thrid party lenses

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by schellfarms, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. schellfarms

    schellfarms TPF Noob!

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    I have the Canon xSi DSLR. I'd like to learn more about third party lenses. I don't really want any lens in partiular yet, but was wondering about vendors. If looking at Sigma, Tamron, etc., is there any one particular maker who stands out in quality over the others? The main think I'm thinking of is a lens with a lower f stop. I'm trying to learn to take night time shots, and would like to be able to open the aperature more than my current f/ 5.6 lens allows. Price is an issue also, but quality is more important--if I can stick with a third party vendor.
     
  2. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Image quality wise it changes from lens to lens. Sigma and Tamron make some horrid lenses, but so do Nikon, Canon, Olympus, etc.

    One thing is certain that every Nikon lens I have compared to a Sigma or Tamron, the Nikon wins hands down in terms of comfort, ease of use, and build quality. I can't remember exactly which lens it was, but a friend of mine shoots with an optically good looking Sigma that doesn't look like it would survive a fall onto a pillow (it probably would though).

    Unless you're a professional who needs the maximum reliability out of his equipment, and the features like environmental seals, there's no reason not to consider Sigma or Tamron when looking at lenses. But do it on a lens by lens case.

    Welcome to Photozone! gives some very detailed tests on many lenses,
    Go to your local camera store with your camera and play with them to get a feel for noise, focus speed, smoothness, dampening of focus ring, ease of zooming etc.
     
  3. philaphotog

    philaphotog TPF Noob!

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    I was actually wondering if anyone had any experience with the Tamron 28-75 F2.8 or the Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 as a substitute for the Nikon 24-70 f/2.8. That Nikon is $1800 - yowch! $400 to $500 is more my speed right now, but I don't want to waste that amount by spending it on crummy glass. Anyone have any experience/wisdom on this?
     
  4. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Like Garbz said, you have to look on a lens to lens basis going by reviews and tests. If you look at Sigma's EX series of lenses, the build quality is very good and many of the lenses are sharp as a tack. Sometimes though, the IQ can change with every little update that sigma does to each lens. And sometimes two lenses of the exact same model will have different IQ. Keep in mind this can happen with Canon or Nikon lenses too.

    Another third party vendor with good and consistent IQ, and very, very good build quality is Tokina. Everything they make is basically made by Pentax and vice-versa, if I recall correctly.

    I have heard nothing spectacular about Tamron except that some lenses are tack-sharp, but they are built like crap.
     
  5. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    Well, I love my Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8. It is built quite well (it is my walkaround lens) and IQ is excellent. Tamron also has an excellent warranty.
     
  6. itznfb

    itznfb TPF Noob!

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    There is no replacement for the Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8. I got a chance to use it side by side with the Sigma on a D3 while at the vintage grand prix and the images quality in well lit areas was near identical. The build quality on the Sigma is decent but suffered from the same creep issues as my 18-50.
     
  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Sigma's EX Series are good. Tamron's SP series are good. Ex stands for EXcellence, SP for Super Performance. Tokina is under the umbrella of THK, which is Tokina-Hoya-Kenko; Hoya bought the Pentax brand less than two years ago, and Pentax has been bleeding money badly. Tokina has made some very good zooms in the super-wide range, and also has a great 100mm f/2.8 macro lens that has received rave reviews.

    All third party lenses are not created equal. The EX and SP lines are the best their respective makers offer--they also offer consumer-grade stuff that is very low priced,and not as good optically or mechanically as their high-end stuff. In areas like macro lenses, Sigma's EX macros (70,105,150,and 180mm models) offer outstanding values. Tamron's 90mm macro lenses have been refined for around 30 years and have had cult-like followings for years. Sigma and Tokina as I said, have done great with very wide lenses in the 12-24, 15-30, 10-20 type ranges, with many happy customers.

    Tokina and Pentax (SAME PARENT COMPANY!) offer the only current fisheye zoom, the 11-17mm, which is a unique selling proposition no other maker offers. Not a rectilinear wide zoom, but a fisheye zoom!

    3rd party lenses cost less than camera-maker lenses, but also have lower resale value. I own a handful of 3rd party lenses. As itznfb mentions, the Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 is an outstanding lens, it truly is. I saw one 3-way comparison of the Nikkor, Canon, and Sigma EX 24-70mm f/2.8 lenses and ALL were shot on the SAME,exact camera body, a high-resolution Canon, using an adapter ring to mount the Nikon mount lens onto the Canon body. The Nikon lens beat the Canon on center resolution, corner resolution, and on lower levels of chromatic aberration, at both wide and long focal lengths. The Sigma finished in third place overall, the Canon in second place. The thing is, the Nikon and Canon are in the $1800 price class, the Sigma 24-70 E is around half of that cost, for 85% of the resolution and optical quality.

    Tamron's 28-75 f/2.8 AF-SP is a truly outstanding example of a plastic- HEAVY,and therefore lightweight, affordable zoom lens. A good sample of the 28-75 Tamron can deliver 90 percent of the optical quality of a similar Canon or Nikon zoom, but with much lighter build quality. The Tamron 90mm macro and 28-75/2.8 are their two "cult following" lenses. Sigma's 70mm 2.8 EX and 150/2.8 EX macroS are their "cult following" lenses--they are beautiful lenses that deliver superb images.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2009
  8. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Two small and insignificant corrections on the above post: The fisheye zoom is a 10-17, and the Canon 24-70L is around $1200 new as opposed to $1800 as I used to own one. The Canon 24-70 was the biggest let down lens I have ever owned, as the copy I had wasn't the sharpest thing in the world, and the contrast was low for such an expensive lens. However, the build quality was spectacular.

    Canon L lenses tend to be a better value than the Nikon gold-rings, for the most part. Comparable lenses are just much cheaper. They also offer excellent f/4 versions. And then of course there is third party, which may draw sneers from pro photographers, but can be the best value.
     
  9. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you're looking for a cheaper alternative to the Nikkor AF-S 24-70 f/2.8 G look into the Nikkor AF-S 28-70 f/2.8 D. I can tell you right now it's a spectacular lens.
     
  10. philaphotog

    philaphotog TPF Noob!

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    Wow, this is terrific information. Thank you SO much. And good background into the overall world of third-party lenses. Regards -
     
  11. Hobbes

    Hobbes TPF Noob!

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    hmm I wonder why some people started to talk about Nikon lenses in here :confused:

    anyway if you are looking for a lens for handheld night photography then you should only look at those with image stabilizer. Canon has a few good ones like EF-s 17-55 f/2.8 IS and EF 24-105 f/4L IS both are quite expensive but you also get very sharp images even wide open. I am a little bit skeptical towards third party lenses after have been shooting with my Sigma 10-20 for awhile.
     
  12. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    :lol: Ok I was following on from itznfb's post. Didn't even see that the OP had a Canon. Woopse, now ask him why he started. :)
     

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