Personal View site logo
Make sure to join PV on Telegram or Facebook! Perfect to keep up with community on your smartphone.
70-200mm Sigma 2.8 hsm II or Nikon 80mm-200mm
  • I hooked up my GH2 with Nikon 17-55 and it is great combo. Now looking for good tele zoom for gh2. Well, if I had money i would buy Nikon VR1 :) Within my budget first choice was Tamron 70-200 but there's one problem for video use - short focus path (only 80°). So I decided for Sigma 70-200 hsm II or Nikon 80-200, the price for used ones is similar. Any advice from actual owners (I have already read all reviews) of these two lenses is welcome...

  • 7 Replies sorted by
  • I have not used the Nikon 80-200 BUT beware that sigma 70-200 is varifocal; you will need to refocus after switching focal lengths. I don´t own the lens but I have had it for a tough test run and for the kind of work I used it for (closeups / tracking dancers on stage - all in all very difficult conditions) it looked good but was quite awkward to use. I had it in Alpha mount and the adapter aperture control was a bit too loose at first so I had to create a custom resistance (out of duct tape) to make the aperture stayed where I wanted it too. Operating the aperture from the adapter is not ideal, but workable.

    I mounted the lens with a follow focus for the job and that worked great. Lens support is rigid enough and the glass looks very good overall. As the construction is not ideal for video I´d advice to check if the Nikon zoom is parfocal.

  • ...I've been using the 17-55 and needs major refocusing with every adjustment of the zoom. It's quite sharp, but fidgety because of this. Maybe the OP hasn't noticed? Or doesn't zoom during shots?

    If you do zoom during shots, I've had very good luck with my 70-200 VR (ver 1). I'm not sure how the newer version compares, but it seems like the v1 is going for around the same as the 80-200 AFS these days. Definitely worth a look. I do find that it does soften up very early in the aperture range though.

    It's bitingly sharp wide open, but from about F5.6 to 22 (or so it seems--I'm guessing since there are no markings with the adapter and "G" lenses) it softens up quite a bit. And it hazes up with backlight when closed down. I'm not sure if this is a symptom of reflections with the cheap adapter I'm using, since I don't see this with used on a Nikon body. But it's quite obvious on my m43 cams.

  • I use my zooms mainly like primes while shooting, but my 17-55 with novoflex is in some degree parfocal but not in the whole zoom range (if you zoom from 17 to 35mm then it keeps focus very well, but if you zoom from 17 to 55 then you're out of focus). BTW I tried my friend's VR2 on my GH2 with Novoflex, and I didn't notice that softening you are talking about. The whole idea of this 'zoom-setup' is to speed up and simplify the shooting process, and at the same time maintain a similar prime-like quality. That's why I have Tokina 11-16, Nikon 17-55 and now it's time for good tele zoom. I also tried Tokina 50-135, it is good lens, sharp, but don't really like the look and IQ, Nikon is much better.

  • I have both 17-55 and Nikon 80-200 Afs, and use them as parfocal lenses. The 80-200 is quite heavy but is sharp and is perfect for shooting press conferences. And I use the same Novoflex adapter to correct exposure smoothly while shooting.

  • It's bitingly sharp wide open, but from about F5.6 to 22 (or so it seems--I'm guessing since there are no markings with the adapter and "G" lenses) it softens up quite a bit.

    @Micah it is diffraction, on m4/3 sensor unfortunately already from f/5.6 onwards visible, on the FF sensor diffraction begins to be visible by some f/11 onwards.

    @katig I have two Nikkors 80-200, both one-ring design: old Ai f/4 and last AF version before AF-S. Optically, they all perform about same on the m4/3 so if you don't badly need f/2.8 I would go for old good f/4 it weights just a third of bulky 2.8's and costs next to nothing, great lens -excellent IQ even when fully open.

  • @tetakpatak Oh, there is absolutely diffraction past 5.6 with all lenses on m43, however the extent to which this happens varies quite a bit between lens designs. In general, older lenses were designed to hold up much better when stopping down, and this is usually the case for macro lenses as well (it's expected that they'll be stopped down quite a bit). My experience with the 70-200 original V1 is that this effect is quite extreme. I don't notice the issue on FX or DX formats. And my native m43 lenses look much better stopped down than this 70-200. If I get around to it, I'll post some images to show what I see.

    @katig That's how I use my zooms as well. Zooming while rolling is an effect that is an acquired taste. It's not useful for most of what I do. But having the ability to change focal length in the middle of shooting with a simple twist of the ring and refocus is very useful!

  • @Micah Cool, post some crops please! I know what you mean, the point is that APS-C sensors are not only considerably bigger than μ4/3 sensors, but they also have much bigger pixel size. It is just physical limitation of the small μ4/3 sensor. My experience and little rule for μ4/3 is: two stops down. It is by well-lit objects good compromise for winning IQ by avoiding diffraction.