Tamron or Sigma?

What you see is what you get, including photography, displays, and video equipment.

Moderators: Dposcorp, SpotTheCat

Tamron or Sigma?

Postposted on Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:04 am

I'm looking at getting a new 70-300 zoom lens as the one I have doesn't produce the clear images I would like it to when it's at full zoom. Most likely because it was made for film cameras and not digital. I know Sigma lenses are good, but I was reading a few reviews about Tamron lenses and they seem to be pretty good too. These are the 2 lenses I'm looking at getting....Sigma 70-300, Tamron 70-300.

To me both lenses look good as they both have lenses that prevent chromatic aberration which is what I'm looking for, and both lenses have the same aperture ratings. I just wanna know if I'm missing something that could make me regret buying either lens.
For those that fought for it, freedom has a taste that the protected will never know.
-Unknown Veteran
Hoser
Lord High Gerbil
 
Posts: 8296
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: In a lab playing with germs, or waking people up at 6am so I can stick a needle in them

Re: Tamron or Sigma?

Postposted on Fri Nov 14, 2008 10:02 am

If you've already got a 70-300ish lens and it's letting you down, quality-wise, I'd be somewhat wary of purchasing another lens in that class. The Sigma seems to be the standard recommendation as "decent for the money", but here you can see that this reviewer's copy on EOS mount failed pretty spectacularly at the long end. That tends to be what cheapish 70-300 f/4-f/5.6 lenses do. Their review of the Tamron in pentax mount was a bit better at the long end, but still not great (note that the raw numbers from test to test don't apply across mounts). According to them it's of the same optical design as an older Nikon that they have also reviewed here. It also falls down at the long end. I've got a similar Nikkor (only without the ED element, Thom suggests that the ED is better at the long end. Still not great though). I don't use it.

The main thing I'm saying is be somewhat wary of making incremental changes to solve problems that you have with your existing gear. Other than maybe the newest, most expensive examples, lenses in the 70-300 f/5.6 class are not good at their long end. They tend to vary from awful to adequate. f/5.6 is quite dark as well, and can make handholding a pain (although in-body anti-shake probably helps some here, its effectiveness is potentially reduced a bit as you go to longer focal lengths. Camera shake at 300mm on a crop body is a big issue and might be contributing t your current unsharp results.) and shooting moving subjects in dimmish light potentially troubling.

If you want good performance at 300mm, you probably need to look at higher-end stuff. Whether the options you're looking at are a noticeable step up and adequate is up to you. Maybe look into the "beercan" if you want a bit nicer telephoto zoom but don't want the cost or weight of f/2.8 glass and are ok with a telezoom that only goes to 210 or so.

What do you have now and what's your budget?
...
mattsteg
Gerbil God
 
Posts: 15752
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2001 6:00 pm
Location: Applauding the new/old variable width forums

Re: Tamron or Sigma?

Postposted on Fri Nov 14, 2008 10:08 am

ugh...mattsteg beat me to the punch. He's too quick.

I would agree with his post, and I forget what camera you are shooting so I can't make many other recommendations.
jobodaho
Graphmaster Gerbil
 
Posts: 1146
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2004 3:30 pm
Location: University of Nebraska Lincoln

Re: Tamron or Sigma?

Postposted on Fri Nov 14, 2008 10:21 am

mattsteg wrote:What do you have now and what's your budget?


I have the good ole Minolta 70-210 beercan. I guess I'll just have to wait for a bit and save a few more $$ to get a better lens. Looking at pics with newer lenses mine look pretty bad in comparison with respect to CA. If I do have to save more, I just might get something in a 70-500 lens.
For those that fought for it, freedom has a taste that the protected will never know.
-Unknown Veteran
Hoser
Lord High Gerbil
 
Posts: 8296
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: In a lab playing with germs, or waking people up at 6am so I can stick a needle in them

Re: Tamron or Sigma?

Postposted on Fri Nov 14, 2008 10:21 am

jobodaho wrote:I forget what camera you are shooting so I can't make many other recommendations.


A Sony Alpha D300.
For those that fought for it, freedom has a taste that the protected will never know.
-Unknown Veteran
Hoser
Lord High Gerbil
 
Posts: 8296
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: In a lab playing with germs, or waking people up at 6am so I can stick a needle in them

Re: Tamron or Sigma?

Postposted on Fri Nov 14, 2008 10:24 am

mattsteg wrote:(although in-body anti-shake probably helps some here, its effectiveness is potentially reduced a bit as you go to longer focal lengths. Camera shake at 300mm on a crop body is a big issue and might be contributing t your current unsharp results.)


I haven't used it on the tripod yet as I've been able to just set the camera body on something to steady it, but I'll try some pics with the tripod and see what difference it makes.
For those that fought for it, freedom has a taste that the protected will never know.
-Unknown Veteran
Hoser
Lord High Gerbil
 
Posts: 8296
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: In a lab playing with germs, or waking people up at 6am so I can stick a needle in them

Re: Tamron or Sigma?

Postposted on Fri Nov 14, 2008 10:28 am

Hoser wrote:
mattsteg wrote:What do you have now and what's your budget?


I have the good ole Minolta 70-210 beercan. I guess I'll just have to wait for a bit and save a few more $$ to get a better lens. Looking at pics with newer lenses mine look pretty bad in comparison with respect to CA. If I do have to save more, I just might get something in a 70-500 lens.
Given the still-strong following of the beercan, I suspect that you'd get worse performance in other areas from a replacement. Other than CA it still seems to have a good (if possibly exaggerated at times) reputation. CA can often be corrected and neither of the lenses you mentioned are immune to it.
...
mattsteg
Gerbil God
 
Posts: 15752
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2001 6:00 pm
Location: Applauding the new/old variable width forums

Re: Tamron or Sigma?

Postposted on Fri Nov 14, 2008 7:45 pm

Would you consider a 70-200mm f/2.8 as an upgrade?
JustAnEngineer
Gerbil God
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 15128
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: The Heart of Dixie

Re: Tamron or Sigma?

Postposted on Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:17 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:Would you consider a 70-200mm f/2.8 as an upgrade?

I know that's where I'd be looking, but like anything there are pluses and minuses to that choice.
...
mattsteg
Gerbil God
 
Posts: 15752
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2001 6:00 pm
Location: Applauding the new/old variable width forums

Re: Tamron or Sigma?

Postposted on Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:48 pm

I'm looking for something at least in the 300mm range. The reason being is that I want to get into some sports photography (specifically hockey), so I think I'm gonna have to bite the bullet and look at some of the good 100-500 zoom lenses. Looking at some of the Sigma lenses in that range I guess I'm gonna be about $700 lighter in the wallet.
For those that fought for it, freedom has a taste that the protected will never know.
-Unknown Veteran
Hoser
Lord High Gerbil
 
Posts: 8296
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: In a lab playing with germs, or waking people up at 6am so I can stick a needle in them

Re: Tamron or Sigma?

Postposted on Fri Nov 14, 2008 10:44 pm

Hoser wrote:I'm looking for something at least in the 300mm range. The reason being is that I want to get into some sports photography (specifically hockey), so I think I'm gonna have to bite the bullet and look at some of the good 100-500 zoom lenses. Looking at some of the Sigma lenses in that range I guess I'm gonna be about $700 lighter in the wallet.

Aperture is way more important. Are your hockey players going to be playing primarily outdoors on sunny days? If not, you need f/2.8 WAY more than you need 300mm, and anything that gets to 500mm for only $700 or so is probably going to be extremely unsuitable (and you don't need that much focal length anyway).
...
mattsteg
Gerbil God
 
Posts: 15752
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2001 6:00 pm
Location: Applauding the new/old variable width forums

Re: Tamron or Sigma?

Postposted on Fri Nov 14, 2008 10:52 pm

mattsteg wrote:Aperture is way more important. Are your hockey players going to be playing primarily outdoors on sunny days? If not, you need f/2.8 WAY more than you need 300mm, and anything that gets to 500mm for only $700 or so is probably going to be extremely unsuitable (and you don't need that much focal length anyway).


I've got permission from the local AHL team to take pics during practices, and a few actual games, so the pics will be in an arena mostly at ice level. The 500mm length would be more useful for that than the aperture would it not?
For those that fought for it, freedom has a taste that the protected will never know.
-Unknown Veteran
Hoser
Lord High Gerbil
 
Posts: 8296
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: In a lab playing with germs, or waking people up at 6am so I can stick a needle in them

Re: Tamron or Sigma?

Postposted on Fri Nov 14, 2008 10:59 pm

At ice level even 300mm is way overkill on a crop body unless you're trying to get close-ups of the players' facial hair :D. For indoor hockey arenas you'll want/need f/2.8 to freeze the action without using ridiculously high ISO values.
Q9400@3.2GHz | GA-P35-DS3L | 8GB DDR2-800 | MSI GTX 560 Ti | Lian Li PC-7B | Corsair 450VX | Dell 2005FPW
crazybus
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 2258
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2003 8:25 pm

Re: Tamron or Sigma?

Postposted on Sat Nov 15, 2008 10:16 am

Hoser wrote:
mattsteg wrote:Aperture is way more important. Are your hockey players going to be playing primarily outdoors on sunny days? If not, you need f/2.8 WAY more than you need 300mm, and anything that gets to 500mm for only $700 or so is probably going to be extremely unsuitable (and you don't need that much focal length anyway).


I've got permission from the local AHL team to take pics during practices, and a few actual games, so the pics will be in an arena mostly at ice level. The 500mm length would be more useful for that than the aperture would it not?

Even 300 would be unnecessary. f/2.8 would be pretty much essential. Faster would even be nice. Ice arenas aren't often lit particularly well. Being able to use shutter speeds 4x or more (those 500mm lenses you speak of are slower than f/5.6 at the end) faster or drop your ISO by 2 full stops is going to give better results, even if you need to crop to your composition.

I don't completely agree with this guy, but he has some OK points. On top of being a much better sports lens, an f/2.8 telezoom can be a really nice portrait lens and just be good in general. Letting in 4x as much light as f/5.6 glass and twice as much as your beercan goes a long way, as does the improved ability to limit depth of field. If you want a lens that's a step up over what you have and are OK with the weight and cost, a 70-200 f/2.8 is the way to go.
...
mattsteg
Gerbil God
 
Posts: 15752
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2001 6:00 pm
Location: Applauding the new/old variable width forums

Re: Tamron or Sigma?

Postposted on Sat Nov 15, 2008 10:40 pm

The 500mm length would be more useful for that than the aperture would it not?

The 500mm length would let you get extreme closeups and count the pores on players' noses, that's true, and if you were able to set off a flash-bang grenade at the exact instant of exposure you'd actually be able to see more than a dim representation of real life.

But Mattsteg's got it right; you've got some mad dashing around on the ice, spastic and unpredictable motion, and very poor lighting conditions for telephoto work. With the 500, you're going to have poor exposure or even worse blurring. The photos would be worthless. With a 200mm at f2.8, you won't have the option for extreme closeups, but you'll have sharp well-exposed images without awful noise.

If you think you can get good shots out of a 500mm f5.6, go to it man, and godspeed. I just think you'd be better off with a wide aperture.
SPOOFE
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
 
Posts: 3167
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 4:50 pm
Location: Woodland Hills, CA

Re: Tamron or Sigma?

Postposted on Sat Nov 15, 2008 11:41 pm

Used, fast, fixed focal lens? I'm not that up to date with available lenses in your mount, but are there auto focusing primes that might work better for his situation or are they all old manual focus lenses?
jobodaho
Graphmaster Gerbil
 
Posts: 1146
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2004 3:30 pm
Location: University of Nebraska Lincoln

Re: Tamron or Sigma?

Postposted on Sun Nov 16, 2008 3:54 am

jobodaho wrote:Used, fast, fixed focal lens? I'm not that up to date with available lenses in your mount, but are there auto focusing primes that might work better for his situation or are they all old manual focus lenses?
Do you mean something like the $1300 Sony SAL-135F18Z 135mm f/1.8, or are you thinking more along the lines of the $3000 Sigma 300mm f/2.8 EX DG? :o I was suggesting something like the $700 Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD or the $800 Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 II EX DG APO Macro HSM. I see a used Minolta 100mm f/2 lens for $600+ (on e-bay).
JustAnEngineer
Gerbil God
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 15128
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: The Heart of Dixie

Re: Tamron or Sigma?

Postposted on Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:12 am

Ok, I see what you guys are saying. I'm gonna try and see if I can snag a 75-200mm f2.8 Sigma lens.
For those that fought for it, freedom has a taste that the protected will never know.
-Unknown Veteran
Hoser
Lord High Gerbil
 
Posts: 8296
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: In a lab playing with germs, or waking people up at 6am so I can stick a needle in them

Re: Tamron or Sigma?

Postposted on Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:29 pm

Hoser wrote:Ok, I see what you guys are saying. I'm gonna try and see if I can snag a 75-200mm f2.8 Sigma lens.


If you really are looking at investing a serious amount of money in a lens, rent it first to give it a try. These are the guys I use. Unfortunately, these only carry Cannon and Nikon lenses. I'm certainly not the camera pro that mattsteg is, but I would certainly have to agree that 200mm is more than sufficient, especially on a crop body (as my D70S is). Here is an example. From a nephew's pee-wee hockey game.

Image

Ignore the pretty crappy quality of the image, it was taken from the stands, through netting, and with a really cheap Nikkor 55-200mm 4-5.6 DX lense. At the same time, take into consideration this was taken from the stands at the other end of the ice, right about the blue line specifically. That image was taken at 165mm, with a DX lense -- so no bonus for the crop.

I would certainly spring for a F2.8 lense before I would go for anything over 200mm for shooting hockey games, especially with a cropped body where you're going to get an extra 100mm due to the DX format sensor. Most of the photos I take at my nephew's hockey games are with an 18-70 DX lens. I have found I get better shots being down by the goal and the wider angle helps get all the action (goalie, puck handler, and the trailing player or incoming defensive player) better. At ice level, it is almost impossible to get a good shot of action at the far goal from around the near goal. The angles just don't work out well.

I'll go back to my comment about test driving the lenses. If you are looking at dropping $1500 on a lense, spending $100 to rent it for a week to ensure you are really happy with it seems like a good investment to me.

Just my $0.02.
--SS
SecretSquirrel
Gerbil Jedi
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1642
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: The Colony, TX (Dallas suburb)

Re: Tamron or Sigma?

Postposted on Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:51 pm

Not a bad shot at all. The lighting looks like it was at least somewhat decent to allow for ISO1600 f/5.3 1/400. Of course, f/2.8 glass would have let you shoot at ISO 400 and the same shutter speed, assuming you would get sufficient DoF @ f/2.8. The bigger aperture would defocus the net you're shooting through a bit as well. That would certainly make a difference in getting a clean, saturated image for larger presentation sizes. Hoser, shooting higher-level hockey, may or may not have better light, but might need more shutter speed too.

I made a quick adjustment of your shot - the original's low contrast might be making you underestimate it. IMO a higher contrast look where the net you're shooting through shows up in a bit of a vignette looks pretty cool. Could always back off for a more neutral/realistic look too, of course.
Image
Last edited by mattsteg on Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
...
mattsteg
Gerbil God
 
Posts: 15752
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2001 6:00 pm
Location: Applauding the new/old variable width forums

Re: Tamron or Sigma?

Postposted on Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:53 pm

The crop factor for the Sony is the same 1.5 as for Nikon, so your 165mm shot is comparable to what a 70-200mm lens could capture when mounted on an α300 camera. With 10 MP resolution, there's room to crop a bit more once the image is out of the camera.
JustAnEngineer
Gerbil God
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 15128
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: The Heart of Dixie

Re: Tamron or Sigma?

Postposted on Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:49 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:The crop factor for the Sony is the same 1.5 as for Nikon, so your 165mm shot is comparable to what a 70-200mm lens could capture when mounted on an α300 camera. With 10 MP resolution, there's room to crop a bit more once the image is out of the camera.


Yeah, your right. Nikon was honest with their DX line up and put the actual focal length in the specs, not the effective. So, that 165mm actual is an effective 247mm and other than the cheap lens quality, what you would get from the Sigma 70-200 at the same zoom. BTW, that Nikkor is/was $170 lens so cheap doesn't even begin to describe it.

--SS
SecretSquirrel
Gerbil Jedi
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1642
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: The Colony, TX (Dallas suburb)

Re: Tamron or Sigma?

Postposted on Mon Nov 17, 2008 6:00 am

I haven't seen any lenses that are labeled with "effective" focal lengths, SS.
JustAnEngineer
Gerbil God
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 15128
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: The Heart of Dixie

Re: Tamron or Sigma?

Postposted on Mon Nov 17, 2008 6:54 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:I haven't seen any lenses that are labeled with "effective" focal lengths, SS.


No, I think it is just the general confusion floating around. I went looking last night to make sure that no one was, and while the determination was "it is generally accepted that lenses are labeled with actual, not effective focal length," it took a bit of searching to verify that and the amount of confusing statements I found were pretty amazing. But, I expanded my knowledge, so all is good. :)

--SS
SecretSquirrel
Gerbil Jedi
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1642
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: The Colony, TX (Dallas suburb)

Re: Tamron or Sigma?

Postposted on Mon Nov 17, 2008 7:18 am

It's probaby best not to think about it very much, or else you'll wind up craving a $30,000 medium format setup.
JustAnEngineer
Gerbil God
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 15128
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: The Heart of Dixie

Re: Tamron or Sigma?

Postposted on Mon Nov 17, 2008 10:44 am

What about something with a maximum aperture of 3.5? I know it's not as good as 2.8, but it's gonna save me about $200 if I get something at that level. Do you think I would really see that big of a difference.

SecretSquirrel wrote:rent it first to give it a try

I'm gonna go to a couple of local camera shops and see if they'll let me rent one of the G series lenses from Sony. That way I can try out both aperture settings and see what works.
For those that fought for it, freedom has a taste that the protected will never know.
-Unknown Veteran
Hoser
Lord High Gerbil
 
Posts: 8296
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: In a lab playing with germs, or waking people up at 6am so I can stick a needle in them

Re: Tamron or Sigma?

Postposted on Mon Nov 17, 2008 11:13 am

Hoser wrote:What about something with a maximum aperture of 3.5? I know it's not as good as 2.8, but it's gonna save me about $200 if I get something at that level. Do you think I would really see that big of a difference.
What lens out there has a max aperture of 3.5 where it matters? 3.5-5.6 does not count, as it's only f/3.5 on the short end of the zoom. I've never seen a constant aperture f/3.5 zoom.
Hoser wrote:I'm gonna go to a couple of local camera shops and see if they'll let me rent one of the G series lenses from Sony. That way I can try out both aperture settings and see what works.
Well, I'd recommend that you make sure you have more than just "see
what works" as a plan. If you don't have a plan going in on how you'll utilize different settings available, then your test could well end up being quite suboptimal. To be honest, I'd say work with what you have for a bit. If CA's your main complaint that's going to be plenty manageable for now. It's often easy to correct in software, particularly if you shoot RAW, and you're not necessarily going to be stressing it hard in that way shooting hockey. Use what you have, and figure out where it's really letting you down, where it's adequate, and what you want out of any upgrade. Know what you want before you plunk down your cash, rather than chasing vague ideas with your money. If you're shooting and feel that doubling your shutter speed or halving your ISO setting will give you crisper, cleaner images than f/2.8 (or getting set up with strobes) is the way to go. If you're shooting and feel that you need/want more reach and can afford to cut your shutter speed in half or double your ISO to get it, then maybe a longer f/5.6 zoom is OK for you. Shoot until you know what settings work for you: What shutter speed do you need to stop hockey action? What ISO value does this mean that you have to use, shooting wide open? Is this acceptable or would reduced noise from lower ISO make the image better? Would a faster shutter speed do a better job of stopping action than just "adequate". Don't just run out and "see what works" with an expensive rental - have a good idea beforehand and use any rental to verify what you already believe.

Remember that f/2.8 means 4x faster shutter speed or 1/4 the ISO setting relative to f/5.6. It could mean going from ISO1600 to ISO400 or from 1/100 to 1/400. Those can really make the difference. f/2.8 is also a lot nicer for portraiture.
...
mattsteg
Gerbil God
 
Posts: 15752
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2001 6:00 pm
Location: Applauding the new/old variable width forums

Re: Tamron or Sigma?

Postposted on Tue Nov 18, 2008 12:57 pm

Another plot twist......

I picked up this Minolta 85mm lens from a local pawn shop for $40. Yup that's right.......$40. It seems this is a very good lens that goes for over $1000 on eBay. The capability of it doing f1.4 should be good enough for stopping the action in front of the net and allow good lighting. It had a few smudges on the lens, but a quick clean up and it looks almost as good as new. I'll give this a whirl tomorrow night at the rink.

edit - grammar
Last edited by Hoser on Tue Nov 18, 2008 1:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
For those that fought for it, freedom has a taste that the protected will never know.
-Unknown Veteran
Hoser
Lord High Gerbil
 
Posts: 8296
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: In a lab playing with germs, or waking people up at 6am so I can stick a needle in them

Re: Tamron or Sigma?

Postposted on Tue Nov 18, 2008 1:04 pm

Hoser wrote:Another plot twist......

I picked up this Minolta 85mm lens from a local pawn shop for $40. Yup that's right.......$40. It seems this is a very good lens that goes for aver $1000 on eBay. The capability of it doing f1.4 should be good enough for stopping the action in front of the net and allow good lighting. It had a few smudges on the lens, but a quick clean up and it looks almost as good as new. I'll give this a whirl tomorrow night at the rink.

Wow. That's a stellar deal. Should be awesome for portraiture as well.
...
mattsteg
Gerbil God
 
Posts: 15752
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2001 6:00 pm
Location: Applauding the new/old variable width forums

Re: Tamron or Sigma?

Postposted on Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:55 pm

I don't want to crap on my own thread, so here's how my first night at the rink went.
For those that fought for it, freedom has a taste that the protected will never know.
-Unknown Veteran
Hoser
Lord High Gerbil
 
Posts: 8296
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: In a lab playing with germs, or waking people up at 6am so I can stick a needle in them

Next

Return to Visual Haven

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests