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05-28-2009, 08:52 PM   #1
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Sigma or Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8

I've been spoiled by the DA* 16-50mm and 50-135mm f/2.8 lenses I have for my K200D. I also have the DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8mm lens - and, frankly, it's a solid piece. But I'd like to extend my focal range with a fast aperture. And so, while I'm in no hurry, I've begun looking at the 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses from both Sigma and Tamron. So far, my early research seems to be giving me an impression that the Sigma is a bit better. Anyone have experience with either of these lenses? Ultimately, I'll want to go even longer - to 300mm at least - but fast glass in that range is expensive and I'll probably have to buy used. But in the 200mm range I can probably still swing a new lens. And, yes, I think I'd get more use out of a zoom - at least at focal lengths this long.

05-28-2009, 09:08 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Biro Quote
I've been spoiled by the DA* 16-50mm and 50-135mm f/2.8 lenses I have for my K200D. I also have the DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8mm lens - and, frankly, it's a solid piece. But I'd like to extend my focal range with a fast aperture. And so, while I'm in no hurry, I've begun looking at the 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses from both Sigma and Tamron. So far, my early research seems to be giving me an impression that the Sigma is a bit better. Anyone have experience with either of these lenses? Ultimately, I'll want to go even longer - to 300mm at least - but fast glass in that range is expensive and I'll probably have to buy used. But in the 200mm range I can probably still swing a new lens. And, yes, I think I'd get more use out of a zoom - at least at focal lengths this long.


Really can't go wrong with either. The Sigma has the silent HSM, the Tamron may be a bit sharper wide open. Both are great values.

Here ---> is my experience with the Tamron.


.
05-29-2009, 05:05 AM   #3
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Consider...

That there seem to be some sharpness or focus issues with the Sigma. Mine has been in the shop for two weeks now, only used it for about a week after purchasing. You should also consider the fact that there are currently only a couple of TCs that will provide autofocus with the Sigma and they can be hard to find. If you can live without the HSM I'd get the Tamron, wish I did! Or maybe even the Pentax 200mm 2.8...
05-29-2009, 06:23 AM   #4
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I tell ya. I had the Sigma APO HSM 70-200 EX on my Sigma SD14 and I also had the Canon F4 L 70-200 Lens and also the Canon Magic Drainpipe 80-200 2.8 and the Sigma was, by far, the better of the three. So my vote is for the Sigma. Plus you get the tripod collar with the lens, which the other guys (not sure about Tamron though) usually charge you 150 bucks for. And the Sigma build is amazing! As soon as I can afford one for my K20D, I'll be getting the Sigma.

Scott

05-29-2009, 08:16 AM   #5
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Recently I've been hearing some horror stories regarding the SDM motor in the DA* lenses breaking down shortly after warranty expires. My concern is that Sigma's HSM might suffer similarly (The more complex something is the more things there are that can go wrong). While tamron's screw drive AF motor is noisier it seems to rival/beat the silent motors in AF speed and I would have much greater peace of mind with Tamron's 6 year warranty vs. sigma's 1 year + 3 year USA warranty and pentax's lowly 1 year warranty.

By the way Tamron includes a tripod collar as well
05-29-2009, 08:21 AM   #6
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Hey, I appreciate the feedback, guys. J... your images are incredible! Your Tamron saga was interesting, enjoyable and informative. The collective input from the three of you is very useful. Overall, from you guys and others, I'm generally hearing that the Tamron is somewhat sharper but that the Sigma build quality and HSM focusing are great. On the other hand, the Tamron's screw-type focus reportedly works quite well on the newer Pentax bodies (K10 onward). And I suppose there can be bad copies of almost any lens - I've heard about issues with both the Sigma and the Tamron. At the end of the day, as long as I can return the lens I have if there are problems, I guess I'm covered. I intend to make my purchase by the end of summer and any additional information from anyone is welcome and appreciated.
05-29-2009, 08:42 AM   #7
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I love my Tamron 70-200, though it was in to Tamron for two months for repair of a sticky aperture mechanism. The six year warranty does instill some comfort . I've compared the focusing speed of my Tamron vs. my DA* 50-135 here... I haven't handled the Sigma, but I hear good things about it (search for Jimbo's posts, he's doing great wildlife work with his...) If you can stand to loose a stop, I'd seriously consider the Sigma 100-300 f/4 also - I hear raves about it and you do already have the 50-135mm range covered .
05-29-2009, 10:00 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by kthung Quote
My concern is that Sigma's HSM might suffer similarly (The more complex something is the more things there are that can go wrong).
cameralensrentals.com had a lot of sigma hsm failures as well...not sure if Sigma has fixed the issue yet but I suspect it was something they can fix...
HSM is real ring motor so it shouldn't be that complex. SDM uses a micromotor so that can stress out more easily (MHO)

05-29-2009, 03:38 PM   #9
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Another point for the Sigma is that they offer matched teleconverters which supposedly work very well with the lens. I am not sure if they transfer the HSM info yet, though.
05-29-2009, 07:22 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by chse Quote
Another point for the Sigma is that they offer matched teleconverters which supposedly work very well with the lens. I am not sure if they transfer the HSM info yet, though.
No. That's why people are ticked at Sigma...
05-30-2009, 01:19 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by heliphoto Quote
I love my Tamron 70-200, though it was in to Tamron for two months for repair of a sticky aperture mechanism. The six year warranty does instill some comfort . I've compared the focusing speed of my Tamron vs. my DA* 50-135 here... I haven't handled the Sigma, but I hear good things about it (search for Jimbo's posts, he's doing great wildlife work with his...) If you can stand to loose a stop, I'd seriously consider the Sigma 100-300 f/4 also - I hear raves about it and you do already have the 50-135mm range covered .
Just to make sure I'm reading this correctly... the Tamron was actually faster than the DA* 50-135 (on the order of a whopping 30 percent)... albeit much louder? How about that. Meanwhile, on your suggestion, I'll check out the Sigma 100-300 f/4 as well.
05-30-2009, 01:40 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Biro Quote
Just to make sure I'm reading this correctly... the Tamron was actually faster than the DA* 50-135 (on the order of a whopping 30 percent)... albeit much louder? How about that. Meanwhile, on your suggestion, I'll check out the Sigma 100-300 f/4 as well.
Yeah, the consensus on the Pentax SDM focusing is that while it's quiet, it's slower than screw drive, at least with the fairly strong focusing motors in the latest pentax bodies. I haven't used the Sigma HSM, but it very well may be as fast as screw-drive, I don't know.
05-30-2009, 08:52 PM   #13
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the 100-300 is a focusing speed demon! YouTube - SIGMA APO 100-300mm F4 EX DG AF Speed K20D
05-30-2009, 09:44 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by kthung Quote
the 100-300 is a focusing speed demon! YouTube - SIGMA APO 100-300mm F4 EX DG AF Speed K20D
Wow, that is impressive - doesn't surprise me - Sigma lenses are the fastest focusing lenses I've used.
05-31-2009, 04:53 PM   #15
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I had both lens at some time (even got 2 tammy). The tamron was good optically (a little better than sigma), in fact better @ 135mm than 70 and 200, but they both suffered from focusing issues, randomly...

the sigma feel better in your hand, optical quality was on par with the tammy, perhaps a bit yellowish in tones, but ok. focusing was much better IMO, silent, quite fast and spot on. FTM also is a big plus. The tripod collar on the sigma is better, you can remove it very quickly.

Without focusing issues, I would pick the tamron but... sigma seem's a better choice overall.
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