The only reason for me to consider the 120-300 is for the versatility. Otherwise I would be looking at the primes. It's a great lens, I've seen plenty of great examples from it. I haven't made a direct comparison to a prime, but without having done so, I can still say with pretty good confidence that the prime will still trump the zoom in image quality - just looking at the front element tells me that.
that's not the question. For sheer flexibility zooms will always win. The question is whether or not it produces the same quality of image and everything I've read suggests not. This is not to criticize the 100-300, not at all. But let's deal with the facts.
Originally Posted by DonSchap
Seeing is believing...
As I stated earlier, I specifically went into the lens comparison as a side-by-side experience. I used the same subject, same distance, same angle of view and the same stupid camera. I did this three times... because, like yourself, I truly anticipated different results. BUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ... didn't happen. The 120-300mm f/2.8 was outstanding and if they had it in my mount, it would have been on the plane home. I was that impressed. I wrote SIGMA, last year, asking them to produce the SONY-mount... and I even got notification is was going to be done, only to have them change their mind, last October, and restrict it to Nikon, Canon and SIGMA mounts. Disappointed? Heck yeah, especially after seeing this.
If you take a look at the MTF Chart for both of these lenses... they are amazingly linear. Spend your money anyway you want.
With lenses this expensive ($3000+), if you cannot get access to them... them buy 'em both and return the one you are not convinced offers you that TOP-DRAWER image quality. I made my call... with a side-by-side... that's all I ever ask for. You know that. I do not need further convincing than that.
Bottom line: See what you are missing. :cool:
By the way, that SONY 500mm f/4 G SSM is drop-dead gorgeous... but not at $13,000. That price, alone, will give you a coronary.
That is hardly evidence based logic. It's an anecdotal story. All I'm saying is that if you are going to make these sorts of statements you need to back it up with evidence. Especially when your "findings" are contrary to the view of every other source of information.
Originally Posted by DonSchap
MTF... why not?
Look, the MTF Charts for both lenses are impressive. I mean they respond close enough to make the choice... difficult? I mean, it would be for me.
SIGMA 300mm f/2.8 PRIME
SIGMA 120-300mm f/2.8 ZOOM
Attachment 59013Attachment 59012
Nit-pick if you want... but when this is the result of a ZOOM... the ZOOM wins!
Better still.. for you other camera manufacturer guys... it is STABILIZED!
C'mon, Rooz... admit it... you're just sore cause now you have to run out and get one. :D And I don't blame ya!
lol i hardly think so. i have a nikon 300/2.8VR. one of the best lens' on the planet and yes, like almost all canikon telephoto lens's...its stabilised. in fact just like most long range tele's from any manufacturer now... stabilised. im hardly going to be envious of a sigma zoom. although for some purposes and conditions, its a fine choice. just like an 18-200 is a fine choice for some people, just like a 200-400/4 is a fine choice for some people, just like a 200/2 is a fine choice, just like a kit lens is even a fine choice for some people.
Originally Posted by DonSchap
Locking yourself in...
Okay... this is going to be an apples and oranges, argument. I was comparing the SIGMA 300mm f/2.8 DG EX and not the Nikon. There are others who state the same experience that I have between the two lenses, so I am okay with that.
You still have locked yourself into 300mm shots with your "best lens on the planet." At $5800 (<- @B&H), this lens also took an additional $2600 out of your pocket, to get the miniscule improvement in contrast. Fair enough. Everyone should feel good about the glass they have elected to use to "get the shot."
Of course, the shooting challenge is rarely just sitting in a studio or controlled environment. In the real world, being able to frame your shot without having to move tends to favor the zoom solution (zoom performance has come a long way in the past decade). So for $3200 (<- @B&H)... a photographer would have a truly flexible solution, that weighs nearly the same amount and delivers a relatively and almost equally excellent image. Sounds fine to me. Everyone should feel good about the glass they have elected to use to "get the shot."
The question is: How best to image whatever it is you decided to... snap. Hence, the side-by-side challenge. Get both lenses... try them out. Hey, it is your conundrum... I sense most would be satisfied with the "95% solution," in this case, saving $2600 for use in getting the necessary filters and whatnot for your lens. This is one heck of lens, for what it delivers. Again, everyone should feel good about the glass they have elected to use to "get the shot."
Of course, it should be remembered that on an APS-C sensor body, the 300mm effectively crops the shot to 450mm. You lose a lot of field scoped out to that focal length. The image did not get closer, you simply lost 1/3 of it to play with because of your sensor's inability to actually capture the full frame "image circle." Objectively, by using the 100-300mm on the front of the APS-C sensor... you effectively have a 200-450mm cropping lens. You can relax your borders, zoom back and still get that effective 300mm "look," making up for the inherent shortfall of the cheaper camera body.
Hey, it's your money... and more importantly, your photography. I really don't think anyone is going to laugh at you if you pull this bad boy out and start shooting... and then show them the goods.
To zoom or not to zoom...
Don, those MTF charts look pretty crappy against that of a lens which you've described as useless.:D
Sony 300mm f/2.8 SSM
Running around and sighting in at 300mm is... well, unless you're out in a field, pretty impractical. "Relatively useless" would be a better way to put it... and it is not meant to be insulting, just practical. Having a lens that is a little more flexible, especially at that weight, just seems to make a little more... well, it seems more reasonable in the grand scheme.
Okay, so you have a lens that can process light efficiently. It is like having a water processing unit, that can make perfect water, but it cost twice as much and your get very little water out of it... but, it tastes awesome. Chemical composition: still H2O.
You also have posted the MTF of the SONY 300mm f/2.8. Again, not the lens I compared with. Although, I will say, I liked the performance of the "new" SONY 500mm f/4 G SSM over the SONY 300mm f/2.8 G SSM, when I was looking at the two of them. For $13,000 vs $6,200, it had better work better. Good lord.
There is little doubt that the 300mm f/2.8 made by just about anyone is a fine piece of glass. The proof is there and it has been around for nearly two decades, an older design.
Although AF has forced these lenses to modernize, the element stacking and construction produces a very similar shape to it. All I am saying is BEFORE you pony up that kind of loot, you really need to stop by and check out the "new" SIGMA 120-300mm f/2.8 EX DG EX OS APO HSM AF zoom (remember, no SONY-mount).
Seriously, you could get IT riding on the new, "I feel over-priced" Canon 5DMkIII for about the same price as JUST the SONY 300mm f/2.8. To some, that's a serious consideration.
As always, good luck with your SONY 300, Peter. It is definitely a fine optic.
lol You just don't get the fact that there are different uses for different lens' do you ? Not every lens is supposed to meet your limited needs. No one in their right minds would pick a 300mm prime to shoot swords indoors. That's not what the lens is for. As I have said countless times, I will always take iq first when it comes to specialized optics. That's why I bought an 85g, 300vr, 105g etc. where I feel that flexibility is the key ingredient for non specialized purposes then I pick the right lens for the job, 24-120, 16-35 etc.
Let me at this point also stress that MTF charts are ONE factor for consideration. What about bokeh, what about focus speed and accuracy, what about contrast an dc,our, micro contrast, skin tones, edges, specular highlights, CA, etc.
I have no problems shooting primes, no problem with a 300mm fixed lens cos I know how to use it and when to use it. I'm prepared to accept the compromise in flexibility cos of the final results. Anyway, I suspect this is a moot point, we have been down this road before with you about picking less gear but better quality gear and you have come around every time. You ditched the 7 tamrons tand crappy rokinnons that do bugger all but clog up your closets and bought high quality optics like the Zeiss 135 and the Sony zoom. There is a reason for us suggesting what we do. Cos it makes more sense to have 1 brilliant piece of glass over 6 average pieces.
By your logic what I'd be saying is that the Sony a900 is useless cos it doesn't do low light very well and is limited in its 3rd party options. Hmmm...maybe you're onto something here after all. lol