR
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Registered: Feb 24, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 3418
Review Date: Sep 9, 2013 Recommend? no | Price paid: $2,500.00

 
Pros: IQ was very good
Cons:
AF failed often on my D4....OS version

Another Sigma nightmare. Point the lens at a football player and it would not focus. Turn the zoom ring and then it focused. Reverse Engineering failed again

Sep 9, 2013
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slowdad
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Registered: Mar 4, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 106
Review Date: Apr 22, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,700.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Price, variable zoom comes in very handy, very sharp at F/2.8
Cons:
Weight, OS motor is loud when it engages

If you compare this to the Canon 300mm L,, I think you will find that for the $$$.. this is hard to beat. If the canon 300L is a 10.. this lens is a definite 9......I need reach for hobby work and not professional work. I have nothing but L glass for our wedding and portrait business......I was pleasantly surprised at how well this lens performs. Cant see a differences in the files B/T the canon 300L and the Sigma 120-300 until you crop in to 100%.. the canon will win on sharpness and IQ,,,,,,,but its not by a lot and definitely not $3800.00 better than this sigma.......Im very happy with the product and have used it at weddings for reach from the back of a church...excellent results at F/2.8-3.5.... love it

Apr 22, 2013
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Lethal_weapon
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Registered: Sep 13, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 1602
Review Date: Feb 27, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Light enought to hand hold, Awesome on monopod. OS is Amazing. Sharp even with Extenders (stepped down even sharper!) Works great on crop but better on FF . Much better finish than older models
Cons:
Needs focus limiter. hunts a bit at low light but not bad. Needs water resistancy

Bought a used (3 weeks old! :-) for a good price. Very versatile lens and I do not regret getting it over the prime 300. Works very well with Extenders and stepped down the IQ is spectacular. Only have VII of the Canon Extenders and would like to try it with a VIII one day. AF is quick and of course much slower with the 2X but that is to be expected. Untouchable for sports and Birds. Wished it was better water sealed but the lenscoat keeps it clean looking.
I have the OS verion and it is heads and shoulders above the older non OS including the DG models.
Finish is great and build is solid. A great pick for those who want the range Plus IS of the Canon 300 without the price.
highly recommend and a 10 years warranty is all good


Feb 27, 2013
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gearoid
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Registered: Dec 9, 2005
Location: Ireland
Posts: 1
Review Date: Dec 29, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Great to have this aperture and range. AF very good. Sharpness excellent wide open at all FL. Focus silent and fast. Cheap. IS (Called OS, that's the version I have) gives genuine 4 stops.
Cons:
Heavy. 7.5 lb. Long. Need monopod for sustained use.

This is much praised and it is said that optically it is better than the 300 Ex f2.8. I have that too. I think they are identical in IQ. Like all 300 f2.8's you have to be meticulous about focussing when shooting wide open. If you're shooting sports, the shutter speeds demanded, unless you're panning ,make the OS redundant for that, but for other uses, such as portraiture, it's really great. This is a great portrait lens at every FL and the bokeh is gorgeous.
I imagine that the Canon 300 f2.8 ii is sharper but it doesn't need to be and it costs more than twice this lens. It'll do me fine.
I use it for sports, mainly, as my daughter is a very good runner and triathlete. Monopod usually as it's a bit too heavy, unlike the 300 which is more than a pound lighter, and shorter. The zoom is great for sports, though. You don't appreciate it until you have it.
Mine is attached to a Canon 1Div or a 1Dsiii.


Dec 29, 2012
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themdg
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Registered: Dec 26, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 145
Review Date: Aug 14, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros:
Cons:

After shooting this lens for 4 or 5 years, mine is starting to have some focusing issues. I use this quite a bit, so I'm not too bothered that it needs to be serviced.

I see that I can send it to Sigma Corp's US Service Department in Ronkonkoma, NY, or one of their authorized repair partners. The closest one to me is C.R.I.S. in Chandler, AZ.

Does anyone have any experience sending Sigmas in for service? Should I go for the Sigma shop, or the closer authorized shop?

Shipping from Utah.


Aug 14, 2012
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Derfman
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Registered: Aug 25, 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 14
Review Date: Jul 28, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Zoom & Range, COST! takes teleconvertors well,(I use Canon mkII 1.4x and mkIII 2x) much much better keeper rate than the 100-400L, accepts a front filter / CPL, great solid build quality Good soft carry bag with padded strap and awesome handle / camera mount
Cons:
Heavy, Expenive CPL / UV filters at 105mm, focus not as fast or accurate as Canon 300mm primes, no range limiter :(

I Use on 7d's at the moment and so cannot comment of FF performance, It is much better than the 100-400; or a 70-200L IS f2.8L(mk1) OR F4L IS with teleconvetors if you want extra reach for wildlife this is a great lens, and strangley it is cheaper in Australia than most of the world? at $2400 this is a great buy

Jul 28, 2012
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trenchmonkey
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Registered: Oct 21, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 35619
Review Date: Jul 6, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Totally silent fast AF, easily 4 stop OS, tack sharp wide open :O
Cons:

Wow!! Leap of faith thinkin' this would be the answer over
the 70-200 f2.8 VR II and TC-14E II combo I've been using
for my rodeo gigs. Found myself at 230-280mm 90% of the
time. Having f2.8 in this zoom range is money!! It's heavy,
I lugged around the likes of the 200 f2 VR/300 f2.8 VR and
I'd put this glass somewhere betwixt the 2 for handheld joy.
This is the new and improved OS version, came triple boxed
from our friends @ B&H. You've seem my work, believe it! Wink


Jul 6, 2012
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John H Smith
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Registered: Dec 20, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 81
Review Date: Sep 26, 2010 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Zoom capability - no other lens in this class. Solid build, excellent performance at this price point. Remarkable performance with 1.4x and 2x converters
Cons:

In my original review, 2007, I said....

"I also got it to use as a 600mm when coupled with a teleconverter. Performance with sigma 2x converter is remarkable: v.good at f5.6 and absolutely superb at f8. If you can't afford a 600mm L, this is very good indeed and certainly the best performance I have ever seen with a 2x converter. In effect I'm using it like two lenses - fast 300mm for sports (handheld or monopod) and a 600mm for wildlife (tripod or beanbag). "

I am now using a Canon 7D, 2007 review was on a 30D. On the 7D I would now have to rate the performance of the lens with 2x converter as even better - comments regarding f5.6 vs f8 are now very difficult to detect other than by 'pixel peeping'

This is with sigma converter, tripod, cable release and using centre focus point on 7D


Sep 26, 2010
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bocaminus
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Registered: Apr 19, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 515
Review Date: Jun 8, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great zoom range, price, built quality
Cons:
None so far

After few months of debating, I finally decided to pull the trigger and buy this lens. I picked up a used one (non DG version). Based on reviews and the fact this lens covers such a great range I thought this could be a perfect choice. I needed a lens for sport events, something versatile, sharp and fast and within a reasonable price range. After just few days of testing, I can say this Sigma not only proved to be a right choice but it convinced me that great telephoto lens doesn't need to be white and very expensive. Sigma 120-300 is tack sharp even wide open ... and it goes like that through the entire focal range. I have 2 other Sigma lenses and this one is no exception when comes down to colors ... pleasantly warm and nicely saturated. The thing I like the most about it is the fact I can follow the players all around the soccer field no matter if they're close to the sideline or right at the center of the field. I couldn't do this with Canon 300mm f/2.8L. BTW, this lens is as sharp as Canon 300mm f/2.8L ... in my opinion the picture quality is almost identical. Highly recommended!


Jun 8, 2010
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Bruce Sawle
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Registered: Sep 26, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 4172
Review Date: May 12, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great lens very sharp from f3.2 up.
Cons:
None

This is one of the most versatile and best zooms I have owned. Wonderfully sharp at all apertures especially from F3.2 up. This lens takes both the Sigma 1.4 and 2.0 TC extremely well.

May 12, 2010
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thom8585
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Registered: Jan 24, 2010
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 14, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,800.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast, Quality of lens outstanding, Sharpness, Great with Canon 1.4x fast with 7D
Cons:
Heavy, with Canon 2x teleconverter hunts a lot never finds focus

I found an older version (the non-DG lens). This is a great lens, I use it with my Canon 70-200 on my 2nd body a 40D and I use this lens on my 7D with a 1.4 so I cover a range of 70 to about 440. The 1.4 works great the 2x seem to hunt. Image quality is outstanding a perfect lens. The downside - very heavy I use it on a tri-pod and hand hold the 70-200 Canon.

Feb 14, 2010
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Scott Sewell
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Registered: Dec 8, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 8574
Review Date: Oct 1, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,650.00

 
Pros: Zoom range is great for sports, great value, quick and quiet AF; solid, sturdy build; sharp images with good color. Feel the same about this lens as I did back in '04 when I had my first copy.
Cons:
A bit on the heavy side if you want to hand-hold; a bit too small and awkward when using a monopod (compared to something like a 400/f2.8).

Now that I have used this lens again, I think I have figured out how to describe the IQ and some of the focusing issues some might experience with the lens.

First, this lens is a little finicky...if you don't have good technique for following sports action, you might be disappointed and blame the lens. I find I have to ride the AF (using the * button) continually with the lens, where with the 400/f2.8 I can tap and it will catch up a little quicker. I don't believe the AF on the Sigma is slower, but it just seems to perform better when focus remains locked on the subject as one shoots through a sequence.

Where I use to use my 400/f2.8 and a 70-200/f2.8 for field sports such as soccer and football, I am now using the 120-300 instead of the 70-200. The Sigma does get a little heavy carrying over the shoulder all day, but the zoom range is a nice complement to the 400.


Oct 1, 2009
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Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 EX DG HSM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
93 328168 Nov 1, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
82% of reviewers $2,114.63
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.31
9.50
9.1
120_300_1_


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