Telephoto Recommendation

Discussion in 'Nature' started by ben_king|2, Feb 17, 2017.

  1. Good day all,
    I am undecided which super Telephoto lens to buy. The choice is between Nikon 200-500mm and Sigma 150-600mm Sport. Bother lenses are of equal calibre. Can you give me some input from real world ownership of these two lenses? I shoot with a Nikon D7200 and would use the lens for wildlife and the odd moon shot.
    Much appreciated

    Ben
     
  2. I was considering the same two lenses and chose the 200-500. Main consideration against the Sigma was its weight (I shoot mostly hand held) over the already not exactly light-weight 200-500. Read reviews that gave the Sigma the edge in image quality and AF performance; am quite satisfied with what I am getting out of the 200-500 though.
     
  3. I am using the Sigma 150-600mm C for Canon. I am very pleased with it. It is not as heavy as the sport. I can use it handheld, but it is heavy and I prefer using a monopod for steady control out at 600mm. I have admired Dieter's bird images, really sharp, he is clearly getting good results.
     
  4. Given most people purchase a telephoto lens for the reach, more reach is generally better, especially if lens quality and pricing is similar. Used to use a Sigma 150-500 (for Pentax) until I went to an all-in-one 'bridge' camera for portability and versatility, but don't have any direct experience with the lenses you are considering. However, after doing some research on the net, my choice would be to go with the Contemporary version of the Sigma. Will save you around $1000, and image quality and functionality seems to be very much in-line with the Sport version, with some actually preferring the Contemporary. But if you are only considering the Sport version vs the Nikon, I'd still go with the extra reach even though it's costing you more money.
     
  5. Here's a thought about your lens selection. I own the Tamron 150-600. This is not going to be a discussion about some lens other than the ones you asked about. That said,have found the fact that I could go as wide as 150mm a real benefit on several occasions. I purchased the lens shortly before a safari trip to Africa. There was a circumstance on that trip where I was so close to elephants that 150mm turned vertical with a full frame camera was frame filling. 200mm would have been a real problem on full frame and on a crop frame camera, even more so. Lens changes in a dusty environment can be an invitation to sensor cleaning and always increases the chance of a lost shot. I think that the difference between 500mm and 600mm on the long end will be less significant than the 150mm to 200mm difference on the short end. Hope this helps.
     
  6. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I have the 200-500m/f5.6, mainly coupled with the D7200 and D500. AF is a bit slow compared to constant f4 super teles, but IMO that lens is excellent value for the money.

    Personally I don't like teles that are f6.3 on their long end. To me, max f5.6 is already on the slow side and prefer f4 lenses, but those are heavy and expensive.
     
  7. Comparing them at The-Digital-Picture.com the Nikon is a clear winner. If you're going to shoot bird-in-flight images hand held, then the Nikon wins again with it superior balance and lower weight. I'm a Canon shooter, but I shoot with others that use both lenses. Most of the Sigma users move up to a Nikon or Canon lens after a few months with the Sigma.
     
  8. I have experience only with the Nikon, which I find nice and sharp and easy to use hand held. I don't know how others handle, but this one, though heavy, is reasonably well balanced, and the VR is good. Shooting with a 24 megapixel DX camera, especially one that has an in-camera crop, I would not sweat the decreased reach all that much.

    But I do understand the issue at the short end. 200 mm. is pretty long, and nice as it is, this is not the lens I'd use for traveling. I think of it more as a 500 mm. lens with a neat feature to enhance finding and tracking a target.
     
  9. My primary interest is water bird photography, I often use gears like 600mm f4 with 1.4x tele on a FF body with a sturdy tripod. But occasionally I will use a less heavy lens on a APSC camera when I bike along my way. I have both 200-500mm, new 300mm f4 with a 1.4x on the D500 body, I found the the 300mm with 1.4x on D500 is better in terms of sharpness, focusing accuracy and pleasancy to carry around. For some reason, I also have the new tamron 150-600mm on 80D or canon 5d4/ 1Dx2, the tamron is soft towards the 600mm.
     
  10. I mainly use the Nikkor 300mm F2.8 VRII with TC1.4 III or TC2.0 III Previously I had also the Nikkor AF-S 80-400mm F4.5-5.6G ED VR that is one option to consider..
     
  11. I think that you're wrong about the lenses being of equal caliber. The test I've seen show the Nikon to be considerably sharper. Sharpness trumps focal length. If you had both lenses to test, the Nikon shot at 500mm and cropped to equal the other at 600mm will be sharper.
     

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