Telezoom - what to choose?

Hi - new user to this forum, and hope you will excuse me, if this has been asked before.

Bought myself a D3s, and been using it for a short while. Mixed results so far. Difficult with new menues etc, but, it`s getting there. Hopefully.

Anyway - will buy myself a telezoom in a while, but the budget is limited, so the choice I have made so far, is between 3 lenses. Priority 1 will be sharpness, and AF-speed. Was hoping for recommendations from you in here.
1) A used 200-400 F4 VR (first generation)
2) Sigma 150-600 Sport F5,6-6,3
3) Nikon 200-500 F5,6

Hope for valuable feedback.
Thank`s in advance


  • DenverShooterDenverShooter Posts: 416Member
    Hi and Welcome to the forum!

    Can you give us an idea what you are planing on shooting?

    For "bang for the buck" the Nikon 80mm to 400mm F/4.5-5.6 is mighty cost effective.

    Denver Shooter
  • SteiwaSteiwa Posts: 15Member
    Will shoot mostly wildlife & "action". 80-400 was considered, since i hade a quite simular lens for my Sony A77/99. (70-400 SSMII). Different reviews rated theese two lenses quite equal. Good lens, but experienced som trouble with bad sharpness on ex. 400mm. (altso using a 24-120 F4 so I feel I`m covered in the lower area)
  • DenverShooterDenverShooter Posts: 416Member
    I haven't seen any issues with mine. Haven't shot wildlife with it however. Have shot wildlife with the Nikon 300mm F/2.8, the 400mm F/2.8, the 600mm F/4 and the 800mm F/5.6 and those are rocking lenses.

    Denver Shooter
  • SteiwaSteiwa Posts: 15Member
    Thank`s for your feedback @DenverShooter :-)

    Nikon primes are stunning, but out of reach at the moment. Also - like the flexibility with the zoom, and the 3 mentioned seems to be the realistic choise at the moment for me. The 200-400 F4 would perhaps be the best?

  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,744Member
    If you are considering the 200-400, you should read Thom's review of it. It is not very sharp at infinity, but at wildlife distances, it is quite good. Make sure you are both talking about the same lens. If so, I would choose this one if I was in your shoes.
  • SteiwaSteiwa Posts: 15Member
    edited October 2016
    @WestEndFoto - thank`s for the info. Read the review, and the first generation seems to have issues with infinity. Will take a closer look at the two other options.
    Thank`s again :-)
    Post edited by Steiwa on
  • picturetedpictureted Posts: 153Member
    I've been happy with the Nikon 200-500. The IQ is similar to the Sigma, but I prefer the lighter weight and constant 5.6, plus it is a bit less expensive. I never considered the 200-400 (cost, infinity focus and size/weight).
    pictureted at flickr
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,443Member
    edited October 2016
    The new generation 2 Tamron 150-600 with the programmable base should also be on your list . D3s full frame and 12mp seems a strange choice for wildlife when we are all looking for POI
    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
  • SteiwaSteiwa Posts: 15Member
    @Pistnbroke - D3s was my choise, since I was looking for the combination of lowlight, and f/s capability, in combination with a limited budget. If my pocket was full of $, I would have landed on D5, but I`m just not there. In a while, i will add a D750 house, or maybe a D800.
    Thank`s for your advice for the Tamron. Will take a closer look :-)
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,443Member
    While I am not an expert an FX body is not the weapon of choice for Bird photographers as in DX ie D71/72oo the pixels are packed more densely
  • SteiwaSteiwa Posts: 15Member
    @Pistnbroke - not familiar with Nikon yet, but i assume the situation is apporox the same as Sony which I had in the past. FX gives approx one stop more, and better on ISO.
    Birds is one thing, but a another thing is animals, like deers etc. FX is much better for that purpose, when it comes to f/s, in low light conditions. But, i might ne tempted on a D500 for future use. Who knows?
    Please let me know, if you find reviews on the Tamron 150-600 G2.
    Thank`s in advance. :-)
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    My choice for all things wildlife is a D500 and the 300PF (450 equiv). If I want more reach, the 1.4TC gives me 420mm (630mm equiv). Primes are always better for the two things you mention 1-sharpness 2-af speed. If I were to grab a zoom, it would be the 80-400 current generation which is only a small step behind a 400mm prime in sharpness and af-speed.
    As far as DX vs FX, you can't say "FX is much better" What you can say is there is a 1-stop difference. D500 vs D5 on focus speed is a wash. You could have purchased a D500 for almost the cost of your D4s and had better focus speed, almost double the resolution, better low-light performance and reach. The D3s is 7 years old after all. If you downsample the 21mp from the D500 to 12mp you will gain almost two stops of noise over-and-above the already almost 2 stop difference in technology.

    Anyway, the D3s is no slouch, so congrats on the purchase. Go for the 80-400!
  • SportsSports Posts: 365Member
    Steiwa said:

    Please let me know, if you find reviews on the Tamron 150-600 G2.

    No review, but DPReview have lots of sample photos ... that look quite good, I suppose.

    Last year, I and a friend were choosing a long zoom, and ended up with the Sigma Sport after comparing it to the Nikon 200-500 and the old Tamron. But note, the Sigma price was so nice. 1700$ compared to 2000$ for the Nikon. (Nikon loosing sales because of ridiculously high Europaen prices, sigh.)

    Based on US pricing, we would probably not choose the Sigma. It's "super cool" but the Nikon and the new Tamron are just better value.
    Nikon - slightly sharper, I think, and f/5.6 more attractive than Sigma's aperture, but the AF feels slower.
    Tamron - assuming the new one is better than the old, it has probably closed the gap to Sigma ... and sells at a lower price.

    I'm happy with my 80-400, too, but sharpness at 400mm is probably its only weakness, but not enough to be really worried.
    D300, J1
    Sigma 70-200/2.8, 105/2.8
    Nikon 50/1.4G, 18-200, 80-400G
    1 10-30, 30-110
  • SteiwaSteiwa Posts: 15Member
    @Ironheart - a D500 is also my favorite, but not my bankaccounts baby at the moment ;) When it comes to stops in difference between FX/DX, I was refering to my last brand, Sony Thank`s for the advice for the 80-400. I think I have the possibility to try one in near future.

    @Sports - have seen the reviews of the 80-400, compared with my old lens 70-400 Sony. Pritty much equal, but the Nikon perhaps a hair sharper. As mentioned above - will try in a while.

    When it comes to Nikon 200-500, and my dislike about it - it seems not to be as solid like the Sigma, which is important to me. I know for sure, for ex, that the lens hood is not good enough, very much like the Sony. Lost that one several times.

    Altso seen the Sigma Sport on the seconhand market, and it is possible to pick one up for $1100-1200, included the USB-docking.

    Anyway - thank`s for your feedback - please just post some more info, if you find something of interest, and are willing to spend time on a newbie

    Thank`s again :-)
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,744Member
    What is the Nikon on the second hand market compared to the Sigma? Unless you are married to your lens (I am married to a few of mine) that will inform you to the true cost of the lens.
  • SteiwaSteiwa Posts: 15Member
    edited October 2016
    @WestEndFoto - besides my wife, I have to admit I`m married to a Samyang 14mm2,8, and a Nikon 24-120 F4 ;)

    Nikon 200-500 on the second hand market is the same pricelevel as Sigma Sport, or a bit cheaper.

    One more thing - not found of "Made in China", which is the marking on the Nikon, but that is perhaps only a limitation in my head. May not be worth paying attention to, but anyway, China. Sigma is "Made in Japan". For some, that might have som value. (...if we can trust that kind of labeling ;) )
    Post edited by Steiwa on
  • SteiwaSteiwa Posts: 15Member
    Review for the Tamron 150-600 G2
    Part 1

    Part 2 will come next week.

  • SteiwaSteiwa Posts: 15Member
    edited November 2016
    Tamrom G2 review - part 2
    Post edited by Steiwa on
  • SteiwaSteiwa Posts: 15Member
    Received the Sigma Sport 150-600 a couple of weeks ago. Few testshots due to bad weather, until today. Friend of mine offered his Nikon 200-500 as a comparasent, which I accepted. Using a Nikon D3s for both lenses, same conditions.

    After looking closer to the rawfiles on the Sigma sport - Too blury, to many focusfailures (1 out of 10-12 pictures is close to sharp, but not tech sharp), too much vignetting, and image-stabilisation failes.

    Close to same situations, same exif (f6,3, iso 1600, 1/1000 sec) on flying seagulls - the conclution from me is - Nikon 200-500 did better, on every singel point mentioned above - Sigma sport will be returned.
  • PeachBlackPeachBlack Posts: 141Member
    I have a 200-400/4.0 first generation from Nikon. It's a pretty spectacular lens and you can't go wrong. Too bad I never use it anymore. I think the last time I used it was a couple of summers ago. Kind of sad.
  • GPDenGPDen Posts: 1,171Member
    Hi Steiwa, I see that you've tried out the Nikon 200-500 F/5.6E and appear to have given up on the Sigma Sport as a result. I've had the Nikon since July last year and I'm absolutely delighted with it. Admittedly I've not tried or even held anything else of the same focal length, but for what I photograph it's been great. I read all the reviews/ comparisons etc. and having a bias towards Nikon anyway (don't ask me why) went for it. My only concern was that there seemed to be some sample variations, but the price and constant f/5.6 aperture was attractive to me over the other choices. My copy appears to be fine and I'm more than happy with it's sharpness through out the zoom range (not even attempted a fine tune as yet!). Even wide open at 500mm it's really good as long as the light is reasonable and ISO is kept in check. Mine's mounted on a D810 and so far has been used mainly for golf photography and it works great for me. I agree the focus is not as snappy as the f/2.8 zooms that I have, but hey, for just over a grand I'm not complaining. I don't do BIF's so can't comment on it's use there, but for other sports I would guess it would do a good job. I also agree that the hood doesn't feel totally secure compared to the click/lock types, but the one on my copy is tight enough for the way I shoot. I've posted quite a few golf shots taken with the lens on the PAD, so if you want to see some examples of what it can deliver in the field take a look from the mid Nov PAD onwards. Hope that helps you a little with your final choice.
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