I'm considering the newest Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO MACRO HSM II and comparing it against the older (but still for sale) Nikon AF 80-200mm F2.8 D ED.

These are roughly in the same price class, though the Sigma is a little less expensive. In Canada, the Sigma is available for $949, and the Nikon for $1029.

The Sigma has a 10-year Canadian warranty, the Nikon a 5-year Canadian warranty.

Neither has OS or VR, but adding VR puts both lenses out of my price range (and I don't need the stabilization for shooting sports).

The Nikon seems to be regarded as a better built lens, with better optics (but some reviews claim the optical quality of the Sigma approaches that of the Nikon so as not to be as much of a factor in the decision making process).

The Sigma has the HSM AF motor, while the Nikon is AF, but not AF-S (the AF-S model is no longer available new, and is considerably more expensive even used).

Reviews of the Nikon indicate that the AF speed depends on how well the camera body can drive it (ie. faster on a pro body than on a consumer body).

I would be using a D90 and wonder if the Sigma with its HSM would be significantly faster in auto-focus speed than the Nikon? And, whether this should be an issue to consider given that the intended us of the lens is for sports?

Are there other issues I should be considering?

I would love to hear people's experience with either lens as well as any recommendations.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I've considered the same range of lenses and am looking forward to hearing from someone with experience with both. Hopefully someone can shed some light on this. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 3, 2010 at 22:21

1 Answer 1


I have used both, and the Nikon does feel marginally faster when it comes to autofocus than the Sigma. However, if they are both within your budget, I'd go with the Nikon every day of the week. It's a little bit sharper, feels a little bit more professional, and is just that tiny bit nicer in every way.

Don't get me wrong; The Sigma is a mighty fine lens, and I have used it extensively, especially for concert photography, but if everything else is the same, and the extra 80 dollars or so doesn't make a difference to you - go with the Nikon.

Although, obviously, it'll be down to you as a photographer to make either lens shine :)

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your reply! What body were you using with the Nikon? I would have thought the Sigma would be faster with the HSM and the Nikon having to rely on the torque available from the in-body motor. \$\endgroup\$
    – seanmc
    Oct 5, 2010 at 21:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ I ended up buying the Sigma, and have already got some great Figure Skating shots with it. I was at a Photography and Digital Imaging show (Henry's) this weekend. I tried the Nikon, then went back to try it again the next day, and the AF on the lens died. I took that as Karma that I should keep the Sigma lens. \$\endgroup\$
    – seanmc
    Oct 18, 2010 at 2:40

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