Nikon 200-500 VS Sigma 150-600 Sport: Existent Earth Review
When multiple manufacturers brand similar lenses, in that location is ever a debate as to which one is better. This time around I took the Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 and the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Sport edition out for a spin. What improve place to test out these mega zooms than to accept it to an MLB game. Keep in mind this is only one real earth utilize for these lenses, in that location are many more but I chose to test them here.
Click Here to download 10 Sample RAW Files (188 megs) Nikon Full RES / Sigma Full RES . Yous have permission to use these images for personall use only and may share online with proper photo credit (Photo by FroKnowsPhoto.com)
Normally when I do
“Real World Reviews”
I bring a crew to film. In this case, being that it was an MLB ball park and game, I was not allowed to do any filming–only shooting. That’s why this time around you won’t see whatever actual game footage.
What camera torso did I choose to use for these tests? I chose to use two Nikon D4s’–one of which was borrowed from LensRentals.com. The reason I chose to use the best Nikon trunk out there currently was to give the lenses the best opportunity to perform well. I wanted the best focusing organisation, best frame rate, best reliability with speed and build to give the lenses the all-time chance possible at testing well.
Sure, I could have used a less-equipped camera trunk that more than people would take but this is non about the torso, information technology’s about the lenses.
Let’south accept a look at the lenses that went head-to-head. Both lenses were rented from LensRentals.com.
Nikon 200-500 f/five.half dozen $i,400:
Nikon surprised anybody when they announced this super zoom lens out of nowhere. It’s a huge range with a reasonable aperture and an affordable price.
Sigma 150-600 f/5-6.3 Sport $2,000:
Sigma created this mega zoom with a fairly reasonable aperture, but keep in heed it’s a variable aperture which means as y’all zoom, it volition shut down and you will lose light.
I felt that shooting a baseball game game would allow me to really push both of these lenses to their limits. I reached out to my friend who is the Phillies’ team photographer and asked if I could shoot the last home game of the flavor. He prepare me up with a pass, told me where I could sit and let me do what I needed to do. I must say, sitting then close to habitation plate for an MLB game was absolutely listen-blowing.
The Nikon lens clocks in around 4 lbs where the Sigma clocks in at over vi lbs. For this reason, I decided I could hand-concord the Nikon but I would put the Sigma on a monopod. Weight always becomes an event for some people and this is something you demand to keep in mind when you are deciding on which one of these lenses is for you.
The weight is non a deal billow, but information technology is overnice being able to hand-hold such a long lens without having your arms become too tired.
The Nikon has a much smoother zoom; I had an easier fourth dimension decision-making information technology. The Sigma on the other manus, felt tighter when trying to zoom. This meant I had to grip and turn harder in order to rail a moving discipline while zooming. Also, the Sigma is wider and longer so it takes longer to zoom from 150-600mm. Deal billow for the Sigma, non exactly, but something to proceed in heed.
Both of these lenses focused without an problems throughout the mean solar day. I didn’t feel like I was missing anything considering the lenses couldn’t go along up. They picked up the subjects when I needed it, they caused new focus points when I shifted, and they both did a fantastic job. Yes, the super expensive f/two.viii’south and f/4’s will focus quicker only I was perfectly fine with both during this shoot.
Again, I used the Nikon D4s to allow me to take the camera body out as a variable if there was an upshot. Depending on the camera body you utilize, you may find focus to exist sluggish but that’southward not the lens, it’south the trunk.
Both lenses tracked running subjects coming towards the camera and across the focus plain without result. This is i important aspect with lenses like this especially if you lot are shooting birds or sports. You lot desire to make sure y’all can focus rail beyond the obviously as well as capture sharp, in-focus, images while snapping off frame afterward frame with the motor-drive. No border to either lens in this category.
OS / VR:
Both of these lenses offer their ain grade of epitome stabilization. I left stabilization on the entire shoot for both lenses. They both functioned very well without issue. No edge again in this category.
Clarity / Sharpness:
Here is where you start to discover some small bug with the lenses. When you shoot with the college-terminate class, you discover how tight and sharp the focus is when you lot zoom in on images in the computer. I noticed that with both these lenses you never have that true tack sharpness.
Don’t go me wrong, they are not out of focus, they simply seem to not have the tightest sharpness when yous pixel peep the last paradigm. This is not a deal breaker equally yous tin’t fairly compare a $ane,400-$ii,000 lens with a $10-$12k i. Both lenses gave me solid keeper-after-keepers through the game. Though they are non as tack sharp every bit I want them to be, they are perfectly fine.
You may non take noticed it if I didn’t point it out. Of course yous can download sample RAW files to pixel peep and check out the differences for yourself. These lenses are matched closely all the fashion effectually. It ultimately comes down to personal preference when you are deciding which way you would similar to go. Are you okay with the Sigma sport weighing more and sometimes needing a monopod? Or are you okay with the Nikon being not as wide and not zooming equally far? Can yous handle the variable aperture vs. the fixed discontinuity?
It pretty much is a crap shoot when y’all are deciding which 1 of these lenses is best for you. Keep in mind, when you have a higher starting discontinuity similar f/5 or f/5.6, yous may need to bump your ISO to allow you to become a fast enough shutter speed to recoup for the loss of light.
During the baseball game y’all will notice that I am shooting at 1/2000th of a second and college, which in turn means I needed to bump my ISO at times to four,000. The reason I went with a higher shutter speed was to ameliorate freeze the activity on the field. There is always a cause-and-issue when it comes to your exposure triangle. If I want a faster shutter speed with this type of lens, I demand to crash-land the ISO. When you bump the ISO, you may introduce more noise or grain into your images.
The Nikon D4s handles 4000 ISO like a champ, but many of the consumer-terminate cameras may showtime to meet issues as you button the ISO higher. That is one of the downfalls to higher aperture lenses. But, with that said, yous’re not getting as big of a zoom range when it comes to the best-of-the-best pro lenses. Yous won’t see 300-600mm f/2.8’southward, you will only see fixed focal length pro lenses because they are such beasts.
There is always a tradeoff and you have to make up one’s mind which way you would like to go. In this case, the trade off is zoom and money. Exercise you want to spend $10k or $2k? One way, you get an insane lens with no zoom, and the other you get a very good lens with massive zoom.
Having such a large zoom range is amazing. Beingness able to reach out and take hold of images you may never accept been able to reach with other lenses feels great. The only way many people would be able to reach those lengths would be to ingather the image. When you start to crop the prototype, you start introducing more than artifacts into your images as you lot are taking abroad data and enlarging the pixels. Are you starting to encounter what’s going on hither? There is no right or wrong way to get. In the finish, at that place is always a tradeoff and yous have to decide which compromises are you willing to brand.
At the end of the day, I don’t recall you can go wrong with either of these 2 lenses that I tested. I like the Nikon for the stock-still aperture where I can simply set it and forget information technology at f/5.6 throughout the entire zoom range. Only, on the other manus, I dear that the Sigma gives me an extra 50mm wider and 100mm longer. Maybe that tradeoff is worth the variable aperture irresolute when I zoom.
The Sigma feels similar information technology’s built better and actually is a pro lens. However, the Nikon doesn’t feel cheap, it just doesn’t feel as “metally” and heavy as the Sigma. Just again, there is a $600 price difference. Sigma does offer a gimmicky version of the 150-600mm that is $1,000 and still offers the same zoom range but in a less pro-feeling shell. Over again though, there is still a $400 difference betwixt the Nikon and the Sigma Contemporary.
Which lens did I prefer the files from? I felt that I needed to exercise less piece of work with the Sigma files to make them pop. The files from the 200-500 Nikon seemed to accept a fiddling more than work while tweaking to get them to a point where I was happy with them. The Sigma just seems to have a nicer dissimilarity that I personally like with my images.
Both of these lenses were great in the end. I enjoyed shooting the game, switching back and along between the ii D4s bodies and two lenses. I never really felt similar I needed to shoot with one lens over the other. They both are very similarly rated in my mind that in the end yous accept to make up one’s mind on which factors check the boxes for you most and go from there.
Sigma Full Res Sample Images
Nikon Full Res Sample Images