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12-29-2006, 07:48 PM   #1
Ed in GA

Sigma .. Tamron .. Tokina

Of these three third party manufacturers...

Which do you think produces the best/Highest Quality? And, why?

12-29-2006, 08:52 PM   #2
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Good question. They all seem to have some great lenses and then some dogs. I have always been told Sigma's Quality is very inconsistent, but personally I have always had good luck with them.

As for built quality: My Sigma 15-30mm beats every other (modern AF lens) I own by far.
12-29-2006, 09:21 PM   #3
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Actually all these brands have quality control issue.

My personal luck is better with tokina brands.

In the end, I only justify myself buying 3rd party lenses when the focal length or the feature is not available in pentax lens line-up. Then it is all worth while getting 3rd party lenses.

12-29-2006, 10:41 PM   #4
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The top of the line Tokina lenses are designated AT-X. The best Sigmas have an EX designation. I'm not sure about Tamron, but the 90mm with the SP designation is a great macro lens (it's the only Tammy I have).

Of all the coatings on the barrels I like the Sigma's EX finish the best. Tough and scuff & scratch resistant. The Pentax silver finish on their * lenses scratch much more easily. The Tokina AT-X lenses have a polished metal barrel which is also pretty tough.

12-30-2006, 12:09 AM   #5
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I have had QC issues with both Tamron and Sigma... (have never tried Tokina)...

Though to be honest when I had QC issues with Sigma they took care of it quickly, whereas the Tamron distributor stuffed me around and when I got the lens back from repair it was FULL of dust... not very happy, but thats the local distributors fault more than Tamron themselves..

As for lens quality they both make some not so good lenses and also some VERY good lenses (like all lens brands really)...

I am very impressed of both my Sigma 10-20 EX and my Tamron 90 DI macro.

Last edited by joele; 12-30-2006 at 12:37 AM.
12-30-2006, 04:37 AM   #6
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As mentioned above, there are some really low grade Sigma and Tamron lenses out there, but some very impressive pieces too:

For all-in-one travel lenses, Sigma 18-200mm DC and Tamron 28-200mm XR IF and 18-200mm DI are very impressive built quality and overall image quality for the segment imo. Sigma in these ranges tends to have a some lens creep, did not noticed that with Tamron.

Sigma 17-70mm DC is a pretty impressive under $400 mild zoom range more that capable producing fine images, even at the low light

Sigma 105mm EX macro and Tamron 90mm Macro are great macro lenses with smooth zoom rings, metal mounts and very nice glass for the price.

12-30-2006, 06:38 AM   #7
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I think sigma has more of a selection than the other 2 brands..(just go to adorama or bandh, and search for pentax mount sigma has the bulk of the hits.

and as i'm finding out now...sigma's CS is pretty good (this far into the situation)
12-30-2006, 07:58 AM   #8
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I think all are about equal

QuoteOriginally posted by EddyinGA Quote
Of these three third party manufacturers...

Which do you think produces the best/Highest Quality? And, why?
I'd say that all of these companies produce OK, good and excellent lenses. I've owned two Sigma's (one which I still have) and neither was/is very satisfactory. But!!! The two lenses are consumer grade lenses. I have a friend who swears by his 17-70 Sigma, and he gets very good pictures with it. But!!! it's not a consumer lens. I love my 90mm f2.8 Tamron macro, one of my favorite lenses, and would buy a Tamron lens again in a second, but not a consumer grade lens. It would have to be a mid tier or top shelf Tamron. Same with Sigma, Tokina and even Pentax. Tho I must admit that I have been happy with the 18-55 'kit' Pentax lens, but there are others who haven't had as good an experience with that lens.
What I'm trying to say with all these words is that any of these companies produce good and excellent glass, but you gotta pay for it...same as with Pentax.

NaCl(not the manufacturer, but the quality level within the manufacturer)H2O

12-30-2006, 10:59 AM   #9
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My Thoughts...

I've owned two Tamron's (24-135 for Nikon-film body - I'd rate it EXCELLENT). It was as good as my Nikon 28-105 which is one of the better "standard zooms" they ever made IMHO. The only thing missing on it was that it said Tamron rather than Nikon...

Also had a 500mm Mirror f/8 which I used with Nikon, Oly and Minolta (film days). Again, I was very impressed with and had a lot of fun w/it.

Currently have a 70-300DI for my K10D and it is very nice.

Tokina was apparently begun with a group of EX-Nikon engineers - which might explain the very solid build and excellent reputation.

12-30-2006, 12:09 PM   #10
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we are pentax loyalists.. why else would we contemplate pentax when something equally as good can be bought for half the money..

third party/pentax UK prices

50mm macro UK price.. pentax 400.. sigma 200..

pentax 100mm macro.. 450.. sigma or tamron 280-ish..

pentax kit lens to buy seperately.. 150-ish.. sigma eqiuvalent 75-ish..

pentax 50 to 200 150.. tamron 70 to 300 90-ish..

i could go on.. but would be wasteing my time.. cos under the good old "u get what u pay for" mantra.. pentax just has to be "better"..

the only pentax lens i have is an old smc 50mm 1.7 manual prime i paid 15 for off ebay.. i use it as my yardstick lens.. i compare other lenses with it.. without some measure of what "good" is u get lost with too much pixel peeping..

the pentax kit lens offerings 18 to 55 and 50 to 200 are small and neat and from a pentax price point of view are good value for money.. but they can easily be beaten and for less money..


ps.. now if someone can prove to me pentax glass really is "better" i will take back everything i have just said..
12-30-2006, 05:48 PM   #11
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One reason I like original Pentax lenses is size... I haven't seen from any brand lenses with the quality of the DA21/3.2, FA35/2 or FA50/1.4 at anywhere near the same size... I'm also very interested in the DA70 but it still isn't available here in Oz..

I do like some Sigma lenses, the Sigma EX 10-20 is a great lens, and much cheaper than the DA12-24...

I owned the Pentax 50-200 and the Tamron 70-300, I ended up selling both in the end as I guess I just prefer primes in general.. But the Tamron had noticably worse colour and contrast than the Pentax lens, also sharpness wide open the Pentax was well ahead.. But for the money the Tamron was a good lens..

For 100mm macro the 3rd party lenses are very very good and hence I own the Tamron 90 and not the Pentax 100mm macro.. In that case why pay more for no increase in quality..

The other thing is resell value, I have always gotten most of my money back (if not more) reselling Pentax lenses (esp primes) whereas Sigma lenses the resell value is terrible.. Its practical to buy a lens you know will hold its value..

Last edited by joele; 12-30-2006 at 05:53 PM.

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