Advice needed regarding 70-200 f2.8 lens

Hi all,

I have finally the budget to replace my kit 55-200 zoom lens with a better one, and I’d like to see if anyone here has some direct experience to share.

The usage of the lens will be mainly portraits and proxi-photo of flowers and insects, for which I’d want to achieve a shallow depth of field and a nice bokeh. My current camera is a Nikon D300 (12 MP APS-C).

Looking around at what is available on the market at a reasonable price, I ended up with two alternatives: the Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM or the Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2. Reviews don’t seem to give a clear winner, so it’s difficult to judge… the main advantage of the Sigma (at least for my goals) seems to be the higher magnification ratio (1:4.8 instead of 1:6.1).

Do you have any experience of those lenses? Any good advice?


I own the Tamron lens in Nikon F mount, and I really like it a lot. The color rendering is great, the zoom is internal, so when you zoom in the front element does not extend. The lens is well built.

I only have 2 complaints:

  1. This lens is heavy. Really heavy. And long ad well. On my D850 body, I could not find a holster style bag that would fit the lens attached to the body (except for the super huge bags meant to carry like a 500mm lens, but that is ridiculous).
  2. The included lens collar is plastic and quite flimsy. Tamron does not make a metal collar for this lens, but 3rd party collars are available. When shooting a slower shutter speed, on a tripod using the included collar about ~120mm and above, I get motion blur from the mirror flop. Shooting mirror up mode helps, but isn’t a real solution to me. I’ve just ordered the 3rd party collar as of yesterday.

This lens is a steal at ~1,200 USD.


Are camera stores open? You could do a trial with rentals.

I guess so… however, I am leaving in an area that is rather far away for big cities, so no big camera shops nearby :frowning: I will most likely get the lens from an internet shop like FNAC or Boulanger (I am living in France).

Similar combination here, the Tamron on a D810. Autofocus is sometimes a bit laggy/off when tracking otherwise it works well. For flowers or portraits it’s fine though. I’ve never used it for macros, I don’t think that would be especially practical in between the weight and the minimum focus distance of a meter.

One more thing to consider third party lenses seem to lose more of their value on the used market. At least around here you can sometimes find them for less than 50% of the new price.

I have tried on my old D600 and the newer D810 only the Nikon 70-200 f/2.8, but I can’t really give an assessment of the lens quality because the humongous size is such a negative point for me that everything else becomes secondary (to give you a perspective, I follow the path of the great Galen Rowell that used to shoot with low-end cameras and lenses – think Nikon Fm2 plus 70-150mm instead of Nikon F2-F3 of the era; when I go out for hikes with a light equipment I use a Fuji Xt2 with the plasticky 50-230mm xc lens…).

Anyway, back to Nikon: I would never get the 70-200 f/2.8 but my favourite choice would be the 70-200 f/4 which is way smaller, more practical and has great optics too. I know you’re deciding between those f/2.8 lenses but maybe you could consider also this great f4 zoom.