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01-19-2010, 03:54 AM   #1
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70-200mm/2.8, Sigma HSM II vs Tamron

So, which 70-200/2.8, Sigma HSM II or Tamron is best ? and why ?

Seems reviews for Sigma HSM II are a mix...

Thanks

01-19-2010, 01:11 PM   #2
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Nuno,

I can't compare both but I leased for few days Sigma 70-200 HSM II from my friend. I did some kitchen test comparing it with few 135mm primes, Sigma 100-300 and my last LBA Leica 80-200/4.

I was surprised how good is resolution of Sigma - especially at f2.8. What is strange is that Sigma doesn't improve so much as primes (eg. K 135/2.5) at f5.6 or f8. But anyway it is still ok.

It is very handy lens, HSM is quite and fast. No any issues with BF/FF - maybe small FF - but easy to compensate in body.
Overall it looks very small comparing to my Sigma 100-300 and I decided to borrow it for my next trip in place of Sigma 100-300 as too big and too long for people shots.
01-19-2010, 01:22 PM   #3
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Hi Piotr

I sold my tamron but I think I will need soon a 70-200/2.8 and now I noticed there is the sigma version II.

I think I will probably get again the tamron since it's screw driven because I really don't trust much SDM or HSM motors. (A friend of mine had two of is HSM lenses dead. Seems it's not only SDM that can go bad.)

Either way I was trying to know if there is such an improvement on this version II that is worth the risk of getting one instead of tamron.
01-19-2010, 01:40 PM   #4
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Nuno,

Of course you are right. It doesn't work with my old Sigma converters. And it totally freak out with Pentax AF1.7.

01-19-2010, 01:44 PM   #5
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There have been numerous discussions about these lenses:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/83402-tamron-7...-practice.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/69207-request-...0-f-2-8-a.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/72242-sigma-70...lity-test.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/67786-70-200-f2-8-dilemma.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/80237-tammy-70...-70-200-a.html

Overall, my opinion is swayed towards the Tamron for its superior IQ.
The Sigma HSM version does AF with the Tamron 1.4x TC to a point - but is totally useless where you need it most - from 180-200mm.
01-19-2010, 01:49 PM   #6
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Hi Ash

Thanks for point the threads tome. Don't know how I could miss them

Tamron is a winner as it seems

QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
My own reviews of each under stressed conditions are here:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/69207-request-...0-f-2-8-a.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/72242-sigma-70...l-iq-test.html

My personal finding - Sigma's faster AF is not all that much faster. HSM is not compatible with any current TCs available, whereas Tamron's AF is. The Tamron's IQ is significantly better both in sharpness, microcontrast and colours, especially at wider apertures.

This said, the older Sigma 70-200s (EX DG and non-DG versions) are absolutely excellent, and better than the newer HSM version in every facet.
01-19-2010, 01:52 PM   #7
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Nevertheless, many Sigma users are quite happy with their copies also - and the HSM AF function is good and reasonably fast - at least a little faster than the Tamron (don't know how sturdy it is though - there has been a couple of reports here of HSM failures).
01-19-2010, 02:26 PM   #8
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personally, I never moved away from the APO 70-200 F2.8 EX (non DG non macro)

Image quality, even in the link below, which are all with 2X TC has always impressed me

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/888301-post2.html

01-19-2010, 02:39 PM   #9
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Problem is where to get one of those beauties Lowell.
01-19-2010, 02:46 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Problem is where to get one of those beauties Lowell.
They are still around, and in fact since the HSM model came out, they are much cheaper. There was one I think last week in the market place

I remember when there was no in production 70-200F2.8 by anyone, they were selling used for more than I paid new.

But again, I can't understand why anyone would sell one, ot trade up to HSM with the IQ these give. Maybe if they are selling off the system, or not into wild life, so they saved a few pounds and took a 50-135.

sure HSM is the latest thing, but when it comes down to being able to put the sigma TC on theback of it and still get AF, this is the way to go.
01-19-2010, 03:43 PM   #11
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I have the Sigma II, and I just purchased the Tamron to try alongside it (haven't received it yet).

The Sigma II, in my experience, is very good wide open from 70 to ~150mm, but gets less sharp (still acceptable) at higher zoom levels. Stop it down to f/4 and it's sharp throughout. I've heard the Tamron is sharper in general, especially at the long end.

The Sigma has issues with HSM system failure and bubbles in the front element. My copy had both issues (both fixed under warranty). The Tamron has an issue with the aperture sticking open.
01-19-2010, 03:48 PM   #12
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After seeing all these different threads, I've finally been pushed over the edge and did a completely non scientific test between my Sigma 70-200mm HSM and a SMC M50/1.7 since that was the first known sharp lens I saw near me.

About the only thing I did right was use the same target with all shots on a tripod and the same lighting.

comparing the shots from the Sigma at 200mm and 2.8 about 6 ft from the target, the sharpness was on par with the M50/1.7 at f4 where this lens is pretty sharp and moved closer to the target to make up for lens lengths. Now I compared what is a known sharp lens where it should be performing near the top of its game to the Sigma in less than perfect settings. I used AF for the Sigma and MF confirm for the prime trying to make it at least halfway comparable. I didn't spend too much preparing or anything, so my setup was not anywhere near what I'd do in a lab, just quick and dirty.

I'm happy with my Sigma now that it works. I had a front lens delaminate and it came back from the Sigma shop with a defunct HSM, but its all good after a second time. Seeing what comes out of my lens, it is better than what Ash's produced, but probably would be beat by a Tamron. Mine is acceptable by my standards, and I'll stick with it considering the HSM and a steal of a deal.

If you get a good copy of the Sigma, it works well in the real world. That's why I've been so reluctant to shooting tests (didn't want to get depressed over a lens that I've been previously satisfied with). The Tamron is probably the safer bet if HSM means nothing to you and you're willing to fire off a bunch of shots to see if the aperture is going to fail.

Best of luck
01-19-2010, 03:52 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Piotr Quote
...Overall it looks very small comparing to my Sigma 100-300 and I decided to borrow it for my next trip in place of Sigma 100-300 as too big and too long for people shots.
Thanx for the detailed explanation. But this above piqued my interest in that I don't follow. Are you talking about its physical size in that it's less daunting to your subjects when pointing it at them, or are you saying 70mm vs 100mm on the wide side makes a big difference on those people shots?

I've been fighting off LBA for many months now; big hole in my kit needs filling. Pick'n-up one of these two options or the Sigma 100-300/4 have been testing my self control. ...But which?

Being a proud owner of one of Sigma's best long primes, and the venerable Tammi 28-75/2.8, I'm acquainted with each's own particular handling; which I understand carries over to each of these lenses respectively. I thought I settled it and wanted the Tammi. But I'll have to say, while I rarely manually focus the 28-75, I know from experience with long lenses I would want to manually focus this lens. But switching from AF to MF on the Tammi is at minimum a continual annoyance if it doesn't rise to an actual pain in the arse. The Sigma's quick switch to operate in manual focus mode is a big plus in its column, at least for me ...And my long Sigma lens came with a hat when I bought it so there's that.

Now counter to that argument is the issue of TC support. I'm kookoo for TCs. And the limited options in that regard kinda squelches my enthusiasm. I see I have a lot of catching up to do as I didn't know the Tammi TC works [ironically, as it's the competitor]... but only to a degree... weird AF won't work from 180-200? What the? So anyone who's read on the subject, are there other TCs in addition to the Tammi that work?
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