Which lens to buy?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by jpenna, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. jpenna

    jpenna TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    So, I've missed enough good shots (here is one). I've decided to buy a cheapo telephoto lens, to be replaced with a better one sometime in the future.

    I've narrowed it down to these. Which one do you think I should get? Any others in this price range that I didn't include?

    I'm into macro photography, so I'm considering one of the last two... although they all seem a bit too slow for indoor stuff.

    Cosina 70-210mm f/4.5-5.6 ($39.95)
    Sigma 70-210mm F4-5.6 UC-II ($49.99)
    Sigma 55-200mm f/4-5.6 DC ($59.95)
    Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro ($77.95)
    Tamron 70-300mm F/4-5.6 AF ($89.00)
     
  2. taracor

    taracor TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    144
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    Something to consider about Sigma is that their lenses are inexpensive for a reason. They are pretty much entirely made of plastic, even the important inner components (like bearings and whatnot), which is definately not a good thing.

    That's not to say they are bad lenses, and you're planning to replace them eventually anyway, but just something to keep in mind.
     
  3. jpenna

    jpenna TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Ahh, there's the 'gotcha'...

    Will that affect the picture quality, lens durability, or both?
     
  4. taracor

    taracor TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    144
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    It most definitely affects durability. Bearings really should be metal.

    Not only does metal feel smoother, but it doesn't deform as easily. What I mean is plastic parts (especially moving parts) can get shaved down over time. Now, bearings should be round to work at their full potential, shaved down or deformed ones obviously don't work since they don't roll around well.

    This means that your zooming and focussing won't be as smooth, and will degrade over time much faster than a lens with metal internals, leading to a much shorter overall lifespan. (may not be a big deal if you are planning on upgrading them in the near future)

    Metal internals can also take more abuse. I don't mean drop kicking off of a bridge kind of abuse, but maybe zooming too fast and hard, or something like that. Even bumps to the lens will add up and take their toll on the internals.

    Metal is always more durable than plastic, and the internals are very important. There are plenty of lenses that use plastic bodies to save on weight, and there is nothing wrong with that. (also plastic lens bodies don't dent like metal ones do, they bounce). However, only Sigma (and probably Quantaray) use plastic internals.

    Optically, Sigma lenses are fine, so picture quality isn't too much of an issue. If the internals fail though, it would lead to unpredictable results that could affect picture quality, but that has nothing to do with optics.



    Hmm, after looking at those prices again, it makes me think that there are corners being cut somewhere else too, but maybe not. If you plan on buying one, be sure to try it before you buy. Most places will let you try the lens on your camera and see if you like it, so check picture quality at both extremes, look for barrel distortion, look at how sharp the image is, look for how..'bright' it is, and check to see if you like the action of the lens, like the zooming and the focusing. It should be nice and smooth with not weird areas where you have to apply extra pressure, and it shouldn't get stuck anywhere, even just slightly.
     
  5. NicholeDeP

    NicholeDeP TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Indiana
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I have the Tamron Lens and love it!
     
  6. theRossatron

    theRossatron TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Another vote for the tamron - very well built for the money, metal mountings etc.. and takes good shots in good light.

    Here's one from my Tamron 70 - 300mm and 400D

    [​IMG]
     
  7. reg

    reg TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Messages:
    1,487
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Stuck inside of Mobile with the GTFO Blues Again
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    That's because they're not. The lenses are of great quality and are a far cry from what they "used to be". That isn't to say there aren't poor lenses made by Sigma, but that's true for all mfgs.
     
  8. penfold1

    penfold1 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Buffalo
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    where can you find that tamron for $90?
     
  9. jpenna

    jpenna TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    It's on Amazon (link).

    So, I went ahead and bought the $80 Sigma 70-300mm with macro capabilities.

    Been waiting "patiently" all day -- it should be here sometime in the next
    4 hours or so.

    Besides what taracore said (thanks, by the way!), do you guys have any tips on checking if I got a good copy or not?
     
  10. jpenna

    jpenna TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
  11. Drake

    Drake TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Messages:
    684
    Likes Received:
    10
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I have the sigma 70-300 and love it. As for the built quality - it is not that bad. It feels much, much better than kit lens, it's not that plasticky, finished off with some neat... well, no idea what it is. The zooming and focusing rings are also much more precise than those on my 400D kit lens. IQ? Here you really get what you pay for, but it's not that bad. It's pretty soft at the 300 end, but 70-200mm works very well for me. And if you do have to use 300mm, it's still good enough for some smaller prints (although I do prefer to take 200mm shots and crop them, but that's just me).
     
  12. jpenna

    jpenna TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hm... it seems pretty sharp to me at 300mm. Here's a 100% crop at ISO 400:
    [​IMG]
     

Share This Page