3rd Party Lens: Truth, no snob factor-ers

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by MPSax1, Dec 1, 2009.

  1. MPSax1

    MPSax1 TPF Noob!

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    Clean and simple, I want to hear from the pros whether lenses like Sigma, Tamron, and Tokina are any good, and how they compare to Canon and Nikon.

    There's a huge snob factor, claiming that Nikon lenses are sharper than Canon lenses and vice versa, and some people claim that 3rd party lenses are terrible and some people claim that they are just as good as the "name brands", but again, most of the people making these claims don't have the other to sell. Again, I want to hear from people who've done this long enough and aren't brand attached. I'll be honest, I'm a little brand attached but money is money, and from what Harry How says, some of the stuff today is just so good, choosing the "best" options sometimes become obsolete because you can't tell the difference.

    One thing I can say though, is that I don't think 3rd party lenses usually beat Canon or Nikon lenses (maybe a few exceptions) but I'm wondering whether they match up pretty well.

    Thanks in advance, and please, if you're a newbie to the forum, know that some posts will be disregarded. I don't want this to be a rant thread that has to be closed. Again, thanks. :mrgreen:
     
  2. CWN

    CWN TPF Noob!

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    Kind of ironic that a person with 4 posts is willing to overlook a response from a newbie to the forum, don't you think?

    I'll chime in.

    I've had 2 Nikon 18-200 VR lenses and sold both of them, tried the Nikon 70-300 VR, sold it, and now use the Sigma 18-250 HSM OS and I'm quite happy with it.

    The Nikon brand does hold its value better.
     
  3. PatrickHMS

    PatrickHMS TPF Noob!

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    Me too, sorta the same thing.

    I also had a Nikon 18-200mm VR, just didn't like it enough better (for the $) than the 55-200mm to keep it, so I sold it when I got an offer I couldn't refuse.

    Maybe these old eyes are too bad, or maybe I just know how to use a camera properly (for me), but for what I do, I can get some nice shots from the kit lenses, for what they were intended to do and for what they cost.

    I have a Sigma 18-50mm constant f/2.8 Macro and absolutely love it. Thought about one of the 3rd party 18-250's but just not sure enough about superzooms to pull the trigger on one yet. Need to talk to Noyze sometime about how much he really likes his.

    Also have an older Nikkor 35-105mm Macro that I use quite a bit, am kinda in the process of even selling my prime lenses where the focal length is covered by a zoom), just don't like to make so many lens changes as I used to.

    Nikon lenses will hold their value for sure, but the 3rd party lenses can be so affordable, especially in a buyer's market such as we have right now...

    Happy shooting!
     
  4. FrankLamont

    FrankLamont TPF Noob!

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    Admittedly, 'fan-boy' syndrome has taken off a lot of belief in reviews and such, but yes, OEM lenses (that is, original equipment manufacturer) are almost always better.
     
  5. MPSax1

    MPSax1 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the advice. If anyone can list their 3rd party love arsenals that would be nice :)

    And as for the irony in me having such little posts, well, yes, but I don't expect anyone to take my advice either XD. Its not that newbies to the forum can't be good, its just that serious people usually are good. I hope for the advice of pros because they'll actually have a reference point where price doesn't matter as much. With real newbies, they'll choose price and defend their choice because they can't afford better, and then there's the wealthy who will only get the name brand and won't stand back on it. Hope you get my concept, but thanks for the advice so far everyone :)
     
  6. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

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    I use both a sigma 70-200 mm 2.8 and the sigma 10-20 for professional shoots. You get about 90% of what you might get with an equivalent class of name-brand cameras. That last 10% isn't that important for what I shoot.
     
  7. MPSax1

    MPSax1 TPF Noob!

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    Hey Rufus,
    Thanks for the professional comment, could you tell me what system Sigma uses to represent Image Stabilization (IS, VR, etc)

    Also, how do you combat the flare and distortion on the 10-20? Those are the only 2 factors that are keeping me afraid of buying it over the canon
     
  8. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I would say the Sigma 10-20 is a gem. And that's it. It's about the lens, not about the manufacturer.

    Sigma, Nikon, Canon, Tamron, they all make lemons and gems. If there is one thing at all that Nikon and Canon have over the Sigma and Tamron consistently then it's build quality, but that's it, and it won't effect the sharpness of your final image.

    All companies make truly horrid, and some golden lenses. It is only fair to compare on a lens by lens basis.
     
  9. JamesMason

    JamesMason TPF Noob!

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    Alot of gear is out there to capture photographers, not images. Some features are invaluable for the people who need them, weatherproofing, fast apertures ect. But ive taken some of my best shots with a crappy nikon 70-300g
     
  10. mdruziak

    mdruziak TPF Noob!

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    Most of my lenses are Canon lenses and I own many L series lenses. But, I have a Tamron 17-55 f2.8 that could be the sharpest (and cheapest) lens that I own. The only issue with the Tamron is that it doesn't focus very well in low light. So when I am shooting in low light and absolutely positively need to get the shot, the Tamron stays in the bag and my less sharp but fast focusing Canon 24-70 2.8L comes out.
     
  11. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

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    They use 'OS' for 'optical stabilization' I think? Neither of my lenses have it.

    You're going to get distortion with a really wide-angle lens, that's the nature of the beast ('approaching fish eye' one might say :) ). Mostly I deal with it by respecting the horizon, shooting at the hyperfocal, and maybe trimming a bit in PS. As far as flare, I've never had a problem. Only filters I use are ND, GND and polarizers. I can't honestly remember ever experiencing a flaring problem. Maybe I don't shoot around enough bright light sources.
     
  12. MPSax1

    MPSax1 TPF Noob!

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    I've heard good things about the tokina 11-16mm. I shoot landscape photography for over 90% of my work. Do you think I should shoot for the Tokina or Sigma? I'd love the Canon but unless anyone believes the extra $100 over the tokina is worth the pain, I don't plan on getting it. Does the Tokina focus on a Rebel Xsi (450D)? I heard it doesn't focus on some beginner cameras
     

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