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Old 7th May 2009, 15:59   #931
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Sam, first things first, the VR does have advantage but can't replace a tripod. If you are seriously gonna use the range then go for this lens. But,
Secondly, as you said it's for very limited use then I would suggest you go for the Sigma lens. Be careful to choose the APO lens as there is another version of this lens with non APO glass. The APO one is bit better than the non-APO lens. Also it will be little bit costly(60$ more according to Sigma website) but worth the money. Have seen and tested both the lenses(canon mount) and I can safely say that there is a difference in IQ between APO and non-APO lens.
And as it said for all Sigma lenses, be careful while selecting a Sigma lens as you may end up with a lemon, thanks to the QC of Sigma.
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Old 7th May 2009, 15:59   #932
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If you dont really need the 300mm end, Nikon does make a nice 55-200 VR. Build quality and AF speed are a couple of notches below the 70-300 VR but no real complains on image quality. Its around $220 or so. I've owned both and on a D40 you wont really have any complaints with the 55-200VR. I'm not sure how it performs on the 10/12MP DSLR's as I only used it on my D40 and D70.

If going with the Sigma, make sure you take the APO version. The picture you've put is for that but name mentioned is for the non-APO one.
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Old 7th May 2009, 16:07   #933
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
I agree that the Nikkor will be better than the Sigma. If there was a small price difference, I would not even have posted this question.

But the Nikkor costs over 3 times as much!! I think my question is

Is the Nikon lens worth it at three times the cost of the Sigma?

Plus, my use is limited, but yes I agree, the light conditions may not be good.
Its just not the picture quality Sam, the build of the Sigma is also quite flimsy. Couple of my friends wanted to do wildlife/travel(for reach) photography and then went in for the Sigma (Both are using D40 bodies). After Shooting various pictures and trying out different settings both of them sold it and went in for the Nikkor 70-300, . YES there are people who have extracted amazing pictures from this SIgma lens no doubt, but its really hard work to extract good pictures all the time compared to the Nikkor. As Kaushik says if you plan to go for the Sigma do go for the APO version.

I believe in one thing, invest a good amount on glass, you wont repent, i would have recommended the Sigma if you would have just used for the ones of shots for the reach, but since you post those beautiful travelogues it would just be better if you considered the Nikon as well considering you shoot a bit more with the zoom lens after you get used to it.

I am just giving one example of bird photography, One of my friends pictures processed, look at fringing of the branch, even at good light on the Sigma 70-300 APO. For me as an user who shoots wildlife (dunno about the evening shots and night photography part with the Sigma lens though) who looks into these details yes the cost being about 3 times is justified. (The NIkon used to be around 470$ but since the dollar has gone up, cant do much)

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Just go to a dealer and try both the lenses yourself at night, take a laptop along too if you can, you will understand the differences when you compare the images.

Last edited by redrage : 7th May 2009 at 16:18.
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Old 7th May 2009, 16:50   #934
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
Plus, my use is limited, but yes I agree, the light conditions may not be good.
If it's low-light and most of the cases you'll be beyond hand-holdable range then even VR is not gonna help. Tripod or similar support is your only option.

IQ-wise these two lenses(nikon & sigma) will be poles apart whatever light conditions may be. But saying that it's also true that for normal purpose(travel specially) the Sigma IQ is good enough. Unless you are gonna shoot object with a strong back-lit background (you'll get purple fringing) you won't face much problem.

I would say get the Sigma lens(APO one), use it for sometime, see the pictures, evaluate if they suffice your purpose. For web-hosting and travelogues this lens will give you good enough photographs. Equations will change if you want to go for big prints and stuff. And if need arises then you can anytime switch to a better lens. If you directly wants to get the best in that range then go for the Nikkor. Nikon doesn't seems to have an equivalent product for Canon 70-200mm f4, otherwise that also would've been a great alternative.
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Old 7th May 2009, 17:39   #935
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Sam, think about speaker wires. The Sigma lens is 18-gauge wire, the Nikkor lens is 12-gauge speaker wire. The former is 3 times cheaper, what would you buy?
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Old 7th May 2009, 20:06   #936
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Sam, the Nikon 55-200mm DX VR is the answer to your needs if you don't want to spend on the 70-300 VR. With the latter you're paying for a full frame lens (105-450mm on DX), Nikon's VRII technology and full AF-S technology. The 55-200mm is cheaper because it compromises on all those fronts but it will focus and give decent telephoto quality on your D40. Better than Sigma, any day.

Last edited by StarScream : 7th May 2009 at 20:11.
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Old 7th May 2009, 20:13   #937
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Sam, think about speaker wires. The Sigma lens is 18-gauge wire, the Nikkor lens is 12-gauge speaker wire. The former is 3 times cheaper, what would you buy?
Finally, someone who explains it in one sentence.

I will buy a Nikkor. Either the 55-200 or the 70-300. Many thanks.
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Old 7th May 2009, 21:31   #938
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How's the bokeh on the 55-200?
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Old 7th May 2009, 22:01   #939
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OK, please help me, I am thinking aloud here. I already have a Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6G AF. It works beautifully with my Father's D70, with AF.

However, I have used it with my D40 - the Auto focus does not work and I have to focus manually, getting photos like this.

The DSLR Thread-dsc_2776_l.jpg

This was a handheld shot, I think it's OK, not too great. However as you can imagine, handheld with manual focus gives me very few good photos, I end up deleting more than 75% of the pictures.

The DSLR Thread-dsc_2909_l.jpg
This was a tripod shot.

My objective is not wildlife photography - I rarely use tele in my travels, choosing mostly global/geographical/landscape wide shots (18mm on my kit lens)

On occasion I take portraits and I like portraits at about 50mm (75 in 35mm film) - but I find that my kit lens has a deep focus field and rarely do I get blurred backgrounds.

I am tempted to get a lens that performs best between 50 and 100mm on my D40.

Buying another 70-300 seems stupid especially since I can either use my existing 70-300 on the D40 (in manual focus mode) or just exchange cameras with my Father and use the D70 instead (I like that camera too!)

Another option is to get a 50/1.8 or a 35/1.8 prime - nice bright shots and I hear the lens has a shallow DOF. I know the pic quality will be great, but I feel I'll limit my usage.

I also want to do some macro-photography.

My other problem is that I find it very annoying to change lenses while walking or travelling.

I feel the need to buy a lens. But am unable to decide either the genre or the kind of lens I want.
I repeat, the focal length is not so much a priority for me. When I go to the forest, I can either take the D70, or take my monopod or tripod and take the shot without VR. I'm looking at a bright lens that has a good bokeh between 50 to 100mm (on my camera, amounting to 75-150 on film)

May I just have some ideas from the gurus here?

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 7th May 2009 at 22:14.
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Old 7th May 2009, 22:44   #940
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Quote:
Buying another 70-300 seems stupid
Quote:
I repeat, the focal length is not so much a priority for me. When I go to the forest, I can either take the D70, or take my monopod or tripod and take the shot without VR.
Quote:
Another option is to get a 50/1.8 or a 35/1.8 prime
@ Sam:
Me not a guru here. But, guess that you have answered your own questions. Is it just that you want someone else to agree as well?
And you seem to know as much as many experts on this thread or even more.
With specifications/requirements laid out in precise words, will the solution be any complex?

And, a comment on your earlier post.
Quote:
Now keep in mind that my camera costs 25K with the kit lens before you advise me some $1500 lens.
Isn't this the way with SLR? One spends more money on components of SLR system than camera body. It's pointless to spend $2000 on camera body & use only $150 kit lens with it. To qoute Samurai, DSLR is a money pit.
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Old 7th May 2009, 23:06   #941
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Definitely not a guru either but if you want a zoom, 55-200 is a good choice and covers the focal length you intend to use. Its a cannot go wrong choice.

If its for portraits, effective focal length b/w 75 to 150 mm, there must be a Nikon 85mm f/1.8 AF, prime lens which has more reach or the conventional 50mm 1.8 lens. Priced at around 335$ its good VFM.
The recommendations are so-so for the 85 mm but it seems sharp

Nikon 85mm f/1.8 AF

FM Reviews - 85mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor

Last edited by redrage : 7th May 2009 at 23:15.
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Old 7th May 2009, 23:20   #942
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
I also want to do some macro-photography.
Go for a 100 mm or Nikon equivalent macro lens. You'll be happy.
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Old 7th May 2009, 23:20   #943
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
Either the 55-200 or the 70-300. Many thanks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by redrage View Post
Definetly not a guru either but if you want a zoom, 55-200 is a good choice The recommendations are so-so for the 85 mm but it seems sharp
Sam you travel a lot the lighter the better the 55-250 is lighter.
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Old 8th May 2009, 00:08   #944
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Guru's Why isnt the 18-200 in Sam's shortlist if he's looking for a do it all lens considering he travels a lot ?Also why not the 12-24 if he's interested in macro,landscape and portraits as the second lens to carry about?

Last edited by absynthguzzler : 8th May 2009 at 00:10.
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Old 8th May 2009, 01:16   #945
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He started off innocently enquiring about a $160 Sigma lens for a D40, and now he wants bokeh.

Sigh! What kind of bokeh Sam, round, hexagonal or creamy bokeh?

My best lenses give me round or creamy bokeh. Some prefer polygonal bokeh, my lenses don't do it, but I am not willing to pay more for better bokeh.
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