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09/11/2008 07:16:59 PM · #1
I'm in need of two new lenses - a macro, and a 70-200mm for portraits and weddings. Currently I'm using my 17-55mm for most of my work, and avoiding my other 70-200 as its complete crap (I haven't even bothered listing it on my page its so bad). My first wedding is happening in January, and obviously I need to do something about it very soon. I definitely need a macro as well, but more for art shots than insects, so think I can get away with the 60mm 2.8.
As I'm only just starting up this business and on a very limited budget, I'm wondering if I should contemplate the Sigma 70-200 2.8 macro??? Does anyone have any experience of this lens, or have you heard first hand accounts of what its like? Ideally I would be buying the Nikon 70-200 plus either the 60 macro, or 105macro, but this Sigma seems to present a combination of both to some extent. Quality is extremely important to me, so I don't want to spend money on something that I'll need to upgrade.
Any reliable info would be much appreciated.
09/11/2008 07:19:19 PM · #2
PS....there are two versions of the Sigma apparently - the one I'm talking about was released in December 07, and has a 'II' in the name.
09/11/2008 07:27:41 PM · #3
I am not a Nikon guy but try this website
www.slrgear.com

It has a very useful "blur Index"
Find the lens and if it says tested in brackets beside it will have this "blur Index"
It s the graph on the right of the page. Click on it and a new window appears with a graph on it.
This allows you to play with the sliders for fstoops and focal length.

It shows you where in the lens it is sharp and where the sweet spot is.

Hope this helps

09/11/2008 07:58:03 PM · #4
I use the 70-200 f2.8 II that you are referring to. I have used it on my d70/d200 with no problems, and just started to use it on the d300 (just got the camera body yesterday, its SWEET). It is Super fast, honestly faster than the Nikon or Canon versions IMHO. Its reasonably sharp at 2.8, great sharpness at f4, and freakin amazingly tack sharp at 5.6 or above. I do use it for 2.8 alot, and will not complain about it.

Its heavy (like any other 200 2.8 you will find though) but the build is solid, its quiet, and overall an amazing lens. It is actually selling me on the sigma line, and I will probably be buying more of their products because of this lens. Trust me, it is well worth the money and then some. Feel free to drop me a line if you have specific questions about it.
09/11/2008 08:15:01 PM · #5
A 70-200 lens should be sharp at f/2.8, since that's the only reason you buy it. Compare the Nikon version to the Sigma, and make sure you are satisfied with the IQ of whatever you choose.
When you speak of macro, are you talking about "close-up" or true macro? What's the smallest object that you envision needs to fill the entire frame?
09/11/2008 09:13:54 PM · #6
Originally posted by kirbic:

A 70-200 lens should be sharp at f/2.8, since that's the only reason you buy it. Compare the Nikon version to the Sigma, and make sure you are satisfied with the IQ of whatever you choose.
When you speak of macro, are you talking about "close-up" or true macro? What's the smallest object that you envision needs to fill the entire frame?


I'm looking at objects from around 1-2 inches in size to fill the frame, so I guess I'm talking about true macro. I wouldn't be happy with lack of sharpness at 2.8 though - that happens to be my favourite aperture.
09/11/2008 09:24:13 PM · #7
Originally posted by jettyimages:

PS....there are two versions of the Sigma apparently - the one I'm talking about was released in December 07, and has a 'II' in the name.


You can find a review of that lens on the following website:

//www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/

Good luck on your new business.
09/11/2008 09:33:34 PM · #8
Originally posted by jettyimages:

Originally posted by kirbic:

A 70-200 lens should be sharp at f/2.8, since that's the only reason you buy it. Compare the Nikon version to the Sigma, and make sure you are satisfied with the IQ of whatever you choose.
When you speak of macro, are you talking about "close-up" or true macro? What's the smallest object that you envision needs to fill the entire frame?


I'm looking at objects from around 1-2 inches in size to fill the frame, so I guess I'm talking about true macro. I wouldn't be happy with lack of sharpness at 2.8 though - that happens to be my favourite aperture.


If you are looking for true macro - really look into the 60mm 2.8. It is a great lens, and you really can't beat the price.
09/11/2008 09:33:51 PM · #9
Yeah, I just read the dpreview review - they don't seem to like the macro capabilities.
I don't know, every time I consider straying away from the Nikkor lenses it all seems very tempting but I don't seem to be able to do it. Maybe I just need to bite the bullet, earn more, and buy the genuine articles!

Thanks for your input everyone. Keep it coming if you have more to say, my mind is very open to suggestion at this point.
09/12/2008 12:25:08 PM · #10
I'm using the non-II version and I'm impressed. It's quick, sharp at all apertures, very good in lowlight. I used it indoors at a wedding recently at 2.8 with great results. The macro is a 1:3, so not true macro, but pretty good nonetheless.
09/12/2008 12:32:20 PM · #11
For the Macro, if you need a little bit more reach you can also look at the Tamron 90. Phenomenal lens and tack sharp also. My copy also has great bokeh, though I've heard there can be some variability among copies!

Evan

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/90000-94999/92309/120/720890.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/90000-94999/92309/120/720890.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' Shot at 2.8

Message edited by author 2008-09-12 12:36:48.
09/12/2008 12:48:54 PM · #12
Originally posted by jettyimages:

I don't know, every time I consider straying away from the Nikkor lenses it all seems very tempting but I don't seem to be able to do it. Maybe I just need to bite the bullet, earn more, and buy the genuine articles!


You answered your own question. It's been talked about time and again on this site, building a good lens collection instead of switching bodies everytime an upgrade comes out. So many times you see people buying body after body and won't spend any money on a lens.
09/12/2008 12:52:04 PM · #13
Nikkor 70-200 f2.8 FOR SALE :)
09/12/2008 01:54:15 PM · #14
Originally posted by amathiasphoto:

I use the 70-200 f2.8 II that you are referring to. I have used it on my d70/d200 with no problems, and just started to use it on the d300 (just got the camera body yesterday, its SWEET). It is Super fast, honestly faster than the Nikon or Canon versions IMHO.


What???

Originally posted by amathiasphoto:


Its reasonably sharp at 2.8, great sharpness at f4, and freakin amazingly tack sharp at 5.6 or above. I do use it for 2.8 alot, and will not complain about it.


From what I've seen, the Nikon (and the Canon) are super sharp at f/2.8

09/12/2008 02:22:44 PM · #15
ive had the 24-70 f2.8 Sigma which I bought for the same reasons your looking at the 70-200. I needed it for a wedding and wanted it because of the 2.8. What a dissapointment. I would NEVER buy another Sigma again. It was unuseable at 2.8, the color was terrible. Sold it as soon as I could. That is another reason not to buy 3rd party lenses...the resale is dismal. Sold it for about 50% of what I paid.

Buy the Nikon you will not be dissapointed.
09/12/2008 02:45:30 PM · #16
Mr_Pants, I stand by what I said about the speed. Damn its fast. At the camera store, I put both the nikon and the sigma on my body, doing a side by side comparison. The sigma won, plain and simple. The Nikon/canon brands I am betting are probably sharper at 2.8- but I am truely satisfied with mine. So is the company I work for.

Here is the deal from what I have heard- you take the risk with a sigma. Some are tack sharp, and dead on on everything you do. Some are not. Maybe I happen to be lucky. But as of now, I am thrilled with it. If you go with the sigma, buy from a place that has great customer service in case you get a dud. If you buy the nikon/canon, buy it anywhere cause it will likely be just fine
09/12/2008 02:57:13 PM · #17
Originally posted by NVPhoto:

ive had the 24-70 f2.8 Sigma which I bought for the same reasons your looking at the 70-200. I needed it for a wedding and wanted it because of the 2.8. What a dissapointment. I would NEVER buy another Sigma again. It was unuseable at 2.8, the color was terrible. Sold it as soon as I could. That is another reason not to buy 3rd party lenses...the resale is dismal. Sold it for about 50% of what I paid.

Buy the Nikon you will not be dissapointed.


I will second NVPhoto. The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR is just stellar. No model can beat it. Read carefully these reviews. Maybe that will help.

link 1 link 2

About Sigma, it seems that the degree of variability in quality is large from sample to sample. This is simply not acceptable.

Message edited by author 2008-09-12 14:57:58.
09/12/2008 03:05:42 PM · #18
Originally posted by amathiasphoto:

Mr_Pants, I stand by what I said about the speed. Damn its fast. At the camera store, I put both the nikon and the sigma on my body, doing a side by side comparison. The sigma won, plain and simple.



From what I've seen of the lenses, the only conclusion I can draw is that you bought the Sigma and are now trying to justify it to yourself.
09/12/2008 03:08:47 PM · #19
I almost not want to justify that with an answer, in fact, I edited my previous post. Wow, you sure are coming across as arrogant. Just because my experience and opinions differ than yours doesnt mean I dont know what I am talking about or am trying to justify it to myself. Actually, I was origionally sold on saving up for the nikon, but am friends with the guy at the camera store- who told me to check out the sigma. He gave me the option to bring it back any time within three months, and he would give me all of my money back, so I could put it towards the nikon. That was almost three months ago now. No, I wont be bringing it back. Sure, if I had the extra grand, I may have gone with the nikon simply because of the sharpness at 2.8. But the speed with the sigma is there. For the money, it is more than an excellent lens. Get off your high horse

Message edited by author 2008-09-12 15:13:20.
09/12/2008 03:19:09 PM · #20
Originally posted by amathiasphoto:

I almost not want to justify that with an answer, in fact, I edited my previous post. Wow, you sure are coming across as arrogant. Just because my experience and opinions differ than yours doesnt mean I dont know what I am talking about or am trying to justify it to myself. Actually, I was origionally sold on saving up for the nikon, but am friends with the guy at the camera store- who told me to check out the sigma. He gave me the option to bring it back any time within three months, and he would give me all of my money back, so I could put it towards the nikon. That was almost three months ago now. No, I wont be bringing it back. Sure, if I had the extra grand, I may have gone with the nikon simply because of the sharpness at 2.8. But the speed with the sigma is there. For the money, it is more than an excellent lens. Get off your high horse


I've never used one of the Sigmas, but I think this guy speaks the truth. In DPreview's look at the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 they were quick to note how superbly fast and accurate the focus on the Sigma is.

DPReview's look at the Sigma, in case you don't believe me either. I HAVE used the Nikon though, and I almost shat my pants at how fast it focused, so I'm not really saying anyone is wrong here.
09/12/2008 03:21:42 PM · #21
Originally posted by amathiasphoto:

I almost not want to justify that with an answer, in fact, I edited my previous post. Wow, you sure are coming across as arrogant. Just because my experience and opinions differ than yours doesnt mean I dont know what I am talking about or am trying to justify it to myself. Actually, I was origionally sold on saving up for the nikon, but am friends with the guy at the camera store- who told me to check out the sigma. He gave me the option to bring it back any time within three months, and he would give me all of my money back, so I could put it towards the nikon. That was almost three months ago now. No, I wont be bringing it back. Sure, if I had the extra grand, I may have gone with the nikon simply because of the sharpness at 2.8. But the speed with the sigma is there. For the money, it is more than an excellent lens. Get off your high horse


Well, sometimes there is no way to convince people, it will simply not work. I am sure that this Sigma (at least the sample you have) is more than a decent mate. The reviews are generally very positive. See Photozone.de

Enjoy Photography!
09/12/2008 04:25:59 PM · #22
Ive also had a camera shop guy recommend Sigma lenses. Im not close friends, but he knows me by name. Personally I think he pushes the Sigma because its in the price point most can stand and its on his shelf..no L lenses on the shelves as with a lot of retailers. I dont' think the variation in quality is acceptable as someone else said. I have a rental company and am lucky to have all L lenses and the equivalent Nikons at my disposal and their quality is second to none.

All the Sigmas are adequite at best.

The other thing to consider is resale value. I have taken an 85mm 1.2L (MRSP $1700) and sold it on ebay for $1450 a year later. From there I bought a 70-200 2.8L IS. Sigma lenses might fetch 50% of MSRP. That sucks. Pay $500 and get $250 tops.

You can rent one from my site //www.rentphotostuff.com to see how it goes for yourself. Ill give you 2 weeks for the price of 1.
09/12/2008 05:11:19 PM · #23
I would go with that NV, but, he knew that I was going to end up with either of the two, so he would make his money either way. Since I compared them side by side as I said, he obviously had both. I have stated that the quality of the nikon is probably better wide open. But the sigma is a good lens. Is it depreciating faster than the nikon version? Probably- but I am a photojournalist in the field everyday. It doesnt matter what my lens is, I am going to beat it up after some use. Thats part of the profession. So chances are, I will not be able to sell whatever lens I am working with for a large amount. Sure the elements and glass are always fine, but after a while, regardless, it just aint pretty anymore.

Yes, the nikon/canon versions are fabulous. But sigma gets the job done, and done well, for half the cost.
09/12/2008 05:20:33 PM · #24
For weddings I'd go with a Nikkor. If the 70-200 2.8 VR is too much, try the 80-200 2.8 regular one. Both are worth every penny and should earn themselves back within a wedding or 10.

With glass you get what you pay for.
09/12/2008 05:22:37 PM · #25
VR is not so important for weddings anyway. What is the point of being able to shoot really slow shutterspeeds? Your subjects are moving all the time anyway. Save the pennies on the VR, go for the 80-20, get an SB-600 flash and absolutely vital: A Gary Fong dome for your flash.

I don't personally shoot weddings. I am a regular "Light Bitch", in control of the reflectors.
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