Nikon 200 micro and Sigma 150 macro

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by godfather, May 16, 2007.

  1. godfather

    godfather

    178
    Aug 10, 2005
    I have a Nikon 200 f4 micro AF that I enjoy using very much. I love the way it can isolate the subject form the background much better than my 90, and also the tremendously smooth out of focus transition it produces.
    However there are a couple things I don’t really care for. One is the physical length of the lens (7.7”). Also, it would be nice to have an f2.8 lens for a brighter focus area when lighting isn't the best.

    The Sigma 150 2.8 has gotten some very high praise from several respected people. It is only 5.4” long and about 10 oz lighter than the Nikon. It also has a removable tripod collar. I was wondering if anyone has compared the two for image quality, bokeh and handling.

    I have someone interested in buying my Nikon but I don’t want to get rid of it and be sorry. The $$ difference is nice but certainly not a reason to sell.
     
  2. rvink

    rvink

    Mar 21, 2006
    New Zealand
  3. I frequently tell people that these are the only two macro lenses I'd buy if I were buying one today. As macro lenses I'd rate them a toss up. For size, handling, and ergonomics, the Sigma has the edge. As a telephoto, both are quite nice but the Sigma stops down better I think. Where the difference is really noticeable is with a TC. The Sigma 1.4 TC is simply superb with the 150 and I often forget its attached. As a combination macro/gp lens its hard to beat. As a dedicated macro, your 200/4 will serve you well for many years but, then you already know that.
     
  4. Hi Mike, the Sigma is an exceptional lens (I finally got to use one for a few weeks) and if AF or TC's are to be used then it is a better choice. The 200AFD is the finest macro lens available (IMO). There is a quality to the images that is difficult to articulate. I find that it handles beautifully, and the mass is beneficial in minimizing vibration. If it will be used solely for macro on a tripod...there is none better. The tripod mount on the Nikkor is also superior (smooth), so if you utilize that feature often, its another consideration. I've considered that switch myself, but I am going to add the 150 when I can...my 200 is staying forever :smile:
     
  5. rvink

    rvink

    Mar 21, 2006
    New Zealand
    If you are looking for a macro lens with long reach, smaller than your AF 200/4 micro you could consider the AiS version. It's shorter (180mm long vs 202mm), lighter (800g vs 1190g) and takes smaller filters (52mm vs 62mm). It has a built-in hood and built like a tank. The tripod is very solid, but not very smooth to rotate. Very sharp in f5.6-f11 range.

    On the other hand, it's not quite as sharp as the AF version and No ED glass means some CA. It only goes to 1:2 (use a PK-13 tube or 3T or 4T filter to focus closer). The aperture is only f/4, but it stays f/4 even at close range unlike other lenses so it is comparatively fast for macro work.

    Another lens which comes to mind is the Kiron/Lester Dine 105/2.8 macro lens. It has a great reputation for sharpness, bokeh and freedom from CA. It has a more working distance than your Vivitar 90mm macro or any equivalent AF 90-105mm macro lens. The faster f2.8 aperture should help with low light shooting also, although it reduces to about f5 at 1:1.
     
  6. Godfather, I have the Sigma 150mm DG and its the sharpest lens I own and highly recommend it.

    Anthony
     
  7. Likewise - very sharp lens - a bit slow focussing (use mine MF mostly), but I wouldn't be without it.
     
  8. godfather

    godfather

    178
    Aug 10, 2005
    Hmmm, it sounds like these are almot too close to call. I might need to buy the Sigma and see which one is a better fit for me, then sell the other. Problem is I will probably like them both and end up keeping two.

    Thank you all for the comments and suggestions,
    Bob
     
  9. You should be aware that the Sigma, for all its charms, is a G lens and has no aperture ring. That precludes it from being useful on your FE2.
     
  10. godfather

    godfather

    178
    Aug 10, 2005
    Oh, good call Brian, since I still do use the FE2 with the macro. I might just stick with the 200, since I really do enjoy using the lens and the results I get form it. Both in macro and as a medium telephoto.
     
  11. I had the same problem, actually - I use an F2 for macro, usually so I can pick my colors via film stock. (Lots easier than fiddling with the images later.) I had originally decided to get the Sigma, since I have a Sigma 2x TC that will work nicely with it, but then I realized that it was a G lens...

    The great thing about this choice is that you're getting "stuck" with one of Nikon's premier lenses.

    Not the most inspiring image compositionally, but it certainly demonstrates what the lens can do:

    DSC_9050-sharp.

    D2h, 200/f4 AFD Micro-Nikkor, 1/125th, f/11, ISO 200.
     
  12. godfather

    godfather

    178
    Aug 10, 2005
    Very nice Brian. I love the isolation this lens gives along with the great sharpness.
     
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