Sigma 150-500 vs Tamron 200-500mm

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by itznfb, Jun 3, 2009.

  1. itznfb

    itznfb TPF Noob!

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    looking for some more reach over the 70-200mm x1.7 for my D90 eventual D300/400 but i don't want to carry a 500mm prime or spend anywhere near that much $$.


    i've narrowed it down to either the Sigma 150-500mm or the Tamron 200-500mm.

    from sample shots i've seen and actual lens copy consistency i'm leaning toward the Tamron. it's also $150 cheaper. but i'm not too familiar with Tamron and couldn't find any review or product descriptions saying if there was any type of stabilization built in. anyone know?

    has anyone had experience with both of these?
     
  2. johnmh

    johnmh TPF Noob!

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    The Tamron is a bit older and not quite at the same level as the Sigma 150-500. The latter has Sigma's version of VR - OS. It's useful on long lenses.

    I haven't used the Tamron but looked at it a while ago when looking for a long light 'carry' lens - I settled on the 150-500. I've had it in Colorado and Montana on hikes - it did what I wanted it to do. I've also used it for sports but it needs GOOD light for fast moving action to get fast shutter speeds. You can hand hold but a monopod helps.

    IMO, you get your money's worth with the 150-500 but it has limitations. It IS slow - give it time to focus in marginal light - it's at the limit of AF. ANY Teleconvertors will require manual focusing.

    I compared this to the Nikon 80-400 and Nikon 200-400. Shooting at 400mm wide open the SIgma gave better than expected results - sharper than the Nikon 80-400 and almost comparable to the 200-400. The Sigma does soften up as you get to 500mm but stepping down helps.
    IMO, the Nikon 80-400VR is dated and not worth the cost at this point. The Sigma gives you an internal focusing motor and OS/VR. The 200-400 VR is a great lens - but large, heavy and expensive.

    There are not a lot of long zooms going to 400/500mm for under $1000 and there's a huge jump to the next level where you're paying thousandS.

    Just watch out for sample variability - though this seems to have improved lately.
     
  3. Rere

    Rere TPF Noob!

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    If you look at the reviews of both lenses on Amazon, you'll soon see which is the better lens.

    I'm also about to buy one of these, and so far the Sigma has it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2009
  4. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Both are very slow lenses
     
  5. Alokchitri

    Alokchitri TPF Noob!

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    Sorry to resurrect this very old thread, but I am in a similar dilemma.
    I have been through all the possible reviews I could find and I knew are respectable. It seems that the Tamron performs a little better than Sigma 150-500 at the extreme 500mm end. Though I understand that this lens does not have VC (OS for Sigma). Moreover 150-500 is not an EX lens, which is the mark of Professional lens from Sigma stable whereas Tamron is labeled as SP, indicating professional grade. I understand that these type of variable zooms are far from professional quality fixed aperture lenses, but at least Tamron declares it's to be better made...
    So what is the members here think?
    Thank you
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The reviews on Amazon are not reliable.
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    I think the SP and EX designations are a marketing ploy. I had 2 of the Sigma 150-500 lenses. It was a great lens for the price, and the case for each lens had an EX logo on it. I sold enough sports action shots made with those 2 lenses to pay for both several times over, and replaced them with 2 Nikon 200-400 mm f/4's.
     
  8. Alokchitri

    Alokchitri TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Keith

    I agree with you regarding Amazonian reviews...so which lens to go for? I wish there was a comprehensive test comparing these two, because some are saying that Tammy is little sharper at the longer ends and I know that beyond 400mm the sharpness of the Sigma drops considerably. But as I intend to use the lens mainly for Bird photography, sharpness is very important to me.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  9. Markw

    Markw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    They need to make an affordable 150-500/4-5.6 or better, DX. I doubt they ever will, but if they did, I'd expect it to be much smaller, lighter, and much more affordable because of that. Een though this is already pretty affordable when you realize what you're getting out of it. sigma wins hands down out of these two. The Sigma 50-500 is even better in terms of IQ.
     
  10. Alokchitri

    Alokchitri TPF Noob!

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    I completely agree with you Mark regarding 150-500/4-5.6, they should come out with one. 80-400VR has long passed it's life cycle and I have heard that it is going to be upgraded. My two cents on this that there will only be a AF-S tag with this lens and obviously few $$$ higher pride tag. Still it will not be compatible with even a 1.4x TC making it's zoom range unattractive to bird photographers. :(

    Regarding Sigma there seems to be copy to copy variation. I agree that 50-500 OS seems to be doing better but the problem is that it costs quite a bit high, about $600 and I already have part of it's zoom range in my bag and that also from Nikkor, so actually it will be wastage in a way.

    Between Tamron and Sigma 150-500, the main differences that I could spot are as follows:

    -----------------------------Tamron 200-500 ------------------Sigma 150-500 OS

    Max Aperture (wide): ----------f5 -------------------------------------- f5.6
    Min Focus: ------------------2.5m ---------------------------------220cm ------- Interesting to note,
    Weight: ---------------------1237g -----------------------------------1910g ------- Interesting to note
    Stabilization: --------------------X -----------------------------------------Y
    AF Motor: ----------------------- X ----------------------------------------HSM
    Min Aperture: ----------------32 -----------------------------------------22
    Lens Elements: -------------13 ----------------------------------------- 21---------- No idea which one is optically superior, is it lesser the better?
    Lens Groups: ---------------10 ------------------------------------------15---------- No idea which one is optically superior, is it lesser the better?

    For bird photography, it is more common to use Sv >=1/500 and at this shutter speed OS really does not matter, moreover at high shutter speeds it is recommended to turn the OS off. I have also seen that for BIF and other type of specific bird related scenarios, OS simply slows the focus down, unless it's a bank breaking lens like Nikkor 500 f4 VR. So for these low budget lenses, how much OS is helpful, I am not really sure!

    Now, which one looks optically more impressive?
     
  11. Markw

    Markw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I meant the original 50-500mm NON-OS. That's quite a bit sharper than the 150-500, but lacks the OS.

    Mark
     
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  12. baturn

    baturn TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    $Immature Rufous sided Towhee.jpg 150 - 500 at 500. Ive had this lens for about 1 year. Love it. But took a while to learn it's limitations. Mostly , lotsa light.
     

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