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Old Mar 21, 2011, 11:35 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by jack55 View Post
Nikkor lenses are always considerably better than the after-market lenses such as Tamron or Sigma. Those are for those who don't want to spend the extra dollars for Nikkor. As usual, you get what you pay for.
A bit of a side note: I don't know about always as I don't have long experience of comparing the two hands on but I know that there are certain aftermarket lenses that are preferred by people over the Nikon equivalent. The primary one that comes to mind (pun intended) is the Sigma 50mm f/1.4. It is more expensive than the Nikon 50 1.4 and yet many people are purchasing the Sigma instead of the Nikon. Especially portrait shooters who want the superior bokeh. So it seems like it's not always so clear cut in every case. Although I think in this case you won't find ANY reviews that claim ANY third party glass is better when it comes to the 70-200 2.8!

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Old Mar 21, 2011, 11:37 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by jack55 View Post
Nikkor lenses are always considerably better than the after-market lenses such as Tamron or Sigma. Those are for those who don't want to spend the extra dollars for Nikkor. As usual, you get what you pay for.
Jack - a couple things come to mind:

First: be careful about your assessment that "nikkor lenses are always considerably better than the after-market lenses". As usual when you paint with too broad a brush you can make some mistakes. throw in terms like "always" and "considerably" and you run into problems.

For example, the 50mm 1.4 NIKKOR vs. Sigma. The sigma performs better than the Nikkor in several key areas:
http://front1.dxomark.com/index.php/...and2%29/Nikkor

The point is - every lens should be taken on a case-by-case basis.
Even then, the reality is most people live on a budget. While it's true to say a Nikon D300s significantly outperforms a D3100, it's also true that in many instances you won't notice much of a difference.

Now, the Nikon 70-200 2.8 VR II is $2399 at B&H. The Sigma non OS is $950 and the Sigma OS is $1399.

So, now we get into the discussion of "return on investment". We still don't know what the OP wants to use the lens for. So, is the VR II worth $1450 more than the sigma non-OS?

For example, I shoot Canon but I used a sigma 70-200 2.8 and Canon 70-200 2.8. The sigma was about 90% of the canon in terms of performance. But the price difference was about $400. So you're paying $400 to get the extra 10% of performance. So, in reality you have to look at how much extra you have to pay vs. what you're actually improving upon.
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Old Mar 21, 2011, 1:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jack55 View Post
Nikkor lenses are always considerably better than the after-market lenses such as Tamron or Sigma. Those are for those who don't want to spend the extra dollars for Nikkor. As usual, you get what you pay for.
I agree with John & Brad (didn't see their post in the 1st page...)
While it is true for the 70-200 I would not use "always" though

For one Sigma macro lenses generally surpass Nikon's albeit at a lower cost: http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showp...hp/product/180
and their 70mm f/2.8 macro is THE lens used to test full-frame dSLR bodies at most review sites!
Secondly Sigma recent 50mmm and 85mm f/1.4 lenses are not only better, but have better focusing mechanism as well...
Tamron and Sigma also make excellent long zooms that Nikon (or Canon) doesn't make: 200-500, 50-500, and 120-300 f/2.8. They've also made a 100-300 f/4 that used to be sharper than a Nikon's prime but is now discontinued.

-> Check my wildlife postings with the Bigma for example... I'll take it anyday over an 80-400 VR
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Last edited by NHL; Mar 21, 2011 at 1:32 PM.
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Old Mar 21, 2011, 2:35 PM   #14
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Hi guys, I'm looking at the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII for my next purchase...
If you have the budget, buy the Nikkor. It's a really good lens.

If not (budget is tight, and you are exploring alternatives to save a few bucks, which I do on a frequent basis), I'd give forum members some more info on what you want to shoot (subject types, etc) and the conditions you're going to be shooting in (broad daylight portraits, plays on stage, indoor sports, etc.) for better responses.
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Old Mar 21, 2011, 4:16 PM   #15
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Hi guys,

Thanks for all the responses and sorry for not being very clear on my first post.

Yes, its to shoot plays on stage and to explore the capabilities of high quality lenses as well. Not that my 70-300mm VR is bad, just want to see how much of a difference can a high end lens do

Like JohnG said, is the VR II worth $1450 more than the Sigma non-OS?
I am yet to find the disadvantages of not having OS

- Very informative responses there guys. Thanks again!
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Old Mar 21, 2011, 4:57 PM   #16
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You can often find the Nikkor 70-200mm used for significantly less than the new price.

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Old Mar 21, 2011, 5:01 PM   #17
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In this case the Tamron is your best bang for the buck - you're not moving and the stage definitely does not move and you won't need fast AF either, as the Tamron is sharper than the Sigma!

-> You may need a shutter speed fast enough to prevent any movement on stage so I don't believe VR/OS will be beneficial in this case...
Plus there's always the 'poor' man Image Stabilizer that JimC can attest to by shooting multi-frames and pick out the best!
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Last edited by NHL; Mar 21, 2011 at 5:12 PM.
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Old Mar 21, 2011, 5:05 PM   #18
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I'd tend to agree with NHL. The Tamron is sharper at most focal lengths and apertures compared to the [much] higher priced lenses, and for plays on stage, you don't really need faster Autofocus. The Tamron is also smaller and lighter than most competing lenses.

Now, having said that, I don't own a Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8, so my opinions are based on reviews I've seen for it. But, I do own more than one Tamron SP (Super Performance) lens, and there is something about them that is not apparent in reviews (color, contrast, etc.) that allows them to take some very nice images. The "character" of the images produced by Tamron's SP series lenses is very nice, based on images I've taken with the ones I own.
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Old Mar 21, 2011, 5:16 PM   #19
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I tend to agree with NHL on his assessment. BUT, I will add this. Plays are an area where VR may be beneficial. Unlike sports, where you need a high shutter speed and thus camera shake is not an issue, at plays you may decide to go with lower ISO and shoot around 1/200-1/250. In that range, image stabiliztion on a 200mm lens can be beneficial depending on how steady you are. Once you're up to 1/400 type shutter speeds then it really doesn't matter for a 200mm lens.

That's a tough call though. As NHL said, the Tamron is great bang-for-the-buck, but you'll probably want to get your shutter speeds up around 1/320 or so when shooting the plays so that means a bit higher ISO. It all depends on how well you can hand-hold such a lens and what your standards are. As an example, here's a shot at 200mm 1/200 w/o image stabilization from St. Patrick's mass:


I'm sure IS (I shoot Canon) might have helped when looking at 100% but it also get's a bit dodgy with human subjects because they're not completely still. So it's debatable how much blur in any photo is due to camera shake vs. movement.
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Old Mar 21, 2011, 7:00 PM   #20
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I think we are all on the same page here

Also it's worth noting to the poster that the usable shutter range available to him is pretty limited and for spending $2k+ on VR to find that he can't shoot at 1/100s and expect people not to move on stage... and not be blurry!
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