Affordable primes beyond 150mm?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by ultimind, Jul 5, 2007.

  1. ultimind

    ultimind

    990
    May 13, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    What's available out beyond 150mm that can focus decently close? I'm looking sub-$500 used type lenses. I know the Sigma 70-200 HSM Macro can go down to about 1m, but this is newer and used copies are few and far in between.

    How are the Nikon 180mm or Sigma 150/180's? I want something that can dual purpose as a macro and for my bike trials photography.

    I think I'm off of my zoom lust for a while... After a week of shooting exclusively with primes, I was more than satisfied with sharpness wide open. (24mm and 50mm primarily) I feel that using primes this week has forced me to be creative in how I shoot rather than being lazy and relying on the zoom to get me closer.

    My current goal is to get a D1H and a long(er) prime beyond 150mm.
     
  2. smodak

    smodak

    Jun 11, 2007
    Franklin MA US
    The 180mm 2.8 Nikon is as good as it gets (even wide open). You have to determine whether the focal length (180mm) is useful for you. I have never used it to focus close so cannot say....If you really need a close focussing lens, you probably would be better off with a Macro.
     
  3. ultimind

    ultimind

    990
    May 13, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    The Sigma 150mm looks very tempting. It's close focus is about 15 inches. Good enough for 1:1 they claim.

    Sharpness wide open is a key factor though. I fell in love with what shots from the 24, 50 and 85 look like wide open.
     
  4. The Sigma 150 macro is about as sharp as anything out there.
     
  5. smodak

    smodak

    Jun 11, 2007
    Franklin MA US
    I have the Sigma 105 macro. It is very sharp. I use it mainly for Macro and more often than not, I stop it down to get that extra DOF...
     
  6. ultimind

    ultimind

    990
    May 13, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    Is it about the same as the rest of the Sigma line? Will it require a detour to New York before arriving at my doorstep? I love Sigma's lens choices and the build quality of their lenses (for the price, especially) but it's tough when you have to go through several samples of a lens plus trips to the repair depot just to get one that's perfect. I've had the best of luck with Nikkor lenses that I've purchased new. Used is another story...
     
  7. The Sigma 150 doesn't seem to have the same reports of inconsistency as some other lenses have. On the other hand, I own four Sigmas EX's (including the allegedly problematic 10-20 and 50-500) and all of them came out of the box just fine.

    In all honesty, I have similar opinions of Sigma and Nikon quality control, with the caveat that I largely have only the higher end items in both lines. This was not true in years past - older (as in 10+ years older, say, until the dawn of the AF era) Sigma lenses weren't anywhere near as good optically as their Nikkor counterparts, and from what I've seen MF Sigmas were considerably less reliable than MF Nikkors. But in the AF era, and especially now in the digital era, the Sigma EXs are really about as good as the Nikkors I own. Whether that's because Sigma's gotten better, Nikon has not, or some combination I am not sure. I presume Sigma has gotten (much) better, and I my impression is that everyone in the industry is struggling with complexity now.
     
  8. ultimind

    ultimind

    990
    May 13, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    Being HSM, I guess it wouldn't matter if I mounted it on a D1H if I got one... Since the AF motor isn't driving anything for AF-S or HSM. 5fps is what I long for.

    It's good to hear that your Sigmas came good out of the box. Hopefully after I find a D1H, B&H can have my $599 in exchange for a new 150mm Sigma. Maybe I'll get lucky and Nikon will come out with some new AF-S VR primes?????????
     
  9. When I was browsing for a D2x this morning, KEH had at least 7 D1h's on offer, ranging from $370 to $620.
     
  10. Try an MF 200 f/4

    http://www.naturfotograf.com/lens_short.html

    Here is something for your consideration. In the age of AF, AFD, AFS, and VR lenses, some of the other older lenses aren't being used quite as often (which is understandable). I was able to pick up a 200mm f/4 lens from KEH for a total of $86. The biggest reason why was because of Bjorn's review of the lens.

    For the price and great results I have gotten from the lens, it was a steal.

    God Bless,
    David
    Shot wide open with a D1x
    [​IMG]
     
  11. ultimind

    ultimind

    990
    May 13, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    I've found it difficult to get detailed information about any of their lenses or cameras. Their sales department is clearly separated from where their inventory is kept. It's almost as if they're not related. Things like shutter actuations, how many previous owners, etc are difficult to judge from KEH. I'll try giving them another call, but I've personally found it tough to deal with them in regards to detailed stuff.
     
  12. ultimind

    ultimind

    990
    May 13, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    Wonderful image! I had a 200mm F4 for a short while. I loved it, but my current photographic subjects almost demand a fast AF lens. Not the riders themselves, but the speeds they're traveling at. I tried my 100mm E-series before I sold it with bike trials, and it was tough to keep shots consistently in focus. Part of the problem is my lack of a split prism finder. If I was shooting 35mm I don't think it would've been as difficult. It's nice to be able to not worry about the focus and concentrate on what's going on.
     
  13. I use a Nikkor 180/2.8 and a Sigma 150/2.8 and I wouldn't give up either. For your stated purposes I'd go with the Sigma 150. It is an outstanding general purpose lens and a superior macro lens too. The real bonus I (and others) found was that it is equally good mated with the Sigma APO 1.4X TC.
     
  14. Holmes

    Holmes

    Oct 28, 2006
    Wyoming, USA
    There's always the venerable Nikon 180/2.8 with a 500D hangin' off the end for great close up work wide open. I'm going to try using a 58mm 500D on mine this weekend and see if it vignettes. It would be nice to carry the little close up attachment instead of the rather large 77mm version.
     
  15. ultimind

    ultimind

    990
    May 13, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    Owning both, you don't find that they overlap each other in regards to being general purpose lenses? The Sigma has the clear advantage in the macro department, but I would think that for other things they might overlap...
     
  16. Chris101

    Chris101

    Feb 2, 2005
    Arizona
    The 180mm Nikkor focuses to about 5 feet, which is not that close. It does, however make good use of extension tubes (and close-up filters, see Holmes' post above.)
     
  17. ultimind

    ultimind

    990
    May 13, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    The Sigma seems to be the overall winner especially if it can keep up with the Nikon.
     
  18. Chris101

    Chris101

    Feb 2, 2005
    Arizona
    As a telephoto, the Nikkor 180mm is unrivaled, except by the 200mm Nikkor.
     

  19. Which is your primary application? Your dual purpose requirement would entail significant compromises in performance for this class of lens. As Chris101 commented, you'd be hard pressed to find a telephoto to match the the 180/2.8 for your bike trial photography, but it can't do macro work in its native form. And while the Sigma 150 is probably an excellent macro/closeup lens, you'd have to give up reach and probably IQ as compared to the 180 for your telephoto work.
     
  20. ultimind

    ultimind

    990
    May 13, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    Have a look at what I'm going for here: http://flickr.com/photos/d-v/sets/72157600236938319/

    I'm crippled in that I only have a limited budget for lenses, so if I were to spend $599 on a lens (which would be significant for me) I would want it to fulfill as many applications as possible. Macro + general purpose is the best of both worlds. I may be going down the wrong path with a 150/180.
     
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