Sigma 120-400mm f/4.5-5.6 AF APO DG HSM
I'm tired of waiting for Nikon to upgrade 80-200 that may never happen in my lifetime and was wondering if the Sigma 120-400 any good?
I was just checking one out at the NECCC Photographic Conference on a canon no less - ha ha. It seemed like a very well built lens (I'm suspect of the finish though!) fast, etc. plus it's a lot cheaper ($899 on Amazon) than the current 80-400 that I had and sold.
I'm not a lens snob but I don't usually buy 3rd party lenses; got stuck in the past so I'm looking for a little direction here. I have the nikon 500 Vr but I love the size on the Sigma for those occasions when you want to bring along something smaller.
I have never had one and only know one person who has in recent times. He sold his shortly after he purchased it and wasn't particularly happy with it. I know that is very anecdotal and maybe I shouldn't have mentioned it. At the last birding club meeting he told me he'd bought the new Bigma OS and still wasn't satisfied so there you go.
To go with your big 500 f/4, why not consider the Nikon 300 f/4 AFS with a Nikon 1.4 converter for when you need a little more reach. It's smaller and lighter weight and you know the IQ is spectacular. Birds and wildlife as well as sports often don't benefit from VR anyway. Just a thought.
I wish Nikon would hurry up and release a new 80-400 or better yet, a 100-500 they patented last year. A 100-500 f/4.5-5.6 AFS VRII would be a dream for somewhere around $2000- $2500.
Edit: add an N to that lens too. 100-500 f/4.5-5.6 AFS N VRII.
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I owned this lens until recently, using it with a D700. I found it to be markedly sharper than the Nikon 70-300 AF-S lens for the common focal lengths, which I passed on to my son after buying the 120-400. It could be that I had a less than normal performing 70-300 and a better than average 120-400, but that was my personal experience.
I used it for taking photographs of merchant ships, getting the resulting images commercially printed at up to A4 size with no problems regarding image quality. I only sold it because I bought a new, but six year old, 80-200 f2.8 AF-S some time ago, which gave a considerable overlap of focal lengths and earlier this year tried it with a TC20III and found that that combination was sharper and faster focussing.