Thanks for the comps. So far, I am really liking the lens. I also have the Sigma 150-600mm Sport. Shortly after I bought the Siggy, Nikon announced this lens.
The Sigma is about 2 lb heavier but has better weatherproofing and would appear to be more durable. The Sigma has serious lens creep (if you hold it upside down, it will free fall from 150-600mm) hence the need for the multiple focal length locks throughout it's zoom range. Nikon only has one lock at 200mm for transport purposes. The Nikon also exhibits little or no lens creep.
The Nikon is more readily hand held. The Sigma is not. The Sigma has some front/back focusing issues and the lens dock is probably a necessity for most who buy it. It is good you can dial the lens in at 4 different focal lengths at 4 different distances (a total of 16 trial and error settings), but this is a long, tedious process. For someone like me with limited time on my hands, this is a big drawback to the Sigma. I have not had time to take the many hours of testing it will take to dial it in. The Nikon, on the other hand, only required me to open the box, remove it, and attach the lens to my D810 and start shooting. I have read reviews on the Sigma where some say that is all they did with the Sigma, but most say they had to dial it in. I will probably try some in-camera autofocus fine tuning on the Nikon at some point, but I am happy with the results straight out of the box. As far as a sharpness comparison, I would say the Nikon is winning out, but that may be due to not having the Sigma totally dialed in. I have not tried the Nikon lens with my D7100, but that day will come. My quandary now is whether to keep the Sigma. Will I ever get it tuned satisfactorily? Is the extra 150mm of range worth it (I found with the Sigma, that at 600mm it was a little soft, so I ended up shooting at 500-550mm anyway.)? Will I find myself grabbing the Nikon due to its reduced weight? All of the above images were shot from some distance away from the birds at 500mm on the Nikon.
my 150-600mm sport was dead on out of the box probably 98 out of 100 shots have perfect focus. min has no lens creep, it actually takes a bit more force to zoom in and out that i would like but since there is no lens creep i am fine with with it. i find mine to be sharp no matter what focal length i am shooting at. the weight is not fun to deal with.
my sigma 18-35mm took me several hours to dial it in with the dock it did not focus on what you wanted it to at all unless you were nice and close to something. so i guess that is all hit and miss with the sigma lenses. once i found a good target to shoot i was able to dial it in quickly.. i shot the same shot and +3 +4 +5 +6 +7 all the way up to around +15. when i put the photos on the computer i could easily tell which photo hit perfect focus which was only one of them so i went with that number. the processe was not fun especially since there were like 16 total points to tune. but now that i have the lens tuned it went from being a mess to perfect..
i am glad my 150-600 was not that way when i got it but if you have the time you should be able to get it turned perfectly,
I am glad yours was good out of the box Danny. You confirm what I hear about the lens. Seems to be a lot of variance as to focus issues camera to camera. I purchased the Lensalign II system with the long ruler attachment (less the software) to help dial it in. I will someday take the time to do this on the Sigma, then I will make a decision as to whether to keep it. Anyway, I am glad manufacturers have given us some good long focal length options other than some very expensive primes.
tuning your sigma lens. this is my advice.. sorry to hijack your thread but i am just trying to help.. those photos with the nikon lens really do look good.
that scale and ruler thing you got is great. but not once you need to start testing lenses where you need to get far away for tuning the infinity setting it was impossible on the target and ruler that i have (might work fine with a lens with that much zoom). personally i think this house number sign worked better than the target and ruler that i have with the 18-35mm art lens... i used the lens wide open or close to it on a tripod with a shutter speed of 1/500. i was trying to do it hand held and could not get it right. finally got out the tripod and could see what + or - number gave me the perfect focus. when the focus windows on the lens read right between 2 meters and infinity, a little closer to the infinity setting is how far back i chose to stand from the target and that seemed to work well.
up close something like that target and ruler is great but not when you need to start getting fa away to test infinity settings the text was just too small for the 18-35mm, what you need to tune has so much zoom that may not be a issue the target and ruller may work fine
if you do not have much time i would suggest doing 600mm one day or even part of 600 one day and part of it the next., do 150mm some other day, and so on and you will eventually get it right.. figure out if it is front or back focusing and take one photo for say +5 +10 +15 +20 say +10 looked the best but was not perfect. than go +6 +7 +8 +9 +10 +11 +12 +12 +14 and see which one of those is dead on. man it is a time sucker.. but its well worth it.
the first one is not cropped, the second one is cropped to see if it hit focus on the numbers. this was a great focus testing target, testing the focus at the closer focus settings i used a target with ruler and also i piece of paper taped to the wall with small text on it.
now that nikon lens looks to be excellent from everything i have seen so take your time, do a little tuning on the sigma here or there, write down what you have tried and what numbers gave you the best results. and you can get it done over time. when it was not focusing correctly the house numbers did not look very sharp. one the adjustment where they did look sharp is where i left it.
Thanks for the comp. Forgive me. I am just a dummy from South Arkansas. I grew up duck and goose hunting. We called them Canada and Canadian geese for no good reason. Although I would, with some degree of certainty, swear that when this group started honking, they had a bit of a French accent. That is probably why I said these Canada geese were Canadian. Heeee! Just funning.