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Sigma 120-300 2.8 os vs Canon 100-400 is

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Thread started 25 May 2012 (Friday) 13:36   
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slp530
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Hi All.

I have had the good fortune of been promoted, so i would like to treat myself to a new lens before my wife spends it all.
For many months i have been toying between the sigma and the canon. I mainly shoot my daughter on her cross country and horse trials with a 70-200 f4 (non is). I find i need the extra reach (to reduce the cropping).
So i am going for one of the above. Is it worth the extra ££'s for the sigma with the 1.4 extender which will give me constant f4 or does the canon more than match up. I really like the idea of a 2.8 as i sometimes shoot indoors, but is it worth the extra. I have been looking at the Sigma 120-300 thread and love the photos.
Any thoughts would be much appreciated. Thanks for your time.
Steve

Post #1, May 25, 2012 13:36:02




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arentol
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The Sigma with extender will provide superior IQ (use f/4.5 to maximize it). The IS is better as well for when you need that. The Sigma will do far better indoors as well. I can't recommend it enough.

That being said, there are some downsides. The size and weight of the Sigma is considerably greater. You will need a decent monopod or tripod to use it for very long. Auto focus may be a bit slower as well, so while you will still get tons of shots, but might miss more than you would with the 100-400 (though this is offset by the ones you get being better looking). It also costs a lot more, but you know that.

I have to ask though, have you considered the 70-200 IS II + both of the new mark III TCs, 1.4x and 2x? You could sell the 70-200 you have now and it would cost about halfway between the price of the 100-400 and the 120-300. That setup sounds like the perfect balance for your purposes to me, letting you shoot in all the conditions you described with the reach or speed you really need.

Post #2, May 25, 2012 13:49:12


5D3 | Rokinon 14 f/2.8 | 16-35L II | TS-E 24L | Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 | Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 | Voigtlander 40 f/2.0 | Σ 50 f/1.4 | MP-E 65 | 70-200 2.8L IS II | Σ 85 f/1.4 | Zeiss 100 f/2 | Σ 120-300 f/2.8 OS | 580 EX II | 430 EX II | Fuji X10 | OM-D E-M5 | http://www.mikehjphoto​.com/external link
*****Lenses For Saleexternal link*****

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slp530
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Hi Arentol.
Thanks for taking the time to reply.
I did consider the 70-200 mark II + extenders, but is is really nice to take the f4 out and about when shooting general photo's and don't need the reach (or attention). The 2x would give me 400mm but with the sigma i could reach 600mm at 2x and that is very tempting. The weight should not be to bad at the moment, goodness knows in a few years.

Post #3, May 25, 2012 13:58:31 as a reply to arentol's post 9 minutes earlier.




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artyman
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I use the Sigma with a 2X manily for birds, it's a good lens, though if you are thing f2.8 indoors isn't 120-300mm a bit long :) Main downside is the weight, performance is good in all areas.

Post #4, May 25, 2012 14:53:46


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NigelB
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The 100-400 was my first L and got me some great shots. However once I got the 120-300mm Sigma, the non OS in fact, I rarely used the 100-400. (Incidentally mine is the shot on the Sigma website of the lion cub), I use it with the x2 and the x1.4 and it works well with both, though you lose a little more IQ with the x2.

You do need to take into account that on the canon you can focus wide, pull to zoom and its still in focus. The optics of the Sigma mean you would have to refocus after zooming in. Not the end of the world but something you should be prepared for.

The only thing I have that beats it is the Canon EF 300mm F.2,8 Mark II, but it doesn't beat it by a huge amount for more than twice the price and less flexibility. Although the canon is a fair bit longer than the Sigma's quoted 300m. The sigma is sharp, but if you do the math it isn't quite F/2.8 at 300mm, but it is close and it is fast enough.

I also have the 70-200 f4 is and keep it for exactly the same convenience and weight reason as you.

One caveat, get them to let you check it in store and make sure that the micro-focus adjustment has enough range to let you hit calibration. (as long as its focusing short at -20 and long at +20 you know you have the range. The reason I say this is one I tried needed +20 and still wasn't quite enough adjustment. The last thing you want to do is get it home and find you need to send it and your camera to sigma to get it calibrated,

Other than that I would treat yourself and enjoy!

Hope that helps.
Nigel

Post #5, May 25, 2012 19:44:52 as a reply to artyman's post 4 hours earlier.




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Sirrith
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NigelB wrote in post #14485403external link
You do need to take into account that on the canon you can focus wide, pull to zoom and its still in focus. The optics of the Sigma mean you would have to refocus after zooming in. Not the end of the world but something you should be prepared for.

That is not actually correct AFAIK, the 100-400 isn't parfocal so you would also have to refocus after zooming.

Post #6, May 25, 2012 22:55:38


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Trique ­ Daddi
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I would love to have the Sigma for football and soccer! The 70-200 is on the short side and my 100-400 is on the "dark side". I use the 100-400 for wildlife and day time shooting. I have talked to guys on the feild that love thier Sigma's!

Happy Shopping!

Post #7, May 25, 2012 23:33:29


Canon 7D, 40D, 20D, CANON 100-400mm IS 4.5/5.6L, Canon 70-200mm 2.8L, Canon 50mm 1.8, Canon 100mm 2.8 macro, Kenko Extension Tubes, Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS, 580EX II Flash,Gittos MH 5580 monopod, Thinktank Airport Takeoff.

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cacawcacaw
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Choices, choices, choices. I was considering upgrading to the Sigma 50-500 just to avoid lens swaps but then I'm wondering if I'd be better off with the small 70-200 f/4 plus a 1.4 extender. Or, if I should be looking at the terribly expensive (relative to my stuff 12-300 2.8 plus a doubler.

Is there really any good way to quantify the differences, or is it really just a matter of rolling the dice and going with your gut? I like my 150-500 and I'm a bit reluctant to depend on anything shorter.

Post #8, May 25, 2012 23:48:33


For Sale: Canon 7D with Tokina 12-24mm, Canon 17-55mm, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.4, and 150-500mm, 580EX.

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woos
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The 100-400mm will be sharper than the 150-500mm , IMHO. I had one it was super sharp on the 400mm end.

The 100-400mm: Is very very sharp at the 400mm end if you get a good copy--almost as good as the 400mm 5.6 prime--or honestly, as good, in the center anyway. Super good. Not so great at 100mm wide open though, that's for sure--lacks contrast...stop down. It's also extremely light for what it is. However, the tripod foot is TINY, you can't get your fingers around it unless you have tiny tiny hands, so it's a pain to carry imho--put in bag, on tripod, or use a black rapid style strap. The AF is good, great with the limiter. The IS is kinda crappy. =p Examples: tons on my site and tons in the thread here.

The 50-500mm OS. The copy I had was *excellent* in the center at 500mm f/8. I was using on a D800. The OS is quite superior to the Canon's IS, imho. The AF is similar, maybe a tad slower and less accurate...The range is nice, and the macro capability is great. I had to return mine because it had electrical gremlins. :( It's maybe not QUITE as sharp on the long end as the Canon, but you have a little more reach to play with--it's a wash. It seemed to have a lot more CA and purple fringing than the 100-400mm. The CA can be removed in post, though. It's astonishingly good from about 135mm to about 250mm, heh---f/8 corner to corner sharpness on D800---I was...surprised...to say the least. 50mm a bit softer on extreme corners with a lot of CA. 500mm corners are very soft.

Some have reported low contrast from this lens, but mine was sharp and contrasty...examples from the brief time i had the 50-500mm...this was on a full frame cam:

Does okay at longer distances:
http://amanathia.zenfo​lio.com/img/s3/v40/p52​1150352-6.jpgexternal link

Extremely heavy crop, here...sharp and contrasty, huh?
http://amanathia.zenfo​lio.com/img/s3/v39/p22​7443794-6.jpgexternal link

Has no issues pulling feather detail out!
http://amanathia.zenfo​lio.com/img/s1/v48/p30​6184843-6.jpgexternal link

Downsides of the 50-500mm OS: Might take more tries to get a good copy (I was sad when I had to return mine, it caused the camera to display f/90 and lock up!) It's quite a bit heavier than the 100-400mm. However, it's also easier to carry because the tripod foot makes a great handle, I found it easier to carry than the Canon.

120-300mm OS: First copy I had didn't auto focus. Traded for another, it seems great. Seems to be in another league from the 100-400 and 50-500...it seems more similar to a 300mm 2.8 prime honestly. It's MUCH larger and heavier than the other two lenses. Fortunately the weight isn't out away from you like it is on say, a 600mm f4, so it seems quite easy to hand hold and carry. IQ is very, very, good. Haven't tried with a TC yet. The OS is good, I'd believe the 4 stop claim. AF is good, seems to be very accurate (this is on a Nikon though I dunno if that changes much), speed wise it's about the same as the 100-400mm. Maybe a little faster--but a little slower than if you had used the limiter? Meh. Not as fast as, say, the Canon 300mm f2.8 IS prime. At 300mm it lets in more than four times as much light as the 50-500mm. Corners seem incredibly good stopped down a little. Think of this as more of a 70-200mm f2.8 IS mark II that zooms to 300mm. I'd say do it if you can, and can stomach the weight. If not, decide if you want light weight, worry free sharpness, or larger range, better OS, useful macro mode, but maybe a bit more trouble to get a good copy with the Sigma. (Please, I'm not bashing Sigma here, I love them and love their stuff, just going off of my experience).

Post #9, May 26, 2012 01:24:03


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NigelB
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Sirrith wrote in post #14486061external link
That is not actually correct AFAIK, the 100-400 isn't parfocal so you would also have to refocus after zooming.

Sirrith you are correct, it isn't parafocal, perhaps I should have been more specific. (it was 2am!). Under most operating conditions when using the 100-400 if you focus wide, pull zoom and hit the shutter you will have virtually no focus lag.
(I have actually measured the POF and DOF difference between auto-focused wide, then switching to MF and zooming. The difference is actually dependent on distance to subject and your microfocus adjustment setting (probably why there is a wide and tele setting in 5D3 and 1DX) I won't bore you with the details but on an object at 100 feet the focus point between wide and tele is relatively small, thus the re-focus time is small.

Interestingly when you do the same test on the Sigma, the point of focus isn't that different, but in practice (perhaps a contributory factor is the pull zoom and I am sure technique on moving objects has a bearing) the Sigma focussing the larger mass of glass does not always seem to keep up. Consequently, I have found that nailing the second zoomed shot, at least in good light, I had a higher percentage of keepers on the 100-400, at least I did when I first had the 120-300 I haven't checked specifically recently. This 'issue' is supported by some who have said that the Sigma has some issues for fast moving sports.

Hope this helps.

Regards
NigelB

Post #10, May 26, 2012 17:39:05




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NigelB
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woos wrote in post #14486486external link
The 100-400mm will be sharper than the 150-500mm , IMHO. I had one it was super sharp on the 400mm end.

I agree with Woos 100-400 is sharper than the 150-500. And the 50-500mm

Post #11, May 26, 2012 17:43:55




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elrey2375
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Having used both, I would lean towards the 120-300. Sigma makes a good lens. I think you'd be pleased with it and it doesn't hurt that you have the constant aperture throughout the zoom range. With the 100-400, you're already topped out by the time you get to 250mm or so, that's not an exact number but it's somewhere around that.

Post #12, May 26, 2012 17:52:40


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watt100
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NigelB wrote in post #14488945external link
I agree with Woos 100-400 is sharper than the 150-500. And the 50-500mm

sure, many reviews and comparisons show the 100-400 significantly sharper, The 120-300 2.8 looks nice but at $3,000 you got to really want f2.8

Post #13, May 26, 2012 18:05:20




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jhayesvw
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I have a 100-400 and love it.
However, I would also like to try a 120-300 2.8 OS.
they seem to take a 2x TC very well.
who wouldnt want a 600 5.6 that is relatively short and only 6lbs or so.

if you can get a good sigma GO FOR IT!

Post #14, May 26, 2012 22:38:45 as a reply to watt100's post 4 hours earlier.


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lucasmcd
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I just got back from a digital show at our exhibition centre here in Melbourne and I got to play with all sorts of goodies :D one of them was the Sigma.

I really liked the Sigma and am now debating between the Sigma with a T/C and the Canon 100-400 , the Sigma was a lot heavier but it just felt right on the camera :confused:

Post #15, May 27, 2012 02:14:42 as a reply to jhayesvw's post 3 hours earlier.


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