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Sigma or Tamron 18-200?

Discussion in 'Lens Matters' started by simon haycocks, Oct 3, 2020.

  1. simon haycocks

    simon haycocks New Member

    Hi. Let me start off by saying i wish i had thousands to spend on a hobby but i don't so have to do things on a tight budget. I enjoy taking photos of landscapes and motorsport.
    I'm getting back into DSLR photography after a few years away. My last camera was a canon 450d which i bought with a kit lens only but then bought a Tamron zoom lens, i can't remember the spec's exactly but it was something like 28-300mm.
    I like the idea of having a lens that covers a large range although i do realise image quality suffers. I was never very impressed with the quality of the pictures i took with the Tamron, just wasn't as sharp as the kit lens.
    So, I'm now looking at replacing my kit lens with an 18-200mm to get similar quality to the kit lens but with a bit more range. Are Sigma better than Tamron or not? If you think i will be disappointed what would you suggest i look at?
  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Hi Simon.

    My overall impression (from reviews, not based on owning either) is that Sigma and Tamron are much of a muchness although Sigma have introduced the separate Art lens line that aims to take on OEM lenses in quality rather than on price.

    Whether you will be disappointed or not I don’t know, many people are delighted with their super-zooms. It depends on what you want. I’d try them them both out. Camera shops are usually helpful that way though it might be harder with Covid as they may have less demo equipment readily available if they are cleaning and quarantining items that have been handled.

    In our house I have a lot of expensive full frame Canon kit, my wife has a good Sony Bridge camera with a 24-600 mm (35 mm equivalent) zoom and 1” sensor. If we take the same framed shot, yes I can tell the difference if I pixel peep, but I don’t turn my nose up at the Bridge camera results.
    simon haycocks likes this.
  3. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I haven't used a Sigma lens regularly for many years for the simple reason that there is a well know, and acknowledged, issue with some lens mounts. The issue is caused by the fact that neither Canon nor Nikon license their lens mounts so third party lens manufacturers have to reverse engineer them. That doesn't mean that Sigma and Tamron lenses aren't good, they are very good. What it means is that you need to chose your lens with great care.

    As an example, I have a number of camera bodies and I, reasonably in my opinion, want my lenses to work with all of them. If I buy a used Sigma lens that predates the most recent body there may be problems. They can often be resolved by Sigma, but not always, therefore my best approach is to avoid used Sigma lenses. If I buy new there should be no problem.

    You are in a different position, you will have one body and want to buy a single lens to work with it. I therefore suggest that you buy the lens new and you are unlikely to have any compatibility problems. If you buy the USB Dock for your lens you should be able to update the lens firmware if you should, at some future date, buy a different camera body.

    Sigma have produced the USB dock deliberately to improve compatibility.
    simon haycocks likes this.
  4. Davidjsch

    Davidjsch Member

    Now I have quite recently returned to this hobby so may not be the best person to hold a view, but for what it's worth these are my thoughts ....

    I have a Canon 500D and a Sigma 18-200mm f3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM. Both bought second hand from EBay. The 500D was 'New Old stock' in that it had never been used, the Sigma might as well had the same description as it's mint. (BTY the Canon came with the kit lens 18-55, but again it's never been used, and I don't expect I'll use it either....)

    Have to say I am delighted with this combination. I chose the Sigma over the Tamron mainly because years ago I had a Tamron, and didn't get on with it... If I do have a criticism it's that the combination is quite heavy for me, but with every 'big' lens you place you will have that situation.

    With Christmas just around the corner I have a tripod on my list .......:cool:

    So my advice is to study the adds on EBay - look at the sellers feedback and base your decision on your gut. Contrary to some peoples view - if the item does not match up to the description in anyway you can return. Buying from EBay you will save yourself a bundle......

    Since joining in 2002 I have always found EBay safe enough it you follow these simple guidelines....

    Hope you enjoy which ever you end up buying.......
  5. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    I use the Tamron 16-300 on a Sony A65. The results suit me. The only problem I sometimes encounter is that the communication between body and lens glitches. It's an occassional problem and annoying when it happens but the ability to use a single combination from very wide to very long over-rides that for me. Some samples...

    Abus double decker pulling into The Triangle Sidmouth A65 DSC02952.JPG

    Architectural detail at St Bridget's nursery on the A3076 at Clyst St Mary A65  DSC02254.JPG

    Bloodhound on launchpad Weston Super Mare DSC01628.JPG

    Chinese girls laughing at boy in Sidmouth DSC01536.JPG

    Man sitting on wall reading newspaper Rifford Road Exeter DSC02436.JPG
  6. pixelpuffin

    pixelpuffin Well-Known Member

    I haven’t used either of those but I had and stupidly sold the canon ef-es 18-200.
    It did suffer from lens creep, there us a barrel lock to prevent this. But the sheer versatility was great. It could focus stupidly close, had good IS and picture quality was always a surprise.
    I keep toying with buying another copy.
  7. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    you mean that you never knew what you were going to get ?
  8. pixelpuffin

    pixelpuffin Well-Known Member

  9. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    When I upgraded from the Nikon D90 to the D800 I bought the Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 as my principal lens. I soon encountered occasional problems of loss of communication with this lens, yet not with the Nikon and Sigma lenses I already had. I assumed the Tamron was at fault. Tamron were helpful, but replacement lenses didn’t cure the problem. A few years later my camera bag fell, damaging the image stabilization of the Tamron lens, so I replaced it with the Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 VR, assuming that would resolve the issue. Instead I began to see the problem with other lenses. I concluded that the problem lay with the F mount, and the reason I only saw it with the Tamron lens initially was because it was heavier than my other lenses, except the Sigma 150-500mm super-telephoto, where I was careful to hold the lens rather than let the mount take the strain.

    (The first time I got the camera's mount replaced things were trouble-free until just after the 6 months for which the repair was guaranteed. I got the D800 back from the second repair just before the spring lockdown, and things are still working fine so far!)

  10. pixelpuffin

    pixelpuffin Well-Known Member

    And the moral of the story is then....??

    Buy Canon :)

    I’m kiddin!! :eek::eek:
  11. IvorETower

    IvorETower Little Buttercup

    Sigma v Tamron ....... almost as argument-strewn a topic as Canon v Nikon.

    Very difficult to say. Sometimes Sigma lenses beat Tamron in reviews, other times it is the other way around. The Sigma 18-300 seems to get a better rating than the Tamron 16-300 but if you need the extra 2mm at the wide end, there's no choice. I believe that the newest Tamron 18-200VC lens comes out better in reviews than the latest Sigma 18-200 OS .... but you never know when you buy if you may get a "bad" copy. Are you looking at buying new or used? From what I have read in reviews, I'd get the Sigma 18-300 over either of the 18-200 lenses mentioned above, if you can afford it. Personally I have the Tamron 16-300 as I do use the extra 2mm wideness and also in Nikon fit, it has the ability for focus to be manually tweaked after AF has taken place, similar to most modern Nikon lenses
  12. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    I have a Tamron 18-250 purchased in 2008, and experience shows that its image quality drops as the focal length extends beyond 150-175 mm. I have used images on A2 calendars, and at this size the sharpness difference of the image at different focal lengths shows (I usually work at F8 - F11 because these appear to give the best results). Also, note that the maximum aperture at any focal length is smaller than that of a prime lens of the same focal length, so the range of apertures available is more limited (and F 11 is probably the smallest aperture you should use on a half-frame APC-C DSLR because diffraction may soften the image at F 16).

    But (and this is the important bit), even at 250 mm and F11 the image is quite good enough for a 20 x 30 cm print or for viewing on a large flat screen TV. It's just that large prints can reveal more image faults than small prints, so I ask my usual question: what do you want to do with your images? If you want large prints, the superzoom may not be ideal, but if you only want smaller prints (if any) it should be fine. And if you only ever look at your images on a PC monitor or small handheld device, the lens is probably better than you need.

    The Tamron 18-250 has been reliable when used with 2 Pentax DSLRs, the autofocus works perfectly, and it is wonderfully compact, but its supplied 'petal' lens hood is only of (marginal) use at the wide end of the zoom. I use a large 'collapsible' rubber lens hood which gives some shade at the wide end of the zoom, and can also give much better shade at the long end of the zoom. These are not expensive, and also offer some protection against damage. My 18-250, attached to a DSLR body, once fell about 50 cm onto a marble floor of a cathedral in Italy, but landed on the rubber lens hood and no damage was done. I also use a hood like this on my (old model) Sigma 17-70, which is an example of a zoom lens of shorter zoon range that definitely produces sharper images than the 18-250 superzoom if you didn't need the longer focal lengths.

  13. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    The moral of the story is that Nikon's F mount contact arrangement is less than ideal, which may explain why they changed it for the One series and the new Z series. I occasionally have the same problem but simply moving the lens slightly relative to the body usually restores full operation.
  14. pixelpuffin

    pixelpuffin Well-Known Member

    Never had that issue with my canon’s ;) (walks off whistling.........)

    ... I’m messing, don’t bite
  15. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    Of course there are also variations between copies of the same lens, my view is that Sigma lenses tend to be more consistent than Tamron from copy to copy. The variations could lead to a different conclusion in a test with two further samples.
  16. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    That's the opposite of my experience of several lenses from each brand, which goes to show how difficult it is to draw valid conclusions from limited sample sizes.
  17. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your amusing dig! I was surprised and disappointed to find a problem with the Nikon F mount, having heard stories of war correspondents with their Nikon cameras; I’m sure they weren’t able to treat theirs with the respect with which I’ve handled mine. But if I replace my D800, it’ll probably be with the Nikon Z7 II or a successor; with the Z mount’s large diameter and four lugs, it has the potential to be the most robust full-frame mount available.

    When switching from film to a DSLR, I reluctantly went for APS-C, both to limit the initial cost of a new system, and because I don’t want to carry the weight of a full-frame DSLR outfit that offers all the capabilities I like to have available. I didn’t find it easy to choose between building an outfit around the Nikon D90 or the Canon D550. I’m glad I selected the D90, because a couple of years later I was able to combine the benefit of high quality full frame from the D800 and 24-70mm f/2.8 for most of my shots with the low weight of APS-C lenses for other ranges. If I’d chosen Canon, I don’t think I’d have been able to use EF-S lenses on a full-frame body until the RF mount and adapters came out!

    Of course the reason I mentioned my problems in this thread is to reassure Simon Haycocks that Andrew Flannigan’s communication problems with his Tamron 16-300 might not have been due to the lens being a Tamron.

  18. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    Quite right. It could just as easily be caused by a fault on the A65.
  19. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    The users in war zones in the past were of course not using cameras with sensitive electronics and lenses with any kind of electronic connections, the whole lot was mechanical. I would doubt whether any current Nikon has quite the indestructibility of an F 0r F2, there was not a lot to go wrong with these cameras, they were built for this, indeed about the only camera that was.
  20. pixelpuffin

    pixelpuffin Well-Known Member

    I’ve never owned a Nikon Dslr
    I have a strange Nikon compact that projects the image.
    The last Nikon I used was in 1992, at college. Nikon FM2. I've always wondered how modern Nikon’s handle in comparison to canon. As I understand it, aren’t Nikon viewfinders supposed to be big! Bigger than canons. If that’s the case, I’m envious.

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