DX fast telephoto zoom, please speculate

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by adam_weaver, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. I'd love to hear theories explaining the absence of a fast telephoto zoom for the DX format from Nikon. Sigma and Tokina offered the 50-150mm f/2.8 and 50-135mm f/2.8, which they subsequently discontinued; Sigma teased on the OS version of theirs, then erased it from their website (delayed or aborted?) VR would be excellent, though making the lens bigger and more expensive. I have a 55-200mm VR, which is ok but slow aperture and slow to focus (it is inexpensive after all.) I'd be thrilled to carry my 12-25, 35mm, and 50-150mm-ish in a pretty small kit. The fact that the third party lenses were discontinued suggests there wasn't much demand, though I read good things about them. Most people are familiar w/ the pros and cons of the 70-200mm VR on the dx format...would a DX equivalent simply be not much cheaper and not much smaller? I won't beat a dead horse any more. What do you think?
     
  2. I think you have pretty much said it. As Sigma and Tokina have discontinued their versions there can't be too much demand. At least not enough to warrant them keeping the lenses. And I agree, there probably would by too much cost savings. If memory serves, the Sigma 50-150 was around $700 and that is the price of the Tamron 70-200.
     
  3. I would speculate that many (most?) people who want to spend the extra money on a fast tele zoom are people who think that FX might be in their future, and therefore they want to buy an FX lens.
     
  4. There simply is not much need for such a lens. I sometimes use the old Series E 75-150mm/3,5 for landscapes and nature photography. It is a great lens and very inexpensive. It also has very good built-quality compared to modern plastic lenses. I would never spend money on an AF version of such a lens though because I prefer primes. I also think for many users the zoom range of such a lens is too narrow.
     
  5. would a DX equivalent simply be not much cheaper and not much smaller?​
    I got mine for the (much) smaller size and (much) cheaper price. Oh and I had fx (and dx) at the time...BUT I don't shoot telephotos much. The weight difference was near ~50% and price difference was $200-$1000 depending on the (70-200) version involved. Smaller size, lower price and the 50-70mm range all factored into my purchase.
     
  6. The thing is that for every photographer who prefers the range of a 70-200 on FX there is another who prefers that focal range on DX! So there may not be so much of a market for a 50-135/2.8 DX. There might be some, but many people who buy fast lenses will want to use them (also) on FX, eventually, so it's good economics to just make one set of lenses for telephoto. For wide angle, FX lenses that are wide enough on DX are large and have perhaps somewhat inconvenient ranges, so there are lenses like the 12-24 and 17-55 DX which are separate from the FX lenses.
     
  7. Yeah, what's wrong with the "FX" lenses? They work fine on the DX bodies with a little extra crop even.I'm sure that the idea of a DX zoom tele has never occurred to the major makers given that there is a wide range of short to long telephoto zooms already in being and benefiting from long production runs. If you want the shorter range- why not get a 24-120mm?
    I think that telephotos are so "easy" in design by comparison to wide angle and such, that there would be very little savings in making a DX telephoto, and that the limitation of sales to DX only and the smaller production might even make them more expensive.
     
  8. The Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 and the Tokina 50-135mm f/2.8 were significantly lighter than 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses. There is a weight savings not only because of the reduced physical length but because the lens elements can have a smaller diameter. I believe there is a market for them. Sigma had dropped its 50-150 while planning to produce an OS (Optical Stabilization) version, and announced the new lens in February of 2011, but apparently was stopped by a Nikon lawsuit over alleged patent infringement for OS (really VR according to Nikon)
    I'm not alone in wanting these lenses. Photo.net's wedding and event photography moderator described liking her Tokina 50-135mm f/2.8 as recently as last year. Thom Hogan has been calling for Nikon to produce a 35-135mm f/2.8 stabilized lens for nearly four years. Anyone who shoots events, typically hand-held, really feels the weight of a camera + the 70-200mm after an hour or two. Sales might be very different if Nikon or Canon were to produce these lenses than with the production by other manufacturers. The weight savings of such a lens may be less important for Canon, which produces a 70-200mm f/4 IS, weighing about half as much as their f/2.8 IS.
    The photographers that are not likely to want such a lens are not only those who hope to change to FX in the future, but those who shoot both FX and DX. Alreading having (or needing) a 70-200mm f/2.8 makes the 50-150mm an additional expense.
    If you want the shorter range- why not get a 24-120mm?​
    First, it's only available (for Nikon anyway) in an f/4. Second, wide-to-tele lenses are often more challenged optically. Part of the reason why 70-200mm lenses have done so well is that the moderate zoom ratio has allowed them to be spectacularly good. The 24-120mm might be an option for some, though, now that barrel and pincushion distortion has become much easier to fix afterwards.
     
  9. If you want the shorter range- why not get a 24-120mm?​
    Speaking for myself...the 24-120mm (all 3 versions) are neither fast (especially at the long end) nor great optically to say the least. The recent f4 version isn't exactly cheap at ~$1300. I do agree with you on the production front...But as a shooter, the dx 50-150mm f2.8 sigma is just about perfect...
     
  10. OK, then why don't you get the Sigma or the Tokina? There are a lot of discontinued, but still great lenses out there on eBay.
    I just don't see the crowd rushing the barricades over this one. I will admit that Canon did produce a 'DX' EF-S 55-250mm, but it's not fast either, and is intended as a longer kit lens for the APS-C crowd.
     
  11. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Generally speaking, there is no point to make lenses DX because there are no savings. Your lenses will be just as big and as costly. Thus making a separate line does not make much sense. I think the 55-300mm DX is as far as Nikon would push it.
    I should have written: Generally speaking, there is no point to make telephoto lenses DX because there are no savings.
     
  12. Generally speaking, there is no point to make lenses DX because there are no savings. Your lenses will be just as big and as costly​
    Obviously, Shun haven't seen or held a dx sigma 50-150mm f2.8...
     
  13. There is no 35/50-135/150 f/2.8 from Nikon for the same reason that there is no 70-200/4: Nikon has no incentive to produce anything but the 70-200/2.8 because those are flying off the shelves despite their exorbitant price tag. And there are enough used copies of the older versions out there that would cost the same or less than those lenses new - giving many pause in particular to the ever desired"FX upgrade".
    Apparently, the announced and never produced Sigma 50-150/2.8 OS would be nearly as large as a 70-200 and cost wouldn't be much less either. It really is a pity that there is no alternative to the 70-200/2.8 in Nikon's lens lineup. And not in that of any other manufacturer either - except Canon who offers no less than 4 70-200 lenses - but the 70-200/4 IS costs north of $1000 and the non-IS f/4 version is a lot more expensive than any of the Nikon consumer-grade offerings (but a lot more sturdily built and optically better). AF-S and VR have driven the cost up substantially - we asked for it and now we are paying the price for it (and to not be misunderstood, for many it is worth it).
     
  14. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I should have written:
    There is no point to make telephoto lenses DX because there are no savings.
    People need to keep in mind that about 95% of Nikon DSLRs produced today is DX. FX is merely a tiny market. However, the majority of those DX bodies are the D3100 and D5100 type. People will buy 2, 3 consumer zooms and perhaps a 35mm/f1.8 DX or 50mm/f1.8 and that will be it.
    On the higher-end of the maket, people might as well buy the 70-200mm/f2.8 AF-S VR. A separate 50-150mm/f2.8 for DX or FX, is largely redundant.
     
  15. For kicks I looked them up and the Sigma (didn't check Tokina) is about 1/3 shorter and 1/2 the weight of the 70-200 Nikon.
    Everybody who responded probably has a valid point, and maybe that combination is enough to push the possibility of the lens down. But I'm still allowed to be aggravated, right?
    I never seem to lose money when selling Nikon lenses, so don't worry much about someday moving up (?) to FX and needing a few new lenses. But maybe that's not how the majority approach the question of gear selection.
    On a tangential subject, how do you figure the Canon 70-200 f/4 L sells? I'd be satisfied w/ a Nikon equivalent, as beggars can't be choosers. Would that product have a higher likelihood of production than the DX fast tele zoom?
     
  16. Apparently, the announced and never produced Sigma 50-150/2.8 OS would be nearly as large as a 70-200 ...​
    Actually, the specifications were exactly the same in every dimension and in weight, which led some of us to believe that they had been copied over by mistake. Sigma finally removed all reference to the lens from their US web site, I don't know about others.
     
  17. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Given that Nikon already introduced a 16-35mm/f4 AF-S VR, a 24-120mm/f4 AF-S VR, I have little doubt that there will be a 70-200mm/f4 AF-S VR. But that is just a person guess, not from any insider info.
    I have no problem carrying the 70-200mm/f2.8 AF-S VR by itself. However, when I also have something like a 200-400mm/f4, I wouldn't mind a lighter 70-200 at all. f2.8 is not necessary in a lot of situations.
     
  18. FWIW:
    Sigma 50-150mm f2.8 DX - 780g
    Sigma 70-200 f2.8 OS - 1430g
    Sigma 70-200 f2.8 - 1370g
    Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR I - 1470g
    Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR II - 1540g
    Nikon 80-200mm f2.8 AFS - 1550g
    Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS II - 1490g
    Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS I - 1470g
    Canon 70-200mm f4 - 705g
    Canon 7-200mm f4 IS - 760g
    If you forgoes AF and VR, the 75-150mm "E" f3.5 is ~515g and much less, plus it's fx:)
     
  19. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Sigma 50-150mm f2.8 DX - 780g
    Sigma 70-200 f2.8 OS - 1430g
    Leslie, but those are different focal lenghts. A 50-150mm/f2.8 zoom is going to be shorter and lighter than a 70-200mm/f2.8 zoom because the lens elements are going to be smaller.
    You need to compare a 50-150 DX vs. a 50-150 FX, or a 70-200 DX vs. 70-200 FX. Of course, some of those lenses do not exist and therefore no actual comparison is possible.
    Additionally, the construction quality of the lenses should be similar for a fair comparison. E.g. I tested the Sigma 70-200mm/f2.8 OS. It is very well built and as a result, its weight is similar to the equivalent Nikon lens.
     
  20. But Shun, isn't the point of this thread exactly to have an alternative to the heavy 70-200 FX lenses in form of a 50-150 DX lens - no one said anything that the 50-150 should be FX. But there must be a reason why both Sigma and Tokina decided to discontinue their offerings - though there is a chance that Sigma did not willingly give up on the 50-150 DX OS.
     
  21. On a tangential subject, how do you figure the Canon 70-200 f/4 L sells?​
    Don't know - but my assumption is that if there weren't be enough buyers, Canon would stop producing it (and that lens is a gem). Canon offers 13 zoom lenses in the range from 55/70/75 to 200/300 (with one being DX); Nikon has 7, of which the 3 are low-end DX lenses (and one low-end FX). Surely, there is space (and demand) for a 70-200/4 and maybe even for a 50-150/2.8 (and it may make sense to make it FX just as a slightly smaller, lighter and less expensive alternative to the 70-200/2.8). Canon's four 70-200 lenses are all USM (that's Canon for AF-S); Nikon only has one to offer; the 80-200 is still screw-driver driven. BTW, with the corner sharpness issues of the 70-200/2.8 VR (not VR II), Nikon already has a DX lens - just start producing it again with smaller lenses and two versions - one f/2.8 and one f/4 (I'm only half kidding).
     
  22. Sigma teased on the OS version of theirs, then erased it from their website (delayed or aborted?)
    Its still on the Dutch(Benelux) Sigma website though .. ?? and not as an DX but rather as an FX lens.... , it just does not appear in the shops...
    There has been , or is some Patent infringement lawsuit from Nikon against Sigma going on, which may be the reason why this. and some other stabilized, lenses are not on sale atm....
    Announcement from Nikon :
    http://www.nikon.com/news/2011/0525_01.htm
    Benelux Sigma Website showing the new versionof the 50-150mm
    http://www.sigmabenelux.com/objectieven/tele?merk=nikon
    and
    http://www.sigmabenelux.com/objectieven/tele/50-150mm-apo-f28-ex-dc-os-hsm?merk=nikon
    and
    http://www.sigmabenelux.com/objectieven/tele/50-150mm-apo-f28-ex-dc-os-hsm
     
  23. and not as an DX but rather as an FX lens​
    It says "DC" which is Sigma-speak for DX; FX would be DG. From your third link: The Sigma Corporation is pleased to announce the new Sigma APO 50-150mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM, designed especially for APS-C size image sensors.
     
  24. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    But Shun, isn't the point of this thread exactly to have an alternative to the heavy 70-200 FX lenses in form of a 50-150 DX lens - no one said anything that the 50-150 should be FX. But there must be a reason why both Sigma and Tokina decided to discontinue their offerings - though there is a chance that Sigma did not willingly give up on the 50-150 DX OS.​
    I thought I pointed out that any 50-150mm/f2.8 lens should be FX instead of DX because making it DX won't save you much, if anything, but making a high-end lens DX will keep it out from FX users, all of them are high end, at least based on camera prices.
    Whether there should be a separate 50-150mm/f2.8 FX so that DX users can get their 70-200mm/f2.8 equivalent is debateable. The fact that those third-party one are gone from the market is probabaly a good indicator that the demand is not big enough.
     
  25. making it DX won't save you much, if anything,​
    Shun, you are usually on point but I'm lost of your last couple posts...Again, the 50-150mm DX f2.8 sigma saved me $500, at the least. Weight wise it saved me near 50%. The whole point of the thread is the saving of using a DX telephoto over a FX telephoto as asked by Adam in the original post:
    would a DX equivalent simply be not much cheaper and not much smaller?​
    We are talking equivalents here, Shun. Not sure where you are going with these imaginary FX 50-150mm and DX 70-200mm...
     
  26. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Leslie, what I have been saying from the beginning of this thread is that a 50-150mm/f2.8 FX would also save you $500 and half the weight, just as a 50-150mm/f2.8 DX does. Therefore, there is no point to make any 50-150mm/f2.8 lens DX (or any telephoto lens DX). Any constant f2.8 zoom is a high-end lens. When you make a wide-to-long zoom such as the 17-55mm/f2.8, you have to make it DX. But for a 50-150, you might as well make it FX so that high-end FX camera users can also use this high-end lens.
    It was my fault that I accidentally left out the word "telephoto" in my first post.
     
  27. The OP stated that he wanted a FAST zoom, dedicated to DX sensor size.
    F4 is not fast, neither is F5.6.
    Technically, a DX FAST zoom, could be somewhat cheaper, and somewhat less massive than one capable of illuminating an FX sensor, but it will still be a very EXPENSIVE lens because it is FAST.
    The expense is why most DX consumer body owners would not pop for the costly lens thus making it a limited market lens.
    When I shot DX exclusively, I spent the long buck and bought FX zooms because I knew that FX cameras would come along, and it made no sense to buy expensive glass that could not be used on a later FX body. I did buy cheaper glass for DX, such as the Sigma 10-20mm, but $400+ is way different than a couple of thousand. Buying FX capable zooms served me well when I got a D700. The glass fit both formats.
    You could go Micro Four Thirds. With an adapter, you could use the lighter weight, fast long lenses from anyone, say Olympus. But, Olympus zooms are still very expensive lenses.
     
  28. Re the Canon 70-200mm F4 query. It sells because it is very sharp and very good optically. It's cheaper. It's lighter weight. It just takes outstanding images.
    Landscape shooters love it because the images are outstanding, it is easy to carry in the field, and most landscapes are shot at small apertures. Similar in its appeal to the Nikon landscape shooters who love the new 16-35mm F4.
    Historically, Nikon had several 200mm and 80-200mm lenses with apertures around F4 - F5.6, and they sold very well in their day. I have two that I inherited, and they are far smaller and much lighter weight than the 70-200mm F2.8 VR lenses.
     
  29. Of course the point is to a) have the lens with me, and b) make good pictures, so I'd be open to carrying a 70-200 f/4 if it were compact (if it covers FX too then awesome) and if it were really sharp wide open. For whatever reason when I need a telephoto I end up shooting it wide-open, and the 55-200mm (which I own) is not very impressive wide open and focuses slowly. Of course I'd like it to cover the middle-range better (than >70mm) but as Shun suggested that might simply be too much to expect. I'd be happy to see Tamron step up and make a DX telephoto equivalent to their 17-50mm f/2.8. Goodness knows they've sold enough of those. And if anybody cares right now I often use my 105mm VR if I need to shoot quietly from a distance in low light. It's 2.8, it's really sharp wide open, and its VR is really good, but of course it is chunky and the framing doesn't always work out. I don't want to belabor it, because I do have enough lenses to make the pictures I want to make, so this isn't serious obviously, but Nikon could make it a little easier :)
     
  30. but Nikon could make it a little easier :)
    Yep, they could. Especially considering which MF lenses didn't even make it into the AF area: 50-135/3.5, 75-150/3.5, 70-210/4 (that one made a brief appearance but then got dropped in favor of the 70-210/4-5.6) - but I realize that the optical formula would likely have to be significantly modified to make them AF-S and incorporate VR.
    Now, what if Nikon were to revive that Micro 70-180/4.5-5.6 - add a few more ED lenses, maybe make it a constant f/4 and AF-S - now that would be a lens I'd happily pay $1500 for.
     
  31. I use two D300s bodies. I chose Dx because I wanted to save money and save weight on the lenses. I do not intend on going Fx at all. To me a company building a 50-150 f/2.8 Dx is the exact same reasoning as building a 17-50/55; to give the Dx sensor the same focal length/field of view as the long established pro focal length/field of view as a full frame camera. Since getting a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 VC and Sigma 50-150 f/2.8, I've been able to capture many more keepers than before having that combo. I was looking forward to replacing the Sigma non OS with the announced OS version, but now I guess I'll live without. My 50-150 is an exceptional lens.
     
  32. I'd be open to carrying a 70-200 f/4 if it were compact (if it covers FX too then awesome) and if it were really sharp wide open.
    Right; I think a lot of us would want such a lens. To achieve compactness when I'm shooting I tend to use fixed focal length short to medium teles a lot just because most of them a little smaller ... and they have nice rendering characteristics for my subjects, even though the 70-200II has higher performance autofocus, but sometimes I just don't want to carry it and also I don't want my camera setup to appear intimidating. I do use the 70-200 most of the time when I'm shooting tele landscapes because it's high quality and convenient to use. For this an f/4 version would be excellent. For my people photography I tend to use large apertures so much that an f/4 zoom would not find much use, especially if it needs to be stopped down. If it's really wicked sharp at f/4 then I would find it quite attractive. But Nikon has not yet made a modern f/4 version (there used to be some in the 1980s) with AF-S and VR. I think it's only a matter of 1-2 years of further wait and then we'll have it. The shorter and mid range f/4 zooms already exist (and of course the 200-400).
    what if Nikon were to revive that Micro 70-180/4.5-5.6
    I was just photographing ice formations in a creek that was freezing up and the water spray on rocks formed beautiful ice pearls ... I used the 200mm Micro and it worked well but a 70-180mm Micro would have been even better as I needed some distance to the subject to avoid the water spray but good tripod footings were difficult to find and a macro zoom would have been perfect. I would be very happy to see an AF-S version of that lens with maybe some optical improvements. I don't think making it f/4 constant would be easy and it's likely it would then become as big or bigger than the 70-200/2.8. It's a careful compromise.
    To me a company building a 50-150 f/2.8 Dx is the exact same reasoning as building a 17-50/55; to give the Dx sensor the same focal length/field of view as the long established pro focal length/field of view as a full frame camera.
    Right, but then as Shun points out there is very little to be gained in making that lens DX, as virtually all telephotos have larger image circles than the sensor needs. You can block some internal reflections by putting in some light baffles but that's the only improvement expected. However, I do think a 50-150/2.8 or 50-135/2.8 would be a very nice lens to have, for portraits in the studio for example. But for some reason Nikon doesn't seem to be interested. In Nikon, is surprisingly little choice today if you want a telezoom with high quality - there is the 70-200 II, and that's about it. It's a spectacularly good lens, but the gap in quality between it and the 70-300 VR is quite big IMO, and of course the gap in price is also considerable. There should be space in that gap for another (high quality) zoom lens. For shorter focal lengths Nikon gives much more choice. As it is now, people who cannot afford the current 70-200 will typically buy an older version of the f/2.8 telezoom, which is fine and can save a lot of money, but still it remains quite a big lens.
    Still, as it is that a lot of people who end up buying expensive lenses will also want to retain FX as an option, the 70-200/4 AF-S VR is much more likely to be realized in the short term than a 50-135/2.8 or 50-150/2.8. And I think it's good that way. Apparently also third party lens makers have difficulty selling their 50-135 or 50-150's - I've never seen one in use, yet I've seen plenty of Sigma and Tamron 70-200 type lenses. So if the option doesn't exist it's by the majority of photographer's choice.
     
  33. In Nikon, is surprisingly little choice today if you want a telezoom with high quality - there is the 70-200 II​
    If I were to nitpick, then I would like to see the venerable 80-200/2.8 added to that short list! But I agree, there's definitely sufficient space for one or even two more.
    Maybe the reason for the apparent failure of the 50-135/150 f/2.8 lens in the market place is caused by most DX shooters preferring the "longer reach" a 70-200 gives them - plus the "fear" of buying a DX lens in view of the "inevitable" upgrade to FX in the future. On the other hand, everyone who buys a 16/17/18-50/55 would like a 50-150 to complement it - or as the disappearance of those lenses shows, may be not enough do.
     
  34. There is simply no way to make a FX 50-150 f/2.8 the same size and weight as a DX 50-150 f/2.8, period.
    The Sigma 50-150 f/2.8 image circle doesn't even cover full frame and it uses 67mm glass.
    As Leslie stated in a post above, those who don't know the purpose of a 50-150 f/2.8 DX have simply never used one. Or they have not shot for 10+ hours straight hand held, ending up with a couple of thousand images in a day using single shot.
    The buyers of a 50-150 f/.28 are the same as those buying a 17-55 f/2.8 or similar from Sigma or Tamron. My guess is that they are likely D7000 or D400 owners :)
     
  35. As Leslie stated in a post above, those who don't know the purpose of a 50-150 f/2.8 DX have simply never used one. Or they have not shot for 10+ hours straight hand held, ending up with a couple of thousand images in a day using single shot.​
    It's a shame you weren't in on this earlier, then we could have shut the whole thing down. QED.
     
  36. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The buyers of a 50-150 f/.28 are the same as those buying a 17-55 f/2.8 or similar from Sigma or Tamron. My guess is that they are likely D7000 or D400 owners :)
    Well, since there are exactly zero D400 owner as that camera does not exist, there goes a large chunk of your argument. I have a D300 and a D7000, and I have the 17-55mm/f2.8 AF-S DX, but the 70-200mm/f2.8 serves me just fine. I don't care about that little gap between 55 and 70mm.
    The fact that those 3rd party 50-150mm/f2.8 are not surviving should be quite telling.
     
  37. The fact that those 3rd party 50-150mm/f2.8 are not surviving should be quite telling.​
    I am wondering if the patent lawsuit filed by Nikon against Sigma is the only reason the 50-150/2.8 OS isn't made available - after all, Sigma is selling the 150/2.8 macro OS now - and that should have the same OS as the vanished 50-150/2.8 OS and hence be affected by the lawsuit as well.
    I don't care about that little gap between 55 and 70mm.​
    I have to deal with a slightly larger gap between 55 and 80mm - and there are occasions were it bothers me. Not enough though to look for a 50-135/150 f/2.8 lens though - the 80-200/2.8 is among my least used lenses anyway (which is why I don't want to lay out for the 70-200 VR or VRII).
    But I know that I would have had a good look at the Sigma 50-150/2.8 OS...
     
  38. Re: Nikon/Sigma lawsuit and OS - here is a new lens just announced - with OS: APO Macro 180 f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM http://www.sigmaphoto.com/shop/apo-macro-180mm-f28-ex-dg-os-hsm?link=jan_m_2
    The announcement is here: http://www.sigmaphoto.com/news/sigma-announces-worlds-first-180mm-f28-optically-stabilized-macro-lens
     
  39. It says "DC" which is Sigma-speak for DX; FX would be DG.​
    I agree to that, but if you click the seconfd link, and then "Specificaties", it shows yellow "DG" label, and when you hoover over that label it says that its for Full frame.. so rathewr confusing ...
    I am wondering if the patent lawsuit filed by Nikon against Sigma is the only reason the 50-150/2.8 OS isn't made available - after all, Sigma is selling the 150/2.8 macro OS now​
    I'm wondering too, since all major lens manufacterers offer some kind of VR/OS/IS.
    My guess is that Sigma has been using a VR/OS design for some lenses that is more similar in its design to Nikons VR, than on other lenses they also produce, otherwise there would also have been similar lawsuits against Canon for its IS, or other brands using similar technology...
     
  40. I agree to that, but if you click the seconfd link, and then "Specificaties", it shows yellow "DG" label, and when you hoover over that label it says that its for Full frame.. so rathewr confusing ...​
    Missed that - lends support to the assumption that the specs were copied from the 70-200; some specs are indeed identical. Well, we are not going to find out until Sigma releases the lens - if ever.
     
  41. I'm not sure. It would be great to have the savings in weight and cost, but personally, I would prefer a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens versus a 50-135/150mm lens because of the extra reach. Now the 70-200 is $2300; if Nikon made a 50-135 for $1000 less than that things might be interesting. But they won't so it ain't. I shoot with a D300s along with a 17-55mm and 70-200mm and I can't be happier. 55-70mm on DX is important to many because it's within the ideal portrait range though. Is DX focal length dovetailing that important? What's wrong with taking a step forward/backward?
     
  42. wow, really long thread and apparently only two people have actually used the 50-150. so i'm going to add my .02. i've owned two copies of the 50-150 (1st one was stolen). as i remarked before, it was a real sleeper of a lens--sharp, versatile, contrasty, fast-focusing, great bokeh, relatively inexpensive. for a DX kit, that and the tamron 17-50 were usually all i needed for 80-90% of shooting. i now have an FX system with the 70-200 VRII. but i kept the 50-150. why? compactness. it can go where a 70-200 can't. i still grab it sometimes when i want to reduce bulk, and it's traveled with me as well. as far as IQ, the 70-200 is better but not by so much that you'd really be able to tell in most cases. at 2.8 the results are pretty similar and stay that way at f/4 and 5.6. of course the 70-200 is even better on FX as far as subject isolation goes because of the FX effect on shallow DoF, but on DX the 50-150 does hold its own. also, there are times when 70mm is a bit too long on DX, like indoors. so starting at 50 made a lot of sense.
    interestingly, the OS version of the 50-150 essentially ruined what was so great about it in the first place. adding stabilization meant you lost the compactness. and with that being the case, why not just go for a 70-200?
     
  43. Nikon is running a business and that is all about making money with limited resources. So as any business they are asking themselves, where do we put our design, manufacturing and marketing resources to get the greatest return on our investment?
    A constant f/2.8 zoom is a professional type of lens, not what the average consumer is looking for. There is no conclusions to be had from the fact that Nikon isn't making a 50-150 f/2.8 DX or similar lens except that they find that their resources are better spent elsewhere.
    Just as an example, Nikon has just recently been able to offer their users modern large aperture primes, like the 24mm f/1.4, 35mm f/1.4 and 85mm f/1.4. These are professional level lenses that lots of Canon shooters have had in their bag for more than ten years. So they are obviously popular lenses and in demand yet Nikon waited more than ten years to make them.
    The reason why Sigma isn't currently producing a 50-150 f/2.8 is the same - they find that their resources are currently better spent elsewhere. Professional type of lenses are low volume compared to consumer zooms, they are harder to manufacturer, the buyers are more discerning of performance and quality issues and Sigma as a third party manufacturer can't usually demand the same high price as Nikon so margins are smaller.
    So we could ask ourselves questions all day long about why Nikon aren't making this or that, and why this or that aren't made anymore. And the answer to all these question ultimately comes down to one thing - money.
     
  44. Nikon waited more than ten years to make them.
    This isn't quite accurate. Nikon has had the 85/1.4 autofocus available from early 90s and it was continuously available. It was upgraded to slightly better optics and AF-S in 2010. They had the 28/1.4 until it was discontinued in 2006. They then brought out the 24/1.4 and 35/1.4 in 2010, so for about 4 years they didn't have a fast wide angle with autofocus available as a new lens (they did have the 35/1.4 Ai-S though). I would have actually preferred the combination of 28/1.4 and 85/1.4 but when the 28 was still being made I could not afford it. Now I use both 24/1.4 and 35/1.4 but I still think it would have been better to have just one 28/1.4 for practical reasons - but other users seem to prefer 24 and 35 or the choice between them.
     
  45. When I say modern large aperture primes I'm talking about a f/1.4 or faster lens with an ultrasonic focus motor, just like the ones Nikon are making now. Nikon had other lenses with that technology (af-s) in 1998 as did Canon (usm). But Canon made those modern prime lenses while Nikon did not.
    I sure that Nikon's lens designers are equally good as Canon's so the only reason they didn't make these lenses was because with the resources at hand more money could be made designing, manufacturing and marketing other products. And I'm sure they also calculated that their old 85/1.4 and the far too expensive 28 f/1.4 could still generate some profit.
    If Nikon think they can make a good profit on a AF-S 85mm f/1.4 I'm sure they will make one when they can allocate the resources. The same goes for all fast wide DX primes, pro level f/4 lenses etc. etc.
     
  46. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    interestingly, the OS version of the 50-150 essentially ruined what was so great about it in the first place. adding stabilization meant you lost the compactness. and with that being the case, why not just go for a 70-200?​
    The main purpose for having an f2.8 50-150mm lens is the ability to hand hold it under indoor, dim light conditions. For those applications, having VR (OS in Sigma terminology, or IS for Canon) is critical. A 50-150mm/f2.8 without VR is not going to do well. And if a 50-150mm/f2.8 with VR is not much smaller than a 70-200mm/f2.8, there is where your problem is.
     
  47. Yes, that's the sticking point, Shun. I'm not threatening to abandon ship here (not that it matters much) but I'm intrigued by the possibility of something like the Pentax K-5 with the Pentax 50-135mm. The stabilization is in-body, so that gets around the need to include it in-lens, thus increasing the lens size. Anyway, I think posters have addressed most aspects of this subject.
     
  48. I think the problem was simply that for the first years Canon had exclusive access to USM technology and later on, when licensing became possible for Nikon and others, the costs were so high that only the most critical lenses for photojournalists were provided with SWM. The cost increase was substantial if you compare 80-200 with and without SWM. Why Canon was able to do this less expensively (in some cases) may simply be that they owned the key patents or had exclusive licenses for the first years and were of course reluctant to share what was one of the key technologies in capturing the SLR market. I'm not sure what part licensing costs and design costs play in this. But many of the new AF-S lenses have a common motor and lens-specific gears, whereas ring type SWM/USM lenses have complicated custom designed parts that are different for each lens. It's ok to do that for lenses that sell in the hundreds of thousands but Nikon is lucky to sell more than ten thousand 24/1.4's (well they're approaching that, but anyway) so it was a question of dividing the development cost with the expected number of lenses and when the cost per lens was too high, they had to come up with a design which could be easily shared between low volume lenses. One could equally say that Canon doesn't have widespread use of their sub-wavelength coating (similar to nano-coating) in lenses so those lenses are not "modern". It's all in where you want to see the "modern". Perhaps Nikon is pricing the licenses very high to return back the "favours" experienced in AF technology in the past.
    If Nikon think they can make a good profit on a AF-S 85mm f/1.4
    The 85/1.4 AF D was already a big hit product for a lens of its price class (approximately one hundred thousand made), I don't think it ever was a question of whether it can make a profit, but how large the cost increase is in adding SWM. If it is 500 EUR then I suspect it would have been out of the question. Now the product increased that much in price but it came with both SWM (of a kind), revised optics with much improved wide open performance, and the nano-coating. But both lenses are already excellent so there is always a question of how much extra should the customer have to pay to receive that 10% improvement.
     
  49. Asked Sigma by mail what's up with the 50-150 shipping date, just got a cryptic answer back saying :
    "Unfortunately there is still no ship date we are being told from the corporate office."

    So they do not say it will not be there, but they do not say it will be there either....
     
  50. The main purpose for having an f2.8 50-150mm lens is the ability to hand hold it under indoor, dim light conditions.​
    not necessarily. i mainly shot concert photography and PJ with mine when it was my main tele lens in a DX setup, so i used it in both indoor and outdoor conditions. it's also a really great portrait lens, with excellent bokeh. and there's no law saying you can't shoot a 50-150 at open apertures with flash if you need to. i also used it for travel -- a situation where a 70-200 would be too bulky to lug around all day. its handholdable, and as long as you could shoot at 1/125 or so on the long end with good h/h technique, capable of producing sharp shots. ideally, it would pair best with a d700 or d5100 -- which have the best high-ISO performance of any DX nikon body. if you need to go higher than ISO 3200, you either need an FX camera or a 1.4 lens.
    For those applications, having VR (OS in Sigma terminology, or IS for Canon) is critical. A 50-150mm/f2.8 without VR is not going to do well. And if a 50-150mm/f2.8 with VR is not much smaller than a 70-200mm/f2.8, there is where your problem is.​
    FWIW, in concert (or sports) photography VR doesnt really help you all that much since slow shutter speeds wont freeze action. and while VR would be nice to have, i didnt feel like not having it was all that much of a liability. like i said, i still use this lens periodically, as well as the 70-200VRII. when shooting with the nikkor, i generally disable VR at faster shutter speeds anyway since it slows focus acquisition.
     
  51. I'm in my 60's and hauling FX equipment around the Yosemite Valley on foot is no longer an option. My current DX pack includes Nikon D7000 with Sigma 8-16, another D7000 with Sigma 17-70 OS, Sigma 50-150 and Sony A580 with 70-400. There isn't anything I can't shoot. I think the lens manufacturers are making a big mistake by not filling out their DX lines with appropriate DX lenses. In a previous post I questioned why lens manufacturers couldn't also produce a DX lens equivalent to a FX 70-400. That post didn't get very far. I speculate that the camera maker's rush to develop other sensor formats (e.g. J1 and lenses) will greatly reduce the manufacture's resolve to build additional DX lenses. Too bad for enthusiasts that still prefer DSLR's.
     
  52. Michael, if you need to reduce weight, why carry three camera bodies?
     
  53. Ilkka, I'm also very lazy and don't like changing lenses in the field. The DX format lets me shoot more quickly and spontaneously with different smaller and lighter weight DX lenses without slowing down to change lenses. Therefore, I like to buy the lightest bodies possible. The D7000 is no slouch and is the basis for an excellent DX system.
     
  54. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Michael, Nikon's 55-300 DX is quite close to a 70-400mm FX equivalent. So are many 70-300 zooms.
     
  55. Shun, I've heard that the 70-300s are very good. I chose the 70-400 (extra reach) with 16 MP chip A580 because the 70-400 it is almost as good as my Nikon 200-400 on 16 MP D7000 but much lighter and compact for when I have to hike several miles or more. Of course, I'll opt to use 200-400 for hikes of only a mile or two.
     
  56. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Michael, a 400mm/f5.6 lens is never "almost" as good as a 400mm/f4 lens, never. :)
    I bring a heavy tripod and hike with my 200-400 for miles for a reason. I lighten the load by not carrying multiple camera bodies.
     
  57. Shun, I only go on 2 or 3 photo trips per year along with 12 to 15 other photo enthusiasts and it seems like everyone has different combinations of DSLRs and lenses. Everyone has their own reason for why they like what they carry. Per the original post, my DX 50-150 F2.8 is a great lens and, for me, the right size and weight. Before buying the 70-400, I had also searched for a quality, longer DX telephoto zoom. They don't exist. I have owned the screw-drive Nikon 80-400 for 10 years and while not a bad lens (and relatively heavy), the auto focus and optical quality at all focal lengths and apertures on the 70-400 is significantly better. It is with great trepidation that I bought the Sony A 580 just so I could use the 70-400. With this lens, I now have given up my search for a fast, longer telephoto zoom.
     
  58. I think the only feasible option might be a 50-150mm but may cost at least half of the FF version.
    They could make a f/4 I guess but it won't be cheap either, look at the Canons. Esp when I guess many folks want AF-S as well as VR.
    From what I have seen in the newer lenses, they some what have added more weight and bulk vs the AF-D's.
     

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