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Thread: Sigma vs Nikon

  1. #1
    Member dsaini's Avatar
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    Sigma vs Nikon

    So I am doing this project and require quite a bit of reach. I would be using F12 and require a lens to provide decent IQ. My budget is under 10K.

    I have narrowed down to following lenses:-

    Sigma Lens 50-500mm f/4-6.3 APO EX DG HSM + 2xTC
    Sigma APO 150-500mm f5-6.3 DG OS HSM + 2xTC

    How will these fair compared to Nikon 300mm f2.8 ???

    Also is there any other way to get similar reach but with better IQ.

    Thanks

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    Can we have a bit more info what and where you are you shooting inside outside you say you need reach what about depth of field the Sigma lenses are way under 10k where as the Nikon is around 8k.
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    As Ashey says, what does your project involve? The reason different lenses even exist is because of the different applications we use them for. However, in general any fast prime lens (the Nikon in this instance) is going to be a much better lens than a budget consumer level zoom lens (the Sigma).
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I'd be weary of using either or both of those lenses with 2x TC's at their widest aperture setting and expecting high IQ images.

    For starters I think using a 2x TC on these lenses will give you f/13 which is slower than your expected f/12 aperture, but realistically expect to use something like f/16.. maybe even as far as f/22 to get some acceptable contrast in the image.
    (only guesswork on my part as I don't have these items myself. I have other lenses and TC's which I'm using for the basis of my guesswork on what you can possibly expect).

    So it seems you need a 1000mm focal length then?

    Best option will be 500mm f/4 and a 2x TC for ultimate IQ or even better a 600/4 with a 1.7xTC.
    Do you have to purchase? Can you rent the items you need for your project(and save yourself money) or is it going to be a permanent, long term, ongoing project thing?

    What camera body?

    Don't expect any cheapo tripod to handle 1000mm focal length with ease. Your probably going to need mirror lockup, high ISO, super expensive support gear or all three(especially at f/12-f/13.. unless your shooting images directly of the Sun).
    You won't get Auto focusing(maybe with a 600/4 and TC) but expect to use manual focus.
    The DOF at those focal lengths is still quite shallow, even at infinity and I have trouble focusing through the viewfinder, on the moon and getting a perfectly sharp point of focus. LiveView is way better for this, but on a Nikon(due to the way the system works) you need a manual lens for that specific operation.. otherwise Lv is crap and can't encompass the excessive dynamic range in the image.

    With so much to consider, and so many options at your disposal, I'm sure there's a solution to your project.

    now I'm curious as to what the project involves too
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


  5. #5
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    Sorry guys, I was half asleep when i made the thread last night.

    Project is to get panoramic images of a particular mountain. Only place where i can reach and safely do so is around 900metres from the mountain. I cannot get access closer that this. I want to keep detail to maximum and hence considering super telephoto and stiching.

    - 10K is for lens only
    - 300mm f2.8 will also be used with 2xTC atleast
    - Sunny Day will not be an issue
    - f12 is due to get everything in focus and also beat sun
    - Despite f12, i would still be using faster shutter speed since
    - AF no issue, since i will be doing MF
    - I have access to Manfrotto 475B tripod and the Manfrotto 393, should be able to handle upto 2kg
    - I have access to D3

    I have tried looking up on prices but only looked at DWI. Renting is not possible since i would be taking equipment overseas and no place available to rent overseas.

    Hopefully I have not missed anything.

    Thanks

  6. #6
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    The Tripod setup should handle 10 kgs I no fan of geared tripods, but that will do the job (12 kgs rating on the legs and the gimbal head should do the job)

    A 300mm f/2.8 is way better (and much more expensive) than either of the sigma's.
    Not to say the siggy's are bad, just that with TC you lose a lot.
    900mm is bit under 4degrees field of view if my metal arithmetic hold out.

    What Arthur said above is the best advice.
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    A very expensive photo even when borrowing a D3. Does it really make sense? What if it rains? Love to do an audit/cost analysis on that exercise.
    Seriously, renting is far more practical and certainly possible plus take an insurance on weather.
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  8. #8
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    If it's going to be a panorama, then any focal length is possible, but the longer it is, the more shots you're going to need.

    If you have access, or can get the 300/2.8 then at up to f/8 (at least) you'll get enough detail to spot a twig on the ground from 1klm away!

    Doesn't sound like the DOF is going to be deep as you'll be closer to infinity than to MFD(from 900meters away). Keep diffraction to it's utmost limit(which on a D3 is about f/16 on most lenses anyhow.
    You'll be surprised at how many shots you will require if you use a 300mm, let alone at 500, or more.

    If high IQ/detail is the priority in this case, then you'd expect that a high quality 300-500mm lens would be the ideal choice.

    At $10K or under and keeping the quality of the lens at it's highest point you have the option of

    Nikon's 200/2, 300/2.8, and 200-400/4.

    I'd go with the 300/2.8 and shoot more images to form the pano.

  9. #9
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    Weather is no problem since it will be dry season.

    No problem with stitching lots of shots.

    I just was wondering is Sigma was worth it when compared to 300mm f2.8, but i guess i will go with 300mm f2.8VR

    Thanks for help everyone.

    Cheers

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    i would guess 300mm f/2.8 (afs) + 1.4x TC II and 1.7x TC II and one more TC 301. So totally you will have a good range of 300mm, 420mm, 510mm and 600mm with total budget is about $5k.

    don't expect the 150-500mm or 50-500mm can work with AF function. and if you couple them with TC 2x, the quality will be very so so, even if you try to stop down.

    but the prime Nikon couples with TC, the results should be way better with 1.4x and 1.7x, with 2x, the results are acceptable, but at least better than the former option.
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