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Sigma 100-300 F4 - any views?

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by condyk, May 12, 2005.

  1. condyk

    condyk
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    I got my brand new Sigma 80-400mm OS and it had major focus issues and so, having already sold my Bigma, and now awaiting refund of £600 for the OS, I am looking afresh at my zoom options.

    The idea of the OS was to assist with hand held shots, particularly for a planned walking safari in Namibia end 2005, but I am a bit worries about getting another one now :( It MAY be fine, but importing from HK puts a single lens under potentially more risk of damage (I suspect the box was dropped at some point and an interior lens slightly misaligned as a result ... but who knows?!)

    One option is to forgo the OS and look at the 100-300 Sigma: f4 through the range, very well thought of, but I'm keen to see if anyone has this lens and what their experience is. I would buy it with the Sigma 1.4x extender, giving me 450mm ... not as long as the Bigma, but lighter to carry and also 50mm longer than the OS!!

    The Bigma I know about and it is an option. I don't want to spend out on the 100-400 IS.
     
  2. Johndm

    Johndm
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    Bad luck there......... :thumbsdow

    All I know about the Bigma is its damm heavy :eek:

    Although you don't want to spend on the 100-400 L, I can't think of any other option except maybe a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM and Canon 2X extender to get the quality and reach I know your after.

    I'm really glad I went straight to the L, as I seriously considered the Bigma, but deep down I knew that quality was gonna cost... ;)
     
  3. SeaneyC

    SeaneyC
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    I use exactly this combo on my 1D, the 100-300 is very quick to AF, rated as probably Sigma's quickest, definately the quickest AF lens i've ever owned or tested (although the 70-200mm L IS on my "to buy" list is the king of speed apparantly) out of quite a few budget Sigma lenses, the Bigma, my 28-105mm USM mk1, and the 100-400L. Image quality at f4 without the 1.4x teleconverter is super crisp, and even with the 1.4, shapes up nicely compared to similar lenses, and then some that cost more. Definately one of the best lenses Sigma has ever made, no front or back focus issues that i can see on my copy, and a darn sight cheaper than the 100-400L (although no OS I admit) The twist from 100-300mm is only 90 degrees, making it easy to get those shots where you need to zoom in or out quickly, and because of the internal zooming, it seems there is much less lens mass to move, so is very easy and slick. The only minor down points are the f4 rating (the 120-300 f2.8 just isn't as sharp, and HEAVY) and the fact that it's not weatherproofed. (you can't have it all!)

    Technical issues aside, I also like the fact that it's not white, and doesn't look like i'm playing the trombone when i zoom, but i dislike the way the large barrel near the front lens is the focus, and the smaller barrel in the middle is the zoom, it's a little bit more hassle to use when mounted on the tripod ring.

    I love this lens, and can see little or no reason to change to anything else for the forseeable future. I will also be testing out the Canon and Sigma 70-200mm zooms in a few months, and see whether it's worth me shelling out the extra £600 :eek: for the Canon. Given the performance of its big brother, i seriously think Mr 70-200mm L IS will have to wait, weatherproofed or not. Then to jump off a cliff after i recieve the bill for one of the long Canon IS primes......

    I admit i was super lucky with this purchase though, cost me £370 off ebay, and the 1.4x was £99 from the nice guys at Park Cameras, who although i did not purchase my 1D from, were extremely helpful.

    Oh and you can see a selection of pictures from its first outing at the BTCC @ Thruxton a few weeks ago, www.seaneyc.co.uk/thruxton Almost all the pics were taken with the 100-300, or 140-420 (Lens + telecon) The blurry pics are operator error! Trust me, this lens is SHARP. Must go out and practice more with the new equipment!
     
  4. condyk

    condyk
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    I never found the Bigma or OS that heavy to be honest. When I bought the Bigma I expected it to be bigger and heavier. No problems walking around for a few hours last week, using just the hand strap or carry handle. The quality was there but getting good shots hand held was always the problem. Ok in a car, not so easy walking ... at least not consistently and without taking 4-5 of each subject!

    Sean, some of those Thruxton shots are indeed very sharp, really nice and dynamic. Colour and contrast jumps out: with some lenses the images are always flat and nothing you can do about it. Not in this case.

    I think I am going to think seriously about this lens. It seems to have the optical qualities for sure as well as most of the length that's reasonable to expect for the money, at least with the 1.4x.
     
  5. SeaneyC

    SeaneyC
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    You'd have to be mental to pass it up mate, at least without trying it, I can't explain how great this lens is :smashin:
     
  6. condyk

    condyk
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    Ok, so I invested in the 100-300 F4!

    Cost £500 including Sigma 1.4x extender, Pro Hoya filter and P&P via ebay. I need an OS/IS for the end of 2005, but the 100-300 will do me well until then and will be more readily portable meanwhile.

    Thanks for the images Sean ... they really helped in making the choice. :thumbsup:

    Now I have the Sigma 1.4x then my Kenko Pro 300 1.4x is for sale on Canon Forums if anyone interested. EDIT: NOW SOLD the Kenko Pro!
     
  7. SeaneyC

    SeaneyC
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    Good work mate! Not entirely sure how much of the improvement of my pics was down to my new 1D, or the new lens, but they sure make a sweet combo! Let us know how you get on.
     
  8. condyk

    condyk
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    Now you tell me ... seriously, very happy with the 300D for now and likely to be so for some time to come. I think I am the limiting factor in the threesome (lens, body, me!)
     
  9. dolph

    dolph
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    SeanyC - did you use JAlbum to put that gallery together?
     

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