Joe Ravenstein wrote in post #16681583
I don't recall if Tamron lens were even around back in the 60s when I got my 1st interchangeable lens camera. I had a Minolta SRT101 and had nothing but Minolta lens.
Yeah, they started with lenses in 1961, but didn't really become a player until the late 60's/early 70's. Plenty of FD and Minolta MD mount Tamron lenses out there. Popularity definitely picked up in the 80's though, as mentioned above.
Considering Tamron (and Sigma) have only been making lenses for about 40 years, vs Canon for 80, I think they're both doing ok. Both Tam and Sigma gained in popularity in the 70's, and have stayed in the lead as 3rd party manufacturers. Whereas others either went the way of the Dodo bird, or like Tokina, just really haven't kept up with the pack.
Because they are 3rd party manufacturers, there will always be a stigma attached to that, no matter how good they are.
I've taken apart, and put back together many lenses, and there is almost no difference in the quality level of parts being used, whether it's a Canon, Sigma, or Tamron. Lots of plastic. The low-end consumer lenses by any manufacturer is pure, unadulterated crap. Only the L lenses have 'quality' components, but what Sigma and Tamron use in their higher end lenses compete quite well.
I really like Tamron. I love the fact that I can get the same or better optical quality of a Canon for half the price (or even less). As for build, their better lenses are built quite well. My only hesitation with Sigma, is that they reverse-engineer the lens, which makes me question the lens longevity if a new system comes out (think of film to digital - none of the old Sigmas work anymore), whereas most of the Tamrons do work.
From what I've seen, if you take a middle of the road Canon lens, and compare it to it's current counterpart by the 3rd party's, the Canon lenses tend to fall short at a much higher price. Lenses like the 28-135, 17-85, 70-300 (non-L), etc.
Just my 2 cents, and that's about what it's worth.
On a side note, I am currently doing a head-to-head/side-by-side comparison of a 3rd party cheap (really affordable, not cheap in performance) against a very well regarded Canon L lens. So far, I've been very impressed with my findings. I will eventually have a thread comparing the two, but it's still a couple of weeks before everything is done.