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Visual Reality
09-10-2008, 07:26 PM
Current telephoto:

Nikon 70-300 VR

Excellent lens. I love everything about it...except:

Current issues:

Loss of light at the end of the tunnel...as you close in on 300mm and your aperture stops down you lose your chance of good shutter speeds for wildlife and sports unless you have loads of sunlight. In wooded, shady areas, or even in the rainforest at the zoo, shutter speeds are much too low and Auto ISO spikes to 3200 to try and compensate (go D300 :D).

Looking at:

Tamron 70-200 f/2.8

Now I'd love to have the Nikon version but I just can't spend that kind of money right now. Besides I don't want to walk around with a lens that heavy. The D300 + SB600 + Tamron 70-200 2.8 will already be about as much as I'd be wanting to carry around for hours (thank goodness for this Lowepro Voyager...makes it feel like 1/2 the weight it is). If I sold the 70-300 this switch wouldn't hurt the bank account too much...

I'd lose 100mm on the end and I've been staring at the Tamron Focal Length Comparison Tool (http://www.tamron.com/lenses/learning_center/tools/focal-length-comparison.php) to see if I would really miss out on the extra reach and to be honest, for most of what I use it for, I wouldn't. I was normally around the 200-250 mark on my D80 most of the time and I figure if I was limited to 200mm and really needed more, I would just do a little crop later since I have a few more pixels to work with now. I figure if I was out some day wanting to get something really far away (not common) and really needed more reach, I would add a TC but normally would go without. The only other downside I can see is slower AF.

IQ would increase by noticeably lower ISO being needed for my shutter speed desires. Pretty much everything is a plus except the small loss of length on the end. It isn't stabilized but I don't think I'll need it as my shutter speeds will be kept at 1/200 minimum with Auto ISO allowing 3200 if necessary to keep it there, plus I tend have a pretty steady grip.

If you wanted the benefits of the fast aperture, would you make this switch? I haven't researched the lens yet so I have to go and find out its strengths and weaknesses, and any problems. Another plus is, it would enable indoor event shooting as well...covering the range my 17-50 can't reach. That's something I currently can't do at all, so this lens would find a nice place in my lineup...and make me consider dropping the 85 1.8 idea altogether. It would also become my portrait lens...how handy ;)

K1W1
09-10-2008, 07:42 PM
The Sigma 70-200 f2.8 HSM has had consistently good reviews over the last couple of years. I would add that to your consideration list if you are thinking of the Tamron.

Visual Reality
09-10-2008, 07:43 PM
Yeah I will definetely be comparing the two, though the Tamron is lighter and has a shorter MFD, however much that matters. Sharpness, contrast, focus speed and accuracy, and OOF areas are obviously the most important.

Actaeon
09-10-2008, 08:38 PM
Now, one thing to consider, it is expected a new 70-200mm f/2.8 from Nikon will be coming out shortly.

Perhaps the current lens will be on sale for a more affordable price?

Visual Reality
09-10-2008, 08:43 PM
Perhaps, but given its high pedigree I doubt it will be much of a bargain.

From what I'm reading, the Tamron is generally better optically but suffers from poor AF accuracy. The Sigma seems to have more problems optically...


"The focal length range and fast aperture are very useful features. They are excellent for portraits, sports, landscapes and other general-type shots including those taken in lower light levels. But at this point, I'd rather have the Tamron that at least autofocuses correctly some of the time and delivers better image quality at 200mm (we tend to use the extremes of our zoom lenses the most)."

More reading to do tomorrow.

EDIT: What a coincidence, 2 days ago:
http://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=157&topic_id=26980&mesg_id=26980&page=

fionndruinne
09-10-2008, 11:46 PM
I'd recommend the switch... there's a nice 50-150mm Sigma that's a lot smaller than the 70-200mm's... but I expect that's losing more telephoto than you want to.

TheWengler
09-10-2008, 11:55 PM
I think I'd bite on that. Variable aperture lenses area pain in the butt.

fionndruinne
09-11-2008, 12:01 AM
Amen brother!

JTL
09-11-2008, 07:06 AM
I think I'd bite on that. Variable aperture lenses area pain in the butt.Oh, no, please...you know where this leads...:D:D:p:p:eek::eek:

TheWengler
09-11-2008, 12:24 PM
Oh, no, please...you know where this leads...:D:D:p:p:eek::eek:

Oh yeah! Sorry! :o

cincyimages
09-11-2008, 02:42 PM
Now, one thing to consider, it is expected a new 70-200mm f/2.8 from Nikon will be coming out shortly.

Perhaps the current lens will be on sale for a more affordable price?


Bite your tongue, my 70-200mm better hold its value. ;)

VTEC_EATER
09-11-2008, 04:12 PM
Bite your tongue, my 70-200mm better hold its value. ;)

My guess is that it will. The new 70-200 will be optimized for full frame where the current 70-200 is optimized for the crop factor. Depending on the format you are using, one will have a leg up on the other.

I'm not worried. Of course, mine is also white so that makes it a bit more rare as well.

cincyimages
09-11-2008, 04:18 PM
^ Make a new thread and post photos of your "white" 70-200mm.

(Don't want to hijack this thread)

VTEC_EATER
09-11-2008, 04:47 PM
^ Make a new thread and post photos of your "white" 70-200mm.

(Don't want to hijack this thread)

No need for a new thread:

http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showpost.php?p=305907&postcount=2

Visual Reality
09-11-2008, 05:15 PM
Looks grey to me.

Anyway, I have yet to find evidence that Sigma's initial horrible QC quality has been fixed. Some people tried 2, 3, 4 lenses...only to find 1 that was "useable". I don't bet on those kinds of odds.

The Tamron's AF speed and accuracy worries me. I wish we had a good shop here but we don't...

Visual Reality
09-12-2008, 10:45 PM
Looks like I'm sticking with the Nikon 70-300 VR for now. The Sigma has great AF, but optical problems. The Tamron has superb optical qualities...on par with or better than Canon or Nikon, but has a slow, noisy AF motor that misses half the time. Why did Tamron even bother? Why didn't they just let us use our in-body focus motors?

So we wait...but for what?

Visual Reality
10-11-2008, 10:15 PM
Is there a way to just let the camera motor do the work instead?

Also, I'd like to find a comparison of focus speed / accuracy between the Tamron 70-200 2.8 and the Nikon 70-300 VR, since I can compare to that. I just have no idea where I'd find that...back to Google I guess.

hef
10-14-2008, 09:46 AM
I have the new sigma 70-200 f2.8 HSM II and it's a great performer.... sharp, the AF is not noisy and quite fast. I'm happy with it.

erichlund
10-14-2008, 10:25 AM
Is there a way to just let the camera motor do the work instead?


Lenses that have their own motor do not have the mechanical connector to the camera's motor, so no, it's not possible. I suppose that was a rhetorical question. ;-)

Despite the fact that I have a Tamron lens that works reasonably well, I have not been impressed with Tamron's track record. There's a reason they give a 6 year warranty. They have to do something to distract you from the realitiy that their lenses are really not very good.

OTOH, I have a lot more trust in Tokina lenses. My 12-24 has been great, and the build just oozes "WE MEAN BUSINESS". My Tamron, despite being a bigger lens, weighs less, and feels like a toy.

GaryS
10-14-2008, 12:58 PM
I'm from the Canon camp, but I just went through a similar decision.... My Canon 70-300 was a great lens, but the f4-f5.6 was driving me crazy. Plus the rotating front element meant I couldn't use a CPL. For me, the other issue is that 70mm is longer than I would like, making lens changes too frequent.

I don't shoot a lot of superlong stuff, so I went with the Sigma 50-150, and sold the 70-300.

Overall, I think it was a good choice. I do miss the IS sometimes, but f2.8 is so nice....

Visual Reality
10-14-2008, 05:14 PM
Lenses that have their own motor do not have the mechanical connector to the camera's motor, so no, it's not possible. I suppose that was a rhetorical question. ;-)

Despite the fact that I have a Tamron lens that works reasonably well, I have not been impressed with Tamron's track record. There's a reason they give a 6 year warranty. They have to do something to distract you from the realitiy that their lenses are really not very good.

OTOH, I have a lot more trust in Tokina lenses. My 12-24 has been great, and the build just oozes "WE MEAN BUSINESS". My Tamron, despite being a bigger lens, weighs less, and feels like a toy.
Tamron has some very sharp lenses in their lenup, such as the 17-50 2.8, 90mm macro and the 70-200 2.8. These are just as good as the top Canon/Nikon counterparts...however, their main weakness is the fact that they don't have their own USM/HSM/AFS type of focus motors yet. To say that their "lenses are really not very good" is completely false and misleading.

Some people appreciate a lighter weight. I know my hands/wrists certainly haven't appreciated my D300 + 70-300 + SB-600 :(

Visual Reality
10-14-2008, 05:19 PM
Here's what I'll do. The next time I have a situation that calls for a 70-200 2.8, I'll use an online lens rental service and try out the Tamron. If its AF disappoints then I'll not need to waste my money buying it.