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Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Lens for Canon

B&H # SI120300C Mfr # 137101
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You Pay: $3,599.00
Product Highlights
  • Aperture Range: f/2.8-22
  • Fast Constant Maximum Aperture
  • Optical Stabilizer
  • Hyper Sonic AF Motor
  • Dust- and Splash-Proof Construction
  • FLD and SLD Lens Elements
  • Super Multi-Layer Coating
  • Compatible with Sigma USB Dock

The Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Lens for Canon is a telephoto zoom lens featuring a fast, constant f/2.8 maximum aperture. This lens is the first lens designed under Sigma's new Sports line of lenses, making it well-suited for fast-moving subjects such as wildlife, nature, aviation, racing, and other similar situations.

Featuring a dust- and splash-proof construction, this lens is ideally-suited for use in outdoor and adverse conditions. Its design features rubber focus and zoom rings as well as conveniently located mode switches to enhance usability with the lens. A built-in Optical Stabilizer provides a four-stop-equivalent reduction in the appearance of camera shake, helping to enable better handheld usage and low-light shooting. The Hyper Sonic AF Motor provides fast, smooth, and quiet auto focusing for faster performance that also benefits video recording.

This lens is also compatible with the Sigma USB Dock, which allows you to use the Sigma Pro Optimization software to fine-tune certain lens settings to your own shooting needs. The ability to limit focus range, alter the AF speed, and modify the OS system is afforded through this, as well as the ability to easily update the lens' firmware.

Sports Lens Line
This lens is the first lens produced as part of Sigma's Sports line, making it ideally-suited for capturing fast-moving action with high precision. Its telephoto-length zoom range and fast maximum aperture make it especially useful for sports photography as well as wildlife, birding, and other fast-paced applications. Also benefitting these shooting scenarios is a wide range of customizable functions availed through the use of the Sigma USB Dock.
Optimized Lens Design
Well-suited to outdoor photography, a dust- and splash-proof construction enables use of this lens in adverse conditions. Joint parts, such as the mount, focus and zoom rings, and switches, are sealed to provide this resistance and improve overall durability. Parts of the lens have also been optimally designed for more comfortable use, including textured rings and well-placed switches for more efficient operation. A brass bayonet mount is also used to increase the durability at this connection point, giving more strength and rigidity between the camera and lens system.

The lens construction integrates two FLD (F Low Dispersion) glass elements and one SLD (Super Low Dispersion) glass element to help reduce color aberrations and sagittal coma flare to improve overall image quality. Lens elements also feature a Super Multi-Layer Coating to reduce flare and ghosting, which helps to improve image contrast and color fidelity throughout the zoom range.
USB Dock Compatible
This lens is compatible with the Sigma USB Dock for fine-tuning and personalizing certain functions of the lens to fit your personal shooting style. A focus limiter can be set to constrain your lens' focusing distances to suit the distances at which you are shooting. Additionally, this lens features an inner focusing and zooming configuration so the physical length of your lens does not change during use; which greatly benefits the use of certain filters such as a polarizer.

The USB Dock also allows you to customize the speed at which the autofocus system performs, how active the Optical Stabilizer system is during shooting, and allows you to easily update the lens' firmware.
Optical Stabilizer
The built-in OS (Optical Stabilizer) system enables a reduction in the appearance of camera shake up to the equivalent of four stops, resulting in a long lens that can easily be used handheld and low-light conditions. The OS system is divided into two modes; one for general shooting applications, and one that is better suited for panning shots of moving subjects. The OS system can be further adjusted to suit your needs through the use of the USB Dock.
Hyper Sonic AF Motor
The HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) provides fast, quiet, and smooth auto focusing that is well-suited for use with video applications. This AF motor can also be manually overridden at any time by rotating the focusing ring, giving you the ability to fine-tune image sharpness through manual focusing.
Performance
Focal Length 120 - 300mm
Aperture Maximum: f/2.8
Minimum: f/22
Camera Mount Type Canon EF
Format Compatibility 35mm Film / Full-Frame Digital Sensor
DSLR (APS-C Sensor)
Angle of View 20.4° - 8.2°
Minimum Focus Distance 59.06" (150 cm)
Maximum Reproduction Ratio 1:8
Elements/Groups 23/18
Diaphragm Blades 9
Features
Image Stabilization Yes
Autofocus Yes
Tripod Collar Yes
Environmental
Physical
Filter Thread Front:105 mm
Dimensions (DxL) Approx. 4.78 x 11.46" (121.4 x 291 mm)
Weight 7.47 lb (3.39 kg)
Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Lens for Canon
  • Lens Case
  • Lens Hood
  • Front Lens Cap
  • Rear Lens Cap
  • Shoulder Strap
  • Tripod Socket
  • Limited 1-Year North and South America Warranty Against Manufacturing and Workmanship Defects.
  • Limited 3-Year U.S.A. Extended Warranty Extension Against Manufacturing and Workmanship Defects.
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    Sigma120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Lens for Canon
     
    4.2

    (based on 15 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (7)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (6)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (1)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (1)

    91%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Fast / accurate auto-focus (9)
    • Durable (7)
    • Strong construction (7)
    • Rugged (5)
    • Nice bokeh (4)

    Cons

    • Heavy (8)

    Best Uses

    • Sports/action (11)
    • Wildlife photos (5)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Photo enthusiast (4), Pro photographer (4)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (12)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    Sigma hits a home run

    I previously wrote a very positive review of the older OS version of this lens, which I ended up selling in order to purchase this new "Sport" version. Boy...Read complete review

    I previously wrote a very positive review of the older OS version of this lens, which I ended up selling in order to purchase this new "Sport" version. Boy am I glad I did.To start with, the finish and feel of the lens is fantastic. The focus and zoom rings are smooth with just the right amount of resistance. The newly designed lens hood is of much higher quality than the older plastic one, and uses both a bayonet and locking screw mechanism to attach. It also has a very nice rubberized ring on the front of the hood to absorb minor bumps. The tripod collar turns relatively smoothly and is removable (I find a small amount of silicone spray on a cloth, then wiped on the inside of the collar helps make it turn smoother). One thing I miss though is that the older tripod collar had a beveled bottom that bolted directly onto any Arca Swiss style tripod head. Unfortunately this new one is cut square, and I will be enlisting a machinist friend of mine to bevel cut the new collar for me at some point so it works like the older one.I have read online that optically this new version is the same as its predecessor, but I find it to be better overall (perhaps newer coatings?). This is especially the case wide open, and with the Canon 1.4x and 2x model II converters. Comparing images made with the Canon 300 2.8 IS I can see more of an obvious difference with the older 120-300 over the new one. The Sport lens still is not as sharp as the Canon, but it's still REALLY sharp, all the way through the zoom range (I mentioned in my other review the Canon 300 2.8 IS is the sharpest lens I've ever used). Performance of the 120-300 Sport with the Canon 1.4x II is so good in fact, that unless I need the 2.8 aperture or 120 range the converter is pretty much permanently attached (so if you don't have the $$$$$ for the new Canon 200-400 this is a REALLY GOOD alternative in my book). You do lose some optical quality with the converters, but the performance is on par with the Canon lens + Canon converter in my opinion. Vignetting wide open is minimal, and pretty much gone by f5.6. Chromatic aberration and distortion are also almost nonexistent.This new version is said to have weather sealing for use in extreme environments. On the first day I used the new lens it actually rained, so I took the chance and left the rain cover off just to test it. It was not a soaking rain, but it did get pretty wet and so far so good.It took about three weeks after the lens became available for Sigma to release the USB dock. For the price it is worth every penny, and for one reason alone. The lens has two custom presets that you can program with different options like setting the range of the focus limiter, or the autofocus speed. The latter is what you want the dock for. Setting the lens for what the software calls "Motor's drive speed priority" actually makes the autofocus faster! So fast that it is hard to tell the difference between the Canon 300 2.8 IS and the Sigma. Not only is it fast but it is also incredibly accurate at that setting. It makes me wonder why Sigma would make the default setting slower in the first place. It also makes me wonder why, for the price of the lens, and the price of the dock, that the dock isn't included with the lens. The dock also lets you update the lens' firmware when a new version is released, and micro adjust the lens' focus (which I haven't played with since so far the adjustment control in the Canon bodies is sufficient enough).The lens ships with a standard black nylon case and straps similar to the old one, but I wish Sigma had updated the case and made it a little longer so you could fit a camera body attached inside. An outside pocket for holding teleconverters, the USB dock and other miscellaneous stuff would have been a nice touch too.One other thing I would mention is that, like the older version, at 300mm the Sigma doesn't magnify quite as much as the Canon 300 2.8 IS. If I had to guess it would be closer to 280mm than 300mm, but it's something I'm willing to put up with for the convenience of having the added zoom range.What else can I say other than this lens is definitely a keeper, and a truly first-class professional optic on par with others in Sigma's new "Global Vision" line. I'm not ready just yet to sell off the Canon 300 2.8 IS, but I can say that since getting the new Sigma the Canon lens has been living in its case.

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    Beautiful lens, but just not sharp.

    I really wanted to love this lens with its 2.8 aperture, beautiful finish and fantastic zoom range. I thought it would be perfect with the new Canon 7Dmll. But, it just isn't...Read complete review

    I really wanted to love this lens with its 2.8 aperture, beautiful finish and fantastic zoom range. I thought it would be perfect with the new Canon 7Dmll. But, it just isn't sharp. I tried two different copies, updated the lens firmware with the USB dock, and tried using the camera's micro adjustments. I just couldn't get it to sharpen. The problem was the same on both my Canon 7D and 5Dmlll. The camera microadjustment (-18) helped somewhat but just couldn't get it as sharp as my 300 f/4 or 300 f/2.8.

    Reviewed by 15 customers

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    3.0

    Beautiful lens, but just not sharp.

    By Brent

    from Landing, nJ

    Comments about Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Lens for Canon:

    I really wanted to love this lens with its 2.8 aperture, beautiful finish and fantastic zoom range. I thought it would be perfect with the new Canon 7Dmll. But, it just isn't sharp. I tried two different copies, updated the lens firmware with the USB dock, and tried using the camera's micro adjustments. I just couldn't get it to sharpen. The problem was the same on both my Canon 7D and 5Dmlll. The camera microadjustment (-18) helped somewhat but just couldn't get it as sharp as my 300 f/4 or 300 f/2.8.

    Share this review

    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Lens for Canon

    By Mr. Harrison

    from Woodward, OK

    About Me Casual Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Fast / accurate auto-focus

    Cons

    • Heavy

    Best Uses

    • Sports/Action

    Comments about Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Lens for Canon:

    Great lens for the price

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this review

     
    5.0

    Great lens for the money

    By Ironman71270

    from Dallas, Tx

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Durable
    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
    • Rugged
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Sports/Action

      Comments about Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Lens for Canon:

      Just got this lens and I'm trilled. I love how it handles and the sharpness is great.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      4.0

      It's heavy

      By Kalihari

      from Walla Walla, WA

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Durable
      • Fast / accurate auto-focus

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Sports/Action
        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Lens for Canon:

        It's heavy but you'd expect it to be. My only complaint is that I wish the rotation of the tripod collar was a bit smoother. It feels a bit clunky to me. Other than that a great lens.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        4.0

        So far I am glad I purchased this lens

        By Randy C

        from Spokane, WA

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Durable
        • Easily Interchangeable
        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Rugged
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

        • Heavy

        Best Uses

        • Sports/Action

        Comments about Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Lens for Canon:

        Used this for a college football game in daylight.Sat in the end zone and used a monopod because this lens is heavy and so far I love it. Pictures from as far as 100 yards away were awesome. It's a fast lens, kept about 90 percent of the pictures taken.Still need to try a night football game and some indoor volleyball soon and will leave a review once that is done.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        A More Affordable Sports Lens

        By Dave Imagequestphoto

        from Zeeland, MI

        About Me Pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Durable
        • Flexible
        • Lightweight
        • Rugged
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

        • Slow Focus

        Best Uses

        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Night Photography
        • Sports/Action
        • Weddings/Events

        Comments about Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Lens for Canon:

        I needed a fast lens beyond 200mm for sports action at night and indoors and the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 Sport fit my requirements better than the much more expensive options. I had rented this lens and others before making my decision and I found that I loved its versatility and that I could live with some of the areas where it is not quite as strong as its competition.

        The biggest complaint that I've read on this lens is its focusing speed as compared to the Canon 300mm. It does not focus as quickly as that lens, it is true, but the only time I find it is an issue is if you are making major changes in focus distance. For example if you quickly switch from focusing on the QB to a receiver downfield, you will notice the speed difference, but for most plays, if you are in the same neighborhood, changing focus from the QB to the running back, the difference is not all that important, the Sigma is plenty snappy.

        I find myself using this lens indoors more than my new Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, the extra zoom range is a welcome addition. The Sigma plays well with the Canon 1.4x Extender, but I've found it a little finicky with the 2.0x Extender, having a good microadjustment for the extender-lens combination makes a big difference.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (1 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        I really wanted to like this lens, but..

        By Yukihyo

        from Tokyo, Japan

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Durable
        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

        • Badly Balanced
        • Heavy
        • Not sharp wide open
        • Poor bokeh

        Best Uses

        • Sports/Action
        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Lens for Canon:

        Admittedly, there is nothing to match this lens with its constant f/2.8 throughout the range. People are going to get hooked just by this feature alone, as only prime lenses are available at 300mm. BUT, this is NOT a 300mm lens! Tests show that it reaches only 280mm, the same magnification as a 70-200mm f/2.8 + a 1.4x teleconverter (although admittedly, this is f/4). Not good for starters. It is not sharp wide open, and the addition of a t/c (be it Canon in this case, or Sigma) only enhances the problem. It is a handsome, strongly built lens, and definitely a step up cosmetically from the previous model. But having had both, I feel that the optics are basically the same, so where is that substantial increase in weight coming from? I didn't like the tripod shoe from the outset, as it is set too far back, and the whole contraption feels unbalanced. I guess it is a little unfair to compare it too my Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II when running them side by side, but the resulting differences when comparing final results are just too overwhelming to dismiss. The Canon.....superb; the Sigma......fair to middlin'. I can't live with these results, and it's going in as a trade on a new Canon 300mm f/2.8 this coming week.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        This is one awesome lens!

        By Vladimir Naumoff

        from Montreal, Canada

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Durable
        • Easily Interchangeable
        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Nice Bokeh
        • Rugged
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

        • Heavy

        Best Uses

        • Portraits
        • Sports/Action
        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Lens for Canon:

        I have that lens almost for a month now. My previous lens was Nikon 300 mm F2.8 G VRII. What can I say… May be not as sharp as my predecessor and as fast but taking the fact that this is such versatile glass with such high standard of a build quality and zoom capability made me very happy. It works well with converters and as is on it's own. It has focus management capability which I haven't had a chance to use yet. I would buy this lens again. Great glass, great travel companion, saves a lot on buying other lenses and it's a such pleasure to hold it in your hands.Thanks Sigma

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Already have 70-200, Now another toy.

        By ThisAMDude

        from North Babylon, NY

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easily Interchangeable
        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Nice Bokeh

        Cons

        • Heavy

        Best Uses

        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Sports/Action

        Comments about Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Lens for Canon:

        I already have the Canon 70-200mm 2.8, but wasn't getting me that real closeup, so I bought this this with my 5D mark III. So much more. Its a bit heavy especially with the Mark III. But it seems solid.

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        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        lens delivers as advertised

        By Ray

        from Santa Cruz, CA

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Nice Bokeh

        Cons

        • Heavy

        Best Uses

        • Sports/Action
        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Lens for Canon:

        I've had this lens for 2 weeks, using it for bird photography. I use it on a Canon 5D Mark III. As reported by the DXOMark score, this lens produces very sharp images. I'm very happy with the IQ. I did have to use the 5DMIII microadjust on the telephoto end. The lens was back focusing on my camera. I intend to get a monopod with tilt head because this lens is very heavy to use for more than an hour hand held. Very happy with the performance.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (3 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Sigma 120-300 Zoom

        By calleng

        from South Georgia USA

        About Me Pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Strong Construction
        • Zoom

        Cons

        • Heavy

        Best Uses

        • Daylight Sports
        • Sports/Action

        Comments about Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Lens for Canon:

        Lens is outstanding when used one stop down from wide open. There is a tremendous increase in sharpness and contrast going one stop down.I have mixed feelings about the lens, but am satisfied, since I use it primarily for college football during daylight. It is not as fast focusing as the Canon 300 f2.8 I that I have. Not nearly as sharp wide open, but has the zoom range to make it very useful. I have used it with the Canon III 1.4 extender and have been amazed at the results. At f5.6 (one stop down) It is really sharp at 300mm. Note: The loss of sharpness and contrast is not nearly as much when using less than 300mm (120-200).

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Excellent lens

        By candc

        from Wautoma, WI

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Pros

        • Durable
        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Nice Bokeh
        • Rugged
        • Sharp Everywhere
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

        • Heavy
        • Need Dock For Best Result

        Best Uses

        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Sports/Action
        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Lens for Canon:

        i have been using the lens for a couple days now. if you are interested in this lens you have to get the dock and will need to spend some time tuning it and then it is really, really good it is super sharp everywhere on the 70d especially wide open at 300 where it counts. the lens is internally zooming and focusing, it suffers from heavy focus breathing. it is 300 at infinity focus but only 230-240 or so at minimum focus. that's why lens testers point out its 280 at the distance they are testing at.

        you can set custom af speed, focus limit and is behavior with the dock. i have c1 set to fast af, limited the focus from 10m to infinity and set moderate is. using it like this and ai servo it has no problem focusing and tracking low flying geese in the fog as they pass overhead.

        i haven't used it with converters and i am not sure i will. its a really useful range on an aps-c body and there is plenty of room to crop with the 70d if you need to. the 70d is too small for the lens, your fingers pinch between the grip and the lens. it feels good on the 40d so i think it would be really good on the 7d and presumably the 7d2.

        you have to be willing to spend some time tuning and fiddling with this lens but then it will give you excellent results. it is heavy, sigma tank construction on this one, there does not appear to be any consideration for weight saving, its around 8 lbs with the collar and hood

        would be 5 stars if it did not need tuning out of the box

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        • No

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        (8 of 48 customers found this review helpful)

         
        1.0

        uncorrectable back focusing

        By Daniel

        from Atlanta, GA

        Pros

          Cons

          • Blurry Focus

          Best Uses

            Comments about Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Lens for Canon:

            From 10m to infinity, this lens have severe back focusing problem. Even using max focus adjustment setting with Sigma USB Dock of -20, 300mm near 30m still back focus.

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            (10 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            No other lens like it...

            By SoCal

            from Los Angeles, CA

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Lens for Canon:

                  This lens has no equal, though that's because there are no other zoom lenses in this focal range with a fixed f/2.8 aperture. And because of the f/2.8, it is a heavy lens. Shooting handheld is possible, though I wouldn't recommend doing so for prolonged periods of time.

                  There is some amount of CA when shooting wide open, but with the post-editting softwares available today, that's not a huge issue at all.

                  I must confess, I was trying to "cheat" my way to 600mm. I was hoping that this lens would play nice with my Canon 2x III. It may just be with my copy of the lens, but the TC and the lens did not play well together. AI Servo was quite slow, unbearably slow. I knew that AF speed would take a hit using the TC but I didn't expect such a dramatic change along with poor tracking performance yielding relatively low accuracy rate (around 25% hit rate) of focused photos. (This using a 1DX.) However, static subjects at 600mm was acceptably sharp.

                  Even without the TC, I would say the focus acquisition/speed is still a little slower than that of my Canon zooms (100-400, 70-200/2.8ii). Understandably, there are bigger elements to move around so I'm sure that factored into the AF speed.

                  On my copy of the lens, the OS would "twitch/jitter" every second or two. It would occur at a consistent frequency, which is something I did not expect to see. It's not very noticeable (if at all) without the 2x converter on. But when attached and at 600mm, the image in the VF would skip slightly whenever the twitch/jitter occurred.

                  I've heard/read that this lens will accept Sigma/Kenko TC's better, but I didn't go out of my way to find out.

                  This is a good lens, overall, if you use it for its intended purposes. It's lack-luster performance with my Canon 2x iii is why I'm not giving it 5 stars, and why I no longer have the lens.

                  Again, I attribute that to my own fault. As I noted earlier, I was hoping/thinking this would be the least expensive way for me to squeeze 600mm (and even possibly even 840mm/8 if I stacked another 1.4 on it). I was overly optimistic. I can't fault the lens for not doing what it wasn't designed specifically for.

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                  (28 of 32 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Sigma hits a home run

                  By Jerseyshooter

                  from Central NJ

                  Pros

                  • Only Lens In Its Class

                  Cons

                  • Heavy For A 300 28

                  Best Uses

                  • Sports Wildlife

                  Comments about Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Lens for Canon:

                  I previously wrote a very positive review of the older OS version of this lens, which I ended up selling in order to purchase this new "Sport" version. Boy am I glad I did.To start with, the finish and feel of the lens is fantastic. The focus and zoom rings are smooth with just the right amount of resistance. The newly designed lens hood is of much higher quality than the older plastic one, and uses both a bayonet and locking screw mechanism to attach. It also has a very nice rubberized ring on the front of the hood to absorb minor bumps. The tripod collar turns relatively smoothly and is removable (I find a small amount of silicone spray on a cloth, then wiped on the inside of the collar helps make it turn smoother). One thing I miss though is that the older tripod collar had a beveled bottom that bolted directly onto any Arca Swiss style tripod head. Unfortunately this new one is cut square, and I will be enlisting a machinist friend of mine to bevel cut the new collar for me at some point so it works like the older one.I have read online that optically this new version is the same as its predecessor, but I find it to be better overall (perhaps newer coatings?). This is especially the case wide open, and with the Canon 1.4x and 2x model II converters. Comparing images made with the Canon 300 2.8 IS I can see more of an obvious difference with the older 120-300 over the new one. The Sport lens still is not as sharp as the Canon, but it's still REALLY sharp, all the way through the zoom range (I mentioned in my other review the Canon 300 2.8 IS is the sharpest lens I've ever used). Performance of the 120-300 Sport with the Canon 1.4x II is so good in fact, that unless I need the 2.8 aperture or 120 range the converter is pretty much permanently attached (so if you don't have the $$$$$ for the new Canon 200-400 this is a REALLY GOOD alternative in my book). You do lose some optical quality with the converters, but the performance is on par with the Canon lens + Canon converter in my opinion. Vignetting wide open is minimal, and pretty much gone by f5.6. Chromatic aberration and distortion are also almost nonexistent.This new version is said to have weather sealing for use in extreme environments. On the first day I used the new lens it actually rained, so I took the chance and left the rain cover off just to test it. It was not a soaking rain, but it did get pretty wet and so far so good.It took about three weeks after the lens became available for Sigma to release the USB dock. For the price it is worth every penny, and for one reason alone. The lens has two custom presets that you can program with different options like setting the range of the focus limiter, or the autofocus speed. The latter is what you want the dock for. Setting the lens for what the software calls "Motor's drive speed priority" actually makes the autofocus faster! So fast that it is hard to tell the difference between the Canon 300 2.8 IS and the Sigma. Not only is it fast but it is also incredibly accurate at that setting. It makes me wonder why Sigma would make the default setting slower in the first place. It also makes me wonder why, for the price of the lens, and the price of the dock, that the dock isn't included with the lens. The dock also lets you update the lens' firmware when a new version is released, and micro adjust the lens' focus (which I haven't played with since so far the adjustment control in the Canon bodies is sufficient enough).The lens ships with a standard black nylon case and straps similar to the old one, but I wish Sigma had updated the case and made it a little longer so you could fit a camera body attached inside. An outside pocket for holding teleconverters, the USB dock and other miscellaneous stuff would have been a nice touch too.One other thing I would mention is that, like the older version, at 300mm the Sigma doesn't magnify quite as much as the Canon 300 2.8 IS. If I had to guess it would be closer to 280mm than 300mm, but it's something I'm willing to put up with for the convenience of having the added zoom range.What else can I say other than this lens is definitely a keeper, and a truly first-class professional optic on par with others in Sigma's new "Global Vision" line. I'm not ready just yet to sell off the Canon 300 2.8 IS, but I can say that since getting the new Sigma the Canon lens has been living in its case.

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