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which one and what is the difference in image quality

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lemontart  154 forum posts United Kingdom
26 Dec 2013 - 7:27 AM

Been saving hard and xmas has provided me with boost to now purchase the long lusted after lens - but low and behold I discover a 2nd lens but cannot find a proper comparison between the two

So kind folk of the forum your opinions would be welcomed

Original choice - Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EX DG OS HSM Lens for Nikon
Now this - Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM for Nikon

also saw this just to confuse matters further Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 II EX DG APO HSM Macro Autofocus

It is to go on Nikon D5200

Your advice and opinions will be must welcomed

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Paintman e2 Member 8859 forum postsPaintman vcard United Kingdom173 Constructive Critique Points
26 Dec 2013 - 8:05 AM


another review

These may help a little.

26 Dec 2013 - 9:10 AM

In short, as you might have noticed, the difference is in three letters, APO. Means - apochromatic, i.e almost not subjected to chromatic aberrations ( cause purple fringing, etc). I would buy into those three letters - even if the real life difference is not that great.


If going Sigma, go for the Apo II version...the latest and best.

Then consider a used Nikon 70-200, which I have no doubt will be better optically.

MGJ  6140 forum posts5 Constructive Critique Points
26 Dec 2013 - 12:15 PM

I think, if you will forgive me saying so, that one wants to be extremely careful when assuming that a lens, even if famous named will be better than another.

For example if you look at the Canon 17-40L and the 17-55?, and compare it with the Sigma 17-50EX. In most of the useful range, the Sigma, at current prices £350 ish, outperforms both of the much more expensive canons except at 2.8, and its not often that you use F2.8. (Many would argue that you only buy a 2.8 lens so you can use a minimum f stop of 4 if quality is what you want) So there is a value judgement to be made, and the arbiter is a proper review quoting a transfer function in lines or line pairs per mm resolution. Because with image resolution, in general goes image contrast, and those two factors are everything. Bokeh - well fine, but if you haven't got the sharpness to start with, bokeh is the least of your problems. Likewise weather proofing - at that money, you can chuck a Sigma full of whatever and buy another, and still be ahead. Though of course it does matter if if you are likely to use the lens mostly out of doors in the rain! So the judgement might be different for a telephoto lens compared with a studio one - or say holidays only? (Though a blast of clean dry compressed available free from you local paint shop will sort an awful lot of crud in the innards)

APO glass, in general, means reduced fringing means more lines per mm, and better image contrast (as a principle) because you get get sharper edges to each line. You can remove it in PS - up to a point, but best not to have it in the first place.

Various manufacturers call it various things. It just means that it bends all frequencies of light (colours) the same amount (ish), whereas normally refraction is to a degree frequency dependent. The recipe for the glass is a bit more expensive, and they can be ground to closer limits, or - when the lenses are tested, the better performing ones are put aside for smarter use.

Sorry - I'm not a Nikon man, so I can't quote the figures for Nikons

Look very carefully at the reviews, - real reviews that is, and that will tell you exactly what to go for. Or go to the manufacturers web sites and look at the transfer function for the lenses at each f stop. And check the units are the same, because manufacturers do love to swerve the arithmetic in their favour.

Last Modified By MGJ at 26 Dec 2013 - 12:25 PM
26 Dec 2013 - 1:08 PM

There are two major differences between Nikon lenses and the "compatibles", even though the "out of the box" performance may be similar.

Firstly the main-grade Nikon lenses are particularly durable and will continue to perform well long after lesser optics have been scrapped.

Secondly, they hold their value very well indeed. Some of my Nikon lenses are thirty-something years old and their second-hand value hasn't changed much, in real terms, in the years since they were bought. Non-marque lenses appear on Fleabay in job-lots.


Quote: I think, if you will forgive me saying so, that one wants to be extremely careful when assuming that a lens, even if famous named will be better than another.

My comment was based on real world usage, having owned both Sigma and Nikon 70-200 f 2.8 lenses as well as Sigma 10-20, 24-70 and 100-300 lenses. To keep it simple for the poster, I avoided quoting LPM charts, transfer functions, image contrast, fringing, glass grinding etc etc.

My real world experience has been that Sigma make excellent EX lenses, however their quality control leaves a lot to be desired and I returned a brand new 24-70 EX as it had a misaligned lens element. The 70-200 I found to be rather lacking in sharpness at f2.8/4 and the purchase of the Nikkor 70-200 f2.8 showed how it really should be done! The 100-300 and 10-20 (sold on here) are two of Sigma's BEST lenses in my opinion.

I believe this review of the latest model of this lens backs up exactly what I'm saying. Look up the reviews on Ephotozine too and see what they say - basically if you want a 70-200, the Nikon is the one to get!.

The original poster is talking about buying a new £799 lens. I am asking him to compare it to a £1000 used lens, which will probably be almost indistinguishable from new. Based on real world experience I would buy the £1000 used Nikon lens - it's a better lens and will not disappoint in any way.

Last Modified By scottishphototours at 26 Dec 2013 - 1:23 PM

As usual, thewilliam puts it more succinctly than me!... Wink

MGJ  6140 forum posts5 Constructive Critique Points
26 Dec 2013 - 3:52 PM

I was merely making the point that names are not always what they seem. If I have to pay for image quality then I pay for it, but I just want to be sure I am getting what I want.

GlennH  91918 forum posts France1 Constructive Critique Points
26 Dec 2013 - 6:22 PM

For the past year or so Sigma have been producing lenses that seem to routinely better their nearest marque competitors. It might be worth re-evaluating them.

The Tamron SP AF 70-200 mm f/2.8 USD DI VC is well regarded by Réponses Photo, I noticed this month.

26 Dec 2013 - 11:57 PM

I'd concede that Stigma often does lenses that Nikon doesn't: like the 15-30mm that we used to have about 12 years ago.

At that time, Nikon zooms didn't go wider than 17mm, but when I'd used the 15-30 for a while, I guessed the reason for this. The corner resolution was truly awful at the wide end and every bit as bad as the first version of the Nikon 43-86mm. At least Nikon redesigned that lens to create a classic.

She-who-must-be-obeyed grew so sick of my complaints about the Stigma 15-30 that she bought me a Nikon 17-35 during a visit to Mifsuds. And it wasn't even Christmas or my birthday.

GlennH  91918 forum posts France1 Constructive Critique Points
27 Dec 2013 - 1:04 AM

Even the 100-300mm f/4 was unique, I believe? Sigma aren't afraid to be different, which might be viewed by some people as a healthy thing. Meanwhile, they're also making 'regular' lenses that are better than direct Nikon or Canon equivalents. At least that's the popular consensus - you don't have to take the word of an oik like me.

lemontart  154 forum posts United Kingdom
27 Dec 2013 - 8:43 AM

eh gads so confusing the more you look the more confused you get, so to be clear if I go down sigma route look for apo however reviews suggest low light can be issue compared to nikon.

The new tamron looks great but currently cannot find decent reviews on that - unless of course you know different.

Or do I loose the plot and go for this Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens

Paintman e2 Member 8859 forum postsPaintman vcard United Kingdom173 Constructive Critique Points
27 Dec 2013 - 9:27 AM

A review on the Tamron lens

jken  81672 forum posts United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
27 Dec 2013 - 10:54 AM

Have a look at Tamron, you will be very surprised!!!

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