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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Sigma AF 17-70 f2.8 Macro or Tamron AF 28-75 f2.8
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05/04/2006 06:54:28 AM · #1
I am looking to replace my 350D kit lens (Canon EFS 18-55 f3.5-5.6) hopefully to get better quality within the same range. Two that I have be advised about are the Tamron AF 28-75 f2.8 SP XR Di LD Aspherical IF macro and the Sigma AF 17-70 f2.8-4.5 DC Macro. Has anyone used either or both these lenses? If so which represents better quality and is it significantly better quality than the Canon EFS 18-55 (I really don't like this lens - but I like the scope of the range). I know that some of these questions have been answered in other threads but I would like to hear peoples thoughts on these two specific lenses. Thanks
05/04/2006 07:01:46 AM · #2
The Tamron is sharp and has F2.8 at all focal lengths - a great bonus. You might check out the list of owners under equipment and the images they have taken with the lenses.

Never used the Sigma or the Canon.

Edit cause I'm still asleep.

Message edited by author 2006-05-04 07:02:28.
05/04/2006 07:51:58 AM · #3
I have heard really good things about Tamron lenses.
05/04/2006 08:01:18 AM · #4
The Tamron is getting universally good reviews. I have not run into anyone using the Sigma as yet. Check out fredmiranda.com for user reviews. If possible get to a camera store and stick that lens on your camera and get some test shots.
05/04/2006 09:42:32 AM · #5
well, on wide angle side they are different lenses beeing sigma wider by 9 mm which is (fill in) degrees, meaning that in my opinion with tamron you are loosing the wide angle versatility ... and sigma 17-70 is excellent lens , lookie here //www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/sigma_1770_2845/index.htm
05/04/2006 09:53:14 AM · #6
Yeah, I was going to reference the Photozone review too. They seemed a little unsure of the quality of the Tamron 28-75 2.8...

They REALLY liked the Sigma.

I personally will probably go with the 28-75 because I'm a constant aperture f/2.8 nut, as are many 20D/30D owners.

Everywhere else seems to rave about the Tamron.

I think they are likely to be really good lenses, but I plan on getting an ultra-wide zoom later, so I won't really need the 17mm on the Sigma. I don't feel that the 17mm works out to all that wide... I'd rather have an 18-55 until I can afford the 10-22...

If you were not planning on getting anything wider than 17mm, (which is like 27mm on the 350), it might be a nice choice. Beats the chickens out of the Canon 18-55...

Bet you didn't know that the 18-55 even had any chickens in it!
05/04/2006 12:31:45 PM · #7
There's a huge difference between 28mm and 18mm. I have both of the lenses you mentioned. Trust me, if you get the Tamron you will miss the 18-27mm range a lot. You'll want to keep the 18-55 with you. Even after I bought the Tamron I still had to use the 18-55 a lot more than I wanted to, so ended up upgrading again.

The Tamron is a very good lens for the price. Very good optical quality. Decent build quality. Focusing is ok but not great. It's definitely a big step above the 18-55, but it's not a replacement for the 18-55.

Sorry I don't know anything about the Sigma, but it's definitely a better range for you if you like the 18-55 range and don't see yourself upgrading (e.g., to a 17-40L) any time soon.
05/04/2006 12:38:48 PM · #8
the tamron 28-75 is good, but as everyone here has mentioned, 28 is not wide enough most of the time.

Tamron is coming out later this month with a 17-50 2.8 SP (sp being their pro glass - the 28-75 is SP glass). Should be a great lens.

I have the Sigma 18-50 2.8 EX (ex being sigma's pro glass). Good lens. I'd like it to be a bit sharper wide open so i'l lbe checking out the Tamron above when I can get my hands on one.

the sigma 17-70 2.8-4 looks to be very good, a fantastic range too.

If you want a wide ap, pick one of the above. If you don't need a wide ap or want more range, check out the Tamron SP24-135 3.5-5.6 - fantatic glass for a walkaround or studio lens. Just not constant ap or 2.8. it's still my #1 lens although I love my tamron 70-210 2.8.
05/09/2006 03:38:22 AM · #9
This is how I see those two lenses.
Sigma is a nice relatively fast zoom with a great range for walking around. It is Sigma's consumer grade lens but has excellent optics. If you want one or two lenses, then this would be a great general/walking around lens.

The Tamron's 28-75 is a pro grade lens by the "SP" label, which denotes their pro grade lens. This lens is less versatile as it is not as wide. However, it's faster with constant f2.8. I would consider this lens more for serious amateurs or pros who use this for a midrange coverage as part of their lens arsenal. Which usually consists of an ultrawide and or a wide zoom or primes along with a telephoto set up, e.g. Tamron 11-18, Tamron 28-75, and Canon 70-200 lens setup. I know many use this as their only or main lens, but it's generally not wide enough for most to use for landscapes/cityscapes/group shots.

05/09/2006 03:53:28 AM · #10
So what you are saying Yido -is that the Tamron would be the higher quality lens ? The know the canon Ls are the best quality but I want to get the best quality I can on a limited budget. I want a Ferrari for the price of a Ford (don't we all). I really don't like the kit lens and am trying to work out if the independant manufactures produce higher quality lenes (from the kit one) for a cheaper price then the L series.
05/09/2006 03:59:35 AM · #11
No, I'm not saying Tamron is a higher quality lens.
Sigma is a consumer grade do it all type of a zoom with excellent optics where as Tamron is a pro grade zooms that sacrifices versatility in range for optics and mainly speed (constant f2.8) when compared to the Sigma. Which lens is right depends on what your needs are.
If you are concerned about optics, photozone.de has great reviews.
Canon 24-70L
//www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/canon_2470_28/index.htm
Tamron
//www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/tamron_2875_28/index.htm
Sigma 17-70
//www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/sigma_1770_2845/index.htm
Kit lens
//www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/canon_1855_3556/index.htm

From reviewing photozone and from personal experience with the 24-70L and the Tamron along with reviews of others, the optics of the Tamron and the Canon L are in the same class. Most of the higher price of the L over a Tamron goes for better body, weather sealing, faster AF, and higher mark up. Only you can answer paying about $800 more is worth it. Of course weather sealing on lenses is a moot point unless you have a weather sealed body to go along with it.

I don't qualify which lens is better based mainly or soley on the name plate. I try to research some factual resolution charts and real world samples and put that into the context of how I would use the lens while considering the money factor as well. I don't consider weather sealing since I don't like to shoot in pouring rain without cover. Most gear can work through a light sprinkle without a problem. In my view, most L lenses cost more than their third party counter parts b/c of higher mark up, sometimes better build, weather sealing, and sometimes faster/quieter AF speed. If you look at Photozone.de, most comparable pro grade lenses have very similar optical characteristics. I know long time ago third party lenses were horrible, but modern design has really evened things out. Believe it or not third party makers like Sigma are making lenses for Leica for the upcoming Panasonic dSLR, Tokina is making lenses for Pentax, Tamron makes their lenses for Konica Minolta, and even Cosina of Japan is making Zeiss lens for the Nikon mount.

For lenses to replace the kit and the 75-300, I'd recommend considering Sigma 18-50, upcoming Tokina 16-50, upcoming Tamron 17-50. For replacing the 75-300, I'd recommend looking at Caonon 70-300IS or a Sigma 70-300.

As for the car analagy, I'm not sure why folks keep making them to lenses as they are differnt things, but currently the Ford GT can outperform more expensive Ferraris, except the one that costs almost a million. Plus Ford isn't exactly a third party maker (tehy even own Aston Martin, Jaguar, and a few other Euro brands), where as Ferrari is a subsidiary of Fiat (AKA Fix It Again Tony).

Message edited by author 2006-05-09 04:38:36.
05/09/2006 05:58:16 AM · #12
Thanks for that Yido - you've given me quite a bit of information. Your point about the independant makers is what I was curious about - ie they make optical as good a lens as the name ones but the other factors (such as dust proof etc) might make a difference.

The Tamron (28-75) was interesting - the review didn't seem to like it (although they thought they had a faulty sample) but everybody I spoken to raves about it. By the way, what does constant F2.8 mean ?

The other one mentioned is a Tamron 17-50. Again people seem to think it will be a great lens. I have searched for info on this but have'nt found any. When is it going to be released ?

By the way - the car analogue is just a joke. Personally, if I won the lottery tomorrow I wouldn't spend more than $40,000 on a car. Why bother- it can run into a tree just like a VW and being able to do 150mph is pointless considering the speed limit is 60 and there are speed cameras everywhere. Rather spend it on camera gear. Which brings me back to my point - trying to get the best quality for the money you have available to spend.

Thanks for the long reply. By the way what are you doing up so early ?- by my clock it is 4am in LA (it is only 8pm in Aussie).
05/09/2006 06:13:25 AM · #13
F2.8 is the contant aperture throught the zoom range for tamron 28-75. that means U can have aperture 2.8 even at 75.

But In Sigma it will be 4.5 at 70.

Check out the thread below.

//www.dpchallenge.com/forum.php?action=read&FORUM_THREAD_ID=378379&highlight=sigma%2017-70

I ve ordered Sigma 17-70.
05/09/2006 09:34:28 AM · #14
Originally posted by Tajhad:



The other one mentioned is a Tamron 17-50. Again people seem to think it will be a great lens. I have searched for info on this but have'nt found any. When is it going to be released ?


tamron tells me late may.
too late now, but Sigma makes an 18-50 2.8 EX lens.
05/09/2006 11:15:01 AM · #15
Tokina has a 16-50 slated for the fall.

Looks interesting. I don't know if I can wait.

I was going to go for the 28-75, but I think my finances can't handle that plus the 10-22 (which would be necessary) and I really enjoyed shooting with the range of the 18-55 kit lens... I just kept wishing for more speed...

Swapping between the kit lens and the 50 f/1.8 is tortuous.

And I think I can only keep borrowing this kit lens for another month or so anyhow...

As to which range on a DSLR is more useful, the 17-50 copies the 28-80 which seems to be a rather popular range. 44-130 is a significantly less useful range all around...

I might go for the 28-75 later, but I think I'll probably be just about as happy with the 17-50 as it's a pretty useful range.

I will probably miss the 10-22, but when I do eventually get the cash flow to pick that one up, I will probably not mind the overlap...

I'm starting to think of lenses as useful ranges rather than covering a numeric range.
05/09/2006 03:58:15 PM · #16
Tajhad,
Sorry if I sounded too cheecky. :)
As for the lenses, if you like the range of the 18-55 kit, then I'd ask for you to consider the new generation of lenses, Canon 17-55 IS ($1200 in US, yikes) or the upcoming Tokina 16-50 or Tamron 17-50 both in constant f2.8. The Tamron appears to be avail. in U.S. I agree with eschelar, for cropped sensors, a 17-50 is a much more useful range than a 28-75.
//www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?ci=1&sb=ps&pn=1&sq=desc&InitialSearch=yes&O=RootPage.jsp&A=search&Q=*&bhs=t&shs=tamron+17-50&image.x=3&image.y=8
A constant f2.8 means that as you zoom back the widest aperature does not change. The Sigma 17-70 is a f2.8-4.5, a variable aperature lens. This means that as you zoom back, the widest aperature changes from f2.8 to f4.5 eventually. Generally it's nicer to have lower aperature values as they allow for higher shutter speed in low light and shallower depth of focus at a given focal length.

The Tamron 28-75 got a biased review in my opinion at photozone.de but I look at the MTF charts and also read other reviews of the lens. It's a good lens. It would not be my sole lens though as it's not wide enough for my needs. Tamrons deliver pro grade optics in SP lenses with great price but at the expense of slower/noisier AF with lower consumer grade build. If you can live with that, then the SP Di/Dii line of lenses are really nice and deliver a great value.

I'd also have you look at the new Tokinas as well. Their newer pro grade digital line is noted by a ATX Pro-D or Pro-Dx. I think their build quality is actually as good or better than the L lenses. But both the 12-24 and the 100mm macro suffer from a bit of CA at the expense of excellent sharpness.

If you are looking for a relatively inexpensive setup, a sigma 17-70 and a 70-300 APO DG would give you very good to excellent optics from 17-200 and ok optics at 300mm.

If you are considering collecting lenses, then I'd suggest an ultrawide like a Sigma 10-20mm for land/city scapes, normal zoom like the Tamron 28-75 or Sigma 24-70 f2.8 for general stuff, and a Canon or Sigma 70-200 for sports/portraits/animals as a great way to cover a lot of different range and get a very versatile range.

You can also get a 17-50mm zoom and a 70-200/300 zoom, but that may not be wide enough and you may have a gap in the 50-70 range. However, this would give you a less expensive route as well.

Canon also makes excellent lenses such as EF-S 10-22, EF 24-70, EF 70-200, EF 70-300 IS so once again, it's a very personal decision. I've heard that in Australia, that Canon gear can be quite expensive so third party lenses maybe a very attractive option as well.

Take your time and reseach your lens, ordering from US stores may save you a few dollars as well.
Good luck

Message edited by author 2006-05-09 16:03:05.
05/09/2006 11:28:29 PM · #17
The question that is really clinching on me for this decision is what is more important to me to have as a gap in my lenses..

A gap from 18-28 or a gap from 50-70...

That equates to 24-40mm or 80-120ish... I am finding that my shooting style really likes the 18-28 range, while the other range is....

The reason for this is that the wider you get, the more those mm make a difference.

When approaching wide angles, like in 18-28, the change in perspective in 10mm is quite a bit more extreme than the change in perspective in 20mm at 50-70...
05/09/2006 11:44:16 PM · #18
I was going through this decision myself some time ago. What made me lean toward the Tamron are the positive reviews about it, as well as the negative reviews about Sigma, specially when it comes to quality control, what I heard from many professionals is that Sigma makes good lenses but not consistantly, and that one out of three lenses tends to lack sharpness and/or focus.

Anyway, I chose the Tamron and I am so satisfied with my choice.

Here are some of the photos I took with the Tamron:
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05/10/2006 12:41:00 AM · #19
Well,
I read the OP fully this time.
If you like the range of the kit 18-55 and want a higher level optics to cover the same reange, I'd consider the following.
Canon 17-55 f2.8 IS, very expensive but great optics.
Sigma 18-50 f2.8. Very sharp, but has lots of CA and relatively high barrel distortion.
Upcoming Tamron 17-50 f2.8 SP Dii. I'd guess ok to so so build, noisy AF, rotating focus ring, but great optics for about $459 U.S.
Upcoming Tokina 16-50 ATX PRO-DX f2.8. Really tough and heavy build, probably cheaper than the Tamron, perhaps a bit of CA??? and really sharp.

The Sigma 17-70 just a touch lower quality optics, slower speed (higher aperature), but a greater range.

My choice is to either get a Tokina 16-50 or a Tamron 17-50 unless you really want the lower price or the bigger range.
08/23/2006 06:58:24 PM · #20
I recently purchased an EOS 30D body, and opted for the Sigma 17-70 (mainly because I've alwayd had good results with my Sigma 35mm lenses. I took many shots of the backyard pond waterfall, mainly to familiarize myself with the camera. I shot at wide-open, stopped-down, and everything in between. All images appeared soft, or fuzzy, in the center. To make sure it wasn't an error on my part, I shot the same pictures again, and used a tripod on several. Same result. The Sigma lens tends to be soft, as mentioned by others in this thread. For a great comparison between the Sigma 17-70 and the Canon 17-85 (even has side-by-side pics), go to the
following link:

www.pbase.com/lightrules/17701785

There is a series of pictures of brick walls and others...clearly, the Sigma pictures are very soft, much like what I'm experiencing. Luckily, I'm still in the grace period to return the lens. I may have to sacrifice for a while, but I'm considering the Canon 24-105 L series.

08/23/2006 07:09:59 PM · #21
I've probably owned 50 lenses in the last 35 years, and currently own a Tamron 28-75mm XR Di to go with my 350D. It pretty much lives on the 350D as my general-purpose walk about lens. It's extremely well-built, very sharp, f/2.8 at 28mm & out at 75mm, auto-focus speed & noise levels are great, and will match it up against any lens in it's focal length and price.
I wouldn't have a dSLR without the Tamron to go along with it.
08/29/2006 02:18:23 PM · #22
i've owned the tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 for a couple of years. great lens. very light, nice walking around lens. razor sharp at 5.6-16. only negative is that it is soft at 2.8-4.0 especially near 28mm. but at 1/3 the price, and 1/3 the weight of the canon L lens, its a better lens. i plan to get the tamron 17-50mm which is supposed to be as good or better.
08/31/2006 10:36:16 PM · #23
I returned the Sigma 17-70 and went with the Tamron 24-135 SP f3.5/5.6. The lens is amazingly sharp and crisp...noticeably better than the Sigma. The Tamron was actually about $100 less than the Sigma...selling for $295 USD at Buydig.com. So I got a better lens, and some money back.
09/02/2006 04:36:19 PM · #24
Ooops...not Buydig.com. Should be "The Camera Box" (sorry for any mix-up).
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