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Old Apr 20, 2005, 9:18 AM   #1
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Looking for information from the forum on the quality of Sigma lenses (in particular) vs Tamron for the istDS. I have had experience with Tamron and have been reasonably satisfied, but Sigma's range of choices seems much broader, if I either cannot find a Pentax equivalent or want a less expensive lens.
Are there any hidden "gotchas" with either lens used specifically on the istDS I need to worry about? Will I be giving up anything going to either brand vs Pentax?
"Enquiring minds want to know"
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Old Apr 20, 2005, 11:42 AM   #2
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if you purchase either brands high end glass that's what you are getting. the quality of both are comparible to the lenses of the top namebrand companies. sigma seems to carry 3 different lines. for instance a 70-300 for about 130, an APO for about $170 and then their best glass is going to cost 3 times that. do what you are doing now- research. i saw a site the other day that rated lens and their glass rated right along side of nikon. canon, etc. price wise also. you'll probably save a little $$ going w/them. on this site it rated image quality of 100mm macros and they all rated about 4.5. they also all cost $300-400. what i did discover was a macro that rated 3.8 which was the next higheat. a vivitar, phoenix, all made by cosina. horrible build but good optics for around $129. missed one on ebay the other day for BIN $25. just know what you are buying.
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Old Apr 20, 2005, 6:31 PM   #3
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Thanks, Robar! I know Tamron OEM's some of Nikon's mid-to high end glass, and, like I said, I've used their glass without complaint, but some reviews I've read lately indicate they may either be getting a little sloppy with quality control or just overwhelmed with the demand for their products.
At least 3 reviews I've read indicate significant issues at the edges with their new Di 18-200mm zoom, as an example. It might be a sample anomoly, or not!
As for Sigma, I have NO clue about them and am especially curious about users' experience with that brand simply because they appear to have about 2 1/2 times the amount of Digital products for Pentax as either Pentax OR Tamron (Combined!), based on cruising the new lens section of BHPhoto.com.
I'll stick with Pentax lenses as much as possible, simply for compatability, but - like everyone else without deep pockets- need to try to get the best "bang for the buck". So, back to my original question-anyone have hands on experience using either Tamron or Sigma on the *ist DS? And which lenses?
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Old Apr 20, 2005, 8:50 PM   #4
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Macdaddy,

I have 4 Tamron lenses, their 17-35 F2.8-4, their 28-75 F2.8, their 90 F2.8 Macro, and their 28-300 F3.5-6.3.

The first three are very fine and produce VERY high quality images. The 28-300 is good and can produce very good images if you use a tripod and stop down a little. The 6.3 can be a bit of a problem in shaded areas, and a good pod is a must.

Would I do it again the same way ... you bet ya, I'm very pleased with the images and with the quality.

As it stands now the only thing I wish is that there new 11-18 Zoom was in Pentax mount, I would buy it in a heartbeat.

I'm considering the purchase of their 18-200, as this is ONE lens I could put on the camera, and for MOST situations work.

Anytime you have a zoom with this range you give up something, but thats the way it is. If I do my job and stop down, and use a pod, I will get very good images.

Hope this helps.

PS. The other lens for long zoo shots and the like would be the Sigma 100-300 F4.0. I'm waiting to their till their new digital version comes out that they announced at PMA.

wll
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Old Apr 20, 2005, 9:15 PM   #5
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Thanks, Wil:
I, too had the 17-35mm Di in a Canon mount and the 28-300 (but the version just PRIOR to the Di one). I had no problems getting a good , consistent photo with the 17-35mm, but had a number of issues with the 28-300mm at or close to the 300mm end of its range, including getting it to focus. Even backing off just a bit (a tip from a friend with 38 years expreience), it would seem to endlessly hunt. I even had it replaced under warranty.
The new 18-200mm seems like an ideal lens, but i've seen several reviews that say it's way too soft at the 200mm end of its focal range. Seems unlikely that three different reviewers would have the same issue with this lens! And the new 11-18mm (?) would DEFINITELY be to die for if it comes in a Pentax mount! No one has it yet, so maybe when it finally arrives?
I STILL wonder if any forum member has had experience with or thoughts on the better range of Sigma lenses, though!
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