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Old Jul 7, 2007, 1:24 PM   #1
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Folks

I'm looking for more reach for Football, Soccer & Baseball.

I also shoot at night so 2.8 would be great if possible

Current setup:
Nikon D200 (2 bodies)
Nikon 70-200 2.8 VR
Nikon 80-200 2.8 AF-S
Nikon 85 1.8
Nikon 50 1.4


I'm trying not to empty my bank account on the next lens but am considering a 300 f/4, a 1.4 TC for the 70-200 2.8 VR or 200-400 or 300 2.8 :?

Any help/advice appreciated.

Nick
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Old Jul 7, 2007, 1:50 PM   #2
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Two of our forum members that shoot a lot of sports with Canon DSLR models (Mark1616 and JohnG) are using a Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 when their Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 iisn't long enough. Mark1616 and JohnG are two that I know of anyway (there may be more forum members using them for sports).

Note that this is an HSM (Hypersonic Focus Motor) lens, which is similar to Nikon's AF-S (Silent Wave Motor) technology.

It's not cheap. But, it's a highly regarded lens (by some reports, it's sharper than some of the 300mm f/2.8 primes around).

Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 EX APO DG IF HSM Lens for Nikon AF cameras at B&H for $2,699


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Old Jul 7, 2007, 2:02 PM   #3
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Thanks Jim, I appreciate your help. Incidentally, I e-mailed JohnG as well to tap his knowledge as well. The more help, the better!

A few more questions:

1) Which TCs are available that preserve AF with the Sigma 120-300 2.8

2) Would anyone recommend the $150 lens collar - I tend to switch between horizontal & vertical shots as games progress.

Nick
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Old Jul 7, 2007, 3:05 PM   #4
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Tamron and Kenko have TCs that will work with AF-S or HSM type lenses (and Sigma has TCs that work with HSM type lenses). Just make sure to buy the newest Pro 300 DG type converters with the Kenko, or the newest SP Pro models of the Tamron for best results and compatibility. I've read that the Kenkos are identical to the Tamrons (given comparable models), but I have no way to confirm that.

Now, I have not did a lot of digging around on this... So, hopefully others will comment. But, it's my understanding that the Sigma TCs are best used with Sigma lenses (mostly because of the way the TC front element is designed). I wouldn't rule out that some AF-S lenses may be fine with one, too (although I'd make sure to research it carefully).

So, if I were in your shoes and considering a Sigma Lens (leaving me with a mixture of Nikkor AF-S and Sigma HSM lenses that I may want to use a TC with), I'd probably go with this TC:

Tamron 1.4x SP AF Pro Teleconverter for Nikon AF AF-i, AF-D and AF-S Lenses at B&H for $189

As for a tripod collar, I'll let someone that actually has that Sigma comment. lol It's my understanding that some of the higher end Sigmas come with a pretty good tripod collar (making them an even better value compared to the camera manufacturer's equivalent lenses). But, I don't know about the 120-300mm f/2.8.


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Old Jul 7, 2007, 6:40 PM   #5
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Hey Nick, yep the 120-300mm f2.8 Sigma is a lovely lens and I've been really happy with mine. Unless the light is really bad I usually have the Sigma 1.4x tc fitted and still get wonderfully usable results and extra range. The AF is really fast (on Canon 30D at least and can't see why D200 would be any different) and even at f2.8 (or f4 with the TC) I'm happy to sell shots at 10x15" even after a small crop.

The tripod collar is now very good allowing quick change from landscape to portrait, however the earlier 120-300mm f2.8s were I believe a little weak to say the least. If you are going for this lens I think you will be fine with the Nikon TC if you have one however Sigma did design the 1.4 and 2x TC's to work exceptionally well with this lens (yes you still get AF and still a really usable speed).

Hope that is helpful. I don't know anyone here who uses this lens with a D200 and I do know there were some problems with certain fast Sigma glass and some Nikon bodies so I would suggest checking it out further..

Mark
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Old Jul 7, 2007, 10:54 PM   #6
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Yep I'll cast another vote for the 120-300. It's my workhorse lens. I've heard good things about the 200-400 and Nikon's 300 2.8 but other than heresay can't offer you much advice on which of the 3 lenses I would use since I shoot Canon. I also agree with everything else mark said regarding the tripod collar and TC.
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Old Jul 8, 2007, 6:07 AM   #7
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... A third votetoward the 120-300 f/2.8! Although I don't use it much for sport, this lensHSM is plenty fast to AF onspeedytiny moving subjects (also check out this creamy "bokeh") :











SportShotsLive wrote: [/b]

Quote:
2) Would anyone recommend the $150 lens collar - I tend to switch between horizontal & vertical shots as games progress.
I would :idea:

The lens already came with a rotating tripod collar, but the optionalcollar has a larger handle which you can carry the lens/camera with when it get heavy (something I pick up from carying around my 500 f/4L the same way)

-> The thing I like about the Sigma's collar is that it detached from the lens and the collar stays with the tripod making the lens lighter to handle - On the Canon big guns the collars areintegrated to the lens so when you removethe lensfrom the tripod the weight of the tripod collar goes with the lens (and theses are hefty devices especially with the integrated carrying handle)

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Old Jul 8, 2007, 1:11 PM   #8
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I believe that this lens now comes with the larger collar as standard as mine sure did allowing easy carrying etc.
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Old Jul 21, 2007, 11:39 AM   #9
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There seem to be quite a few issues with the Sigma 120/300 if you read around a bit. I was very interested myself in buying since like you I have two bodies and the 70/200 with TC14 and TC17 but I needed more aperture, for my purposes for motor racing. My research revealed as follows:-

First issue seems to be that a lot of lenses back focus so wide open the object is slightly out of focus. Be very careful to check for this before committing. Obviously the DOF gets deeper as you stop down but that isn't why you buy an f2.8 lens, is it?

The second issue put me off the lens completely since professional tests have measured it and in no way is it 120/300 but more like 120/240, in some cases as high as 280 but never, not in any test, was it a 120/300. I suggest that again you take your 70/200 with you and compare the two. You know the Nikkor does what it says on the tin but you'll soon find out if the other reports on the focal length are true.

Thirdly some lenses, certainly the earlier ones, have a very stiff rotation of the zoom to avoid lens creep. This is so stiff as to be downright difficult to turn in some instances.

I can see no sense in spending $1,500 to gain only 40mm over my 70/200 so discretion won at the expense of my pocket and I have purchased the 200/400 Nikkor. I am delighted with it even if my wallet isn't.

Before others cry out in anguish and rebut this I suggest they do their own tests on the focal length. Personally, I've not tried the lens but did an awful lot of research, hours and hours of it, all over the net in several languages to get a general concensus. The above is that concensus and all I can say is - check the actual lens very carefully before you buy. Some reviewers returned several lenses before they got a good one. However, no one had the slightest complaint as to the sharpness ar speed of the lens.

I love the Nikkor by the way, albeit it is somewhat heavy at the end of the day. I looked at the 300mm and the 400mm (such a beautiful lens this) but in the end decided the zoom was more practical since in any action sport the distance is constantly changing. I love the 300 f2.8 though too. So, in the end,I've sacrificed a stop for practicality.
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Old Jul 21, 2007, 11:55 AM   #10
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cameranserai wrote:
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The second issue put me off the lens completely since professional tests have measured it and in no way is it 120/300 but more like 120/240, in some cases as high as 280 but never, not in any test, was it a 120/300. I suggest that again you take your 70/200 with you and compare the two.
Try it when focused to infinity and it should be much closer to the rated specs

A common "quirk" of some newer internal focus lens designs is that their effective focal length will change with focus distance.

The specs assume a focus distance of infinity. So, if you're focused on something closer with some lenses, they will behave like a shorter focal length lens and give you a wider angle of view.

My guess is that's what you saw in some of these so called "professional tests" if they were getting what appeared to be focal ranges as far off as 120-240mm when comparing the angle of view to other lenses at the same focal length settings.

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