Skip to main content

3rd Party Zooms: Sigma

Lesson 27 from: Nikon Lenses: The Complete Guide

John Greengo

3rd Party Zooms: Sigma

Lesson 27 from: Nikon Lenses: The Complete Guide

John Greengo

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

27. 3rd Party Zooms: Sigma


Class Trailer



Nikon Lens Class Introduction


Nikon Lens Basics


Focal Length: Angle of View


Focal Length: Normal Lenses


Focal Length: Wide Angle Lenses


Focal Length: Telephoto Lens


Focal Length Rule of Thumb


Field of View


Aperture Basics


Equivalent Aperture


Depth of Field


Maximum Sharpness




Hyper Focal Distance


Nikon Mount Systems


Nikon Cine Lenses


Nikon Lens Design


Focusing and Autofocus with Nikon Lenses


Nikon Lens Vibration Reduction


Image Quality


Aperture Control and General Info


Nikon Standard Zoom Lenses


Nikon Super Zoom Lenses


Nikon Wide Angle Lenses


Nikon Telephoto Zoom Lenses


3rd Party Zooms Overview


3rd Party Zooms: Sigma


3rd Party Zooms: Tamron


3rd Party Zooms: Tokina




Nikon Prime Lens: Normal


Nikon Prime Lens: Wide Angle


Nikon Prime Lens: Ultra-Wide


Nikon Prime Lens: Short Telephoto


Nikon Prime Lens: Medium Telephoto


Nikon Prime Lens: Super Telephoto


3rd Party Primes: Sigma


3rd Party Primes: Zeiss


3rd Party Primes: Samyang


Lens Accessories: Filters


Lens Accessories: Lens Hood


Lens Accessories: Tripod Mount


Lens Accessories: Extension Tubes


Lens Accessories: Teleconverters


Macro Photography


Nikon Micro Lens Selection


Fisheye Lenses


Tilt Shift Photography Overview


Tilt Shift Lenses


Building a Nikon System


Making a Choice: Nikon Portrait Lenses


Making a Choice: Nikon Sport Lenses


Making a Choice: Nikon Landscape Lenses


Nikon Lens Systems


Lens Maintenance


Buying and Selling Lenses


Final Q&A


What's in the Frame


Lesson Info

3rd Party Zooms: Sigma

Let's first talk about sigma sigma has gone through a bit of a re brandied recently of their lenses and they have made a variety of lenses that have ranged from very low in to kind of intermediate level and I've always thought they're optics were pretty good I had a photo for many years framed twenty by thirty over my mantelpiece shot with the sigma zoom lands that was like a three hundred dollar lands and I was like don't nobody know what how sharp this lens is it was a really good product but what they've done recently is they're bringing out lenses in three categories their contemporary which is kind of their average standard lands there art siri's which tends to be really fast aperture very high quality very premium lenses and then their sport lenses which typically are longer focal length lenses but oftentimes have faster apertures on them as well. And so there seems to be certain overlaps that I don't completely understand but they brought out their first art lands and it's it's ...

like they brought in a whole new team of designers and engineers and they up their game so much is very impressive and everyone in the industry well except for maybe night gone who was kind of like all right, we got game on now we got sigmund really putting out something against nikon and so they've come up with some stuff that I can wholeheartedly endorse and say this is fantastic stuff now when we get into this, pay attention to whether it's dj or d c d c stands for compact frame sensor so if you have the crop frame sensor you want to kind of look for the d c if you have the full frame you're gonna want to dj so in the wide angle zoom category they have a twelve to twenty four which for quite a while was the lightest zoom lens that anyone could buy for anything out there. This is the whitest zoom lens that you can buy for a nikon camera if you said I have a full frame one assume this is the whitest one that you could get and this is before the art siri's and sports siri's and so it's a slightly different design it is a little bit chunky it's a little bit slow for five, two five six but what do you expect? This is a highly unusual rage. Sigma knows that they are not front most in your attention you're looking at nikon lenses and they have to scream a little bit louder and do something a little bit more attention getting to grab your attention and so that's where that twelve millimeter comes in and so the fourteen millimeter is the comparison the fourteen to twenty four it's a much better quality land's optics wise it's a lot more money but if you really had a need for wide angle this is a way to do it for noticeably less money than nikon I would prefer to shoot with a nikon it is bigger, heavier and more money so there's trade offs mister who's going to be best for the eighteen to thirty five now this lens made everyone go while because this was the fastest zoom lens and it is the fastest zoom lens on the market right now it is a one point eight aperture and nikon is not even close to that. Alright, the comparison with nikon is going to be there seventeen to fifty five two point eight and so here it's a real trade off between do you want the room a range of a seventeen to fifty five? Because the knock on this lands is it only goes two thirty five eighteen to thirty five is not a huge range it's the equivalent of a twenty nine two fifty six which is kind of a little bit of a head scratcher in the range because we're used to more range than this it's a perfect street photography rage because street photographers typically are shooting at twenty eight thirty five fifty and so this covers that and it's fast now the the importance of one point eight if you recall back in the aperture section equivalent aperture okay, so the equivalent aperture on this is equivalent to a two point eight lands and so if you shot with the twenty four to seventy lens and you said I really appreciated the shallow depth of field that I could get without lens, you'll be able to get the same shallow depth of field with this, albeit in a slightly shorter zoom rage. And so this is really, truly the equivalent and many more ways to twenty four to seventy two point eight full frame and so this the equivalent aperture is more of a depth of field of an f four lands and so that's what's significant about this as cool as it is, it is kind of bigot is kind of heavy. It is kind of pricey for what it is, but it does feel in a unique niche and this is part of their new art siri's, where we'll see the a at the very end of their letters down there, and they did it again. The twenty four to thirty five f two this's for the full frame cameras no one's ever had a zoom lands faster than two point eight and so the range twenty four to thirty five that's kind of boring that's justice most of the time we're talking about like sixteen to thirty five or twenty four to one twenties but this is enough to lens and they've been advertising this as three prime lenses in one because there are some photographers that, like shooting twenty four, twenty eight, thirty five very few people would have three prime lenses, but I could very well see a twenty four and thirty five. I've used to own a twenty four to thirty five, so I can understand that, but getting that range. So if you needed that that particular rage and you really valued something faster than ever two point eight this is the only lens on the market for it. I mean, the closest competition is going to be that seventeen to thirty five from nikon as to which one is more valuable. One gives you a faster aperture. One gives you a little bit more range and it really comes down. Do you utilize that seventeen to twenty for range? Or would you find more value in that f two aperture? And it depends on the shooting situations and how you like to shoot, but really high quality glass on here. Really? Good quality construction, beautiful big manual focusing rings, zooming rings really well designed top of the line stuff. So if you have a cropped frame camera, this allows you to get the widest possible image without going into the fisheye world, which is a separate subject, so for our crop frame users, it gets down to eight millimeters. Which, as we translate backup that's down around that twelve millimeter range that we were talking about on the other lands. And so a lot of times, sigma will make one lens for full frame, and they'll basically do the equivalent lands for the crop frame sensor. But we do have a very exposed front lands like we do in many of these wide angle lenses with no filter coverings. The ten to twenty four is the closest we get. You might be asking. Well, how much difference is there between eight and ten? At this point? Twenty percent difference is a big deal. Each millimeter, as we get down below twenty, becomes more and more significant, and so there is a fairly noticeable difference between the two. Now, do you need the eight millimeter that's? A whole other issue? I think, for most people, ten millimetres is fine. In most cases, I would probably recommend the nikon in this case, unless you specifically needed that really wide angle aspect of the eight millimeter standard zoom twenty four to one or five. This is a nice little range, good travel walk around range well made, uh, some people are complaining about the small focussing ring fairly small here, and it does use very large eighty two millimeter filters, this is there's a number of filters, we're going to get into that in the lens accessory section and eighty two's just tend to be a little bit more price. A little bit bigger, they're still pretty common. You confined them on dh, so they're not quite getting into the exotic rage, but they're a little bit on the hassle side, competing with the twenty four to one twenty. You know, on this one, I would probably want to stay with an icon. I don't know that there's a lot of strong pull to go to the sigma, the money thing, maybe, you know, if that was right at your budget level. Uh, quality wise, I don't think there's gonna be a big difference. I kind of liked extra range of an icon better resell value. This is a little bit older design from sigma. It doesn't look like they're art siri's we might see this upgraded into the art siri's at some point in the future, and this does not compete on par with a night cons quality level, but it blows it away in price levels. And so if you said you know what, I really would value a fast, normal zoom range, I don't need the v r when this isn't even the v r version, because that's more than two thousand dollars you know I just need something in a much more affordable price that's good basic quality this would get the job done at a much lower price level then nikon has available super zoom eighteen to three hundred and so this is part of their new contemporary seriously but new design on it which is nice and so this is the widest range that sigma has available and that's going to compare pretty closely with the nikon eighteen two, three hundred going to be a noticeable chuck cheaper in price and in this case as far as what the nikon is going to get you extra is basically in ai ko and printed on the lands I don't know that really optically it's getting you much more than that in the telephoto zoom category they have their own seventy two two hundred not part of their new art siri's but I suspect that this may be upgraded at some point in the future it is going to be a cheaper way to get into that seventy two two hundred two point eight range and so does so at a pretty significant savings and so that's the main reason to get this is it's not quite as good quality but much less in cost there's been a couple of lenses and the first one came out from tamron but sigma followed them up with this one fifty two six hundred millimeter range and it it almost feels like nikon is responding with that two hundred to five hundred that we talked about that very affordable two hundred, five hundred. This lens is unusual and unique in that I don't know that I've ever seen a manufacturer bring out the lens and say, here is this lands and there's another lands that's exactly like it, but better quality at a higher price because remember when we're designing the lands, we had all these compromises that we had to make? What if we I said no, we're going to build one lens for you and one lens for you and somebody's decided we need to have price we need to get the lands it sells for about a thousand bucks, and somebody else said let's build the best leads that we can build, and that ends up into different price categories. Now this is their contemporary, they're affordable one so it's about eleven hundred bucks and it's a good quality land's for somebody who's do a lot of outdoor wildlife motor sports shooting who doesn't have a ridiculous budget to spend but wants a lens that gets up to six hundred and khun still auto focus that six point three is pretty close to that five point six and so this competes with that new two hundred five hundred and it's pretty close and price, and it gets you that extra six hundred over the five hundred. He gets you the one fifty rather than two hundred. So it's a little better range on it now. Which one's better. Well, this one's cheaper. I know that. And it's got a little more range. And so I know it's going to appeal to certain people. But it's kind of interesting at all the little differences. And I'm not going to go down all the little differences between that one and this one here which looks nearly identical. But they put in a better, better quality glass it's not the same glass formula that goes in here even just like the tripod collar is much larger beef here. Better stability on this. And so for somebody who wanted that extra range and was willing to spend nearly double the money to improve the quality of everything in there lens this one runs closer to two thousand dollars. And so it's going to compete, I think optically with the nikon. Although I haven't had a chance to test these two at this time I would suspect it's going to compete optically with it. It might even be better has more rage. And from what I can tell, it looks like the construction quality of this. Might surpass the nikon just looking at the weights of the lens because that's some sort of indication of how many medals were used, what type of glass were used in there and so forth? And so all of these are going to be some very interesting good options for you birders who want to go out on the weekends, go down to the local park state park national park and photograph wildlife birds and things like that. These are some great autofocus options for our current crop of cameras. Now, for those who are into sports very interesting lenses the one twenty to three hundred two point eight there are very few lenses that zoom beyond two hundred and stay at two point eight, and so this looks like it's, a practically very interesting lens to compete against a three hundred two point eight because now is the athletes get closer to you, you can zoom back. The question is, is how much do you value that zoom? Because the big difference between these lenses is that the nikon lands forget about price for the moment, the nikon lands is a lot lighter weight. This is a fairly heavy lands, and so you're going to pay a weight price for being able to zoom now the nikon linds does cost more, and we'll probably focus a lot faster, so if you're into sports photography the three hundred if that focal length fits you right, it's going to be very good for versatility reasons. You know, I could see an equestrian photographer whose photographing kind of in dark arenas were horses are and they go around the back side and they come around the near side and they really valuable. They really value that zoom that's where lands like this would be incredibly useful. This is the land's everybody needs to buy. Alright, everybody needs this lands the three hundred, eight hundred it's their longest telephoto zoom lands. It competes a little bit, I guess with the eight hundred five six if you want to shoot birds that might fly closer to you. It's it's a big, big lands it's kind of fun to see these lenses and so, you know we don't need to talk to long about him. I'll wait. No. This is the land's everybody needs to buy. This is this is what you call a company. Brag item. This is simply made. I have never seen somebody using one of this out in the field. It's a two hundred, five hundred it's to me it's. Almost a joke because every once in a while you have some people, john I have a twenty four to seventy two point eight and I want two seven and I have a seventy two, two hundred two point eight what's the next lands I should buy. Well, if you want to zoom, that goes two point eight here's a two hundred five hundred the thing weighs. Look at this. Thirty five pounds. All right, so not only do you need a tripod, you need a really good tripod in order to put this on there. And it actually has its own it's the on ly lens that I know of that has its own batteries because it needs to power its own focusing motors, which are so heavy it has a doubler, comes with the dubler to make it into a four hundred thousand millimeter f five six lens it's it's ridiculous. You're not gonna be able to hand hold it. You're gonna have to work from heavy tripod and it's. I can't imagine that they've sold very many of these, but I've seen photos of some people using them but very hard to find out good places. The problem is that places where you really need that is just so hard to point it in the right direction. At the right time, I think the much more practical ends and if you need to justify an expensive lands. To a significant other on the budget wise. Go, honey, look, the two hundred and four hundred, two hundred, four hundred so cheap compared to this other lens that I was thinking about it's. A quarter of the price.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Nikon® Lenses Part 1
Nikon® Lenses Part 2
Nikon® Lenses Part 3
Nikon® Lenses Part 4
Field of View
Nikon® Lenses Part 5
Nikon® Lenses Part 6
Nikon® Lenses Part 7
Nikon® Lenses Part 8
Nikon® Lens Data

Ratings and Reviews


Outstanding class! This is a must own. You will refer back to this class many times during your photog career. John has put a ton of work into this class and it shows. Being able to download the slides and other Nikon glass info is wonderful. Even if you're not a Nikon shooter you will still gleam tons of information from this class, John covers in great detail the strength and weaknesses of each lens and when you might consider using it. I was expecting a good class, but this turned into an epic class. I watched multiple videos several times. The only bad thing I can say is I "had" to order a few more lenses! Thank you John Greengo for making a truly amazing class.

Anna Fennell

Wow! What a course! Very in depth, lots of valuable information. John instructs with great knowledge and integrity. I have taken other online courses, NOT from Creative Live (my bad!) and was left feeling like a monkey who had learned tricks without understanding or knowledge. Now I feel I have the confidence to move forward on my photographic journey securely knowing how lenses function, what to look for and what price range I can expect. Bravo John! I'd love to see a 2020 update video as an addendum.

Fusako Hara

Finally I have some sense of what lens do, know what I have, what I would like to have, what lens to use, and how I can get images that I see. Best part of this session is it was made so clear, simple, logical, and practical. I am glad that I purchased this product. Now, I am going to look for more from John Greengo so I can take better understanding and take better images. Thank You.

Student Work