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Old Jul 5, 2011, 7:08 AM   #1
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Default Sigma 17-50 f2.8 OS HSM vs Tamron 17-50 f2.8 (Non - VC)

Hello evryone!! I am new to this forum & this is my first post.

I want to upgrade my kit lens for better sharpness and want a fast lens. So after reading a lot of reviews on the internet i have figured these 2 lenses.I am using a crop sensor body (Canon T2i).

I haven't considered canon lenses since they are way out of my budget. Heard a lot about tamron for its sharpness & quality. I was going for it when my friend told me about the recently launched sigma variant. Sigma has HSM & OS which would be very useful for compensating the handshake & would help in low light situations.

Is it worth while to go with Sigma 17-50 f2.8 (costs 669$) for OS & HSM ??

How much is difference in image quality as compared with tamron.

Please advice?
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Old Jul 5, 2011, 11:53 AM   #2
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The unstabilized (non-VC) Tamron 17-50/2.8 is better than the stabilized Sigma 17-50/2.8, which is better than the stabilized Tamron 17-50/2.8.

If you'll be going for a lot of long shutter speed shots, you might benefit more from the stabilization of the Sigma than the image quality of the Tamron.

The ideal solution, unfortunately, is the unstabilized Tamron on a stabilized body.
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Old Jul 5, 2011, 1:28 PM   #3
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I will be using the lens for landscape photography which i guess would require f5.6 or higher for more DOF. would the lack of IS affect image sharpness under cloudy conditions (i may nt use a tripod)?? also it will be used for clicking family photos , portraits etc. so indoor shooting will require a wide aperture f2.8 - f4

My question is does IS/OS play a critical role under a small focal range 17-50??

Some of the reviews say sigma offers near about same quality as Tamron non VC.
sorry for my buggy questions, but i dont want to regret later after making the purchase...
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Old Jul 5, 2011, 2:29 PM   #4
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I looked at both of these lens a couple of months ago. I liked the images from the Sigma better but the lack of a full time manual focus would drive me nuts (focus ring moves during AF). In the end niether won me over.
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Old Jul 5, 2011, 2:36 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by waoldrifleman View Post
I looked at both of these lens a couple of months ago. I liked the images from the Sigma better but the lack of a full time manual focus would drive me nuts (focus ring moves during AF). In the end niether won me over.

If not either of them, then which lens would you suggest as a good walkaround lens. This would be my upgrade to the kit lens.
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Old Jul 5, 2011, 5:00 PM   #6
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That depends on how you shoot and what focal length works for you as well as your budget. For me I kept wanting to have the wider angle and finally realized I never shot that wide. My walk around is the 24-105 F4L (it was a 28-135). If that focal length (17-50) is where you shoo the majority of the time then there are really three good ones htat I know of (and this from my isolated and not inclusive little catalog), the Tamaron non-VC, the Sigma and the Canon . The Canon is really nice, fast AF and great image qualiity, but very expensive, the other two are about equals and much cheaper. The Sigma "Feels" more substantial, but the Focus ring is a pain and Sigma Quality Control can leave a bit to be desired. The Tamaron has very good quality (build QC as well as image quality) and is the cheapest of the three.
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Old Jul 5, 2011, 6:34 PM   #7
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Hi slraddict

Welcome to the forums. I've read your posts and the various answers you've been given.

I want to comment on a few things, mainly your sentence where you wrote what you actually intend to use your lens for:
"I will be using the lens for landscape photography which i guess would require f5.6 or higher for more DOF. would the lack of IS affect image sharpness under cloudy conditions (i may nt use a tripod)?? also it will be used for clicking family photos , portraits etc. so indoor shooting will require a wide aperture f2.8 - f4 "

1. Yes, most landscape photography is taken between f8 - f16. Defraction limitation is sometimes over limited. Most of my landscape photos are taken with either my Sigma 10-20mm at between f7.1 to f11 (the ultra wide angle increases the depth of field), OR my Canon 15-85mm at f8 to f16).

2. Unless you have a very dark cloudy day, IS is not necessary for most landscapes. (Note I'm using the word 'most' very deliberately). Though IS can be helpful in some situations. However with your camera's good ISO capabilities, don't hesitate to use the mid range ISO (eg ISO 800-1600) for landscapes where necessary if you don't end up getting an IS lens. Noise reduction software can render a very good outcome. Of course the lower the ISO the cleaner the native image.

3. A tripod can be very important in some landscape situations (eg HDRs, or for night scenes). And for taking 'family photos' when no one else is around, a tripod can be very handy (or you can sometimes use indoor furniture, or an outdoor wall / table, etc). For macro photography (if you ever get in to this - a tripod will increase the scope (quality and quantity) of what you can do.

4. You mentioned that the Canon lens (I trust by that you mean the Canon 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM) is out of your price range. I can strongly recommend the Canon 15-85mm f3.5-5.6 IS USM lens as an alternative. It's just as sharp (some people say 'not quite' others say 'identical' while others say 'sharper' than their 17-55mm copy). It's cheaper than the Canon 17-55mm f2.8 lens. I picked up a new, sharp copy of the 15-85mm here in Australia for $800 from a reputable camera store that had a good deal going over a year ago. $800 (AUD) is not much more than $669 (US), the Aussie dollar is slightly stronger than the US$ at the moment, but traditionally US prices of DLSR camera gear is competitive.

5. The Canon 15-85mm is a great walk around lens. You will find the extra few mm on the wide end very useful for landscapes (2 mm makes a significant difference between 17mm and 15mm). The Canon 15-85mm gives you the advantage of more zoom at the teleend (can be helpful for some situations and portraits, I find the 50/55mm range too quite limiting). The Canon 15-85mm is much less prone to flare than the 17-55mm, and my copy is very sharp and contrasty corner to corner at all focal lengths. The IS and USM focus work wonderfully well. Well - that's my honest suggestion.

6. You also wrote that you will be looking 'to upgrade my kit lens for better sharpness and want a fast lens'. If you have the Canon 18-55mm IS kit lens, realise that this lens is actually already quite sharp (especially) stopped down. Even the best 'fast zoom lenses' won't be 'night and day' difference in a lot of situations. (A lot of photographic beauty and technical sharpness is about the photographer than just the 'lens').

7. I would suggest you thinking about getting a real fast lens, that is a f1.8 or faster prime for those indoor portrait shots. Because even f2.8 is not that fast (unless you have a stationery subject). Focussing indoors or in poor light can also be a challenge (for moving objects, eg children) unless you have a good USM / HSM lens to keep up.

Remember, good DSLR lenses will last a long time... and you will rarely regret waiting a bit longer, saving a bit more and getting what you 'really' need, rather than spending 50% on something that only does 30% of what you need.

At the end of the day I don't know exactly your style of photography, but maybe the Canon 15-85mm is a viable option (it will be a noticeable improvement to your kit lens in every way) - though the Canon 18-55mm IS is already a good and quite sharp lens. A truly fast (f1.8 or faster) prime will give you options for the future too that no zoom can give.

Please let us know what lens you decided on, and start sharing some photos! All the best.

Paul
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Old Jul 6, 2011, 5:47 AM   #8
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Thanks Paul for such a detailed & useful suggestions.

As far as 15-85 IS is concerned, i am looking for a separate lens for general purpose (17mm- ??mm) as i will purchase a wide-angle separately in future.

I am in india & here the prices for canon lenses are sky high.. a canon 15-85 IS will cost approx : 1130$ (converted from INR - US $). No doubt it is a very good walk-around lens.

For a budget of 1100$ , i can have both Tammy 17-50 & Tokina 11-16 which will serve my purpose well.

I am also looking for other options like getting the canon one from US through a friend or a relative. Which will save me quite a lot & i can have the advantage of canon in my budget.
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Old Jul 6, 2011, 7:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
The unstabilized (non-VC) Tamron 17-50/2.8 is better than the stabilized Sigma 17-50/2.8, which is better than the stabilized Tamron 17-50/2.8.
Thanks TCav.

I don't know about the OP, but you have convinced me. I ordered the
Tamron 17-50mm non-VC version today.
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Old Jul 6, 2011, 8:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corkpix View Post
Thanks TCav.

I don't know about the OP, but you have convinced me. I ordered the
Tamron 17-50mm non-VC version today.
It is a very good lens, and one of the few that are reasonably priced.
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