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07-16-2008, 09:08 AM   #1
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Sigma 70mm Macro or Tamron 90mm Macro?

It's going on months and I haven't been able to make up my mind about which of these to buy. I have done searches here and on other sites in reading up on these. I am hoping that you experts might be able to give some excellent advice (pros and cons) to this amature. I am mostly looking for clarity, sharpness, and good bokeh, among other things.

For macro I plan to shoot watches, flowers, leaves, natural objects, and possibly bugs (if they are friendly).

Also, would either of these 2 lenses (70 vs. 90) be considered better for regular snapshots and portraits?

I have tried both on a Pentax 20D & a 200D at stores. I think the Sigma has better overall glass and build and it seemed to AF faster with less hunting. It, however, is bulkier and 100gr heavier.

From what I can decipher in one review, the Tamron had better test results. But is there any real-life difference in an MFT Resolution of 2181 at F8 (Tamron) vs 2064 (Sigma)? Maybe the difference is totally insignificant to the naked eye, but since I'm an amature, I am not sure about this.

At one store, the salesperson said there should be no indicision what so ever, as Tamron is far superior, espcially when it comes to bokeh. But the Tamron has been around for a lot longer and has gained a loyal following. That said, I think after the Sigma has been out a while longer it too will also gain a nice following. I have read very nice reports from new owners. And in photo comparisons I have seen, my taste preference was actually with the Sigma, which is the one I am favoring more and more it seems.

I imagine I would be happy with either, but I am curious as to what some of you might have to say about these two.

Thanks for any input.

07-16-2008, 10:01 AM   #2
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IMHO go for Sigma 70mm if you aren't going to take bugs. If there's a possibility, go for Tamron 90mm or Pentax 100mm. When it comes to bugs, you need that extra reach to have a better chance to get the shot. For butterflies, many would go for at least a 180mm.^^;
07-16-2008, 10:24 AM   #3
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I own the Sigma 70mm macro and absolutely love it. The bokeh on it transitions very smoothly from sharp focus (very sharp), to a very nice fuzziness. It's focal length is also quite good for planned or candid portraits.

I had initially chose this lens over the Tamron 90mm for both its amazing macro abilities (it focuses about 6cm from the front of the barrel), and because I was wanting a short tele prime for candid shots (a la the 70mm or 77mm limiteds). I ran with this for a while, but found for what I shot I needed faster AF (my wife and I have a side business where we take candid photos of children during play). I ultimately chose to pick up the 77mm limited also, but am certainly going to keep the Sigma 70 macro.

Both lenses that you are looking at are likely going to be excellent (I haven't tried the Tamron myself). I personally find the Sigma to be a fabulous macro and also serves double duty.... You may prefer the longer reach of the Tamron for your photo needs. I don't think you could really go wrong with either.

I hope this information is helpful.

c[_]

P.S. You will likely find that both AF fairly slow (not too bad when the limiter is engaged), however the Sigma's f2.8 reacts fairly well to lower light situations.

P.S.S. Here's a sample photo that I took with it...to show the transition from sharp focus to fuzzy background:


Last edited by ll_coffee_lP; 07-16-2008 at 10:29 AM.
07-16-2008, 10:38 AM   #4
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I just went through this exact debate, and I chose the Sigma EX DG.

I think it's probably tough to go wrong with either lens, though, I've used the Tamron 90, and came away very impressed, in fact it's one of the best Macro lenses I've shot, maybe second only to my Viv 105.

I chose the Sigma because I was also wanting a dual-purpose lens - and the Sigma has a focal length that I prefer more for portraits (70mm). I already have a wonderful 105mm macro, a 90 was just too close to that - the 70 could be a walkaround lens and portrait lens more often for me.

The 'EX' Sigmas have been raved about - I generally don't consider Sigma lenses, having had a bad experience with a 'Stigma' in the past, but I hear and read nothing but good stuff (pretty much) from owners and pro reviewers about the EX line.

Also, I think the Sigma 70 may be sharper than than Tamron 90, if such a thing is possible:

QuoteQuote:
The Competition...
Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 SP AF ~$340-490
The Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro is a great lens, but the Sigma 70mm f/2.8 beats it handily in the sharpness department, particularly in sharpness uniformity at f/2.8. The Sigma also edges out the Tamron in CA performance, but the two lenses are almost a tie in Shading, and Tamron wins by a nose in geometric distortion. It'd be close to a tossup between these two lenses, were it not for the Sigma's superior sharpness.
SLR Gear review.

I'll have the Sigma probably tomorrow, and I can comment further and post some photos then if you'd like.


.

07-16-2008, 11:02 AM   #5
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Very true Jsherman....I almost always use f2.8 on the Sigma...and never beyond f8. It truely has amazing clarity across that range. Very useful for many purposes.

Also...I find the Sigma reacts very well to exposure on the K10D (I use spot metering on something neutrally exposed; like grass - lock the sspeed - recompose - fire), compared to the 77 ltd. I've only used the 77 for 1 evening though...so will need some time to get used to it's ways.

c[_]
07-17-2008, 06:44 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies and the positive feedback

about the Sigma 70. It looks like I'm headed in that direction, finally making a commitment. I've located one and am picking it up tomorrow. I am anxious to try it out. I hope even I can get some kind of decent reselts.

Thanks again
07-17-2008, 07:29 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by zeek10d Quote
I When it comes to bugs, you need that extra reach to have a better chance to get the shot. For butterflies, many would go for at least a 180mm.^^;
I begin to find my SIGMA 105mm too short for flying or easyly funked bugs. 180mm might be better (but heavier and costier )
07-17-2008, 07:50 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentakun Quote
about the Sigma 70. It looks like I'm headed in that direction, finally making a commitment. I've located one and am picking it up tomorrow. I am anxious to try it out. I hope even I can get some kind of decent reselts.

Thanks again
I'd love to see some of your sample shots....and would like to hear how you like the lens. I think you will be quite happy with your purchase.

c[_]

07-17-2008, 08:03 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentakun Quote
about the Sigma 70. It looks like I'm headed in that direction, finally making a commitment. I've located one and am picking it up tomorrow. I am anxious to try it out. I hope even I can get some kind of decent reselts.

Thanks again
Gald u made ur decision^^ Hope to see ur lovely macros soon^^

QuoteOriginally posted by gkopeliadis Quote
I begin to find my SIGMA 105mm too short for flying or easyly funked bugs. 180mm might be better (but heavier and costier )
I don't hunt for butterflies often, so I have these combos.
Vivitar 105mm + Tamron 1.4x TC = 147mm


Vivitar 105mm + Olympus TCON-17 1.7x TC = 178.5mm


It'll be cheaper than spending extras on a Sigma 180mm. Too bad Tamron 180mm or Sigma 150mm does not come in Pentax mount, cause their bokeh tends to be better than Sigma 180mm.
07-17-2008, 08:56 AM   #10
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If you want to shoot watches or anything else that is shiny, use the Sigma 70. The Tamron 90 (which I have) has the purple fringe thing, very noticeable on jewelry as I have found out. Works great for flowers and other things that do not have extreme contrasts. I wound up borrowing the Sigma to shoot the jewelry I needed to (exact same set and lighting and no PF) I also get some PF on black/white objects where the high contrast area meets up. (like the white paint on the aperture ring of an older lens, which came out purple not white, as it was a small little lens) Fixable in Photoshop, though I hate having to fix things.

I prefer the Tamron's focal length for flowers and such, and the Tamron is great for headshots as well. The focal length of the Sigma might work out a little better for general portraiture.

My 2 cents
07-17-2008, 09:13 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by augustmoon Quote
If you want to shoot watches or anything else that is shiny, use the Sigma 70. The Tamron 90 (which I have) has the purple fringe thing, very noticeable on jewelry as I have found out. Works great for flowers and other things that do not have extreme contrasts. I wound up borrowing the Sigma to shoot the jewelry I needed to (exact same set and lighting and no PF) I also get some PF on black/white objects where the high contrast area meets up. (like the white paint on the aperture ring of an older lens, which came out purple not white, as it was a small little lens) Fixable in Photoshop, though I hate having to fix things.

I prefer the Tamron's focal length for flowers and such, and the Tamron is great for headshots as well. The focal length of the Sigma might work out a little better for general portraiture.

My 2 cents
Do you have the new Tamron 90mm SP Di autofocus or are you comparing it to the 52B, 52BB, 72B or 72E?
07-17-2008, 09:19 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Do you have the new Tamron 90mm SP Di autofocus or are you comparing it to the 52B, 52BB, 72B or 72E?
The newest Tamron 90

Tamron Telephoto SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro Autofocus Lens for Pentax AF

Fabulous lens, I love it, the PF is my only complaint, so I avoid those situations when I can. Thought about selling it and getting the Sigma to replace it, but I like it too much, one day I'll get the Sigma to compliment it.

I should add "under extreme conditions" tiny black type on something white and shiny, and the other way around. Also around specular highlights, such as chrome and diamonds and jewelry. Flat or indirect lighting would avoid it. So would some spray starch or dulling spray. Just in that one shoot, the person I was shooting this for, wanted to show off the shine and sparkle of the white gold and diamonds. Too many little diamonds to try to fix in PP. Only mentioning this, because OP mentioned "watches" in making the decision...

Last edited by augustmoon; 07-17-2008 at 09:26 AM. Reason: added more info
07-17-2008, 09:27 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by augustmoon Quote
The newest Tamron 90

Tamron Telephoto SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro Autofocus Lens for Pentax AF

Fabulous lens, I love it, the PF is my only complaint, so I avoid those situations when I can. Thought about selling it and getting the Sigma to replace it, but I like it too much, one day I'll get the Sigma to compliment it.
The reason I asked is that I have a 52B and 52BB and was wondering if I missing anything besides the AF from the newest Tamron. The 72E is hard to come by.

Back to the OP, if it were me, I'd go with the Sigma 105mm or Tamron 90mm. I like the Sigma 70mm a lot but for the stuff I do the 90 to 105mm is minimum.
07-17-2008, 09:33 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
I like the Sigma 70mm a lot but for the stuff I do the 90 to 105mm is minimum.
I agree, when I borrowed the Sigma 70, I was wishing it was longer, which is why I would add the 70 to my 90, but not replace it. I'd have to try out a Sigma 105 or even the 150 before making a decision.
07-17-2008, 09:45 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by augustmoon Quote
I agree, when I borrowed the Sigma 70, I was wishing it was longer, which is why I would add the 70 to my 90, but not replace it. I'd have to try out a Sigma 105 or even the 150 before making a decision.
I agree about trying out the Sigma. I'd have to try the 105 also. My current 105 is actually a Viv Series 1. I actually interested in the Sigma 180mm but at that price, I'll certainly have to try it out first!
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