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Thread: the difference in lenses.

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    Ausphotography Regular out n about's Avatar
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    the difference in lenses.

    Hi we are keen amateur photographers on a budget and would like to expand our horizons with an upgrade in lenses, we are thinking of a 24 - 70 f2.8 and a 70 - 200 f2.8. Is the difference in price between nikkor lenses and say sigma / tamron (maybe around half the price) that significant in the quality of the final product ie the photos and or the usability and build quality. We currently own a D300s and a D90 which we hope to upgrade to a full frame in the future. we would appreciate your expertise.
    Cheers Gayle & Colin

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    Ausphotography Regular kaiser's Avatar
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    Can't comment on personal experience with the Sigma zoom lenses in those ranges- but I have owned several of Sigma's latest AF prime lenses and they are every bit as good as their Nikon equivalents, at a better price.
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    Thanks Kaiser, can't get our heads around the price difference, if it seems to good to be true is it? We have a sigma 150 - 500 and although it is a bit slow the image quality is more than acceptable to us.

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    Hi Gayle and Colin

    First up those lens are going to be 36-105 and 105-300 respectively on your current DX format cameras.

    They will of course revert to the stated specs when you go FF.

    I'm also looking at a 70-200mm f2.8, and am waiting to see some reviews on the new Tamron VC in Nikon mount.

    I find this site helpful to check unbiased lens reviews. http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests
    Cheers
    Kev

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    Many will recommend non-OEM lenses. When looking at these other brands a little bit of research into haw well they perform on the body you are using is needed. Sometimes some feature will not work, but I think this is becoming less and less now.

    RE-sale value is also something that you may want to take into consideration. A Nikor lens, while expensive will have a better re-sale value over a Tamron or Sigma in 5 years time.

    Mick
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    Quote Originally Posted by trublubiker View Post
    Hi Gayle and Colin

    First up those lens are going to be 36-105 and 105-300 respectively on your current DX format cameras.

    They will of course revert to the stated specs when you go FF.

    I'm also looking at a 70-200mm f2.8, and am waiting to see some reviews on the new Tamron VC in Nikon mount.

    I find this site helpful to check unbiased lens reviews. http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests
    Thanks Kevin we have book marked the site and will do some reading.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by znelbok View Post
    Many will recommend non-OEM lenses. When looking at these other brands a little bit of research into haw well they perform on the body you are using is needed. Sometimes some feature will not work, but I think this is becoming less and less now.

    RE-sale value is also something that you may want to take into consideration. A Nikor lens, while expensive will have a better re-sale value over a Tamron or Sigma in 5 years time.

    Mick
    Thanks Mick resale is something we haven't considered but hopefully the lenses are that good we won't want to sell them. lol

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    If you take resale value of the lens into the equation, then you're always going to end up wanting the lens you can't afford(or justify) and never have the opportunity to use, with the end result that you don't get images that may want to get!

    This notion that Nikon lenses always hold their value better than non OEM branded lenses is guff and a figment of someone's imagination!
    These highly sought after lenses that DO hold their value exist in almost all brands.
    There are a few Tamron lenses that I know of that hold their value as well as or better than some of the equivalent Nikkor lenses of the same era.

    There are many Nikon lenses(current and past generation) that lose value as fast as thirdparty lenses too!)

    As an example of this, is this 70-200mm f/2.8 type lens.
    Take a Nikon version of the VR1(original) type. They used to sell for close to $2.5K in some places and they could be had for as low as about $2K from other places.
    Now I've seen them selling S/H for between $1400-$1500 regularly. Other go for a touch more, but there have been many sales on ebay for this $1450(give or take) mark.

    Now take a Sigma 70-200/2.8 with either OS or not. But lets play with the new OS version.

    New price can be had for about $1000-$1100(which is quite a good price). Originally they used to sell for about $1500, but have obviously dropped in price as retailers push them more and demand has now dropped.

    For this supposed resale advantage of the Nikon lens to materialize, the Sigma lens needs to sell on the S/H market for a price range at about the $100-$600.
    This is clearly an idiotic notion .. who on earth would let their $1000 lens sell for $100?

    A more accurate price range for the Simga lens would be in the $700-$900 range at the moment.

    Do the sums:
    * Nikon lens from(new) $2200-ish) now sells for $1500-ish = $700 loss
    * Sigma lens from new$1200-ish now sells for $800-ish. = $400 loss
    (all sales prices are rounded and averaged).

    So, does it make sense that the Nikon lens that drops by about $700 sound like it has better resale value than the Sigma lens that drops $400?

    Forget resale value ... concentrate on the qualities that make you want to purchase the lens in the first place!
    Something along the lines of the ability to capture a specific image outlook is good to begin with.


    As you said, if the Sigma 150-500 gets you image quality that you like, then there's no reason not to think that these other two lenses will not provide acceptable results either.

    If they both fall within your price range especially if this can be made as a concurrent acquisition .. then the advantage is with the Sigma lenses.
    For less than the price of either of the Nikon lenses you have the ability to start capturing image with both lenses NOW ... whereas with that same amount of financial resources you may have the opportunity to capture images with only one of the Nikon lenses(more likely the 24-70, as it's the cheaper of the two Nikon equivalents).

    Now knowing this, would you expect that the Nikon 24-70/2.8 lens could capture images in a similar vein to the Sigma 70-200/2.8 as well as capture better images than the Sigma 24-70/2.8.

    Make no doubt that the Nikon is more likely the better lens. The advantage in many instances is marginal in terms of percentage. Is that marginal percentage advantage more important to you than the acquisition price.


    Forget resale value .. what can you afford, and what can you justify?


    Don't take my reply the wrong way tho ... I like Nikon lenses and have a few myself, but I also have other branded lenses too .. and more important than anything else is IQ and ability.
    I already have the 70-200/2.8 range covered, but I now also want optical stabilisation. I'm like trublubiker in that I'm waiting to see more results from the Tamron version before I buy another one.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    Thanks AK83, resale is not a big issue for us and even less now after reading your post, have seen the new tamron 70 - 200 mm f2.8 advertised recently and will definitely consider it along with the sigma lenses. It makes sense to us that if as you say their is only a marginal difference in the picture quality and usability of all the lenses then as amateur photographers on a budget the cheaper versions of the same lenses make better options, thanks

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Some of the real differences (that can make or break an image) are things like focusing speed and accuracy.
    Flare can also be an issue with some lens designs. Distortion not so much nowadays, but less is better.

    Even my old and slow focusing current Tamron 70-200/2.8(non VC) has fast enough focusing speed to not have missed any shots for me ... but there are a few strange anomalies with this lens' focusing in Live View mode.

    Most modern lenses are close enough to equal in most aspects of performance that it's only when you really pixel peep you might notice the difference. 99% of instances of these differences may be a matter of the operator's ability anyhow!

    So, if you find that you crop your images heavily ... ie. at close to 100% pixel view .... then the slight differences in resolution between the best lens and the not so good lens may become a factor for you.

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    I've had Tamron and Tokina lenses and been happy with both. As an amateur photographer it is tough to justify $2500+ on a Nikon 70-200/2.8 when I could get a Tamron/Sigma for half the price. Even if I could get better photos with the Nikon they are not going to be twice as good.

    The nicest thing about the third party lens manufacturers is that they give us an option. I'm currently looking at getting a 24-70/2.8 and I'd like stabilisation. I can't get that from Nikon, but Tamron makes one.

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    Do the sums:
    * Nikon lens from(new) $2200-ish) now sells for $1500-ish = $700 loss
    * Sigma lens from new$1200-ish now sells for $800-ish. = $400 loss
    Doing the sums tells me that both lenses are losing about a third of their original price, so resale value is much the same for both.
    -- Mister Q

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    Being new to Nikon I bought my Body and Lens on the same day I chose the new Tamron sp 24-70 with vr over the Nikon due to price and lack of Vr on the Nikon I use this lens mainly for event pics low light no flash in small venues and Love it so far.
    Nikon D600 tamron 24-70 2.8 50 1.4 K5 Da70 Da 40

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    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    A thing to consider is that the Nikon 70-200 f2.8 (VRI and VRII) will accept the Nikon teleconverters or 1.4x TCII, 1.7x TCIII and 2x TCIII and the results are better than the the 3rd party brands results.

    Another thing to consider is speed of AF acquisition from the professional specced Nikon 70-200 f2.8 VRII. From what I have read, the Nikon is superior in this regard. Another is overall build quality and you can judge this for yourself if you look at both lenses.

    As in most things, you get what you pay for and as with most things the law of diminishing returns applies as you pay more for something. That's just a fact of life.

    Arthur does bring up a reasonable point with regards to resale values, however, they are both in the region of a 30% loss when reselling, so basically the same as a percentage, if his figures are correct of course as it is difficult to ascertain resale values due to the fact that it depends on the quality of the second hand lens that people bid on or ultimately buy. What I see is the new 70-200 f2.8 VRII selling for about US$2,100 on eBay and the second hand prices vary wildly, obviously as some are still in the process of bidding and others due to questionable quality due to the fact that they are second hand.

    Another important point that Arthur makes is that if you need the lens now and can only afford a Tamron or Sigma, then get one of those as they do give excellent results.

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    Thanks Guys you have all raised more valid points of view, Lance we hadn't considered the addition of teleconverters, and the speed of AF acquisition is certainly valid as one of our gripes with the 150 - 500 sigma is the slow AF so it would be dissappointing if these other sigma and tamron lenses were similar. I guess it would be advantageous to be able to test the lenses before making any purchases so that will be our next objective. thanks for all your comments as it has given us more knowledge so as to help us make the right decisions.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    The speed of the 150-500 is in a different performance league to any of the three manufacturer's 70-200/2.8 type lenses.

    The way I'd rate the three 70-200's would be

    Nikon 70-200VR1 : instantaneous(I haven't yet even seen a VRII model, let alone tried one).
    Sigma 70-200 : less instantaneous
    Tamron 70-200(non VC) : fast

    These are ratings of feel(not scientific!) and rated with respect to the 150-500 Sigma lens. That is, if you got the Tamron non VC lens it'd feel instantaneous to you coming from a Sigma 150-500 lens, even tho it's the slowest focusing lens of the three.
    But if you had the Nikon lens and tried the Tamron, the Tamron may feel slow by way of comparison. But that doesn't mean that it won't focus fast enough for you to get your shots.

    I'm not a dedicated bird photographing specialist like some of the regular avian guys and girls are, ie I basically dunno what I'm doing like they know how to do it as well as they do. But if the opportunity arises, I'll give it a go. My last attempt at shooting this twitchy little Eastern Spinebill, who flickered from point to point like a superhyperactive mexican jumping bean .. the 'slow' Tamron was quick enough to hold focus onto the bird, enough for me to get many shots. Of course my technique left a lot to be desired tho, with my biggest issue being maintaining good framing and an unsteady hand.


    If you want 70-200/2.8 on the cheap, nothing comes close to the Tamron without VC(at about $700 or so on the grey market). But it does have issues that you need to be aware of.
    The VC version is still quite a new lens, and quite hard to find for sale too. It seems to sell for close to $1400-$1500 on the online catalogs that have it listed.

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    a good option is second hand. i purchased my current Nikon 70-200 vrII in brand new condition off it's only elderly owner for $1600, a deal that far outstrips any value in third party lens. It was purchased for a holiday to America which didnt eventuate and the previous owner found it too heavy for general use. there are a fair few of these kind of deals around if you look around/ask and IMO these bargains make third party lens basically redundant
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    I think Lance made some good points as the AF speed and accuracy of the VR2 is extremely good, but i guess it depends on what you are shooting as AF speed may not be that necessarily critical. I had the K10 and 50-500 and the speed and AF lock were almost unusable on anything moving and so i would set to manual, in the end i got some of the results i wanted, but shooting the motogp was certainly a tad hard.
    Since getting the D700/D800 and the nikon lenses all these problem have gone out the window, but I also have a 120-300 2.8 Sigma and it is fast and accurate the same as the nikon so lens is one thing, but the body also plays a big part too.
    So i would also make the point that as long as it is one of the silent wave type AF motors and the body is capable of good AF then it probably is only the TCs that might be the considerations

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    Quote Originally Posted by zollo View Post
    a good option is second hand. i purchased my current Nikon 70-200 vrII in brand new condition off it's only elderly owner for $1600, a deal that far outstrips any value in third party lens. It was purchased for a holiday to America which didnt eventuate and the previous owner found it too heavy for general use. there are a fair few of these kind of deals around if you look around/ask and IMO these bargains make third party lens basically redundant
    did you just buy that lens..as I saw one on perth gumtree the other day for $1650..seemed like a great deal.lots better than the $3100 I paid for mine
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    hey nah, i bought mine mid last year, but there you go, another up for grabs, at a nice price

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zollo View Post
    a good option is second hand. i purchased my current Nikon 70-200 vrII in brand new condition off it's only elderly owner for $1600, ........
    And what was that comment from someone about Nikon lenses holding their value better!!

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