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02-03-2009, 06:07 PM   #1
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70-200/2.8 lenses - novice needing advice

Hey all,

I am trying to decide on which lens in the 70-200/2.8 range. I originally was thinking DA*50-135 but I feel it is too short, and the weather sealing is not that big of a turn on for me.

Having said that, I am slightly confused regarding the differences in certain lenses in this area. I don't fully understand all of the Di LD, EX DG, etc acronyms, and am hoping someone can give me a laymen comparison of these three lenses, and perhaps an opinion on if the additional $ is worth it. My main considerations are IQ and focusing speed/accuracy. Price is a factor, but I won't buy the cheapest lens a more costly one can be justified.

Here they are:

Tamron AF 70-200 f/2.8 Di LD IF Macro ($669 USD)

Sigma APO 70-200 f/2.8 EX DG HSM ($779)

Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 DG HSM II ($669)

The other wildcard is the DA*200 - does this blow the others out of the way in terms of sharpness wide open?

My main uses are indoor, lowlight sports.

cheers,
adam

02-03-2009, 07:19 PM   #2
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Reconsider the 50-135

Having just acquired the Tamron 70-200, I can tell you it is an excellent lens with great IQ. But I also have the 50-135 to compare it to, and the Tamron is about twice the weight and substantially larger. If you're doing low-light, -indoor- sports, the 50-135 probably has all the reach you'll need, plus it's lighter weight will allow you to hand-hold at lower shutter speeds than the Tamron. For outdoor sports such as soccer, the 50-135 isn't quite long enough, and there a 70-200 gets the nod. Either lens is excellent but it depends on your needs.
02-03-2009, 07:32 PM   #3
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I agree with 'never satisfied' as i just started using the tamron 70-200mm. my only other suggestion is the sigma 70-200mm for fast moving wildlife. the tamron is not as fast, but sharper. the sigma is whisper quiet.

Last edited by ivoire; 02-03-2009 at 08:20 PM.
02-03-2009, 07:41 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by ivoire Quote
I agree with 'never satisfied' as i just started using the tamron 70-200mm. my only other suggestion is the sigma 70-200mm for fast moving wildlife. the tamron is not as fast, but sharper and so quiet.
I am so glad you commented on the noise level of the lens! I am also considering which of these three lenses to buy for wedding photography, and having a lens that is quite during the ceremony is very important to me.

02-03-2009, 07:49 PM   #5
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Well if you want a quiet lens the 50-135 wins hands down. Probably an ideal focal length for the average wedding, too.
02-03-2009, 08:23 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Allison Quote
I am so glad you commented on the noise level of the lens! I am also considering which of these three lenses to buy for wedding photography, and having a lens that is quite during the ceremony is very important to me.
I messed that up. the sigma is whisper quiet. the tamron is a bit noisy unless its already close focused. if you are doing weddings, the pentax or sigma are better options IMO.
02-03-2009, 08:27 PM   #7
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I've got the new version of the Sigma and I'm sold on the look, feel, smooth action and of course the pics. You would love it.

Going for a big wide aperture lens comes down to a personal choice. Some like the Sigma finish and some hate it so make sure you put your hands on all the lenses before you try.

I love a sharp picture but I can't use a lens I don't like the look or feel of.

Good luck
joe
02-03-2009, 08:31 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by adamkean Quote
Hey all,

I am trying to decide on which lens in the 70-200/2.8 range. I originally was thinking DA*50-135 but I feel it is too short, and the weather sealing is not that big of a turn on for me.

Having said that, I am slightly confused regarding the differences in certain lenses in this area. I don't fully understand all of the Di LD, EX DG, etc acronyms, and am hoping someone can give me a laymen comparison of these three lenses, and perhaps an opinion on if the additional $ is worth it. My main considerations are IQ and focusing speed/accuracy. Price is a factor, but I won't buy the cheapest lens a more costly one can be justified.

Here they are:

Tamron AF 70-200 f/2.8 Di LD IF Macro ($669 USD)
Di means full frame, LD means low dispersion
QuoteQuote:

Sigma APO 70-200 f/2.8 EX DG HSM ($779)
APO means aprochromatic (all colors focus at one point at more than one focusing point EX means pro quality, DG means coatings optimized for digital full frame
QuoteQuote:
Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 DG HSM II ($669)
HSM means motor for focusing in lens need K100 Super, K200, K10, K20 K200 to use. DG as before
QuoteQuote:

The other wildcard is the DA*200 - does this blow the others out of the way in terms of sharpness wide open?

My main uses are indoor, lowlight sports.

cheers,
adam
hope this helps

02-03-2009, 08:36 PM   #9
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One down side is the Tamron has no aperture ring on it.
I was under the impression that Di meant that it is designed for Digital Optics ... not just Full frame.

EDIT: "Di" is digitally integrated for DSLRs and Conventional cameras ... "Di II" is designed for DSLRs with smaller image circles.
I stand corrected.
02-03-2009, 08:56 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by joelovotti Quote
I've got the new version of the Sigma and I'm sold on the look, feel, smooth action and of course the pics. You would love it.

Going for a big wide aperture lens comes down to a personal choice. Some like the Sigma finish and some hate it so make sure you put your hands on all the lenses before you try.

I love a sharp picture but I can't use a lens I don't like the look or feel of.

Good luck
joe
Hey Joe, with the Sigma 70-200/2.8 HSM, do you also notice any improvement in AF speed and tracking capabilities? I am interested in something of this focal length and the ring motor of the Sigma makes it very intriguing and I just want to know if you notice any tangible differences? TIA.
02-03-2009, 09:05 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by joelovotti Quote
I've got the new version of the Sigma and I'm sold on the look, feel, smooth action and of course the pics. You would love it.

Going for a big wide aperture lens comes down to a personal choice. Some like the Sigma finish and some hate it so make sure you put your hands on all the lenses before you try.

I love a sharp picture but I can't use a lens I don't like the look or feel of.

Good luck
joe
I'm in the camp that can't stand that powder coat finish on the Sigma barrels. I know it shouldn't make any difference - good glass is good glass - but I put my hands on those lenses and they just feel cheap to me and it distracts me. It's the #1 reason I don't even consider Sigma lenses at all. Intellectually I know they're optically great lenses, but like you say I can't use it if it doesn't feel right.

Are you saying Sigma has begun moving away from the powder coated finish? I just pulled up the B&H listing for the 70-200 and the pic shows that same old gritty, looks and feels like it's gonna flake off any minute powder coat.

02-03-2009, 10:03 PM   #12
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thanks for the help all. i haven't really considered the weight factor or noise. i may just have to re-visit the 50-135. I wish i didn't sell my fa 135
02-03-2009, 10:34 PM   #13
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What are you shooting?

I shoot alot of indoor sports (kids) basketball, hockey. I was shooting them with a Sigma 70-300 on a K10d and with some PP they came out very well but I knew I needed more light, I bought the Tamron 70-200 f2.8 and after some adjustment have been very pleased with the pictures. When I went bck and looked at my pictures and the range I was shooting in the 50-135 was not enough or I would have bought it, my camera shop normaly sells Sigma but said to me on the more expensive glass Tamron is usually sharper. If you look at the specs of the Tamron and the Sigma they are almost the same but I would like to try the Sigma for a day to see just how close.

If you would like to see test shots taken with the Tamron let me know and I will share them with you.
02-04-2009, 06:37 PM   #14
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It's funny.

I replaced a Tamron 28-300 zoom with the Sigma and assumed I'd get faster focussing but that is a relative term.

The issue is the focus throw on the Tamron is only 60 degees or so and the focus throw on the Sigma is twice that. So even though the Sigma does focus "faster" the actual time to focus is about the same.

The tacking focus does seem better but that is a feel thing. I can't say it is truly better.

I can say it's a beautiful lens to hold and use. Recently I've been shooting a lot of pics of my daughters swim team and images are great.

Hope this helps,
joe
02-04-2009, 06:39 PM   #15
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To each his own.....

To me it is a rich look and feel.

That's why I recommended handling the lens.

joe
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