Are Sigma or Tamron lenses worth it?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by 66217, Apr 20, 2008.

  1. 66217 Guest

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    Jan 30, 2006
    #1
    I am in the process of searching for a lens to replace my D40x kit lens, and would like to have a constant f/2.8 one.

    Sigma and Tamron seem to have very decent options:
    1- Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.5 ($369 @ Amazon)
    2- Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 ($449 @ Amazon)
    3- Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 ($429 @ Amazon)

    Now, if Sigma or Tamron lenses are not worth it, I have also seen some other Nikkor options:
    4- Nikkor 16-85 f/3.5-5.6 ($629 @ Amazon) Why is this lens so expensive?
    5- Nikkor 24-85 f/3.5-4.5 ($350 @ Amazon)

    Apart from those, all of them are to expensive. Anyone here has any experiences with Sigma or Tamton lenses? Or with the Nikkor ones?

    Any help is appreciated:)
     
  2. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

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    #2
    Your D40x might not focus with any of these:
    (depends if you buy a version with an internal motor, which I just learned exists on these models)
    1- Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.5 ($369 @ Amazon)
    2- Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 ($449 @ Amazon)
    3- Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 ($429 @ Amazon)

    The 16-85 is expensive because Nikon sucks and thinks they can get away with it.
     
  3. 66217 thread starter Guest

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    #3
    I am almost 100% sure that they would autofocus with the D40x. If I am not mistaken Tamron just renewed this lens and added internal auto-focus motor.
     
  4. DCBass macrumors 6502

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    #4
    not sure about the other two, but there is definitely a version of the sigma 18-50mm 2.8 that will autofocus with his d40x. There is an older version, that won't, but no reason to get that.

    The general feeling I get from reading about this lens on flickr and dpreview are very positive. I'd like to get one myself someday. Though, as with some other sigma lenses it seems, there may be a chance you get one that either front-focuses or back-focuses. If I were to buy one, it would only be from a reputable dealer that would allow me to exchange (for free) for a new copy in case I received a bad one the first time around.

    Good luck. Let us know what you decide.
     
  5. EugeneA macrumors newbie

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    Feb 1, 2008
    #5
    Not entirely true. Sigma 18-50 is an HSM lens and will focus with D40x just fine. So will 17-70. You a right about Tamron though.

    Out of these three I would pick #2, as it is a fast lens across the whole range. A small warning - Sigma quality is hit or miss. Get it somewhere you can exchange or return. I've got their 10-20 and love it.

    I don't understand the 16-85 pricing either.
     
  6. ipodtoucher macrumors 68000

    ipodtoucher

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    #6
    I have a Sigma 70-300 Macro for my D50 and it is an amazing lens, in fact I take most of my pictures with it haha...it has a tough build.
     
  7. cutsman macrumors regular

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    Jun 1, 2006
    #7
    Actually, Tamron just released a new version of the 17-50 f2.8 with internal focus motor. This will AF on the OP's D40x. Early customer reviews seem to suggest that it doesn't focus as quickly/accurately as the previous screw driven version. I have yet to see an official review for the new one... so if i were the OP and wanted to get a lens asap, I'd go with the Sigma 18-50 HSM.

     
  8. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #8
    All three companies have good lenses, poor lenses and great lenses. Nikon has more great lenses, but some of the Sigma EX and the Tamron 90mm lenses are as good as anyones...

    1. It's a new lens, so production equipment hasn't been recovered yet, let alone R&D.
    2. It goes 2mm wider than most of the other Nikkors in its class.
    3. VR II.
    4. 2 ED elements.
     
  9. iBallz macrumors 6502

    iBallz

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    #9
    Have you considered the little 50mm 1.8? $110 on Amazon. I was so amazed with the pics I got for the Bull Fights in Costa Rica. Yeah you might have to do a little more foot work with it, but a hundred bucks well spent.

    P.S. I'm not too impressed with my Sigma 10-20. Blurry on all the corners, and a weird orangish tint to each shot.:confused:
     
  10. 66217 thread starter Guest

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    Jan 30, 2006
    #10
    Thanks to all for the info so far.:)

    I think that I prefer the Sigma 18-50 among my options, as far as I read it is a good lens overall. But then, I find the internet reviews to be greatly biased sometimes.

    The same thing I have been reading about Sigma lenses. I'll buy from Amazon so I hope there is no problem if I get a faulty lens.

    The Nikkor 50mm f/1.8?

    I have a Nikkor 50mm f/1.4, and even tho it is an excellent lens and perfect for low light situations, it is impossible to focus manually with it. I always got poorly focused photos from it, so I stopped using it.

    Sometimes I think about the possibility of waiting till christmas and maybe then buy a Nikkor 17-55 or a 24-70. Do you think that the 17-55 is going to see a refresh any time soon?
     
  11. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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  12. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #12
    I've had one for about a year now, and I'm happy with mine. I use Bibble Pro to clean up the shots, but really I only find that totally necessary at 10mm (though I seem to do it anyway as part of my 10-20 workflow.) Perhaps you have a bad sample? I'll have to see if I can dig a few unprocessed NEFs to compare, but I certainly don't notice any corner blur (a little vignetting, but that cleans up easily and is to be expected with a super-wide given the angles the light's coming in from.)
     
  13. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #13
    I suspect everyone who has a third party lens will tell you they are "good enough". Many people can't see the difference or if they can they would need a side by side image from each. In many cases it is not so much sharpness but color rendition and contrast.

    But Nikon make a range of lenses at various price points so even among Nikon lenses quality varies. Your question is like asking "Is BMW really better than Ford?" The answer is "yes" for the most part but then BMW does not make pickup trucks and if you need a pickup truck or if you simply don't have the money for a BMW then you have to buy the ford.

    That is one of the things Nikon does well every lens is identical. Exact repeatable manufacturing is not easy with optics. Quality control and testing ads cost.
     
  14. bartelby macrumors Core

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    #14
    I have the Sigma 18-50 f2.8 on my Nikon D70. It's the only lens I use. I rate it highly.
     
  15. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

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    #15
    IMO, Nikon=great, Canon=Almost as great, Others=okay-not so great.

    Isn't this a dead horse already?!

    The ALMIGHTY BELL CURVE has spoken!
     
  16. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

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    #16
    I used Sigma lenses for quite a few years, absolutely no problems .. :)
     
  17. 66217 thread starter Guest

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    #17
    Thanks for the replies. I think I am going for the Sigma 18-50 f/2.8.

    Tho I'll check if the Nikkor 17-50 decreases in price in the next months, if it goes to $1000 I might invest in it. And I could ask for a birthday gift to cover part of the cost.:)

    Would you think this is the best investment? Or would the 24-70 f/2.8 be a better one?
     
  18. onomatopoeia macrumors 6502

    onomatopoeia

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    Dec 9, 2007
    #18
    The Nikon 24-70mm is an FX (full frame) lens. It will work on a DX body but with the crop factor will effectively be a 36-100mm lens.

    I'd vote for Nikon's 17-55mm. Are there rumors of a price drop on this lens?
     
  19. 66217 thread starter Guest

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    #19
    I guess you meant 36-106. Right?

    This is fine with me, since I normally don't use the wide end. The 18-55 kit lenswould be okay for the occasional landscape.

    What makes the 24-70 more interesting is the excellent bokeh it has, which makes it better for portraits. But I guess the 17-55 is also pretty good for this.


    Not sure about any rumors for the 17-55 being renewed, it was announced in 2003. Not sure how often do Nikon updates their lenses. A renew would be excellent, that way I could get the old one in a much better price.
     
  20. Padaung macrumors 6502

    Padaung

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    #20
    I've also got the Sigma 17-50 f2.8. It is a very good lens but I do find shooting at 2.8 is a bit too soft for my liking. However, my other optics are Nikon lenses, which are damn good even when wide open so it is up for a stiff comparison. Considering the price I have been extremely pleased with it and can thoroughly recommend one. However I've decided I'm going to sell it for the Nikon 17-55 2.8 - it's the old design so going from others have said it is now out of date! eBay value is going to be less :(

    I also own a Tamron 28-75 2.8 which I'm not so happy about - very soft at 2.8, needs to be stopped down to at least f4 to be useable (also to be sold to fund the 17-55). It is my second version of that lens. The first was a gem until I dropped the camera and the lens took the fall! I can second what others say about the varying quality of 3rd party optics...
     
  21. sonor macrumors 6502

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    #21
    The Sigma 18-50 is a great lens. I bought one because the reviews generally rated it as good as, if not better than Nikon's much more expensive 17-55...at the time it was about a third of the price.

    http://www.popphoto.com/cameralenses/4118/lens-test-sigma-18-50mm-f28-ex-dc-macro.html

    "In all, it's a stellar performer, and significantly better by virtually all optical benchmarks than its predecessor, or, for that matter, competitors such as Nikon's comparable 17-55mm f/2.8"

    http://www.photodo.com/topic_14.html

    "Optical quality - This is where this lens really proves its worth! It's outstanding and the sharpest lens I have tested to date, which includes some top glass from leading camera manufacturers"
     
  22. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #22
    Yeah, I wouldn't buy the Nikon 17-55 mm, to be honest. Was only a fan of the specs (aperture and focal range), not the performance. I haven't read that many good things about.

    Get the Sigma 18-55 mm!! Sigmas generally feel better than Tamrons, but Tamron's higher quality lenses are generally better than Sigmas. The 28-75 mm f/2.8 that Padaung owns (and doesn't like very much) is actually supposed to be a hell of a lens, and as sharp through its focal range as comparable lenses from Canon and Nikon. The reason I didn't like it was that it started at 28 mm, and so I got the Sigma 24-70 mm f/2.8 EX DG. It has been good to me. ;) The Nikon equivalent was also a 28-70 mm f/2.8, so not any better than the Tamron in that respect.

    I'm in love with my Sigma 30 mm f/1.4 though. :)
     
  23. Padaung macrumors 6502

    Padaung

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    #23


    Mmmm, you're putting me off swapping now! Just been digging out some reviews and see what you mean. Asked a colleague who used to have one and he wasn't too excited by the Nikon offering either. Mmmm, what to do!


    About the Tamron. The first version of it was FANTASTIC through all the apertures. The replacement however has been nothing but a disappointment. The 28mm starting point is a pain on the D200 for general use but it makes it a really useful lens for portraits.
     
  24. numbersyx macrumors 65816

    numbersyx

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    #24
    I too have this lens and I find it wonderful to use. It also has an internal motor so it would work with the D40x, I believe.
     
  25. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

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    #25
    The problem rests in the body, not the glass. The viewfinders on anything under a D300 are just too small and dim to find acturate focus. The 50/1.4 is a tack sharp lense at 1.4, and it's perfect at 4.

    The 17-55 won't see a refresh anytime soon. They may add VR to it, and possible make the focal length 17-80 with a tube as large as the 24-70 FX. Don't spend the cash on the 24-70 FX, your body won't be able to maximize that much quality. The glass was built for FX bodies, and although it's getting the sweet spot for the optics, the quality won't improve that much over the 17-55 or 3rd party equivalent.

    I say get the 17-55 while you can. Waiting for an update with glass is crazier than waiting for an update with Apple. At least Apple give them every 6-8 months. The 17-55 is still "NEW" in terms of glass. The 28-70 FX users didn't get their update until after more than 8 years or more. You have D300 users grabbing the old ones that D3 buyers are selling, so grab it now while the used ones are still floating, I have seen it for $900 and less if it's been really used.

    It is. And for what you are paying for the FX lense ($1799) you can grab the DX and some more gear, or put the cash aside for future D90/D300/D400 purchases.

    I agree about the Sigma, it's a great piece of glass, but the 17-55 isn't a bad lens IQ wise, any one that says so just isn't using it correctly. The performance is the same way. It's truly the DX equivalent of the 28-70 FX of the day. Not too many shooters are happy with the price, and that's mainly because the thing doesn't have VR and it's quite heavy.

    Has the OP thought about Tokina? If you are looking for what the 17-55 gives you, in a Sigma like price, with much better build quality all around, take a look at the Tokina 16-50 f/2.8 This would be my choice if it wasn't for the lens extention during zoom, and build quality compared to the Nikon. Personally, if you have the choice to go with the 17-55, get it. It's the best you can get and will last a lot longer than you think.
     

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