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09-18-2008, 01:39 AM   #1
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Macro: Pentax D-FA 100mm vs. Tamron SP Di 90mm vs Sigma EX DG 105mm

Hi Everyone,

Which one should I choose:

* my requirements, macro (including bugs)
* good portrait for street candids
* good resolution at close-to-infinity subject distances.
* resale value

At present I am leaning towards the Tamron, but it seems to be really close
competition between the Tamon and Pentax. Can any user of the Sigma compare
that one with the Tamron or Pentax?

Thanks, and looking forward to your responses.

Anirban

09-18-2008, 02:04 AM   #2
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Frankly between the Tamron and Sigma you are considering focal length, which one will work for you. The Sigma should be better for street shooting with the extra 15mm in length. Optically there's little difference between the 3 although the Pentax has the SMC coatings for better contrast and flare control. For construction the Sigma wins hands down over the Tamron and Pentax. Metal barrel and just a more solid lens.

I just bought my second Sigma and couldn't be happier with the results this lens provides. Resale is about the same for each. Since all three are available new, you would get about 80% of the value back on resale of a used one.
09-18-2008, 02:07 AM   #3
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* my requirements, macro (including bugs)
Tamron, Pentax & Sigma

* good portrait for street candids
Tamron, Pentax & Sigma

* good resolution at close-to-infinity subject distances.
Tamron, Pentax & Sigma

* resale value
Tamron & Pentax, these 2 are more porpular and Tamron seems to sell easier due to its lower price.

I went for Tamron as my 1st macro lens because it's a better value lens. It is said if you do compare all 3 lenses together, Sigma bokeh tends to loose out a little. In any case all 3 lenses will gave u good result for normal macro works^^
09-18-2008, 02:54 AM   #4
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I chose Sigma after a hands on comparison with the Tamron (sorry not Pentax here). Both were great lenses but I went Sigma way because of the extra mm, better construction and (mainly) because Sigma seemed a little bit sharper and contrastier at greater distances.
Glad to send you photos from Sigma but you should know I'm still learning to use it

09-18-2008, 03:12 AM   #5
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The Tamrons in-ability to lock focus (when used not as a macro) is a bit of a let down to me.
Other than that, i chose the Tamron over the other two because of..... everything else. And i just dont like Sigma (blame that on the rubbish lenses that came in my K10 kit).
09-18-2008, 04:01 AM   #6
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I'll add a little more to this. I have a number of Sigma lenses and all are excllent. I read some Sigma bashing here from time to time and blame it on the old lenses that people got many years ago. Some of the consumer grade UC and UCII lenses were not very good at all. Sigma has come a long way and now produce a quality product that IMO rivals Pentax and is built better than Tamron.

Example, I just dropped my Sigma 70-200f2.8 4 feet on concrete and it just came back from Sigma service to have the focus checked and get the lens cleaned. They turned it around in a week including courier travel of 1800 Kms each way. The glass remained intact and the barrel did not bend or dent. Just a minor adjustment and I'm good to go.

My Tamron 28-75mm just crapped out and it suffered no abuse at all. It seems to work fine but won't focus correctly. Tamron service tells me that the plastic composite barrel has "gone out of round" and the elements have de-laminated. WTF??? It's 1.5 years old. Of course they said it's my fault and I must have left it in a warm place! Ah DUHHH. I live in Canada. It has rained all summer here and the only warm place is inside my furnace, the rest of the year it's snowing. The lens has never been left in the car on a hot day.

I'll take an all metal lens that can last 30-40 years over a plastic one anytime. I've shot with and owned all three lenses listed. The Sigma is the better lens but the Pentax is a very very close second and if the Sigma was not available, I'd own the Pentax without hesitation.

zeek10d, i don't know how you could list the lenses as you do since you stated "I went for Tamron as my 1st macro lens" without using the other 2.

Last edited by Peter Zack; 09-18-2008 at 06:06 AM.
09-18-2008, 04:05 AM   #7
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Thanks for your answers. I don't know about the Sigma, but the Pentax bokeh seems much better compared to the Tamron. Ha! One more trade-off, the price to
pay for slight less sharpness wide open!
09-18-2008, 04:19 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
zeek10d, i don't know how you could list the lenses as you do since you stated "I went for Tamron as my 1st macro lens" without using the other 2.
When I was looking for my 1st macro lens, I went all over Singapore camera shops to test all 3 lenses and settled for Tamron. Like you all mentioned the lack of mm, also why my most used macro lens is the Vivitar S1 105mm.

Don't get me wrong, I'm no anti-Sigma. I know Sigma makes good lenses, I owned a few myself. But in terms of these 3 lenses go, the conclusion I'd got was the Tamron being the best value for money.

Tamron like Sigma makes good and bad lenses. Tamron 90mm Di happen to one of the best lens they made.

I'm a macro fan, I also understand they are all good lenses. If you were to give me all 3 lenses at once doing a same subject. In term of IQ, I'll say Pentax. But in terms of value for money. it's Tamron. The only reason I would had gotten a Sigma is for that few extra mm.

Edit: BTW I listed the lens not in any order, normally I'll add numbers in front if I want them to be in any order. e.g. 1.Pentax 2.Tamron 3.Sigma

As I mentioned they'll give all good result. Bokeh from my experience, Pentax is the best but Tamron is not far behind. I will not argue if anyone says Sigma 70mm or 150mm(I hoping for Pentax mount) better than Tamron 90mm, but not 105mm just lack the result of 70mm.


Last edited by zeek10d; 09-18-2008 at 04:59 AM.
09-18-2008, 05:03 AM   #9
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I have the PTX DA 35 and 50 macros and wanted a longer lens. The Sigma 150 would have been ideal but they do not make it in PTX mount and apparently have no plans to do so. I settled on the 105 and have found it more than acceptable. It also functions quite well with the Tamron 1.4 TC giving the extra range at only a small price in IQ. I think rendition with the PTX may be slightly better, but for me not enough to justify the extra cost.
09-18-2008, 05:17 AM   #10
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Sigma 70!

.

I went with the Sigma 70 EX f/2.8 - newer than the 105, and possibly the sharpest of all, according to the tests I've seen. But I already had two 100/105mm's, and I was set for that FL, and I wanted something at 70mm for the increased FOV.

Based on the 70's quality, I'd have no hesitation recommending the Sigma 105 - I used to question Sigma quality also until I tried the 70, and it's superb build and optical quality won me over.



09-18-2008, 05:33 AM   #11
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Here are some old macros from the Tamron 90mm. The sharpness is good enough to withstand 2 close-up filters (Raynox DCR-250 + Vivitar+10) stacked onto it



01-30-2010, 09:38 PM   #12
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i guess i'm reviving this thread after 2 years.

has anyone used either the pentax 100mm 2.8 D FA or the sigma 105mm 2.8 DG for IR? i'm curious if either shows a hot spot. thanks.

kasey
01-30-2010, 10:25 PM   #13
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I think I have to agree with Peter and jshermann on the Sigma by virtue of build and sharpness alone. the only Pentax macro lens that earned my nod is the FA version which has a really solid built and can knock a person out cold.

the FA50/2.8 has also a reputation as being the sharpest macro ever made for the Pentax line, though not sure if the new WR 100 is as sharp.

so here are the recommendations as well as pros and cons of the macro lenses:

1. FA50/2.8 - pros: sharpest, wider, focus clamp. cons: rare to find, short on some occasions, too close for macro MFD 1:1, no focus limiter.
2. Sigma 70/2.8 - pros: one of the sharpest macro lenses, very nice solid build, ideal focal length for portraiture, focus limiter. cons: sluggish AF, could be short.
3. Tamron 90/2.8 - pros: very sharp lens, cheap, nice focal length. cons: a bit short for longer telephoto.
4. Sigma 105/2.8 - pros: very nice solid build, focus limiter, sharp, added 5mm is a bonus. cons: probably not as sharp as it's Pentax DFA counterpart and other macros.
5. FA100/2.8 - sharp, great resolution, focus limiter, focus clamp, build like a tank (literally), nice focal length. cons: long throw, not as ridiculously sharp as the other macros.
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