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Sigma or Tamron ?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by HAVOC, May 9, 2005.

  1. I'll be wanting to buy a portrait lens soon to go with my Nikon 18-70 which i love, and i've been told to look at the Sigma: 105mm F2.8 EX "DG" AF Telephoto Macro and the Tamron: SP 90mm F2.8 DI 1:1 AF Macro ? Does anyone have any experience with these or any advice regarding their performance ? I know i've asked this sort of question before but i want to make sure i make the right decision before i part with my money ! thanks for any help.
  2. Hi Havoc,

    I tried these 2 lenses a while ago before buying the Tamron (for the price since I got a deal one can't refused on the tamron). About sharpness, contrast and color neutrality, both are excellent macro lenses. However the Sigma AF is a bit better than the Tamron that hunts a bit especially in low light. On the other side, the Tamron is more compact than the Sigma and its manual focus is a little bit easier to do (the last statement is subjective). The closest working distance is almost the same (around 5 inches for the Tamron and around 6.5 inches for the Sigma if memory doesn't fail me).

    All of that to say, you can't go wrong by choosing one or another. By the way, there're several used copies of both lenses on sale on Ebay.

    Wish that helps.
  3. Preston


    May 2, 2005
    Reno, NV
    Get either they are about the same. You will be happy with either. I have the Sigma & have tried the Tamron. More woring distance is ussually preferred.
  4. fact or fiction???

    I have the previous version of the Tamron 90 SP (non Di). I love that lens. When shooting portraits I put the lens in "limit" mode so that it doesn't hunt much at all. When shooting close up (e.g. macro) I usually focus manually.

    Now as for a comparison. First let me say that I have never owned a Sigma. I have owned a few Tamron's (and still do). I was in my local camera store the other week looking at wide-zoom lenses. The salesman and I where talking about the Nikon 12-24 and the (yet to be received) Tamron 11-18. When I asked about the Sigma he rolled his eyes. I asked him why and he had an interesting story to tell. Now keep in mind that the store sells (and stocks) all the lenses in question. He explained one fundamental difference between Sigma and Tamron, the electronics. He said that Tamron licenses the technology from Nikon, Canon, and such to make their lens completely compatible with the camera body. Sigma on the other hand reverse engineers Nikon, Canon, etc lenses to make the chips that drive the lens. He went on to explain that is why he frequently sees problems with some Sigma lenses when a user upgrades the camera body years later. This was very interesting. I don't have any reason to doubt his story or analysis. My father and I have been customers since the store opened in the 1950's. I know I have read lots of threads (on other forums) about Sigma lenses needing chips upgraded or replaced after a user upgraded the camera. Which also leads me to add credibility to his story.

    Just food for thought. It may not be true, but it makes sense to me.
  5. I have the older non-DG version Sigma. The lens is excellent but I have 2 small complaints. The lens tends to hunt in tricky situations and the screw in lens hood is a pain to cart around and use. The DG version looks like it has the same screw in lens hood.

    I cant comment on the Tamron but I've heard a lot of positive comments about it.

  6. Regarding Sigma and Tamron

    I have a new Tamron 180 f/3.5 macro. I am not fond of the lens purely for aesthetic purposes. I purchased it on advice from my local shop, but I didn't really carefully consider the AF/MF barrel switch. I found it awkward to use.

    My local shop prefers Tamron lenses over Nikon and Sigma for value and build quality. I generally prefer Nikon, even at 2x or 3x the cost. Nikon lenses generally hold their value.


    D70, 10.5fisheye, 18-70DX, 17-55DX, 24-120VR, 60micro, 180, 70-200VR
  7. Unlike Crystall I like the AF/MF barrel switch on the lens. Because I like to focus manually while doing macro work, this ring provides a very nice large grip to focus with. That is one of those things you just have to try it and see. 8)
  8. A have the Sigma 105 EX (non DG)

    I use the Sigma (the older non DG) because I got it for half the price of the new one.

    I don`t know in what the new one can be better in?

    I`m very happy with it! AFocus is a little loud but fast enough.

    Just the screw in lens hood is a pain to put on! (But it`s metal build like a tank!)

    I think quality is pretty close between the Sigma and Tamron.

    Suggestion: Choose about Price and working distance!

    these Gallery was shot with the Sigma 105 f2.8 EX (beware first tries from a amateur):

  9. I agree with Scott about trying the lens first. I should have tried it more extensively in the store before I purchased it. I just find the barrel switch to be awkward. Perhaps it's my small hands, but I like to switch between AF and MF and I often lose the shot when I use the barrel. Of course this could be chalked up to being a macro newbie too! :wink:

  10. I have the Tamron it is very sharp. You can't really go wrong with this lens
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