I am a new Nikonian, although I have been reading this forum and the site overall for the past month or two.
I have had my D70, including 18-70mm lens and 70-300mm G lens for about a month. I know that opinion is divided on the 70-300 G lens, however I am having great fun using my D70 and both lenses, and I have taken some nice sharp pictures with both lenses. I would like your opinions on which of the aftermarket user guides - Thom Hogan's D70 guide, Dennis Curtin Shortcourses D70 guide and there is a third - although the name escapes me, is the best?
I would like a bright sharp lens that allows me to photograph sports(Mountain Biking, Cricket, Rugby), portraits, wildlife etc
While I would love to own Nikon VR glass, my budget doesn't accomodate this, given that it would cost almost double the price of the Sigma (here in South Africa)
I have read all the reviews I could get my hands on, on both of these lenses as well has getting personal opinions from a couple of friends who own the lenses mentioned. I have used the 70-200 on a friends Canon 10D and was very impressed.
My question is
Which would be a better option 1) The Sigma 70-200 with TeleConvertors (1.4x & 2x) or the Sigma 135-400?
#1. "RE: Your opinion on lenses and guide books" In response to Reply # 0
San Antonio, US
Welcome to the Nikonians Rick and may you enjoy your D70 for a long time.
Books: (these are my opinions) Thom Hogan's eBook is THE guide to the D70. That said, Peter iNova's DSLR:Nikon D70 is another eBook which is superb but approaches the use of the camera a bit differently. More from the artistic viewpoint, although filled with mind-boggling technical data. The Nikon D70 Magic Lantern Guide is a paperback which is worthy of reading.
Lenses: I know nothing about those lenses so I won't attempt to pass judgement. Using a converter you will lose some light which tends to favor the favor the faster lens (f2.8). The longer zoom of course will allow you to get the same results without the converter.
As for your two 'G' lenses. For the price they're both great lenses. Of course you can find better, but that can be said of almost any lens. Buy the best glass you can afford. I have seen the 70-300 G advertised for $100US and I have a problem with pundits who compare it to an $800 lens.
#2. "RE: Your opinion on lenses and guide books" In response to Reply # 1
Hi Rick and welcome.
I have not read any of the books you mention, or used any of the lenses you mention except for the 70-300 G which I used to own and sold on to my brother-in-law when I treated myself to the 80-400 VR
As Bew says, the 70-300 G is an excellent lens and superb value and I would say, don't let anyone else tell you otherwise. This pic was taken with the 70-300 at f5.6 and I don't think I could have achieved better with my 80-400 VR (which is a truly amazing lens)
Unfortunately, there is sometimes some ill-informed comment on this forum especially dismissive comments regarding lenses and I've found that much of the advice is coloured by the lenses those people own themselves. My advice is to read as many independent reviews as you can on the lenses you want (and those that compete with them), test the lenses if you can, look at actual pics taken with the lenses, then make up your own mind based on that. At the end of the day, it's the photo that counts!
Pete "Cameras don't take photographs, people do" - John Hedgecoe said that. "Expose for the highlights and let the shadows take care of themselves" - Ansel Adams said that. "The camera is only a tool. The best saw in the world won't make you a great carpenter" - I said that A few photos, here for a reason
#5. "RE: Your opinion on lenses and guide books" In response to Reply # 4
Cape Town, ZA
Is the rebate specific to the USA. I have not ever heard of any rebates here in South Africa. I have compared the pricing of the 70-200 Sigma and the 70-200VR Nikon here. The Nikon is roughly 2 to 2.5 times the price of the Sigma. I have not looked at the 80-200 Nikon, although from some of the postings I have read it looks nice. Not sure what the price would be here
Regardless of the rebate / not - equipment here in SA is expensive, there seem to be some middlemen who make exhorbitant markups, for example
I bought 2x 1Gb Sandisk Extreme Compact flash cards from B&H two weeks ago, including 3 business day international shipping via UPS and the currency conversion fee charged by the bank (US Dollars to SA rands), the 2 cards from B&H cost me less than the cost of a single 512Kb Sandisk Ultra II here in SA.
If I get lucky enough to take a trip to the US in the next month, I may consider it.
#7. "RE: Your opinion on lenses and guide books" In response to Reply # 0
Thom Hogan's book is the class of the lot, period!. . .unless you need a tutorial, then the "Short Course" might be what you need.
I tested the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 and the Nikon 70-200 f2.8 VR while spending the summer in Taiwan. Fortunately the shop owner let me mount both lenses and step into the street to take a few shots. I took shots at 70mm, 100mm, and 200mm at both f2.8 and f16 handheld. After the usual minor post-processing to make the images "presentable", I could not tell the difference in sharpness or overall image quality. I did think that maybe the Sigma had a bit better contrast but color fidelity on both was tremendous. Even though I have a VR lens and love it I bought the Sigma over the Nikon this time. I also bought both Sigma EX teleconverters. A good tripod image with the 1.4X converter is as sharp as a shot taken without it if the enlargement doesn't go too large. I was very impressed.
I passed on the Sigma 135-400 and bought the 170-500. No regrets.