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View Poll Results: Did your 70-200mm need servicing?
My Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG HSM II Macro worked perfectly 1035.71%
My Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG HSM II Macro required service 310.71%
My Tamron AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD IF Macro worked perfectly 1657.14%
My Tamron AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD IF Macro required service 27.14%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 28. You may not vote on this poll

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09-11-2011, 06:19 AM   #1
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Seeking input on a 70-200mm purchase

Hello all,

I've been reading and reading and looking at sample photos for a while now trying to decide on my next lens purchase. Since a big part of why I got a DSLR in the first place was to shoot photos of my boys playing hockey (See this thread), I've been thinking about a 70-200mm f/2.8. This leaves me with basically 3 choices. Since the new Sigma (which is rumored to have better IQ than it's predecessor) is solidly out of my current price range, I'm down to the Sigma HSM II or the Tamron. When I browse the images taken with each, I see lots of really nice non-sports images from the Tamron. However, it would seem that the Sigma is everyone's recommendation for hockey due to it's HSM. So, my questions are:

1. Any advice?
2. Anyone shooting hockey with the Tamron care to post samples or have any insight into the speed/accuracy of the AF?
3. How does the autofocus speed/accuracy of either of these compare to the DA-L 55-300 that I've used so far in the examples shown in the post I linked to above?

Sorry, I ask all this knowing that for some a $700-$1000 lens is considered a "moderately" priced lense. For me a $1000 investment is a pretty big deal. My other option is to stick with the 55-300 and invest in a faster walk-around zoom that eliminates my need to swap out around 50mm all the time. I'm less interested in that because I've been collecting cheap primes and have gotten pretty comfortable walking around with a small/light 50mm and zooming with my feet.

Lastly, I've added a poll to this thread (if I did it right) for those those that own either of these to indicate if they worked right out of the box or if they required servicing to become quality lenses.

Thanks in advance for all your insight and input.


Last edited by HockeyDad; 09-11-2011 at 06:25 AM.
09-11-2011, 09:19 AM   #2
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From my experience with those two lenses—when I shot sports with the Tamron, it just couldn't quite keep up. The Sigma did do a little better, however, that particular Sigma doesn't have as fast of AF as other Sigmas I've used.

IMHO, bottomline: if you need resolution then definitely get the Tamron. If you need AF tracking, then definitely get the Sigma.
09-11-2011, 10:25 AM   #3
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I'm with you. Before I picked up my sigma hsm II I was loathe to spend hard earned dough on lenses.
That lens was the one that made me 'see the light' regarding quality glass.
I bought mine second hand for about 700 bux so I did not vote since I bought it used.
That being said it has not needed service.
I havent done hockey but AF works great for indoor dance comps that have poor lighting.
09-11-2011, 08:45 PM   #4
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Thanks for the insight! I have came a long way in a short time and I owe much of it to the advice of those on this forum.

09-12-2011, 06:05 PM   #5
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I've just been going through the same dilemma. I shoot action shots for my 3 son's hockey teams. Here's what I found....I have the DA*50-135- (and I've been using this for years) I love it but it didn't have enough reach.....tried DA*200mm- crisp but missed the zoom...tried the Sigma 70-200 OS HSM (not macro version)-honestly, I wasn't really impressed with it. It had decent focus speed, but colours were flat, and it just didn't do it for me. SO....... I tried the DA*60-250- and I liked it! I haven't had it to the rink much-only once for a practice session (K5 is getting repaired), but what I did get, I was happy with. It was comparable with the 50-135, and had further reach. So I kept it! I really don't think that it being an F4 will make too much of a difference. So don't forget the Pentax lenses! (I've had SDM issues, but I still love them)
09-12-2011, 06:58 PM   #6
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Thanks mokey. I honestly hadn't given too much consideration to the 60-250 for the same reason I ruled out the newer Sigma... price. I would tend to agree with you about the F/4. Since the sensors in the Kr and K5 let you shoot ISO 3200 all day long with good results, I've been trying to limit my zoom habits on my DA-L 55-300 to 200mm and under because that keeps it at f/4 and I've had some ok results. Our rink is pretty dim though and I can't help thinking that a little faster glass would give me a leg up.

I would love to see some samples with your 60-250. Especially if you have a couple from the Sigma too from in the same rink. Is the Pentax just more rich in colors or more contrasty?

Bummer about your K5, our season is just getting under way here. Hopefully you'll get it back soon so you can get back to shooting!
09-13-2011, 06:33 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ubuntu_user Quote
bottomline: if you need resolution then definitely get the Tamron. If you need AF tracking, then definitely get the Sigma.
The more I think about it, the more I think the word "need" in that statement sums it up. I can "want" better color and contrast but at the end of the day, I "need" focus. I can't fix missed focus in post.
09-13-2011, 07:37 PM   #8
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I wasn't able to test the Sigma 70-200 in an arena - ice was being replaced...but I did compare it with my 50-135 2.8 ( I tried to keep settings the same, or at least close) I only had the lens for a few days so I didn't get a chance to really test it out thoroughly. I just got that impression that I wasn't loving it. I'll try to post some of these photo's and hopefully they'll show what I'm trying to say. I'll also put a few in that I've taken with the DA*50-135 in the arena recently.
OK, the file names aren't showing....
1st one is Sigma 70-200
2nd...DA*50-135
3rd...sigma
4th...Pentax
5th...Sigma testing while running (found it very finicky in centre focus point)

BTW....This is just my impression of this one lens...Maybe I didn't get a good copy. But I've now gone with the DA*60-250

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09-13-2011, 07:41 PM   #9
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Here's some from the arena with the 50-135 and 60-250
1st two are with DA*50-135 (With and without flash)
last 3 are with the DA*60-250 - only had a few minutes at the arena to test it out, as my K5 bit the green wiener during the shoot.
Good luck with your decision. It's all personal preference, but I would really recommend trying the lenses out ( I bought them and returned them if I didn't like them)
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09-13-2011, 08:38 PM   #10
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Thank you very much for posting those images! Is the goalie in the last shot one of your boys? My youngest is playing at the mite level but he has taken a liking to playing goalie. So much for hand-me downs from his brother... now we need goalie stuff
09-14-2011, 07:08 AM   #11
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So... does anyone have any insight into why the Sigma HSM II is $100 more in K-mount and Sony vs. Canikon mounts at B & H?
09-14-2011, 07:32 AM   #12
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Economies of scale?
09-14-2011, 09:08 AM   #13
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Makes sense... I just didn't know if there was something different about the lens beyond the mount.
09-14-2011, 11:45 AM   #14
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The only difference could be that one has OS and the other not. It is also common for a Sigma lens to have HSM in every mount but Pentax but then the price will be lower.
As long as the features match that would be my only explanation.
09-14-2011, 05:07 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by HockeyDad Quote
Thank you very much for posting those images! Is the goalie in the last shot one of your boys? My youngest is playing at the mite level but he has taken a liking to playing goalie. So much for hand-me downs from his brother... now we need goalie stuff
The previous goalie wasn't my son. This one's mine.
Good luck with having a goalie. Expensive position! Mine's 14 and in a major growth spurt. Maybe if we didn't have to spend so much on the kids sports, we could buy more lenses! LBA is horrific.
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