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Old May 27, 2013, 07:53 PM   #26
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I've seen comparisons, and the Tamron doesn't touch the Canon.
The non-VC version of the Tamron is optically comparable to Canon's Mark I 70-200 mm lens. The successor to Tamron's lens not only has VC (vibration compensation, IS in Canon parlance), it also has an ultrasonic motor.

Also dxomark puts the Tamron squarely in the same league as both Canon lenses. Resolution-wise, it sits right between the Mark I and Mark II. The Tamron even has the highest final score -- although I'd be very reluctant to boil down optical performance to one single number. There are other aspects (AF speed, efficacy of the image stabilization, quality control) which are not reflected in the score.

Photozone, ranks the non-VC predecessor lower than the Mark I and Mark II, but they have yet to test the successor.

Before people here start a brouhaha, I'm not arguing the Tamron is better than the Canon's (that most likely depends on the definition of »better«), I'm merely refuting the claim that Canon's lenses are playing in an entirely different league than anyone else. Arguably, the Tamron has better price-performance (even though the VC version is markedly more expensive than its predecessor). They are not. Given the right budget, any of the big lens manufacturers can produce a great lens. There is no magic Leica or Canon L pixie dusts that circumvents the laws of physics and economics. Sigma and Tamron have been moving to the higher end of the market, the lenses they have released have higher price points than their predecessors.

Unless your needs are very particular and/or you are independently wealthy, it's usually much better to go for a cheaper option and a second lens/budget for other things rather than scraping every penny you own because of some perceived deal breaker a Mark I/third-party lens has over a Mark II.
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Old May 28, 2013, 10:51 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
The non-VC version of the Tamron is optically comparable to Canon's Mark I 70-200 mm lens. The successor to Tamron's lens not only has VC (vibration compensation, IS in Canon parlance), it also has an ultrasonic motor.

Also dxomark puts the Tamron squarely in the same league as both Canon lenses. Resolution-wise, it sits right between the Mark I and Mark II. The Tamron even has the highest final score -- although I'd be very reluctant to boil down optical performance to one single number. There are other aspects (AF speed, efficacy of the image stabilization, quality control) which are not reflected in the score.

Photozone, ranks the non-VC predecessor lower than the Mark I and Mark II, but they have yet to test the successor.

Before people here start a brouhaha, I'm not arguing the Tamron is better than the Canon's (that most likely depends on the definition of »better«), I'm merely refuting the claim that Canon's lenses are playing in an entirely different league than anyone else. Arguably, the Tamron has better price-performance (even though the VC version is markedly more expensive than its predecessor). They are not. Given the right budget, any of the big lens manufacturers can produce a great lens. There is no magic Leica or Canon L pixie dusts that circumvents the laws of physics and economics. Sigma and Tamron have been moving to the higher end of the market, the lenses they have released have higher price points than their predecessors.

Unless your needs are very particular and/or you are independently wealthy, it's usually much better to go for a cheaper option and a second lens/budget for other things rather than scraping every penny you own because of some perceived deal breaker a Mark I/third-party lens has over a Mark II.
I know there's nothing "magical" that makes Leica/L lenses better than other lenses, but they are generally much better compared to other lenses. Like I said, the tests I've seen, the Canon 70-200 blows the Tamron away. Maybe there's a newer version I haven't seen of the Tamron, I'd have to double check. As a matter of fact, the new Sigma 35 f/1.4 blows away the Canon 35L. I'm hoping Sigma updates their 50 f/1.4 with the same optics as the 35. It's as sharp at f/1.4 as the Canon stopped down several stops.

EDIT: After double checking, I'm a moron. The tests I read were the Sigma 70-200, not Tamron. Haha. Regardless, i've yet to see a Tamron lens that measures up to the L equivalent. I'm going to check up on the Tamron you mentioned though.
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Old May 28, 2013, 04:04 PM   #28
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Tamron offers some good values. I want to see them replace their 200-500 with a newer design.
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Old May 28, 2013, 07:01 PM   #29
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I know there's nothing "magical" that makes Leica/L lenses better than other lenses, but they are generally much better compared to other lenses.
I don't think performance alone matters to the vast majority of people, it's price-performance. In real-world shots, the difference between stellar lenses and very, very good lenses are tiny, and nobody will notice them if the photo you've taken with it is good. So even with a sizable budget, I'd rather buy more tools for my shed than spend it on two, three very, very expensive ones. That's why I've bought all of my lenses used, and I own Nikon, Tokina and Sigma glass. My favorite one is my Nikon 80-200 mm, though.
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Old May 28, 2013, 09:10 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I don't think performance alone matters to the vast majority of people, it's price-performance. In real-world shots, the difference between stellar lenses and very, very good lenses are tiny, and nobody will notice them if the photo you've taken with it is good. So even with a sizable budget, I'd rather buy more tools for my shed than spend it on two, three very, very expensive ones. That's why I've bought all of my lenses used, and I own Nikon, Tokina and Sigma glass. My favorite one is my Nikon 80-200 mm, though.
Different people have different preferences. I can see both sides of it. For me, I'd rather wait a little longer and get the very best, even if the differences are minimal. Plus, I like the build quality of of Canon's L lenses.
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Old May 28, 2013, 09:11 PM   #31
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Different people have different preferences. I can see both sides of it. For me, I'd rather wait a little longer and get the very best, even if the differences are minimal. Plus, I like the build quality of of Canon's L lenses.
I'm with you on this one.... and yes... you can clearly see the differences between a good lens and a stellar lens.
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Old May 28, 2013, 09:21 PM   #32
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I'm with you on this one.... and yes... you can clearly see the differences between a good lens and a stellar lens.
I did not write »good« lens, I wrote »very, very good« lens (think Mark I vs. Mark II, for instance), this distinction makes a big difference to my argument.
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Old May 28, 2013, 09:22 PM   #33
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I did not write »good« lens, I wrote »very, very good« lens (think Mark I vs. Mark II, for instance), this distinction makes a big difference to my argument.
I can see the difference between the 24-70 I vs II.... but the I is still an excellent lens.

However... I've never found a great Tamron lens.
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Old May 28, 2013, 09:52 PM   #34
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However... I've never found a great Tamron lens.
You seem to base your judgement on gut feeling. That's probably due to your association of Tamron with cheap, plasticky $250 lenses and 12x zooms, and Tamron is working on overcoming this stigma. The various reviews state that the 70-200 mm is in the same ballpark as the Mark I and Mark II (or any other modern 70-200 mm zoom). There have always been a few highly regarded Tamron lenses. E. g. its 90 mm f/2.8 macro lens has had a reputation as an excellent portrait lens even in the film days. And now that Tamron and Sigma are moving into the territory of more expensive lenses, they can spend more on quality control and a robust enclosure.

Third-party lenses are particularly interesting if you look carefully which ones are worthwhile. For instance, when I bought my Nikon F80 in 2002, I also got a Tokina 28-70 mm f/2.8 Pro SV (the SV is important) with it. This lens was an absolute steal: the built quality was pro grade (full metal construction), the optics top notch, but at 1/4 the cost of a Nikkor/Canon L equivalent. I still regret selling that lens.

Moreover, Canon and Nikon have ginormous gaping holes in the lens line-ups, because they live in full frame denial. (The overwhelming share of dslrs sold have APS-C-sized sensors, but the lens line-ups don't reflect that at all.) For instance, neither has a fast, affordable faster than f/2 23 mm lens (~35 mm on full frame). Both have 24 mm f/1.4 full frame lenses, but these are heavy and hugely expensive. Third-party lens manufacturers are filling some of these holes (e. g. Sigma's new 18-35 mm f/1.8 zoom).
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Old May 28, 2013, 10:47 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by DesterWallaboo View Post
I can see the difference between the 24-70 I vs II.... but the I is still an excellent lens.

However... I've never found a great Tamron lens.
The difference between the Mark I and Mark II on the 24-70 is much larger than the 70-200. The 70-200 I was already very solid, the 24-70 I was rather soft.
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Old May 28, 2013, 11:52 PM   #36
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just check out the ISO crops on thedigitalpicture.com between the two lenses and you'll see how amazing the mkII really is.
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Old May 29, 2013, 12:25 AM   #37
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just check out the ISO crops on thedigitalpicture.com between the two lenses and you'll see how amazing the mkII really is.
And the bokeh..... 9 blades = über-creamy

Sorry... was referring to the 24-70mm 2.8L II
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