Sigma verus Nikkor

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by ggoodroe, Nov 18, 2005.

  1. I have been away from the hobby for several years...

    How do the New Sigma lenses compare to Nikkor? I consider myself to
    be semi-pro...having made a living with photography 20 years
    ago...Will I be satisfied with Sigma having used Nikkor before?

    George, St. Petersburg FL USA
  2. SCL


    In my limited experience with Sigma (1 Ultra WA lens), I've had comparable performance to my Nikkor lenses. I did several weeks of research and talked to a number of users of the lens before purchasing it, and was pleased with the results. I wouldn't, however, categorically state that all Sigma lenses are as good as the Nikkors, because I doubt they are. I think you need to nail down the specifics of your needs, your budget, and where you're willing to compromise. Some people can't differentiate the performance differences between a consumer quality lens and a high quality APO lens...for them the answer is to go with the less expensive product. For you it might be a different answer. Whatever you choose, best of luck in your endeavors and welcome back to the hobby.
  3. From my experience with both Sigma and Nikkor, I wouild say that the top Sigma (APO) lenses are equal to the top Nikkor (ED) lenses optically. However my Nikkors are more rugged than the two Sigmas that I had.
  4. If you are an experienced photographer all you need to do is go to a shop that sells Sigma lense's, look at the EX range pro type zooms, 24-70 2.8 EX, 70-200 2.8 EX, 100-300 f4 EX 120-300 2.8 EX and a 50mm Macro prime, take some pics with them, compare the pics for sharpness contrast etc against Nikkor images from your archives see if you like what you see. This will also give you an idea of how the ergonomic features of the EX Sigmas suit your camera handling style.

    The Sigma EX range on the whole represent value for money, probably in excess of 90 percent performance and optically compared to a Canon L or Nikkor equivalent and a bit less in build quality than Nikon or Canon, but still very well made.

    I have been using Sigma EX exclusively for editorial work and have found them to be very reliable and optically good lenses.

    I have used Nikkors and L Canons when a press photographer and the Sigmas compare quite well in the real world, at a signifigant cost saving.
  5. I use Sigma EX lenses along with my nikkors and they are just as good optically.
  6. I'd look to save money elsewhere if I were you.
  7. > I'd look to save money elsewhere if I were you.

    Your reasoning? Oh, right. You dont' have any real reasons, lest you would have listed this here instead of wasting our time.
  8. My reason is IMHO, the build quality of a SIGMA lens is complete crap. They work great for 6 months.

    I have owned two high end manual focus Nikon AI mount SIGMAs, both crapped the bed within a year. Maybe Im lucky? Or especially hard on my gear? But I wouldnt take a SIGMA lens for free.

    (Note* Im extra bitter because both lenses went back to SIGMA, who charged me $60 each time and never fixed either of them.)
  9. Same thing happened to a friend of mine with the 14 f/2.8 Sigma. Optically, it's a great lens for what it is. Mechanically, the thing has problems. I'll add that none of his Canon L series zoom lenses have ever exhibited mechanical trouble and they get more and harder use than this particular Sigma lens ever has.
  10. Same here wrt EX lenses -- they're the only Sigma lenses I would buy.

    Now if I had to choose a specific Nikon lens vs the equivalent Sigma lens (such as 12-24mm), if I had the money, I would buy the Nikon. If the budget is tight, I would have no qualms with the Sigma.

  11. Steve?s rant against Sigma is nothing new. It seems to be his personal mission in life to express his discontent with Sigma every chance he gets. I on the other hand make it a point to express my complete satisfaction with Sigma every chance I get.

    I own the 80-400mm 4.5-5.6 OS as well as the 15-30mm 3.5-4.5 and have been very happy with both. Both have very good optics-on par with Cannon or many Nikons. Both have been punished for over a year, been splashed with saltwater, survived Alaskan rain storms, dunked into the snow, taken out into -20 degree temps (Fahrenheit) rained on, banged against stuff, the 15-30mm survived a 7 foot fall onto rocks that destroyed my SB-26 and caused $400 worth of repairs to a F-100. But maybe I?ve just been lucky.

    Now before you go and think that I?m some sort of Sigma shrill, may I point out that I also own the AF 20mm 2.8, AF 105mm 2.8 micro, and AF 80-200mm 2.8 Nikons as well as the manual 50mm 2.8 macro and the 180mm 2.8. All of which I use and enjoy.

    When I buy a lens I don?t care so much about who makes it, I consider such points as what am I going to use the lens for, what specs am I looking for in a lens, how does a particular lens match up with other similar lens? by different manufactures, and then I do a price comparison. I also research the lens as much as possible to determine what others say about it. If what comes out on top is a Sigma, so be it. If it?s a Nikon all-righty then!

    Inevitably someone is going to chime in a state that Sigma?s don?t hold their resale value, that maybe important to you, but since I rarely get rid of a lens (using Nikons why would I) it doesn?t hold any value in my lens buying calculus.
  12. My only Sigma that I ever owned or ever will own was pretty good optically, but the damn
    thing came untaped. Yes, the optical elements are held in place with double sided tape.

    I will never buy another Sigma lens.

    Also, Sigma lenses often have problems with cameras that are newer than the lens. Sigma
    offers a free re-chip, but does not offer to chip lenses that are discontinued. Considering
    that Sigma thinks that adding the letters 'DG' in gold to the barrel of an optically and
    mechanically identical lens constitutes a model change, I would be even more wary of
    spending any money on a Sigma.
  13. >> How do the New Sigma lenses compare to Nikkor?

    Not all Sigma lenses are the same and not all Nikkor lenses are the same. You should check lenses individually, not comparing brands.

    Happy shooting,
  14. Most lens manufacturers including Nikon and Sigma produce three grades of lenses, a consumer quality, a prosumer quality and a pro quality. In Sigma the pro quality lenses are called EX and in Canon (for example) they are called 'L'. Comparing like with like I have found the Sigma EX lenses that I have owned to be of very good build quality and optical quality. They hold their price for resale well too.

    For assesments of individual lens performance see such websites as


    In addition there are variations in production between one copy of a lens to another. Some manufacturers may exert a better quality control than others so reducing your chances of getting a bad copy.
  15. les


    Steve, when you said "My reason is IMHO, the build quality of a SIGMA lens is complete crap. " you should add: "... but my experience with the current production Sigma glass is non-existent."

    Which would nicely balance the severity of your statement.
    The fact is that the EX series glass is built almost as well as Canon's L. I say "almost", because there may be some sifferences I am not aware of, and also MY experience is only with the recent Sigma EX lenses. I own 70-200/2.8 EX HSM and 80-400 EX OS and would recommend both to anybody. BTW, I did not look for savings here. YMMV.
  16. And you know what - everyone has their own experience with various manufacturers products. I don't criticise Steve's negative experiences any more than I criticise the positive experiences. Another gent in the Nikon forum mentioned that his 70-200 f/2.8 Sigma "fell apart". The Q.C. in a product is important, and in my opinion if Steve was screwed by Sigma's service department he has every right to feel burned and express that.
  17. les


    Absolutely right. But...there is a difference between saying "my Sigma lens fell apart which makes me suspicious of the brand" and a statement "the quality of Sigma lens is complete crap".

    The first describes individual experience, the second is is a generalization (most likely wrong at that).

    Mind it, I am not trying to defend Sigma. Maybe Sigma lenses actually ARE complete crap and their quality is abysmal (but my experience does not lend this any degree of credibility). Let's express ourselves clearly and exactly, paying attention to facts rather than hurt feelings.
  18. True, Steve make a blanket remark but quickly replied with specifics about his displeasure.
  19. I owned 2 Sigma lenses. Built quality is very low. I now keep away from that brand and use Nikkor lenses only.
  20. les


    Just for the record, Nicholas: which ones ?
  21. Guys, sorry to change topic here but i need help fast!!

    I need to know which lens to go with...

    Its between the Nikkor 18-70 or the Sigma 18-125. The guys i ordered from at abes of maine convinced me to switch to the sigma and kept saying its a much sharper lens and theres a lot less distortion at wide angle. what do you guys think?

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