120-300 OS | Part 2

Bird at spring Crop of Bird
Just wanted to tease a little bit more with some 120-300 OS shots.. So I’ll skip most of the talk and let you see a couple of shots – most of which is taken with the Sigma SD15 but some that (ducks) comes straight out from the Sigma SD9 ones more. Unable to let go it seems.

Gren snowdrop Duck SD9 Duck SD9 Blåsippor Blåsippa

You can almost use the 120-300 as a Macro lens. If you stay at around 250mm then you can go fairly close and get some really nice close ups.

Sothöna Swan Cranes at Hornborgar

lamp at day Little sister

Over and out. :) Oh and all images are uploaded at their full size over at my flickr account.

About Carl Rytterfalk

Welcome to my blog! I'm Carl Rytterfalk, a swedish photographer who loves everything that is interesting in the world of photography. In 2002 I fell in love with the three layered Foveon sensor and has since then been an addicted user of Sigma cameras. Though I use Canon and Nikon as well. :)
This entry was posted in 120-300, Full size, Sigma Photo Pro, Sigma SD15, Sigma SD9. Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to 120-300 OS | Part 2

  1. Person says:

    loving these, especially the glorious SD9 duck shots!

    hope the SD1 has that kind of sharpness that comes from having no micro-lenses.

    lovely as these pictures are, time to bring on your ‘little something’ update. Give us a hint Carl!

    • Person – the SD9 sharpness is also partly false sharpness as each pixel is placed at a pretty big distans between each other – it gives a higher difference per pixel in terms of color info – the SD10 uses micro lenses and each lens captures light even above the area surrounding the pixel hence color info is closer to neighboring pixel and therefore things looks less sharp even if it’s, in reality, isn’t. But. That aside. The SD15 looks sharper compared to SD14 and I have no idea to why this is. Perhaps better micro lenses? We’ll see what the SD1 does – I think the biggest problem we might face will be having good enough optics.

      • Person says:

        Yes, I also noticed that SD15 is sharper than SD14.

        It also seems that the DP1x is sharper than the DP2s… my guess is that its due to the AFE!

  2. John says:

    Yeah, nice shots! But I agree with Person. How about a ‘little something’ update? :)

  3. Person says:


    Is that so?


  4. William says:

    Yes, you said something :-)
    Which is more then can be said from Kazuto Yamaki. He has gone into stealth mode. No Tweets from him the last 6 days.
    That probably tells us the same thing: The SD1 is out soon!

    If not I will have to see a shrink specialized in gear lust….

  5. LionelB says:

    Ducks this time. Maybe in Part 3 we will see a rabbit. Emerging from a hat …

  6. Dan says:

    Hey Carl,
    Foveon has got to be the best sensor for evaluating lens quality. It can do wonders in the hands of a talented photographer, as can be seen here.
    Sigma 50-500 seems to yield the sharpest images at F8. Have you found the same on the 120-300?

  7. John says:

    Oh My!!! :)) Carl you really rock!! :))
    Make sure you get a big fat hat to store that beast of a SD1!! :p

  8. Ed says:

    Great pictures to show what the new OS version can do.

    How would you compare it to the old 120-300 f2.8? Are they different in picture or optics quality? Does OS justify whatever the extra $$ you have to spend on the new one? Any input would be appreciated. Thank you.

    • Hi Ed, I was really surprised today when checking the retail price for the new OS version (for Nikon) as it was priced below what the old 120-300 cost three month ago. Here it’s around €1900 incl Swedish 25% tax.

      I think that this lens is much better in terms of purple fringing, that was my biggest concern with the old one – if there was strong sunlight and some sharp objects or water drops etc then they would be destroyed with strong purple halos. Now, this new version is picture perfect! I tried really difficult stones at strong direct sunlight and nothing bad happened.

      Also, OS is a dream – a lens like this is so much easier to use and handle with OS inside. Get it! You wont regret it! I haven’t yet done any direct comparisons with the old one – the old one was also a truly great lens in terms of sharpness but the new one is more useful due to the rest.. :)

      • Ed says:

        Thank you for the detailed description.
        I have SD9 and I see slight purple fringing on highlights all the time on any lenses so I thought it was just the first gen foveon sensor. (In fact the firmware update for SD9 was for reducing the fringing.) I wonder if Sigma has done further work not just on camera hardware but also the lens optics to get rid of that problem. Thank you for the info.

        • Well.. We’ll see. :) I’m happy to note that the 120-300 don’t have any strong CA in bokeh area like the 50mm 1.4 and 85 1.4. That’s really annoying – same thing with the good old 30mm 1.4. Not sure anyone else than me noticed though.

          • Ed says:

            I only had f2.8 zoom lenses (28-70, 20-40, 120-300) so perhaps it’s more apparent on faster primes?

            To me the purple fringing wasn’t too annoying and something I could easily fix in photoshop, but it was one thing embarrassing about this otherwise excellent sensor technology. I’m sure the current generation foveon is much bette.

  9. Richy says:

    At the risk of being shouted at :) it is a shame you haven’t had a chance to test an EF mount version on the 7d (or F mount on the Nikon d7000). I highly respect sigma and there is a genuine reason for the comment (not trolling). The lens looks amazing on a circa 5mp camera. I think testing on a camera like the 7d would give you an idea of how it would perform on the SD1 with its considerably higher resolution. I know it wouldn’t be apples to apples as the SD1 will likely be considerably better than the canon / nikon beyer sensors, but it should give a closer idea of the resolving power of the lense.
    Thanks for the great review so far, looking forward to part 3! (and hopefully a review of the sd1 soon). My canon / mamiya and nikon gear may need to be going bye bye soon !

    • No shouting needed BUT when I release SD1 images – then you will see how great the 120-300 OS really is. (or.. it must be great.. ehum..)

      • Person says:

        <– (*faints*)

      • Mauersegler says:

        Hi there
        I am not to worried about image quality of the sd1. My concern is, with this amount of data, are they able to make a body with more then 3f/s? At least 4f/s would be nice for birding, especially as the AF-modul should have improved a lot.
        Remind me, what was the last rumor abot frames per second?


    • Person says:

      That link doesn’t work for me.

      Just got this email from a UK Sigma dealer:

      “Sigma expect to receive the DP2x later this month and the SD1 will most likely be available from next month on.”

      Any comments on this Carl? Could it actually be true?

  10. Richy says:

    That shouldn’t be a huge issue. As the process for making chips advances it results in smaller, less power hungry, more powerful chips (a balance between the three that can be tweaked) for roughly the same cost, so it can keep pace with developments and often outstrip them.

    Sigma has a unique advantage in its sensor, it would be great for them to keep building on that and push canon / nikon / sony. Really looking forward to seeing the 120-300 on the sd1 :)

  11. Edward RNLMC retired says:

    Well Carl thanks for allready the pictures on the net and on flickr about this excellent lens to be i would like to see if possible some foto´s taken from birds in flight and with an propeller plane with prop blur my wife says already go for it

  12. Lisa says:

    Hi Carl. I like to take photos too, and I’ve for a very long time wondered…how do you take photographs inside, when it’s dark outside, and quite bad light inside on a concert? Without flash, it becomes very blurred when things are moving on stage etc. But with flash, it’s too light and all the cozy colors disappear.

    What would you do?

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