Comments on Tamron and Sigma lenses

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by PM, Sep 9, 2005.

  1. PM

    PM Guest

    I have a Canon DSLR Rebel XT. I would like to buy a longer lens and have a
    few questions. I'm looking for the best lens in performance for less than
    $500. I'd like to have about the equivalent of the 10X zoom on my old
    Olympus UZ700.

    Would a 70-300 any brand be better than a 28-300?

    Is a comparable Tamron better than a Sigma?

    PM, Sep 9, 2005
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  2. PM

    Proconsul Guest

    I bought a Tamron 18-200mm lens produced for digital SLRs that is newly on
    the market. It is an outstanding lens - but you will need a tripod at longer
    focal lengths.

    The lens is sharp, exhibits great color balance and is functionally smooth
    and efficient. It is easily available almost anywhere for a street price
    well under $500. I paid less than $500 for mine at a retail photo store.
    Check the online sellers - you won't be sorry.

    I won't knock Sigmas, but I chose the Tamron over the Sigma. Others will
    surely disagree......:)

    Proconsul, Sep 9, 2005
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  3. PM

    eawckyegcy Guest

    Don't waste your money. Save another $700 or so and just get the Canon
    EF 70-200/2.8L or a 300/4L and be much happier.
    eawckyegcy, Sep 9, 2005
  4. PM

    birdman Guest

    I may be one of the few people who has actually used these lenses and
    compared them in general use with other lenses.
    For most users the new digital 18-200 zooms from Tamron and Sigma are very
    good performers. They are not as good as the best zooms with more restricted
    focal length ranges made by the camera makers: my Nikon 80-200 f2.8 is
    clearly a better performer at those focal lengths. The difference in size
    and weight of the two lenses are considerable and the compromises made in
    constructing these 18-200 dSLR lenses are pretty reasonable in practice.
    They are far better performers than the 28-200/300 range lenses made by
    camera manufacturers and others; those are generally among the worst lenses
    ever made by major manufacturers. I presume the smaller size of the digital
    sensor, compared to 35mm film, is the main reason for this improved
    I was surprised to see the high contrast and sharpness of these Sigma/Tamron
    lenses. It is really very good. Distortion is most prevalent at the very
    shortest end of the focal length and will likely not bother most users. It
    is easily corrected in CS2 if it is bothersome. The distortion at 18mm in
    these lenses is slightly more than the Nikon 18-70 and less or no worse than
    the Canon kit lenses. Chromatic aberration is lower in these lenses at 18mm
    than in the Canon digital zooms and as low, meaning almost negligible, as
    the Nikon 18-70.
    Distortion is not noticeable at the medium and longer focal lengths and
    vignetting is reasonably controlled even wide open at 18mm (not absent but
    very minimal) and disappears within a few f-stops.
    The reason I know this about these lenses is that I was so appalled
    (disgusted would be a better term) by the new Nikon 55-200 (possibly the
    worst Nikon branded lens of all time) that I let a salesman talking me into
    trying the Tamron and Sigma because of extended travelling plans where
    carrying and changing lenses would be impracticable. I have been pleasantly
    surprised by the Sigma 18-200 on my D70 (admittedly I shoot raw and sort of
    automatically correct distortion when I see it in Photoshop). I cannot blame
    the lens for my aethetic shortcomings. I have several hundred exposures
    taken in Asia over three weeks, under some extreme conditions, and none are
    uncacceptable because of inherent problems in the lens.I would never say the
    same about images taken with my 28-200.
    When I bought the 18-200 I really thought it would be something I would
    regret along the lines of the 28-200 that sits gathering dust somewhere. So
    far in comparing general use performance between the Sigma 18-200 and the
    Nikon 18-70 there is not a compelling reason to switch to the Nikon (I have
    a closetful of high end Nikon lenses and I am not comparing the Sigma to
    those lenses).
    birdman, Sep 9, 2005
  5. Generally, yes, since the 70-300 isn't as much of a zoom range.
    However, the 70-300s out there are built rather inexpensively. The
    28-300s have somewhat better construction and that might offset it.
    The question is this: will you be able to keep a little distance
    between you and your subject, such that the 70mm is acceptable?
    Roughly. Just be sure to compare across similar price ranges.
    The others are correct in pointing out that the 70-300s out there
    (Canon, Sigma, Tamron) are all kinda crappy. I have the Tamron 75-300
    and it's not hard to get pics that show its chromatic aberrations and
    slower focus. I guess if I had to choose among them the Sigma 70-300 DG
    is probably the best choice.
    A really great value is the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 DG ($840). It's
    excellent glass, and some copies are of similar quality as the Canon
    70-200 f/2.8L ($1150). As well, the Sigma 50-500 (the "Bigma") is
    another compelling value ($1000). Then you can save up a little more
    and get a 1.4x teleconverter and stretch it further.
    I'm currently saving for the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 since I have found that
    with my sports photography the f/2.8 aperture and better glass is
    important for so many reasons.

    David Geesaman, Sep 9, 2005
  6. The Tamron AF 28-300 just complemented a Nikon 18-70 on my D70. I've
    also got the Nikon 180/2.8 which I prefer for most telephoto-shooting,
    but I was looking for a lightweight telezoom for the times where the
    size and weight of the 180 would be too much.

    Regarding 70-300 to 28-300: I feel that having the extra 28-70 gets me
    those pictures that I might miss if I had chosen a 70-300. There's not
    always time to go for a lens-change. I considered an 18-200, but I also
    wanted the extra 100 at the top.

    Quality: Birdman's post (almost) says it all. Both Sigma and Tamron
    generally make good lenses. Both brands sometimes make a *really* good
    lens and sometimes a *really* bad one. I did some research reading
    tests, newsgroups, discussion-forums before going for the Tamron.

    What to consider: You might have a camera today with a smaller sensor,
    thus getting away with "Digital Lenses" that are smaller than lenses
    covering 35mm. The Tamron Di II-series is an example. But in a few
    years, you might want a new SLR, and I'm pretty sure that most SLR's
    will have a full size sensor. If you buy one of the "Digital Lenses"
    today, you can't use it with your next full size SLR. The Tamron 28-300
    is a Di-lens, which also covers the full size.
    Erik Wessel-Berg, Sep 9, 2005
  7. PM

    Vince_Ecosse Guest

    Just a quick thoughts...

    As PM, I've got a Rebel XT. I've tried on it an "old" (10 years old)
    Sigma 28-200. It was working only at wider aperture. Therefore, it is
    to take into account that the sigma/tamron lenses we buy today may not
    be fully compatible with a new body in some years.
    Therefore, if one is starting a lenses bag, it may be worth considering
    buying canon lenses. They are a bit more expensive, but once bought,
    you get it for life.
    Also, in the future, we may have much bigger sensor (full frame sensor
    as the 5D...). Then is it really smart to buy lenses optimized for
    smaller sensors whereas the one optimised for 35mm works well on
    Chosing a lense is a very tough choice....
    Vince_Ecosse, Sep 9, 2005
  8. Speaking of the Bigma, a more compelling value is $ 599.99 which is the
    price it's going for now at the camera shop I buy from that also is a huge
    eBay dealer - Cameta Camera. It's not the "DG" version ("DG" is the version
    with a different lens coating that suppossedly optimizes the lens for
    digital) but at that price it is a very attractive deal. It's just not
    something to carry around due to it's massive weight, I doubt the OP had
    something like this one in mind!
    Peter A. Stavrakoglou, Sep 9, 2005
  9. PM

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    Not for all of us. I have quite a few Nikon-F bodies, two N90s,
    and a D70. Cannon lenses would not serve any real purpose on those. :)

    However, if you will modify that to "worth considering buying
    the body maker's lenses", I could agree with that.
    The only one which I have which is tailored for the smaller
    sensor size is the 18-70mm "kit" lens. And it covers about the same
    range as my 28-105mm on a full frame, so I am pretty well covered there.
    (I also have a 20mm f2.8 and a 16mm f3.5 fisheye for use on that future
    camera with a full frame sensor -- or on the older film bodies.
    Agreed. And convincing yourself to pay new price for one is
    also tough -- especially if you are retired, and on a fixed income.

    DoN. Nichols, Sep 9, 2005
  10. Hm.. Did Canon (Nikon, Minolta, ...) say that all they
    future bodies will be compatible with today's lenses?
    Especially when there is more and more electronics inside
    (e.g. IS)? Yes, it is more probable, but sure?
    I don't mind 'a bit', but the lenses of equivalent optical
    quality often cost the double :( In other words, if I have
    to buy new lenses in a few years, financially it is still
    better (money now is more than money in the future, I can
    probably sell the old lenses for non-zero price, ...).
    And maybe I will want to switch the vendor anyway -
    who knows who will be making the camera that suits
    my preferences the best in 10 or 15 years?
    Yes, it is...

    Stanislav Meduna, Sep 9, 2005
  11. PM

    IMKen Guest

    I tried a couple Sigma lens and was very disappointed. One was a wide and
    one was a tel. Both were soft and both had poor color reproduction. I got
    rid of them and went with Nikon stuff.
    IMKen, Sep 10, 2005
  12. PM

    JPS Guest

    In message <R6sUe.701$>,
    It would be nice if you stated the exact lenses, instead of painting
    Sigma lenses with a wide brush.
    JPS, Sep 10, 2005
  13. Could have been "kit" lenses. My Sigma EX lenses are very good. The
    17-35mm EX is a bit soft, but not much. The 50mm, 105mm and 24-70mm are
    very, very good.
    Peter A. Stavrakoglou, Sep 10, 2005
  14. PM

    Vince_Ecosse Guest

    Good points, I did not thought about all of that. thanks!
    Vince_Ecosse, Sep 12, 2005
  15. PM

    no_name Guest

    Probably, and a 70-200 would be better still. And prime lenses should be
    best of all.
    In my experience, no.
    no_name, Sep 12, 2005
  16. PM

    Bob Guest

    I'm wondering what kind of DOF would you expect at 200mm and f 2.8 ? How far
    away do you normally shoot sports? My fastest lens is about f4 at that mm.

    Bob, Sep 13, 2005
  17. At 20m, that's about 1m of total DOF. Yes, DOF can be an issue at that
    aperture, but not having enough light really ruins the event.

    David Geesaman, Sep 13, 2005
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