A while ago i stumbled upon a Sigma 120-300mm (f2.8 ex dg apo hsm). I already have the Canon 300mm f/4 IS L so I thought some comparing would be nice as I know the Canon is a great and sharp lens!
First of you can see that the Sigma is bigger.... really bigger! It weighs in at 2.6Kg compared to Canon at 1.2Kg so if you looking for something light this is not the lens for you.
What do you get for carrying 1.4Kg extra? Zoom with fixed aperture at f/2.8..... Like all gear geeks I love f/2.8.... And for my type of shooting a 120-300 zoom will make more sense than a fixed 300mm.
But without sharp images it doesn't matter so how sharp is the Sigma? At first I thought I would be disappointed big time... So I arranged a test indoors shoot from a tripod at 300mm.
Sigma 120-300 at 300mm f/4 1/2s ISO-100 on Canon 1D Mark IV
Canon 300mm at f/4 1/2s ISO-100 on Canon 1D Mark IV
Same pictures but cropped:
The Canon lens is a bit sharper but not much. And it's a prime lens to... so I am happy.
Sigma 120-300 at f/2.8 and cropped
At f/2.8 you can see that the pictures gets a bit soft but not unusable. I took one more with my 1D mark IV at the dog and this time at 260mm instead of 300mm. Hairs really show sharpness and here you can see that it performs pretty well at f/2.8.
Sigma 120-300 at 260mm f/2.8 1/125s handheld ISO-800
Yesterday I was out shooting some ice racing and tested out the lens in a real scenario.
Sigma 120-300 at 300mm 1/2000s f/4 ISO-400
Sigma 120-300 at 300mm 1/1600s f/2.8 ISO-640
I am happy with the result!
One big disadvantage is the lack of image stabilization which the Canon have... So why not try some panning with the Sigma at 300mm 1/40s f/11.
Sigma 120-300 at 300mm 1/40s f/10 ISO-100
Not tack sharp but at 300mm 1/40s and only trying a couple of shoots... I can live without the image stabilization when shooting sports. If I would shoot birds or indoors it would be necessary.
So long I am happy and more will come!
Have a nice day and work that shutter!