Sony & Sigma on long tele zooms

Today’s launches in Las Vegas have the advantage of offering good opportunities to make interesting comparisons. First comes to my mind the opposition of two high-end tele-zooms that should interest the enthusiast photographer looking toward sports, wildlife and even portrait:

Sigma APO 120-400mm f/4.5-5.6 DG OS HSM

  • Sigma APO 120-400mm f/4.5-5.6 DG OS HSM
  • Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G (SAL70300G)

Tous les deux visent la meilleure qualité possible pour une gamme d’application très large. Ils viennent en concurrence directe avec les offres équivalentes de Canon (EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS USM) et Nikon (F VR Zoom-NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED), par exemple. Tous sont des zooms ouvrant jusqu’à f/5.6 (pour maintenir un excellent couplage avec l’autofocus), tous sont stabilisés (Sony utilise la stabilisation au boitier, bien sûr), tous couvrent le champ complet d’un 35mm (APS-C ou Full Frame acceptés), les prix tournent autour de 1000€.

But, where I see Sigma rushing in the fight (probably trying to limit costs by cutting short the low-end of the range -where portrait photographers may suffer), I do not understand Sony’s choice of limiting itself to 300mm (only portrait will be satisfying). Portrait would be better served by a shorter zoom (bringing better aperture). Or by a prime lens of superlative quality as Sony (ex-Minolta) or Zeiss has the knowledge for.

We’ll have to see the exact characteristics and the image quality (the products on the market are among the best lenses possible in this category).