Need to replace/upgrade my mid-range zoom...

Joined
Aug 28, 2008
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682
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Colorado, USA
I need to replace my Nikon 28-80. It only focusses to infinity at about 50mm or wider; beyond that it stops just a hair short of infinity. It's cheap plastic-mount lensthat probably doesn't warrant a trip to the service center, but I use it quite a bit (as a walk-around lens on film bodies and as a studio lens on my D90).
If I'm going to go ahead and replace it, I'd probably opt for something faster and my budget is pointing me toward a Sigma 24-70 f/2.8. I'm just a little confused about the various versions that seem to be out there. There's the newest one with HSM, and what appear to be 2 different earlier versions; one is w/o aperture ring and also bears a "DF" designation. Anyone out there know if they all share the same optical formula, or if there's some differences in the designs?
If they're all the same, I'll probably go for the budget solution, but would like to make sure...
Any other recommendations (under $500 or so) are also welcome.
Thanks,
 
Joined
Mar 23, 2009
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Stavanger, Norway
I would strongly consider the Tamron 28-75mm 2.8. Stopped down its as sharp as the Nikkor 24-70 2.8. My father use the Sigma 24-70 2.8 (not HSM) on a D300, from what I can tell the results aren't that great wide open, stopped down its fine in the centre though. That's what I don't like with Sigma; you never seem to know what you get, either you are lucky and get a great copy, or you get a bad one. Tamron seems to have become a lot better lately regarding quality control.
 
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
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Maryland USA
I need to replace my Nikon 28-80. It only focusses to infinity at about 50mm or wider; beyond that it stops just a hair short of infinity. It's cheap plastic-mount lensthat probably doesn't warrant a trip to the service center, but I use it quite a bit (as a walk-around lens on film bodies and as a studio lens on my D90).
If I'm going to go ahead and replace it, I'd probably opt for something faster and my budget is pointing me toward a Sigma 24-70 f/2.8. I'm just a little confused about the various versions that seem to be out there. There's the newest one with HSM, and what appear to be 2 different earlier versions; one is w/o aperture ring and also bears a "DF" designation. Anyone out there know if they all share the same optical formula, or if there's some differences in the designs?
If they're all the same, I'll probably go for the budget solution, but would like to make sure...
Any other recommendations (under $500 or so) are also welcome.
Thanks,

The Nikon 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5D AF is a very nice mid-range zoom worth getting and can be had for $250-$350. It also has a very nice micro setting for 1:2. http://www.keh.com/OnLineStore/ProductDetail.aspx?groupsku=NA07999035427N&brandcategoryname=35MM&Mode=&item=30&ActivateTOC2=&ID=24&BC=NA&BCC=1&CC=7&CCC=2&BCL=&GBC=&GCC=
 
Joined
Dec 29, 2008
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674
Location
Springfield, OR
I would strongly consider the Tamron 28-75mm 2.8. Stopped down its as sharp as the Nikkor 24-70 2.8. My father use the Sigma 24-70 2.8 (not HSM) on a D300, from what I can tell the results aren't that great wide open, stopped down its fine in the centre though. That's what I don't like with Sigma; you never seem to know what you get, either you are lucky and get a great copy, or you get a bad one. Tamron seems to have become a lot better lately regarding quality control.
I tend to prefer Sigma over Tamron, but the Tamron 28-75 is a great lens. I have a friend who uses it as his main lens (he's a pro photographer) on his D300 and D90, and he loves it. If I needed a lens in that range, I would probably take it over the non HSM Sigma.
 
Joined
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New York
If you get Sigma, make sure it focusing right. If not, exchange it, or returne it! Do not rely on Sigma service!
 
Joined
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Syracuse, NY
The newest Sigma 24-70 is HSM, so it works on non-screwdrive cameras. Popphoto had a review very recently and they were highly impressed. I'd certainly give it some consideration.

Dave Harris
 
Joined
Jan 4, 2008
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Location
New York City
The Nikon 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5D AF is a very nice mid-range zoom worth getting and can be had for $250-$350. It also has a very nice micro setting for 1:2. http://www.keh.com/OnLineStore/ProductDetail.aspx?groupsku=NA07999035427N&brandcategoryname=35MM&Mode=&item=30&ActivateTOC2=&ID=24&BC=NA&BCC=1&CC=7&CCC=2&BCL=&GBC=&GCC=
Yes, the 28-105 is a great lens. But $350? I got mine in mint condition a year ago for $125. I guess the 28-105 Rocks! thread has increased its value.:smile:
 
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Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
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Location
Maryland USA
Yes, the 28-105 is a great lens. But $350? I got mine in mint condition a year ago for $125. I guess the 28-105 Rocks! thread has increased its value.:smile:

I know, I got mine for about $150. But what can we do about the prices going up? Plus the OP asked for "Any other recommendations (under $500 or so) are also welcome." and this lens is under $500.
 
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Joined
May 6, 2005
Messages
5,482
Location
NY
There are several good sub-$500 options for a midrange zoom, but I have to give my vote to the Tamron 28-75.
I usually have a Tamron 28-75 as my travel lens while also owning the Nikon 28-70 or 24-70.

In my experience, a properly calibrated Tamron 28-75 equals or exceeds the sharpness of the venerable Nikon 28-70 wide open at the various focal lengths. https://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=99435
The Nikon has superior build, AF and color (the Tamron's warmer colorcast is easily corrected in postprocessing if it bothers you).

The Nikon 24-70 is sharper than the Tamron 28-75 wide open at every focal length, but only by a very slim margin.
And again, the Nikon 24-70 has superior build, AF speed and color.
Here are links to comparison test shots at 70mm f/2.8. The results are similar at other focal lengths.
Nikon 24-70 at 70mm, f/2.8, no sharpening in camera, no PP, D3, 42":
http://gtikeda.smugmug.com/photos/422289562_Vjzyo-O.jpg
Tamron 28-75 at 70mm, f/2.8, no sharpening in camera, no PP, D3, 42":
http://gtikeda.smugmug.com/photos/422290788_zibN7-L.jpg

As much as I love my Nikon 24-70, I often grab the smaller, lighter Tamron 28-75.

I would like to try the new Sigma 24-70 HSM at some point, but haven't seen enough samples that wow me sufficiently to buy one. It sounds great on paper.
 
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Joined
Aug 28, 2008
Messages
682
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Colorado, USA
HSM version has different lens set up from non HSM version.
Thanks, Jazz... This is really what I was trying to find out. I went and read the review in Pop-photo, and they seem pretty fired up about the HSM, and also said that there were a lot of meaningful improvements from the earlier version.

I'm really hoping to get a 2.8 zoom, and the 24 wide end would be nice. Are the Sigma and the Uber-Nikon the only games in town?
 

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