Sigma 120~300 f/2.8 vs 300 f/2.8

Maybe I'm nuts for selling off my 70~200 f/2.8 VR. Nice as that lense was and yes I've bought and sold 2 copies over the last few years it's never given me satisfaction. Yes the images are sharp and contrasty but for me the lens lacks "reach". I know you can add TC's but that kills the speed and I'm not fond of converters. I found the lens to large to "walk around" and to short for when on my tripod.

So I've decided that I "need" a 300 f/2.8. I lust for the latest Nikkor 300 f/2.8 VR but it's more than I'd like to spend at this time which brings up this question. Between these two Sigma's which is better? Any advantage with the prime lens as to sharpness? Contrast? I know the zoom is more versatile but I'm really looking for the best image quality. Do either of these rivial the Nikkor? I known I could do a search but I'm anxious to learn from those members their most recent experience. I'd be nice to have one of these "long" lenses for the upcomming holiday weekend.
In my experience primes have always been sharper and faster to respond that zooms. Zooms seem to compromise on their performance and image quality.
From many reports, including some MTF tests by a renown italian magazine, Sigma 120-300/2.8 EX is actually better than Sigma 300/2.8 EX.

Nikon 300/2.8 VR is better than both (and it has VR) but the 120-300/2.8 is way cheaper, it has the 120-299 range so that you don't need the 70-200 and it's an excellent lens nonetheless.
Giving you have also the 50-150/2.8, the 120-300/2.8 seems to me the logical choice.

Cheers :smile:

I would consider the Nikkor 80-400 VR. Yes, it's slow at 400 mm. But it is hand holdable and about the same size and weight as the 70-200 2.8 (a couple of ounces lighter and a couple of inches shorter when not zoomed out to 400mm). I have the 80-400 and have been shooting with it, from a kayak primarily, for the last two years. The 80-400 would nicely compliment your arsenal.

Good luck,

The 80-400 is a completely different lens to the 120-300, not compariable and definatly not upto the OPs "need" for f/2.8 at 300mm.


These two were very recently tested head-to-head by PopPhoto.
Their conclusion was that the prime was a bit sharper, but most of the difference could be compensated in PP.

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