View Full Version : Tamron vs Sigma 70-200 f2.8

15-01-2010, 12:40pm
I am considering a 70-200mm F2.8 on my D90 and use it mainly for portraiture.

Pros for Sigma:
-Full Metal Build
-Fast and silent focusing (thanks to HSM)

-Tamron is much sharper
-1370g (too heavy for D90?)
-Costs $150 more

Pros for Tamron:
-Very sharp images
-Light weight (1112g)
-Looks better than Sigma's
-Closer focusing distance (although I already have a dedicated macro lens)

-Plastic build (puts weight down though)
-Slow and noisy AF

The Tamron appears to be sharper than the Canon L series and Nikon's 70-200 VR, the VR II might be better however as a secondary student I am unable to afford one >.<

Body build is the least of my concerns (dropping either of them might not be a very good idea), therefore the question is...

AF or IQ?

15-01-2010, 1:27pm
Nikon 80-200 AF

15-01-2010, 1:27pm
Well you would say IQ if you are using it for portrait work since it isn't exactly fast passed so you could probably live with out the fast AF. But will you ever use it for something slightly sport or action orientated? If so I'd probably go for the faster AF.

There is also two versions of the Sigma 70-200 2.8. The newer one is meant to be a very good lens if its not the one you are already looking at.

But reading about this lens on the digital picture it seems like it has a lot of small things that would be annoying when in use. Personally I only ever go off brand if I'm not looseing anything significant. By the sounds of it with the Tamron you loose AF speed, FTM and apparently it does have some focusing issues and a clumsy AF switch. I'd rather drop the extra coin and get the Nikon as kiwi mentioned.

15-01-2010, 1:29pm
Nikon 80-200 AF

costs more + worse IQ than Tamron

80mm on its short end doesn't seem enough also

15-01-2010, 1:31pm
a) who says re IQ. For all three I bet there's hardly a difference. Go with Nikon or Sigma IMHO
b) 70-80 mm neither here nor there, you will hardly shoot at less than 150mm, if you were for portraits use a 85 1.8 or 1.4

15-01-2010, 1:33pm
You are opening a can of worms with this question.
I will hazard a guess and say that the vast majority of replies you will get here will tell you NOT to get the Tammy

I have one and am not dissapointed at all

Canon View Point :- http://www.ausphotography.net.au/forum/showthread.php?t=26394

Nikon View Point :- http://www.ausphotography.net.au/forum/showthread.php?t=25776

15-01-2010, 1:36pm
And here is a portrait from That Lens


And some action Shots


15-01-2010, 1:42pm
That's what I was trying to say. You will get good results from all these roughly the same lenses. It's more to do with your skills

The Sigma HSM AF would push me over the line as Im a sport shooter

I think Id be very happy with the IQ of each lens

Therefore, I like to use the one system, so I vote Nikon :)

15-01-2010, 1:44pm
That's what I was trying to say. You will get good results from all these roughly the same lenses. It's more to do with your skills

The Sigma HSM AF would push me over the line as Im a sport shooter

I think Id be very happy with the IQ of each lens

Therefore, I like to use the one system, so I vote Nikon :)

Whoops read that wrong

My bad

15-01-2010, 1:50pm
a) who says re IQ. For all three I bet there's hardly a difference. Go with Nikon or Sigma IMHO ... snip

The ever absolutely correct, not to be doubted, inter webs
Some reports have this lens above the 70-200 L series lenses as well
If you look in the right places

15-01-2010, 1:51pm
yeah well, iffy I say

Ive been quite happy to bag the Siggy for poor sample control and sharpness at 200mm and 2.8
Tammy for slow(er) AF

Im yet to bag a Nikon

15-01-2010, 1:57pm
Welcome Back by the way Darren
I wasn't saying they were right just that you could find the references

15-01-2010, 1:59pm
general opinion on the Tam v Sig debate has been this for a long time now. The Sigma has better AF, therefroe better for sports and the like, and the Tamron has a slight edge in IQ (probably negligible unless pixel peeping) but slower AF.

I have the Tamron, and for what I primarily do, people/model/studio/portrait photography, I cant fault it. My copy is very sharp wide open and SUPER sharp from f4. Great value for money I say.

15-01-2010, 2:00pm
OT but Im actually at Chch airport waiting for a flight to Wellington in the next 10 minutes where it's blowing with 80klm/h southerlies


29-03-2011, 8:16pm
hi Guys,

New question (but different) about the same lenses???

i'm looking at getting one of the same lenses, Sigma has two models 'APO EX DG OS HSM' and 'II EX DG Macro HSM'... so one is labled macro and about a third the price.
The Tamron is Di LD (IF) Macro

I intent to shot mainly event and sports, is the macro version is there much diference in them?

30-03-2011, 8:04pm
I think IQ wise, you won't really notice all that much difference between them, maybe a little 'glow' effect on the Sigma when compared to the Tammy or Nikon.

I read a lot of opinion on the focus speed of the Tammy, and while the Tammy is 'slowest' I wouldn't really call it slow.
It has occasionally had it's share of focus inaccuracies, missed shots and uncertain focus point decisions, but then again all my AF lenses have had theirs as well.
I've used the Tammy for various sport-ish situations, or faced paced action(kids playing games, or on trampoline and so on, and without having had forsthand experience with the Nikon or Sigma lenses, I wouldn't really call it an issue in any way.
As for loud, when compared to the silent Sigma and Nikon's, yeah it's loud, but when compared to the 80-200/2.8 Nikon!! .. it's not as grindingly graunchy.. Tammy wins that comparo.

Tammy is not without it's problems tho. Mine(and at least two others that I know of) will not find and confirm focus when using liveview mode(Nikon) for some reason. It focuses, in-out-in-out-etc, will simply pass the actual focus distance and keep trying.. so there is some kind of comms error, or anomaly, either with Nikon's in general, or certain Nikon cameras(but only in Live View mode). :confused013

I wouldn't worry about the plastic body unless you are a klutz! ... or if you intend to drive nails into a wooden structure with it. The plastics are very solid, and the last thing I find to be an issue is the materials used.

While the AF is the worst performing of the three, and has never left me wanting better AF ability, One thing I now dislike is the pull push clutch mechanism for engaging/disengaging the focus drive.
While it works quickly and easily if you want to focus manually for some reason(and there's no reason not too in some situations), the problem it has with LiveView means that if you want 'critical focus' in normal mode and then switch to liveview, you need to disengage AF clutch and in doing so that small click then loses the critical point of focus and you have to reacquire focus manually again(even tho you may already have had it locked on).

This is not a common issue, but when compared to the full time manual over ride AF systems of the Nikon and Sigma, it's clunky and can be tedious.

I doubt very much you will notice the difference in weight between them all. They all weigh in over 1kg and all front heavy. That's the issue itself, not the overall weight.

If you are petty and pedantic about the control of the focusing system, the the Tammy may eventually infuriate you. If you just want to leave it in AF mode and point it at something and shoot, it should do the job fine, and will give (should give) easily usable results all the way from f/2.8.
The other caveat there is, if you want your focusing speed to measure in the 0.0x seconds range .. then you need the Nikon. If you're happy with it measuring in the 0.x seconds range then both the Sigma and Tamron will be usable for your situation.

For me, and what I like to do, want to do and have done so far with this(and prior to this a Nikon 80-200/2.8) I'd prefer the Nikon 70-200VR(by a country mile!). Not so much for the faster AF, but more so for the full time over ride operation(ie. without the need for operating a clutch mechanism). AND more importantly the VR!!
Having said that, the mechanism itself is durable and intuitive and Tamron have had this on their 90mm Macro for eons, and I've never seen it to be an issue as it is on the 70-200 lens(in my situation), but in my brief playing with the Tamron 90 Macro, 1. it AF's in live view mode, and 2. you're best off using live view mode when close focusing to begin with. So I doubt I'd be switching from non Lv mode to Lv mode to confirm focus anyhow.. I'd be in Lv mode to begin with.
I've used my Tammy in a kids school concert environment and no one ever complained that 'gee your camera makes some strange noises .. but I can tell you after handholding for well over an hour or two(and eventually succumbing and resting here and there where I could!) VR would have been so handy to have.
The only issue I had in that (dark) environment was that I'd (or camera or the lens would) occasionally mis focus and say, focus on the curtains instead of the kid only 1 meter forward of the curtains.. and stuff like that.
Never saw or noticed any of the problems usually described as 'slow focusing'. In fact the biggest issue I had that night, was me being tired lazy and lax.. all lost images were probably due to my inability(fuzzy, high ISO, and the usual round of operator error induced stupidity :p)

30-03-2011, 9:53pm
Thanks arthurking83 for your comparison.
I also do allot of Church stuff (not Wedding) so I think the noise issue of the Tamron might become annoying to others
and although the Nikon Lens stuff was a good comparison, not much use for a Pentax K-7.

as with the LiveView Issue, I get the same hunting back and forth past the in-focus point with my sigma 17-70, so I try not to use it unless I need to do an awkward shot (like overhead)