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Old 13th of June 2010 (Sun)   #1
kingdavidd
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Default Sigma, Tamron VS Canon lens, which is better?

hi All,

what are your thoughts on using third party lenses? are canon branded lenses really superior and worth the extra premium in price?

I'm looking into their f2.8 range of lenses; and they are really expensive compared to sigma or tamron.

What am i going to loose if get a sigma or tamron; image quality, sharpness, build,etc?

i'm not a very good judge of image quality or sharpness yet, although this forum has taught me a lot, so far, with playing around with tamron lenses, one thing i notice is slow autofocus, anyone notice that too?

anyway, i'm new at this forums, and with photography in general, so.. i'm anxiously waiting on everyones thoughts and input :O)

thanks in advance

and btw, i currently have a 7D (upgraded from the original rebel) with the 18-135 kit lens.
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Old 13th of June 2010 (Sun)   #2
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Default Re: Sigma, Tamron VS Canon lens, which is better?

The Canon Snobs will always tell you that Canon lenses are the best there are. IMO, L glass is quite good, but not always good enough to justify the price, especially compared to third party glass of equal performance.

The EX line is Sigma's version of the L-series, and it is very good, at much better prices. I've yet to be disappointed by a Sigma lens I've owned. Likewise, many of the Tokina lenses are very good. I'm not so crazy about the Tamron lenses, which feel too much like plastic junk to me.
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Old 13th of June 2010 (Sun)   #3
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Default Re: Sigma, Tamron VS Canon lens, which is better?

Tried a Tamron before (17-50) not impressed and a Sigma (50 1.4) pretty good. Im staying with Canon for now.
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Old 13th of June 2010 (Sun)   #4
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Default Re: Sigma, Tamron VS Canon lens, which is better?

Which is better,, Thai, Italian or Indian food?? Everyone has their own tastes..

I have Canon, Tamron and Sigma lenses.. All three work as I want them too..
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Old 13th of June 2010 (Sun)   #5
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Default Re: Sigma, Tamron VS Canon lens, which is better?

Comparison has to be lens to lens, not brand to brand. All make some high quality lenses, but all have a wide range in both price and quality within their lineup.
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Old 13th of June 2010 (Sun)   #6
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Default Re: Sigma, Tamron VS Canon lens, which is better?

Actual pictures from a real Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 lens.









No problems with the lens, which was purchased used at less than half the cost of the Canon equivalent.
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Old 13th of June 2010 (Sun)   #7
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Default Re: Sigma, Tamron VS Canon lens, which is better?

canon is "better". of course.

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Old 13th of June 2010 (Sun)   #8
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Default Re: Sigma, Tamron VS Canon lens, which is better?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yogestee View Post
Which is better,, Thai, Italian or Indian food?? Everyone has their own tastes.....
Not really a fair comparison as each is a different type of food. I think that asking which is better, Italian food made by an Italian, Italian food made by an Indian or Italian food made by a Thai?

There are some advantages to Canon lenses, price clearly is not one of them but compatibility, speed, AF or anything having to do with the camera/lens interface, support if something goes wrong are all advantages.

With third party lenses clearly price is a huge advantage as is offering ranges Canon does not support such as Siggy's 50-500 or 150-500. But there are risks as well. Each new body could lead to compatibility issue such as older Sigma lenses needing rechiping. Third parties have to reverse engineer the body/lens interface and sometimes it's not optimal. Also, if something does go wrong, you have two different companies to deal with but that's offset by the price.
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Old 13th of June 2010 (Sun)   #9
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Default Re: Sigma, Tamron VS Canon lens, which is better?

The issue with the Tamron lenses are the lack of a built in motor, so focusing is going to be slower. It bothers some (like me) but not others. Sigma makes some great lenses (10-20, 30mm and 50mm 1.4) and of course some poor ones. Many complain of poor quality control. Personally I had 2 occasions where I had to send my Sigma for recalibration, but when it came back it was perfect.
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Old 13th of June 2010 (Sun)   #10
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Default Re: Sigma, Tamron VS Canon lens, which is better?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dengar View Post
The issue with the Tamron lenses are the lack of a built in motor, so focusing is going to be slower.....
This can't be so for Canon lenses. Canon bodies do not have the ability to focus a lens unless the lens has it's own focus motor.
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Old 13th of June 2010 (Sun)   #11
yogestee
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Default Re: Sigma, Tamron VS Canon lens, which is better?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dengar View Post
The issue with the Tamron lenses are the lack of a built in motor, so focusing is going to be slower. It bothers some (like me) but not others. Sigma makes some great lenses (10-20, 30mm and 50mm 1.4) and of course some poor ones. Many complain of poor quality control. Personally I had 2 occasions where I had to send my Sigma for recalibration, but when it came back it was perfect.
All lenses made with the Canon mounts have built in motors..
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Old 13th of June 2010 (Sun)   #12
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Default Re: Sigma, Tamron VS Canon lens, which is better?

I like Canon, Sigma and Tokina for lenses although less so Tokina since I went FF.

Tamron is just lacking in a lot of departments but do have some pretty good optically good lenses. Tamron's build quality, af speed, sound and accuracy is pretty bad when you compare it Canon USM and Sigma HSM.

That being said I still believe Canon lenses are superior on the whole and they have much better QC over 3rd party companies which is a common complaint among Sigma and Tamron for lenses coming out of the factory not calibrated properly and having to send them in to get re-calibrated. This is not so much an issue with Tokina however.
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Old 13th of June 2010 (Sun)   #13
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Default Re: Sigma, Tamron VS Canon lens, which is better?

In general, the Canon lenses are better or the equal of the third party lenses when you consider all the attributes of a lens. Whether all these attributes are important to you weigh on the decision process.

Sigma etc. do have some unique lenses that are just not available from Canon.
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Old 13th of June 2010 (Sun)   #14
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Default Re: Sigma, Tamron VS Canon lens, which is better?

I've been pleased with my Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 thus far. The AF is a little bit slow, but optically, its excellent, and its cheap.
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Old 13th of June 2010 (Sun)   #15
Tee Why
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Default Re: Sigma, Tamron VS Canon lens, which is better?

If you are looking at f2.8 zooms, here are my opinions and generalizations.
Image quality:
About the same in my view in terms of resolution. Tamron and Canons have a very similar color cast. Tokinas seems a touch colder and Sigma seems a touch warmer. Sigmas tend to engineer their lenses to focus very close which is very nice to have. Tamron as well but not as close as Sigma. Generally unless you are measurebating, absolute difference in sharpness is not a big deal.

AF:
Generally, Canon lenses with ringed USM AF motors tend to perform best in terms of accuracy, low light focusing, and quietness. Sigma with HSM (their version of USM) is almost as good. Tamron and Tokina untill recently by Tamron have not used USM AF motors so theirs tend to be slower and a bit less accurate in low light settings. Tamron imo is the worst, many of their lenses have the MF ring that rotates as you AF and they tend to make the most noise like the 17-50mm f2.8 non VC lens.

Build quality:
Generally, I'd say Canon L lenses have the best feel and build quality with a very tough finish and build feel. Tokinas come second for me with a very Nikon Pro grade lens feel. Many describe Tokina's Pro grade lens as Tank like in how tough it feels and I'd agree. Sigma is pretty good but their finish is very soft and a bit more prone to wear imo that Canon or Tokinas. Tokinas are also very heavy, as heavy as Canon L's imo. Same for Sigma's EX lines. Tamron uses plastic in their lens barrels to make them lighter and their lenses like 17-50 and 28-75 is often smaller than their couterparts from Canon/Tokina/Sigma. The plastic material may feel a bit cheaper but it's the same type used in pistols so they are very tough and have a self lubricating feature to ensure smooth use over long time.

Accessories:
Canon does not include a hood except for L lenses. Their front lens caps suck big time, especially if you leave a hood on the lens since they are not center pinching type. Their rear element cap is generally better than the others in term of use. Tokina, Sigma, Tamron all include hoods and a center pinch front lens cap that makes it easier to use with a hood on. Of those Sigma and Tokina have easier center pinch lens design. Tamron's rear lens cap is the worst, you have to line up the cap with the little red dot to mount the lens. Rear caps from others do not require this. This can be annoying when you are trying to quickly change lenses.

Warranty:
Canon has a one year warranty on all it's lenses. Tokina and Sigma (EX) line have 4 years IIRC. Tamron has 6 years. Many will say this or that brand have better quality control but I've not seen any authoritative figures on failure rates or such from a lens maker. So I can't say a specific maker has the best quality control/reliability. IIRC lensrentals.com put out their own stats and it seems like failure rates where high for specific models more than a specific maker, but you can search that on your own if you want. Personally, I'm not concered as most lenses seem that I've bought worked fine.

Price:
Canon's tend to cost the most. I'd say Sigma and Tokina are comparable and maybe Tamron's costing just a touch less than the others. This is however a broad generalization. Canon has a fall and a spring rebate which is instant now days but prices often rise a week or two after the rebates start and often negate much of the rebate. Tamron has a more generous rebate once or twice a year but it's a mail in type. Sigma states they do not have rebates and I've never seen them have a factory rebate. I've also never seen Tokina have a factory rebate program either.

Some nice fast lenses/zooms I'd recommend looking at that combines good optics and value for the money.
Ultrawide: Tokina 11-16 f2.8
Normal zoom: Tamron 17-50mm f2.8, Tamron 28-75mm f2.8, Canon 17-55mm f2.8 IS, Canon 24-70mm f2.8
Telephoto zooms: Canon's may make a better value as the cost difference seems to drop in this category.

Do your own research from forums and various tests. Some good test sites include dpreview.com, slrgear.com, photodo.com, our own lightrules site http://www.pbase.com/lightrules/lenstests.
Good luck.
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Last edited by Tee Why : 13th of June 2010 (Sun) at 13:44.
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