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Old May 27, 2009, 8:00 AM   #1
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Default Sigma or Tamron 70--200mm f/2.8 Lens?

I've been spoiled by the DA* 16-50mm and 50-135mm f/2.8 lenses I have for my K200D. I also have the DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8mm lens - and, frankly, it's a solid piece. But I'd like to extend my focal range with a fast aperture. And so, while I'm in no hurry, I've begun looking at the 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses from both Sigma and Tamron. So far, my early research seems to be giving me an impression that the Sigma is a bit better. Anyone have experience with either of these lenses? Ultimately, I'll want to go even longer - to 300mm at least - but fast glass in that range is expensive and I'll probably have to buy used. But in the 200mm range I can probably still swing a new lens. And, yes, I think I'd get more use out of a zoom - at least at focal lengths this long.
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Old May 27, 2009, 8:10 AM   #2
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By all accounts the Tamron is sharper. Build quality on Sigma is a bit better. But the HSM sigma is much faster to focus than the Tamron. If you're not doing sports or wildlife, focus speed won't be as much an issue so the Tamron, at a lower price point, may be the front runner.
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Old May 28, 2009, 10:59 PM   #3
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Hi Biro,

If I had to choose, and AF speed wasn't the most important factor, I'd probably go with the Tamron for weight (there's a significant difference) and compatibility with currently available AF TCs. Unfortunately, SDM (HSM) is not reliably supported even with TCs with PZ contacts. Reports have been that Sigma has no immediate plans to update their TCs with HSM support for the K mount, and Pentax has pulled the SDM TC from their most recent lens roadmap, so if you want the versatility of being able to use a TC with AF, you might have a wait. The Tamron is also quite a bit cheaper at MSRP.



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Old May 29, 2009, 9:35 AM   #4
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PZ,SDM,TCs,MSRP,HSM,IS,ICS,AF,MF,
no wonder people are intimidated
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Old May 29, 2009, 9:37 AM   #5
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Just kidding
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Old May 29, 2009, 8:53 PM   #6
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Yes, it appears the choice is ultimate image quality of the Tamron vs. the much faster/quieter focusing of the Sigma. I'm a bit of a generalist - I do shoot sports and action, but not all of the time. I'm now leaning a bit toward the Tamron - which I've been told zooms much more quickly on modern Pentax bodies (say, K10 and forward) than on Canon and Nikon bodies. While zoom noise might still be a factor with wildlife (and, again, I don't shoot wildlife all of the time), that better performance on a Pentax body might go a long way toward mitigating the issue of the screw-type focus. I appreciate the feedback. I'll probably decide by the end of the summer so additional input is welcome and appreciated.

Last edited by Biro; May 29, 2009 at 8:56 PM.
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Old May 30, 2009, 9:43 AM   #7
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I have no experience with the Tamron, but have had two copies of the Sigma (the first, an older non-HSM version, got stolen) and I can say nothing but good things about it. I used it for football last fall, and it performed admirably, although there continued to be some issues with low-light focusing, related primarily to the Pentax AF system, rather than the lens. Build quality is excellent and the IQ what you would expect from a premium lens.

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Old Jun 4, 2009, 5:07 PM   #8
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I decided to buy Sigma version, because its HSM. Mine got FF problem and have to send to Sigma for servicing (including the body Pentax K200D). They said, Sigma will put an add-on to the built-in program, so the program will recognize the adjustment of this lens. Pentax won't do. The problem has been solved and can spot in-focus faster & precisely. On my copy, I only complaint about its matte finish (ZEN?) which is easy to peel-out and leave mark of spot paint.

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Old Jun 4, 2009, 8:50 PM   #9
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I made the mistake of going into a camera store yesterday, to take a look at the Tamron, just to see the size and weight. They know me there and even though I told them it didn't which camera mount it was since I was looking at it for the size and weight, they brought out one in Pentax mount. I didn't have the camera with me (I'll go back when I actually have some money to buy it) so I didn't take any sample pictures. My initial impression is that it's very well made, but quite heavy and large (I was expecting that). I'll have to actually try it, but my first thought is that I might struggle with it. And if I found it difficult, I know that I'd not be able to manage the Sigma. So I think my choices would be either the Tamron or the Pentax DA*200, which is the lightest of the three. I don't really need the zoom. Choices, choices!
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