Nikon 200-500mm vs Sigma 150-600mm C in more controlled conditions

Started Sep 19, 2015 | Discussions
Micloi Regular Member • Posts: 419
Nikon 200-500mm vs Sigma 150-600mm C in more controlled conditions
6
Nikon 200-500mm F5.6E ED VR
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OP Micloi Regular Member • Posts: 419
Re: Nikon 200-500mm vs Sigma 150-600mm C in more controlled conditions
2

200% crops

msheikh921 Forum Member • Posts: 51
Re: Nikon 200-500mm vs Sigma 150-600mm C in more controlled conditions
1

Both 500mm @ 6.3, the Nikkor is sharper; difference is quite pronounced. ( also comparing the bottom of the box where it says "3pk water cartridges" )

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mansod
mansod Senior Member • Posts: 1,226
Re: Nikon 200-500mm vs Sigma 150-600mm C in more controlled conditions

Micloi wrote:

And a 'lab conditions' comparison with the Sigma 150-600mm C using manual mode and a tripod

Both lenses auto focused using live viewShot in raw and exported using Adobe RAW after just an auto-balance as the sigma's photos are always more yellow

Sigma at 500mm and 600mm (6.3 for both)

Nikon at 500mm 5.6 and 6.3

Nikon at 700mm f8

Nikon at 850mm f9.5

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/16187250/Nikon%20200-500mm/150-600%20AND%20200-500/150-600%20500mm%206.3.JPG

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/16187250/Nikon%20200-500mm/150-600%20AND%20200-500/150-600%20600mm%206.3.JPG

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/16187250/Nikon%20200-500mm/150-600%20AND%20200-500/200-500%20500mm%205.6.JPG

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/16187250/Nikon%20200-500mm/150-600%20AND%20200-500/200-500%20500mm%206.3.JPG

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/16187250/Nikon%20200-500mm/150-600%20AND%20200-500/200-500%20700mm%20f8.JPG

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/16187250/Nikon%20200-500mm/150-600%20AND%20200-500/200-500%20850mm%20f9.5.JPG

Thanks, the Nikon looks like it's a sharp lens.

Did you take multiple shots and select the sharpest?

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OP Micloi Regular Member • Posts: 419
Re: Nikon 200-500mm vs Sigma 150-600mm C in more controlled conditions
2

Yes, I took 3 shots for each and chose the best.

KnightPhoto2
KnightPhoto2 Senior Member • Posts: 2,078
Re: Nikon 200-500mm vs Sigma 150-600mm C in more controlled conditions
5

Micloi wrote:

And a 'lab conditions' comparison with the Sigma 150-600mm C using manual mode and a tripod

Both lenses auto focused using live viewShot in raw and exported using Adobe RAW after just an auto-balance as the sigma's photos are always more yellow

Sigma at 500mm and 600mm (6.3 for both)

Nikon at 500mm 5.6 and 6.3

Nikon at 700mm f8

Nikon at 850mm f9.5

First of all, full size photos from dropbox, FANTASTIC and thank you very much!

Second of all, in this range the two lenses I personally most wanted to consider are exactly these two, the Sigma C and the Nikon head to head, FANTASTIC again

So.. in looking at these comparisons, I use Photomechanic to evaluate using it's 100% view and standard sharpening that it applies. I do this on my own photos in exactly the same way. I know from experience if viewing/culling in PhotoMechanic and a photo is sharp there, that when I take it in for editing it will be a sharp and good image.

Anyhow what I am seeing, and interesting in everyone else's critical eye too, is the Nikon is definitely beating the Sigma C. You just might have saved me from an egregious error

- at 500mm wide open the Nikon beats the Sigma (f5.6 to f/6.3) and when you stop down the Nikon to f/6.3 it then visibly blows the Sigma away viewed at 100%. Viewed as a full image rather than 100%, it's still noticeable that the Sigma C is duller, the Nikon at 5.6 is better, and the Nikon at f/6.3 is the crispy and contrasty.

- It looks like a key shooting tip for the Nikon is stopping it down as little as β…“ stop makes a noticeable and useful difference. Based on this result I would plan on shooting it at f/6.3 wherever possible.

- at 600mm and 700mm the comparison gets a little trickier. The Sigma C is decent, and the Nikon at 700mm is decent. The TC14 seems to be dulling the image more than without the TC, but see next point.

- at 850mm your TC17 is performing fantastic - it looks better than how your TC14 is performing. I would never have thought about mounting the TC17 on the 200-500 to shoot at f/9.5, but judging from your result here at least for a stationary subject the optics seems to be very very nice;

- very nice and carefully testing.

- I'm actually not buying for a long time, but when I do, based on your stuff here it looks like the 200-500 over the 150-600C I had been considering. I also realize this is close in target and results could vary at further distance, but heck what a nice test!

- to be fair it may be that the Sigma C stopped down β…“ stop to f/7.1 might improve nicely too.

I also will state I am quite happy to stand to be corrected, and interested in what others perceive.

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Best Regards,
SteveK
'A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.' -- Dorothea Lange
http://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showgallery.php/cat/500/ppuser/119002

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StillLearning
StillLearning Veteran Member • Posts: 4,412
Re: Nikon 200-500mm vs Sigma 150-600mm C in more controlled conditions

Since I can't see the dropbox shots on the first post but I could on the second.  Question is how far was your target? Did you do fine tuning on either lens? Though I would expect the Nikon to be better I had to AF tune with the dock to get 400 and 600 better at infinity(+10 and +12).  Nikons usually do well out of the box though it looks like you could probably squeeze a little more detail with the Nikon with some tuning. It won't surprise me if the Nikon beats the Sigma in future tests because the tester usually won't tune the lenses before.  If rumors had revealed this lens to be released I would have held off on the Sigma but 2 pounds more may have given me pause.

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OP Micloi Regular Member • Posts: 419
Re: Nikon 200-500mm vs Sigma 150-600mm C in more controlled conditions

Exif is intact, you should be able to see the distance from there as I did not measure it.

AF tuning does not matter (even though I did fine tune the lenses) as I used live view AF

StillLearning
StillLearning Veteran Member • Posts: 4,412
Re: Nikon 200-500mm vs Sigma 150-600mm C in more controlled conditions

Micloi wrote:

Exif is intact, you should be able to see the distance from there as I did not measure it.

AF tuning does not matter (even though I did fine tune the lenses) as I used live view AF

That's what I always thought until shooting the moon. Had more out of focus shots with live view but that is different shooting conditions. Remember I couldn't see your first shots so couldn't see the exif.  Reason I asked is some lenses perform better at certain distances.  Had a 80-400 AFD that was superb at 10 to 20 feet but was so so at further distances.  I wasn't calling in question the Nikon's performance just thought your Sigma would have performed better.

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sh00t3r
sh00t3r Senior Member • Posts: 1,189
Re: Nikon 200-500mm vs Sigma 150-600mm C in more controlled conditions
1

Looks good, thanks!  I am trying to decide between these two lenses, but it's looking more and more like the Nikon is the way to go.

HSway
HSway Veteran Member • Posts: 3,176
Re: Nikon 200-500mm vs Sigma 150-600mm C in more controlled conditions

It looked that the optimised specification would suggest a specific intent. But what exactly. Less versatile, very well built, superb optics, 2.3 kg, non-professional AF and affordability seems ID of the lens. Getting rid of needless versatility (optimising) - the 400-600mm-reaching zooms are faster at the short end and have more FL range - and focusing on extracting maximum efficiency is one of the ways of building system defining products.

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mansod
mansod Senior Member • Posts: 1,226
Re: Nikon 200-500mm vs Sigma 150-600mm C in more controlled conditions

Micloi wrote:

Yes, I took 3 shots for each and chose the best.

Ok, I was just a bit curios because the Sigma looks a little bit weaker than I expected.

I quickly took some test shots with the Sigma to see how my copy performs in comparison. But it was inconclusive.

I think the shooting distance is about the same but my subject does not have a glossy finish and that might impact perceived sharpness.

Anyway, The Nikon seems like a very nice and sharp lens! I don't doubt that it's sharper than the Sigma C at 500mm.

I would love to hear some more reports about AF speed.

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TimStir Regular Member • Posts: 112
Re: Nikon 200-500mm vs Sigma 150-600mm C in more controlled conditions
1

The results with the 1.7XTC (850mm f/9.5) definitely look way better than the 700mm f/1.4x TC (which look as expected). I wonder if your 1.4TC is not a good copy?  I don't see why the 1.7xTC should be perform better?

Form those results the 1.7xTC , 850mm @f/9.5 look superb and makes an ultimate good light, affordable ultra telephoto for birds.

I am trying to decide between one of the 150-600s and the Nikon 200-500mm, aiming for maximum reach. The Nikon is at a slight disadvantage natively but if it works veyr well with the 1.4xTC then it may push it ahead of the Sigmas and matron.

mansod
mansod Senior Member • Posts: 1,226
Re: Nikon 200-500mm vs Sigma 150-600mm C in more controlled conditions

Micloi wrote:

Yes, I took 3 shots for each and chose the best.

One more question. You say that white balance was the only adjustment, does that mean that the sharpness slider was at the default +25 setting?

I really appreciate that you posted this comparison, I wish more people would follow you example!

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OP Micloi Regular Member • Posts: 419
Re: Nikon 200-500mm vs Sigma 150-600mm C in more controlled conditions

Everything else was at default for a fair comparison

mansod
mansod Senior Member • Posts: 1,226
Re: Nikon 200-500mm vs Sigma 150-600mm C in more controlled conditions

Micloi wrote:

Everything else was at default for a fair comparison

Thanks for the info.

Just to clarify my shots was with the sharpness slider to zero, everything else default.

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mansod
mansod Senior Member • Posts: 1,226
Re: Nikon 200-500mm vs Sigma 150-600mm C in more controlled conditions

mansod wrote:

Micloi wrote:

Yes, I took 3 shots for each and chose the best.

Ok, I was just a bit curios because the Sigma looks a little bit weaker than I expected.

I quickly took some test shots with the Sigma to see how my copy performs in comparison. But it was inconclusive.

I think the shooting distance is about the same but my subject does not have a glossy finish and that might impact perceived sharpness.

Anyway, The Nikon seems like a very nice and sharp lens! I don't doubt that it's sharper than the Sigma C at 500mm.

I would love to hear some more reports about AF speed.

Here is the 500mm shot at f/6 with ACR default sharpening, slider at 25. Slider was at zero on the previous images, the left part of the box seems to be a little bit sharper, it's probably more in focus.

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Matsu Senior Member • Posts: 2,388
suddenly so many options

Great comparison - useful to see exactly what the magnification difference is between 500 and 600mm.  I wonder how quickly the 150-600 lenses hit f/5.6.  I haven't seen a website test for it yet, but all the existing tests show at least f/5.6 at 300mm.  I never see a value for 200mm or 250mm.  It'd be interesting to see the aperture progression for the variable lenses in order to compare against Nikon's fixed aperture.  When do they hit f/5.6, and when do they hit f/6.3. DPR's test widget for the Tamron 150-600 skips both 200mm and 500mm so we're not sure exactly where the max aperture changes...

I think it'd be really interesting to see all of the following compared:

80-400G

200-500E

Tamron 150-600

Sigma 150-600C

Sigma 150-600S

300PF with 1.4x and 1.7X TC

Maybe DPR can arrange a tele-zoom group test?

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mansod
mansod Senior Member • Posts: 1,226
Re: suddenly so many options

Matsu wrote:

Great comparison - useful to see exactly what the magnification difference is between 500 and 600mm. I wonder how quickly the 150-600 lenses hit f/5.6. I haven't seen a website test for it yet, but all the existing tests show at least f/5.6 at 300mm. I never see a value for 200mm or 250mm. It'd be interesting to see the aperture progression for the variable lenses in order to compare against Nikon's fixed aperture. When do they hit f/5.6, and when do they hit f/6.3. DPR's test widget for the Tamron 150-600 skips both 200mm and 500mm so we're not sure exactly where the max aperture changes...

I think it'd be really interesting to see all of the following compared:

80-400G

200-500E

Tamron 150-600

Sigma 150-600C

Sigma 150-600S

300PF with 1.4x and 1.7X TC

Maybe DPR can arrange a tele-zoom group test?

I think the aperture reported is rounded and differs between camera bodies. Or at least differs between Canon and Nikon.

On my D7200 the Sigma C 150-600 seems to be approximately:

300 f/5.6

350 f/5.6

400 f/6

500 f/6

550 f/6.3

I don't have my camera at hand so this is judging from my samples shots.

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Matsu Senior Member • Posts: 2,388
Found the aperture ranges!
4

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Sigma-150-600mm-f-5-6.3-DG-OS-HSM-Contemporary-Lens.aspx

The digital picture started including a comparator in their long lens reviews.

The Tamron 150-600 goes to f/5.6 at 226mm and f/6.3 at 428mm

The Sigma 150-600C goes to f/5.6 at 180mm and f/6.3 at 388mm

The Sigma 150-600S goes to f/5.6 at 185mm and f/6.3 at 321mm

Interesting stuff.  The Tamron has the brightest apertures overall, and the cheaper Sigma C is actually brighter through more of the range than the more expensive S.

Also, except for the Tamron at 200-225mm, none of the variable zooms are faster than the Nikon 200-500 over any part of the overlapping range, and the Sigmas in particular are not just slower at the long end, but in the middle as well.

These are small increments in any case, only a 3rd stop from f/5 to f/5.6 and again from f/5.6 to f/6.3, but at least now we have a more accurate picture.

What would complete the comparison is some analysis of the T-stops in those ranges, as the transmission will effect the shutter speeds one can achieve.

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