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04-04-2008, 03:59 AM   #1
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Sigma vs Tamron 70-300 - First impressions

Received my Sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro today & have tried a few shots to compare it against the Tamron LD DI equivalent I already own. First impressions...

The sigma is slightly lighter/smaller - not a great difference though

Sigma uses 58mm filter, Tamron 62mm

Build quality - the Sigma feels better, less "plasticy" somehow

IQ, early days yet however..

I'm impressed by colour/contrast that the Sigma produces, nicer than my Tamron - the sigma also underexposes less than the Tamron, probably about 1/2 stop.

Sharpness seems quite comparable, taken several shots at 300mm and both are decent. I actually find the Sigma very good at F5.6/300mm.

Here are a few macro shots taken at 300mm (all slightly cropped) - not exactly a scientific test but my initial impressions are very positive on the Sigma, I think I'll be selling the Tamron although I need to do a bit more comparison to be 100% sure.

Simon

Tamron - F5.6 / 300mm Macro



Sigma - F5.6 / 300mm Macro



Tamron - F11 / 300mm Macro



Sigma - F11 / 300mm Macro



04-04-2008, 07:18 AM   #2
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In the second set it looks like the focusing point is different from sigma and tamron. The first set the brighter exposure makes the sigma look more pleasant. Also the sigma seems to have warmer tones than the tamron.
04-04-2008, 07:57 AM   #3
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To be honest this isn't intended as a "scientific" review....

Whilst I've been reasonably pleased with the Tamron the amount of Purple it produced really started to annoy me so, having found a good price on the Sigma I thought I would take the gamble & buy one so that I could see if I preferred it to the Tamron.

Whilst I only received it today & have had limited opportunity to try it I'm already preferring it over the Tamron - the reasons being...

-- the Sigma build quality seems better
-- as you mention the sigma renders colour & contrast better, it seems to underexpose less too
-- in the limited comparisions I've done the Sigma is at least as sharp as the Tamron

& the big one....

the Sigma doesn't seem to produce purple

As I mention I've not really fully compared them yet & will wait a little longer before deciding but it very much looks like I will be selling the Tamron

Simon
04-04-2008, 08:40 AM   #4
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seems like Sigma is better IF and only IF you get a good sample which you seem to have found.

04-04-2008, 09:19 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by k100d Quote
seems like Sigma is better IF and only IF you get a good sample which you seem to have found.
That's been my impression too... every sample of the Tamron has the same consistent level of PF and sharpness, while the Sigma seems to vary widely in its sharpness.

Also, I'm surprised to hear the Sigma's build quality described as better. The Tamron feels a lot sturdier to me and the caps and hood are better-quality. The Sigma that I tried had a bit of "slop" in its zoom and focus rings.
04-04-2008, 06:28 PM   #6
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Mhhmm.. Odd that you prefer the Siggys BuildQuality, having used both I prefered the Tammy's... And looking at the pictures theres very little difference, besides that the Tammy is underexposed half a stop or so.
But as others have said you do seem to have a good copy of the Siggy, you'll be happy with either lens Im sure.

Thanks
04-05-2008, 05:20 AM   #7
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Can you post photo's comparing the two at 300mm but not in macro mode?
04-06-2008, 10:22 AM   #8
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I've had chance to try out the Sigma a little more over the weekend, taking a variety of shots.

I've decided not to post any more images as it's not really my intention to produce a "scientific" comparison - I'll just comment on my own user impressions...

-- Sharpness, inline with reviews my Sigma 70-300 does show quite soft corners at anything wider than F8 - reducing the aperture to F11/F16 does help.
Ultimately I would say that the Tamron produces generally sharper images, not a massive difference at F11 and above but there is a difference

-- colour/contrast, this is where I very much prefer the Sigma. It just seems to produce nicer looking images to me.

-- build quality, I personally prefer the Sigma - feels a nicer lens to use, zoom ring is a little stiff between 200-300mm but I guess this will probably loosen.

-- focus, I can't really see much difference here as both the sigma and tamron can hunt a bit at the long end.

-- Purple, the Tamron shows lots of purple in certain situations although not bad below 200mm, I haven't seen any from the sigma so far.

To be quite honest I'm a little torn now though. The Tamron does seem to produce the sharper images but I'm much more impressed by the colour/contrast and lack of purple with the Sigma - I definitely prefer the "look" of the sigma images, the colours on my Tamron just seem "muddy" in comparison.

Unfortunately I still can't 100% decide, I'll have to try more shots !!

simon

04-06-2008, 04:55 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by simonkit Quote
I've had chance to try out the Sigma a little more over the weekend, taking a variety of shots.

I've decided not to post any more images as it's not really my intention to produce a "scientific" comparison - I'll just comment on my own user impressions...

-- Sharpness, inline with reviews my Sigma 70-300 does show quite soft corners at anything wider than F8 - reducing the aperture to F11/F16 does help.
Ultimately I would say that the Tamron produces generally sharper images, not a massive difference at F11 and above but there is a difference

-- colour/contrast, this is where I very much prefer the Sigma. It just seems to produce nicer looking images to me.

-- build quality, I personally prefer the Sigma - feels a nicer lens to use, zoom ring is a little stiff between 200-300mm but I guess this will probably loosen.

-- focus, I can't really see much difference here as both the sigma and tamron can hunt a bit at the long end.

-- Purple, the Tamron shows lots of purple in certain situations although not bad below 200mm, I haven't seen any from the sigma so far.

To be quite honest I'm a little torn now though. The Tamron does seem to produce the sharper images but I'm much more impressed by the colour/contrast and lack of purple with the Sigma - I definitely prefer the "look" of the sigma images, the colours on my Tamron just seem "muddy" in comparison.

Unfortunately I still can't 100% decide, I'll have to try more shots !!

simon

Here is another Tamron sample shot on the K10D a few days ago. My "Schlep" around kit...

Ben
Attached Images
 
04-06-2008, 05:10 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
Here is another Tamron sample shot on the K10D a few days ago. My "Schlep" around kit...

Ben
Hey is that the Paris metro?

EDIT: of course it is, your "Location" says Paris, France. Duh. I was there in November and had a great time... still miss it
04-06-2008, 05:12 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by moxfyre Quote
Hey is that the Paris metro?
Yup...That is my Metro stop in Paris, where I live. Metro Abbesses in the 18th district.

Ben
04-07-2008, 10:33 AM   #12
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My copy of the Tammy is showing quite a bit of PF problems, although seems razor-sharp at longer lengths.
But then, most shooting has been done through winter, so that might have a bit to do with it as well.
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