Sigma 70-200 HSM vs Nikon 80-200 AF-D

Joined
May 13, 2007
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Cleveland, OH
How does the Sigma 70-200 F2.8 HSM compare to the AF-D version of the 80-200 F2.8?

The more I think about it, the more I realize that if I'm going to spend $850-ish on a lens, I'm going to want a warranty with it incase something happens. eBay doesn't quite offer warranties on used equipment.

Does the Sigma's HSM motor bring it into AF-S territory? (Focus speed wise) It seems like the Sigma is a far better deal, but I wouldn't want to sacrifice quality just to get a little quicker focus.
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2006
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I've had both lenses (80-200 was my work lens) (70-200 HSM is my personal lens).

Both lenses are equally sharp, both have great color. The Sigma is WORLDS faster and more accurate on a non D1/2 camera. It made a HUGE HUGE difference on my D200 for shooting football. It was like night and day. I can't even imagine how it would have been on my D70s. Its been too long for me to remember on the D70s since the only camera I could compare it to was my F4 and D100 at the time, which were both slower (d100 was abused BAD)
 
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the nikon would probably have an edge on it in color, speed, and sharpness...but a very fine edge. Def a tank though.
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2007
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Nottingham, UK
The 70-200VR is built better, but then it weighs far more and is bigger so you'd expect it. This isn't saying the Sigma isn't built well, it's built well enough to take anything I'd give it (I've dragged it around Ireland and Japan).

I'd have the Sigma over the 80-200 AF-D, the 80-200 AF-S is on terms with the Sigma for IQ and AF performance but costs more and is discontinued.
 
Joined
May 23, 2007
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ny, ny
I'd rank them 80-200 AF-D < Sigma 70-200 < Nikon 80-200 AFS < Nikon 70-200 AFS VR. The 80-200 AFS and the Sigma 70-200 are very close. If you're buying new, obviously you don't really have a choice since the AFS 80-200 is discontinued. If you're buying used, I'd go for the Nikon since 1st party lenses tend to hold their value better.
 
Joined
Jul 4, 2006
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Georgia via Long Island, NY
I had two Nikkor AFD's, two Sigmas and now the AFS. The AFS is optically the best of this bunch (a good bunch). It is sharper from 2.8-4 than the others (noticably). It is much better with the tc14e than the AFD is with the Kenko Pro, and better than the Sigma + Sigma 1.4 tc albeit by a lesser margin than the former combo. It also focuses faster than the Sigma by a small margin (but not as silently), and tends not to "chatter" when locking on the subject. Most Sigmas tend to do this, but I don't think it has an impact on the images (the 10-20 and 300 f2.8 don't chatter, but all of my other HSM's have). All three are superbly built. The Sigma handles the nicest by far and the MF damping and zoom smoothness are clearly superior (all subjective of course). My order of preference would be the AFS lens followed by the Sigma and then the AFD Nikkor. If wide open performance is important (especially with a tc) then the AFS is a clear choice. This is based upon my hands-on experience with these lenses on a variety of film bodies as well as the D200. I have not shot the 70-200VR, so I am not qualified to comment as to where this lens fits in here.
 
Z

ZBaum

Guest
I've used the 80-200 one-ring (not the AF-D), 80-200 AF-S, Sigma 70-200 non-DG HSM, and the 70-200 VR. I was very disappointed with the Sigma, although I attribute this to a back-focusing problem. The focus was fairly quick and quiet (although slightly more noisy than AF-S). Build quality was good, although the focus ring was very sloppy and often moved accidentally while I was holding the lens. The zoom ring also felt like it had a little rotational play when I moved it.

The 80-200 AF-S is an awesome lens. Very fast and accurate AF on my D70, excellent build quality, and pretty sharp wide open. Leaves very little to be desired.

The 70-200 VR is even better, and while some say the 80-200 AF-S is slightly sharper, I didn't see any difference in real-world use. VR is great to have, and I loved the build quality of this lens even more than the 80-200 AF-S.

Getting back to your original question: if you really need fast AF, buy the Sigma or look for a used 80-200 AF-S. If you want to avoid third-party companies, and can live with the slightly slower AF of the 80-200 AF-D, then buy the AF-D.
 
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On a Big Island Down Under...
Getting back to your original question: if you really need fast AF, buy the Sigma or look for a used 80-200 AF-S. If you want to avoid third-party companies, and can live with the slightly slower AF of the 80-200 AF-D, then buy the AF-D.
I have to agree with Zach... I went through the same process last year, and finally decide on the 80-200 AF-D. For my use I found the focus speed was great, as I was at the kart track last weekend, and didn't have a problem with focus speed.:smile:

The only thing that I picked up from all the users on different forums was that the current "Macro" version of the Sigma 70-200 was reported to be soft at 200 wide open and that the "Non Macro" version proved to be sharper. I'm only repeating what I had read from post of users of this lens, so you need to make up your own mind.

This is a sample of the 80-200 with a Kenko 1.4x TC attached...
D80~80-200 + 1.4xTC @ 125mm (175mm with 1.4xTC), 1/640~f/2.8~EV0.0~ISO250
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Joined
Mar 29, 2007
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Salt Lake City
My Sigma is slightly softer at 2.8 and 200, but I find it sharpens quickly at 160 and 2.8 or 200 and 4.0 or so. Here is a shot from tonight at 200 and 2.8 of my very fast moving dog. Not as sharp as other settings but I'm sure it would look great printed up fairly large. I have the macro version and couldn't ask for more.
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Joined
May 13, 2007
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990
Location
Cleveland, OH
The macro isn't too big of a deal for me. If I could get a used one for cheaper I'd take the non-macro. I want to NOT be cheap about it and get a new one, but for half the price, a used non-macro one is awfully tempting.

Shepard: That's a wonderful photo! Certainly a photograph I would take but am unable to get with slow long glass.
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2007
Messages
89
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Hungary
Dear Ultimind!

I had the Sigma 70-200 HSM EX, then I had the Sigma 70-200 HSM EX MACRO, then I tried out a 80-200 Nikkor and a 70-200 VR, then I had the 70-200 VR, but finally I have now a 105 VR + 180 IF-ED instead any of these.

The Sigma 70-200 MACRO is better then the non-macro, any other information is incorrect! The macro version has an ELD element, not only SLD. Better color, less CA... It worked, I saw. pretty good sharpness at 2.8, but not an eyecatcher...It is not a bad lens if you like lightning fast AF, which is THAT fast so can't even stop if it reached focus. :) I'am not jokeing. I couldn't get focus with it in a very contrasty situation many times. Sigma 70-200 ANY version is just don't work correctly with a Nikon bodys. (I don't mean the AF-ON button problem, its else. AF is suck. You don't care about speed, when your lens simply don't stop at the right point, + a problem: BACKFOCUS, FRONTFOCUS... every Sigma 70-200 has some BACK or FRONTFOCUS.crap)
If you are on a budget: buy a brand new 80-200 AF-D, it is a fantastic zoomlens. 70-200 was even better for me, so I bought it. I have only prime lenses but this beauty got me.... for a while.:) Then I tried out a 180 IF-ED prime.... i don't shoot situations when i don't have time to change my lens for my instant needs, so zoom is not a MUST for me.I sold my beauty...:)
180 IF-ED is simply a flawless lens.
If you need a ZOOM, buy a 80-200 AF-D TRUST ME! Don't risk a Sigma, you have to be very very lucky to have a good sample. I wasn't. Non of my friends weren't. Everybody got rid of SIGMA 70-200 who i now.
If you are familier with primes: buy an absolutely FLAWLESS NIKKOR 180 IF-ED f/2.8 magic lens. ;) (its sharpness is unparalelled even wide open with x1.4, fantastic contrast, color everything.... a bit CA, but i shoot raw so...)
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2007
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Nottingham, UK
Sanyika: you obviously had problems with Sigma lenses, but it was your experience and trying to say every Sigma lens has back focus problems is wrong. I have no problem with any of my Sigma lenses, but I know my 70-200 has been rechipped before I bought it. Front and back focusing issues are widely known with Sigma lenses, Sigma will re-chip your lens for free if it develops these issues.

Also the general consensus is that the macro version of the 70-200 is softer, it is from what I've seen and from other people who've had both. Maybe you had a bad version of the non-macro, did you compare them directly?
 
Joined
May 13, 2007
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990
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Cleveland, OH
I picked up a 70-200 F2.8 Sigma (non-Macro) for $484, so for that price I was willing to risk it a little bit. If my budget were double I would've gotten the 80-200 AF-D.

We'll find out tomorrow when the UPS man drops it off at my work :BigGrin:
 
Joined
May 31, 2007
Messages
1,288
Location
Croatia & Slovenia
Gabor,

I can understand your frustration with Sigma 70-200 macro as I have experienced every single problem you mentioned. Soft from 150 on at 2.8, better at f/4. Fast AF, but allways a bit front. CA is also an issue with mine but NX solves it pretty good. After one week of using it I started getting "err" and "f--" messages on my D80. Took it back to shop and they gave me a brand new body. Said it was a problem with contacts. Lately the errors returned every 500 shots or so. And all in good manner of Murphy law: when I needed it most!

I made about 8000 shots with it between March 18th and May 25th. I could count digits of shots which were in perfect focus. Very disapointing. I developed a technique of choosing focus points a bit behind by using outer sensors, not center. Images improved a lot focus-wise but other problems still exist. Just to be sure I put it on my tripod and checked for focus about every 1000 shots. Allways the same results with different targets and different techniques of AF (focus from infinity, focus from very close, big target, small target, high contract, low contrast, available light, flash, AF-S, AF-C, ... ). I must admit AF-C gives slightly better results if you move a bit around your target and it works all the time.

So I sent it in to calibration together with my body. I hope the combination will return back in better shape than it went in. I would be satisfied otherwise with the performance. Compared to Nikon it is cheap, HSM is fast, macro is not true macro but could be useful at times. If it won't work as expected on return, I'll have to find another solution and probably replace it with 70-200VR.

Just my experience with it, I am not generalizing on brand or model. I can surely understand others got perfect lenses (or bodies) and are satisfied with them. I'll report about mine when it returns.
 

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