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Tin67
Topic Author
Posts: 268
Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 3:49 am

Sigma 300mm F2.8

Tue Aug 24, 2004 9:00 pm

This is really for information of anyone considering a Sigma 300mm F2.8 EX as I couldn't find much when I was looking. I would be keen to hear experiences of anyone who owns or has owned one of these lenses.

I bought this lens in April 04 to use on my EOS 10D. After a lot of consideration I chose to buy the faster Sigma 2.8 over the Canon 300 F4 L as it would give greater flexibility. I am now beginning to wonder if I made the right choice as the build quality is a real concern.

I can't fault the results, the performance has been excellent, although I would say the autofocus is not as good as my Canon L lenses.

Back to the build. Mine has basically become loose, the section where the drop in filter goes has loosened quite considerable so you can rock it back and forth. Not good! When looking more closely I have also found that an internal seal or similar has broken up and pieces are now nicely located in the middle of one of the optics. Better still you can't get it, Great!

The lens is going back to Sigma and I'm sure it will come back all tight and clean. However this has now put doubts in my mind as to whether this was a good investment. Maybe I should have stuck with Canon afterall.

Regards
Martin
 
flightuk
Posts: 48
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 11:08 pm

RE: Sigma 300mm F2.8

Tue Aug 24, 2004 9:14 pm

Give me a good F2.8 Sigma over a Canon F4 L with same focal length any day. That F2.8 at 300mm is a very fast glass
 
ckw
Posts: 4586
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:26 am

RE: Sigma 300mm F2.8

Tue Aug 24, 2004 9:16 pm

Clearly part of the cost of an L lens is down to build quality - these things are solid! Whether that's worthwhile or not, is perhaps down to how you're going to use your lens.

The "flexibity" argument is interesting, as I've seen it cited a number of times. The Sigma 2.8 does give you an extra stop over the 300 f4, but my experience is that the IS on the f4 is worth at least 2 stops. Add that to the fact that the f4 is much smaller, lighter, can accept standard filters (eg. polarizer) and has a limited macro capability, I think that the 300 f4 is actually a more flexible lens.

Cheers,

Colin
Colin K. Work, Pixstel
 
Tin67
Topic Author
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RE: Sigma 300mm F2.8

Tue Aug 24, 2004 9:58 pm

Give me a good F2.8 Sigma over a Canon F4 L with same focal length any day. That F2.8 at 300mm is a very fast glass

Yes it is fast glass and it produces great results and what appears to be a great value price. It's falling apart, that's my issue.

The "flexibity" argument is interesting, as I've seen it cited a number of times. The Sigma 2.8 does give you an extra stop over the 300 f4, but my experience is that the IS on the f4 is worth at least 2 stops. Add that to the fact that the f4 is much smaller, lighter, can accept standard filters (eg. polarizer) and has a limited macro capability, I think that the 300 f4 is actually a more flexible lens.

IS is a valid point. When I was looking at these lenses I was also considering it for other use such as indoor sports. My 100-400 wasn't good as it wasn't anywhere near fast enough, so at F4 the Canon 300mm probably wasn't quite enough either even with IS.

I now have a 70-200 f2.8 and use this for sports so don't use the 300mm so much. Given that I'd probably use the 300mm mainly for motorsport and aviation now, the Canon probably would be my first choice. The only other advantage that the Sigma has other than speed is it's capability to use and auto focus with the new Canon Extenders.


Regards
Martin
 
Rotate
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RE: Sigma 300mm F2.8

Tue Aug 24, 2004 10:02 pm

i am owning a Sigma 110 - 300mm 2.8 HSM - AND IT ROCKS +++
since i ve got her u see me vey seldom with the Nikon 80 - 200mm 2.8 AFS, and this also a suberp lens.

dont know though how Sigma is on Canon, on Nikon it is as good as Nikon itself, quality wise didnt have any probs sofar ...

Robin
ABC
 
Tin67
Topic Author
Posts: 268
Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 3:49 am

RE: Sigma 300mm F2.8

Tue Aug 24, 2004 11:16 pm

Robin,

I wouldn't expect any difference between Canon and Nikon mounts but there may be. You obviously have a good one, so maybe mine wasn't quite up to standard. I was singing it's praises when I first got it and still would had these faults not occured. Don't get me wrong it's a very good lens performance wise.

I'll probably give it the benefit of the doubt and see what it's like when it comes back from Sigma making sure I remember when the warranty expires.

Martin

 
Dehowie
Posts: 1072
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 8:41 am

RE: Sigma 300mm F2.8

Tue Aug 24, 2004 11:26 pm

Interesting post.
For indoor sports nothing can compete with a 2.8 glass.
Its one area where IS means nothing as its shutter speed you are chasing not a stable image and you made the right choice.
There is a massive diff in price here in Aust between the Canon 300/2.8 and the Sigma 300 2.8 and i mean massive.
In fact i think in Australia we pay the highest price for Canon glass anywhere bar none.
From reading a lot of reviews it seems the Sigma 120-300 2.8 is actually sharper than there 300 2.8 and having looked at many shots i'd tend to agree.
Pretty amazing that a zoom is sharper than prime but there is a fair difference in price again and this lens i think is Sigma's second most expensive lens after the 300-800.
Have you tried using a TC with the 300/2.8 id' love to see the results.
Be interesting to see how it stacks up.
I am actually in the midle of saving for either the Canon 300/2.8 or 500F4.
Decisions,decisions.
Seeya
Darren
2EOS1DX,EF14.2.8LII,17TS,85/1.2,16-35L,24-70LII,24L,70-200F2.8LII,100-400,300/400/500/800L
 
Sukhoi
Posts: 1561
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 3:03 am

RE: Sigma 300mm F2.8

Tue Aug 24, 2004 11:27 pm

Mine is now just over a year old and I havent had any build quality issues with it, although I did bugger up the AF motor when switching convertors quickly. Always remember to connect the convertor to the lens and then the camera not the other way around  Wink/being sarcastic Sigma's service is very good if a little slow, 3 weeks turn around for mine.

If I was shooting with Canon then I would probably go for the F4 for exactly the reasons Colin mentions.

cheers

Paul
 
Tin67
Topic Author
Posts: 268
Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 3:49 am

RE: Sigma 300mm F2.8

Tue Aug 24, 2004 11:56 pm

Darren,

Have you tried using a TC with the 300/2.8 id' love to see the results.
Be interesting to see how it stacks up


These are recent ones 300mm plus a Canon 1.4x Extender


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Martin Aves
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Martin Aves



I'd love the Canon 300 f2.8, but can't justify that amount at the moment. Although I was toying with the EOS 1D MkII, but Canon announced the EOS 20D so I've ordered one of those.


Paul,

Hopefully mine will be okay once it's been checked out. I'll remember you point about the converters.


Cheers all,

Martin
 
ckw
Posts: 4586
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:26 am

RE: Sigma 300mm F2.8

Wed Aug 25, 2004 12:57 am

For indoor sports nothing can compete with a 2.8 glass.
Its one area where IS means nothing as its shutter speed you are chasing not a stable image and you made the right choice.


I would agree with this - there's no great benefit to shooting at 1/15th if your subject is jumping about the place! But it does depend what you're looking for - I shoot quite a few local gigs, often poorly lit. The 2.8 glass would be a benefit (why can't musicians stand still for a moment!), but my "compact" f4 already attracts enough unwarranted attention, as well as being a little unwieldy in a crowd - the big 2.8 would be still more obstrusive. It does mean I have to watch for those "peak of action" moments where the subject is relatively still for a brief moment.

I am actually in the midle of saving for either the Canon 300/2.8 or 500F4.
Decisions,decisions.


500 for me - this lens really makes a difference, and with convertors, its a whole new world of photo opportunities.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
 
LGW
Posts: 4281
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2000 6:07 pm

RE: Sigma 300mm F2.8

Wed Aug 25, 2004 1:06 am

Hi all,

I can confirm what Paul says regarding Sigma's servicing.

Taking them ages to fix my EX glass (not a 300mm prime BTW) although as long as its done well I guess I will live.

Paul said:-
"Always remember to connect the converter to the lens and then the camera not the other way around"

Paul,

Regarding the sequence of putting the converter on, I am guessing its only important to do it the way you say for lenses which AF with the converter, my EX glass and 2x EX converter doesn't AF so I presume its irrelevant the way I put my converter on?

Cheers

Ben Pritchard
 
Sukhoi
Posts: 1561
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 3:03 am

RE: Sigma 300mm F2.8

Wed Aug 25, 2004 3:19 am

Ben,

Have you not had your glass back yet? Seems as though its been away for ages?

I'm sure Colin will remember my moment at Farnborough where I only had one working lens on the S2 out of a choice of 4, Nikon 18-70 great for flying shots  Wink/being sarcastic The S2 which I presume will be the same as other Nikons has a pick up for the aperture control on the body. This pick up got bent I'm presuming at the same time as attaching the 300 to the converter on the body. Everything went a bit pearshaped and just down to one lens!

Big 1" screwdriver sorted out the S2 Big grin and Sigma sorted out the 300 under warranty.

I would check the instructions to be on the safe side, I certainly now will attach as per them, especially as its out of warranty now  Wink/being sarcastic

Cheers

Paul
 
ckw
Posts: 4586
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:26 am

RE: Sigma 300mm F2.8

Wed Aug 25, 2004 5:01 am

Poor Paul ... I remeber it well! I could feel the waves of frustration  Smile

Of course, had you been using a proper camera, you could have borrowed one of my lenses!

Cheers,

Colin
Colin K. Work, Pixstel
 
Dehowie
Posts: 1072
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 8:41 am

RE: Sigma 300mm F2.8

Wed Aug 25, 2004 8:59 am

Hi Colin
Don't mean to go OT but.
Have you had any problems withthe whites on your 1D MK2.
Seems there are many updet folks around complaining about the lack of detail in whites with the new 1D.
Seems it may be solved by using PS so bring out the hidden details.
Looked at some shots at Fred Miranda's and DP review and the white's looked terrible out of the camera.
After PS work they looked good but i was surprised by how flat they looked out of the body.
May have something to do with the broader range of color the camrea can capture?
LOved your recent shots with the 500,as you said it makes a difference.Pretty amazed how sharp these big Canon primes are with a TC.
Have you stacked the TC's yet??
Take it easy
Darren
2EOS1DX,EF14.2.8LII,17TS,85/1.2,16-35L,24-70LII,24L,70-200F2.8LII,100-400,300/400/500/800L
 
ckw
Posts: 4586
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:26 am

RE: Sigma 300mm F2.8

Wed Aug 25, 2004 9:25 am

Darren - not really had any issues with output from the Mk2 - whites or the infamous reds  Smile

But a couple of observations - 1st, I was unhappy with the Canon software, yes, its improved, but I'm much happier with results from PS CS.

2nd, the dynamic range is better than previous Canons, but this is really only captured in the RAW image. In fact, one thing I've discovered is that the camera histogram, which is based on the jpg, lies a little - shooting RAW, you have a little more head room than the histogram suggests. So, as far as I'm concerned post processing is just a matter of routine - highlight detail can be more subtle than in the 10D, but how you handle it is up to you ... a plus in my opinion.

Quite a few MK2 owners have emailed me with questions about output issues with the camera, but invariably its just a matter of getting used to a different style of image - once you adapt your post processing to suit, the problems seem to go away.

Last time I had the 500, I was being pretty careful to ensure I got some good results, so stuck to the 2x convertor. I'm borrowing it agin in a couple of weeks, and have one day set aside for "playing" - you can be sure I'll try stacking the convertors then!

Cheers,

Colin
Colin K. Work, Pixstel
 
LGW
Posts: 4281
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RE: Sigma 300mm F2.8

Thu Aug 26, 2004 3:32 pm

Paul,

Got the lens back yesterday, and your right it's been too long without it.

Not all Sigma's fault, I sent the lens to a camera repair centre in Surrey but they where unable to get into the lens! So it then had to go off to Sigma so took longer because of that.

Cheers

Ben Pritchard
 
chris78cpr
Posts: 2732
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RE: Sigma 300mm F2.8

Thu Aug 26, 2004 7:10 pm

Darren,

If you want to shoot indoor sports yopu go with a EF 200F1.8L!!!! The best indoor sports lens period.

Martin,

I have heard of other people having problems with the Sigma 300f2.8 coming loose and feeling generally a bit slack, not sure if it is the same as your problem but i know they sent it to sigma and they repaired it under warranty!

I looked at a canon 300F2.8L the other day and the mount on the lens was so worn that it would rpock all around the mount on the camera!!! Very shaky!!!

Chris
5D2/7D/1D2(soon to be a 1Dx) 17-40L/24-105L/70-200F2.8L/100-400L/24F1.4LII/50F1.2L/85F1.2LII
 
Tin67
Topic Author
Posts: 268
Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 3:49 am

RE: Sigma 300mm F2.8

Fri Aug 27, 2004 3:03 am

I have heard of other people having problems with the Sigma 300f2.8 coming loose and feeling generally a bit slack, not sure if it is the same as your problem but I know they sent it to sigma and they repaired it under warranty!

I looked at a canon 300F2.8L the other day and the mount on the lens was so worn that it would rpock all around the mount on the camera!!! Very shaky!!!


Hi Chris,

Mine's got numerous problems that I've now documented for Sigma. It's loose, there's debris from some unknown internal component and to top it off when photographing the evidence yesterday I've now discovered 2 bad imperfections in one of the optics. I bought the lens through LCE Southampton and they are keen to see it and take up the issue with Sigma. I think it's time to go back to Canon.

What you were saying about the Canon 300mm 2.8. I don't think I'd object too much if I'd worked the lens to death. With mine it's not the mount that's loose. It's at the next join along by the drop in filter.

Maybe I'll update the link after Sigma have reported back.

Martin
 
LHRSIMON
Posts: 1315
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RE: Sigma 300mm F2.8

Fri Aug 27, 2004 6:41 am

If you want to shoot indoor sports yopu go with a EF 200F1.8L!!!! The best indoor sports lens period.

Yeah at £4000 i should hope so !!!!!

A bit off topic but im also looking into indoor photography aswell for in the winter. Im very involved in Ice Hockey here in the UK (a team called the Slough Jets) and was thinking of trying to take photo's of matches.

When i get my 10D the plan is for a Sigma 70-200 2.8f for Ice Hockey. And either a 70-200 5.6f L or 100-400 5.6f L depending on cash for aviation. Can anyone confirm if the Sigma will indeed be fast enough for Ice Hockey ????

Thanks



Canon 1D Mk III,Canon 20D+17-40 L f4.0,70-200 L IS USM f2.8,400 L USM f5.6,135 mm L f2.0, 50 mm f1.8,1.4 x II extender
 
Tin67
Topic Author
Posts: 268
Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 3:49 am

RE: Sigma 300mm F2.8

Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:19 pm

A bit off topic but im also looking into indoor photography aswell for in the winter. Im very involved in Ice Hockey here in the UK (a team called the Slough Jets) and was thinking of trying to take photo's of matches.

When I get my 10D the plan is for a Sigma 70-200 2.8f for Ice Hockey. And either a 70-200 5.6f L or 100-400 5.6f L depending on cash for aviation. Can anyone confirm if the Sigma will indeed be fast enough for Ice Hockey ????


Simon,
I go to Ice Hockey too, but in Bracknell. The rink there is quite dark for Ice Hockey so 2.8 or faster is definitely required as is a higher ISO. I still needed a 800 ISO which is pretty grainy. If you ever go to an NHL or AHL game in the US or Canada the lighting is far brighter and although a fast lens is required you can drop down the ISO. I've never been to the Jets so don't know what the lighting is like. Bracknell rink is awful so it can only be better.

The Bracknell Bees in-house photographer uses a Sigma 70-200 2.8, but his A4 prints are not great, very grainy but then he is still using a D30.

I now have a 70-200 f2.8 L IS so will be trying it out this season. I used to have a 100-400 but that was far too slow for Ice Hockey.

Regards
Martin

 
LHRSIMON
Posts: 1315
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2002 5:59 am

RE: Sigma 300mm F2.8

Fri Aug 27, 2004 5:48 pm

I've never been to the Jets so don't know what the lighting is like. Bracknell rink is awful so it can only be better.

Thanks Martin. Don't bet on it !!!! Slough is a pretty small rink. And the lights not great...

I would have liked to go for the 2.8f Cannon (like you) but the price for that is almost double the Sigma. And to be honest at the moment its just an idea. Tried it once with my S7000 and the results were pathetic + i missed most of the game.....

Thanks again...
Simon

PS : Don't you think it a bit odd that at the moment your the only guy i have meet at LHR who also downloads to A.Net. And you also turn out to be into Hockey in the UK aswell,and support one of Sloughs old Rivals !!!! Small world indeed.
Canon 1D Mk III,Canon 20D+17-40 L f4.0,70-200 L IS USM f2.8,400 L USM f5.6,135 mm L f2.0, 50 mm f1.8,1.4 x II extender

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