Sigma, Tamron, or Tokina: Which and why?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by tirediron, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    As the three main makers of third-party lenses, which one would you normally choose and why? We'll assume for the sake of argument that they all make a lens which meets your needs, and of a similar price. Without further details on build-quality, optical quality, etc, which brand would normally be your first choice and why? What are you experiences with the above; good, bad, or indifferent?
     
  2. Deadeye008

    Deadeye008 TPF Noob!

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    I would choose Sigma simply for their HSM AF motor that they have on certain lenses. I don't believe the other companies mentioned have such a motor. On the other hand the only 3rd party lens I currently own is a Tamron...I sure wish they would come up with a silent/fast AF motor...They would have some really great lenses then
     
  3. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Depends on which one is the best at the particular task. I don't see a point in being brand loyal to an off brand manufacturer. All three are pretty much in the same boat. I've seen examples of good and bad lenses from each.
     
  4. Samriel

    Samriel TPF Noob!

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    You have to base you judgment on something that the brand is "famous" for, nobody (or very few) will pick a lens just for the name. I own a Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 and a Tokina 100mm 2.8 Macro, and I'm very satisfied with both. I've played with many different 3rd party lenses, and if I had a brand preference, it would be Tokina. You just have to admire the build quality. If their lenses were weather sealed they would maybe have better build quality then the brand lenses. It just feels right holding one. Tamron and Sigma feel a bit too plastic sometimes.
    On the other side, I would like to see an AF motor in their lenses. Also, some of their lenses can have CA and flare issues which I'd like to see corrected too.
     
  5. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Understood, just trying to get a sense of which brand(s) people tend to prefer; that is, if you're looking for a lens, which of the three would you look at first.
     
  6. Early

    Early TPF Noob!

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    All things being equal, meaning sharpness, weight, etc., I would go with the Tamron for durability. I personally never had one go bad on me.
     
  7. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Garbz has a valid and likely the most important point.

    You cannot just say which brand is better but target it down to a single line of lens, or even better ONE specific lens against another. Sigma has traditionally made some of the worst quality lenses, really bad back focusing and just not very sharp... yet they also made the 18-50 HSM macro, which is so sharp it is visually sharper with the naked eye than the best equivalent lens from Nikkor (3 different independant magazines tested the Nikkor against the Tamron against the Sigma and all said the same thing... close but clearly a win for the Sigma), which incidentally is also 3 times more expensive and doesn't have macro (which the Sigma does!).

    Don't go by brand... go by SPECIFIC lenses!

    For me, there are times to go nothing but Nikkor (70-200, 85mm F/1.4 for example), and other times to go nothing but Sigma (18-50 HSM Macro).

    Its not about the brand... its all about the FINAL resutls given by a specific lens in comparison to it's direct competitors.
     
  8. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, I don't think either of these companies are overall better than the other. Sorta like Nikon and Canon. There might be some standout designs from each company staggered across the line a bit. Tokina seems to really know how to make some great wide-angle lenses. Sigma should be applauded for having such a great lineup of glass and having HSM motors. I don't know too much about Tamron but I'm sure they've got some really nice stuff too.
     
  9. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    Agreed with comments about specific lenses.

    I love my Tamron 17-50 (it's my walkaround lens) but wish it had an ultrasonic motor (although focus is still pretty quick). My Sigma's are wonderful lenses ... all with HSM which works great. I compared the 10-20 to Canon's equivalent and preferred the Sigma -- plus it was less expensive. The build on all of them is quite good.
     

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