Sigma vs Nikon glass. Direct comparison.

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Markw, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. Markw

    Markw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, this is how I decided to sell my Nikkor 70-300 F/4-5.6G lens. I took my Sigma 105mm F/2.8 EX DG macro and the Nikkor lens and decided to do a comparison. Both images were taken at these settings:

    Nikon D90
    F/8
    1/125s
    ISO400
    105mm

    ...on an overcast morning. I was really surprised at the results. I know the Nikkor wasnt a pro-grade lens, and the Sigma is part of their pro series lenses, but I expected the Nikkor to come close. I was clearly mistaken. These are straight from the camera, no PP at all besides cropping on the latter.

    Nikkor:
    [​IMG]

    Sigma:
    [​IMG]

    Now for the 100% crops.

    Nikkor:
    [​IMG]

    Sigma:
    [​IMG]

    The sigma is a tad darker, but I think that is a little more accurate to real-life colors and brightness. It was very overcast early in the morning.

    Now, I know this isnt a scientific finding or breakthrough by any means, but I thought Id still share.

    Id also like to add that I didnt sell my 70-300 because I owned the 105. I sold it to help fund a 80-200 2.8D.

    Mark
     
  2. Petraio Prime

    Petraio Prime TPF Noob!

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    The exposures are different. The test is worthless. You need to bracket them.

    Also, one is a zoom, the other is a fixed focal length macro. You are not testing apples against apples.
     
  3. Markw

    Markw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I understand that. And the exposures are not different. They were shot on full manual (besides focus), so as to keep the exposures the same.

    I had to use my macro because I didnt have any other lens that would reach that far at the time. I rented a 80-200 2.8. That is a zoom too and I think that if I did the same thing between the 70-300 and 80-200, the results would be even more abysmal.

    Mark
     
  4. GeneralBenson

    GeneralBenson TPF Noob!

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    But the exposures are the same. Maybe the settings were, but the photos themselves look at least a full stop apart. Maybe the light changed between frames?

    But Petraio is right. There is no point in making this comparison. It's like comparing a swiss army knife to a high quality fillet knife. One does a bit of everything for reasonable price, and the other does only one thing, and does it very well.

    And in all honesty, the Sigma crop looks negligibly better than the Nikkor. Aside from the exposure variance, and there is no way that one lens has that much of a difference in light transmission, the Sigma is only slightly sharper, and has a little bit better acutance and contrast.

    Now, all that being said, I think it's a great idea to sell the 70-300 and get an 80-200.
     
  5. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I wonder how a pro grade f2.8 prime nikkor would compare to a mid-grade sigma zoom. ;)

    Poor brand comparison, as brand is the most minor difference between these lenses.
     
  6. tsblo

    tsblo TPF Noob!

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    I actually did compare the sigma 70-200 f2.8 and the nikkor 70-200 f2.8 when I was looking to buy one.

    I shot about 1000 images with each, mixing up when I shot the images. I shot test charts and real world images and than chose my favourites based on sharpness, contrast, flare and other determining. The lens with the most favourites was the one I chose. The nikon had phenomenal build quality, but I found the zoom on the sigma to have a better feel, not as smooth, but more tactile. The sigma is also lighter, that is a huge difference for me as on wedding day I carry my 70-200 for 14-16 hours.

    My shots at f2.8 I could not tell the difference between the sigma and the nikkor. At f4-5.6 the nikkor looked a little sharper. I found the sigma to have a warmer cast, but that was a plus for me as I prefer warm images.
    In the end out of like 2000 shots I had 300 I really liked of the Sigma. I had about 300 of the Nikkor too.
    So one didn't really stand out. It came down to VR or no VR. I chose the lens without. With the additional 2 year warranty I purchased on top of the 5 year the sigma came with it brought my cost up to 1200$ CDN. It really came down to weight, and the lack of VR.
     
  7. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The transmission values of lenses vary by an incredibly amount in real life simply due to lens design. Exposure is simply the time the shutter was open, so either less light was getting through the lens for identical settings, or Markw's shutter needs replacing (unlikely). So ultimately it's still a valid comparison of the lens system despite the apples and oranges nature of the two lenses.


    What actually rings more alarm bells to me is the bbq and building in the background. This bbq and brickwork are sharper on Sigma. Before I fully read the post I thought "pfft idiot didn't keep the aperture consistent". This could be an interesting finding, it really does look like the Sigma's aperture may be smaller at f/8 than the Nikkor's. This would certainly explain both the background sharpness and the dramatic values in light transmission characteristics.
     
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  8. Markw

    Markw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Check the EXIF. It should still be in tact. The settings in the camera were the same.

    Mark
     
  9. shaunly

    shaunly TPF Noob!

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    This is turning out to be quite an interesting test. Obviously one of these lens aren't putting out a true f/8, so the question is, which one?
    Also, try comparing them at different f-stop aswell, see how they match up.
     
  10. Idahophoto

    Idahophoto TPF Noob!

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    This is really not even a fair comparison. There are many third party lenses that compete well in image quality compared to the Canon or Nikon counterparts and fewer that actually beat them. Tamron is my favorite as there glass is usually spot on but you have to decide what you need. Take the 70-200/2.8 Its a great example. There lens stands up to Canon and Nikon easy in image quality but lacks the High AF speed and build of the Canon and Nikons. Sigma's version lacks the image quality but does have good AF speed so again its a toss up. Tamron 60/2 Macro is hands down IMO the best 60 Macro on the market and there 90/2.8 Macro is legendary. I would defiantly take these over the Canon Nikon equivalents. Tokina has the 12-24/4 which I would say easily beats out the big ones own. It is a flawless lens. Then of course Sigma has its heavy hitters to though mainly the 50/1.4, 70/2.8 and the 120-400/4.5-5.6. The 120-400 is a lens I really want and is greatly better than Canon's own version and its about 700 bucks less. There are others of course but the point is each lens needs to be judged on it's own and though Canon and Nikon usually have the best all around they do lose the crowns on some stand offs.
     
  11. rpm

    rpm TPF Noob!

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    as mentioned already. its an unfair comparison, they're not the same focal length and while you can argue a 35mm prime is no diff than an 18-55mm set at 35mm but the glass arrangement is completely diff - you should try and compare the same lens through and through. including the same aperture range.
     
  12. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yes but by the time you changed lenses it could have got darker if it was cloudy the sun could have gone behind a thicker cloud
     

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