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Old Jun 28, 2009, 8:36 AM   #1
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Default Sigma vs Tamron for 70-200 f2.8

I have been reading the specs and as many reviews as I can find on the above two lenses. I would like to hear testimonials fro users to help me decide.

There is a thread here that eludes to the fact that the Tamron may be a sharper lens. However, the Sigma unlike the Tamron (more expensive) has the SDM motor which provides quieter and faster focus.

Should I be thinking of sacrificing the wee bit of IQ for the SDM. I seem to think so but....I would like to know your thoughts on the matter since we all perform PP on our pictures anyway.

I am keen to hear your experiences and opinions.
TIA

Feroz

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Old Jun 28, 2009, 9:38 AM   #2
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Well, I'm a little confused. You say the Tamron has the SDM?
The Sigma has the HSM that is very nice, fast and quiet. after having that feature I wouldn't want one with out it! Any lens I buy in the future will have it. That said, I don't know anything about the new Tamron 70-200mm so I can't compare the two, I know I was happy with the Sigma.
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Old Jun 28, 2009, 10:19 AM   #3
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Thanks for catching the boo boo. The correction has been made and I appreciate your input.
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Old Jun 28, 2009, 2:04 PM   #4
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The most important question would be what do you want to use the lens for as they are both good options for differing conditions.

If you want to shoot sports then there is no choice it is the Sigma, for fast focus the Tamron is not going to do nearly so well. For general use, weddings, people shots etc, then I would rather sacrifice the speed and get the sharpness of the Tamron.

So the environment you want to work in will be very key.
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Old Jun 28, 2009, 3:55 PM   #5
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Hi Feroz,

First of all, I have neither of these lenses, but I have considered both of these lenses against each other, but I'm just going by specs and some personal experience and needs. I do own a Tokina 80-200/2.8 AT-X Pro AFII, so I do have some practical experience with this class of lens.

My personal choice would be the Tamron. These are my reasons. . .

Weight -- It's hard to tell, since the weight specs are questionable --- On Tamron's site, it states that the weight was measured without the removeable tripod mount, Sigma doesn't specify -- if this is important to you, you might be able to contact both companies and get the weight specifically with the hood and without the tripod ring (or with whatever configuration that you would anticipate using the lens the most). The Tamron seems to be considerably lighter, which can make a significant difference in real life use. I've used my Tokina for candids at events, and with an external flash, it's just too heavy for extended use -- I ended up getting a DA*50-135/2.8 for this purpose, and much prefer its size and weight, but I do have to get closer for comparable framing.

Warranty -- seems to be about the same Tamron touts their 6 year warranty -- Sigma is a little vague -- 1 yr International, 2 year extension if bought from an authorized dealer, and 3 yr extension for EX class lenses -- could be either 4 years or 6 depending on the exact wording. If warranty coverage makes a difference, you might want to get a definitive statement from Sigma.

Build quality -- I've got both Sigma EX and Tamron SP lenses -- probably pretty much a draw here, but I like the Tamron barrel finish better than the pretty rough Sigma EX's.

HSM vs screw drive AF -- For me, this is a choice of speed vs ultimate versatility -- and is a decisive difference for me -- There are currently no TCs that can be counted on to work with Pentax's SDM focusing system. I have a Tamron 1.4x AF PZ MC4 which has the PZ contacts, and allows actuation of the SDM motor in my DA*50-135, but none of my SDM capable bodies (K100DS, K10, K20) will lock focus reliably with this combo. Others have said that theirs work -- I have to make at least three attempts at focusing before any of my bodies will lock focus -- not acceptable for me. . . this could be different with Sigma's HSM, but I'd not be willing to gamble the purchase price of a reasonably expensive lens on this. . .

Realize that I'm something of a telephoto freak, so the ability to use TCs is a primary concern for me. If you are looking to mainly use this lens as is, then this aspect should not have any bearing in your decision. BTW, I'm mainly a birder, and AF speed IS an important consideration for me. . . but I'm willing to put up with slower AF performance to get more versatility from my lenses.

Lighter weight, lower cost, proven reliability of screw drive AF, reported better IQ, proven compatiblity with current TCs, and possibly a longer warranty vs faster, quieter focusing. . . not much of a contest for my needs. . .

Scott
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Old Jun 28, 2009, 6:26 PM   #6
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I'm another that doesn't have either lens, but seriously considered both (along with the DA*200 f2.8). I thought the biggest difference was weight and focusing systems. If I were shooting sports I'd most likely go with the Sigma. However, I don't and wouldn't particularly care about the faster focus (quieter would be nice, but not necessary). If I wanted a zoom, I'd opt for the Tamron because of the weight, which is huge for me. But I'd really like the DA*200 because it's lighter still, and I wouldn't necessarily need a zoom.
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Old Jun 28, 2009, 6:30 PM   #7
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Hey Scott,
That's the reason I sent my Sigma 70-200 back and got the Bigma. but, for what its worth, Sigma tech told me the new TC with a serial number starting with 500xxx is compatible with the HSM and Pentax body. the bad news is they are $300 at B&H
I'm going to miss the fast 2.8 lens but, like you I need the zoom range more.
PS. this is more of a question than an argument concerning weight.
The info I have is the Sigma weighs, 1390g (49.0 oz) and the Tamron,1330g (46.9 oz)
That's just 2.1 oz difference. is that enough to make a notable difference when hand holding?
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Old Jun 29, 2009, 12:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldwinger View Post


PS. this is more of a question than an argument concerning weight.
The info I have is the Sigma weighs, 1390g (49.0 oz) and the Tamron,1330g (46.9 oz)
That's just 2.1 oz difference. is that enough to make a notable difference when hand holding?

Hi GW,

It's been a while since I looked into these, but when they were first announced, (and even now on B&H's site) they list the Tamron at 1150g (2.5 lb) and the Sigma at 1370g (3 lbs). Looking on the Tamron site, the SP 70-200 is listed at 1150g but it's noted that this is without the tripod mount. My Sigma EX 300/2.8's short platform tripod ring weighs 138g (4.9 oz), and also fits the 70-200, so assuming the Tamron's is comparable, that would bring the weight difference down to something like 3 oz, so your figures are probably more correct, and this will minimize the difference in handling. Originally, I assumed the weight differential was largely due to the HSM motor, so I just accepted the figures.

Experience dictates that I don't believe published lens weight specs -- my FA* 300/2.8 is listed by Pentax at 2495g (@ 5.5 lbs), but with the standard protective front filter, the internal rear filter, and the hood, it actually tips the scales at 6 lbs 10 oz -- that's why I wrote that if weight is important, the OP should contact the mfgs to get real directly comparable weight specs.

I'm not really too weight sensitive for my birding setup since I'm usually tripod mounting the big glass, but after a few hours of constantly lifting the K20, 50-135, and the AF540 at my 40th HS reunion a while back, I was really getting shaky -- luckily the flash made this shake irrelevant, but the arm and shoulder fatigue and the elbow problems that I experienced after that made me much more conscious of weight in an event-type setting, and the Tokina 80-200 no longer is seen by me as a viable possibility for use as a candids lens. This getting old stuff is. . . well. . . getting old

Calling the weight thing even, I'd still choose the Tamron -- there'd just be one less reason. -- but that's just my very subjective perspective.

Scott
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Old Jun 29, 2009, 9:59 AM   #9
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Hello Everybody,

Thank You for all then information and I still need to do more digging.
I do know that weight is not so much of an issue to me as it might be for some.
What I need to find out is the difference in the performance between the SDM and non-SDM between the two brands.

I do know that if the Sigma did not have the SDM, I would probably have chosen the Tammy because of its overall performance and warranty etc. Perhaps I should try both and then make a selection. The reason I am looking at the 2.8 is so I can do available light photography; especially indoor. If I can focus reasonably fast without the lens hunting for focus in 2.8 indoor lighting, then I think my personal choice would be the Tammy.

Thank You all for all the words of wisdom.

Feroz
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Old Jun 29, 2009, 10:45 AM   #10
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Feroz, what type of indoor photography are you wanting to do? That could well have a bearing on what lens is best for you. If you're talking about indoor sports, f/2.8 is going to be stretching in a lot of light conditions, and a lot of sports users are willing to sacrifice the reach of 200mm to go even faster with a lens like the Pentax 77mm f/1.8. (I have not tried the Tamron 70-200, but I have the Sigma.)

Paul
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