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

By Alvaro Calix

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!
:-)

Replies

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.

Bob
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 nikonians.org ). 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 Jorge Torralba on 06-3-11 9:33 AM
[url=http://nikonimages.com/standardgallery.php?lenstype=976&showall]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
cayro,

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.

chuckn
Reply from Alvaro Calix on 05-17-11 10:21 AM
Will look into it.
Thanks! :-)
Reply from Jorge Torralba 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.
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