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Sigma lenses; good enough for Nikons?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Jeff Mims, Dec 16, 2005.

  1. Jeff Mims

    Jeff Mims

    May 25, 2005
    Not a flame message, just an honest inquiry. From the galleries I've seen, there are some very good photographers here. Photographers, who use quality equipment as well.
    I have no experience with Sigma, other than a 400 f/5.6 I tried (18 years ago), and it was a good lens, IMHO. I was just trying it out, and decided I didn't need that focal length. It seemed well constructed as well.
    For the most part, after AF..I sort of stayed with manufacturers lenses. Seems like each new camera model would be incompatiable with the Tokina/Tamron/Sigma lenses, unless lens was updated. It wasn't a question of being a brand snob. I use the best I can afford, for what I need. With manual focus cameras, I used Tokina and Tamron, and had good results. No complaints.
    Since some NC members use Sigma pretty regulary, that tells me Sigma must be producing some quality lenses. I've heard other comments about Sigma on other boards. For some reason, it's usually from Nikon users, and they like Sigmas.
    Now I'm interested.
  2. rbsmith


    Apr 13, 2005
    Saltillo, Ms
    Jeff, I'm very happy with my Sigmas. I have the 18-50 2.8, the 70-200 2.8 and the 50-500 Bigma. The 70-200 and Bigma have the HSM. I have no problem with the picture shapness on the 70-200 rates very close to the Nikon, according to others, I have not used the Nikon. i think the major difference with the Nikon is the VR. The Bigma is a great lens but needs alot of light. I may eventually replace them with Nikon glass. But you sure can't beat the Sigmas for price.
  3. My Sigma contingent is at the long end, 120-300 f2.8 HSM and the 500mm f4.5 HSM. I won't speak for anyone but myself, but I don't have any complaints.
  4. heiko


    May 15, 2005
    Have the Sigma 24mm F1.8. It's also a macro lens. I'm quite satisfied with this lens and use it a lot. It has some limitations, though - slow AF (it hunts) and little tendency for flare.
    One thing that I really don't like on the Sigma is the lens cap. Also, this particular lens is big.
    I heard there are a number of Sigmas that perform very well, at usually around 1/2 price of Nikon.
  5. dbirdsong

    dbirdsong Guest

    I have 2 HSM lens, 24-70 F2.8 and 70-200 F2.8 and Both are great...
    While I would love the beast and the 70-200 VR (I think it is 70-200, but it might be 80-200) for the time being I am very satisfied with them.
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Guest

    Sigmas good on lens-by-lens basis

    I have the 180mm EX APO Macro, the new-style HSm focusing f/3.5 one,and it's adequately sharp, but is prone to focus jitters and mini-hunts, making it unreliable for must-focus applications. I own the 100-300 f/4 EX HSM and it is a super-useful lens but it too is prone to focus hunts, and of a more severe problem level than the 180 Macro, making it undependable for sports/action where having a lens that can deliver reliable, no-excuses AF really counts. I dunno....the 100-300/4 is fine as an outdoor,candid portrait lens, or for slow,deliberate work, but my issue has been their HSM protocol's implementation--just has not been up to snuff compared to AF-S.
    Sigma's 105 EX macro and 15-30mm wide zooms are both highly thought of. They make some cheap stuff, and some good stuff,affordably. I have a 18-125 Sigma walkabout,and it's ,well, very avg. Seems that Sigma has some very,very good mixed in with the bad, and also a few top-class lenses as well,like Bill's 500/4.5 and also their 300-800 zoom.
  7. TheKO


    May 3, 2005
    Tampa, FL
    I have the Bigma (50-500) and it works well for me. Like the previous posts indicate - it does need light!.

    Price is right and that is why I purchased it. If I had the money, I would have gone the Nikon route - but that is out of my price range right now.

    Some guys at our photo club shoot with various sigma lenses. They have superb captures.
  8. Jeff Mims

    Jeff Mims

    May 25, 2005
    Thanks for the replies everyone. I just didn't know much about Sigma lenses. Sounds like Tamron, Tokina...in that there are some very good lenses, and some not so good lenses.
    My only hesitation in buying non MFG lenses, was because of all the computer chips. Before AF cameras, it wasn't an issue. I even owned a couple of Tamron lenses with adaptall mounts.
    Never had any issues with Tamron, nor Tokina. Then again, I didn't use every lense they made either. I just don't have any real experience with Sigma, but had seem many good, experienced photographers who seemed happy with them.
    It will probably be awhile before I buy any more lenses.
  9. Joseph S. Wisniewski

    Joseph S. Wisniewski

    Aug 11, 2005
    Your concern is valid. It appears that all Sigma HSM lenses have a chip incompatability with D200.

    Tamron makes lenses under contract to Nikon and Canon, so their compatability is first class. Tokina is founded by several Nikon renegades, and it appears that their access to information is still pretty good, although there have been a few incidents, it's nothing like Sigma.

    But Sigma just has such cool toys (my two favorites, the 8mm fisheye and the 30mm f1.4) that we have to hope they get this fixed...
  10. I've owned all sorts of Sigma lenses!

    15-30 - Sharpest lens I ever owned (sold) replaced with 17-55 f/2.8 DX

    70-200 HSM - Great above f/4 (sold) replaced with 70-200 VR

    50-500 (Bigma) - Amazing versatility (will sell after this month) will replace with 80-400 VR

    120-300 f/2.8 - Great for the price - I'll keep this one for a bit. Will eventually replace with either a 300mm VR or 200-400 VR

    Honestly, Sigmas are great for the price and are a better value used. Since they sell for cheaper on the used market, they're easy to buy and sell, with minimal financial lost. Nikons always stay spendy. Seriously though, there is no replacement for 1st party brand. Every Nikon equivalent I've replaced with my Sigmas, have been superior. There is a reason why Nikons are expensive. You see it in the bokeh, color fidelity, detail and sharpness. It's like eating a macdonalds burger and eating a gourmet burger.

    I still own Sigma lenses, they're good.
  11. Joseph S. Wisniewski

    Joseph S. Wisniewski

    Aug 11, 2005
    Sigma has posted a reply to this issue!


    To our valued customers,

    AF function of our HSM equipped lenses do not operate when "AF operation button" on the back of the body of Nikon "D200" digital SLR camera (recently introduced to the market by Nikon) is used. This problem is caused due to a firmware "bug" of our HSM equipped lenses.

    We deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause our customers who own D200 camera and we are committed to making this situation right. In this respect, we will start updating firmware of these lenses free of charge today.

    Please also note that if "shutter button" is used for AF operation of HSM equipped lenses, camera and lens combination works without any problem.

    This problem occurs with HSM equipped lenses only. Non-HSM models of Sigma lenses function properly with D200 camera.
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