Sigma 300mm f2.8 vs Canon/Nikon 300mm f4 IS/VR?

Started Nov 23, 2015 | Questions thread
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tobicy68 Contributing Member • Posts: 579
Sigma 300mm f2.8 vs Canon/Nikon 300mm f4 IS/VR?

When stepping up from a 70-300 zoom to a 300mm f4 prime lens (or for Sony users, the 70-400), I realize the price for either Canon or Nikon 300mm F4 IS/VR new I can get a used Sigma 300mm F2.8 prime or 120-300mm F2.8 non OS zoom lens for the same price or perhaps cheaper from sites such as evil bay.

What are some of your takes on this? Which to choose? For Sony users it'll be the decision between Sigma 300mm F2.8 and Sony 70-400 since there's no Sony mount for 120-300 and Sony does not have a 300/4.

Is the 300/2.8 really another league compared to 300/4s in terms of sharpness and overall image quality? The 300/4s obviously are handheld-able the 300/2.8s you really need to build a strong upper body to be able to handheld them.

There's not a lot of samples and scientific tests/reviews for the Sigma 300/2.8 but based on the photos and dxomark results of the more popular 120-300/2.8 and Canon/Nikon 300/2.8, they really outshine the 300/4s especially for the Canon 300/4 IS which look pale in comparison to the 120-300 and Canon 300/2.8 in terms of wide open sharpness:

http://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compare/Side-by-side/EF300mmf-4L-IS-USM-on-Canon-EOS-5D-Mark-III-versus-Sigma-120-300mm-F28-DG-OS-HSM-S-Canon-on-Canon-EOS-5D-Mark-III-versus-Canon-EF-300mm-F28L-IS-USM-on-Canon-EOS-5D-Mark-III__263_795_1063_795_928_795

Now not saying that the Canon 300/4 is mediocre or bad lens at all, it's an L lens and the jump in performance and overall operation and speed should be substantial compared to a 70-300 zoom. But for the same price, if I can get an off brand Sigma 300/2.8 is it more preferred to get the 300/2.8 than the 300/4?

I especially put more weight on sharpness and resolution because I'm using an APSC camera and am afraid the 300/4 or 70-400 will look pale in comparison to 300/2.8 in terms of sharpness and resolution on a modern 24mp APSC sensor.

 tobicy68's gear list:tobicy68's gear list
Canon EOS M100 Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM +1 more
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Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4E PF ED VR Samsung S 300m F2.8 ED OIS
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