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Thread: Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro vs. Tamron SP AF 90mm

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    Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro vs. Tamron SP AF 90mm

    Hi, I have to buy macro lens for my Canon 50 D, and i don't know which one is better. I have hard that Sigma and Tamron are the best at a low price. Maybe some of you have been using both of them? I need an advice. Suggestions of other lenses are also welcome.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro vs. Tamron SP AF 90mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Banner1976 View Post
    I have to buy ~
    .. Implies you know what you need it for, could you share that please?

    These are quite different focal lengths, and if we knew what you had in mind, we'd be better able to advise you in respect of focal lengths of other lenses.

    Thanks,

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    Re: Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro vs. Tamron SP AF 90mm

    The greater the focal length, the more minimum focal distance you will have to work with. 90-100 mm is a good working distance if you're working with subjects that have a "personal space" issue. While 50-60 mm is definitely better off for stills (aka non-biting, stinging, and etc).

    If you're on a tight budget, trying looking at www.keh.com for second hand lenses. Many beginners will go thru a "macro" phase but eventually to some, it will wear off. So you can get some pretty good deals at Keh for macro or macro capable glass.

    For example: http://www.keh.com/Search-Products/1...de/0/0/SE.aspx

    http://www.keh.com/Search-Products/1...de/0/0/SE.aspx
    Last edited by Amberglass; 9th January 2010 at 09:01 PM.

  4. #4

    Re: Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro vs. Tamron SP AF 90mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    .. Implies you know what you need it for, could you share that please?

    These are quite different focal lengths, and if we knew what you had in mind, we'd be better able to advise you in respect of focal lengths of other lenses.

    Thanks,
    I want to photograph small insects and bugs. Furthermore I will use that lens as normal lens to photograph people (portraits).

  5. #5

    Re: Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro vs. Tamron SP AF 90mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Amberglass View Post
    The greater the focal length, the more minimum focal distance you will have to work with. 90-100 mm is a good working distance if you're working with subjects that have a "personal space" issue. While 50-60 mm is definitely better off for stills (aka non-biting, stinging, and etc).

    If you're on a tight budget, trying looking at www.keh.com for second hand lenses. Many beginners will go thru a "macro" phase but eventually to some, it will wear off. So you can get some pretty good deals at Keh for macro or macro capable glass.

    For example: http://www.keh.com/Search-Products/1...de/0/0/SE.aspx

    http://www.keh.com/Search-Products/1...de/0/0/SE.aspx
    I'm definitely on tight budget, but I'm also a little bit afraid of buying used lenses. Amazon.com and B&H offer those lenses at reasonable prices.

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    Re: Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro vs. Tamron SP AF 90mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Banner1976 View Post
    I'm definitely on tight budget, but I'm also a little bit afraid of buying used lenses. Amazon.com and B&H offer those lenses at reasonable prices.
    I've ordered from them a few times over the years and they've been great. If you're not happy with your purchase, they will accept a return with no questions asked. Not all their lenses are second hand fyi. Keh also buys out overstocks and from stores that have gone under. Since they did not buy directly from the distributers, they can not sell the lenses for new even though they are. Passing the savings onto you, and also they will offer their own 2 year warranty to your purchase. Original factory warranties are removed because of the fore mentioned reason.

    Another safe and great place to order your lenses from is www.adorama.com.

    These lenses can work as portrait lenses but keep in mind that the larger macros like 90+ are heavy for their size, also runs long if you're in small spaces. Other options for macro work are extension tubes, which decreases the minimum focusing distance or close up filters. And yes, you can put close up filters on macro lenses.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro vs. Tamron SP AF 90mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Banner1976 View Post
    I want to photograph small insects and bugs. ~
    Therefore you will have to think of the critters 'personal space' issues as Amberglass puts it

    I think with a 50mm, they'll be off before you get close enough to fill the frame with them, although the crop factor and pixel count of the 50D will both help; 50 = 75mm and you can crop a little more aggressively.

    That may be true with the 90mm also, but against that you have to (literally) balance the weight of the long macro lens for portrait use.

    Tubes will be cheap, but in my limited experience, you'll be so close to get them in focus the bugs will depart the frame.

    Life is full of compromises

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    Re: Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro vs. Tamron SP AF 90mm

    Just a thought for you so you can get a little more diversity out of your glass. Instead of a prime, there are macro capable zooms. Tamron happens to be having a instant rebate/sale going on for their lenses.

    Have you considered Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di-II VC LD Asph. AF Macro Lens? You can get one here: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Di_II_VC.html

    Always think long term investments when acquiring your lenses, and not just wanting to fill a "need void". With experience and practice, your shooting preferences will change over time. (Image quality if effected by the quality of the lens and your ability to hold still (or tripod), not the camera). Did you know that you can rent lenses to try out before you consider purchasing? Or joining a local photography club where you can ask to try out lenses that you're considering; it's nice to ask members who have first hand experiences.

    One of my absolute favorite Canon L zooms is the Wide Angle-Telephoto EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM (Macro). It's not exactly 1:1 on the macro end but good enough to take photos of flowers and insects. But great all around walk around multi-purpose lens to take with you anywhere. You can always expect the best with Canon's L's (commercial grade) in optics and build quality.

    Sample image for you from Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS on macro end:
    Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro vs. Tamron SP AF 90mm

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    Re: Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro vs. Tamron SP AF 90mm

    If you are wanting to get your "feet wet" in macro photography I would suggest the 90mm.50mm is going to be frustrating if your main interest is insects.Understand that if you get hookedthere will be more equipment purchases.At least one flash,a hotshoe cord,a bracket to get the flash off camera,a decent tripod and a cable release.I shoot both handheld and on tripod.I can get some great results handheld but it takes more practice and patience than shooting from a tripod IMO.
    I haven't any experience with Tamron,but it should have very good IQ because it is a dedicated macro lens.I have Canon 60 and 100 and a Sigma 150.No difference in IQ.All are razor sharp.

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    Re: Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro vs. Tamron SP AF 90mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    If you are wanting to get your "feet wet" in macro photography I would suggest the 90mm.50mm is going to be frustrating if your main interest is insects ....
    Just out of interest, I found on eBay (UK) a company who sell 'magnifying lenses' that screw onto the lens front. I bought a set (one was 10x) screwed onto my Nikon 18-105, set the lens at 105mm and could get up close and personal. Getting used to it but some of the tests I have done are very sharp in the central area ... good 'poor man's macro maybe?

    ACC was the supplier.
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...m=270375881018

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    Re: Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro vs. Tamron SP AF 90mm


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    Re: Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro vs. Tamron SP AF 90mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    Interesting article, thanks. I can't use a Nikon 'extension tube' on the 18-105. Apparently 'glass may grind glass' at certain mm.

  13. #13

    Re: Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro vs. Tamron SP AF 90mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Amberglass View Post
    Did you know that you can rent lenses to try out before you consider purchasing? Or joining a local photography club where you can ask to try out lenses that you're considering; it's nice to ask members who have first hand experiences.
    That's what I will do. I'm gonna go to the Calumet Photographic and rent some lenses. I think about Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro, Tamron SP AF 90mm, and Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di-II VC LD Asph. AF Macro Lens. I will also take under my consideration two a little bit more expensive lenses: MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro Photo and EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM. Both of them are from Canon. And what I'm gonna do is taking all of them to the Art Ketchum's workshop.

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    Re: Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro vs. Tamron SP AF 90mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Banner1976 View Post
    That's what I will do. I'm gonna go to the Calumet Photographic and rent some lenses. I think about Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro, Tamron SP AF 90mm, and Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di-II VC LD Asph. AF Macro Lens. I will also take under my consideration two a little bit more expensive lenses: MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro Photo and EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM. Both of them are from Canon. And what I'm gonna do is taking all of them to the Art Ketchum's workshop.
    Be aware that the Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro is a "dedicated macro lens". The 100 2.8 is among the best bang for your buck. The newest L IS version is pricey but the advantage of IS will give you more hand hold-a-bilty. The only down side with all in one zooms with macro capabilities is that they're prone to lens creep; so aiming these lenses straight down can be an issue (hint: gaffer tape). Other items that you will need for macro work are off camera flash cord, flash/speedlite, diffuser for flash, and (optional) possibly a macro/landscape tripod (for hardcore nature macro lovers).

    Macro/landscape tripods are different than your standard tripods. They're designed to be placed extremely low to the ground and have a unique boom arm to angle your setup for difficult shots. (Former hardcore nature macro (film) shooter).

    Bogen Manfrotto, Benro, Gitzo, and Giottos are a few brands that makes these tripods. Example: http://www.gitzo.com/cms/site/gitzo/...?code=GT2541EX

    Recommended reading and reference book for macro:

    http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Guide.../dp/0715308009

    Hopes this helps.
    Last edited by Amberglass; 10th January 2010 at 03:30 PM.

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    Re: Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro vs. Tamron SP AF 90mm

    Quote Originally Posted by RonH View Post
    Just out of interest, I found on eBay (UK) a company who sell 'magnifying lenses' that screw onto the lens front. I bought a set (one was 10x) screwed onto my Nikon 18-105, set the lens at 105mm and could get up close and personal. Getting used to it but some of the tests I have done are very sharp in the central area ... good 'poor man's macro maybe?

    ACC was the supplier.
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...m=270375881018
    They're called "close up filters", Ron. They're good alternatives though vignetting can be an issue with multiple stacked filters, but significantly stopping down is not unusual in macro work.

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    Re: Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro vs. Tamron SP AF 90mm

    I have the Tamron 90mm macro lens (on a Canon 50D), and have found it to work fine. On the 1.6 crop 50D, it is often too long (144mm equivalent) for indoor portrait shooting, but I enjoy shooting outdoors with it. It does sometimes hunt for focus, but the manual focus on it works well. It is easy to switch back and forth from manual to auto focus.

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    Re: Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro vs. Tamron SP AF 90mm

    maybe an other option you might want to consider: Canon macro EF-s 60mm 1:2,8. It's perfect for portaits (on 50D 96mm) It's producing very sharp images. Great for macro on flowers. For insects and other bugs you need to be too close.
    I bought mine "used". Apart from lens scratches, there is little what can go wrong with this lens. it's very solid build, and as it does not extend nor rotate the front lens, it does not collect any dust or moisture inside.

    And if you like this one, start saving for the Canon macro EF 100 1:2.8, anything else will disapoint you later on

  18. #18

    Re: Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro vs. Tamron SP AF 90mm

    Quote Originally Posted by n0ct View Post
    I have the Tamron 90mm macro lens (on a Canon 50D), and have found it to work fine. On the 1.6 crop 50D, it is often too long (144mm equivalent) for indoor portrait shooting, but I enjoy shooting outdoors with it. It does sometimes hunt for focus, but the manual focus on it works well. It is easy to switch back and forth from manual to auto focus.
    Tamron 90mm is one of the options. I also consider Sigma 50mm and Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5X Macro Lens. The last one is pricey, but my friend said it is worth. My favourite is Sigma because of the price and its features.

  19. #19

    Re: Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro vs. Tamron SP AF 90mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Jandiep View Post
    maybe an other option you might want to consider: Canon macro EF-s 60mm 1:2,8. It's perfect for portaits (on 50D 96mm) It's producing very sharp images. Great for macro on flowers. For insects and other bugs you need to be too close.
    I bought mine "used". Apart from lens scratches, there is little what can go wrong with this lens. it's very solid build, and as it does not extend nor rotate the front lens, it does not collect any dust or moisture inside.

    And if you like this one, start saving for the Canon macro EF 100 1:2.8, anything else will disapoint you later on
    EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM is my dream, but actually way too expensive. Regarding EF-s 60mm 1:2,8 I have to think about it. "Photo Plus" issue from June 2009 performed a macro lens test and these three I mentioned in this post were the best. Of course Canon is the most expensive.

  20. #20

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    Re: Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro vs. Tamron SP AF 90mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Banner1976 View Post
    EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM is my dream.
    I would be perfectly happy to own the non L version. Still saving

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