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Old May 6, 2010, 11:57 PM   #1
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Default Opinion on Sigma and Tamron lenses?

I'm looking specifically at the

1. Sigma 70-300 DG Macro
2. Sigma 70-300 DG OS
3. Tamron AF 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 LD
4. Tamron AF 70-300mm F4-5.6 Di LD Macro
5. TAMRON AF18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD Macro



How would these compare to the Pentax smc 55-300 DA?

If anyone has examples with their own sigma or tamron lenses i'd love to see some of your pics taken with these lenses.

What is the general consensus on sigma and tamron lenses?

Last edited by shubonker; May 7, 2010 at 12:27 AM.
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Old May 7, 2010, 12:27 AM   #2
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Hi shubonker,

I'm afraid I can only relay what I've heard as I don't own any of these particular models. The opinions I've read are pretty consistent though, so I believe them.

1. Sigma 70-300 DG Macro. A good consumer zoom. The basic model has been around for quite a long time, optimized for digital (the DG part) about 4-5 years ago. The word was that the Macro version and the DG Macro were noticeably better than the pre-Macro model.

2. Sigma 70-300 DG OS. Probably too new to know anything. OS is redundant on Pentax because of the in-body SR, though it might or might not be more effective. The price will be considerably higher.

3. Tamron AF 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 LD
4. Tamron AF 70-300mm F4-5.6 Di LD Macro. The 70-300 was always considered the better of the two lenses. A bit sharper than the comparable Sigma at 300mm, but controls Chromatic Aberrations and Purple Fringing less effectively in high contrast situations. Usually a lot of lens performance for the money. I have a pre- Macro version of this lens, and it's pretty good -- lightweight, reasonably sharp, and inexpensive.

From what I've seen and heard from users, the Pentax DA 55-300 is the best of the consumer (slower than f4 at 300mm) zooms available.AFAIK, the only currently available lenses that are considered better are the DA* 300 f4 and the Sigma EX100-300 f4, and the Sigma EX 300 f2.8. All are professional quality lenses and the f4s sell for over $1000, the f2.8 sells for $3200.

I'm sure some owners of the lenses you mentioned will chime in. . . give them a little time.

Scott
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Old May 7, 2010, 12:34 AM   #3
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Both Sigma and Tamron make some excellent lenses, I have 4 in total. The best quality Tamron lenses have the "SP AF Di' designation and the Sigma 'DC' in their names.Those are their highest quality 'pro' lenses. Their other lenses are usually still very good value for money in comparison to usually more expensive Pentax glass.

From those listed above I have #4 - the Tamron 70-300 Macro. It is capable of some very nice shots indeed - but there was a thread here recently comparing it with the Pentax 55-300 and the Pentax is a clear winner in terms of both sharpness and lower purple fringing in high contrast situations (no problem with the Tamron otherwise). I also have the older Pentax 80-320 sitting in a drawer awaiting sale as the Tamron is clearly better !

You should look closely at Pentax lenses no longer in production as there are some stars there too and they may be better value than a new lens especially if buying from a reputable source (Adorama, Keh, B&H or a very respected poster on a forum or respected seller on EBay) and wanting to save money for now.

There are a number of lens-testing websites that give reports & opinions on each lens. Google "review of X lens, brand" to find them.

Good luck !

Last edited by Frogfish; May 7, 2010 at 12:53 AM.
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Old May 7, 2010, 1:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frogfish View Post
Both Sigma and Tamron make some excellent lenses, I have 4 in total. The best quality Tamron lenses have the "SP AF Di' designation and the Sigma 'DC' in their names.Those are their highest quality 'pro' lenses. Their other lenses are usually still very good value for money in comparison to usually more expensive Pentax glass.
Actually, the Sigma "DC" lenses are the designation for "Digital Camera", or in other words, for APS-C sensors, not Full Frame.

"DG" refers to Sigma lenses with extra coatings on rear elements to be used with Digital SLRs. But these are also Full Frame lenses.

"EX" is the Pro line of Sigma lenses, and these are generally very, very good.


I have the following
1. Sigma 70-300 f/4-5.6 DG Macro
5. TAMRON AF18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD Macro

And also:
Sigma AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG macro

The two Sigma 70-300mm lenses are only average performers. The APO lens is better than the non APO. The APO is very sharp in the middle, but soft at the edges at 300mm.

The Tamron 18-200mm has a big range of zoom, with the associated compromises. At 18mm, the edges a very soft, and it has a fair bit of CA
at the short and long end, but not bad in the middle.
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Old May 7, 2010, 1:17 AM   #5
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Sorry my mistake DNAS - yes, quite correct, it is the EX designation for Sigma's best lenses.
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Old May 7, 2010, 2:15 AM   #6
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Got Sigma's and Tamrons and only one Pentax lens.

I'm happy with the tamron 18-200, and find it a great lens.

On the other hand the Tamron AF 70-300mm F4-5.6 Di LD Macro isn't in that list. The results at 200-300 give a lot of Chromatic Aberrations so much that most shots become unusable (for me).
For that reason I got me a sigma ex f4 100-300 but that is an unfair comparison, price is 8x that of the tam70-300. Might be that I've got a bad version, although I had it send in after a few months and ...

One thing you don't speak of is the reason why you want the lens. If it is to get some bird shots I would go for the range up to 300, if it is as a general walk around lens i would go for the 18-200.

hope to have helped and not made it harder

Ronny
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Old May 7, 2010, 3:54 AM   #7
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I have the Sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro lens, and it's really nice, as others have said though, not the sharpest at the edges. Also manual focus on it is hit and miss for macro work as it's pretty loose and you can get lens creep.
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Old May 7, 2010, 7:27 AM   #8
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Of the group of lenses list, I own only the Tamron 70-300mm Di LD Macro. It's one of my handiest lenses for general purpose shooting, and wildlife when I don't want to take the big zoom with me for weight concerns. Most of tis best features have already been mentioned, so I won't repeat them.

In general, I like both Sigma and Tamron. The only other Tamron I own is the 28-75mm Di LD f/2.8 Macro, one of my most-used lenses, particularly on my K20d. Other Sigmas I own are all in the EX DG category.....
18-50mm f/2.8
28mm f/1.8
50-500mm f/5.6-6.7 (Bigma)

Paul
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Old May 7, 2010, 8:19 AM   #9
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Here is the thread that Frogfish was referring to, started out as a comparison of the Tamron 70-300 Di LD vs Pentax 80-320, but I ended up injecting my own test shooting with my Tamron 70-300 Di LD vs my newly acquired Pentax DA 55-300.

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pe...-80-320mm.html
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Old May 8, 2010, 5:53 PM   #10
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I have both the Tamron 70-300 LD Macro and the Pentax DA 55-300, and I like them both, having posted many well received photos on these pages. My preference would be for bird photography alone, the Pentax, and for situations in which there might be a need for closeups, the Tamron. The Pentax focuses down to 5.6 feet, and the Tamron to 3.1 in macro mode, with a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:2 at 300mm. The lens performs quite well in that range, and provides the unequaled breadth of macro coverage from 180 to 300mm, and gives great working distance for skittish, dangerous, or unreachable subjects. It also has done well for birds (my avatar is one example). If you have need for both ranges, either get the Tamron alone or both, as they are not the costliest of lenses. If you are planning on larger prints (or severe cropping), the Pentax might be the better of the two, but for most internet posting, there is not a lot of difference. Of course, for critical specialist use, neither of these would equal one of the 300mm primes, but that is another story.
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