Lense Question

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by bp4life71, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. bp4life71

    bp4life71 TPF Noob!

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    Man....i have alot of questions. I'm new though, so hopefully the number of them will decrease!

    I have noticed that alot of people with the NIKON and Canons have 3rd party lenses, ie. Sigma/Tamron etc.

    Are the Sigma/Tamron lenses just as good as the Nikon/Canon ones? I noticed the cost of lenses from the 3rd party are quite a bit cheaper...but does the quality go down as well?

    Im talking generally, I know some lenses will be alot better etc...but in general, how do the 3rd party lenses hold up against the manufacturers own lenses?

    Thanks.
     
  2. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    It depends on the specific lens. Most of the 3rd party lens are inferior in some way: purple fringing, Chromatic Aberration (CA), soft focus, poorer build quality. A few have qualities surpassing the best offering from the camera maker. In that case the price difference is usually not as great.

    Another issue is the possibility of voiding the camera warranty by using 3rd party gear.

    You really have to do a lens-to-lens comparison rather than making blanket assumptions.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Some Tamron/Sigma/Tokina lenses are very good...and some Canon/Nikon lenses are pretty bad. As Keith said, you really need to take it on a case by case basis.

    One thing I always say about top end Sigma/Tamron lenses compared to top end Canon/Nikon lenses. The very best Sigma/Tamron lenses are probably 90% as good as the very best similar Canon/Nikon lenses. But they are half the price.

    For many people, that extra 10% isn't' worth twice the price. However, for some people, that last 10% of quality is certainly worth the cost...even if it's mostly the mental advantage of knowing you have the best equipment.
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    One place 3rd party lenses do not hold up is in resale value; Sigma, Tamron,and Tokina lenses all take a pretty good depreciation hit when it is time to resell them. A $999 Sigma prime or zoom can often be bought for $575 on the used market within one or two years. A higher-end Canon L-glas lens or a professionally-oriented Nikkor lens on the other hand, can often be used for four,five,or six years,and then due to inflation,can be sold for about what you payed for it--or, during periods of upward prices like we have now, MORE than you payed for it.

    In spring 2003, I bought a Nikon 70-200VR lens for $1695....today I could sell that lens on the used market for $1699. After six years' worth of use. THat isn't the way resale typically goes with a 3rd party lens.

    Quality-wise, the 3rd party 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses are ALL inferior, just slightly, to the Canon and Nikon models--but they cost several hundred dollars less,too. 80 percent of the performance for 40% or so less than a Can-Nikon 70-200 2.8. In some categories, like the expensive macro lenses, Tamron and Sigma make 70,90,105,150,and 180mm macro lenses that are exceptionally good optically, and Tokina's 100mm/2.8 macro is also a great performer.
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I can second the comments on 3rdparty macro prime lenses (for sigma at least)!

    Also Sigma and Tamron also make some impressive wide angle lenses and wide angle zoom lenses which are very good optically (I belive the sigma ones also tend to beat canon ones in having less barrel distortion). A good example is the Sigma 10-20mm.
     
  6. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    People nearly always buy third-party for the price. But like other have said, the build quality can be pretty good on the pro-level stuff from any company (minus maybe Tamron). When comparing price points, the big names like Canon and Nikon cannot deliver nearly as good a lens as what Sigma or Tokina are doing. A sharp, very well built super-wide from Sigma or Tokina can be had for under $500 ($400 new for the Tokina). A Nikon super-wide costs ~$900+ for a plastic body... or double that for a metal body gold ring. But, having the Nikon lets you turn your nose up at everyone else.
     
  7. bp4life71

    bp4life71 TPF Noob!

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    Sounds like 3rd party is the way to go then. Im not interested in impressing anyone with the brand of equipment I have...more interested in impressing them with a photo. Then again, I never have been one to turn my nose up to people...heck, I still drive a 2003 Nissan Altima while my 16 year old daughter drives a C class Mercedes Benz! Thats no lie...lol.
     

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