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11-23-2009, 04:27 AM   #1
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Tamron 70-200 f2.8 vs Sigma 70-200 f2.8 In Low Light

Ok i'm looking at these two lenses.

So far I've been told that the Tamron is sharper whilst the Sigma performs far better in low light whilst the Tamron hunts. Which leads me to the question why would the Tamron hunt more than the Sigma since they are both f2.8 and the AF is handled by the camera?

Anyone please shed some light on this?

11-23-2009, 07:41 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by C.W Tsorotes Quote
Ok i'm looking at these two lenses.

So far I've been told that the Tamron is sharper whilst the Sigma performs far better in low light whilst the Tamron hunts. Which leads me to the question why would the Tamron hunt more than the Sigma since they are both f2.8 and the AF is handled by the camera?

Anyone please shed some light on this?
I am also considering one of these two lenses and also would like any feedback on their relative quality.
11-23-2009, 08:17 AM   #3
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Subscribing to this thread also.
11-23-2009, 11:58 AM   #4
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Lots of threads on Sigma v. Tamron 70-200...Google search yields quite a lot, though not all perfect hits. Not sure if any specifically address low light performance, but worth a look.

You also may want to distinguish between different versions of the Sigma, as they may perform differently. The same also may be true of different Tamron versions.

11-23-2009, 12:34 PM   #5
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OK guys. This is no definitive response - so consider it's worth.... but my short answer is the new Tamron 70-200 isn't any worse in low light compared to the newer HSM version of the Sigma 70-200. I cannot comment on any of the older versions as I've not seen or tried them to compare. Indeed the older Sigma 70-200s without the HSM motor are famed to be sharper and provide better overall IQ than the newer HSM version, despite Sigma's claims of improved quality in the HSM version.

I have toyed with both newer versions of the lenses very recently, the Tamron having had sticky aperture lever issues (but otherwise excellent quality in every aspect apart from pushing it to shoot wide open at minimum focus distance): https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/69207-request-...0-f-2-8-a.html, and the Sigma not impressing me both in its inability to take teleconverters currently available as well as its apparent sharpness issues: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/72242-sigma-70...l-iq-test.html

But to specifically answer your question, I found both lenses locking focus reasonably quickly, and as quickly as each other, except for when focusing starts from the other end (i.e. trying to focus at something at infinity when the focus dial is starting from the shortest distance) - there, the Sigma HSM has the edge given its higher acceleration of the AF motor in the middle of the throw.

This minor difference to me doesn't sway my decision on which is best to get. I have never experienced the Tamron to hunt, although I have only ever used it in low-light concerts where spotlighting shines brightly enough to provide the lens with something to easily focus on. It has not failed me yet. So I personally cannot attest to your claims of AF difficulties with the lens - you may be looking at a lot of the Canon and Nikon reviews comparing the screwdrive Tamron versus the ultrasonic Nikon or Canon 70-200 lenses - between them there is a significant loss of AF speed, but between the Tamron and the Sigma on a Pentax dSLR, there is little difference to speak of.
11-23-2009, 02:39 PM   #6
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What sort of motor does the Tamron use? the Pentax AF or does it has its own internal motor?
11-23-2009, 03:29 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
OK guys. This is no definitive response - so consider it's worth.... but my short answer is the new Tamron 70-200 isn't any worse in low light compared to the newer HSM version of the Sigma 70-200. I cannot comment on any of the older versions as I've not seen or tried them to compare. Indeed the older Sigma 70-200s without the HSM motor are famed to be sharper and provide better overall IQ than the newer HSM version, despite Sigma's claims of improved quality in the HSM version.

I have toyed with both newer versions of the lenses very recently, the Tamron having had sticky aperture lever issues (but otherwise excellent quality in every aspect apart from pushing it to shoot wide open at minimum focus distance): https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/69207-request-...0-f-2-8-a.html, and the Sigma not impressing me both in its inability to take teleconverters currently available as well as its apparent sharpness issues: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/72242-sigma-70...l-iq-test.html

But to specifically answer your question, I found both lenses locking focus reasonably quickly, and as quickly as each other, except for when focusing starts from the other end (i.e. trying to focus at something at infinity when the focus dial is starting from the shortest distance) - there, the Sigma HSM has the edge given its higher acceleration of the AF motor in the middle of the throw.

This minor difference to me doesn't sway my decision on which is best to get. I have never experienced the Tamron to hunt, although I have only ever used it in low-light concerts where spotlighting shines brightly enough to provide the lens with something to easily focus on. It has not failed me yet. So I personally cannot attest to your claims of AF difficulties with the lens - you may be looking at a lot of the Canon and Nikon reviews comparing the screwdrive Tamron versus the ultrasonic Nikon or Canon 70-200 lenses - between them there is a significant loss of AF speed, but between the Tamron and the Sigma on a Pentax dSLR, there is little difference to speak of.
Thanks Ash on a fairly comprehensive analysis.
11-23-2009, 03:56 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by C.W Tsorotes Quote
What sort of motor does the Tamron use? the Pentax AF or does it has its own internal motor?
Screw-drive AF - body-dependent.
So conceivably faster on the K-7 than on the K10D/K20D.
But I've only ever used it on a K10D/K20D, and I'm OK with its speed...

11-23-2009, 03:57 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimH Quote
Thanks Ash on a fairly comprehensive analysis.
You're welcome Jim.
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