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05-05-2008, 08:54 AM   #1
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Sigma vs. Tamron 300mm impressions / alternatives

I've spent some time doing a number of searches, but could use some additional input. I am considering the Tamron and Sigma 70-300mm lenses at the moment as I need a cheap (i.e. south of $200) zoom lens.

I have a cheap manual 200mm at the moment, but I would like something with a bit more reach as well as auto focus. What I would really like though is something that is faster the F4 or F5.

Can I do with 200mm at 2.8 instead of F4 at 300mm? My use really screams for a F2.8, but I am not sure I am willing to sacrifce the speed for lack of autofocus or reach.

The lens will be used as follows:
25% automobile racing
50% sports photography (outdoors)
25% indoor ceremonies

Which brings me to two questions:

1.) Any thoughts to a preferred 30mm, the Tamron or Sigma? Without trying to bias replies, the Tamron seems pretty well-respected for a cheap lens.
2.) Can I get a respectable (used) 200mm 2.8 auto auto for $200?


Last edited by user440; 05-05-2008 at 09:11 AM. Reason: Spelling and verbiage
05-05-2008, 09:12 AM   #2
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1) There's a lot of debate and tradeoffs. The Tamron is consistent in terms of quality control and sharp, but prone to severe purple fringing in certain cases. The Sigma APO is far less consistent quality-wise with lots of sample variations, tends to be softer, but has virtually no purple fringing. Stay away from the non-APO Sigma unless you're getting a super deal on a used one (<$50) as it loses the main chromatic aberration advantage of the Sigma over the Tamron due to not having the APO elements.

2) Probably not. Likely not even close.
05-05-2008, 09:17 AM   #3
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That's what I thought (knew) regarding number 2. It's odd, I know the answer but I still have to ask prior to pulling the trigger.
05-05-2008, 09:45 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by user440 Quote
I've spent some time doing a number of searches, but could use some additional input. I am considering the Tamron and Sigma 70-300mm lenses at the moment as I need a cheap (i.e. south of $200) zoom lens.

I have a cheap manual 200mm at the moment, but I would like something with a bit more reach as well as auto focus. What I would really like though is something that is faster the F4 or F5.

Can I do with 200mm at 2.8 instead of F4 at 300mm? My use really screams for a F2.8, but I am not sure I am willing to sacrifce the speed for lack of autofocus or reach.

The lens will be used as follows:
25% automobile racing
50% sports photography (outdoors)
25% indoor ceremonies

Which brings me to two questions:

1.) Any thoughts to a preferred 30mm, the Tamron or Sigma? Without trying to bias replies, the Tamron seems pretty well-respected for a cheap lens.
2.) Can I get a respectable (used) 200mm 2.8 auto auto for $200?
I would be absolutely shocked if you can get anything , and I really do mean anything (AF, MF K mount, KA mount etc...) at either 300mmF4.0 or 200mmF2.8 for $200.

You may have unrealistic expectations.

from my perspective, although I don't do outdoor sports, but I do take wildlife as well as Indoor stage productions, a really good option is something like a Sigma APO 70-200 F2.8 EX, PLUS the 1.4x and 2x TCs.

This gives you a very fast zoom for most of the time, plus the length when you need it. the only problem is that I think it is about 8 times your budget.

the other option of course is to go for something shorter, slower, within your budget, and spend more on tickets to get close

05-05-2008, 10:00 AM   #5
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I recently owned both the Sigma APO & Tamron LD at the same time & did quite a few comparison shots...

I had a pretty good copy of the Sigma but it still wasn't quite as sharp after 200m as the Tamron, not far behind though.

I much preferred the sigma colour/contrast rendition

In the end I couldn't live with the Tamrons "purple" which I found impossible to remove during PP sometimes - I now own the Sigma BUT I'm not 100% happy with it either, I want a bit more IQ with no CA etc - I'm hoping that the new Pentax 55-300 may better both the Sigma/Tamron variants

simon
05-05-2008, 10:30 AM   #6
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The cheapest f/2.8 you will find in that range would be the Tamron 70-200 when it comes out ... and that's reported to be around the $699 mark ... cheap really for that sort of lens.
They normally range in the $1,000+ region.
05-05-2008, 10:48 AM   #7
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The CA on the Tamron is primarily on the wide end, I presume? Anything I would use this for would be over 100mm with most in the 200-250mm range.
05-05-2008, 11:02 AM   #8
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the tamron is good to about 210mm and at its best in the 70-180mm range. purple fringe starts to show heavily after 200mm, wide open, in hi contrast lighting. stopping down improves its sharpness and reduces CA.

05-05-2008, 11:07 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ivoire Quote
the tamron is good to about 210mm and at its best in the 70-180mm range. purple fringe starts to show heavily after 200mm, wide open, in hi contrast lighting. stopping down improves its sharpness and reduces CA.
Just the kind of input I was looking for. It seems I am more prone (probably due to having slow lenses) of shooting a lot of F11 and wider; so if the Tammy shows propensity for CA to show up over 200mm at wider apertures, it may not be the lens for me.
05-05-2008, 01:59 PM   #10
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As for the 70-300 zooms. I don't have Sigma, and haven't held one either. According to many though it exposes brighter then Tamron (maybe because Tamron likes to underexpose a bit - personal experience), but it's bit softer.
Tamron is good... for how much you pay.
Up to 200 it has great sharpness, between 200-300 stopped down to f8 or f11 it's pretty good. Open it's getting soft towards 300. For indoors you'll be fine as long as you can get plenty of light or decent flash. With car racing you may have problem with PF. All that metal or bright colours in brihgt light will definitely produce quite a bit of it...
my 2p
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