Is the Sigma 70-200 2.8 as bad at/near 200 as Popular Photograph says it is?

Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
10,303
Location
Holyoke, MA USA
The Popular Photography review of the Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 APO EX DG HSM AF lense reflects very mediocre performance at 200mm -- about on par with the Sigma 18-200 3.5-6.3 that I use as my walk-around lense.

I am looking for a fast zoom 200mm or 300mm for sports photography, and my budget demands I stay under $1000...this seems to be the only new lense that can be bought for that (Tamron has just announced a competitor). Is the lense really this mediocre at 200mm and close to it? Or was this an atypical test.

I know that my Sigma 18-200mm is hardly a champ at the 200mm, and if the big lense is also this mediocre, perhaps I am better off considering an older Nikon 80-200?

Any help and perspective from users would be appreciated.
 
Joined
May 1, 2005
Messages
221
Location
East Lansing, MI
Both the 80-200 2.8 (AF-D/S) Nikkors can be had for under $1,000 and imo are legendary opticals. YMMV, but I'd snatch one of those up in a heartbeat over the Sigma. The 80-200 AF-D is not "older" as they are still in production. The AF-S is out of production, but not out of style, and still will knock your socks off!
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2006
Messages
1,907
Location
Cincinnati, Ohio
I'd hardly discount the Sigma say spend $1000 on a AF-S Nikon when you can get a Sigma for under $600 used.

I think the DG lenses are the one's that had trouble at 200mm and spotty focus issues. I've had a couple of the non DG versions and they were super for the money.
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2006
Messages
884
Location
NC
My sigma DG macro is tack sharp...just as good as the 80-200 AFD I used at my paper.
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2007
Messages
966
Location
Nottingham, UK
My 70-200 is supremely sharp at 200mm, especially considering the price. I'd have it over the AF-D Nikon version anyday, although the AF-S version has a slightly different optical formula that is supposed to be better. It'll defiantly beat your 18-200 at 200mm, maybe they had a bad copy or some front focusing issues?
 
Joined
May 1, 2005
Messages
221
Location
East Lansing, MI
I'd hardly discount the Sigma say spend $1000 on a AF-S Nikon when you can get a Sigma for under $600 used.

I think the DG lenses are the one's that had trouble at 200mm and spotty focus issues. I've had a couple of the non DG versions and they were super for the money.
I sold my 80-200 2.8 AF-D for $650, it was MINT. At 200mm it's to die for!
 
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
10,303
Location
Holyoke, MA USA
Thanks for the opinions and insight, folks. Looks like a hands-on test might be in order. Anybody have sample sports shots at 200mm with either the AF-D or the Sigma AF-S they'd like to share?
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2006
Messages
1,743
Hi, Harry. See my previous post here:

https://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=110872

I did take some sports shots this weekend, and I'm wondering about the 200mm sharpness also. Is this sharp?:


1/1000 sec f/7.1 ISO 400 - In camera sharpening is set to NONE and I did NO sharpening in Photoshop
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


100% crop of the same picture
View attachment 92107

Another 100% crop of the same picture
View attachment 92108
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
May 18, 2005
Messages
9,739
Location
Western Slope of Colorado
Hey Harry -

I *really* like my Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 HSM - it is the EX APO version but not the DG model. I think the only difference between the two was the addition of some "special" coating. I've used it only for outdoor daytime sports, and so can't comment on it's indoor or nighttime performance.

I don't have any sports shots at 200 mm uploaded right now, but this 4-shot gallery has one at 180mm, one at 165 mm and one at 220 mm taken with the matched Sigma 2.0 TC.

I find that it focuses very quickly and is quite sharp.

For me, the [price]:[performance] ratio is a winner, and I keep this on my D70 a lot.

Eric

http://www.pbase.com/catalyst/track_and_field
 
Joined
Oct 18, 2006
Messages
342
Location
Tulalip Wa
I wonder which lens would be better for kids baseball? The Sigma or the 80-200? I believe the Sigma has a little faster AF so that is a plus for BB
 
Joined
May 18, 2005
Messages
9,739
Location
Western Slope of Colorado
Harry -

I looked through some shots, and found this - not exactly "sports" but there was a whole lot of shakin' goin' on - LOL.

Our town invites dogs (and their owners) to the pools on the last day before the pools are closed and cleaned each year.

I was standing near the big pool, and these two were in the wading pool.

This was taken with the Sigma 70 - 200 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm, f/5.6, 1/800 s. I have no idea where my focus point was . . .

Eric

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Z

ZBaum

Guest
Very sharp shot catalyst, and a great example of what a good copy of the Sigma is capable of.
 
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
10,303
Location
Holyoke, MA USA
Hi Dabo, I very much appreciate your efforts. The only troublesome aspect is the 2.8, since I take lots of night baseball shots with only mediocre lighting, and I will end up there a lot, I am sure. But other than that, looks pretty good. Doesn't have the "pop" of the better nikons, but hard to fault.
 
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
10,303
Location
Holyoke, MA USA
Nice grab shot, Eric. Can you tell me what the full model description of yours is Eric. Did I understand you to say you have the pre-ED version? Just the straigh EX. No macro capabilities?
 
Joined
Jul 7, 2006
Messages
579
Location
Lansing,MI
Not a help in any way but I finally got to use my new (used obviously) 80-200 AF-S and I'm in awe of it. The sharpness and fast focusing is amazing. I'd highly recommend finding a used one if you can. It's my first pro level glass and I'm totally blown away.
 
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
10,303
Location
Holyoke, MA USA
Hey Zach -

I'm over in the Pioneer Valley...get over the Berkshires quite frequently in my role as co-coordinator for the Oberlin Club of Western New England...was just in Williamstown at MASS MoCA yesterday. I take it you are affiliated with RPI? Where do you hang you hat?

Harry
 

Latest posts

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2005-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom