Nikon 500mm or Sigma 500mm lens for safari?

Started 11 months ago | Discussions
systemguy
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Nikon 500mm or Sigma 500mm lens for safari?
11 months ago

Hello

I wish to know if anyone can comment on the performance of the above lenses at wide open aperture (f4 vs f4.5).  The application would be for a safari.  There is a saving of about $2000 in price and is it worth it?

Or is the difference in performance of the Nikon significant with the D800?

Thanks

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Rory
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Re: Nikon 500mm or Sigma 500mm lens for safari?
In reply to systemguy, 11 months ago

Get the Nikon.  I don't know anyone who has purchased the sigma that has not later "upgraded" to the Nikon.  For a safari you should consider the 200-400...

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Rory

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Alan Brown
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the perennial Qs... is it worth it?
In reply to systemguy, 11 months ago

systemguy wrote:

Hello

I wish to know if anyone can comment on the performance of the above lenses at wide open aperture (f4 vs f4.5). The application would be for a safari. There is a saving of about $2000 in price and is it worth it?

this question is part and parcel of the compromise that is photography and more money available doesn't make the dilemma any less of a compromise. f2.8 zoom = more weight etc. Looking at your gear list you know this.

Some questions presuming the Nikon is probably better in all respects:

How often will I use it?

Can I get the most out of the Sigma, let alone the Nikkor?

Am I or other viewers going to be able to 'see' the difference that the price increase is going to cost?

you probably found this already.

http://www.thephoblographer.com/2013/09/01/review-sigma-500mm-f4-5-ex-dg-apo-nikon-f-mount/

my 2 cents

Or is the difference in performance of the Nikon significant with the D800?

Thanks

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There is a very fine line between 'hobby' and 'mental illness.' :'!':

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JimPearce
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Re: Nikon 500mm or Sigma 500mm lens for safari?
In reply to systemguy, 11 months ago

The Sigma is only a touch less sharp than the Nikkor. Remember though, it won't autofocus with a 1.4x converter (It seems to be disabled in firmware). Personally I'd use my 300 f2.8 VR plus TCs for a safari and leave my 500 f4 at home. But I shoot DX.

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Jim

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calson
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Re: Nikon 500mm or Sigma 500mm lens for safari?
In reply to systemguy, 11 months ago

Don't assume that the Nikon teleconverters will work with this Sigma lens. It may or it may not and that would result in two sets of teleconverters.

I don't know about the Sigma but I recently purchased the Nikon and it is incredible with all three Nikon teleconverters. The autofocus and image quality is good even with the 2x so it becomes a very usable 100mm f8 lens (and there are several cameras now with f8 AF sensors like the D800 and D7100).

With the Nikon lens I truly have a 500mm f4, 700mm f5.6, 850mm f6.3, and 1000mm f8 set of lenses and need only deal with the added weight of 3 teleconverters.

With the Sigma lenses I would be more inclined to buy or rent the 150-500mm f5.6~6.3 lens or take/rent the Nikon 80-400mm f4.5 or 200-400mm f4 zoom lenses. You don't want to be changing lenses while out shooting and zooms are an option over carrying two cameras (and even then I would have the 70-200mm on the backup camera).

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jjnik
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Re: Nikon 500mm or Sigma 500mm lens for safari?
In reply to systemguy, 11 months ago

systemguy wrote:

Hello

I wish to know if anyone can comment on the performance of the above lenses at wide open aperture (f4 vs f4.5). The application would be for a safari. There is a saving of about $2000 in price and is it worth it?

Or is the difference in performance of the Nikon significant with the D800?

Thanks

If it's just one safari, why not rent?  It would take a lot of rentals to come remotely close to the cost of purchasing.  Do you have other, frequent uses in mind that would justify buying one?

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