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Thread: Sigma and Tamron versus Canon L Glass

  1. #1

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    Sigma and Tamron versus Canon L Glass

    After doing some research and comparing lens reviews Ive kinda got the idea in my head that Sigma and Tamron lenses are across the board inferior to Canon L lenses, but do well against regular canon lenses in some focal lengths , sometimes.

    Is this correct? Or am I just being a 'L' lens snob?

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    Re: Sigma and Tamron versus Canon L Glass

    Probably the more significant part is to understand what L-Series lenses are and aren't. The "L" is for "Luxury" - they're positioned in the market to be upmarket from their "non-luxury" counterparts, but what does that mean in practice? ..

    ... well in my opinion it GENERALLY means (and there are exceptions to most of these) ...

    - Robust construction; designed for everyday use by people who don't always take the the best care of them.

    - Faster (as in lower F-Stop numbers)

    - Faster AF

    - Weather sealing

    - Constant aperture across full zoom range

    - Optical elements designed to reduce CA and increase saturation and contrast

    - Other optical qualities that are generally superior to cheaper lenses.

    ... But accordingly more expensive; no surprises there.

    Does it mean that non L-Series are bad? No - it's just a case of using the right tool for the job.

    For many, non L-Series lenses are just fine - however, for many others (such as myself) I believe it offers advantages (especially when your printing things BIG, like I do) (Seldom less than 22", often up to 44 or even beyond).

    Many like to say "X" standard lens is just as good as "Y" L-Series; however - personally - I like to think it's more often the case of not being able to tell the difference with a small print, but things start to get a lot more "entertaining" as the print size increases

    What's the botton line? Dunno. I'm a dedicated L-co-hol-ic - I'm very happy with all aspects of my L-Series lenses, but on the other hand they've cost me a LOT of money. If you can aford them - and you want the best then "go fill your boots" (same goes for a Ferrari or a Bugatti Veyron) (***Drool***); if you can't afford or can't justify top shelf lenses (and other equipment) then there's no shame in that either (in fact those kinds of people are probably more sensible in their choices than I am!).

    ... Just a little insight from this L-co-hol-ic anyway

    PS: Yes, you are being an L-Snob ... welcome to the club

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    Re: Sigma and Tamron versus Canon L Glass

    well aslong as I am not the only one....

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    Re: Sigma and Tamron versus Canon L Glass

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinbythebeach View Post
    well aslong as I am not the only one....
    Oh no - you'll be in good company!

  5. #5

    Re: Sigma and Tamron versus Canon L Glass

    For the money tamron and sigma make nice lenses , L glass ought to be good , you pay a lot more .

    the only compare that would be fair is a setup with a camera and :
    1) a tamrom (2) a sigma (3) a canon lens but all in the same league of price and aperture range and evt stabilisation

    it is not fair to caompair the canon ef 24-85 us goldfinger with a ef-s 18-55 IS because the goldfinger is better build , more expensive ok it lacks the IS but the shots you take are right !

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    Re: Sigma and Tamron versus Canon L Glass

    I have a plethora of "L" lenses, including the 24-70mm f/2.8L, 70-200mm f/4L IS, 300mm f/4L IS and 400mm f/5.6L. I also have a 17-40mm f/4L and a 70-200mm f/4L (non-IS) which I am in the process of selling. I am selling these lenses because I bought an IS model of the 70-200mm and I have a 12-24mm Tokina as my wide angle lens which eliminates my need for the 17-40mm f/4L lens; not because there is anything wrong with these L lenses.

    My L lenses are all great lenses and I love them dearly. The build of these lenses is superlative. I fell to the concrete and my 70-200mm f/4L IS lens (with lens hood attached) hit the concrete propelled by the force of my heavy body. The lens hood broke but the lens works just fine.

    I will concede that there are some excellent Canon non-L lenses (the wonderful 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens is a great example) and that there are some excellent lenses produced by manufacturers other than Canon.

    As an example, my 90mm Tamron f/2.8 Macro lens and my 12-24mm Tokina f/4 lens give me as good image quality as the "L" glass lenses and the Tokina is as least as well built. The Tamron is probably not as sturdy but, I can afford to be careful and relatively gentle with a macro lens and there are no L macros.

    I had a Tokina 400mm f/5.6 ATX lens which was my first long tele lens. It provided excellent imagery, just about as good as my 400mm f/5.6L when I stopped the Tokina down to f/8 or f/11. However at f/5.6, the Tokie fell somewhat short of the L lens and I would often need to shoot wide open in order to obtain a decent shutter speed. However, as far as autofocus speed and accuracy, there was no contest. The L lens won hands down in every case.

    If you are shooting on a tripod using f/8 or f/11; most consumer lenses will rival the L lenses in image quality. This is especially true if you make nothing but small prints or use your images to email pictures of the kids and your dog to grandmother. If that is your primary use, you are probably "over gunned" if you select L lenses. However, when printing large prints, especially from images shot with wide open apertures, the L lenses really show their merit and the reasons that pros select them.

    One other attribute of the L family. These lenses have great resale value in the USA and I suspect the same is true in other areas.

    As far as weather sealing, I don't worry about it very much because I ALWAYS CARRY Optech Rainsleeves to protect my cameras and lenses. I spent a rainy week on Alaska's Kenai peninsula last year and the Rainsleeves protected my equipment just great. They are (at least in the USA) dirt cheap at about $7.00 USD a pair.

    http://www.adorama.com/searchsite/de...fo=rainsleeves
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 17th June 2009 at 07:35 PM.

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    Re: Sigma and Tamron versus Canon L Glass

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    The Tamron is probably not as sturdy but, I can afford to be careful and relatively gentle with a macro lens and there are no L macros.
    Ask, and yeah shall receive ...

    http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/s...7&cat=2&page=1

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    Re: Sigma and Tamron versus Canon L Glass

    I think that a lot of people still mis-understand what an L-Series lens is all about ...

    They may cost 5 to 10 times as much as a non-L lens - and many people seem to misinterpret this as "it should be 5 or 10 times as good optically", which of course they aren't.

    Optically - yes - they are usually a notch up on their non-L counterparts - often they're also faster - usually they have full weather sealing - and usually they have vastly superior build quality ...

    ... in other words, they're lenses for everyday working professionals and people who enjoy using rugged / high-end equipment. If your only ever shooting 6 x 4 "postcards" then your unlikely to see any difference - on the other hand, if your printing 22" x 44" prints then an L-Series lens is probably going to increase your chances of getting a worthwhile result considerably (but not necessarily exclusively).

    Nothing magical - just horses for courses. For the same reasons you'd take a tank into battle rather than a Toyota Prius!

  9. #9

    Re: Sigma and Tamron versus Canon L Glass

    I'm not sure if I'm doing this correctly (location wise), but I have some questions about Tamron lenses.

    I have a 28/300 and a 500 and am finding out I need a macro lens? Not to be 80 ft away from my subject.

    Do you have any suggestions as to what may be needed for closer clarity and sharpness and how will depth of field be affected ... I am using a Nikon D200 thanks.

    Dennis
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 18th June 2009 at 02:25 AM. Reason: spelling

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    Re: Sigma and Tamron versus Canon L Glass

    Quote Originally Posted by dennis campbell View Post
    I'm not sure if I'm doing this correctly (location wise), but I have some questions about Tamron lenses.

    I have a 28/300 and a 500 and am finding out I need a macro lens? Not to be 80 ft away from my subject.

    Do you have any suggestions as to what may be needed for closer clarity and sharpness and how will depth of field be affected ... I am using a Nikon D200 thanks.

    Dennis
    Hi Dennis,

    To be honest, I'm not 100% sure of what your asking here ... are you saying that you feel that you might need a long-reach lens that allows you to focus closer than 80 feet, and your wondering if a Macro lens may be the lens for the job?

  11. #11
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    Re: Sigma and Tamron versus Canon L Glass

    Hi Dennis,

    You might want to look at Sigma, my one - and most others I have read of tend to focus quite close.

    In my case (Sigma 18-250mm f3.5-6.3 DC OS) I can use the 250mm down to 18" (or < 0.5m).

    For shots like this
    Sigma and Tamron versus Canon L Glass
    OK, it is cropped too, quite hard.

    That said, it's certainly not a 'brilliant quality' lens, compromises are inevitable with almost a 14:1 zoom range, and this was one of the mid-range (circa £500) rather than the £150 entry level ones.

  12. #12

    Re: Sigma and Tamron versus Canon L Glass

    colin,
    thanks for the reply the 80" was tounge in cheek sorry ill be more direct in the future .....my question was what lens will fill the gap of getting me closer than my 2 current lens tam.28/300....500 telephotos.....would like to shoot 12 to 18 inches at the close end .....dave gave me a recommendation for sigma lens which is in the price range my first choice would be a nikor but there are so many in this genere that i remain confused....
    thanks for your response
    dennis

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    Re: Sigma and Tamron versus Canon L Glass

    Hi Dennis,

    Sorry, I'm not a Nikon man, so I don't know their range of lenses.

    In general though, if you want close-focusing then a macro lens is probably the way to go (assuming you don't want to mess around with extension tubes and the like).

    Another option that might be of interest is the Canon 500D close-up adaptor (works on Nikon gear) - it give you a minimum focusing distance of around 30cm and a maximum of around 50cm - great for small to medium sized flowers and the like.

  14. #14

    Re: Sigma and Tamron versus Canon L Glass

    only know a multi zoom like the 18-200 vr ($ 750) and the 18-105 vr (seems to be pretty good for a kitlens too )

    18-200 vr according to ken rockwell: Focuses to 16.5" (0.5m).
    http://www.bythom.com/18200lens.htm

    18-105 vr focuses from 0.45 m

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/18-105mm.htm
    also nice / better / faster

    http://www.bythom.com/105AFSlens.htm

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    Re: Sigma and Tamron versus Canon L Glass

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Oh yes! I forgot about that one... It's a great lens. However, most often; I prefer my macro lenses to be around 90-100mm and that's what I was think of when I made the error and stated that there were no "L" macro lenses.. The Tamron 90mm is just about perfect.

    On the other hand... I wonder whay there are no shorter "L" lenses. Is it because just about every macro has exceptional quality and the "L would not be that much of an upgrade.

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    Re: Sigma and Tamron versus Canon L Glass

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    I think that a lot of people still mis-understand what an L-Series lens is all about ... often they're also faster . . . If youíre only ever shooting 6 x 4 "postcards" then your unlikely to see any difference
    Colinís quote was edited to suit my comment:

    One area where the fast lens speed (Max Aperture) and also the NON varying maximum aperture of the 24-70; 70-200 and to a lesser extent 16-35 of the L lenses is relevant, for whatever print size you want is low light sports capture.

    And in the Primes Ė I donít think any lens is now made longer than 135mm which is not L, anyway.

    WW

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    Re: Sigma and Tamron versus Canon L Glass

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    On the other hand... I wonder whay there are no shorter "L" [macro] lenses. Is it because just about every macro has exceptional quality and the "L would not be that much of an upgrade.
    Only a guess, but the big TR&D costs vs little sales' returns . . . and as you stated, rebuild OR re invent what? . . . the 100 F/2.8Macro and make it like the 180f/3.5L TANK? the 100 is quite niced as it is, making bit a tank could make it less Hand Holdable

    And the EF-S60 fills the APS-C market.

    I don't think "Macro" is a big portion of the lens market - though that said, I was surpricsed at the TS-E 17mm release . . . I would have though T/S an even smaller market than Macro . . .

    So I gues the latest rumour could be an EF90mmF2.2L Macro - with lightning fast AF also.

    WW

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    Re: Sigma and Tamron versus Canon L Glass

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    On the other hand... I wonder whay there are no shorter "L" lenses. Is it because just about every macro has exceptional quality and the "L would not be that much of an upgrade.
    Off memory I think it's because all L-Series lenses have at least 1 flourite element for to help with CA control, which is what adds (greatly) to the cost.

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