GimliGlider
Topic Author
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 12:29 am

Nikon 80-400 AF VR Versus Sigma 150-500 HSM OS

Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:22 pm

I shoot with a Nikon D80. I'm looking at upgrading my zoom from a Nikon 80-400 to a Sigma 150-500 for a number of reasons.

1) Autofocus

The AF on the lens can be very slow, not very good, for example, for shooting at the local AFB or for the jet acts at airshows.

2) Softness/General Image Quality

Can be very soft at times, especially with lower apertures. Colors aren't always that great.

3) Focal Length

I'm looking for just a little bit more reach.


Would the Sigma fix any of these problems? How is the build quality and overall image quality through the zoom spectrum? Is there another lens that I should be looking at for these results (at a similar price and reach)?

Thanks!
"You could attach that to your house and still go 0-60 in 5 seconds..."
 
viv
Posts: 2953
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 5:17 pm

RE: Nikon 80-400 AF VR Versus Sigma 150-500 HSM OS

Sun Jan 11, 2009 9:43 pm



Quoting GimliGlider (Thread starter):
Can be very soft at times

You mean like this?

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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Vivion Mulcahy

Nikon D700, Nikkor 80-400, Fuji X Pro 1, Fujinon 35 f/1.4, Fujinon 18 f/2
 
GimliGlider
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Posts: 76
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RE: Nikon 80-400 AF VR Versus Sigma 150-500 HSM OS

Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:00 am



Quoting Viv (Reply 1):
Quoting GimliGlider (Thread starter):
Can be very soft at times

You mean like this?

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!
Photo © Vivion Mulcahy

Yes, that is what I mean. Great shot though, what f-stop and shutter speed did you use?
"You could attach that to your house and still go 0-60 in 5 seconds..."
 
viv
Posts: 2953
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 5:17 pm

RE: Nikon 80-400 AF VR Versus Sigma 150-500 HSM OS

Mon Jan 12, 2009 7:46 am



Quoting GimliGlider (Reply 2):
what f-stop and shutter speed did you use?

1/400th, F/7.1
Nikon D700, Nikkor 80-400, Fuji X Pro 1, Fujinon 35 f/1.4, Fujinon 18 f/2
 
sluger020889
Posts: 404
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2005 9:41 pm

RE: Nikon 80-400 AF VR Versus Sigma 150-500 HSM OS

Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:03 pm



Quoting GimliGlider (Thread starter):
I shoot with a Nikon D80. I'm looking at upgrading my zoom from a Nikon 80-400 to a Sigma 150-500 for a number of reasons.



Quoting GimliGlider (Thread starter):
The AF on the lens can be very slow, not very good, for example, for shooting at the local AFB or for the jet acts at airshows.

Ever think about a long prime? The Nikon 300 F4 AF-S (I replaced my 80-400 with this lens) is tack sharp and the AF is rather quick, even when coupled with a kenko 1.4x teleconverter. Its one hell of a performer at airshows as well, again even with the tc, I've yet to leave without a smile on my face, and at 1100 dollars its quite a bargain.

Joey
I would love to fly a cargo plane full of rubber dog shit out of Hong Kong!
 
GimliGlider
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Posts: 76
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RE: Nikon 80-400 AF VR Versus Sigma 150-500 HSM OS

Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:23 am



Quoting Sluger020889 (Reply 4):
Ever think about a long prime?

I certainly have. The question on that front's always been flexibility versus quality. Over time, I've been starting to lean less towards flexibility. I'll see if any local camera stores have the 300 for rent though just to try it. Thanks for the advice!
"You could attach that to your house and still go 0-60 in 5 seconds..."
 
sluger020889
Posts: 404
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2005 9:41 pm

RE: Nikon 80-400 AF VR Versus Sigma 150-500 HSM OS

Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:08 pm

Quoting GimliGlider (Reply 5):
The question on that front's always been flexibility versus quality.

Oh trust me I was stuck at that cross road myself. In the end I went with it because, sure I'd be loosing the ability in most cases to shoot a side on, but the quality of my 3/4 shots, which I love, would sky rocket, and again don't forget about the airshows. If you're a big airshow shooter, no zoom can match the quality and speed of a prime.

Here's a few examples if you're interested...


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Joey Collura




View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Joey Collura



Joey Collura

[Edited 2009-01-13 06:09:31]
I would love to fly a cargo plane full of rubber dog shit out of Hong Kong!
 
GimliGlider
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Posts: 76
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RE: Nikon 80-400 AF VR Versus Sigma 150-500 HSM OS

Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:13 am

Wow! Very nice! I'm getting much more convinced.

What's the sweet-spot aperture wise for the 300? What kind of shutter speeds would you expect to get with that f-stop at an average sunny day airshow?
"You could attach that to your house and still go 0-60 in 5 seconds..."
 
sluger020889
Posts: 404
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2005 9:41 pm

RE: Nikon 80-400 AF VR Versus Sigma 150-500 HSM OS

Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:25 am



Quoting GimliGlider (Reply 7):
What's the sweet-spot aperture wise for the 300?

There lies another huge advantage in the 300 F4, the sweet spot, at least in my experience is in the f5.6 to f6.3 range. I hardly ever go up to f7.1 or f8, there's no need.

I looked back through my originals from Oceana, the only set i have on my computer at the moment, and sampled a few shots with aircraft on blue sky and they are as follows...

Nikon D200
420mm (300 + 1.4x)
ISO200 (I sometimes use 200 to get a little extra kick in the shutter,)
shutter speeds ranging from 1/750th, 1/1000, 1/1250
-0.3EV exposure comp

Even when using lower ISO's the shutter speed is still at or above 1/500th at f5.6 or f6.3.

Joey Collura
I would love to fly a cargo plane full of rubber dog shit out of Hong Kong!

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