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Sigma 55-200 vs Tamron 55-200 FULL REVIEW!

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Thread started 17 Mar 2007 (Saturday) 20:00   
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Nick_C
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Please note: This review will no longer be available here.

I understand this has proved to be a VERY popular review for those starting out & not wishing to spend much money, judging by all the PM's ive recieved, more popular than I ever thought.

Thanks to all those who PM'ed me, your kind words are appreciated.

The review has not been deleted, simply moved to the link below where I can provide better support with no restrictions (more images etc)...

http://www.njc-photography.co.uk/revi​ew1.htmlexternal link

Post #1, Mar 17, 2007 20:00:15




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wei-ste
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I have to agree with Nick that Sigma 55-200 f4-5.6 is a very compact and capable lens. Compare with my 300D kit lens, it's sharper (and I have a quite sharp kit lens), has better colour and contrast, and almost as cheap to buy ( although it cost me almost 150EUR two years ago). Here are two photos I took in a trip:

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http://www.pbase.com/w​eisteen/image/46012269​.jpgexternal link
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IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
http://www.pbase.com/w​eisteen/image/46188983​.jpgexternal link
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Post #2, Mar 18, 2007 05:29:42


WeiS
http://www.pbase.com/w​eisteenexternal link

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Nick_C
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Nice shots, I cant wait to take my one out with me, these "test" images are all well & good but there is nothing like taking some REAL shots with it, so far ive been very impressed by the results.

Its not a fast lens at F5.6 but ive managed to get F10 at 200mm with decent shutter speeds so far, on really gloomy days it would be more of a problem but photos on those days rarely turn out good anyway as everything looks so drab!

A cracking little lens for the money & its lighter than my 17-70, my whole kit is now extremely lightweight & HIGHLY portable, something that I have always wanted in a good DSLR setup, I dont want to carry around 4Kg+ all day.

Nick :-)

Post #3, Mar 18, 2007 06:51:17




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condyk
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A very expensive review of a couple of cheap lenses ;-)a Nice job.

Post #4, Mar 18, 2007 09:30:10


http://photography-on-the.net .../showthread.php?t=1​203740

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Nick_C
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condyk wrote in post #2890106external link
A very expensive review of a couple of cheap lenses ;-)a Nice job.

I did send one back for a refund ;-)a

Nick :-)

Post #5, Mar 18, 2007 10:04:04




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jaymrobinson
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Cool bell peppers!

Post #6, Mar 18, 2007 10:05:18


KissDigital N (350D), EF-S 17-55 2.8 IS, EF 70-200 4L IS, Tamron 18-200 DiII, EF 50 1.8, EF 85 1.8, Tamron 90 Di Macro, 580EX, 430EX, ST-E2
My Pbase:
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Nick_C
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jaymrobinson wrote in post #2890230external link
Cool bell peppers!

Yeah they didnt last long after that photo, nothing lasts long in this house when it comes to food :D

Nick :-)

Post #7, Mar 18, 2007 10:17:49




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CountryBoy
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Duh ! I never caught that, " however ephotozine.com say the Tamron does NOT have a rotating front element, this is NOT TRUE!! it does rotate when focussing just the same as the Sigma, they have got it all wrong." I dug out my tamron and checked , just to be sure. Yup, you was right.

I used the Tamrom for a few months. I gave like $130 after a $30 rebate. I never noticed any problems with CA. I won't say it's a great lens, buy for the price...........

I always said it was somewhere between ephotozine's and Bob Atkins review.

I'm giving it to my sis-in-law

Post #8, Mar 18, 2007 17:42:54


Hi

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DerekI
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This is a great review thans , I think most of people forget that not all people only care about extreme IQ but many people care convenience more than the absolute IQ.

Like you said , I dont want to carry a 4 kg kit either. Not only for the price , but for the price and the weight, the EF-S 17-55IS , 24-105, 70-200F2.8L are out of my shopping list.

With those Ls you may be able to gain a bit of extreme corner sharpness though , at expense of all weight , price , size and convenience .

So I greatly appreciate your review and that bell peppers are so nice .

Post #9, Mar 23, 2007 14:00:30


Canon EOS40D(2).
EF-S17-55IS,EF70-300DOISUSM,EF-S60f2.8USM, EF-S55-250IS,EF-85f1.8USM.
Nikon D300, AFS12-24, AF-S16-85VR,AF-S18-200VR, AF-S70-300VR,AF35f2D.

http://www.flickr.com/​photos/izumiflowers/external link

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Nick_C
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DerekI wrote in post #2918768external link
This is a great review thans , I think most of people forget that not all people only care about extreme IQ but many people care convenience more than the absolute IQ.

Like you said , I dont want to carry a 4 kg kit either. Not only for the price , but for the price and the weight, the EF-S 17-55IS , 24-105, 70-200F2.8L are out of my shopping list.

With those Ls you may be able to gain a bit of extreme corner sharpness though , at expense of all weight , price , size and convenience .

So I greatly appreciate your review and that bell peppers are so nice .

Glad you enjoyed it, the funny thing is that despite the 55-200 being the cheapest lens around its actually suprising good, at 200mm wideopen the corners are as sharp as the centre & while it may lack a little contrast compared to a more expensive lens that can SO easily be fixed in photoshop.

From what I have now seen, paying more gives you a little more sharpness but most of all you are paying for faster aperture, build quality, faster focussing & things like that, at the end of the day if you can live without these things the actual sharpness of the lens edge to edge is very good.

So far I havent shot stopped down, I shoot wideopen all the time & im getting very decent results.

As a comparison I thought my Carl Zeiss 135mm Jena (m42) was a top notch lens, from what I read its apparently one of the better lenses of the day, well the little 55-200 knocks spots off of that, its much sharper!

Nick :-)

Post #10, Mar 23, 2007 14:16:49




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Nick_C
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Here are some 100% crops of that image shown in the tests of the Porsche, the only post processing that I did was to convert the image from raw & apply a little contrast.

This was taken at 200mm wide open which at 200mm is F5.6.

Centre Crop:

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Edge Crop:

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http://farm1.static.fl​ickr.com ...31669401_e76b4f6aab​_o.jpgexternal link
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THIS IS WIDEOPEN!!!! I never imagined I could use it wideopen, I thought it was going to be dreadfully soft, I was expecting to shoot at F8.0 or F11 all the time but I dont have to.

The branches of a tree obscure the view slightly on that edge crop, naturally they are out of focus as they were closer to the lens, DOF at F5.6 200mm is not a lot.

I am VERY satisfied with the edge to edge sharpness of this lens, an £800 L lens might have the edge in sharpness but this is not exactly unsharp & is so much more portable to carry around which no other lens can even start to compete with, it only weighs 315g so on a 350D the whole kit is very lightweight to carry around all day, which is a plus in my books.

I can see that when I move to the country in a months time I will be able to get some stunning shots with this lens, combined with the Sigma 17-70 I actually have a wide angle + mid range + macro lens + now a decent telephoto, all fitting into a tiny little bag which goes under my coat so its unnoticed, certainly the opposite to the other look which is of course "HEY WHO INVITED THE PAPARAZZI?" lol.

Another plus over the 70-200 lenses is that it starts off at 55mm, this means that I dont get that zoomed in feeling that you get with 70mm, 55mm feels a lot better & of course I can use it with my pano head for panoramic images, 70mm on the other hand is too zoomed in.

PERFECT!!

If anyone wants to see anymore images of this lens, just shout ;-)a

Nick :-)

Post #11, Mar 23, 2007 14:41:33




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Jman13
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These really are quite surprising results. I had a Sigma 70-300 APO before I got my 80-200L, and it was good to about 200mm, but was pretty soft beyond that. These are downright sharp lenses....especially for the price. Excellent review for those who don't need the speed, and have tighter budgets for lenses. For what I shoot, I couldn't do f/5.6 at 200mm (I have to shoot at f/2.8 quite often), but if you shoot in bright light, there's not a whole lot of reason to pony up the big bucks unless you need the build. Very nice.

Post #12, Mar 23, 2007 15:58:42


Jordan Steele - http://www.jordansteel​e.comexternal link
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Nick_C
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That is it exactly! I did a little homework on these lenses before I purchased anything & while the Sigma 70-300APO was tempting I realized I wouldnt be that happy with the 300mm end, if I ended up using it as a 70-200 lens then I might as well have saved a heap of cash & got one of these instead! they are smaller & lighter too.

I find on sunny days the 55-200 really shines, I then decided to try it on a rainy day when it was overcast & really gloomy, I found to get a decent shutter speed of say 1/200th I had to use ISO800 or 1600, but that is no doubt the main reason why people like yourself need the F2.8 lenses.

I am not too concerned about the low light side of things though as when I look back through all my images all of the photos taken on rainy days they are so drab & lifeless that I no longer bother unless its a really great scene, I prefer to wait for a more sunny day, colours are more vibrant & the photos have more dazzle.

I am also very suprised by the images this lens is able to produce, it really is a very decent performer, the only thing I dislike is the minimum focussing distance, its a little far at just over 1meter, but then I have my 17-70 which can focus to 1cm so that makes up for this.

Here is an example of where these lenses are really pushed to their limits, this is where the F2.8 lenses would be better, this was taken just aimed out of the bedroom window at dusk on a cold overcast day, it was getting dark as you can see by the headlights on the car I focussed on.

200mm F5.6 (WideOpen) 1/200th - ISO1600 (Handheld)

IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
http://farm1.static.fl​ickr.com ...31859658_11f0f01d63​_o.jpgexternal link
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/gif' | Redirected to error image by FLICKR


If it got any darker then I wouldnt be able to take the shot at all, but not too shabby overall considering this was dusk, of course if you wanted to do a lot of low light photography then a faster lens is a must, I will be doing some low light shots with this but only of still scenes with my tripod, in that case it will be perfectly acceptable.

Nick :-)

Post #13, Mar 23, 2007 18:19:37




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Jman13
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Yeah.....

I need f/2.8 because I shoot events, and indoors, there is often very little light. Sometimes I'm shooting at 1/100 on a monopod at ISO 1600 or 3200 at f/2.8. Luckily, my lens is extremely sharp at f/2.8, so it's all good. However, without that need, these are excellent alternatives. They would make a very nice addition to any photographer's kit.

Post #14, Mar 23, 2007 19:39:55


Jordan Steele - http://www.jordansteel​e.comexternal link
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JackProton
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Nice review! I picked up the Sigma for peanuts when my 24-200mm came down with a bad case of the ERR99s. I was pretty surprised at the results I was seeing from the Sigma. Nice! On top of that, it turned out my local camera shop was unloading some very nice old Kodak (Hoya) multi-coated 55mm filters for practically nothing. I liked it so much I kept using it after my 24-200mm was repaired.

Post #15, Mar 23, 2007 22:57:20




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