Sigma 50-500 v 150-500 v Nikon 80-400?

Started Aug 18, 2014 | Discussions thread
PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 14,803
Re: Sigma 50-500 v 150-500 v Nikon 80-400?

No direct experience with the Sigma's, but some indirect experience (friend with 50-500) and a lot of studying of images and comments over the years as I tried to decide what to buy.

However, I do have a good amount of Nikon experience, currently having the 80-400AF-D, the 300F4 AF-S and Nikon 1.4TC-EII, and the 80-400g.

I'd rank the 50-500 Sigma as a better lens than the 150-500 Sigma, and that is reflected in the price.

I'd rank the 50-500 Sigma as overall (probably) a hair better optically than the 80-400AF-D.   I would like to note that the 80-400AF-D needs to be shot at F8 (F9 better) at 400mm.  It's much sharper at F8/F9 than wide open, and I suspect a lot of people who are disappointed in the 80-400AF-D never worked with it enough to learn its quirks, including stopping it down adequately.

The 300F4 + 1.4 TC is better than the 80-400AF-D, and probably better than the 50-500.   But of course it's a zoom, and no VR/OS.

The 80-400g is better than all of them.  Pretty much as sharp (or sharper) than the 300F4+TC (and not as sharp as the bare 300F4).  Excellent AF.   Probably the best VR I've seen, though I still suspect you get more consistently excellent results with VR off and a high shutter speed.

My view of the 80-400g bashers is that they don't like the price.   They REALLY don't like the price and seem to have a chip on their shoulder about it.

If you are budget concious, the Tamron offerings are pretty good.   The 200-500 (no VR, very light) was perhaps an underrated lens, though I found my 80-400AF-D to be better than a friend's 200-500.   The new 150-600 has a lot of people excited, mostly due to price and the 'magical' 600mm focal length.  Seems to be a fine lens, though I don't think it is as sharp as an 80-400g.

One thing about at least some of these lenses, the 50-500 for sure.  These lenses are enormously long when zoomed out.   May or may not bother you, but they aren't exactly something you idly lift and point.

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