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Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 EX DG HSM

Review Date: Sep 9, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,875.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Value, build quality, sharpness, contrast, good zoom range for sports
Tracking with 1D MKII

I have been very pleased with this Sigma. Last year I swore off ever buying another Sigma after a less than satisfactory experience with a 24-70. A close encounter with this lens’s little brother, the 100-300 f/4 convinced me that Sigma could indeed make an excellent glass so I gave this one a shot.

In most respects it equals my Canon 70-200 f/2.8. There are three areas where it trails the L: ability to track moving objects on my 1D MKII, it seems to add a very faint yellowish cast and, to a very minor degree, sharpness. The different in sharpness is only apparent when making very large prints or 100 % crops .

As an outdoor sports lens it is without equal…because no one else makes a zoom in this range, sharpness, speed, ect. Primes rule in landscapes, stills and portraits but action sports BEG for a fast zoom. You just miss too many shots without a zoom. IF Canon made a similar white lens in this range it would no doubt cost twice as much, weigh more and could not possibly be much better but would likely be a little sharper.

If, and until, a better sports zoom lens comes along this is the fat cat daddy. It isn’t perfect but as the standard bearer by default it is a 10.

Sigma 100-300mm f4 EX IF HSM APO

Review Date: Jun 17, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $899.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, fast, excellent color and contrast, well built. price
HSM is not quite as fans as a Canon L, Softens a little over 250mm @f/4

I have no doubt this lens is pound for pound, dollar for dollar the best buy on the planet. I recently upgraded to the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 and planned to sell the f/4. I just couldn’t bring my self to sell it. I sold my Canon 300mm f/4 IS instead. I enjoy using it so much and (light permitting) the images I get from this lens are among the best I have taken. Some here seem to object to the 3 lb weight but I find it is relatively easy to hand hold for short periods. To my eye below 250mm or so it is as sharp as any zoom I have ever used.

I have to say, based on my experience with this Sigma, I purchased a 24-70 Sigma zoom. That was a very disappointing experience but this one has been nothing but joy.