UPDATE - 70-200 2.8 - Sigma or Nikon....

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So I've been lusting for a Nikon 70-200 2.8 VRI but the funds just are not there yet. So browsing craigslist as I always do, I've come across a Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 II APO EX DG Macro for a pretty good price. I've sent a second email asking the usual questions, waiting reply. This is local so it wouldn't be a big deal to meet in person to check out the lens before I hand over cash.
But my question is, anyone familiar with this lens, how does it perform? I know it's not going to match up to the Nikon, but would it be a decent deal at almost half the retail price and almost a third of what a nikon is going for?
My use for the lens would be some portraits, wildlife, but mainly sports. Soccer, softball and swimming. Swimming being my main concern due to the low light at most pools. Softball under the lights also .

Thanks!!

UPDATE! 3/19/11
Well I just ordered the 80-200 2.8!! I picked up one from Adorama, used E+ condition. So now the wait. LOL
Thanks again everyone for your input!!
 
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My dad Socrdude and I have both used the sigma, and while it is good, we both now have Nikons. The 70-200 Nikon is untouchable by the sigma in my not so humble opinion. The things we like better about our nikons are the faster autofocus, sharper SOOC photos and how well it takes TCs.
 
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My dad Socrdude and I have both used the sigma, and while it is good, we both now have Nikons. The 70-200 Nikon is untouchable by the sigma in my not so humble opinion. The things we like better about our nikons are the faster autofocus, sharper SOOC photos and how well it takes TCs.

From the research I've done it's pretty obvious the Nikon hands down is THE lens. But you get what you pay for and right now I just can't afford the Nikon. Do I just put the $$$ for the Sigma at the back of the sock drawer and keep adding till I can get the Nikon? Or do i pop for the Sigma for now? :confused:

The wife says to save for the Nikon cause I won't be happy with the sigma. What does she know? :Angry::rolleyes:
 
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Just a side note...

I spoke with a pro photographer from Canada who was here shooting the red carpet at the Oscars a few weeks ago. He shoots a Canon, but he uses the Sigma 70-200 2.8 version. He said the Sigma was a lot sharper than the Canon.

I told him I have the Nikon VRII version and he said it was sharper than the Canon too.

You could save for the Nikon (ideal), but you might miss out in months of photographs you will never be able to recreate.
 
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But you get what you pay for and right now I just can't afford the Nikon.
Precisely.

That's why you will just have to make up your mind here.

There's a number of 3rd party 70-200/2.8 zooms out there, all of them are cheaper than Nikon 70-200 VR, and all of them with a reason.

Each of them is a great performer at some areas (at the level with Nik70-200), but each of them also falls short in some other areas.

That's why they are cheaper. You get what you pay for.
Basically, you are picking the combination of features and price that is right for you.

Also, here is the new Sigma 70-200 OS which seems to be a serious upgrade over the old non-OS model.
But its price touches the Nikkor 70-200 VR1, so you are at the beggining again....
 
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My understanding is that the "macro" versions aren't as good as the non-macro ones too.

I had the first iteration of this lens (non-macro) on my Pentax K-7, I loved it, found it very sharp and pretty responsive for screw-drive.
 
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Well guys, I thank you for all the input. After much research and the wifes comment in the back of my mind :mad:,I think I'm gonna wait for a nikon. The Sigma seems to be a decent lens, but the examples I've seen in regard to IQ, it's nikon hands down. Plus I rented a VRI last fall for my daughters swim meet and must say, awesome lens.
I was just curious on the Sigma due to the price, $500 is what the guy wants. Thought maybe it could be a short alternative till the nikon falls in my bag. :biggrin:
 
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Nikon vs Sigma ..... No contest!!


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What about the Nikon 80-200? I was considering the Sigma, too, as I didn't have the cash to burn for the 70-200, and I'm extremely happy with my AF-D.
 
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As above take a good look at the 80-200 AF-D or a used 80-200 afs. I have the 80-200 afs and it is razor sharp wide open. Used you can probably get a 80-200 afs for ~1000. KEH has a few for around that price - the AFS one.
 
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As above take a good look at the 80-200 AF-D or a used 80-200 afs. I have the 80-200 afs and it is razor sharp wide open. Used you can probably get a 80-200 afs for ~1000. KEH has a few for around that price - the AFS one.

I'm seriously looking into that right now..... thanks!
 
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My take? I think it's very good for the money. The longer you shoot with it though, the more you wish it had VR as it does get pretty heavy; pin-pointing something at 200mm is not always the easiest. That said, until I can afford the VR, the 80-200 is the best non-VR option, I think. It's sharp wide open, built like a freakin' tank and the optics are superb.

Though there are plenty of sample shots you can look at on the web, here are two of mine. The two things that steal most of my money =P

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D7000 200mm @ f2.8

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D7000 112mm @ f2.8
 
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My take? I think it's very good for the money. The longer you shoot with it though, the more you wish it had VR as it does get pretty heavy; pin-pointing something at 200mm is not always the easiest. That said, until I can afford the VR, the 80-200 is the best non-VR option, I think. It's sharp wide open, built like a freakin' tank and the optics are superb.

Though there are plenty of sample shots you can look at on the web, here are two of mine. The two things that steal most of my money =P

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5136/5483185652_d3d649dbd5_b.jpg
D7000 200mm @ f2.8

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5099/5483223630_fde19f8cbf_b.jpg
D7000 112mm @ f2.8
Ahh yes, sad but true! She will take most of your money wont she? I know the feeling!
Oh the GF/Wife gets her share also! :biggrin:
Great shots RJ and thanks for the feedback on this. I think I'm going to go with the 80-200 for now. I've found some decent deals this morning and nikon just makes more sense. :smile:

Thanks!
 
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