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Nikon 300mm f/2.8 AF-S I vs. Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 HSM?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Jonathan F/2, Dec 3, 2005.

  1. USED Nikon 300mm f/2.8 AF-S I (not AF-S II) vs. NEW Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 HSM?

    Which lens would you buy if you had roughly 2 grand to burn? Each will probably see TC use. I already have a Simga 1.4x tc that I could use and will probably purchase a 2x. If I were to go Nikon, I'd probably shell out cash for the Nikon 1.7x. I guess we can discuss pros and cons:

    PROs Nikon
    - It's Nikon glass?
    - Sharper TC performance

    CONs Nikon
    - It's used
    - fixed focal length

    PROs Sigma
    - Zoom
    - Price (brand new)

    CONs Sigma
    - It's Sigma?
    - Softer TC performance compared to the Nikon

    Which would you pick? Help me decide! Need a long tele before xmas for field work!!!
  2. Jonathan, both great choices in my opinion. I'll address the bits I think I can. First, though, the one question you need to ask is how much the zoom will be of use to you. In my case, with shooting sports for kids, the zoom is essential to enable me to get enough saleable shots as the action moves around. If this is not an issue for you, and you can deal with a fixed focal length, I think you can cross this one off your list.

    Nikon vs. Sigma - I don't find that much difference with the high end Sigma's, of which this is one. I can tell you that this lens is built like a tank, mine gets beat about quite well, and works like a charm.

    Nikon vs. Sigma - tc use. I'm not sure I agree on the softness issue, although I have not done any side-by-side between the sigma 1.4 and the nikon 1.4. One thing, however, is that my sigma will not AF with the nikon 1.7 attached, although the Sigma site says it will work with the Sigma 2x

    Price - no doubt the Sigma wins here. As to the Nikon being used, if you have good indication that it is in good shape I would not worry. I bought a used 80-200 AFS from a pro sports-shooter in Florida a few years ago and it was stilling working great when I sold it last year to upgrade to the 70-200.

    You know what my decision was, and it was based on my need for the zoom. Were I in your shoes, that would be the crux of my decision, at least the primary one. Secondary to that wold be issues of warranty. With the Sigma you get one. I don't think you can go wrong with either.
  3. Commodorefirst

    Commodorefirst Admin/Moderator Administrator

    May 1, 2005
    Sigma lenses with Sigma converters

    It also depends on your body. I found that the Sigma pro lenses with their Sigma converters were faster focusing than the Nikon AFS-I and the nikon Converter on my D70. They were the same apparent focus speed on a friends D2H.

    Granted i was also comparing the Sigma 300 2.8, but everyone says the sigma zoom is even better than the sigma 300 2.8.

    I also was using the 2x tele adapter from sigma. I never had any focus problems. I always state the following in regards to the excellent Sigma pro lenses, Always, use their converters, they are less expensive than the nikon and work better on the sigma lenses.

  4. Yeah, I'm kinda leaning towards the Sigma lens myself. I just wanted to get some user opinions before making a purchase. I'll be using the lens with a D2H/D200/D70 combo as well. I was kinda burnt with Sigma 70-200 HSM though, but according to Michael (Creative Edge), the 120-300 is sharper than the Nikon 70-200!

    My dream lens of course would be the 300 f/2.8 VR, but I'm not making that kinda dough yet to be blowing on lenses!
  5. general


    Apr 30, 2005


    If you decide to go Sigma (which I recommend in this case) I have both a Sigma 1.4 and a Sigma 2.0 extender for sale. On the 50-500 (also for sale) I find little or no loss in resolution with the 1.4 and although there is a slight drop with the 2.0 the exposures are not bad.
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