Sigma 70-200, Sigma 24-70, Tamron 28-75

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by eric-holmes, May 14, 2010.

  1. eric-holmes

    eric-holmes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I mounted a Sigma 70-200 on my D90 today at a local store. Wow, a lot bigger than I thought. I would eventually like to save up for a fast lens. I mostly shoot portraits and once I get better I would like to get my feet wet in weddings. I know that good glass will outlast my body. One day I would like to see myself owning a D700. With all that in mind, what do you think would be the best fit? These are pretty much the top of my budget, so no Nikon name brand. I realize the nice length for portraits is like 85 or greater and I like how I could stand further away with out intimidating the client. I am also scared about loosing the wide angle.

    Another question. People talk about these lenses being soft at their wide open aperture. Not being sarcastic, what is the point of buying a 2.8 to use in low light if it is going to be soft? Is it mainly because of the DOF and to isolate the subject?

    Input is appreciated as always.

    Eric

    Tamron | 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) | AF09NII-700

    Sigma | 70-200mm f/2.8 II EX DG APO Macro HSM AF Lens | 579-306

    Sigma | 24-70mm f/2.8 IF EX DG HSM Autofocus Lens | 571306 | B&H
     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I think you are overlooking one very,very good option: the Nikkor 24-85mm f/2.8~4 zoom, which is currently $699 with a Five Year USA warranty from Adorama.

    1929 Nikon 24-85mm f/2.8-4 IF AF-D Nikkor Wide - Telephoto Zoom Lens with Hood - USA

    This lens will cover FX, so it's D700-compatible. It's a better range on a D90 than the other lenses are; wider, at 24mm than the Tamron's 28mm, and longer than the Sigma's 70mm top end, and priced reasonably. I think this is one lens that ought to be in the mix as far as a general-purpose "event/portrait" zoom lens that can be used on both a D90,and later on a FX body. As for the point of an f/2.8 lens...it gathers more light and has shallower depth of field than a slower lens: that allows the AF system more light to work with, and the shallower depth of field means the phase detection AF system "sees" a more-fuzzy out of focus image than if the lens has a smaller f/stop like f/5.6; when the AF system senses fuzziness, it moves the lens one way or the other; the shallower the depth of field, the more-distinct the OUT of focus is, which aids in AF accuracy and speed.

    At f/2.8, some Canon and Nikon camera bodies with advanced AF systems enable some of the focusing sensors as cross-type AF sensors; with the Canon mid-level and higher bodies, any lens with an f/2.8 or faster max. aperture (f/2.5,f/2,f/1.8,etc) has what Canon calls "double-precision" accuracy in focusing. With slower-aperture lenses, these same sensors can only see details oriented in one direction, making those sensors less-capable,and unable of "double-precision" accuracy levels. On the very-newest, higher-end cameras, f/5.6 is now the lower limit for cross-sensor performance on "some" bodies. (AF systems are getting more-capable!)

    A slightly lower-contrast image shot at f/2.8 at 1/250 or 1/500 second can mean the difference between a slightly lower-quality but FROZEN action shot, and a better image quality, perfectly-exposed smeary action shot done of f/4 at 1/125 or 1/250. With digital capture, it is possible to boost sharpness and image contrast in post, so "some" of the quality lost at f/2.8 can be mitigated by careful post work.

    On really short focal lengths, like the 18-55 kit lens, the focusing performance of the lens on consumer bodies and mid-level bodies can be pretty sketchy at the f/5.6 and 45-55mm range in poor light--and in poor lighting conditions, there's MUCH more light coming in with an f/2.8 lens, and that means better light-gathering, so the camera can focus in literally, a darker room, and it will tend to focus with much more decisiveness, especially in marginal/tough conditions.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2010
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    A simple lens is thinner at the edges than in the middle. The focus is sharpest if you only use the thick part of the lens because most of it is about the same thickness and all the light rays focus in the same exact place.

    That can be correct for by adding corrective lenses immediately behind the front lens.

    One of the differences in the cost of 3rd party lenses is they don't use as many, or as good as, correcting lens elements in their design.

    So their performance, wide open, may not be as sharp as Nikons more expensive lens.

    Many Nikon lenses also don't perform as good wide open as they do stopped down some. But, not so much for something like the $2300 AF-S 70-200 mm f/2.8G, or the $1750 AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G.

    +1 to what Darrel said. I use the AF 24-85 mm f/2.8-4D as my daily carry lens.

    I would also suggest considering the Nikon AF 80-200 f/2.8D which can be gotten used, and in good condition for about $800 and is $1100 new at B&H.
     
  4. eric-holmes

    eric-holmes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thank you both for your very informative posts. It is apparent I have overlooked a popular lens. Wait, now that I think of it, I have seen that lens. I have also seen it in the 3rd party versions as well. I just always discarded it because I assumed it wasn't as good because it didn't maintain a 2.8 through out the lens zoom.
     
  5. eric-holmes

    eric-holmes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I really think I would love to have that 70-200. Do any of you have personal experience with it?
     
  6. GFruge

    GFruge TPF Noob!

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    I have the 70-200 Sigma 2.8 with a D90. It's a monster lens, very heavy and large. However, shooting with it is amazing. I personally love the lens. I did probably just as you did, looked at the reviews and decided to look at this lens. Good choice of the lens if you're not planning on purchasing the Nikon brand equipment.

    I've personally been shooting Nikon products for the past 12 years, but with a limited budget and owned slower lenses, such as 3.5 +. Its always been a hobby for me, but now I'm starting to turn the page and trying to pursue it a little more. I've decided to branch out with spending a few thousand $$$ on a decent camera, decent lenses, and a nice Studio setup. If things go well, I'll advance into the much better camera bodies and Nikkor lenses.

    I didn't see a need to invest thousands on a D3 + 2.8 Nikkor lenses just yet as this may end up being nothing more than a hobby.

    Nevertheless, read the reviews on the lenses. When you find something interesting, bring your camera body to a store with you, mount the lens and play around the shop for a few hours and see how you like it. That's how I purchase lenses.
     

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