Skip to Content

Telephoto Zoom Lens Advice

Discuss and share your wildlife photography, filming and equipment
User avatar
RUMURUTI
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1689
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:54 pm
Location: Milano (Italy) - IT ALL STARTED WITH A FOOTSTEP!
Contact:

Re: 80-200 Nikon F2.8d ed or Sigma 150-500

Unread post by RUMURUTI » Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:54 pm

Hi Horrace,
I'm a Nikon man from the very beginning and still haven't figured out which are the best lenses.
I work with a D80 and a D90 and until recently used all sorts of zoom, the biggest being my Nikon 80-400 f/4.5. Then I started buying fixed lenses and only then saw the difference on quality.
Zoom lenses are great for their versatility but you have a noticeable loss in quality on the long focus. My recent acquisitions are a Nikon 105 mm f/2.8 Micro and a Sigma 300 mm f/2.8. Both fantastic glasses and give great results.
Taken with my 105mm:
Image

and taken with my Sigma 300:
Image
Slightly cropped but dead sharp.

It really all depends on your budget, I'd personally go for the 150-500 which would give you decent range in the bush.
"You can leave Africa but Africa never leaves you"
LIFE IS MADE OF GOOD AND BAD THINGS, I TAKE THE GOOD AND YOU CAN KEEP THE BAD!!!
Andy Benaglia

User avatar
michel367
Posts: 2929
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:44 am
Location: On the edge of heaven

Re: 80-200 Nikon F2.8d ed or Sigma 150-500

Unread post by michel367 » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:08 pm

Definitely the 150 - 500.
Otherwise you will soon end up with buying yet another lens or a teleconverter because you just do not have the desired reach. :thumbs_up:

User avatar
Josh of the Bushveld
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1510
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 2:15 pm
Location: Johannesburg - too far from the closest Sanpark

Re: 80-200 Nikon F2.8d ed or Sigma 150-500

Unread post by Josh of the Bushveld » Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:43 am

Horrace, I went from using the Sigma 170-500mm to using a 80-200mm F2.8 (push-pull type, i.e. old) with a Kenko 2x teleconverter. This past weekend I tried the Sigma again as comparison. My biggest problem with the t/c combo is the really slow auto-focus. This is due to it being an old lens with internal focus, and to using it with a teleconverter. I tried the Sigma again because of the auto-focus issue. I have also had focus calibration issues with my 80-200mm which may have been caused by using it with a t/c (I started a thread on ODP about this, you can follow the discussion there if you want).

If you choose the 80-200mm, you will need to use it with a teleconverter. If you buy a newer version of the 80-200mm, I don't think you'll have the same problems as I have had (slow AF, focus calibration), and you might be able to use a Nikon t/c (though I'm not sure on that).

To be honest, I think I'd first try find a 2nd hand Sigma, and try it out. If you're not happy with it, resell it and look at other options.
The 'mite formerly known as joshilewis

FGASA Level 1 Guide

Glen Reenen TR

15-18 June: Berg-en-dal

User avatar
BushNuts
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:59 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: 80-200 Nikon F2.8d ed or Sigma 150-500

Unread post by BushNuts » Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:23 am

Hi Horrace,

Tough call and one that will likely give you a headache before long. Like photography, everything is a balance. You need to balance aperture with shutter speed and all depending on which way you want to go, you'll end up sacrificing in the other. You want distance, the Sigma. You want a fast lens with good glass, the f/2.8.

Personally, and if your budget allows for it, I would go for the new 70-200mm f/2.8G VRII lens from Nikkor and consider getting a 2x TC at a later stage. That will drop your aperture to f/5.6 and give you 400mm reach, backed by good glass and the VRII will counter act the drop in aperture allowing you to get good action shots.

My 2c worth.
"What makes a simple picture a true photograph, is the infusion of a story, emotions and memories."

31/12 - 01/01 : KNP - Talamati
02/01 - 05/01 : KNP - Satara

o-dog
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 478
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:29 pm
Location: Okavango

Re: 80-200 Nikon F2.8d ed or Sigma 150-500

Unread post by o-dog » Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:48 pm

I have this exact lense (80-200 2.8 ED)...its perfect for mammal photography in private game reserves when you go off road and I thought it wouldnt be that great for Kruger but I was wrong...you get so many opportunities with so many relxed animals in KNP that you will have a lot of fun getting high quality images throughout the day.
Ofcourse about 30% of the time you wish you had extra zoom so every now and then I was wishing for a greater zoom.
If you more into bird photography I would get the 150-500 but having had the other lense since 2006 its only been a pleasure and has exceeded expectations drastically.

If you are interested in getting into panoramic photography or already do it then the 80-200 once again produces the goods with flying colours.

I must say that I am looking to get into bird photography and when the budget allows I will get a lense with greater zoom perhaps even a fixed 300mm with a converter but havnt thought about it extensively yet.

regards
Mana Pools: 11th - 20th Oct
KNP: 27th Nov - 5 Dec

WazzyP
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:48 pm
Location: Hillcrest, KZN

Re: UPGRADE: Canon 550D + Lens Bundle is this good buy?

Unread post by WazzyP » Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:46 am

Thats a great price for that bundle and I know you'll enjoy it.

The only other advice I can offer is to look at what you want to photograph. If for example you want to photograph birds, 250mm is going to be too short (roughly 10x zoom). In a case like that you might be better off spending the R10 000 on something like a second hand Canon 30D/40D with a second hand Sigma 170-500mm. You'll end up with a better build quality body and a longer reach lens.

Look at the classified on www.outdoorphoto.co.za/forum/classifieds/

Since the people here are mostly photographers the equipment is usually in great condition.

Hope this helps.

Warren
Warren Prior

User avatar
Josh of the Bushveld
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1510
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 2:15 pm
Location: Johannesburg - too far from the closest Sanpark

Re: UPGRADE: Canon 550D + Lens Bundle is this good buy?

Unread post by Josh of the Bushveld » Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:00 am

WazzyP wrote:The only other advice I can offer is to look at what you want to photograph. If for example you want to photograph birds, 250mm is going to be too short (roughly 10x zoom).
Please explain this to me? 55-250mm is just more than 4x zoom
The 'mite formerly known as joshilewis

FGASA Level 1 Guide

Glen Reenen TR

15-18 June: Berg-en-dal

WazzyP
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:48 pm
Location: Hillcrest, KZN

Re: UPGRADE: Canon 550D + Lens Bundle is this good buy?

Unread post by WazzyP » Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:49 pm

joshilewis wrote:
WazzyP wrote:The only other advice I can offer is to look at what you want to photograph. If for example you want to photograph birds, 250mm is going to be too short (roughly 10x zoom).
Please explain this to me? 55-250mm is just more than 4x zoom


Lol...talking about "zoom" is always a contentious issue.

Technically you are correct, its just over a 4x zoom (250/55 = 4.5). This is the zoom range of the lens meaning at its 4.5x times larger on the short end(55mm) than on the long end (250mm).

This 4.5x figure can however be very confusing to people who are beginning photography or just doing it as a hobby.

What I was referring to is perhaps better described as magnification. On a full frame camera you divide the length (250mm) by 35mm to get the magnification. However since this camera is a 1.6x crop, you need to muiltiply that result by 1.6. This lens is therefore 250mm / 35 x 1.6 = 11.4x magnification.

So basically this lens, at 250mm, will give a magnification of 11.4 by point and shoot standards.

Excuse the rough explanation, in a bit of a rush here...
Warren Prior

User avatar
fazekma
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2004 1:32 pm
Location: Johannesburg

Re: 80-200 Nikon F2.8d ed or Sigma 150-500

Unread post by fazekma » Sat Aug 21, 2010 5:04 pm

It depends what you want to achieve with each lens - if you need the reach I would suggest going with the Sigma. I have tried the Nikon 80-200 f2.8 with 2X tele-convertor and the results are not good, even with the new Nikon TC 2X III converter.

You can see a comparison here http://www.kruger-2-kalahari.com/Teleconverters.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; between the Nikon 80-200 plus 2X TC and the Nikon 80-400

If a pro uses a certain lens we need to pay attention as they tend to stick to the big expensive heavy glass but Robert O'Toole took this pic with a Nikon D700 and Sigma 150-500...
Image
Photographer with Bald Eagles, Homer, AK
Image copyright 2010/Robert O’Toole Photography
This image was created by Robert with the Sigma 150-500mm lens (hand held at 275mm) and the Nikon D-700. ISO 1000: 1/1250 sec. at f/8.
Source: http://www.birdsasart.com/2010/08/08/bi ... letin-334/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Technique is very important and a good photographer can take sharp photographs with consumer lenses, you don’t have to have an expensive pro lens!
Mario

User avatar
JustNature
Posts: 307
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:32 am

Advice please_Nikon 55-300mm vs Nikon 28-300mm

Unread post by JustNature » Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:13 pm

Hi all, know this is a common question in this thread but need help so please bear with me.
I am looking at getting a lens; currently have a D90 with Nikon 18-55mm lens and the Nikon 10-24mm lens. I would like appreciate some feedback and help with the thoughts to these two (Nikon 55-300mm vs Nikon 28-300mm) lenses and if anyone has had any experience with them; which would be more worthwhile. I know the latter is more expensive so am leaning more to the 55-300mm but always good to get opinions from others who have more experience.
Thanks in advance.
Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do.
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
KNP 18/05/2012-27/05/2012

User avatar
BushNuts
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:59 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: Advice please_Nikon 55-300mm vs Nikon 28-300mm

Unread post by BushNuts » Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:36 am

Hi JustNature,

Getting some personal opinions and experience with these lenses is going to be difficult. They have just been released (which also means you'll be lucky to find them in stores).

I recently upgraded my entire kit and also had the same choices. Ended up settling with the 70-300mm VRII. The problem with the 55-300mm is that it is designed for DX only and I'm hoping (a lot) to upgrade in the future to the FX range.

The 28-300mm is also an FX lens (released by Nikon for their FX clients who wanted the same functionality as the 18-200mm DX lens), but the reviews I've read is that you pay in quality, all be it minor, for the super zoom range and hence my decision to stick with the 70-300mm.

Personally, if I was in your shoes, I'd hold back on the spending for now because Nikon should be releasing a new 80-400mm lens in the next year or sooner (nikonrumors.com).

Cheers
BN
"What makes a simple picture a true photograph, is the infusion of a story, emotions and memories."

31/12 - 01/01 : KNP - Talamati
02/01 - 05/01 : KNP - Satara

User avatar
leander09
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 1:05 pm

Difference between Canon 100 -400 and the Sigma 150 - 500

Unread post by leander09 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:02 am

I am looking to buy a lens for taking wildlife photos. Can some one please tell me what is my best buy between the to lenses mentioned above. I have a canon 450d
KNP the Home away from home. . .

User avatar
DuQues
Honorary Virtual Ranger
Honorary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 14520
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2005 5:42 pm
Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?

Re: Difference between Canon 100 -400 and the Sigma 150 - 500

Unread post by DuQues » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:38 am

I havan't played with the Sigma (yet) but as far as I know the Canon is a little lighter, has a nicer bokeh, and is a lot faster in focussing. And that last bit is the most important.
But it also depends on the camera. I have made thousands of photos with the 100-400, using a 20D or 30D, and was blown away by it's speed when I put it on my new 7D!
Point, depress shutter a bit, focussed! Almost instantly.
Not posting much here anymore, but the photo's you can follow here There is plenty there.

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c

User avatar
fazekma
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2004 1:32 pm
Location: Johannesburg

Re: Difference between Canon 100 -400 and the Sigma 150 - 500

Unread post by fazekma » Sun Oct 17, 2010 12:56 pm

Hi Leander09

The Sigma lens is sharp but one word of warning with these third party lenses - there is no guarantee that the lens will be compatible with future Nikon or Canon cameras.

We experienced this first-hand when we owned the Sigma 300-800mm zoom lens. It worked fine when used with the Nikon D2H but when we upgraded to the new Nikon D2XS in 2006 the autofocus was slow and the photographs were soft.

Based on this my recommendation would be to stick with the Canon lens.
Mario

User avatar
bert
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 14292
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2005 9:02 pm
Location: mind in SA, body in The Netherlands

Re: Difference between Canon 100 -400 and the Sigma 150 - 500

Unread post by bert » Tue Oct 19, 2010 5:18 pm

Like duco said
I own the 100-400
A friend of mine the 150-500
Put them both to the test in Kruger during march

Canon is faster, lighter and a bit sharper
So all in all i would go for the canon
But if money is a factor the Sigma is still a great lens


Return to “Wildlife Photography Enthusiasts”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


Webcam Highlights

Addo
Submitted by Anonymous at 20:14:59
orpen
Submitted by Sabina01 at 23:52:54
satara
Submitted by Foxy at 16:57:00
nossob
Submitted by vecopoer67 at 22:55:14