Canon 5D Mk2 & Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 OS (Optical Stabilizer) DG APO HSM lens at DVinfo.net

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Old April 27th, 2012, 08:31 PM   #1
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Canon 5D Mk2 & Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 OS (Optical Stabilizer) DG APO HSM lens

Sometimes, you've got to take a step backwards to go forwards...

Having sold my final 5D Mark II body a while back, I've been trying to decide which new camera to buy - the Canon 5D Mark III or Nikon D800.

Looking through endless footage and tests with both camera bodies had me flipping between each. There were so many positive aspects of both, and a fair few negatives... I finally decided on the D800.

Then a sudden change of mind had me going back to buy a Mark III. But finally, I got my head in the right direction. The extra money I was about to spend on new bodies, grips, underwater housings, and other gear would leave me without cash to spend on much-needed lens updates and other equipment.

In my book, lenses are THE most important item of photography & filming. So I went through several sleeples nights thinking about it. I knew that the Mark II matched the Mark III in many ways for both stills and video, and realised just how cheap the Mk2 bodies were selling for...It would leave plenty of extra dosh for more lenses...so I bit the bullet, turned my thoughts away from the Mark III & D800, purchased yet another Mark II...and a rack of new lenses.

A brand new 24-70mm f/2.8L for starters, and then a lens I've been wanting to buy for ages...the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 EX DG OS DG APO HSM lens.
First impressions on the sharpness, handling, build quality and image stabilizer of this lens are VERY positive...I'm in seventh heaven!
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Canon 5D Mk2 & Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 OS (Optical Stabilizer) DG APO HSM lens-sigma-f2.8-120-300mm-os.jpg   Canon 5D Mk2 & Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 OS (Optical Stabilizer) DG APO HSM lens-sigma-120-300mm-os.jpg  

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Old April 28th, 2012, 12:27 AM   #2
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Re: Canon 5D Mk2 & Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 OS (Optical Stabilizer) DG APO HSM lens

Tony, unless you typically shoot ultra-wide or go between photos and video often, consider a VAF filter. It has its drawbacks, but it's really sweet not to see moire any more. Where it really helps, IMO, is with fine details such as strands of hair, facial details, and beard stubble. It really helps do away with the digital look and makes things more filmic. Had you gone Nikon, I would have recommended the same - once the new version is released.

With more budget, I'd definitely choose the 5D3, since I'm not interested in a separate recorder and I do like to shoot photos and ultrawides. But my video is rarely untrawide and I will just have to put up with the hassle of install/removal for now.

Anyway, anti-aliasing isn't just about silencing the occasional loud shirt. I find that is makes the whole image more natural.
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Old April 28th, 2012, 02:48 AM   #3
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Re: Canon 5D Mk2 & Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 OS (Optical Stabilizer) DG APO HSM lens

-and according to their website the shipping time is now 1-2 weeks. :)

I'm all for what Jon has said.
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Old April 28th, 2012, 06:15 AM   #4
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Re: Canon 5D Mk2 & Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 OS (Optical Stabilizer) DG APO HSM lens

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
...Tony, unless you typically shoot ultra-wide or go between photos and video often...

...With more budget, I'd...
I DO go between photos & video often (many times during every day of every shoot).

I do NOT have more budget, or I would have simply bought a couple of Mk 3 bodies & grips & flashes, a new underwater housing & ports, and a rack of new lenses...

I shoot mainly between 15mm to 600mm, with quite a large percentage in the ultra-wide 17-24mm range.

I did not have a limitless budget, so upgrading some vital lenses was more important than wasting money on camera body upgrades and then having to cut corners on lens choices.

I looked into VAF filters, but turning my my ultra-wides into normal wides is not the route I wanted to take, and it would be silly to have to buy a third camera body fitted with a VAF just for non-wide work.

Moire hardly exists (or is noticed) in outdoor nature subjects and mainly crops up very occasionally in man-made objects. Moire is such a tiny problem in my work that I've been able to get round it on the very few occasions when it appears in footage.

The main reason for me to go the D800 route was for the ability to crop in video for some extreme telephoto work, and the extra gain in cropping sections of still images during the editing stage.

In the end I realised that the 5616 X 3744 pixels image of the MK2 has always provided me with ample options to crop stills. The use of either a 7D body or 1.4X & 2X converters on the Mk2 provides enough extra reach when needed at the extreme telephoto end for both stills & video. (In that regard, the 120-300mm f/2.8 OS lens works extremely well with converters such as the Sigma EX DG, Canon Mk I, Mk II & Mk III, and Kenko MC4 DGX).

I have already bought all the extra new cameras & lenses...and am more than happy in my final choice.

Now I can be free of the headaches of being undecided for yet another year. I may not have everything that I want...but I've definitely got all that I need. :)

I begin a new major film project next week...so now is the time for me to forget about tools of the trade, and concentrate far more on the chosen subjects and end product.
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Old April 29th, 2012, 01:12 AM   #5
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Re: Canon 5D Mk2 & Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 OS (Optical Stabilizer) DG APO HSM lens

Sounds like the VAF isn't for you. Personally, I find it worthwhile, but it's not without limitations and compromises.

Just to be clear, it doesn't turn your "ultra-wides into normal wides", in that it doesn't affect the focal length. But it makes things blurry at the edges when the lens it too wide for it to handle. To be more precise, it limits ultrawide zooms to the long end of their range, if you want sharp images. (I'd guess that you know that, but want to clarify so it doesn't give other readers the wrong idea.)

Anyway, for me it's not just about eliminating moire when it might occur; I find that it makes more pleasing images whenever there is fine detail.
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Old April 29th, 2012, 04:24 AM   #6
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Re: Canon 5D Mk2 & Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 OS (Optical Stabilizer) DG APO HSM lens

It does work on the 11-16mm tokina
Slightly blurry edges at f8 (but usable if shallowish dof effect is needed)
Sharp edge to edge starting at f11.

On the canon 24-70 f2.8 it was tested to be sharp at all apertures. Not the case with the 24mm prime.

My test on lenses here;

VAF-5D2 Optical Anti-Aliasing Filter outdoor and fabric textures test 2
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Old April 29th, 2012, 05:23 AM   #7
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Re: Canon 5D Mk2 & Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 OS (Optical Stabilizer) DG APO HSM lens

Thank you for that link to your test, Ted, it was very interesting, especially the difference when filming water. Have you also got links to any tests carried out using the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 L prime at the wide end?

Update, I've now found a link to a video:


The trouble with above video clip is that it doesn't actually tell you at what settings the zoom was set at, and the handheld shake doesn't help matters either. Note that he also had a circular polariser filter on the front of the lens.

Hopefully I can find a better test with 24-70 + VAF-5D2.

Phil Bloom's tests on the filter and various lenses is a lot more detailed:

http://philipbloom.net/2011/09/13/moire-2/
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Last edited by Tony Davies-Patrick; April 29th, 2012 at 06:19 AM.
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Old May 22nd, 2012, 04:37 PM   #8
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Re: Canon 5D Mk2 & Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 OS (Optical Stabilizer) DG APO HSM lens

I've been using the new Sigma 120-300mm HSM OS lens more and more lately, and it is fast becoming one of my favourite lenses for stills & video!
Still early days to form a solid opinion, but I intend to take it with me soon (and a bunch of other lenses) on a major 4-weeks long filming project in Holland & France.

Here are a few photos (taken on my iPhone) of the 5D & Sigma OS with lens covers:
Attached Thumbnails
Canon 5D Mk2 & Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 OS (Optical Stabilizer) DG APO HSM lens-1-canon-5d-mk2-sigma-120-300mm-ex-hsm-os-lens-cover.jpg   Canon 5D Mk2 & Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 OS (Optical Stabilizer) DG APO HSM lens-2-sigma-120-300mm-ex-hsm-os-plus-camou-cover.jpg  

Canon 5D Mk2 & Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 OS (Optical Stabilizer) DG APO HSM lens-3-sigma-120-300mm-f2.8-hsm-os-ex-lens.jpg   Canon 5D Mk2 & Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 OS (Optical Stabilizer) DG APO HSM lens-4-sigma-120-300mm-f2.8-os-plus-lens-cover.jpg  

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