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I am considering purchasing the SP 200-500 for use with my Nikon D200, but after reading some of the forum threads, I'm concerned that the lens may not autofocus at 500mm. Has anyone used AF successfully at 500mm with this lens/camera combination?
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there is no reason why it wouldn't.
You could always buy one from a website which gives you a certain number of days for returns. If it doesn't autofocus at 500mm........... return it.
You could always consider the Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM which I believe is cheaper and I've heard somewhat sharper the Tamron which is reputed to be a little soft, although I wouldn't like to comment on that as I own neither of them....
Try to get a copy of last week's Amateur Photographer as they tested this lens against Sigma's 120-400 and 150-500 with the Tamron coming out at 3 stars against 4 for each of the Sigma lenses.
Thanks for the inputs.
Snapper, I will ty to get last week's Amateur Photographer. The following ePHOTOzine test reviews of the Tamron 200-500and Sigma 150-500 tested with the Nikon D700 - the only common baseline results I've seen for the two lenses - give the nod to Tamron in terms of my top priorities: performance and value.
Both lenses 4 stars overall. The Sigma received higher marks for Features and Handling, and the Tamron received higher marks for Performance and Value. Performance is my top prior, especially at 500mm where the Sigma falls significantly shot of the Tamron.
Ade_Osman, I have read individual's opinions, some of which have commented on the Tamron beinging softer than the Sigma at longer focallengths, while others state the Tamron is a clear winner. The ePHOTOzine reviews are the only ones that give an apples-to-apples comparison.
The AP comparison was pretty conclusive and I think I'd rather trust their evaluation than that of EPZ.
Can't make a direct comparison myself as I have never owned a Tamron lens. But I can confirm that the current Sigma 150-500mm lens gives me top quality results with either a D300 or D3s throughout its range and has no AF problems at any point. My only criticism is that the OS is a wee but noisy and does affect battery life - but then I rarely use OS anyway as, most of the time, I am using the lens on a tripod.
I have a Tamron 200-500 which I use on a Nikon D2X. I am very impressed with it and have had no problems with the AF. Having said that I haven't tried the Sigma lenses. The Tamron does not have VR but is much lighter to hold than I expected. I've got no complaints.
Good luck with your choice,
This was taken with the Tamron 200-500mm at 500mm.
Nice one ATR. Good sharpness and excellent bokeh.
Thanks for the great inputs and sharing your experience. Just what I need. It sounds like I'll be happy which ever way I go.
I don't know about Nikon lenses but most of the Canon range will not autofocus with lenses above f5.6 so if the Tamron has f6.3 (well, nearly right. they may still AF in very good light but it does need to be very good light). That would explain the AF issues others have reported. The exception is the Canon 1 series whose lower limit is f8.
I don't know if the Nikons show the same aperture limits for AF, and which side of the fence G_Hughes' D2 falls.
I have use this lens with my 5D2 and AF still works at 500mm
I had the tamron 200-500 for a while and it autofocused fine on 7D / 550D at full extension (although, having no focus limit switch it could "Hunt" unless pre-focused to roughly the right subject distance).
I was pleased with it and only parted with it when I picked up a copy of the sigma 400 f5.6 apo HSM macro, which was chipped for use with the 7D and 550D
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