Sigma lenses?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Buschmaster, Dec 15, 2006.

  1. Buschmaster macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

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    Feb 12, 2006
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    Minnesota
    #1
    How do you guys feel about Sigma lenses? I'm looking at possibly getting a telephoto zoom Sigma lens. I wouldn't want it to be too spendy. Between $100 and $200, and for a Pentax mount. This is a future reference type thing with me, but I'm liking the look of their prices and reviews.

    Also, I'd like it to zoom to at least 200 and preferably 300.
     
  2. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #2
    Sigma lenses are very nice. The prices are always good.
    The optics can tint a shade yellow in some cases, but very subtly.
    Get one if you are in the market for one.
     
  3. EastCoastFlyer macrumors regular

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    Aug 13, 2006
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    North Florida and Northern Delaware
    #3
    I have the 10-20 mm wide angle by Sigma and love it. Don't know if that generalizes to other Sigma lenses -- I did a good deal of homework before buying this one, but I'm bery happy with the choice.
     
  4. Buschmaster thread starter macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

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    #4
    If I get a zoom lens that is a macro lens, can it shoot good non-macro shots and then just also really nice macro shots or is it strictly really only good for macro?

    Like this one.
     
  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #5
    No, it's not strictly for macro. It's a zoom lens that's really bad for macro, but much more capable than other lenses with similar specs. ;) With Sigma, if the lens is capable of a reproduction ratio of 1:4, which means that a subject that's the same size as the sensor will fill 25% of the frame, then it's a "macro" lens. They should label it quasi-macro or somewhat macro, but they don't. If you want a real macro lens, you need a lens capable of 1:1 "true lifesize" reproduction.

    This also means that you can't just walk up to a subject, zoom in to 300 mm focal length and expect to get the closest photo ever. It just won't focus. Every lens has a range where it won't focus on the subject. If you use this lens 70-300 mm lens at 70 mm, the minimum focusing distance might be 40 cm away or so, which means that the lens can't focus if you stand at 27 cm (just an example). And if you stand at exactly 40 cm distance and then zoom from 70 --> 300 mm, you won't get better macro, because the minimum focus distance becomes much further away.

    I have a Sigma 24-70 mm f/2.8 "macro" lens. It's fantastic and does everything I need it to do. I use this lens for around 90% of my photos because it's very sharp, even at f/2.8. It's capable of 1:3.8 reproducibility, and while it can't give me 1:1 reproduction, I find that I rarely do that with a lens capable of 1:1 anyway.

    Tamron lenses are usually as good or better than Sigma lenses (in terms of optics), but their build quality is always poor in comparison. I buy Sigma. I'm strictly talking about Sigma EX lenses (top grade lenses) and comparing them to Tamrons of similar price, because I've never looked at the cheapest end. Many Sigma EX lenses are as good optically as the equivalent Nikon or Canon lens, even "L" lenses, but they're usually noisy because they almost never have SWM/USM for quiet, fast focusing, and the AF has to hunt in low light, although my Sigma 24-70 doesn't do this and also focuses fast (but noisy). That's too bad, although you ARE paying 1/2 price for it, so cheer up. ;)
     
  6. bozigle macrumors regular

    #6
    Well i have 3 sigma lenses including 2EX DG.
    I'm really happy with them and i could not justify the price differenc with the canon's (probably due to my little experience and it is likely that a canon/nikon pro would support an other argumentation)
    Now i also have a non EX lense which is more in your backet price.
    It is crap!
    instead of spending 300Euros in a 70-300, i should have save that money for an EX model 120-300 even at 1500Euros or so.
    This lense is very seldom out of my bag.
    So sigma's are great, provided you go for the EX otherwise they are just toy's quality
    bozigle
     
  7. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    Jun 25, 2002
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    #7
    As the say (in poor English), you get what you pay for.

    Spend more, you get great lenses. Buy the economy lenses and you can tell.

    They used to be one of the worst but they've come a long way. They have a lens or two that are on my wish list.
     
  8. BryanP macrumors member

    BryanP

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    Dec 12, 2006
    #8
    Sigma has some good lens like the 70-200/2.8 (newer version of it). Theres also the 17-50 as well that performs real well.

    They may be cheaper to the actual brand name counter parts, but they get the job done minus the build quality and focus speed. By getting the job done, I mean that they still produce sharp shots with nice contrast and color (a lot of them tend to give a warmer color).

    However, I have heard of reports of quality control being an issue. It's not a rampant issue but just a heads up.

    My friend uses Sigma lens and likes them. I like them as well and wouldn't mind using them if I needed to.
     
  9. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #9
    I have never been particularly impressed with Sigma lenses, especially on Nikon cameras. There have also been issues with Sigma lenses and compatibility with certain camera bodies, requiring a bit of an adjustment in order to make the lens(es) work well. Also, my logic is that I bought a Nikon camera body, why put third-party lenses on it? If I'd wanted a Sigma camera and Sigma lenses in the first place, fine, I would have gone with that from the get-go.... Yes, buying a Nikon or a Canon or a whatever-other-body is going to be expensive, but then why not make the extra investment in the lenses that are made by that manufacturer? It is the lenses which are really key here. The ones made by the manufacturer of whatever camera body was chosen are more guaranteed to work seamlessly with that camera body and although they may be more expensive as an initial outlay, it is pretty much a sure bet that the results one sees from those lenses are going to be of a higher quality and resolution as well. To me it seems a little "off" to buy a Nikon or Canon camera body and then stick a bunch of third-party lenses on there. Just my thoughts here....
     
  10. failsafe1 macrumors 6502a

    failsafe1

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    Jul 21, 2003
    #10
    You do get what you pay. Sometimes you have to go with what you can afford. I have used several 28-70 2.8 zooms on Nikon and Canon Eos mount and they did the job. The were cheap and I almost counted them as disposable lenses. I can remember shooting during a bad storm and having the lens almost fill up with water but it kept on working. Try for nicer but use these if you can't afford the next level.
     
  11. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #11
    That's a very low budget for a 300mm lens. Sigma makes a wide range of qualities. One may be quite good, almost up to Nikon/Canon but then others are just cheap. Sigma makes money be selling what the camera makers don't. Two ways they do this (1) make some focal length, aperture combination that is "missing" or (2) Make something that competes solely on price. So if someone says they like or don't like some Sigma lens that means little unless they are talking about the specific lens you are considering.

    One way to get a better quality lens for you money is to look for a used lens. If you can use a manual focus lens you can get good ones for cheap
     
  12. Buschmaster thread starter macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
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    Minnesota
    #12
    I may have to save up for longer, and then buy used. Is a telephoto zoom typically more expensive? Or would you say that all lenses are about the same price for a good one? In other words, can you get a good lens for a different purpose at around $100-$200?
     
  13. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #13
    You can get a 70-300 f/4-5.6 (with macro) Sigma for $200. I've shot outdoor sports with it for quite a while with it and it functions quite well. My only complaint would be that the zoom can be jerky if you don't support the lens well enough, or in cold weather. Otherwise it works fine and is a great zoom range for the price.
     
  14. Irish Dave macrumors regular

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    Nov 20, 2006
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    The Emerald Isle
    #14
    As a recently retired professional photographer with over thirty years experience, I have known Sigma lenses to out-preform some of Canon's own lenses. Mind you not the Canon "L" series.

    During the past 10 years Sigma have made some very usable and affordable lenses.

    Dave :)
     
  15. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #15

    I think you need to realize that photography in general is a fairly expensive hobby, and that if you want quality images then you will have to pay....

    Where the costs come in is not so much whether a lens is a telephoto or a wide-angle, but rather with the lens construction details. A telephoto lens such as Nikon's 70-200mm f/2.8 VR is going to be considerably more expensive than Nikon's 80-200mm f/2.8 without VR and both will are significantly more costly than Nikon's 70-300mm (old version) or the newer 70-300mm VR, which has an aperture of f/4.5-f/5.6. The differences? The fast, constant aperture in the 70-200 f/2.8.....

    I'm using Nikon lenses as examples because I am more familiar with them than I am Canon, Pentax, etc....but the basic principle is the same when applied to Canon or Pentax lenses.
     
  16. kbonnel macrumors 6502

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    In a nice place..
    #16
    I am a big fan of Canon L lenses. That said, I have a Sigma 24-70 2.8 lens, and I just love it. Absolutly beautiful images. I also have had very good service from Sigma when I sent my 24-70 in for service.

    Kimo
     

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