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Old Jul 22, 2007, 9:21 AM   #11
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Perhaps you are right Jim but here is one of the reviews (there are several if you search the net). Maybe I made the wrong decision as far as my pocket is concerned? I don't know, but reiterate that I am delighted with the Nikkor 200/400 and on a positive note there isn't one bad review of this lens I can find.

This would be the lens of my dreams if functioning properly. After trying 2 different new lenses on 2 different Nikon D70 cameras, focus is in 95 % of the images 1-3 dm (4-12 inches) behind the subject I aim for, when shooting from 10 m distance. One of the lenses was sent to authorized Sigma service for check between tests, one of the cameras was sent to Nikon for focus adjustment. Problem is still remaining afterwards. Several hundreds of pictures taken, subject NOT moving. It is very evident shooting at F2.8 from 10 m and zoomed to 300 mm, but at closer distance and / or zoomed out it seems to be OK. Also, first focusing 2 m behind subject and then refocusing on my main subject when taking the picture, seems to give worse result than first focusing at closer distance. My 15 years old AF Nikkor 300/4 provides 100 % images with correct focus under the same conditions (same subject, distance, light, camera settings, focus procedure etc.) On my Nikon F4, I have not observed the problem, although only one roll of film taken and not exactly same distances. Another odd observation regarding this lens is the focal length when set to 300 mm. I did observe a significant difference to my old Nikkor, which brought me closer to the subject. I took some images of a long ruler from 8 m distance and then calculated the focal length. The Nikkor was 305 mm and the Sigma 270 mm. Sigma Corporation, Tokyo head office, informed me that focal length should be measured focused at infinity. In that case focal length is less than 270 mm since it decreases when focusing to infinity (same result for both 2 Sigma lenses tested). This is not a major problem though. Sigma corp. answered to my questions regarding focus problem with providing info of the lens optical performance, but did not comment on what could cause the focus problem and not what I could do about it. After writing three letters, they now claim that the camera is faulty, but that it is not possible to detect the fault with any other lens (!). I have been testing and discussing this issue with my local retailer and Sigma for almost two months now. If they can provide a lens working properly on my D70, I will recommend the lens. Now it is worthless.

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Old Jul 22, 2007, 12:38 PM   #12
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Well, it's not uncommon to see good and bad reviews with a lens, and it wouldn't surprise me that the camera did have a problem with AF sensor alignment, etc.

It also would not surprise me to find out that the lenses he tried had problems. Sometimes firmware changes occur along the way with them for better compatibility with a given camera model, and Sigma has to reverse engineer the lens mount protocol from what I understand.

Digging around some of the Nikon forums, I see a mixture of sentiment towards one, and I found some gorgeous images from some Nikon models using it (for example, I was just browsing through some shots taken with one using a D200 a little while ago)

If I were going to give one a try because my budget couldn't handle a Nikkor that gave me what I needed, I'd go with a vendor like http://www.bhphotovideo.com

Then, if the lens worked great, I'd be happy at the savings. If it didn't, I'd return it to B&H (thanks to their better than average return policy).

B&H Return Policy

If money was no object and I were shooting Nikon, I'd probably always go with a Nikkor over a Sigma if Nikkor had a lens that did what I wanted. But, it's a pretty big price difference in this case between this Sigma 120-300mm and a Nikkor 200-400 (and they appear to be a bit scarce right now, too), not to mention that the OP wanted f/2.8 if possible for night games (although he'd be at f/4 with a 1.4X TC on the Sigma when he needed something longer).

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