2013 Sigma 120-300m F2.8 DG OS HSM (S) – Part 2

30th April 2013 – following the feedback by one of our reader Shawn Quek, I would like to clarify that the below article (Part 2) is posted with the intention & experimentation of posting a raw review from an end user direct without editing
as a trial. I would like to assure ALL readers that this is an “One Off” trial. Meantime, the article had been glanced over
again and with some text changed & further edited. I am trying not to change the “feel” of the article too much to retain the original views as submitted by the reviewer (Wilfred Chua).

This Blog, right from day 1, we had avoided the “typically technical” reviews done by other sites and that positioned us
differently from the start. Targeting at readers who wish to have a real feel of the equipment reviewed with real world photos was our primary aim. I hope the above clarifies. 🙂

Once again, thank you for your feedback Shawn.

Allan LEE
Edited 30th April 2013 08.30am

The Editor took the NEW 2013 Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM (S) for a run  a couple of days ago to try out this “monster” of a lens at wildlife and came back with astounding results. Posted as a Part 1 for the simple reason that since the new 120-300mm F2.8 is released as a “S” Line Lens which stands for Sports, Part 2 should be based on sports events and that will make lots of sense.

A quick chat with one of our sub-editor, Edward Tian, we decided to let another person test out this lens in a sports environment. Wilfred Chua was selected and the best part, his son is playing a rugby match the next day right after we passed him the New 2013 Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM (S).

Let’s take a look at Wilfred’s photos from the new super telephoto from Sigma as well see what Wilfred has to say about this monster.

(Edited 30th April 2013 08.30am)

Review by Wilfred:


When I was issued the new 2013 Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM (S)  lens, my first impression is that
the lens is nicely-packed and well-presented. It adds to the experience of opening up a box of a brand
new lens. However, I will prefer (the supplied lens pouch) to have an additional side
pocket – and maybe some space allowance for a DSLR. (to fit a Camera with lens mounted)
That will be much more useful for the user carrying the lens along with other smaller items while out on
a shoot.

IMG_9210_s IMG_9291_s

I like the feel of this lens. Made using Sigma’s new TSC, this lens is conditioned for all-weather use.
The Matt black finish on the lens barrel looks “mean” as compare to the earlier versions – think “EX DG”
series lenses. By far, this is one of the best improvement externally.

Apart from cosmetics, this lens operates quietly and focus fast (HSM). This is important especially when
shooting sports events. Focusing is spot-on as expected from a Sports lens and the speed is comparable to
lenses of the same focal range by other brands. Not much of a surprise, the pictures are sharp and
contrasty. The other thing that I would like to highlight to everyone is the Optical Stabilization (OS)
function; extremely useful when used for hand-held shooting, or when this lens is used for portraitures.

Although the lens weighs about 2.6kg, I was still able to do hand-held shooting for short intervals or when
there is a need to take the camera off the tripod to capture certain angle within a flash of a second.
The added edge is, the option of having varying focal lengths rather than a prime lens for sports, especially rugby games
where angles & distance of the players are changing constantly. With a focal range of 120mm to 300mm, I can
adjust accordingly to the situation easily.

Sharpness at the closest focusing distance at around 2.5m is a little compromised. But who shoot at closest focusing distance anyway? This is a super-telephoto lens right? 🙂

IMG_9294_s IMG_9328_s

I am unable to comment much about the focusing servo as I was using a 5D mk2 and 40D. These 2 camera’s
FPS is not that impressive to start with. Interestingly, the Editor told me that it will be interesting to
see what results we might get from using slower bodies since he used his Canon EOS 7D for the Part 1 review.

The day for the review came and the weather wasn’t kind, it drizzled on the first day that I was shooting
with this lens. The sky was gloomy & badly over-cast. I was forced to bump up my ISO on the 40D and you
can imagine how those photos might look like. Since this is a review unit from Sigma, I avoided shooting under
the rain although this lens is weather-sealed. To protect the lens, I ended up shooting by taking shelter under
an umbrella. Thus, I came home with only a couple of good photos.

IMG_9455_s IMG_9494_s IMG_9537_s IMG_9567_s

Among the perfected perfections, the only set-back has to be the lens collar. It has a sharp edge and
maybe Sigma should re-look into redesigning it to prevent cuts to the photographer. And the space
allowance between the lens and the collar can be better improved – especially for users with bigger hands.
If Sigma can incorporated a few Focus Stops/Lock buttons on the lens barrel will be a plus – (think
Sony’s SAL70-200mm F2.8G SSM). Lastly, I hope Sigma can improve on the finishing of the lens collar.
But that being a cosmetic complaint, everything else is just perfect.

IMG_9568_s IMG_9608_s IMG_9652_s

My overall conclusion, the NEW 2013 Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM (S) is an excellent lens with
a reasonable asking price. Apart from the professionals who will find this lens purposeful, this is also
a hobbyist’s ticket to the arena of F2.8 Super Telephoto Zoom Zone.

Thank you for the opportunity to let me test this lens.

Wilfred Chua

Thank you Wilfred for sharing your photos, shot by the 2013 NEW Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM (S)!
The photos captured the zeal and energy of the rugby game and I totally enjoyed looking at them!
Glad you had a good time with this lens and thanks for the feedback which I will escalate this higher to the right
people at Sigma. Thank you once again!


Photo: (Top) Wilfred Chua at the games. Photo Credit Siow Kin Hwee, (Below) Wilfred in action with the New
Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM (S). Photo Credit Jessica Chua.


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!
We 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.

Sigma Marketing Singapore Pte Ltd. is a subsidiary of Sigma Japan Corporation.

For more information, please visit http://www.sigma-global.com

About Editor AL

About The Web Editor: http://about.me/shutterjourney
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5 Responses to 2013 Sigma 120-300m F2.8 DG OS HSM (S) – Part 2

  1. Shawn Quek says:

    I enjoy most of the reviews on Shutter Journey, but this is thus far the worse and least informative review!

    1. Quote: “Ended up, I hid under an umbrella to take the shots.
    And I did not returned with much good photos.”

    If I understand the bad grammar, you’re saying you DID NOT get good photos? If so, why stop the sentence here when the performance for sports photography is what we’re anticipating? Please comment more on this aspect, i.e. was it the AF accuracy? AF speed? IQ?

    2. Using 5D2 and 40D for a sports review defeats the whole purpose; we need to know if this lens can hold up to critical use and follow the action! Perhaps re-do the review with a 7D, 1Dseries or 5D3 please?

    3. The review is unfortunately littered with many grammatical errors, perhaps the editor might want to edit that before posting!

    Otherwise, thanks for a first-look at this great lens!

    • Hi Shawn, apologies. The Part 2 were meant to be a layman review, i wanted to let everyone have a feel of unedited review – raw from an end user. I will rework on the article to ensure a smoother flow. Thank you for your valueable feedback, really appreciate it.
      Allan/ Editor.

      • Shawn Quek says:

        Thank you Allan 🙂 No need to apologize, understand where you guys are coming from but was just left unsatisfied after reading the review. Looking forward to more!

  2. Pingback: 2013 Sigma 120-300m F2.8 DG OS HSM (S) – Part 3 | Shutter Journey (SGP)

  3. Cory S says:

    This iis a great post thanks

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