Which of these lenses?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by J.Bat, Sep 19, 2008.

  1. J.Bat

    J.Bat TPF Noob!

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    I am looking for a good portrait/ wedding lens.

    1. Tamron AF 17-50mm F/2.8
    2. Sigma 17-70mm F/2.8-4.5
    3. Canon EF 17-40mm F/4L

    I am leaning towards the sigma right now? What are your thoughts?
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    F2.8 rules all.
     
  3. J.Bat

    J.Bat TPF Noob!

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    Oh really? How will the sigma hold up to that?
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    It's hard to say. The sigma has a variable max aperture, so at the long end of the zoom, the max is only F4.5...which will make it harder to get usable shutter speeds...and the long end of the zoom is where you need faster shutter speeds.
    Also, wider apertures give you the opportunity to use a shallow DOF, which can be great for portraits and weddings etc.

    If image quality is your top priority, the Canon lens would be my choice. You rarely go wrong with a Canon L lens. The image & build quality are great.

    I've got the Tamron, it's my primary wedding lens. I wish I had the Canon 17-55 F2.8 IS, but it was just too pricey.
     
  5. J.Bat

    J.Bat TPF Noob!

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    Well the Canon is a tab more expensive, between the tamron and sigma will they be close to same all around?
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2008
  6. Big Mike

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

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    I can't say...I haven't really heard much about the Sigma 17-70mm. I have heard that it's pretty good, but that's usually from people who are used to using kit lenses...not actual wedding shooters. I have heard plenty of great things about the Tamron, which is why I bought it.

    You might also consider the Sigma 18-50mm F2.8
     
  7. J.Bat

    J.Bat TPF Noob!

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    Would it be better than the 17-70? Im looking for image quality
     
  8. bill9000

    bill9000 TPF Noob!

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    my $0.02 is that Sigma doesn't hold up well to anything... and personal experience has seen very soft images from Sigma lenses. - I have yet to see a Sigma that works good. (I am told, have not experienced, that Tamron is pretty good, better than Sigma, that Tamron used to manufacture some of Nikons Nikkor lenses for awhile) again, thats what I was told, not personal experience. - Canon "L" lenses are worth the money, much sharper than a Sigma!!!!
     
  9. J.Bat

    J.Bat TPF Noob!

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    Hm, this is tough lol.
     
  10. Big Mike

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

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    I've seen some good Sigma lenses. I have one, the 30mm F1.4...which is a fantastic lens (maybe the sharpest I own) but it has focus problems.

    I think the issue is that the 17-70mm isn't a top quality lens. It's more of a mid-level lens. You will typically find that a company's best zoom lenses are constant aperture lenses...the ones with a variable max aperture, are usually a compromise to keep them lighter and cheaper.

    Have you searched Google or Flickr for sample images with each lens?
     
  11. J.Bat

    J.Bat TPF Noob!

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    No I will though, thanks Mike.
     
  12. bill9000

    bill9000 TPF Noob!

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    here's a quote from a rental company about Sigma: a rental company would certainly know pretty well about these sorts of things, since they have lots of everything! here's the quote:

    For about a year now, we’ve had internal discussions at Lensrentals about carrying Sigma lenses. On the one hand, Sigma makes some excellent and unique lenses that are at a very attractive price. Some of them, like the 120-300 f2.8, 50-150 f2.8, and the 150-500 zooms are unique: there are no other lenses of similar aperture and focal length. And we know a lot of our customers are interested in trying these lenses to decide if they’re reasonable alternatives to the ‘brand names’ so we were one of the first rental houses to stock Sigma, and still stock more varieties and copies than anyone else.
    Since day 1 the Sigma brand has always been a bit of a money loser for us: they broke more frequently than the other brands. Our techs coined the phrase “Sigma’d” to describe any lens that didn’t function. When they did break, the repair turnaround time was, to be charitable, leisurely. We knew to buy a replacement, it would usually be several weeks and often a couple of months before we got the original copy returned repaired. But we knew a lot of you wanted to try these lenses and its our job to have what you want, so we stocked them.
    In the last year, however, things have gotten much, much worse. One third of the Sigma 150-500 and 120-400 lenses we bought were defective out of the box and had to be exchanged. Several more broke during their first and second rentals. New copies of other Sigma lenses showed up with high defective rates out of the box. Repairs have become even slower and now even our routine in-warranty repairs are being refused and billed as ‘customer damage’, even though we’ve never rented them out, simply tested them.
    Several weeks ago we placed warnings on a number of lenses that they were ‘high risk’ of failure. All but two of these were Sigma, despite the fact that Sigma is less than 7% of our lens inventory. When we looked at our actual numbers things were even more bleak: Sigma lenses failed at a rate of 30% per year, compared to less than 5% for Canon, Tamron, Nikon, Tokina, and Zeiss. We weren’t losing a little bit of money anymore, we were losing a fair amount. More importantly, far more importantly, we had customers who rented lenses for important shoots and the lenses failed to work properly. Sigma was about 5% of our rentals but almost one-third of our customer complaints.
    We aren’t going to stop renting Sigma entirely but we are going to close out two lines (the 150-500 and 120-400) that have developed so many problems as to be unusable. We will not stock Sigma when there are better alternatives (70-200 f2.8, 24-70 f2.8 for example). We will continue to carry those Sigma lenses that are unique and where there aren’t more reliable options (120-300 f2.8 for example), at least for now, but we are not going to offer our “2 in 2” guarantee on Sigma products any longer. The reason is simple: we’re happy to buy a new copy for you to rent, but in the case of Sigma we may have to buy 2 or 3 new copies to get one that passes inspection. There isn’t time to do that in two weeks.
    We’ll monitor the situation and hope that someday soon Sigma gets their quality control back to “below average” from its current “worse than imaginable” and we can stock them like the other lenses in our lineup.
     

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