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06-04-2011, 08:14 PM   #1
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Which One? Tamron or Sigma?

I'm thinking of getting one of these for Christmas. The reviews I've seen look about the same but I'm just wondering if any of you have an opinion as to which is the better buy? I've seen them both used a few times in the $125 range. The Pentax version is way too expensive for my budget at least for now.

Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro Zoom

or

Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro Telephoto Zoom Lens

I've got a 75-200MM Tamron AF super zoom but I do tend to use the 75-300MM manual Vivitar I've got a lot and I thought I'd like to grab an AF lens with about the same range.

I do like my manual lenses but I'm not sure I fully trust them for when I am doing serious work. My 50 1.7 (K) already has issues and I don't want to use my Takumars all the time as I might wear them out faster than I'd like using them for portrait shoots and stock shooting all the time.

I want to keep the Takumars and my good Vivitar fairly fresh and mainly for own my personal use, particularly my 105MM Takumar. As pricey as that one is getting I don't want to wear it out too quickly as I probably couldn't afford a replacement. That lens is my favorite and I want to keep it for a good long while.

I'm getting an 18-55 kit lens to go with my K-x and I figure that will do me for a while, but I do want to add at least a 55-300 AF lens by the end of the year I think. Ultimately I'd like the Pentax but I think that's going to have to be in a year or two and I at least want to get one of these two in the meantime.

They about the same or is there a difference I should note? I'm going to be doing a lot of basic portrait and macro work, retail, jewelry, that kind of thing. Plus I'm a birder so that's always a factor. About $125 for a used lens will be about my limit. I'm not planning on buying one new, and definitely not till December at least.

At home I do tend to use my primes more but I like as little weight in my to go kit as possible. On the go I usually just take the 28-200MM Tamron. Ideally I'd a good 18-300MM "go" lens so I wouldn't even have to change lenses at all when I am on the go, but so far I haven't really seen a lens in the 18 or 28MM to 300MM range at a price I can afford.

Thanks!


Last edited by magkelly; 06-04-2011 at 08:21 PM.
06-04-2011, 08:23 PM   #2
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Either is fine...for the money

I had the Tamron Di version and even though it had CA's, served me well for some time. If you can get the Sigma 70-300 APO version, go for it. It is so much better for the money. Get the one with the 'Golden line' along the top edge. Thats one is hard to find but is worth every penny. Pentax M200 is also a good buy, if you can get a good deal on used ones. Its no zoom but good for a prime- for that longer reach.
06-04-2011, 08:28 PM   #3
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Trade off for Tamron's CA is its significantly better sharpness at all focal lengths.
06-04-2011, 08:38 PM   #4
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Tamron 70-300 Di severed me well before I replaced it with Tamron 70-200. Sharp through the range and CA is manageable too. This one with Tamron 70-300 Di LD



06-04-2011, 08:50 PM   #5
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If cash is tight, I saw the Ritz website has a 70-300 Quantaray with 62mm filter size, meaning it's the Tamron (but probably the pre-Di model) - $100 plus a bit to ship. Probably a single copy at that price. I'd bite on it myself, but I'm still chewing a demo copy of their Q-ray 100-300 (Sigma this time) for just over $50. Quite nice but low in contrast, but for $50 I can manage it

I'd rate the Pentax 55-300 optics the best of the bunch, but I haven't tried the APO Sigma. I had the Tamron on my Sony camera, decent but quite leisurely to focus on that camera.
06-04-2011, 09:32 PM   #6
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I don't have either lens, but was considering both when I ended up with a Pentax FAJ 75-300 (which isn't available any more). As far as I can see, the Tamron is significantly sharper than the Sigma, but does suffer rather from CA. The APO version of the Sigma would be a viable alternative, but I think is outside your price range. I know you mentioned buying used, but you ought to be able to buy the Tamron new. I personally would be wary of buying used, because I expect there to be a decent chance of ending up with a bad copy if you do.
06-04-2011, 09:55 PM   #7
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My folks usually give me a hundred or so for Christmas. I'll have to see what I can add to it by then, I guess. I'm kind of planning ahead. I have to get a basic light kit together way before then so the lens is actually a second priority to that.

I've got my backdrops and the table top light kit totally worked out, but I still need some stationary lights and a beauty ring at the very least to start doing any professional work. I figured I'd grab a kit lens (done) and then get the most basic lights I can scramble up. Once I have those then I can go for the AF 75 to 300 zoom lens.

That will get me started doing product work, simple portraits, and stuff like that, at which point I can start saving up for a really nice set of portrait lenses and more specific lights and more props that I'll need for the kind of portrait work I really want to do.

I just don't want to waste money I don't have on the absolute wrong lens. I can't really afford to do too much of that. Not until my photography starts paying for itself a bit more. Once I have a real business going then I may just splurge and get some even better lenses but for right now cheaper is good, so long as I'm not totally sacrificing picture quality to get it...
06-05-2011, 09:09 AM   #8
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See the reviews for both on this site (click Lenses above), also search the many previous threads on this topic.

06-05-2011, 01:07 PM   #9
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I've looked at most of the reviews etc. I just wanted somewhat more personal input. It was a hard choice. The two lenses seem to be very close and both seem to be liked. Actually a couple of the posts above really helped that way. Thanks, guys!
06-05-2011, 03:31 PM   #10
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Not another ones of these questions.

Please use the search button next time. There have been tons on this.

My opinion Sigma APO version otherwise the Tamron DI LD. However, interestingly there was a post not too long again that put the APO up against it's non APO counterpart. The differences that the poster noticed were minimal for his sample set. However, I use an APO version lens and I find it pretty good for my usage. Solid at 70mm up to 200mm. Anything past 200mm image quality degrades significantly. Even at 200mm I'd iffy so lets say 180mm.
06-06-2011, 12:52 AM   #11
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As I indicated above MORE THAN ONCE I've read the lens stats and some of the threads. In the end I still felt conflicted so I asked. I didn't get half as much out of them as I did out of a few honest opinions here actually. (Many thanks to the folks who actually gave me their 2 cents sans sarcasm.) Now, would a moderator please close this thread? I'd appreciate it.



QuoteOriginally posted by epqwerty Quote
Not another ones of these questions.

Please use the search button next time. There have been tons on this.

My opinion Sigma APO version otherwise the Tamron DI LD. However, interestingly there was a post not too long again that put the APO up against it's non APO counterpart. The differences that the poster noticed were minimal for his sample set. However, I use an APO version lens and I find it pretty good for my usage. Solid at 70mm up to 200mm. Anything past 200mm image quality degrades significantly. Even at 200mm I'd iffy so lets say 180mm.
06-06-2011, 08:33 AM   #12
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I see no reason to close the thread. But I would point out that had you explicitly said you had already read the reviews and other threads, and then framed your question in a way that made it clear you were looking for additional insight above and beyond what you read already, then you probably would have received more useful responses. Something to consider for next time.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 06-06-2011 at 04:29 PM.
06-06-2011, 10:51 AM   #13
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With a $125 limit I think you're more likely to find a used Tamron than the Sigma APO. I own the Sigma APO and like it just fine, I've never used the Tamron personally but have never heard anything bad beyond the PF and CA. Another lens to consider in that price range which I also own and consider under appreciated is the Pentax FA 80-320. I find it to be equally good overall. Though it does not have a specifically macro setting I think you can use the long end close enough to get acceptable results. Likewise if you could stretch your budget a bit the Pentax DA-L 55-300 which Prodigital occasionally has for about $200 will make you happier longer than either the Tamron or Sigma. Personally I find the extra reach on the wide end more useful than the "macro" (really just a close focus ability) feature of the other two.
06-06-2011, 12:18 PM   #14
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That was a useful reply. Thanks!

QuoteOriginally posted by geezer52 Quote
With a $125 limit I think you're more likely to find a used Tamron than the Sigma APO. I own the Sigma APO and like it just fine, I've never used the Tamron personally but have never heard anything bad beyond the PF and CA. Another lens to consider in that price range which I also own and consider under appreciated is the Pentax FA 80-320. I find it to be equally good overall. Though it does not have a specifically macro setting I think you can use the long end close enough to get acceptable results. Likewise if you could stretch your budget a bit the Pentax DA-L 55-300 which Prodigital occasionally has for about $200 will make you happier longer than either the Tamron or Sigma. Personally I find the extra reach on the wide end more useful than the "macro" (really just a close focus ability) feature of the other two.
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