26th April 2013, Singapore – 2013 Sigma 120-300m F2.8 DG OS HSM (S)
Sigma’s long-awaited “S” (SPORTS) Lens was (finally) announced earlier this month. And with its expected delivery to reaching the stores in May 2013, a demo unit was quietly shipped to Sigma Singapore for a hands-on preview.
I was excited to be the first reviewer in Singapore to be issued with this lens.
Those familiar with Sigma’s Super Telephoto Zoom lenses will point out that this 120-300mm is the 3rd incarnation since the first appearance of the EX DG series. But the new 120-300mm is not just a cosmetic upgrade – this lens is redesigned from scratch, spotting high quality TSC (thermally stable composite) material for its lens barrel, sensible layout of control buttons, a new grip material for the zoom & focusing rings, this ultra bright (F2.8) super telelphoto zoom lens now sits at the top of the “S” line being the first “Sports” lens being launched under the new “Sigma Global Vision” directive.
There are more goodies. The new 120-300mm comes with the company’s signature super multi-layer coating and the blazing fast HSM for that spot-on focusing at incredible speed. At 3kg+, this lens is not exactly light, it has 23 elements in 18 group (that is a lot of glass!!!), 9 round aperture blades and best of all, it has 02 FLD Glass & 1 SLD Glass! Sigma’s FLD had always been a threat to Canon’s Fluorite as they are essentially identical with similar properties – so Sigma made this lens a “double-up” with 2 excellent FLD elements so you can imagine what this lens is capable of.
On the design, I feel that Sigma had matured in many ways. The company works it’s lens design based on useability (ease of use), practicality (sensible design) and most importantly, it is designed for professional photographers. My previous reviews on the new Art series & Contemporary series lenses had seen Leica-like & Carl Zeiss-like quality, the new 120-300mm is no exception. When I handled the lens, it feels like one of those “$10K” lenses which is out of reach for many hobbyists & enthusiasts. But when I found out the humble asking price for this lens, it put a smile on my face. Now Sigma fans will have an affordable and professional level lens within their reach.
Enough talk, let’s take a look at the photos that I had managed to shoot using this lens. As I am not a big fan of nature, please pardon my bad compositions instead, pay attention to the details captured. 🙂
I decided to test this lens at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserves.
Amazed? Well, let’s try more things. I decided to shoot my Behind-the-scenes photographer with his wife Adela Teo
while they are having some fun during the break. At the 2 extreme end of focal lengths.
Here’s another excellent example on the lens’ sharpness.
As we can see from the photos produced by this lens above, it is clearly targeted at Sports Photographers, Wildlife Photographers & event Portrait Photographers. Personally I will recommend the use of a monopod or tripod with this lens. This is an excellent piece of glass and a professional one too. Given its asking price and image quality, the new 120-300mm is for anyone who wish venture into the above mentioned genre, wants quality images and smart enough to save a huge amount of money.
As mentioned on the title, this is Part 1. Our sub-editors are working on Part 2 as you read, they are working the new Sigma 120-300mm on sports events right now. Do stay tuned to us.
Before I end the review, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to those who had recently shared my article links to dpreview, photography-on-the-net, DXO, Clubsnap, etc. This encourages me to work harder and to return with more quality reviews. Like some had mentioned, the reviews are not technical – and yes, I confirmed that. From day 1 when I decided to review photography equipments, I had always wanted to give my readers a real world perspective of the equipment that I am reviewing instead of bombarding the readers with numbers & specifications which they can easily find elsewhere online. So to be exact, this site is not for gear freaks, but for those who wish to know what their (potential) equipments are capable of. If you like what I am doing, keep coming back. If you don’t, too bad, well just too bad, this is my style, you are most welcome to visit other sites. 🙂
For more information on this lens, please visit here.
For other articles & reviews of Sigma Lenses, please visit here.
Special Thanks to Sigma Marketing (Singapore) for the lens!
I Love it!
** Sigma had re-organized their whole lens line into 3 category.
They are “C” Lens, “A” Lens & “S” Lens.
C Lens = Contemporary Lens Line
Featuring the very latest technology, and combining optical performance with compactness, Sigma’s high-performance Contemporary line covers a wide range of needs. Lenses in this category are Standard zoom lenses, telephoto zoom lenses, high-magnification zoom lenses.
A Lens = Art Lens Line
Designed with a focus on sophisticated optical performance and abundant expressive power, Sigma’s Art line delivers high-level artistic expression. Lenses in this category are Large-aperture prime lenses, wide-angle lenses, ultra-wide-angle lenses, macro lenses, fisheye lenses.
S Lens – Sports Lens Line
While offering sophisticated optical performance and expressiveness, Sigma Sports line lenses deliver high action-capture performance, enabling photographers to get exactly the shots they want. Lenses in this category are Telephoto lenses, telephoto zoom lenses, super telephoto lenses, super telephoto zoom lenses.
For more information, please visit http://www.sigma-global.com