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Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM lens with Nikon mount is now shipping

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Sigma-120-300mm-f2.8-DG-OS-HSM

The Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM lens for Nikon is now shipping in the US and is currently in stock. The lens is compatible with the new Sigma USB dock. More details on this lens can be found after the break:

Lens specification:

Lens Construction 23 Elements in 18 Groups
Angle of View 20.4º-8.2º
Number of Diaphragm Blades 9
Mininum Aperture f22
Minimum Focusing Distance 150cm -250cm cm / 59.1in - 98.4in
Filter Size (mm) 105mm
Maximum Magnifications 1:8.1
Dimensions
(Diameter x Length)
124.4mm x 291mm/4.8in x 11.5in
Weight 3,390g / 119.6oz.
Price $3,599.00

MTF charts:

Sigma 120-300mm f:2.8 DG OS HSM lens MTF chart 2 Sigma 120-300mm f:2.8 DG OS HSM lens MTF chart

Lens design:

Sigma 120-300mm f:2.8 DG OS HSM lens design

Main lens features:

Conventionally, large aperture lenses for 300mm F2.8 have been loved by professional users due to their brilliant capability of depiction and bright aperture value. It has established a solid standpoint in the world of photography. Based on the concept that turning a 300mm F2.8 lens into zoom lens would enable photographers to expand the scope of shooting, we have developed 120-300mm F2.8 lenses and released them into the market. It is not simple to decide on a composition with a 300mm lens. Especially for sports and theatrical shows, shooting positions are almost always fixed and changing lenses could lead to missed photographs. By adding a zoom function with the large aperture 300mm F2.8 lens, it no longer requires other interchangeable lenses and rotation of the zoom ring will offer excellent framing. In other words, when conditions are difficult, this high-performance lens gives you more scope to express yourself in the shots you take.

1. Sports line lenses deliver high action-capture performance
Sigma is organizing all its interchangeable lenses into three product lines; Contemporary, Art and Sports. While offering sophisticated optical performance and expressiveness, our Sports line lenses deliver high action-capture performance, enabling photographers to get exactly the shots they want. With their high-level optical performance and expressive power, these lenses can capture fast-moving subjects, even at distance. This high-performance line also offers a variety of functions to aid the photographer in challenging conditions and scenarios. The SIGMA 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM is the first product from the “Sports” line. Besides sports photography, the lenses are also perfect for nature shots featuring birds, wild animals and other wildlife, and for capture of aircraft, trains, racing cars and more. Another major feature of our Sports line lenses is their wide range of customization functions: using the software provided, all sorts of settings can be tailored to the personal preferences of the photographer.

2. Dust-proof and splash-proof construction
For professional purposes, we have achieved excellent durability by incorporating dust-proof and splash-proof parts for joint parts, such as mount attachment, manual ring, zoom-ring, switches for customization and external switch panels. It prevents dust and dirt from entering the lens. Also, the usage of the zoom ring and focus ring is well positioned for shooting situations.

3. High image quality close to fixed focal length lens
This lens incorporates 2 FLD (“F” Low Dispersion) glass elements, which have performance equal to fluorite, 1 SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass element, and compensate for the color aberration at the utmost. The design also compensates for sagittal coma flare and minimizes the blurring of a point light source in peripheral areas. It offers very high image quality, close to fixed focal length lens.

4. Incorporation of focus limiter
Excellent usability is achieved by incorporating inner focusing and zooming that requires no change in the length of the lens for focus and zoom. It is possible to use with a rounded filter, such as a Circular Polarizer, as the front part of the lens is fixed. Due to the focus limiter offering adjustable range of auto focusing, this lens can provide fast focus setting. The USB dock enables users to change the range of the auto focusing at the discretion of users' creativity.

5. Ease of use
Many parts of this lens have been designed for comfortable usage. For example, the design of the zoom ring is concerned with a texture when you hold it, the position of printed letters and the 4 control switches with integration-considered shape of the screws. Included accessories such as the removable lens hood and the newly designed tripod collar with strap ensure added ease of use.

6. Flare and ghosting conscious design
SIGMA’s Super Multi-Layer Coating reduces flare and ghosting. It provides sharp and high contrast images throughout the entire zoom range.

7. Excellent in handheld photography for telephoto shooting
This lens incorporates the OS system which offers the use of shutter speeds approximately 4 stops slower than would otherwise be possible, ensuring the excellent use in handheld photography for telephoto shooting. The OS system has two modes - OS mode 1 is suitable for general photography, and OS mode 2 is best for panning shots of subjects such as planes or racing cars. It is possible to adjust the OS using the optional USB DOCK.
* This lens cannot be used with film SLR cameras with the exception of the Nikon F6, Canon EOS-1v.

8. Quiet and Fast AF
The HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) ensures high speed and quiet AF as well as full-time manual focus override by rotation of the focus ring. With the enhanced AF algorithm, smoother AF is achieved. The full time manual, which offers further adjustment after focusing with AF mode, is possible. By using USB Dock, you can change and adjust the AF speed at your convenience.

9. Incorporating Rounded Diaphragm
The 9 blade-rounded diaphragm creates an attractive blur to the out-of-focus areas of the image.

10. APO Tele-Converter (Optional)
The addition of Sigma's 1.4x EX DG APO or 2x EX DG APO TELE CONVERTER produces a 168-420mm F4 AF telephoto zoom lens or a 240-600mm F5.6 AF telephoto zoom lens respectively.

11. Brass made bayonet mount
This lens incorporates a brass made bayonet mount which has both high accuracy and durability. A special treatment to reinforce its strength is applied to the surface giving it greater strength and making it highly resistant to long-term use.

12. Evaluation with Sigma’s own MTF measuring system “A1”
We used to measure lens performance with an MTF measuring system using conventional sensors. However, we’ve now developed our own proprietary MTF (modulation transfer function) measuring system (A1) using 46-megapixel Foveon direct image sensors. Even previously undetectable high-frequency details are now within the scope of our quality control inspections. The SIGMA 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC MACRO OS HSM will all be checked using this “A1” before they are shipped.

13. “Made in Japan”
All Sigma's manufacturing – right down to the molds and parts – is carried out under an integrated production system, entirely in Japan. We are now one of the very few manufacturers whose products are solely "made in Japan". We like to think our products are somehow imbued with the essence of our homeland, blessed as it is with clean air and water, and focused, hard-working people. We pride ourselves on the authentic quality of Sigma products, born of a marriage between highly attuned expertise and intelligent, advanced technology. Our sophisticated products have satisfied professionals and lovers of photography all over the world, because our manufacturing is based on genuine craftsmanship, underpinned by the passion and pride of our experts.

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  • Jer

    Looks like Sigma covered all the bases. MTF charts especially make this lens look quite promising.

  • Rick

    definitely interested IF this is 90% as good as the nikkor 300mm f/2.8 vr ii @2.8, for almost half the price…with greater versatility. However I read somewhere this is exactly the same lens as the previous version other than the redesigned exterior and usb compatibility? is that true? if so then the image quality might not be on par as the nikkor

    • Michael Sloan

      @Rick, I’ve been watching this lens since I saw the pre-production model at Photokina in Cologne last September. Everything I have read thus far indicates that the optical solution is the same, but with revised coatings for improved contrast, color, and reduced CA. Don’t underestimate the USB dock, as it gives you the option to fine tune auto focus for a matrix of apertures and focal distances. Everyone who actually got their hands on one has said the quality and workmanship on the new body is superb. The Sigma zoom optic will never be on par with the 300 f/2.8 VR II. I think if Nikon made the same 120-300 f/2.8 lens, it too wouldn’t be on par with its own 300 f/2.8 VR II. A zoom has too many optical challenges to overcome in order to be as good as an equivalent prime at all focal lengths throughout its range. For what this lens is and what it offers, it is an amazing optic at this price point. For me, this lens has the potential to replace my 70-200mm f/2.8 and the 300mm f/4. With Sigma’s shaded past, I’m still waiting for the long term reliability tests to prove Sigma’s commitment to quality.

      • Chuck Mee

        If it’s 80/85% of Nikon’s 300mm 2.8 it’s good enough, as long as “the long term reliability” stands.
        The USB dock is the future, not sending body and lens to calibrate.
        If anyone has more information about this lens, or actual photos take with it, please share.
        Word around the net is that this is the old optical formula, is that right?
        All the improvement is on the usb dock calibration, if this is the case?

      • Rick

        aww that’s crap. You just made me on the edge of ordering it.
        I sold my 300 f/2.8 VR II for almost retail 2 months back, now I am aching for that focal length. For some reason, despite all reviews, I wasnt so happy with my VR II. Perhaps it’s the AF accuracy I am not sure, but its sharpness never ‘wow’ me over like the 200 f/2 did.
        And now this siggy is on the block for half the price plus the zoom capability, real tempted

        • Michael Sloan

          If you don’t need f2.8, the 300mm f4 from Nikon is amazing sharp and cheap to boot! I am surprised you had issues with your 300 f2.8. As for the wow factor, for me it came the day my Nikon 400mm f2.8 VR showed up in the mail! I’ve thought about adding the 200-400 f4 VR to my collection, but I can’t justify it. I really like the versitility of what 120-300 f2.8 should provide in terms of DOF for subject isolation, plus the weight and size should be smaller than the 200-400, right?

  • Goose

    how’d this go without a drop-in filter? ive never imagined using 105mm filters, or am i missing something?

    • neversink

      Nope – I don’t think you are missing anything. Here’s the price of one decent filter for it:

      B&W 105mm UV Haze MRC 010M Filter $189.95 at B&H

      Now add a polarizer and at least one ND filter. Getting a bit pricey?? I think in the long run, given Sigma’s history of awful quality control, I would stick with the Nikon 300mm f/2.8.

      Good luck with this, if you decide to buy it. I have learned my lesson the hard way with Sigma lenses.

      • Michael Sloan

        Nikon’s drop in filters aren’t cheap either! http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/134693-REG/Nikon_2474_52mm_Circular_Polarizer_C_PL1L.html $275 for cirpol, $150 for empty filter holder. Forget ND or UV you won’t find them, but hey do you really need them at +300mm anyway? BTW, I’ve read others comments with similar remarks to being burned; I can only say that I hope Sigma has finally got their stuff together. In the mean time I will stand on the sidelines with a wait and see approach. Maybe 12 months from now, LensRentals will be able to provide details about the reliability of Sigma’s new lineup.

        • neversink

          True —
          Good comparison of filters.
          Not sure I would completely trust Lens Rentals reviews as they are in the business of renting (and selling.) Although honesty is the best policy…. ;–} There will be other reviews besides lens rentals also. But a wait and see approach is probably best. My problem with Sigma was a burnt out motor within a two months of purchasing, and occurred on the first few days of a four week safari in Kenya. I also felt the bokah was hard and ugly and the IQ was soft between 375 and 500mm on the 150-500. Repaired it and sold it and decided to buy the Nikon 500 f/4 instead.

          • Michael Sloan

            If I remember correctly, LensRental’s number one failure was on the 150-500 for the same AF motor issue you had. You are right, they LensRental makes their money renting and selling used gear, but due to the issues they had with Sigma, and their poor customer support, they decided to post their repairs history by manufacturer. If I am not mistaken, they were the first rental house to do so. I woudn’t doubt that the negative publicity LensRental’s caused Sigma may have contributed to the company’s new emphasis on quality and workmanship. Go take a look, it is a great read.

            • neversink

              Thanks for your history lesson on the Sigma 150-500mm. If there were more photo shops like Lens Rental giving honest reviews, the world would be a better place…. Not really, but I appreciate their transparency. Thanks for the heads up on the history of the 150-500…. I know I wasn’t alone as I saw a lot of similar complaints on line about that particular Sigma lens. Perhaps this lit the fire under Sigma’s derriere.

      • Remedy

        What a typical, very retarded and completely ridiculous, internet-wisdom based way of thinking. That’s as stupid as saying “given Germans history (WW II) I would stick with hating them”. Given the recent history You should stay away from Nikon products: light leaking in 24-70, falling off camera rubber grip strips, oil/dust/whatever it was on D7000 sensor, dust/paint/grease on D600 sensor, D800 and wide rang of AF issues and so on.

        Judge product not brand You moron. Not only Sigma’s products are optically good/great but also often unique (DX 8-16mm, FF 12(!!!!)-24, DX 18-35 f/1.8 (!!!), 120-300 f/2.8, 100-300 f/4, 200-500 f/2.8 (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111) and so on) and the quality is better and better unlike Nikon’s or Canon’s latest products.

        So maybe it’s high time to take Your head out of Your ass and start thinking straight. There is nothing more stupid than attachment to a brand. Brand doesn’t get Your pictures done, it’s the product You are using.

        • pan

          Remedy, I think, not neversink is retarded moron!

          “and the quality is better and better unlike Nikon’s or Canon’s latest products.”

          Give some example, you scientist!

          • Remedy

            Oh please kind Sir, I bought Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G almost 2 years ago now. Since the very beginning the focus ring had a little bit of play to it and it doesn’t work as smooth as one would have imagined/hoped. And it’s not like I had a bad copy, checked every sample at the store, compared with my friend’s sample. On every single one focus ring feels wrong, it has this tiny play and yet doesn’t go very smooth. You can feel the initial friction, D version was so much better in this regard. My 18-105 has about 2mm of play on the focus ring. That’s just pure pathetic. My Sigma 10-20 on the other hand has a buttery smooth, tight and pleasant focus ring. When I first touched it I couldn’t believe how smoothly it operates, heck I’d say some manual glass I’ve been using feels worse in comparison.

            Now, I don’t remember D2, D3, D700, D300, D80, D90, D70, D50 etc having issues with dust, oil on sensors or serious AF issues or weird LCD tints. Neither F4, F3 etc.

            Is it just me or new Canon 24-70 II is all fking plastic on the outside unlike it’s older version. How is this a quality upgrade? Maybe taping the back of the upper LCD screen in 5D III is a quality upgrade?

            Now compare this already mentioned Canon 24-70 II with Tamron 24-70 VC and tell me what feels and seems better made.

            Touched the new Sigma 35 f/1.4? Touched this new 120-300 f/2.8?

            I’ve seen Sigma’s lenses improving significantly in terms of quality with each generation. They had this gritty coating on their lenses that tend to peel of with time. They replaced it with new, good one and they didn’t wait with the coating for new lenses, they started to upgrade all the current line with it. They had great 120-300 f/2.8 OS that was just introduced in late 2010 and after only 2 years they made it even better, better sealed, better made, more robust and with extra features. When was the last time Nikon or Canon upgraded their long macro lenses? During this time Sigma made it TWICE not because the old ones were bad, because they knew they can make it better and wanted to do it.

            Just take a look, every new Sigma lens is nothing short from great or even spectacular. Of course there are issues from time to time, but that’s life. People do make mistakes but their overall trend is up, big time. Where’s the big companies seems to be getting worse each year. I hope Sigma will be a great example for them how to improve constantly.

            NO I am not Sigma employee, no I don’t sell Sigma gear, no I don’t get payed for this and NO to all the ridiculous reasons people might come up with to “prove” my opinion is biased.

            Yes I am a Nikon guy, yes I really enjoy my Nikon gear but I also see obvious things.

            Best regards

  • Kynikos

    Is this one the same optically as the last update? That one’s $2000-$2500 grey market…

    • Remedy

      Optical formula is the same, which is a good thing actually because the previous version was great. What You get with the new one is more robust construction and what’s most important, compatibility with Sigma USB Dock. This link explain why it is the “OMFG AWESOME!!” thing:

      http://vimeo.com/64665246#at=0

      Limiter from 10-12 meters anyone?

      • Kynikos

        Thank you.
        Yes, I’ve read nothing but good things about the “old” one.

    • Steve Griffin

      Same lens “formula” apart from one of them is now an extra low dispersion element. i.e. made with different glass.

      • Kynikos

        thanks.

  • anon

    I owned the first version 120-300 OS. I really, really liked it.. In fact I’ve owned two Nikon 70-200 VRII since returning the 120-300.. both 70-200s focus less accurately than the sigma did… granted the sigma was a little slower to focus and hunted a little more while trying to achieve focus, but once it did, it was focused spot on. The first 70-200 VRII I had was awful. backfocused on EVERYTHING badly… well beyond what fine tune could fix. The second (which i still have) is much better, but it still required fine tuned to -18 or so to improve backfocus… and I know it’s the lenses and not the camera. Both 70-200s had the same problem on both my d800 and d300, and my other lenses (24-70 2.8, 50 1.8, 85 1.8, 70-300VR, and others) are perfectly fine on both cameras with maybe some very slight adjustment just to make them pop, not correct major focus problems.

    The only reason i sent the 120-300 OSI back was because the diameter of the zoom ring was too large for my wife to turn easily when hand-holding and still manage the weight lens AND there was no focus limited to speed up for wildlife. With the mechanical improvements to and the new features of this new one. I might just have to tell my wife to suck it up and deal, haha… the optical quality of the original OS was awesome so even that being unchanged in the new one is fine. It may not be perfectly sharp like a Nikon 300mm 2.8 VRII, but it also only costs half that… So while there are a lot of people who think buying a sigma is terrible because they have problems with everything, you have to note that sigma has really upped their game in that department recently, at least with speed improvements for repairs, weeks instead of months. plus it’s not like Nikon doesn’t have its share of problems with its products as i have seen in their venerable 70-200.

    • Jacobus DeWet

      First time I hear the 70-200 f2.8 have focus issues, I have the VR1 and VR 2 and have used them on D300, D700, D800 and D3s bodies, not one issue with focus with the TC 1.4 they are both fantastic. I know about 20 photographers who all use the 70-200 f2.8 vr1 or Vr2 and this is the fist time ever I heard about focus issue. It is the one lens that any one of these professionals will pack first in their bag for any assignment.

  • scottmcc

    I asked this question to sigma and they didn’t have an answer: I have a nikon 2x teleconverter already. is this lens compatible with this? the sigma response was that they don’t test “3rd party” products but to go ahead and try it out…I was unconvinced! I really don’t want to damage my teleconverter or an expensive lens.

    • DeathK

      I highly doubt you’ve be able to use your Nikon TC with this lens. With Sigma lenses it’s best to stick with Sigma TC’s.

    • KnightPhoto

      I asked on Nikonians about the Nikon TC14 and was advised the back element of the lens would touch the front element of the TC14.

  • Spy Black

    Cheap!

    • KnightPhoto

      I can get the current version, i.e. the one just prior to this one for $2599 NEW with 10 year warranty. That also is also quite tempting.

      I’m also going to look at used ones too.

      • Michael Sloan

        Before you jump on the old model, go take a look at the lens repair history from LensRentals.com; acording to them, the previous version had a high failure rate. Also, the extra money for the newer version gets you many newer features and suposedly a better manufactured product.

  • Ryan

    I have had this lens for 3 weeks now. I have the Canon version and have used it with the 2x tele-convertor with great results. It’s very sharp all the way through. Even with the convertor at 300mm (600mm with convertor) at base iso of 5.6 (2.8 x 2) the focus motor has no problem keeping up. It’s definitely tac sharp at f8.

    I have use the Nikon 200-400 and 70-200… as well as the canon 300mm 2.8 and have to say Sigma’s focus motor is whisper silent and VERY accurate.

    The Bokeh is milky and smooth. I have take a few nature shots where out of camera friends have thought the image was photoshopped or a painting. LOVE IT!!!

    My only complaint is that feels heavier than all the lenses I have listed above. I don’t know if it’s the length combined with the weight or if it’s heavier elements are loaded closer to the tip but hand held it is a beast.

    I have shot Lacrosse both field and Box, and Friday night lights foot ball. I was concerned that the tele convertor would have issues in low light but it actually held up better than my 70-200 2.8 with the 2x convertor on it.

    I have no regrets about this lens other than not being able to carry it everywhere I go!!!

    • KnightPhoto

      Yeah, I noticed the weight spec, only a pound lighter than the Nikon 500VR!

      Thanks for your report…

  • Jyka

    Problem is that it is not really 300mm but 270mm.
    Focal lenght changes according focus. I could only get “only” 540mm with sigma 2X.

    Not a big deal but worth noting.

    • AM

      Do you get 270mm at close focus or at far focus?
      I would expect that a lens like this may suffer of some focus breathing, but if at far focus it is only 270mm then the marketing is really misleading and the lens should be labeled as a 120–270mm lens.

  • Ryan

    Literally just ordered one this morning, just got my email receipt. Really looking forward to seeing what this lens can do. If it arrives in time, I can take it to Colorado with me next week and put it to the test.

  • DeathK

    Do want. Can’t afford :|

  • Jon Ingram

    Since the optical design is largely unchanged it will be interesting to see how the reviews of this lens differ from the prior version. I’m curious if it will earn higher marks simply because of the ability to fine tune auto-focus, or whether the IQ reviews will be about the same as before (which were positive in general with some complaints). Does anybody know whether they added new coating’s to the lens elements or whether everything is exactly the same?

  • guest

    Anyone knows how the C1 and C2 modes can be turned on/off?

    Is there a switch with off/C1/C2 positions on the lens body or is the change only possible by USB dock?

    If you don’t understand the question, please watch http://vimeo.com/64665246 from 6:00.

  • Jacobus DeWet

    Reason for the modification is that the old version had so many comebacks on focus issues with Nikon and Canon that they had to do something, Great Idea and would be a great lens but…?? if you want 300 mm get the 300 f4 or F2.8 primes, if you need flexibility get the 70-200 f2.8 with a TC 1.4 and you get to +/- 280mm that is very close to the actual 287mm of this lens @ f4.

  • Ryker Vorton

    Hello

    I’ve just read through all the comments and it seems that i will decide to add this lens to my bag pretty soon, but a question poped up and i would like to know if can i have an answer to it here before i take the final steps to decide and order it:

    How smooth is the feeling to focus manually with this lens? (I do not use AF at all)

    Thank you =)

  • Dave Amodt

    I’ve had mine for about two weeks, and I hate it. It looses connection and wont focus. It registers at f/2 and shots turn out black. Sigmas on the phone help was an arrogant ass who could seem to care less. And they wont reply to my email. So off it will go. Also it wont work with my 1.7x Tele. No big deal, but its a joke, the focus is slow, the transmission rate is awful, but… when its all working, it can be very sharp.

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