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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Tele lens...Hi guys, was wanting to know a few questions, was looking at Nikon 80-400 & Sigma 150-500, is there much ...
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Old 16-08-2012, 20:26   #1 (permalink)
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Tele lens

Hi guys, was wanting to know a few questions, was looking at Nikon 80-400 & Sigma 150-500, is there much difference between 400mm & 500mm when comparing images & image quality between the 2 lenses, & does anyone have either of these 2 lenses that they could show images, cheers simpbow
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Old 16-08-2012, 21:50   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Tele lens

I'm sure that Markulous used a Sigma 150-500 before he got his Sigma 500mm - and he still might be using it.

Also Jasondh had/has one as well.
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Old 16-08-2012, 22:13   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Tele lens

I do like the 150-500mm but it is such a beast. Image quality is excellent but I have to say I didn't compare it to the Nikon that closely because the Nikon was twice the price.

I use it quite rarely to be honest but that is more to do with my style, I think so I prefer my shorter lenses.

I'll dig out a photo or perhaps take a couple tomorrow if the weather is o.k.
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Old 16-08-2012, 23:11   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Tele lens

Cheers Graham & jason
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Old 17-08-2012, 08:07   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Tele lens

I know the the AF on the Nikon is slow I had a sigma 120 400 OS but I sold it I also had an old version of the sigma 150 500 but sold that as well I am intending on a new sigma 150 500 but other things going on have put paid to that for a while. Personally I'd go for the sigma 150 500 I've seen some excellent images wIith it the Nikon is well overdue a update although they hold their money. I had a 1.7 tele converter Nikon to use with my 70 200 vr and when I bought the sigma 120 400 I sold it I wish now I kept Iit I still got the 70 200 vr 2.8 and might get the 2.0 tc111 as I've seen some good results with it
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Old 17-08-2012, 08:32   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Tele lens

I have the 80-400, bought 2nd hand because I believed that Nikon would be bringing out a new AF-S model, and I didn't want to lose too much on exchanging it when they do. It is compact and not too heavy when compared with the 150-500. Given the choice and the fact that Nikon still have no real competitor to the Canon 100-400, I would go for the Sigma. The results I have seen here from Markulous are very good, although Frances also uses the 80-400 with excellent results.

Plus points for the Nikon are compact, not too heavy and VR - but I would not give the VR any more than 2 stops, where Nikon quote 3. I often find that there are tricks to be learned to use the VR so that it gives good results. The lens is sharp up to 300mm, and less so further to 400mm when wide open. At 300mm full aperture is already down to f/5.6. It does not take TCs from Nikon but you can use the Kenko without loss of functionality.

Minus points are that is uses the camera focussing drive screw and is quite slow unless it is close to the focus point required. More so with cameras that do not deliver enough power to drive it - the D200 for instance. The D300 (and your D90) use the ENL3a battery that delivers more power, so it is less of a problem, but it is nevertheless slow. This is exacerbated with the Kenko TC (I use a x1.4). There is gearing in the TC and if you do not preset the focus to a point near the required focus the camera will drive the focus to short focus before it drives it to long focus. This can take all of 2 seconds!!! There is a focus limiter and this helps but not for wildlife photography. The TC also overexposes about a stop with this lens - other lenses work fine. Finally because the focus is screw driven working at f/5.6 at 300mm+ the camera seems not to able to finely adjust the focus in less than fairly bright light, meaning that it is often necessary to fine tune manually, which all takes time - especially as the manual/auto focus switch is cumbersome (I find). As noted by many other users on the Internet the tripod foot could probably benefit from changing

This is a shot taken hand held using VR with the TC - total length 550mm: ISO800, 1/125sec @f/10 (= lens @f/7.1 where it starts to get better at 400mm) .


As a final note, I was with another photographer using a hide last month. He was using the Nikon AF-S 300mm f/4 (no VR) with a x1.7 converter. The lens is exceptionally sharp and with a Nikon TC he was getting 510mm at f/6.3. AF-S fast focus and excellent sharp well defined images every time.

Perhaps I should rewrite this as a review
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Old 17-08-2012, 13:21   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Tele lens

Thanx everyone for taking the time here, if i can as a question here as i see graham is on line what would the difference be between Nikon AF-S 300mm f/4 & Nikon AF-D 300mm f/4?
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Old 17-08-2012, 14:09   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Tele lens

I would suggest reading this article Nikon 300mm f/4 Nikkor Review by Thom Hogan.

Beyond what is said there if you want to buy Nikon TCs then you need to have an AF-S lens as Nikon TCs do not support screw drive focussing.

The 300f/4 AF-S in on my list of desirables purely because I now use the 80-200 f/2.8 AF-S (superb optics) more to cover that focal range and if I'm going longer then I'm looking at several options, but wider apertures are really helpful for speed of focussing and image acquisition, which will probably mean a prime lens plus TC when necessary. AF-S (SWM) usually focusses much faster than screw drive.

The downside of too great a tele is that it is heavy and large, so I think the 300 f/4 AF-S (+TC) would suite me for weight, size and [some] flexibility. It is current stock and can be had for a reasonable price from HDEW or OneStop for about the same price as the Sigma but the decision for usage (zoom vs prime) is personal of course.
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Old 17-08-2012, 19:27   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Tele lens

Cheers GS i see the difference now if you want to use Nikon TCs
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Old 17-08-2012, 20:25   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Tele lens

Yup, use the Sigma 150-500 OS (and still use it for my 'walkabout' lens as it's way lighter than my 500 which has no OS so needs a mono/tripod in the mix - though produces better results)

OS is very good (advertised as 4 stops and I've had that out of it), albeit noisy (sounds like a jet!). It can 'flutter' occasionally. Although it's f/6.3 wide open @ 500mm, I generally won't go wider than f/8 to keep sharpness up.

I also use a Canon 100-400 whose IS is 1st generation so won't give me more than 2 stops. Although it's f/5.6 wide open @ 400mm I tend to use f/8. Build is excellent but I prefer the Sigma images

Both will take a Kenko 1.4x TC but need the 'tape trick' to AF and need bright conditions to avoid 'hunting'
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Old 17-08-2012, 21:39   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Tele lens

Quote:
Originally Posted by Markulous View Post
Both will take a Kenko 1.4x TC but need the 'tape trick' to AF and need bright conditions to avoid 'hunting'
Just to note that the tape trick is not needed on Nikon Cameras as they will continue attempting to focus but do not guarantee success beyond f/5.6. Most times I've had no problem with the Kenko attached to the 80-400 focussing at an equivalent of f/8, accept in very overcast conditions or against the light, and I imagine that it will work with the Sigma albeit possibly slowly.
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Old 17-08-2012, 22:07   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Tele lens

Thanx to the both of you 2 guys have a lot of info here to digest on cheers guys
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Old 24-08-2012, 22:26   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Tele lens

so I think the 300 f/4 AF-S (+TC) would suite me for weight, size and [some] flexibility. It is current stock and can be had for a reasonable price from HDEW or OneStop for about the same price as the Sigma but the decision for usage (zoom vs prime) is personal of course.[/QUOTE] Is there really a comparison between the 2 or is the sigma just as good
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Old 25-08-2012, 10:07   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Tele lens

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Originally Posted by simpbow View Post
Is there really a comparison between the 2 or is the sigma just as good
Don't know the Nikon 300 but I've the Canon 300mm f/4 IS L and I'd say that adding a 1.4x TC will edge the Sigma 150-500, albeit at only be 420mm! Primes are almost always better than zooms due to the relative simplicity of construction (less glass)
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Old 25-08-2012, 17:51   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Tele lens

Cheers mark, when you say edges it is there much difference
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Old 25-08-2012, 20:09   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Tele lens

As a generalisation, zooms are better "in the middle" rather than at the ends, so the 150-500 performs better at at least f/8 and down off 500mm to about 450 whereas primes are often good right across the aperture range. So, my 300 with a 1.4x TC performs better at f/4 (which goes to f/5.6) than my 150-500 wide open at f/6.3
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Old 28-08-2012, 12:55   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Tele lens

Thanx for that piece of advice mark
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