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09-05-2009, 09:19 PM   #46
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I had bought this lens to replace my older non DG/non HSM version of this lens and I like you was very disappointed.

What I found was that at short focus distances the IQ was awful, soft and completely out of whack. If I backed up just a few feet IQ got better (but still not better then my old version of the lens). After I found these results myself I read the dpreview review of this lens and they found the same exact thing.. this is a quote from their review:

From: Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG Macro HSM II Lens Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review
QuoteQuote:
However this lens does have some problems, mostly related to its sub-par macro performance. Image quality when shooting at short focus distances with wider apertures is distinctly weak, with a combination of general softness, focus shifts due to spherical aberration, and red/cyan fringing around slightly out-of-focus regions (due to axial chromatic aberration) giving very unconvincing imaging indeed.
In the review they go into technical details about why the close focusing IQ is so bad if you are interested. I believe this is why you see no difference in wide apertures even with focus adjustment (same thing that I experienced)


I returned the lens I bought and that is when I ended up buying into another system just for a 70-200 f/2.8 HSM type lens...



John

09-06-2009, 01:19 AM   #47
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Yes, John. I too read that review with much interest, and thought long and hard to consider it after the Tammy became a lemon. I now know that both the Sigma and Tamron have international warranties and thus will go with the Tammy again for the fact that a sticky aperture lever can be repaired, but poor IQ as being normal for the Sigma cannot be fixed.

This is quite unfortunate for Pentax. With no FA 80-200s in production, and very rarely appearing for sale, it leaves Pentax owners with no option than to go for a Tamron or Sigma in this range, both of which have their issues.

Tamron indeed got back to me with the statement that they were 'not aware of any sticky aperture issues with the 70-200 lens'. That's hard to believe from the number of reports I've heard about this problem on this forum alone.

I hope that Pentax redoes an f/2.8 of this range, like a DA 80-200, since the 50-135 is considered too short for some and the 60-250 not fast enough for others...
09-06-2009, 02:06 AM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
I now know that both the Sigma and Tamron have international warranties
Be careful with that, C.R Kennedy (Sigmas Australian agent) will not cover warranty on 'Grey imports'. However their wording is ambiguous, they 'may' (or may not) cover direct imports. See here.

I don't know what Maxwells (Tamrons Australian agent) attitude is to direct imports.
09-06-2009, 02:48 AM   #49
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I went for Tamron because of exactly those things. I believe my Tammy is a bit sharper than that.

BUT, this all stands true only if you are pixel-peeping at 100%, and I refused to do this anymore. Well maybe only a little when no-one is looking

I mean just shoot more with your new lens - the picures look good to me when not inspected at 100%.

09-06-2009, 02:57 AM   #50
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Out of interest (and with my MKI 70-200mm being a non macro version) I stuck a 23mm extension tube on it a couple of days ago.

This is appox a 50% crop I would guess.

09-06-2009, 02:57 AM   #51
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I'm going with Tamron anyway, and will deal with their Asia-Pacific office should anything go awry with the lens.

As for comparing images between the Tammy and the Sigma, I could notice the difference in IQ even on the LCD at small magnifications, not just at 100%. I personally won't go for a Sigma replacement (I certainly don't want to deal with CRK), but have been assured by Tamron themselves that it will be covered by the 1 year warranty.
09-06-2009, 02:58 AM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike.P Quote
Out of interest (and with my MKI 70-200mm being a non macro version) I stuck a 23mm extension tube on it a couple of days ago.

This is appox a 50% crop I would guess.

Yes, that is interesting - a sharp lens in anyone's language.
No wonder this lens doesn't appear very much for sale anyway.
09-06-2009, 11:45 AM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by alfa75ts Quote
Be careful with that, C.R Kennedy (Sigmas Australian agent) will not cover warranty on 'Grey imports'. However their wording is ambiguous, they 'may' (or may not) cover direct imports. See here.

I don't know what Maxwells (Tamrons Australian agent) attitude is to direct imports.
I find warranty strange. Sigma, in Canada, has a warranty for 10 years. Why would the rest of the world not have the same. Even Pentax has 2 years minimum for Canada.

I purchased my Sigma 70-200 on initial release. For the money the quality of the lens is quite good, for mine anyway.

09-06-2009, 01:44 PM   #54
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Beats me too Denis.
Disadvantaging buyers in this way sends the message that they're not as valued.
This is why I personally like to shop in the marketplace for gear that has performed and stood the test of time rather than take a punt at buying new gear that can fail spectacularly in a year, and then not be covered for it.
09-10-2009, 12:04 PM   #55
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Just got my Sigma back from service. Haven't had it out yet to test IQ, but the HSM focusing is a dramatic improvement from what it was when I received it. So quick!
09-10-2009, 12:57 PM   #56
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Great to hear.
I noticed it having a fast acceleration stage as well as a normal turning stage in AF, which seemed to give it the edge in AF speed, although the Tammy was pretty quick too.
09-10-2009, 01:19 PM   #57
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Maxwell (Australia's Tamron distributor/service provider) is washing their hands clean from having to deal with warranties provided by overseas purchased lenses. They will not cover them. Very sad.

B&H have given me the solution that I could take up an extra protection scheme since there will be no local warranty:

We have no control of manufacturer's international warranty coverage, if there is any. Our most recent email concisely and accurately explains any manufacturer warranty information for international countries is decided by them, not us. If you are not happy with their international warranty coverage you can buy the Sagemax extended warranty plan through us which will complement the manufacturer's warranty and kick in when the manufacturer cannot assist.
09-10-2009, 01:31 PM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike.P Quote
When I was looking for a 70-200mm f2.8 I was undecided between the Tamron and Sigma but read the Sigma had the exact same problems you are experiencing now.
I decided to buy a MKI version in the end as I thought it had better IQ at 200mm and also that the Sigma teleconverters work properly on the Non HSM versions.
Your lens performs about the same as my old Sigma 70-200/2.8 pre-Macro, pre-HSM. And the IQ loss with the 1.4x Apo tc is invisble to me, too. (The 2x Apo tc is more obvious...)

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09-13-2009, 04:32 PM   #59
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Just received my second Tammy 70-200 and pushed its limits to try and pixelpeep its weakness at full stretch. No disrespect to the Sigma HSM or anyone who owns it, but the results at 200mm are like night and day.

A quick and dirty 100% crop of wide open 200mm shots at close to MFD gives this by the Tammy:

centre:


edge:


extreme corner:


Same magazine I used with the Siggy, under the same lighting conditions and focusing distance.
No need to stop down to compare the two, but what is remaining is the 135mm comparison, which I'll do myself later. In my mind, the testing's over and I'm with Tamron...
09-14-2009, 03:25 PM   #60
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Went out shooting today at lunch using f/2.8 only. In general the conclusions in this thread hold up. At 200mm and especially at "macro" ranges, there is apparent softness (though still quite usable) and highlight bloom at f/2.8. From about 70-135mm it's pretty damn sharp, though, and for non-macro use 135-200mm are quite acceptable. I'll post some shots once I develop the RAWs.
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