nikon 80-200 f 2.8 or sigma 70-200 f2.8

Started Nov 15, 2012 | Questions
rhaikenking
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nikon 80-200 f 2.8 or sigma 70-200 f2.8
Nov 15, 2012

hi,im an medium level photographer i use  a nikon d90 my favorite subject is sports photography action photography and food photography and im planing to buy a lens and i cant decide which is is better of the two lens considering that the nikon 80-200 f 2.8 is a bit cheaper than the sigma 70-200 f 2.8 i wanted to know which of them would you prefer... hoping for a reply any input is much appreciated

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Nikon AF-Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED Nikon D90 Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM
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slimandy
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Re: nikon 80-200 f 2.8 or sigma 70-200 f2.8
In reply to rhaikenking, Nov 15, 2012

Sorry to widen the field further but is a used Nikon 70~200mm f2.8 VRI an option? Because that would be my choice.

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Windancer
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Re: nikon 80-200 f 2.8 or sigma 70-200 f2.8
In reply to slimandy, Nov 15, 2012

slimandy wrote:

but is a used Nikon 70~200mm f2.8 VRI an option?

I would agree with Andrew I think the best choice for your D90 body would be a used 70-200/2.8 VRI lens.

As good as the Sigma and the Nikon 80-200/2.8 are IMO I think you would be most satisfied with the newer 70-200/2.8 VRI. Just my opinion though.......

Terry

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Mac
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Re: nikon 80-200 f 2.8 or sigma 70-200 f2.8
In reply to rhaikenking, Nov 15, 2012

rhaikenking wrote:

... i use a nikon d90 my favorite subject is sports photography action photography and food photography

These are two very different types of photography.  If I had a D90 and wanted to do sports photography, I would probably lean towards a Sigma 70-200 that has HSM.  I believe the HSM in the Sigma would allow you to get more winners.  Sigma's AF is fast and positive.  The Nikon 80-200 is optically superior but the AF is screw based, dependent upon the AF motor in the D90 body.  I question if the D90 has enough power / torque to drive a heavy tele like the Nikon 80-200/2.8D for fast action sports photography.  Couple it with a D300 or D700 and it would be a different story.

Food photography is an entirely different.  Actually, I don't know that either of these lenses would be my choice but if a tele zoom is what you want to use, then I would opt for the Nikon due to the better optics.

Best of both worlds would be to find an Nikon 80-200/2.8 AF-S but a clean used copy would probably start at $800.

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Michael Benveniste
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Re: nikon 80-200 f 2.8 or sigma 70-200 f2.8
In reply to rhaikenking, Nov 15, 2012

rhaikenking wrote:

hi,im an medium level photographer i use a nikon d90 my favorite subject is sports photography action photography and food photography and im planing to buy a lens and i cant decide which is is better of the two lens considering that the nikon 80-200 f 2.8 is a bit cheaper than the sigma 70-200 f 2.8 i wanted to know which of them would you prefer... hoping for a reply any input is much appreciated

Which Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 are you looking at?  There have been so many different versions of this lens I've lost count.  My one spot of advice about buying new Sigma lenses is to make sure you'll want to use them for a long time -- resale value can drop quite quickly.  (On plus side, I paid silly money for a very nice used Sigma 180mm f/3.5 as a result.)

For food photography, I'm concerned you'd be running up against the minimum focus limits of either of the current models of these lenses.  The same is true of either Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VR models.

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rhaikenking
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Re: nikon 80-200 f 2.8 or sigma 70-200 f2.8
In reply to Michael Benveniste, Nov 15, 2012

thank you guys for the input now i know what lens should i purchase thank you so much for the input

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azguy
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Re: nikon 80-200 f 2.8 or sigma 70-200 f2.8
In reply to rhaikenking, Nov 15, 2012

The 80-200mm 2.8 has been around for a long time, in several versions, and is one of the very best buys on the market.  I was able to pick up a used one for $500 and I value it as one of my most important lenses.  It is built like a tank, the colors that it produces are terrific, the IQ is just a little below the 70-200mm 2.8 VRI, but very good.  I mostly use it for "reach" and for portraits, so the screw drive focus doesn't bother me, although it is fast enough with my D300.

I owned an earlier version of the Sigma, but wouldn't put it on the same par with the Nikon, unless you really need vibration reduction.

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Windancer
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Re: nikon 80-200 f 2.8 or sigma 70-200 f2.8
In reply to Mac, Nov 15, 2012

Mac wrote:

I would probably lean towards a Sigma 70-200 that has HSM. I believe the HSM in the Sigma would allow you to get more winners.

I am not familiar with Sigma's naming conventions but if HSM is Sigma's version of VR personally IMO it is not really necessary in sports photography. I shoot a lot of sports (http://www.pbase.com/windancer/waterpolo) and I turn off VR whenever I can. The reason being is the subject will be moving and will cause blur because VR tries to slow the shutter. If you are shooting static subjects in low light then I would get HSM or VR etc.

Terry

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dwa1
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MFD should not be overlooked.
In reply to rhaikenking, Nov 15, 2012

As another poster indicated, MFD is an important consideration. The lenses that you are considering tend to require a MFD (minimum focus distance) of about 5 feet. For food shots, you may not have that kind of distance between the subject and the lens.

You could get around this by using extension tubes. They are "hollow" tubes (no glass) that mount between the lens and the camera. Many photogs use the Kenko tubes available as a set of 3 sizes. You can "stack" multiple tubes which has the effect of greater magnification. In general, depending on the extension tube(s) used, this will require the lens to be well within 1.5 feet of the subject. This also means that the lens will not focus on subjects within it's "normal range" (more than 5 feet away).

Most photogs use macro lenses for close-up work. Until your budget allows, the extension tubes will provide a low cost alternative.

Good luck with your lens purchase.

Wayne

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clouseau2
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Re: nikon 80-200 f 2.8 or sigma 70-200 f2.8
In reply to Windancer, Nov 15, 2012

HSM is Sigma drive system Hyper sonic motor

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dwa1
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Sigma's "VR" is "OS".
In reply to Windancer, Nov 15, 2012

Terry, Sigma calls their VR "OS". HSM refers to their hypersonic motor.
Wayne

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Windancer
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Re: nikon 80-200 f 2.8 or sigma 70-200 f2.8
In reply to clouseau2, Nov 15, 2012

clouseau2 wrote:

HSM is Sigma drive system Hyper sonic motor

Thanks.... and Mac sorry I confused HSM with VR.

Terry

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Windancer
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Re: Sigma's "VR" is "OS".
In reply to dwa1, Nov 15, 2012

dwa1 wrote:

Terry, Sigma calls their VR "OS". HSM refers to their hypersonic motor.

Thanks Wayne........

Terry

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Windancer
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Re: nikon 80-200 f 2.8 or sigma 70-200 f2.8
In reply to Mac, Nov 15, 2012

Mac wrote:

I would probably lean towards a Sigma 70-200 that has HSM.

Mac

I am very sorry I confused HSM with VR when it should be known as OS. Several people "strightened" me out and I thank them for it.

Terry

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bocajrs
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Re: nikon 80-200 f 2.8 or sigma 70-200 f2.8
In reply to rhaikenking, Nov 15, 2012

I've had my Sigma 70-200 2.8 OS DG HSM (bought for $1100 new) for three months and been using on my D600 for one month. IQ is excellent, fast AF even in lowlight, and is built like a tank. I've not tried the 80-200 2.8 so I cant compare.

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Mac
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Re: nikon 80-200 f 2.8 or sigma 70-200 f2.8
In reply to Windancer, Nov 15, 2012

No offense taken, not a problem.  To expand a little on my earlier response.

I bought a Sigma 70-200/2.8 HSM about three years ago.  As others have stated, HSM means it has a high speed focusing motor built into the lens itself.  It did not have the OS / VR capability.  Believe I paid around $650 or so.  Very nice lens for the money.  What really impressed me was the AF speed and accuracy.  Sigma is light years ahead of Tamron in this regard.  Sharpness was more than OK but just never seemed to have that final "pop", if you know what I mean.  I would think that setting the D90 on continuous AF with this lens would be a fairly effective kit, both cost and perfomance, for shooting sports.

Shortly after acquiring the Sigma, I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time to pick up a Nikon 80-200/2.8 AF-S from someone moving to Canon system.  Optically, the Nikon was in a different league, both sharpness and color rendition, so I sold the Sigma.  IMO, the various Nikon 80-200/2.8's have always set the bar for this class of zoom lens, thus my recommendation for the food photography.  Surprisingly, AF speed was about the same, which speaks highly for the Sigma.  This particular Nikon (the AF-S model) is known for its blazing fast AF (sometimes believe the lens AF torque can even cause camera shake!).

Just my two cents.

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dwa1
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Nikon 80-200 f 2.8 with latest 1.4TC - AF speed?
In reply to Mac, Nov 15, 2012

Mac,

Have you tried your 80-200 AF-S with Nikon's latest TC1.4? Just curious about how the TC affects the AF speed.
Wayne

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Alnitak
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Re: Nikon 80-200 f 2.8 with latest 1.4TC - AF speed?
In reply to dwa1, Nov 15, 2012

If your budget can handle it, I agree with the 70-200 VR1. It's optics are a tad better than the 80-200, it focuses faster and has VR.

(By the way, the camera does not slow down AF or the shutter speed with VR on as implied in another post; the secret is to engage the VR a half-sec or so before you activate the shutter to give it a chance to settle down, else the picture can soften a bit. I have done a lot of indoor sports with that lens, both with VR on and off. The VR is useful to reduce camera shake if you don't have a shutter speed of 1/FL or faster.)

I find the VR1 sharp even wide open, and the use of the 1.4x TC does not slow down AF. It is my favorite lens for indoor sports, plays, etc.

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dwa1
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Re: Nikon 80-200 f 2.8 with latest 1.4TC - AF speed?
In reply to Alnitak, Nov 15, 2012

Alnitak wrote:

If your budget can handle it, I agree with the 70-200 VR1. It's optics are a tad better than the 80-200, it focuses faster and has VR.

(By the way, the camera does not slow down AF or the shutter speed with VR on as implied in another post; the secret is to engage the VR a half-sec or so before you activate the shutter to give it a chance to settle down, else the picture can soften a bit. I have done a lot of indoor sports with that lens, both with VR on and off. The VR is useful to reduce camera shake if you don't have a shutter speed of 1/FL or faster.)

I find the VR1 sharp even wide open, and the use of the 1.4x TC does not slow down AF. It is my favorite lens for indoor sports, plays, etc.

Thanks for the feedback Alnitak.

The reasoning for looking into the 80-200 + 1.4TC option is that I want to replace my 70-300 VR lens with a "fast glass" option. This will primarily be used for butterflies and various small birds. Since I've started shooting with my Sigma 150 f2.8 non-OS macro lens, I find it very hard to use my 70-300 VR. The Sigma 120-300 f2.8 OS is on my wish list but currently out-of-budget. As an affordable, interim solution, I am considering the 80-200 plus 1.4xTC combo. During the prime butterfly season, I shoot with 2 bodies. The Sigma 150 macro handles most of the subjects - close up and to about 8-10 feet away. The other body with the 70-300 VR handles everything else (as long as they don't get too close (MFD).

The new Nikon patent for a 55-300 f:2.8-4 FX zoom looks very appealing, but who knows if and when that may happen.

Wayne

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Mac
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Re: Nikon 80-200 f 2.8 with latest 1.4TC - AF speed?
In reply to dwa1, Nov 16, 2012

dwa1 wrote:

Mac,

Have you tried your 80-200 AF-S with Nikon's latest TC1.4? Just curious about how the TC affects the AF speed.
Wayne

I purchased a used Nikon AF-I TC 1.4E about a year ago but never really worked with it other than to ensure it was functional so cannot comment on any difference AF speed.  My concern was IQ and could not discern any significant degradation with the Nikon 80-200/2.8 AF-S.  Thought has always been that if I needed a little extra reach, I could pull it out.  The TC 1.4E was more of a curiousity than a real need.  I have never had a lot of confidence in converters though never owned a high quality one like the Nikon.  Given the lens motor speed and an effective aperture of f/4.0, I wouldn't expect any AF speed degradation in normal lighting.

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