Alvaro Calix posted ...

Telephoto Lens Nikon 80-400mm or Sigma 50-500mm?

Telephoto Lens Nikon 80-400mm or Sigma 50-500mm?

Category: Lens Talk

Posted: 05-17-11 9:50 AM - Views: 6842

By: Alvaro Calix

Back to post list


Share this topic with your colleagues

Start of discussion

I'm having a hard time deciding which will be a better fit for my D7000, either the Nikon 80-400mm or the sigma 50-500mm.
I've found that they are pretty close price wise and specs are pretty similar.
So any suggestions are most welcome.

Thanks in advance!


Reply from Alvaro Calix on 09-9-11 9:06 PM

Thanks to all for your most valuable responses. I ended up purchasing the 80-400 and as of now, not disappointed of my buy.
I'm glad I received all the input.
Again, thanks!
Reply from Bob on 09-9-11 8:35 PM

I have the 70-300 VRII and it is excellent but I wanted a bit more reach so I tried a 1.4 TC (Tamron SP) with. It is workable but focus is iffy in anything but good light and some image degradation too. I considered both the lenses you are looking at but decided in the end for a 70-200 VRII with a TC20E III. All I can say is that is one slick combination. If that combo is in your budget range you could check that out too as another possibility.

Reply from Nilesh on 09-8-11 7:13 AM

I went through the same dilemma sometime back but settled for 80-400 - the reason being some of the quality issues that one has seen reported with Sigma in some of the forums. Having said that I find a lot of people leaning towards Sigma 50-500 or 150-500 (which is greater value for money) and apparently same IQ (check ). If one is confident of sigmas service back up it may be worth a try (I was not in India)
80-400mm has been one of the oldest VR lens of Nikon and various forums have been talking of an upgrade which still doesnt seem to be happening ! It is definitely slower (in low light one could have problems) and as poined out needs getting used to. 70-300mm with TC could also be a good option.
Reply from Philip Higgins on 09-7-11 12:03 PM

I have the Nikon 80-400 VR which has produced some excellent results over the years.
I did have the Sigma 50-500mm non stabilised but found I really missed the VR so I sold it.
I did how ever buy Sigma 150-500mm HSM O.S. lens which does have a couple of advantages over the Nikon 80-400 VR.
It offers a built in HSM motor extra 100mm on focal length and it also focuses closer given the extra 100mm you are able to fill the frame more when needed.
I suggest you find a dealer with both in stock and try them both out.
I'm sure you will not be disappointed with either.
Reply from Nikon Images on 06-3-11 9:33 AM

[url=]80-400 Samples[/url]
Reply from Vern on 06-2-11 2:58 PM

I have used the Nikon 80-400 VR for several years now and it remains one of my favorite lenses. A few of my friends have owned the Sigma 50-500 and two of them that I know of have had problems. One had to be completely overhauled by Sigma and the other one is unrepairable. The lens does not impress me.

Sure, the 80-400 VR would be better with the newer VR II and AF-S, but you can be sure that if and when the 80-400 is updated it is going to cost a lot more money. The 80-400 was the first lens with VR and so is considered a bit slower. But if one learns to use it appropriately it does a wonderful job. I have shot wildlife for some time and the lens works quite effectively for it. The important thing is to make sure the VR mechanism settles down before firing the shutter, a matter of just a few milliseconds. The other thing has to do with learning what camera AF settings work best with the lens. I have had a lot of practice at it by now and so don't find the lens to be that slow for me.

As I said, the 80-400 remains one of my favorite lenses and I recommend it to others.

Vern Rogers (fotabug)
Reply from C. Nobles on 06-2-11 3:31 AM


I started using the 80-400 a couple of months ago shooting birds in flight. I can't say I'm disappointed nor am I overly enthusiastic about it either. The lens is definitely a challenge to use. It takes practice and I'm still practicing. The auto focus is somewhat slow and the zoom ring isn't very smooth. (zoom ring is a bit too tight). But, I would say it is worth the +- $1,600 price tag.

Reply from Alvaro Calix on 05-17-11 10:21 AM

Will look into it.
Thanks! :-)
Reply from Nikon Images on 05-17-11 10:18 AM

There is hardly a price difference and the Nikon version has som excellent reviews. I know the Nikon has 3 ED lenses in it. I don't know about the sigma. More research is needed on my part. However, I would be leaning towards Nikon just because of what is know. 70-300 is another excellent choice.
Please login to post or reply