Friday, July 18, 2014

Process for buying a lens

While I reviewed this lens a year ago, I am just now buying the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Lens for the Nikon mount. Here it is on my Nikon D4.

This was more of an upgrade. This would be like selling your older car after getting 12 years of use of it and then buying a new one.

Up until last night I owned the original Sigma 120-300mm.

This is a screen grab of the ebay listing I did to sell the lens. Sold it in less than 24 hours. I didn't list it until I had the other lens.

I listed the lens for sale using 11 photos with this one being the main photo. Most people want to see what all is included.

One thing I did different this time was include photos taken with the lens.

These are all the photos I put up to sell the lens. Two of the four photos I posted taken with the lens were ones published in Sports Illustrated. I really think this helped to sell the lens.

You see too many people think that if it isn't a Nikon or Canon lens Sports Illustrated will not use it. I even had one photographer say this to me standing next to me at a football game trying to put down my lens. I laughed out loud to him and said that is funny because look at this weeks SI and you can see the photo. Then he started back peddling and asked how big it ran.

Here is that photo.

All this is to say the lens I bought twelve years ago was a great lens and did an excellent job through the years. The reason I was replacing it was the newer technology that has come along making it possible to get even sharper photos.

Sigma introduced a USB docking station that only works with their "Global Lenses" and the 120-300mm is one of those lenses. Micro-adjust settings clearly change the focus position bias and provides lots of interesting options for photographers who like to tinker with their equipment to get best results. I am one of those photographers.

I do not have the funds to buy all the lenses now available in this focal length and test them. By the way when I bought the first lens there was no other options except fixed lenses.

I highly recommend always going to DXOMark website and look at their test results on the lenses you are interested in buying. This is what I did when I wanted to see if I should buy the Nikon 200-400mm or get the newer Sigma 120-300.

This is the side by side comparison on a Nikon D4. That is another cool thing is you can check the results on your camera if they tested it.

I was also just a little curious about the Canon 200-400mm and how it measured up to it. So I compared it.

You can click on this comparison to see it larger. The bottom line is for sharpness it was pretty equal.

Price Comparison:
  • Sigma    $3,599
  • Nikon    $6,749
  • Canon    $11,749
Even after tossing in the USB Dock [$59] to calibrate the lens based on price alone it was a no brainer. 

you get what you pay for 
In commercial transactions, the quality of goods and services increases as the prices increase, i.e., the more one pays, the better the merchandise. 
Well the test results on these lenses and my past experience with the Sigma lenses was proving the old english proverb wasn't always correct.

If you buy the lens then be sure and buy the USB Dock and calibrate the lens.  Here is a blog post I did about this process.

After I did all this research I just looked for who had the lens and could get it to me at the best price. This was more about who offered free shipping because the price was pretty much the same no matter where you looked.

Stay tuned in the future and I will be sure to post many photos from this lens.