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Outhouse Oct 25, 2011 9:06 PM

"All in one" Lens
I know that an all in one lens has limitations but they also have their place. When comparing the Sigma18-250, Tamron 18-270 and the Sony 18-250, which gets your nod?

lomitamike Oct 25, 2011 9:25 PM

The Sony, it's the only one of these lenses I've used and is good enough for me.

The Sigma is quite a bit bigger and the Tamron's extra reach of 270 is not going to make a difference.

I'm sure they all perform well.

TCav Oct 26, 2011 5:06 AM

The Sony 18-250 is the same as the old, discontinued, and considerably less expensive Tamron, and it has a much shorter warranty than the other two.

Both the Sigma and the Tamron have their own AF motors, so they're likely to focus faster.

The Sigma has optical image stabilization which you don't need.

The Sigma distorts least. The Sony has the most vignetting. They all have about the same amount of chromatic aberration, and none is particularly sharp.

None of them is as good as the Sony 18-55 kit lens paired with the $165 Tamron 70-300 Di LD.

JimC Oct 26, 2011 6:00 AM

I'd probably go with the Sony if you decide to get that type of lens. It's my understanding that the Sony has some differences compared to the older Tamron 18-250, including rounded aperture blades, different lens coatings and different AF gearing (less turns of the AF screw to go from close to distant with the Sony).

Another consideration is that Sony is including features like Shading Compensation (brightening the corners to reduce the effect of vignetting), CA Compensation (correct for Chromatic Aberrations) and Distortion Correction in their new A77; so that the effects of optical deficiencies are reduced in camera when shooting JPEG if desired.

Most current Sony model lenses should already have profiles built into the latest A77 firmware so that you can select Auto for the parameters you want to be corrected in camera when shooting JPEG. I'd expect to see these same types of features in future Sony models, too.

It's unclear how these features may work with third party lenses, as I have read that Sony may allow additional profiles with future firmware updates. However, how that part might work if Sony does decide to allow user installable profiles later is still "up in the air" at this point.

So, it's probably a better bet to stick with Sony brand lenses when practical, so that if you upgrade to a newer model later that has built in correction and want to take advantage of it, you'll have a supported lens.

TCav Oct 26, 2011 6:24 AM

Sony's lens compensation features only work for automatic compensation compliant lenses. (See page 180 of the A77 Instruction Manual.) Currently, the only automatic compensation compliant lens is the Sony 16-50/2.8 (which needs it), and only the A77 and A65 can do the compensation. It may be the wave of the future (or, more correctly, the wave of the present, since all other SLR manufacturers have been doing this for a while), but I don't think there's much chance that Sony will retrofit older lenses with the capability.

JimC Oct 26, 2011 6:58 AM

Those features don't rely on any features built into the lenses. They're based on profiles for a given lens, just like you see with software based correction tools in packages like Lightroom, Photoshop, DxO Optics Pro, etc. So, no "retrofit" of lenses is needed. It's just a matter of Sony developing a unique profile for each lens.

At product launch, support was already built in for the 18-250mm (it's even mentioned specifically in the A77 product brochure under the lens correction features), the 18-55mm, 55-200mm and new 16-50mm lenses; with Sony stating that more lenses would be added via firmware updates. I have not seen a list of supported lenses with the latest 1.3 firmware yet. But, some of the reviewers attending Sony's product launch events are under the impression that most current Sony models should be supported via firmware updates as new profiles are created.

TCav Oct 26, 2011 7:23 AM

Whether or not that's true, the fact remains that only the A77 and A65 do it, and that type of thing is always better done in post processing anyway.

JimC Oct 26, 2011 8:00 AM

The A77 and A65 for now (but I'd expect to see that feature in future models, too. ;-)

As for doing that kind of thing in post processing, you could debate the pros and cons of any feature related to image processing, and it depends on how good the in camera processing is. Chances are, it's better in camera if you're shooting JPEG. For example, if you look at's review of it, they noted no significant increase in noise when the Shading Reduction feature was used to brighten the corners. That implies that the processing is probably being done during the demosaic process where you'd have better control over NR, in a similar manner that third party products apply corrections at the raw level.

Shooting RAW (provided the raw converter of your choice has those types of features and lens profiles for the lenses you want to use), you may end up with similar results. But, not everyone wants to shoot RAW to try and squeeze the last bit of quality from their images; and having those types of features built into the camera's image processing can give JPEG shooters better images with less work in post processing.

lakensea Oct 26, 2011 11:55 AM


Originally Posted by TCav (Post 1262288)
The Sigma has optical image stabilization which you don't need.

Are you saying that the Sigma's optical stabilization has no effect with a Sony A65? I am about to order the camera and am going to order a 55-200 lens - either the Sigma, Tamron or Sony.

JimC Oct 26, 2011 12:13 PM

The Sony dSLR bodies have image stabilization built in. So, you can't use both the lens based stabilization and in body stabilization at the same time (or they would conflict with each other). You'd have to disable one or the other if you go with a stabilized lens.

Some of the tests I've seen show that the Sony in body stabilization outperforms the Sigma lens based stabilization anyway, at least for some lenses like the Sigma 50-200mm f/4-5.6 DC OS lens. Here's one post I made about that subject a while back:

So, from my perspective, there's really no need to go with a stabilized lens with a Sony body, as that adds size, weight and potential optical degradation (due to the additional moving lens elements needed for a lens based stabilization system).

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