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06-06-2010, 04:54 PM   #1
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Sample Images from Sigma 80-200mm 2.8 vs. Tamron 70-300mm 4-5.6

I'm sure I'm not the only one trying to decide whether it's worth $800 - $1000 extra for the Sigma. I hope my "trial run" helps others decide how much to budget for a good zoom option.

I paid something like $130 for my Tamron 70-300mm 4-5.6 on sale last year and have always been about 80% happy with its performance. The reach is great, the AF is spot on, and in perfectly overcast light, the lens performs very well.

Knocks? Its images don't necessarily "clean up" well in post-processing. Meaning, if you just want to give it a quick adjustment and run with it, you're fine. If you'd like to crop significantly or need to fix its unfortunate purple fringing, you'll find a significant loss of IQ.

So, knowing the limitations, I sprung for a rental Sigma 80-200mm 2.8 for The Memorial Tournament Skins Game last week. GREAT decision overall! Even though the 200 doesn't get you as far as the 300 while composing in-camera, the resulting images are far more receptive to cropping. This more than makes up for the difference in length. I definitely saw fewer blown out highlights as well.

My only problem now will be finding enough nickels in between my car seats to pay for my own copy. Giving this back is not going to be fun!

Conditions were virtually the same. Both were mounted on a K20D, and I shot at 200ISO, f/5.6ish, and 1/250-500ish for all shots.

There are more here.

Players on the tee driving + the one of Phil and Jack walking + Tiger "portraits" . . . Sigma.

Bunker shots, greens, landscapes, crowd shots, etc. . . . Tamron.

Tamron 70-300mm; adjusted for levels and sharpness only. Would like to have the hat back. Dear Tiger: please wear a dark hat next time!

Same as above.

Sigma 80-200mm 2.8; adjusted for levels and sharpness and did a little pruning of the trees behind him in Photoshop.

Sigma 80-200mm 2.8; adjusted for levels and sharpness.

Sigma 80-200mm 2.8; adjusted for levels and sharpness.

Sigma 80-200mm 2.8; adjusted for levels and sharpness.

06-08-2010, 09:17 AM   #2
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I'd say go for the Sigma- much clearer shots! Nice overall, BTW

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