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| p.2 #5 · TESTS : Sigma 500 & Sigma 120-300 with Kenko + Nikon + Sigma TCs |
The IQ with both the sigma TCs is top notch, it's just the AF speed/accuracy where the Nikon 300 and 200-400 pull away. If the limiter on the new model cleans that up it's going to be a much bigger player like the 35 f1.4. I liked that lens a lot but in the end went for the weight/handling of the new 80-400.
I'm not so sure of that. Although the IQ with the Sigmas is very very good, the Nikon 300/2.8 is supposed to be Nikon's sharpest lens bar none and I tried out the 200-400 in a shop last week. I was astounded at the sharpness under severe lighting conditions (very dim, weak bulb lit corridor) and the AF was strong and decisive even then and impressively accurate on people walking directly towards me - something most combinations have difficulty with.
I have already ordered the 300/2.8 VRII (10 days to go to delivery) but I was very tempted to cancel it and switch to the used 200-400 (for the same money) though I didn't want to give up the f2.8 and the 300 is better with TCs than the 200-400, a very important consideration for me personally.
The shot below is from the 200-400 at about 20m plus the 100% crop. No sharpening or PP of any sort, SOOC. Sharpness level is reduced about 15-20% when taking a screen shot using Skitch and then you can add on degradation from jpg conversion and forum algorithms (also applies to all the Sigma shots above of course). Believe me for a shot of an old faded photograph, that isn't particularly sharp to begin with, this was astonishing.
Handheld, 1/320, ISO 6,400, wide open @ f4