turkishraf From Turkey, joined Aug 2010, 20 posts, RR: 0 Posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 9459 times:
At the moment I am using a Nikon d300s and 80-200f2.8 for most aviation work. This is excellent for heathrow at Myrtle avenue, but when I am in Istanbul or other locations, I really feel the need for something longer. My Nikon 80-400 is great for static stuff and slowmoving aircraft, but as soon as i need dynamic fast AF this thing just goes round and round and I never get a shot. I had to resort to using MF on some days. Now I just use the 80-200 and crop, but the quality of the images suffers.
My question is simple- is the Nikon 70-300 vr a better bet than the sigma 150-500.
Or if anyone has a better idea- please let me know. I am writing articles for magazines and yet many of my "long shot" images are not used in preference for someone else's.
ptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3878 posts, RR: 19 Reply 1, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 9460 times:
Although I know that some people are fine with it, I think the Sigma eats too much light.
I'd go for the Nikon f/4 300 mm prime which you can use wide open.
Or an 1.4 x teleconverter for the 80/200. Or both, giving you 420 mm on the 300 mm and you could sell the 80-400.
The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
The problem is that my 80-200 does not take nikon converters. Only kenko- it's too old.
The problem with the 300mm is that that is all it is. With things moving so fast- I'd prefer a zoom- and I do enough wildlife to appreciate 400mm plus.
As aerorobnz says- the 80-400 is superb- just slowwwwwww.
megatop412 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 293 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 9362 times:
I have both of these lenses. In my opinion, they complement each other more than replicate each other.
The Nikkor is a bit faster and I have tested it to be sharper, even at 300mm, than the Sigma at 300mm at the same f-stop. It is also much more portable and ideal for use inside terminals or when on a non-spotting vacation that you just happen to find time to spot during, haha. I also use it when I know I need to get the best possible shot of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity like the Space Shuttle on top of the SCA last April.
The Sigma...is the best bargain you're gonna get at consumer prices. You got the money for the pro glass, spend it. But personally I know I would feel constrained by the narrow focal range of the 200-400 as 200 is too long for a short end and I like being able to get to 500mm with the same lens. It's a big lens with a cheapo finish and a cheapo lens hood, but the glass does pretty well if you stop it down. The lens acts up sometimes leading to focus locks, and it sometimes doesn't play nice with my D90 and gives an error message. I know this is from the less-than-perfect seal at the lens mount. I only got it because I got tired of waiting for Nikon(are you listening, Nikon- I gave someone else money I would have gladly given to you had you done what everyone is asking for and refreshed the 80-400 but you played games with not one but TWO new 85mm's, so I went with your competitor) to come out with something that was longer than the 70-300 but didn't cost a fortune and had AF-S.
That said, I have taken many fine shots with the Sigma and feel that it plays a valuable role in my range of lenses. I use it when I know I will be at spots where 150-500mm would be perfect(airshows, my back deck, some spots at JFK, IAD, most a/c at PHL). To those who say it eats a lot of light, well, shoot when it's sunny or raise your ISO since most cameras now have pretty decent ISO performance up to 1000 or so.
turkishraf From Turkey, joined Aug 2010, 20 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 9341 times:
Megatop412 I sincerely appreciate your comments. I could not have said it better myself. I live more than half the year in Africa and long lenses here are great for safari and an arrest warrant near an airport. The 80-400 is superb, I love the glass, it's also small. It's just slow.
It's difficult to use for birds in flight- the things with flappy wings- and aircraft at speed. As you say there is no upgrade, and there is no pro glass in this range from Nikon. Canons 100-400 is is much faster, stuck on a canon 7d. If it were not for my faith in the constant upgrading of digital cameras- I'd go back to canon and get a 7d. Indeed if Nikon bin small sensor I may have to. My D700 and 200mm f2.8 are useless at Istanbul for approach shots. Even the D300s won't do it on 200mm.
I really need 300mm (or more) on a cropped sensor and some speedy foccusing. Hence my wondering if Nikon will produce a 80-400 upgrade.
Recently I was on Safari with a good buddy who had a canon 600d and the sigma 150-500. His shots were so much closer than mine, and he got all the birds leaving the branch with wings flapping and in motion. I in the meantime, had a pin sharp shot of the branch. That and the Istanbul experience got me thinking.... But as my old friend in the AP says, " the money is in the glass".
I just don't know what to do. 70-300vr with soft 300mm or light eating sigma bazooka or wait yet another year to be disappointed by Nikon?
megatop412 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 293 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 9285 times:
I rationalized my purchase of the Sigma this way: I could continue to wait and be limited to 300mm, or I could buy the Sigma and actually have something decent to shoot with until the Nikon finally arrived. Don't forget, even if Nikon announces an AF-S 80-400 at Photokina, it will be several months before it can be purchased, and then several more months before they work the bugs out if it after the masses have used it for a bit. So I look at it like, it would be a year or so between an announcement and me having the lens in my hands. And they haven't even made the announcement yet. I'm not going to be limited to 300m for that long, I need the extra reach now. At least by the time the Nikon is announced, I will have gotten a few years use out of the Sigma so it won't be a complete loss.
I'm sure Nikon will eventually get around to doing the lens. But you and I have a fixed amount of time to be on this Earth. I don't know about anyone else here, but I'm not wasting the time I have left waiting. I'd rather be out with the jets and my Sigma.
viv From Ireland, joined May 2005, 3139 posts, RR: 30 Reply 8, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 9240 times:
Quoting turkishraf (Thread starter): My Nikon 80-400 is great for static stuff and slowmoving aircraft, but as soon as i need dynamic fast AF this thing just goes round and round and I never get a shot.
Strange. Most of my flying aircraft shots accepted on this site are with the 80-400. The autofocus causes no problems at all.
Nikon D700, Nikkor 80-400, Fuji X Pro 1, Fujinon 35 f/1.4, Fujinon 18 f/2
eskillawl From Sweden, joined Jan 2012, 96 posts, RR: 0 Reply 13, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 8887 times:
If I was in the situation, I would have taken the Nikon 70-300, even though I'm not a fan of Nikon. Thats because 150-500 is often to short or to long, you cant take picture if you're standing to near.
And what I've heard Nikon is better quality than Sigma, Tamron and so on. Though i will keep the final word, I've actually never tried out this Nikon objectiv. =)