During the last Midwest Birding Symposium, I had the opportunity to attend a Bird Photography Workshop presented by Dave FitzSimmons, a pro for Sigma lenses. I had been thinking about getting a new telephoto lens, longer than the Nikkor 28-300mm f3.5-5.6G ED VR lens I've been using (and loving). Because of weight, I didn't want to go as far as 500mm, so when we had the opportunity to choose a lens for the workshop, I grabbed up a Sigma 120-400mm f4.5-5.6 stabilized lens to use on my own Nikon D90 camera body.
I'm a Nikon camera girl and didn't necessarily want to get a non-Nikkor lens, but trying out this Sigma did open my mind to the idea. More importantly, it proved (I think) that I could successfully handhold a heavier telephoto lens (the Sigma weighed 62oz. versus the 28oz. telephoto I'm using now).
The Sigma was easy to use and easy to hold. Here are some of the images I took, mostly at East Harbor State Park.
While I enjoyed using the Sigma lens, I eventually decided to get a Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED VR lens. Besides the fact that it was a Nikon lens, one other big deciding factor was the weight: at 47oz., the Nikkor is 25% lighter than the Sigma. I know that 15oz. weight difference will really help out as I and my hands continue to age.
My old telephoto will still get much use as it's a great travel lens - not only smaller and lighter, but the 28-300mm gives me a much better range for a variety of photo situations.
I appreciated being able to try out that Sigma lens, and even though I didn't buy Sigma, I had a great time with the lens and loved the images I was able to capture. Thanks to Dave and Sigma for the opportunity.