PL6E complete on Nikon 100-400 S Z vs Sigma 100-400 C

I have been using the Sigma 100-400 C lens, Nikon F mount, on all of my Nikon bodies, including current primary Z9 FTZII. I have used the Sigma lens with the Sigma TC-1401 (1.4x TC) with satisfactory results, and without the 1.4 TC with very good to excellent results after using PL, currently PL6E complete. I use this combination for hiking when I cannot easily transport a heavier (or physically larger) lens (such as hiking over a “trail” with boulders and streams to cross, or when using snowshoes). I have been told that the current Nikon 100-400 S Z mount lens is far superior in image quality. I use NEF, lossless compressed. Is there anyone who has used both lenses (preferably NEF with a Nikon Z7, Z7II, or Z9 in full sensor resolution) with PL6E DeepPRIME XD, and, if so, how do the images from these lenses compare after post?

Many lens characteristics (“defects”) are corrected by the DxO lens specific modules. I have done a few tests, but I have not used the two lenses side by side for extensive comparison after PL6E, and the basic NEF or JPEG images do not show the DxO corrections. Note that in USD, the Nikon lens is approximately four times the price of the Sigma, and Nikon pricing is MAP in the USA (a Nikon USA dealer is not allowed to sell below the Nikon USA set price or the dealer will not be allowed to sell Nikon USA items).

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Have you checked supported gear yet?

…and then it should be four times better – just saying

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The Nikon 100-400 S Z mount does not appear to be on the list. It has been shipping to the USA since February 2021 (and in the hands of NPS USA pre-order buyers for at least since then). Thus, one might assume that it was supported – but evidently not.

The question of “better” is an empirical issue depending upon the use of a piece of equipment. For now, clients have liked my submitted images from the Sigma 100-400 C. However, if the image (subjective) quality were to improve, along with the fraction of “keeper” images, and the improved “yield” could justify the investment, I would consider this, as the 100-400 is one of my workhorse lenses. For example, the Sigma 60-600 Sport Nikon F mount plus FTZII, and sometimes Sigma TC-1401, is my primary wildlife lens at this time, when I can carry it. I use it mostly handheld. I cannot routinely handhold a 600 4. I have compared image quality with a 600 4 and the Sigma 60-600 Sport. Assuming the “slower” lens characteristic does not cause an issue given the subject, this Sigma has performed very well. I just submitted some images from this lens to an editor with the reply “Beautiful bird shots! Love the pelicans.” This was post PL6E complete processing, my PL custom presets, starting from lossless compressed NEF from my Nikon Z9 (manual exposure, AF with subject detection, VR, auto ISO). If the Sigma 60-600 did not perform well but rather mostly produced images rejected either bu myself or, after submission, by a client, I would need to look for other tools.

My problem with the Nikon Z lenses is they are imo overpriced. At the beginning I also had some problems with sensor reflections to the (again imo) rather careless backside design of some lenses, resulting in massive color blobs (front light and some high contrasts were necessary).

From all cameras I tried so far, the (not very cheap) Nikon Z cameras are the worst in this aspect and caused me along with some handling quirks to leave the system. However, as you already invested in some bodies, I don’t want to talk you out of it but I saw this effects in a lot of other sample galleries of other Z lenses. For that reason I also find the price of the 100-400 not appropriate. Some photogs praise that Z-lens, I’m too happy with “your” Sigma 100-400 C in L-mount and the Tamron 100-400 in F-mount.

Also, DxO is riding a not very transparent road map as of when to support lenses, so

you might assume, but given the price of the Z-lens and the fact that some Z-lenses need heavy support by profiles (like the “line-bender” 14-30/4), I would wait with the 100-400 Z until it really is supported by DxO. I don’t know how much the profile is needed, I simply don’t care any longer about Z lenses.

Currently I’m tempted to replace my 150-600 Sigma Sports with the new 60-600 DG DN version. Which is only available for Sony E and Leica L mount. Another annoying fact, that Nikon is holding the users back from using other brands.

I had the Sigma 150-600 Sport, Nikon F mount. It was stolen along with other gear, including my D850. I replaced the 150-600 with the current F mount Sigma 60-600 Sport, currently on my Z9 FTZII. The 60-600 Sport F mount generates slightly better images compared to the 150-600 and has slightly better autofocus (having used both on a D850, that being my current backup body). For both, I replaced the Sigma foot with a Wimberley foot (the lens uses the same foot mounting pattern as a Canon lens, and is listed by Wimberley). I have no idea about the mirrorless version in terms of a Wimberley foot. I retired my equivaent Nikon lens for the Sigma 24-70 2.8 Art F mount, and have compared the images on my Z9 FTZII with some tests from a Nikon 24-70 2,8 S Z mount. I could see no significant differences in image quality nor in AF “speed”.

I also had the Sport for F-mount. It is/was front-heavy and the zoom-ring was strongly damped. The new 150-600 DG DN has 2 strengths of damping and is a bit better balanced. Three years ago, I believe, I could test the 60-600 for Nikon on a Sigma Day and I liked the bigger zoom range, but was a bit disappointed by the IQ on the wide end. But the 1:2.9 scale, the two instead of only focus limiter, the dock and the foot with arca dovetail made me think a little while if I replace the Tamron 150-600 G2 with the 60-600. Which btw also copied lots of features of the Sigma and additionally a zoom ring brake.

What I don’t like on Nikon zooms/teles is the focus limiter: usually only from 3, 5 or 10 m (or another mid-range distance) to ∞. I think the 100-400 is no exception? No, just checked: one switch for 3 m to ∞. The also interesting range from 0.75 to 3 m is not covered. So for what they’re giving it such a close minimal distance (btw. it’s 0.45 m on the new 60-600 DG DN @ 200 mm), if I need to used the FULL AF range?

Thanks for bringing the Wimberley foot into discussion.I also replaced the standard foot (too short to carry +4 kgs (lens + D850 with grip and L-plate), but with a genuine Sigma foot. Sigma makes their dovetails a bit smaller so I don’t have to mill 0.5-0.7 mm down to make them fit in some quick release clamps. Wimberley is seriously cheaper and very versatile, it appears.

Never had to do it with any camera gear yet, though they’ve been many other occasions when I’ve had to engineer a product purportedly fit for purpose. Absolutely does my nut in, puts me in a bad mood for days

Yes, sometimes it’s crazy to see a clever product is falling short of small details. I also get first a bad mood, complaining about without how little effort a better usability can be realized. But when I succeed, I’m also a bit proud of the result :blush:

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These are the clamps. Before I had Manfrotto PL200 and 394 and I often was happy, when I could just the camera snap in the clamp and afterwards fix it with a lever. That’s what kept me long time away from Arca dovetail systems.

I found these very good, have one on a BlackRapid camera strap to quickly take off cameras or bird lenses (not very much now). Been used for years and has adjustment to allow for different plats

I only have the one tripod, with a small light APS-C camera a travel model is fine for me, but it’s Manfrotto - I buy European when I can. A Befree Carbon with the clip legs, not the twist ones. I use the peak design capture clip with the Manfrotto configuration and it fits fine