70-300 or 70-200
My friend is trying to buy a new lense. He has Nikon D90 + 18-105mm Vr kit lense.
Actualy he is choosing between
1. Nikkor 70-300mm F4,5-5,6 VR
2. Tamron 70-200mm F2,8
3. Sigma 70-200mm F2,8
All these lenses are in same price range, but are diferent in light capabilities.
I dont know them all and I do not have experiance with F2,8 lenses so I have no idea how diferent are those two from nikkor 70-300.
He's most importaint fact is that the lense must give him top quallity picture and sharpnes.
He's going to use the lense most the time for his kids. Some even from kindergarden when kids are having some shows and etc. I think kids can be really fast so I think that maybe F2,8 lense is beter choice . But I dont know how much vibrate reduction can help him in low light conditions, because most shots are going to be taken free handed to...
So can somebody help him with that choice and maybe tell more about those lenses.
Nikkor has better reach with 300mm and has vibration reduction. It is more compact and light lense but i dont know if it gives beter pictures.
Tamron and sigma have beter F2,8, but dont have vibration reduction and max reachnes is 200mm...
For the similar price I have no idea witc lense is beter ...
Every tip can be very helpful for him so please help.
My experience is this:
Nikon 200mm f4 AIS - excellent IQ
Canon 70-300 f4-5.6 IS - nowhere near as good as the Nikon.
I'd recommend the 70-200 over a 70-300 even with IS.
They are no where near the same price range in the US...that'd odd.
70-300 VR $479
Tamron 70-200 $699
Sigma 70-200 $759
Tamron for the best IQ but slow/inaccurate focus
Sigma for focus speed & accuracy but lower IQ
Nikkor 70-300 VR for the best of both, with a much slower aperture
The 70-300 VR will be almost useless indoors unless you have a large house, and will only work for kids in bright outdoor conditions. This is not an indoor lens.
The 70-200 f/2.8 lenses will work much better for indoor sports / concerts / stage performances where the 70-300 is just too slow with its small aperture. In that case I'd have to recommend the Sigma but hope you get a good copy.
I just find even with stabilisation that 300 is just too dark at f5.6. Plus there's not an awful lot of difference between 200 and 300. Personally, I'd go for the 70-200 and then if I needed longer and was willing to sacrifice a stop or two then I'd get a 2x teleconverter and have 140-400mm for not much extra cash.
It is not the same price, but it is very similar price and If you are buying it is good to buy beter for some time...
So you all recomend the F2,8 lense.
At good light conditions I think it is not much diference betwen them . But in low light conditions F2,8 lenses can be much more useful. Yust as I thought.
Teleconverter can get you some distance, but i thnink in that ocasions you have to use a tripod for sharp photos witch I think is beter to have VR.
But as I said lens is going to be used indor and outdor and some low light conditions witch I think those F2,8 are importaint.
It's yust one thing. I know that F2,8 is beter than F4,5-5,6 ... But is it so much a difference in lowlight shuter speed that is worth buying.
If you wana shoot some picture on 200mm, than the shutter speed must be at least 1/200 sek for hand hold . Is it possible to get such a speed from low light conditions ? That is the question how much problems you can get with reaching such shuter speed.
Maybe I should recomend him that he gets nikkor 70-300mm Vr + flash SB600 for the money than F2,8 lense. I dont know...
It is really hard to decide...
The difference is, you half your shutter speed every stop.
From f/2.8 to f/4 you half your speed. Half it again at f/5.6. So basically say for example the best you can manage is 1/200 at f/2.8 (say an auditorium, stage performance). In the same situation, the f/5.6 lens has you at 1/50s. You either need to take your ISO x4 to get 1/200 or not get the shot at all.
Flash is almost never possible in these situations.
Thank you for that info . Helps to understand the difference.
I'm wondering if you get any advantages from 2,8 lense in situation when flash is used ? Do you get more details from background or something ?
As said by others, f2.8 for your friend's needs trumps the Nikkor overall quality of build and operation. Indoors, speed is everything. OS/IS/VR/OIS or whatever won't help unless your subject is static, which it hardly ever is with kids.
With that said, an in-focus shot that is not technically perfect trumps an out of focus shot. Everytime. That narrows it down to the Sigma, or start saving for the Nikkor 80-200 f2.8. It's a bit more than the than the others, but it trumps them all. It's f2.8 and it's fast and accurate. It's also got outstanding Nikkor color. $900 at B&H, but there might be some seasonal discounts, which will get it closer to $800. You can go wrong bying a Nikkor, but not this one.
What Erics says... When you're paying that much for a lens then it has to be the right lens or you've paid a lot for a lens that's always going to frustrate. Thus I suggest the genuine Nikon every time. When I used Nikon, I found non-Nikon generally disappointing.
If I were to buy the Canon version then I would buy the Canon 70-200 f4 L. I have an injured wrist which makes the 70-200 f2.8 a bit awkward.
Take it from someone who owns and LOVES his Nikkor 70-300 VR, if you are shooting indoors, do yourself a favor and get a faster lens. But of you are shooting in an already well-lit environment (ie., sunny day outside), the Nikkor really shines!
I think I'm going to recomend him nikkor 80-200 F2,8 . I really dont know if he is willing to go so high with the price. Nikkor 80-200 is double price from Nikkor 70-300 or sigma and tamron 70-200.
It is expenssive lense, but I think is the best for the money and low light conditions between those four lenses, witch is importaint to him.
I think that now only question is where its gona be Tamron, Sigma 70-200 or nikkor 80-200 lense. For now sigma is on reach and about the highest price he is willing to pay. Well se if he is prepered to go a little bit higher for nikkor 80-200 .
the advantages of the nikkor arent just the aperture and the image quality. it is also, and perhaps even more importantly, the speed and accuracy of the AF.
One more question...
Because 80-200 nikkor is AF he has no build in motor for autofocus. Am i right ?
Is nikon D90 fast enough to auto focus ? I read about that Nikon D200 is far more faster than Nikon D80 or D70 etc so if you want speed than you have to get AF-S lenses.
I dont know how fast is D90 build in auto focus motor and if is worth buying that lense if at end you get maybe same speed with sigma auto focus .
Now see the prices in europe...
Nikon flash SB600 = 280 Eur
Nikkor 70-300mm F4,5-5,6 VR = 600 Eur
Tamron 70-200mm F2,8 = 780 Eur
Sigma 70-200mm F2,8 = 780 Eur
Nikkor 80-200mm F2,8 = 1.200 Eur
And yust for info .
Nikkor 70-200mm F2,8 VR = 2.220 Eur
It is quite a difference in a price...
I talked with my friend few moments ago and he said that he's prepared to give max 800 Eur for lense and he is interested at the moment for sigma or tamron 70-200 ...
Sigma is faster in autofocus, but tamron has better qualitty and sharpnes...
It is still quite hard to decide. For 1.200 eur he can get speed and quality , but it is a 400 Eur difference for old lense...
go for the faster AF imo.
you can always sharpen and improve IQ in PP but you cant improve an OOF photo cos the lens is too slow to get the shot. so my vote goes to the sigma.
One more question about the sigma. I read that some sigmas are not as acurate build than others so it is importaint that you test it first. But when you order it by mail it is not possible to test it first.. It can be quite frustrating if you dont have luck and get bad lense...
So what is importaint to test before buying it ?
OTOH, most users that take advantage of it have had good luck sending their lenses in for adjustment. It's just another step you sometimes have to take.
Personally, I don't worry about focus speed. I've missed a shot on occasion because of it, but not often. It's really only an issue if you shoot long then short or vice versa. As long as you are working in a general range of the lens, focus is very fast, even with AF lenses.
I read that sigma has offered almost every year new version of 70-200 F2,8 lense.
2005, February - 2006, december - 2007
Is it maybe wise to wait until spring of 2009 ? Maybe it will come out with OS verison of that lense ... It is hard to predict, but my friend is in no hurry, so ...
There has come to a little change.
I've noticed on internet one more detailed test for Sigma and Tamron 70-200 lense.
From that tests the tamron beats sigma in image quality all the way...
On that site I had a chance to compare tests from sigma 70-200 and nikkor 18-200 VR witch i know very well and the image quallity at 200mm is quite the same, and that is very bad... Sigma is better in 70 mm, but it gets very similar in 200mm with nikkor 18-200mm VR in picture quallity and sharpnes.
But the tamron shows quite different picture. It has good quality all the way and is comparable with canon 70-200 F4 witch is known as a very sharp and good lense.
Yes the tamron is quite slower than sigma, but beats it in image quallity all the way.
Sigma is good at 70mm and comes close to tamron, but if you compare them in 135mm or. 200mm there is really noticeable difference.
If somebody is interested I can send the link of that site where I goot those tests on PM.
I know that most of you recomended the sigma, but for the similar quallity as nikkor 18-200 gives at 200mm , I dont think so .
We'll wait for some more tests to come out, but in that moment I think tamron is better buy.
I read some more reviews and overall I think beter coice is to go for nikkor 70-300mm VR + flash SB600.
With sigma you really have to have a luck to get good lense and even then you get unacurate auto focusing. You can get much beter sharpnes by manual focusing.
With tamron you get more reliable same qualitty lenses, but it still has some problems because you get different sharpnes on left and right side of pictures.
So both lenses are not accurate and I think it is realy beter to get Nikkor 80-200mm if it has to be F2,8 lense and avoid third part lenses...
So this is yust one more experiance to me that it is better to get original lens no mather if you buy for nikon, canon or any other photo-cameras...
I think it is all clear now and thanks to everybody ...
I don't agree. You need to reasearch the lens you're considering against the alternatives every time. You can't assume the Nikon/Canon will always be better for all the criteria you care about.
Originally Posted by alessy
For example my Nikkor 18-200 (and yours) was less than perfect IQ but to many people good enough. The autofocus was very fast and accurate. So a great lens to many people but not you.
My Tamron 90mm has lovelly IQ but the lens lengthening when you focus is annoying. I can live with that annoyance since the lens was 1/3 rd the price of the equivalent Nikkor.
Horses for courses.
There is always a reason why is some lense 1/3 rd of a price from the original nikkor.
I realized that. Noting is for free so you get what you pay for and in this case you get 1/3 of a nikkor. Lol...
Well. I must take words back .
I found some sample photos of different lenses and I must say, that those samples are really great. I showed them to my friend and he is very happy with sigmas samples and probably he'll go for sigma...
This is the site and I think that samples from this sites are really good. It is noticeble that on F2,8 - 200mm is fall of sharpnes, and the samples are quite small to really notice problems. What do you say ?
For sigma lens is written and is somehow normal that you send your lense for calibration when you get it. I think almost every lense has front or back focus, so if you are buying sigma than you have to consider that to...
So does anybody know how much cost this calibration of a lense and if there is some problem with that ?
Wow great site, thanks.
Originally Posted by alessy
Check the first picture of the brown dog - I can't believe that was taken at f/2.8? I thought this lens was much softer than that.
Yes I'm impressed with those samples too. But It is only a question what would it be if you can see picture in whole size.
It is small picture and even so you can see on dogs eyes that if you do a little more crop of the head it would show that sharpnes is not so great on eyes.
But still it shows good pictures and i'm impressed to.
So if you get your self a sigma lens you just have to calibrate it and you have preaty decent lense... I think that calibration with guaranty is for free. You just have to picture some samples and give all to service where they have this calibration machines and then you can get really good lense I think...
It's really shame that they dont calibrate them before they give them for sale...
It's not just sharpness. What about flare control, chromatic aberation, autofocus speed and accuracy, price etc. A million variables to consider.
When I take a shot some of my images have awesome clarity at 100% digital zoom on my monitor yet they look ordinary at small size. And vice versa. I can't judge off a small cropped image where I don't know the shooting conditions or post processing.
I like a review format provided you think the reviewer seems competent. I simply can't judge for myself from a few examples how good something is.
Ive skimmed through this thread just now and I may be wrong, but I thought I heard awhile back the the Sigma has slow focus issues in low light... Ive never used one, so I cant comment on the truth to that, but I know ive read it some where on this forum. If I were your friend, id go for the Nikon. Although, id be going for the 70-200VR 2.8, but im crazy like that! LOL
All the review sites say slow inaccurate AF. Yes you read it on the Nikon thread recently. It's a common topic.
I saw some shots of flare from some different Sigma lenses. I'm never going to buy a lens because of a couple good shots posted. I'd want to know the shots are typical of results and I like the text explaining what other people found.
I guess that's why people ask questions like these on this forum, they like hearing opinions too - not just looking at 1 (possibly atypical) image.
To further complicate the issue, the European prices are too high, discounters are available. I live in St Petersburg Russia but bought my D90 kit in California. After returning to my adopted home I ordered the Nikkor 70-200VR f/2.8 mail order from the US and saved $800 difference in price compared to buying it here.
I did not buy it in California while I was there because I was already at maximum allowed weight in the luggage and the airline wanted $400 extra for the overage.
The 80-200 f/2.8 Nikkor, including shipping would represent a great savings if purchased mail-order from the US or Japan compared to getting it locally in Europe. The only issue is warranty coverage, a claim would require shipping it to its origin country.
The problem, a minor one for serious shots, is weight with any fast lens but it means it gets left home more in casual walking around situations. For 70% of my shots I am still taking the kit 18-105 VR kit lens because it is light, small and has a wide desired range of FO and ends up being with me when I was not expecting a serious photographic opportunity. It sure is easier to hand hold. I still do not have a good tripod but going shopping for one this weekend(what the heck, I am only twice over my original budget and who needs to eat). For darkish clubs and for light weight, I always keep a little Nikkon 50 f/1.8, that is sharp fast and cheap. Maybe your friend can get by with a cheap fast shorter prime in many of those low light situations, and be a little more flexible on the speed of the longer lens.
Overall, my vote is for the Nikkor 80-200 f/2.8 bought mail order for $800 plus shipping. Have a friend in the US receive it and repack it without the original box to send to Europe by US Postal Service for the cheapest/fastest shipping and no import duties.
I have read some sigmas focusing problems too. Sometimes sigma focuses the subject and then it tries to repair focus and can become realy slow searching for the right focus, and in that situations the focus is evrytime missed.
But the tamron does not have this issues and can become in this situations better and faster. Tamron is quick when you dont have such a big differences in distance from first to next shot... When the pictures are in quite the same range and the lens doesent need to focus from one end to another. And can be more accurate in focus to...
It is only some new stuff that I have read, so it is quite difficult to decide betwen these two lenses. Maybe Nikkor is really worth the difference in money...
both the tamron and the sigma suck at focussing in low light. i dont care what anyone tells you, i'e used both brands enuf to know what they're like. good light, no problem. less light, stick a fork in 'em.
Yeah.. I think so too... Well we'll se if he'll change his mind...
alessy, i'm sure either will be ok. not everyone can afford, (or needs), the best gear in the world.
By the way,
I asked a sigma techniker if sigma is going to improve lense 70-200mm F2,8 maybe with OS version soon because till now they improved it almost every year.
And he told me that they are not going to do any changes on 70-200 lense soon and that they dont even think about upgrading it into OS version.
So OS version of a sigma 70-200 F2,8 will not be available for a long time...
Tamron has just made new 70-200mm so I asume that it will be the same storry as it is with sigma...
So for some time, there will be no 70-200 mm F2,8 image stabilization version lense from sigma and tamron .