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Thread: 70-300mm Sigma or Tamron?

  1. #1

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    70-300mm Sigma or Tamron?

    Hi,

    I ve got a new Nikon D5000 with a 18-55mm lens. Am considering a 70-300mm for second lens. Between Sigma and Tamron, which is recommended? Any feedback for anyone? Both the models seem to have exactly the same features and similar price too. My purpose is an occasional outdoor use, like nature, sports, etc.

    My next intention is to get a AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm IF-ED for more regular use a little later. I assume this is a superior faster lens. Does my whole plan make sense?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Jim B.'s Avatar
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    Re: 70-300mm Sigma or Tamron?

    I shoot Canon,but did own the Tamron 70-300(my 1st zoom).Drop this lens from your list! You will be very disappointed with Tamron.Build quality:Bad,plastic mount.Feels like it could break without much effort.IQ: Soft at every FL.Focus speed:Very slow! I sold it after a week.Resell value=you'll nearly give it away.
    I can't speak about the Sigma.
    You would be better off saving up for a Nikon 70-300 VR.
    My brother shoots with this lens and it produces outstanding images.Build quailty is nice,focus speed is decent.
    I think Dave Humphries (one of the moderators) has this lens also.

    Jim

  3. #3

    Re: 70-300mm Sigma or Tamron?

    I have the 70-200 Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 APO EX DG Macro HSM II. I have the Sigma x1.4 converter for the rare occasions when I want more length. Together they are about 850. It's a good lens, with excellent build quality but incredibly heavy at 1.4kilos! It is sharp despite some people saying it isn't. The macro function is good for flowers.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: 70-300mm Sigma or Tamron?

    Quote Originally Posted by ramborums View Post
    Am considering a 70-300mm for second lens. ... My next intention is to get a AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm IF-ED for more regular use a little later. ... Does my whole plan make sense?
    You've got the 18-55 now and, from what you write, you seem content with that. If you're idea is to get the 55-200 later, are you sure you want to lay out money on a 70-300 now? It seems that your going to be covering a lot of focal length that you're then going to covering again once you get the 55-200.

    Is it possible to re-work your budget plans and try and go for the 55-200 now, or in the relatively near future? And then, if you want longer length in the future go down the converter or longer lens route.

  5. #5
    Ramblinman's Avatar
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    Re: 70-300mm Sigma or Tamron?

    Quote Originally Posted by ramborums View Post
    Hi,

    I ve got a new Nikon D5000 with a 18-55mm lens. Am considering a 70-300mm for second lens. Between Sigma and Tamron, which is recommended? Any feedback for anyone? Both the models seem to have exactly the same features and similar price too. My purpose is an occasional outdoor use, like nature, sports, etc.

    My next intention is to get a AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm IF-ED for more regular use a little later. I assume this is a superior faster lens. Does my whole plan make sense?

    Thanks
    The Tamron 70-300mm lens was the first telephoto lens I bought for my XSI last year. I have since sold my XSI and upgraded to a 5D but I still use the 70-300mm lens on rare occasions. As a previous poster mentioned, the build quality of the lens is on the cheap side, but it does have decent image quality. Keep in mind that the autofocus is extremely slow and noisy if you still want to purchase the lens. Just to give you an idea of the image quality, check out my gallery below. All were taken with the Tammy lens.

    I had to increase the ISO so none of the images would come out blurry.

    http://www.paulrizziphotography.com/...68071448_cqBbn

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    Re: 70-300mm Sigma or Tamron?

    Thanks to jim, carregwen, donald and ramblinman for your inputs. Carregwen, I wasn't considering a F/2.8 lens. I am on a tiny budget for now. I thought I ll manage with the 18-55 kit lens for indoors. And go for a 70-300 f/4-5.6 for outdoors, wildlife. from the other threads, I have learnt that there could be AF issues with third party lenses. I don't mind manual focus if it helps to save some bucks. Do I understand right that the Sigma is better built than Tamron and hence a better option?

    From Donalds inputs, looks like the idea of Nikkor 55-200mm f/4 may be a better idea. Nikkor 70-300mm/4.5-5.6 is beyond my budget for now. Is there a converter i could use with Nikkor 55-200mm to increase length? Or does it make sense to get 55-200mm now and get the 70-300mm (like Dave did) whenever i have saved for it. The sigma 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 was tempting at 1/3 price of a Nikkor with equiv specs. Esp since I am likely to be going on a wildlife trip with exotic locations end of this month.

    I found a Nikkor 70-300mm at an incredible price at this site. Am I missing something here?
    http://www.adorama.com/Als/ProductPage/NK70300AFGB.html


    Another reason I was putting off the Nikkor 55-200 for later cos I thought I may decide on a Nikkor 18-200mm if I could afford it later and do away with the 18-55mm kit lens.
    Last edited by ramborums; 23rd May 2010 at 12:10 PM.

  7. #7

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    Re: 70-300mm Sigma or Tamron?

    That 70-300 lens at Adorama is the G model not the VR model. As far as the optics go they are chalk and cheese, and that is the reason why the G version is so much cheaper than the VR version.

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    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: 70-300mm Sigma or Tamron?

    I have an older Nikkor 70 - 300 D series lens with ED glass (Nikon's Exrta Low Dispersion glass). They did make two versions of this lens - one with the ED glass and one without. The former is an excellent lens but has no VR. I am not sure what models they make these days in this range but history tells me that whatever you buy if you can afford the lens with low dispersion glass you will see the benefits for years to come.
    I would look around and see if you can find one second hand, have it professionaly checked out before you buy and you might find a good quality lens for a price to suit your budget.

  9. #9
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: 70-300mm Sigma or Tamron?

    Quote Originally Posted by ramborums View Post
    Thanks to jim, carregwen, donald and ramblinman for your inputs. Carregwen, I wasn't considering a F/2.8 lens. I am on a tiny budget for now. I thought I ll manage with the 18-55 kit lens for indoors. And go for a 70-300 f/4-5.6 for outdoors, wildlife. from the other threads, I have learnt that there could be AF issues with third party lenses. I don't mind manual focus if it helps to save some bucks. Do I understand right that the Sigma is better built than Tamron and hence a better option?

    From Donalds inputs, looks like the idea of Nikkor 55-200mm f/4 may be a better idea. Nikkor 70-300mm/4.5-5.6 is beyond my budget for now. Is there a converter i could use with Nikkor 55-200mm to increase length? Or does it make sense to get 55-200mm now and get the 70-300mm (like Dave did) whenever i have saved for it. The sigma 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 was tempting at 1/3 price of a Nikkor with equiv specs. Esp since I am likely to be going on a wildlife trip with exotic locations end of this month.

    I found a Nikkor 70-300mm at an incredible price at this site. Am I missing something here?
    http://www.adorama.com/Als/ProductPage/NK70300AFGB.html


    Another reason I was putting off the Nikkor 55-200 for later cos I thought I may decide on a Nikkor 18-200mm if I could afford it later and do away with the 18-55mm kit lens.
    Hi ramborums,

    One other thing to be aware of, is that you 'must', for a D5000, make sure you buy only "AF-S" (Nikon) lenses if you want any Auto-Focus!

    The linked lens is just "AF", not "AF-S", so it will Auto-focus on a D70 or above, but not on D5000 (nor D3000, D40, D40X or D60). For third party lenses, make sure they are the sort with an internal HSM, USM or similar, focus motor, or again, you could get a nasty surprise.

    As Jim mentioned in post #2, I have just bought the (400) Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm G ED-IF VR and I am very pleased with it.
    So I have the VR technology, reasonably fast (internal) focusing and the ED glass, all combined.

    Cheers,

  10. #10

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    Re: 70-300mm Sigma or Tamron?

    Dave, i am aware I will lose out on the autofocus without AF-S but as mentioned earlier I wouldnt mind manual focus if there s a significant benefit in cost. I have spent many years with a primitive manual film SLR, so there is no mental block to manual focus. Of course there is so much advantage with autofocus being available. But then I am considering this lens only for an occasional use with wildlife.

    However Peter's input regarding ED is getting me to have second thoughts. Though I wouldnt mind giving up some conveniences, I wouldnt want to compromise on picture quality. If ED makes a significant difference in picture quality, I d rather go for one even if there s a significant cost to it.

    On Bill's point on VR, I am not clear. Does VR has an impact when I shoot on tripod? Is it an electronic processing feature or is it a mechanical feature? Bottomline, how important or critical is VR to picture quality? I havent experimented and seen it for myself (with VR ON and OFF) Perhaps some of you have already experienced the actual difference in action and could share.

    Though I am now tending to follow through with Dave s choice of Nikkor 70-300, I am still exploring and exhausting other options, before I empty my purse. And that also means I won't be able to get it right away.

    Thanks all for the wonderful inputs.
    Last edited by ramborums; 26th May 2010 at 01:46 AM.

  11. #11
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: 70-300mm Sigma or Tamron?

    Quote Originally Posted by ramborums View Post
    Dave, i am aware I will lose out on the autofocus without AF-S but as mentioned earlier I wouldnt mind manual focus if there s a significant benefit in cost. I have spent many years with a primitive manual film SLR, so there is no mental block to manual focus. Of course there is so much advantage with autofocus being available. But then I am considering this lens only for an occasional use with wildlife.
    ~
    On Bill's point on VR, I am not clear. Does VR has an impact when I shoot on tripod? Is it an electronic processing feature or is it a mechanical feature? Bottomline, how important or critical is VR to picture quality? I havent experimented and seen it for myself (with VR ON and OFF)
    Hi ramborums,

    OK fine, I remember you saying about not minding manual focus but I didn't connect the two (doh)
    There's a part of me that thinks the longer you can stave off becoming spoilt by such technology, the better

    If you envisage tripod shooting, then no, VR won't be an advantage because you usually would turn it off, sorry I haven't compared with VR on and off on a tripod as my camera rarely sits on one

    Also, even for handheld wildlife shooting, you're likely to need a shutter speed over 1/500s for the subject's movement anyway, so again, other than stabilising the viewfinder image, which can help manual focusing, it may be something to give up (but I wouldn't - I'm spoilt).

    Cheers,

  12. #12

    Re: 70-300mm Sigma or Tamron?

    "I don't mind manual focus if it helps to save some bucks"

    Not being able to AF can be really annoying especially with long lens. I strongly suggest you rent a lens that lacks AF and try manual focusing before purchasing this lens. Macro is another issue but since this lens does not have macro abilities, this is irrelavent.

    I understand that certain cameras will only take an image if the subject is in focus. This might help reduce the occurance of OOF shots. For instance, on my D700, I have to set it to the following settings.

    Auto focus using the AF-ON button only. Half shutter will not do anything.
    Set auto focus on the lens.

    In this instance, you turn the focus ring until it is in perfect focus. Then only will the camera take the shot.

    Also try to get a camera with arrows or some indication, to inform you which direction you are to turn the focus ring. You should instinctively know which direction to turn based on degree of blur, but this feature can help you focus better.

  13. #13

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    Re: 70-300mm Sigma or Tamron?

    Finally I am not sure if I am left more clear or confused ! With all the info i have now, looks like it makes sense for me to get a 55-200mm now which will take care of all general purpose pics (80%). I ll keep the 70-300mm for later when I saved for it. Seems to make sense to go for the VR anyway.

    Now I am left with a new question. Does it work better to use a 55-200mm plus the 18-55mm kit lens or to get a 18-200mm and do away with the kit lens? Obviously the advantage with the latter is that I avoid changing lens. But would there be a loss in imagery in the 18-200mm having a longer range? Purpose here is to shoot events and travel shots.

    Am sorry i am bringing in a new question in the same thread. don't know if there s a problem with that.

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