Need Opinions On This Lens, Please.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by SolracSelbor, May 10, 2008.

  1. SolracSelbor macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #1
    This same lens is also available for Nikon and cannon so if anyone has experience with these lenses please tell me what you think. Basically, does I want a lens with little to no chromatic abberations, fringing, or the like. I have never had sigma so i don't know the quality, and since this is a 70-200mm zoom lens I don't know if the quality is compromised any as opposed to a flat 200mm lens.

    Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG Macro HSM II Auto Focus Telephoto Zoom Lens for Pentax AF
    [​IMG]
    (click to see page)

    Price: $799

    Thanks for the help!
     
  2. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    The 70 or 80 -200 mm zoom range is ideal for a lot of shooters. And when you consider that I believe it is Canon's 70-200 mm f/2.8 L lens that is considered by many to be their finest, you can rest assured that the lens is not a compromise. I've heard many Canon and Nikon shooters rave about the Sigma (they've had it for a while now) I think it should be every bit as good and maybe a little better than a 200 mm prime, it would certainly be more versatile. I know my wife won't let me even think about buying my next lens (a 77 mm f/1.8 limited) until I get this one for her!

    SLC
     
  3. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    Northern/Central VA
    #3
  4. nburwell macrumors 68030

    nburwell

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    #4
    I rented and compared this lens against the Canon 70-200 f/2.8 when I was in the market for a telephoto. I found that the Sigma was slightly sharper than the Canon when shooting around f/2.8-4. However, at f/4 on up, that is when I noticed the Canon lens gained back sharpness. I also compared two lens which were used, so that may not have been properly calibrated since they were rented out to other photographer's.

    The Sigma is not a bad choice. I owned my fair share of Sigma lens in the past, and they have never done me wrong.
     
  5. SolracSelbor thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Nov 26, 2007
    #5
    Cool, ive always been under the impression that 3rd party lenses are of low quality. Was the difference in sharpness above f/4 drastic or subtle?
     
  6. nburwell macrumors 68030

    nburwell

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    #6
    Well, Sigma really has been the only third party lenses that I have owned (although I'm all Canon now). Tamron and Tokina aren't bad choices either. I just have not had any experiences with them personally.

    The difference was not noticeable at all. If "pixel peep" that is when you will really see the difference. That, or enlarge the same photo taken with the two lenses up to 20x30. Other than that, you will not see much of a difference - if any.
     
  7. SolracSelbor thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Nov 26, 2007
    #7
    WOW! Those results are ridiculous! Looks like the prime is a lot better. You think the new pentax DA*200mm F/2.8 would produce similar results as the Nikkor 200mm prime?
     
  8. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #8
    Given Pentax's lens quality, I'd expect it'd be at least in the ballpark, if not equivalent. The 70-200 on a D300 is no slouch, it's just not in the same league as the 200 prime (note the thread's reshoot results- same answer.)

    Zooms are still optical compromises- even if we're compromising less and less over time, the fact is that we've been comparing modern zooms to older primes for the most part. The 200/2VR is a modern prime, and it shows.

    Which just goes to show you, if you're perfectly happy with the results from your $1600 lens, you'll probably hate yourself for comparing it to a $4000 lens.
     
  9. sonor macrumors 6502

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    Jan 15, 2008
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    London, UK
    #9
    I have a Sigma 70-200/2.8 in a Minolta fit - I used it on my 700si when I was shooting film. It's a sharp, high quality lens and I was always very happy with it.
     
  10. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #10
    You know, that's a really good point - and one I've completely missed. When Nikon eventually gets around to retooling the 35/50/85 primes, they might end up being spectacular lenses. I know people swear that the 50 (at least) is already perfect; but I've never seen an objective analysis that actually backed that up (certainly not at the wider apertures and away from the center). So I've always taken that with a big grain of salt.
     
  11. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    Sendai, Japan
    #11
    I wouldn't get discouraged that a 4.5k prime can beat a zoom for about a third of the price. The lens you have chosen is even cheaper, but just because it costs half of Nikon's 70-200 doesn't mean it's only half as good. I'd take it. By the way, Tamron has released a 2.8/70-200 for about the same price, perhaps that might be an option for you, too? Since you have a crop sensor, I'd also suggest you have a look at Sigma's 2.8/50-150 and Tokina's 2.8/50-135, their zoom ranges correspond to 70-200 mm on film and the lenses are much lighter.

    Regarding the nifty fifty, I think 50 mm lenses for any system have a good reputation: they are affordable, offer very good IQ (especially for the price) and they have a rather large initial aperture. Whether they are able to beat the IQ of a lens with a four-digit price tag is another question, but I think the 50 mm's price-performance is excellent.
     
  12. seenew macrumors 68000

    seenew

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    Dec 1, 2005
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    Brooklyn
    #12
    I've had this lens for about 9 months now, and I love it. Sharp and fast, solid build quality. The only gripe I have is that the autofocus is a little slow in lower light. But I've heard that varies from lens to lens (meaning yours might not be slow).

    Excellent lens, well worth the price. Wouldn't even consider spending the extra $400 or whatever just to have it in white.
     
  13. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Redondo Beach, California
    #13
    This is one major difference between third party lenses (like Sigma) and the Nikon or Canon glass. You never here about lens to lens variation with Nikon. Nikon can make every lens absolutly identical, So can Canon. This level of quality control is expensive and is reflected in the price of the lens.

    Sigma could solve this buy putting each lens on a test fixture and letting it auto focus on a set of targts, measuring performance and sending the lenses that are different back for re-work by hand. but that adds cost at the factiory. they can control the cost be opening up the range of what is conciderd "acceptable" The Nikon lens with same specs as this Sigma costs $150 more (MSRP is $950 as I remember)
     
  14. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    Northern/Central VA
    #14
    A Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 is $1799.95 MSRP as far as I can tell- B&H sells it for $1624.95 US and $1579.95 gray market.

    The Nikon 80-200 is in the $900 range, but it's an AF-D lens, which isn't going to be like a Sigma HSM lens in terms of AF.

    Not that any of that is all that helpful to a Pentax shooter.
     
  15. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Redondo Beach, California
    #15
    I agree

    I have a very old prime lens. It's a 58mm f/1.4 lens made in "USSR Ocupied Germany" in about 1950 by Carl Zeiss. This lens is as good as any modern 50mm lens. I have also two Nikon 50mm lenses, the older manual focus one and the current 50mm f/1.4 All three are about the same. However the optical coating get better over time. The older Nikon has by far the best build quality of the three.

    Now if we talk about zooms over the years, in the 1970s they were horrible, all of them were. They are all better today to the point were the best of them are as good as primes but notice that primes still have the advantage of being faster and lower priced. What's changed to make the zooms better is (1) optical coating technolgy has greatly improved, (2) "exotic" glass formulas are not longer exotic and (3) the price of generating aspheric lens surfaces has come down. Fifty years ago aspherics had to be made one at a time by hand

    Withouty good coating you have to limit the number of elements and you can't design a well corected zoom lens with just a few spherical elements

    But primes have been nera perfectly correct now for over a century. Fredic Gauss invented his "gauss lens" in he early 1800's and in the late 1800s Alvan Clark used two Gauss Lenses back to back and invented the design still used today for almost all "standard" primes, Not much room to improve on that 120 year old design.
     
  16. micxmac macrumors newbie

    micxmac

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    Mar 20, 2005
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    Country Canada
    #16
    I have the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 with a Nikon mount. I bought it used from a professional photographer who used it primarily for weddings for many years.

    It is a great lens. Mine has definitely been around the block and I have used it under extreme sub zero conditions usually wide open and have gotten many great shots. The auto focus squeaks a bit in the cold and slows after it has been out there for awhile but never seized up. The squeaking it probably due to age/wear. No question that it is well built and I expect to get many more years out of it.

    I also own a 200mm f2.8 in Minolta mount. Yes it can be a bit sharper but the zoom on the Sigma is far more useful.

    Possibly the only real alternative to the Sigma in Nikon mount is the 70-200mm F2.8 Nikon with image stabilization. I have used it and it is a gorgeous lens. The pro I bought my Sigma from was upgrading to that lens. But it costs more than double and I think with patience and the correct conditions, the amateur on a more limited budget can get similar quality shots with the Sigma.
     
  17. SolracSelbor thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Nov 26, 2007
    #17
    One good thing about the Pentax is that the IS is build in to the body.
     

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