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| p.8 #8 · Official: Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G AF-S VR released! |
I have a Sigma 120-300 OS and while it gives great IQ I've seen no better images (on an 800E & 600) then those zoo samples from the new 80-400. Add to that marginal AF with the TCs and the fact that it's as heavy as the 200-400, I don't see it as competition for the new 80-400. The new 120-300 OS may clean up the AF issues but will it sell for $2800?
The Sony samples are nice but, as you point out, nothing spectacular given the conditions the images were shot under. I have no interest in switching to...Show more →
This looks like a very interesting lens ... but I've not seen a single shot yet to compare with those (on a sharpness level) from the Sigma 120-300/2.8 (the version with OS), however the Sigmas are known for variable QC/IQ so maybe it depends greatly on whether you bought a sharp copy or not.
I bought the 120-300 recently for a long trip overseas where I didn't want to take the 500 and where the f2.8 (where I could add both the TC14II and Sigma x2.0) and flexibility of the range were important. It blew me away. There is some back-focusing that needs to be fixed but this is a stellar lens and the price I paid was US$2,200 (probably prices are lower now as retailers deplete stock for the new model due out later this year - which I will swop this one for in an instant).
The AF is plenty fast enough on the 120-300 but the 80-400 may be even faster, I can not say without trying them out side by side, but of course the body it's mounted to is going to make a difference too, and I have not had any major issues (bar the back-focusing which isn't of course a speed related issue) on the D800.
The biggest advantages I can see of the 80-400 are the much lower weight and the extended range (which usually means compromising somewhere) both of which will be important to a lot of people, but IQ-wise this lens does not seem to be on the same level as the 120-300 which is prime-like.
From the trip I bought it for (on a D800) :
Takahe - not more than 200 remain. Flightless bird. Mother feeding her solitary chick.
Bellbird - only found in a few special native NZ bush parks. Has the most gorgeous vocalisation and range.
Royal (Southern) Albatross