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Archive 2013 · Nikkor 70-200/4 VR, Sigma 100-300/4 or something else?
  
 
rahina
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Nikkor 70-200/4 VR, Sigma 100-300/4 or something else?


I had a 70-200/2.8 VR1 with a D300 previously and I'm looking now to get something in similar range to accompany my D600, but I'm not willing to invest 2K for a lens and I want something less heavy and bulky to go around with since I don't really need the speed of a 2.8-lens anymore.

I'm not too convinced of the performance of neither 80-400 VR nor 70-300 VR based on examples I've seen on D800 and D600 (though I haven't personally sampled either lens so I would like to be positively surprised), so Nikkor 70-200/4 VR or Sigma 100-300/4 seem to fit the slot both optically and from AF speed. Most of the shooting will be handheld in the nature making the 70-200/4 very tempting since it's only 850g and has VR, but it's almost 1.5K…

Are there any other lenses I seem to be overlooking in this range weighing less than a kg while still having fast AF and being optically good? Or to put in other words, should I even bother looking anything else than Nikkor 70-200/4 when I'll be mentally comparing the performance and usability to 70-200/2.8 VR1?



Jan 26, 2013 at 02:28 AM
tabrink
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Nikkor 70-200/4 VR, Sigma 100-300/4 or something else?


Hi
The Sigma 100-300/4 HSM is somewhat of a freak of nature! I have one that I bought mint and sent mine back to Sigma as it was back focusing very slightly! Two trips back and my freak is on. Using it on a D800E and D600 at 100mm f4 it is as sharp as my 105 VR and at 300mm almost the equal of my 300mm f2.8. .
FWIW In my humble opinion their is not a single lens that can take the best value on the planet crown away from the Sigma 100-300mm f4 HSM until they bring out a OS model.







Edited on Feb 03, 2013 at 03:13 PM · View previous versions



Jan 26, 2013 at 04:34 AM
rahina
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Nikkor 70-200/4 VR, Sigma 100-300/4 or something else?


I've heard only good things about the Sigma which is why it's on my "seriously consider"-list. Unfortunately I haven't seen it for sale with Nikon-fit on any of my usual locations.
Probably that's why it's for sale in Amazon for whopping $87,933.09



Jan 26, 2013 at 06:10 AM
John Hanon
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Nikkor 70-200/4 VR, Sigma 100-300/4 or something else?


I have the Sigma 100-300 f/4, and I am more than happy. With proper long lens technique, I dare say it is almost as good as the Nikkor AF-S 300 f/4. I got it second hand for 500$ No regrets.


Jan 26, 2013 at 12:16 PM
lsutigerfan
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Nikkor 70-200/4 VR, Sigma 100-300/4 or something else?


I have the d800, 80-400mm, and HAD the 70-300VR. The 80-400mm is...okay. Actually, not bad stopped down up to 300mm. The 70-300VR is more or less the same...maybe a little weaker. The 70-200/4.0 looks nice, but limited telephoto length IMHO. I know you can add TC and still get AF on d600/d800/d4. For me, I'm looking to buy a crop camera (like a d300) and use my 80-400...or buy another 70-300. That's how little I need over 300mm reach, though


Jan 26, 2013 at 09:47 PM
euua
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Nikkor 70-200/4 VR, Sigma 100-300/4 or something else?


second that ! I have the lens as well and I confirm that. Also picked up sigma 300/4 prime and man o man it nice as well.

John Hanon wrote:
I have the Sigma 100-300 f/4, and I am more than happy. With proper long lens technique, I dare say it is almost as good as the Nikkor AF-S 300 f/4. I got it second hand for 500$ No regrets.




Jan 28, 2013 at 05:14 PM
Javier Munoz
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Nikkor 70-200/4 VR, Sigma 100-300/4 or something else?


All of those praising 100-300 f4, were you using it with a D600-800? I had that lens on a D700 and it was stupidly sharp, then I was stupid for selling it. Now that I came back to Nikon, I dont know how well will it perform on the new bodies.

BTW I second the props on the sigma 300 prime. That one I didnt sell it and it is fantastic at f5.6 (wide open is pretty good too). Now, the AF is rather "temperamental"



Jan 28, 2013 at 06:32 PM
Danner
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Nikkor 70-200/4 VR, Sigma 100-300/4 or something else?


I have the 70-200/4 Nikkor, and it is sharp in the corners form 70-200 at f4. It has some distortion, but hasn't been troubling to me. It also works well with the TC17e, but you are shooting at f 6.7. Overall impression of solid build and handing are top notch, and the focus and zoom rings have a precise and well damped feeling.


Jan 28, 2013 at 06:39 PM
bemyzeke
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Nikkor 70-200/4 VR, Sigma 100-300/4 or something else?


I have no experience with 100-300 lens, but I have used other Sigma lenses. Problem with Sigma lenses is that they dont work with Nikon TC (e.g. TC 1.4), the AF does not lock, and Sigma's own TC is well below par. So there is that to consider.




Jan 29, 2013 at 12:15 AM
 

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billsnature
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Nikkor 70-200/4 VR, Sigma 100-300/4 or something else?


Well thanks to you guys, I have a Sigma 100-300 being delivered tomorrow.

I will let you know how it looks in a couple of days



Jan 29, 2013 at 01:54 AM
rahina
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Nikkor 70-200/4 VR, Sigma 100-300/4 or something else?


@billsnature, where did you find it for sale? I've been trying to look for the 100-300 online but haven't found any shop selling it…


Jan 30, 2013 at 03:18 AM
billsnature
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Nikkor 70-200/4 VR, Sigma 100-300/4 or something else?


Allan's Camera near Philadelphia. It didn't show in google, but did show on their site. Initial testing looks pretty good, but still trying to optimize micro AF adjust.

Looks a little sharper than 70-200mm VR II at 100mm. Slightly less contast than VR at 200mm.

I am surprised how good the VR and 1.4X TC are.

What I can say is that at 6m focus distance the VR is like the 175mm setting on the 100-300mm. Way more focus breathing than I had ever noticed before. Now I know why the topic has been beaten to death here. The 100-300mm looks great from that perspctive.

Bill



Jan 30, 2013 at 01:09 PM
threepairsphot
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Nikkor 70-200/4 VR, Sigma 100-300/4 or something else?


Found 2 for sale on keh.com. I purchased mine about a 1 1/2 year ago from B&H. Use it to shoot night football on a D3S.


Jan 30, 2013 at 03:18 PM
jon.oman
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Nikkor 70-200/4 VR, Sigma 100-300/4 or something else?


I have the Sigma 100-300 F4, and it works very well on my D700. I only use it on a tripod, since it is a bit heavy.....




Jan 30, 2013 at 06:31 PM
rahina
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Nikkor 70-200/4 VR, Sigma 100-300/4 or something else?


I ended up grabbing one of the 100-300s from KEH. Now for the tormenting wait until it arrives...


Jan 31, 2013 at 01:01 AM
tabrink
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Nikkor 70-200/4 VR, Sigma 100-300/4 or something else?


billsnature wrote:
Allan's Camera near Philadelphia. It didn't show in google, but did show on their site. Initial testing looks pretty good, but still trying to optimize micro AF adjust.

Looks a little sharper than 70-200mm VR II at 100mm. Slightly less contast than VR at 200mm.

I am surprised how good the VR and 1.4X TC are.

What I can say is that at 6m focus distance the VR is like the 175mm setting on the 100-300mm. Way more focus breathing than I had ever noticed before. Now I know why the topic has been beaten to death here. The 100-300mm looks great from
...Show more

Curious how the new purchase is working out Bill?
Best,
Tom



Feb 03, 2013 at 03:15 PM
billsnature
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Nikkor 70-200/4 VR, Sigma 100-300/4 or something else?


Well when it was all said and done... I have decided to send the Sigma 100-300mm back to Allen'a Camera. I have a very good copy of the Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR II. So without a teleconverter the 70-200mm looked slightly better than the 100-300, but not by a large amount.

Shooting hand held - the 70-200 with a TC14E II, and VR on - the Nikon "280" looked better than the Sigma at 300mm. I think the biggest difference was the VR in hand held and they were pretty damn close when off a tripod.

Had the Sigma been better than the 70-200 plus 1.4X I would have kept the Sigma and sold the Nikon VR. Since it was close but not quite there I decided to keep the Nikon. Especially considering the versatility.

What I will say is that the Sigma lens is way better than the Tamron 70-300mm VC, and while I have never owned it, I suspect way better than the Nikon 70-300m VR., and if you don't need VR may be better than the Nikon 70-200mm VR f4 which I tested and found to have very soft cornes

On a tripod I would call it close to equal to the Nikon 70-200mm VR II and a steal for the price.

Anyone interested, The one I am returning sold for $549.99 plus $13.75 shipping plus tax if you are in PA ($33 Ugh). It was not a DG version, and did not have a case, but the lens was in excellent condition and very sharp with hood and caps. Contrast was not quite as high as the nano-coated Nikons but nice images .

It should be back for sale at Allen's on Tuesday when UPS delivers it

Allen's details:

Allen's Camera
4419 New Falls Road
Levittown PA 19056
Phone 215 547 2841

NO I don't get a commission or save any money by them reselling it quickly. I just think for someone who doesn't have a good copy of the 70-200mm VR II that is is a great deal at the price, especially if you are not a PA resident and don't have to pay $33 tax BTW Lens needs about -10 micro adjust on my camera as claculated by Reiken Focal




Feb 04, 2013 at 05:28 AM
rahina
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Nikkor 70-200/4 VR, Sigma 100-300/4 or something else?


Finally got the 100-300 and even have had some chances of taking photos with it.
Some first impressions:
- I really like the reach with 300mm but I never realised/remembered how much shake I can see in the viewfinder when it's that long (maybe I'm just rusty). Still getting solid and sharp shots which is the important part.
- Almost as bad as the old push-pull AF 80-200/2.8 for dealing with side-light which lowers contrast dramatically. I really need to find a hood for it.
- When protected from the side-light contrast and sharpness is just wonderful!
- Focus tracking fast and accurate could be snappier going from close to infinity or vice-versa but I'm not sure if I realistically have need faster focusing.
- Bit on the heavy side but not too heavy for day hikes when packing correctly and photography in mind.
- Still need to do some bokeh tests

Overall satisfied for getting this especially since I found it for ~$550 which made it way more affordable than the 70-200 and I think I'll be needing the extra 100mm.



Feb 21, 2013 at 08:19 AM





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