Sun 30-Dec-12 07:05 PM | edited Sun 30-Dec-12 07:07 PM by Lunastar
Just an FYI for anyone interested in the Sigma 120-300/2.8 zoom lens. The new and improved model will be available very soon, by the end of March at latest according to an email I received from a Sigma tech.
This lens apparently has many advancements over the current model-smoother tripod ring, metal lens hood (replaces the prone to crack plastic hood) and improved OS among others. The optics were already excellent and if they improved that it will be a top flight lens.
The upcoming introduction of the new version means you can get the current one with a $200 instant rebate in the US. This means that the price is $2999 from B&H. The rebate is good through Jan. 15.
Gary in SE Michigan, USA. Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the camera. D4, D810, D300 (720nm IR conversion), D90, F6, FM3a (black), FM2n (chrome) YashicaMat 124, Graflex Speed Graphic 4x5 My Nikonians Gallery & Our Chapter Gallery
I purchased this lens and it is great but quite heavy! Even shot some photos hand held(and Knee held) from a kayak. Question- Does the Nikon TC-17E 1.7X teleconverter work with this lens? I have a D700 Nikon body. The warnings by Nikon about compatiblity have scared me a bit.
I have wanted one for years and kicked myself for getting the Nikon 70-200 over this one. Had i known then what I know now, I would have gotten the 120-300.
Thanks for the heads up on the new lens. I'll wait to see how well it performs compared to the older one. OS is not something I use normally (i shoot sports), so improved OS is not a selling point to me.
If the IQ is better I'd lean that way. If equal I'd probably look to save a couple hundred on the older version.
Sat 19-Jan-13 02:15 PM | edited Sun 20-Jan-13 03:16 PM by Winterfell
I have the first generation. The huge difference with the new one is the addition of the focus limiter. That was the one thing they senselessly omitted from the first iteration of the 120-300 OS. Optics are identical. And they are very very good. I'm jealous of anyone who gets the new version - sports and wildlife shooters are going to be very happy with this lens.
The latest (currently available) OS version had a problem with focusing. When you angled the lens up about 45 degrees (for birds in trees) the lens would not focus. The motor would operate but the focus would not change. This happened to the one I bought and I returned it. I also read of others having this problem.
Hopefully they redesigned the focus system.
Besides that, I thought it was a fantastic, but heavy, lens.
Well that Metal Hood costs 600.00 more. The old version sells for 3199.00 in Canada and the new one is selling for 3799.00. Hope it's sharper that the last version. Me I'm going to try to find an old version before they sell out.
Well I ordered the old version for 2784.00 Can. Both the old and new model have 23 elements in 18 groups so optically it would seem the same. I think this lens was under priced and Sigma finally realized it.
Fri 22-Feb-13 01:15 AM | edited Fri 22-Feb-13 01:17 AM by InsaneO
>Well I ordered the old version for 2784.00 Can. Both the old >and new model have 23 elements in 18 groups so optically it >would seem the same. >I think this lens was under priced and Sigma finally realized >it. > >Regards > >Neil > Optically new lens is exactly the same as the old one. New one has a lot more features and that is why it costs more. I was thinking hard about selling my 1 year old 120-300mm and getting the new one but then I remembered that when I was shooting Canon 70-200mm and 100-400mm all those damn switches drove me nuts especially when I inadvertently bumped one of them. Plus I had one before too (non-OS)with the metal hood and did not like it. It was getting loose on me all the time. The new lens has the same metal hood. So I decided to keep my current lens.
I'm glad I joined this forum and read this thread today. I was about to purchase this lens but was unaware of the new model about to be released. The only complaint I'd heard about the current version was occasional focus issues so if the new versions improves in that area it may by worth the extra $600. When you factor in the other new features I definitely think it's worth it to me to wait.
I'm going to shoot from the hip and say that I'm not sure that can be accurate. The glass in any 300mm f2.8 optic is large and heavy. I can't see how they can shave 3 lbs off of it, especially with a zoom that has so many elements.
Your link shows a photo of the current model and not the one to be released this month. I assume the specs listed there are for this "previous" model as well. The image I uploaded shows the differences in the 2 models. I'm not saying the specs I listed are correct and yours aren't; I am saying yours doesn't appear to be the new model and thus can't be trusted.
<<I'm not saying the specs I listed are correct and yours aren't; I am saying yours doesn't appear to be the new model...>>
I beg to differ. Please see the pre-order link below clearly showing the new lens, which can be seen as identical to that shown on the Sigma UK site. The only error is that the price quoted on the Sigma site is the previous (current) OS version.
What jwstl is saying is the link you posted previously is the older version and he is correct. The older version has EX and the newer does not. Now the link you just posted in this comment I am replyng to is the newer one. Put the two pictures together and you will see a difference.
<<think its because the newer one doesn't extend when it zooms, its all done inside.>>
To my knowledge no version of this lens ever extended when it zoomed.
Re: EX classification. I think there's something wrong about this and I am not going to comment further as I really don't understand what's going on with the lens descriptors on various retail sites and in fact Sigma themselves! It's described as a professional lens yet does not bear the EX badge and on the WEX UK site under the specification states it's a lens suitable for an APS-C sensor cameras! See: http://www.wexphotographic.com/buy-sigma-120-300mm-f2-8-dg-os-hsm-lens-nikon-fit/p1534895
Obviously there is confusion and I don't quite understand what's going on.
<<I am excited to rent this lens and try it out. I can't afford to buy it.>>
Many can't so you're not alone. Unlike the new Nikon 80-400mm which appears overpriced, Sigma do have a reputation of lowering prices quicker than Nikon do. I have a gut feeling that Sigma may have produced a gem with this lens. The only problem being that currently it is only £500 less than the Nikon 300mm f2.8 VRII, but of course that's prime. If that lens reduces to £2000 in few years and if the reviews are good, I'd seriously think of buying one.
I know primes are supposed to have better image quality but I would much rather have the zoom. Zoom lens IQ is getting to the point where it is very close or even matches primes. I bet if you put 2 images next to each other, one taken with each lens, you wouldn't probably know which one is which. Maybe only if you pixel peep. Sigma seems to really be stepping up their game. Their new 35mm 1.4 is getting rave reviews. Some saying it is just as good as, or even better than(gasp)the Nikon 35mm 1.4. So if that is any indication, I have pretty high confidence in the new 120-300 2.8 as well. Only time will tell for sure. I definitely would suggest renting first even for anyone who can afford it.
Fri 08-Mar-13 09:45 AM | edited Fri 08-Mar-13 09:45 AM by blw
> Their new 35mm 1.4 is getting rave reviews. Some saying it is just as good as, or even better than(gasp)the Nikon 35mm 1.4.
Over at LensRentals.com, Roger Cicala measured samples of the Nikon 35/f1.4 as well as the Sigma 35/f1.4. The Sigma is the highest resolution 35mm prime he's tested, from any vendor. And Roger has multiple copies of each, so we can't write this off by saying that he got the one good one on the planet. See this.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
<<Yeah, I think Nikon, Canon, and Sony, should feel a bit nervous about Sigma's new line of lenses. Sigma seems to be in it to win it.>>
Indeed they should. They have a spring in their step I think, especially after the long drawn law suit over the Nikon VR issue brought by Nikon which Sigma won!
I have two of their lenses now, the 50-500mm OS and the 105mm f2.8 macro OS. Both lenses are excellent and the build quality of the new lenses is superb. It's only when I took the plunge that I realised what I had missed. I still buy Nikon and still will if I can, but some of their latest offerings are frankly just too expensive for me.
I just came across a good deal on the DG version, non OS, used, $1800.
Without a focus limiter, would this mean it would hunt a lot?
How was the non-OS sharpness?
For most uses I intend: - manual focus Theatre video wide open and at f/4 and doesn't need fast AF; - auxiliary to my 500VR for close-in Owl/Falcon BIF wildlife lens at high SS but needs fast AF; - mammal lens with 1.4TC on a second body to my 500VR. I would prefer OS for this use case but AF doesn't have to be lightning fast. Currently I use 70-200 VRII and TC17 for this; Would the DG non-OS be good enough? If sharpness is not good on the non-OS I would probably go for one of the OS models, maybe the newest with limiter?
One of my friends has the last non-OS version and I've used it a fair amount. The AF is fast, but not as fast as the fastest Nikkors - it definitely does not match the 400/f2.8 or 70-200/f2.8 AFS VR-II. But it's pretty fast, unless you get into a hunt situation. I've used the lens a fair amount but I don't get hunts very often, a function of using generally top AF systems (D3), subject matter (mostly motorsports or dog trials) and experience. AF with the Sigma 1.4x TC is decent but not great. AF with the Sigma 2x TC is mediocre-.
As far as sharpness, this is his #2 lens as a working pro - the other is the 600/f4, and I don't think anyone can pick out which is which except from the perspective. In my own files from the lens I think it's closer to the 70-200/f2.8 AFS VR-I than the 400/f2.8.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
It looks the price has dropped on the current OS version. B&H was selling it for $2999 and today I noticed it's $2799. If you are interested in the earlier, non OS version, KEH has one Like New- for $1600.
>I am pretty sure that there were at least 2 non OS versions. >One that has the DG designation and an earlier version >without the DG designation. > >1. EX >2. EX DG >3. EX DG OS >4. 2013 DG OS w/ USB>
That is correct. I had/have the first 3. The number 3 is the best one out of all of them in sharpness. Number 4 will be exactly the same in everything but will add metal hood and more buttons plus the USB cradle. Optical formula and OS remains the same according to Sigma rep I talked to at CES.
The problem with AF when tilted was in the early production samples and was fixed.
There are will be no EX lenses anymore. Originally EX was actually designated for finish on the lens but everyone were thinking that was for Extra and it came with 4 years of warranty in US.
All new lenses F2.8 will have 4 years of warranty in US.
DG stands for Digital lens coating. Even though DC lenses also have this coating Sigma does not put DG on these lenses.
The price on the Sigma site is MSRP. At least in US that price is not a street price which is much lower than MSRP. Nikon and Canon publish MAP prices which are about the same as street prices.
And finally, all Sigma lenses designed/announced after 2010 are excellent more or less.
I have 35mm, 85mm F1.4 70-200mm F2.8 OS 120-300mm F2.8 OS 150mm OS macro Absolutely in love with all of them.
Had 12-24mm II but sold it during conversion to Nikon but looks like I might get it again.
>Originally EX was actually designated for finish on the lens...
Not true. During the life of the "EX" designation, it denoted Sigma's upper-end lens range. These may have had some differences in finish from their non-EX lenses, but that was not the reason.
To quote directly from the October 2011 Sigma Lens Catalogue...
Sigma's professional-grade prime lenses and wide-aperture zoom lenses that maintain their maximum f-stop regardless of zoom position
...and this from the November 2005 Catalogue...
The excellent features of these Sigma lenses, such as new optical and mechanical design concept, superior performance, perfect handling, ultra compact design, durability etc., are symbolised by the EX mark
>And finally, all Sigma lenses designed/announced after 2010 are >excellent more or less.
Many of those designed before 2010 were excellent too.
Sun 21-Apr-13 06:58 PM | edited Sun 21-Apr-13 07:05 PM by InsaneO
>>Originally EX was actually designated for finish on the >lens... > >Not true. During the life of the "EX" designation, >it denoted Sigma's upper-end lens range. These may have had >some differences in finish from their non-EX lenses, but that >was not the reason. > >To quote directly from the October 2011 Sigma Lens >Catalogue... > >EX Lens > >Sigma's professional-grade prime lenses and wide-aperture zoom >lenses that maintain their maximum f-stop regardless of zoom >position > >...and this from the November 2005 Catalogue... > >EX Lens: > >The excellent features of these Sigma lenses, such as new >optical and mechanical design concept, superior performance, >perfect handling, ultra compact design, durability etc., are >symbolised by the EX mark > >>And finally, all Sigma lenses designed/announced after >2010 are >>excellent more or less. > >Many of those designed before 2010 were excellent too.
But on their website was Q&A and the answer was EX lenses are named EX for finish. Notice how newest lenses are no longer EX. And read this: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/27824464 I have also seen this. Plus numerous talks with Sigma reps confirmed that too. So it is true. And not all upper end Sigma lenses had EX designation either. For example 12-24mm EX mark I is not upper end by any imagination. Neither was 15-30mm EX for example.
Removing EX designation allowed Sigma to shorten warranty on some lenses like 50-500mm and 12-24mm to 2 years from 4 years here in US. As far as performance of lenses before 2010 it was hit or miss. Mostly miss. That is how Sigma got bad reputation in the first place. Plus problems with focusing even right now.
But sometimes before 2010 they purchased all new equipment according to Sigma's president I talked to (through translator, he does not speak English) for making and testing, plus they developed new glass somewhat similar to Canon's fluorite (FLD) plus improvement on SLD and that is what made them so much better.
That is why prices on most NEW lenses are much higher than the old versions. Old version do not have FLD glass or improved SLD glass. For example my first non-DG 120-300mm was $1800. And my DG was $2200 but the OS with FLD jumped to $3200. No, it is not $1000 more for OS. Usually OS versions came out at most $600 more than non-OS. 150mm macro OS was only $300 more. 70-200mm OS was $600 more at start but now only $400 more. They even managed to put OS and FLD glass in 18-200mm for $500 from start but now selling for less than $400. You might have gotten some lenses with decent performance before 2010 but they were certainly not on par with OEM or even better than OEM in some cases.
Sun 21-Apr-13 10:13 PM | edited Sun 21-Apr-13 10:19 PM by InsaneO
>>So it is true. > >Nope. The different finish was a consequence of the >lens being EX, not the cause. > >I suggest we move on...
Nope, EX was nothing more than a finish because 12-24mm, 15-30mm 150-500mm 80-400mm and some others were definitely not Pro lenses with EX finish. Yet they all had extended warranty. Later on Sigma only put EX on constant aperture lenses. Even after 2010 design change some lenses still had old EX finish even though it was changed later to the current finish. I had 50-500mm OS with the old EX finish. My new 50-500mm OS has new smooth finish.
And finally read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigma_Corporation It says EX — "Excellence", EX-finish, high performance series. If 12-24mm was high performance why is it not EX now? And why all new Sigma lenses high performance or not have the same smooth finish?
So move on as much as you like but I know I am correct.
I think adding OS was a great update for this lens. It is just small enough for limited time hand holding with fast shutter speeds. The OS extends the ability to handhold down to moderately low shutter speeds.
These are the two versions and spec data I'm referring to below. I know there was a prior non-OS version, but whether there were only three, I don't know? You realize, if this was a Nikon lens, we could check the complete lineage on KR's site.
>You realize, if this was a Nikon lens, we could check the complete >lineage on KR's site.
For Nikkor lens chronology and other details, this ste contains as much information as anyone could need - with the addeed bonus of being perfectly reliable. It doesn't provide as many laughs as the site you mention, though...
I can find no confirmation from Sigma that the new release 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM weighs 3.5 lbs. All of the Sigma specs that I can find say Weight – TBD, as does B&H, 'Not Specified By Manufacturer'.
<<All of the Sigma specs that I can find say Weight – TBD, as does B&H, 'Not Specified By Manufacturer'.>>
Wex (UK) photographic states that the current (last) lens, weighs 2600g (5.73 Ibs). The pre-order new lens is stated as weighing in at 2950g (6.5 Ibs)and this is confirmed on the Sigma UK website. That's heavy
Regarding the "EX" marking then that is not designated as such on the Sigma site. I'm wondering if they have dropped it in favour of "professional" in their description. Strange though, even stranger at the price!
I have just checked the Sigma US web site and the new 120-300mm OS is definitely designated "EX". The full description is 120-300mm F2.8 EX DG OS APO HSM. The price appears to have fallen already with one retailer in the UK offering it at a £300 (US$450) reduction in price.
Sat 09-Mar-13 05:27 PM | edited Sat 09-Mar-13 05:57 PM by richardd300
If you look on the link I left it comes up with what I assume to be the new lens. Both links, Castle Cameras and Sigma US show it as both the higher price and the EX designation, although the new lens shown on WEX does not have the gilding. In addition, the link sites specify the weight as 2950g the current model is only 2600g. The links again are:
The link you provided at Sigma USA is the previous version, not the new one. I linked to both versions - the previous one is listed at $4,700 and 2,950g, the new one at $5,200 with no weight given.
The link at Castle Cameras is a bit of a mixture, since the image is of the old version and the title is a combination of new and old. I tend not to trust retailer websites too much - it's easy for them to make a mistake unless they really know what is what
Ok. You have to admit it is totally confusing how Sigma market a now past lens on their website when the retailers are advertising pre-orders for the new one! In the case of the UK the retailer pre-order new lens is £3259-3599, so in real terms the new lens in the UK costs around the same in numbers of pounds as it does in dollars, that is $4888-5338 by today's £ to $ currency conversion.
Anyway, I now really do give up on this. It is quite clear that we folks over here really do live in rip off Britain.
I was discussing lenses with my good friend who is a pro photographer in another city and I mentioned I might be getting this lens. As it turns out, he has been using one of the earlier version on his Canon DSLRs and loves it. Once he tried out and used the 120-300 he says the Canon 70-200 and 300 2.8 sat on the shelf. They eventually sold the Canon lenses and bought another 120-300. He recommends it very highly.
Sat 16-Mar-13 04:08 PM | edited Sat 16-Mar-13 04:10 PM by balzanto
I picked up the OS version of this lens and 1.4x from a fellow Nikonian. It really impressed me in a poorly lit skating rink. This shot was shot with a D700 @ 1/640, f2.8, ISO2500. I'm really anxious to get outside with this lens when spring finally gets to Chicago.
Does anyone know what the current status is on this new Sigma Lense. I was following the news earlier, but have not heard any thing new on it's avaliability. Was there a problem with the design or production of this lense?
I’ve been watching for info on this lens too. I saw pricing ($3599.00 U.S.) and availability for early May. Then B&H Photo projected shipping May 20, I believe. Now their site just says ‘new item available for pre-order’.
Just a rumor, we would need some of our UK members to confirm. Looking at the London CameraWorld site, it looks like it **(may)** be available, but I can’t really verify.
CameraWorld lists Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 DG OS HSM under new equipment, the short designation - it should include |S to remove all doubt. It looks like it's available now. The price is also expensive (2799 GBP) so it may be the new lens.
I was fortunate to have a try of the new 120-300mm last week when Sigma had a stand at a local show. It was fitted to a Nikon D300 and I was allowed to take it to the shop door and managed a few shots of birds, signage etc. The focusing was very, very slick and the viewfinder very bright. It's a quiet lens, a bit quieter than my 50-500mm OS. It is heavy and I would guess handholding would be tiring for anymore than a few hours, if that. I thought it looked and felt like a very credible lens.
Incidentally, I did ask Sigma if they had any plans to resurrect the 80-400mm in reply to Nikon. They said "not that we are aware of".
Time has passed and I am firmly on the fence now. There are the various 120-300's to consider, the new Nikon 80-400 VRII which is gaining extremely fast in my estimation whereas at first I wasn't all that keen, as well as an inkling that by the time I am ready a 300 f/4 VR would be available and a great tool. There are some specific situations I get into that my 500 f/4 is unwieldy. In this case last weekend I hiked above tree line to seek out Dusky Grouse, lugging the big gun all the way up at considerable effort, but when push came to shove I pulled out my 70-200 VRII with TC14 due to maneuverability reasons on what was a very steep slope. It would have been dicey balancing the 500 on monopod and shifting my weight and positions quickly. I would have had to back off considerably had I used the 500 f/4 and may have been too tight in some situations. So I need a medium length tool.
The below is on a D800E, some quick grab shots with minimal PP adjustments. I'm not finished sorting out the images I like best and am rebuilding my Capture NX2 saved actions now that I have a new 3TB hard drive and SSD.
Anyhow, I would like a medium length lens for my kit, and certainly all of the above would qualify. It's too bad the used 120-300 I mentioned above was in another city so I couldn't easily test it out for myself. Anyhow, I'm back to waiting mode, my loonies and twonies are currently being saved for a D400
I happened to check local Kijiji last night and lo and behold there is a nearly new 120-300 OS for $2,350 which seems like a good price
Could I digress and asked if anyone has tried the NIKON TC14 on the Sigma 120-300? It's just that I already own a Nikon TC14 and TC17 so if I didn't have to invest in a Sigma TC so much the better. But it seems like guys always use the Sigma TC on the Sigma lens?
As you know your choice is limited Steve. The Nikon TC's won't fit due to the front element touching the Sigma rear element. That leaves either Sigma or Kenko. Personally and I have both the Nikon TC14 and the Kenko x1.4 DG Pro, I cannot discern a difference between them and suspect this may be the same between Sigma and Kenko too.