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Thread: Original VS Aftermarket Lenses

  1. #1
    Member EdZz's Avatar
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    Original VS Aftermarket Lenses

    Hi All,


    I'm new to DSLR, as with most people posting in this section.

    Just wanted to ask is it a myth or truth in that it is better to buy original or aftermarket lenses? In saying that, for argument sake we are comparing similar specs lenses to the same body and price of the lens is not in scope, and of course when comparing a $3,000 Canon lens, you would compare a Tamron lens of similar spec that would cost similar to $3,000 (if there is such a thing)

    "Extremely" loose example:

    Canon Lens vs Tamron Lens
    Canon vs Sigma Lens

    I've heard various things and mix reviews... =S

    Thanks in advance,
    Eddie

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    Hi Eddie, from my limited knowledge, you have to compare each lens on its own merits.

    In general I would say that the OEM lenses are usually better than the aftermarket version. However whether the difference in quality is proportional to the difference in cost is a different matter.

    I would also say that "value" really depends on your own personal circumstances and what your needs are.

    Roo
    Call me Roo......
    Nikon D300s, Nikon 35mm 1.8 DX, Nikkor 50mm 1.4 Af-S, Nikon 18-200mm VR, Nikon 70-200VRII 2.8, Sigma 105 Macro, Sigma 150-500mm f5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM, Tokina 12-24mm, Sb-600, D50, Nikon 1.7 T/C, Gitzo CF Monopod

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    It's all about the Light!
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    Some 'brand' lenses are cr*p, some 3rd party lenses are brilliant and vice versa.
    Each lens stands on its own merit.

    The top line brand lenses are often the best, but come at a huge price (eg. price a canon or nikon 500/4)

    Good fast glass will cost $ regardless of who makes it.

    Some examples of well regarded 3rd party lenses..
    The Tamron 90mm Macro, Sigma 10-20 wide, Tamron 28-75/2.8, Sigma 24-70/2.8 etc.

    Read the reviews, ask about each lens you are thinking about buying here on AP before you buy.
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
    Digital & film, Bits of glass covering 10mm to 500mm, and other stuff



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    icic
    how about build quality then?

    nikon vs canon quality vs sigma vs tamron

    again, comparing apples to apples, so the price range at least would be similar with similar/same specs?

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    G'day EdZz

    One of the many laws of our economic world says something like "you get what you pay for"
    Another says that "eventually you run out of money chasing something that is only marginally better than something-else at a lesser price"

    There is no doubt that the OEM makers DO make a special line of pro lenses, sold under their own brand name and often hand-assembled with great care to ensure the highest standards ... and you, the photographer pay for that privilege

    However, for most of us who have a budget to adhere to, we do the dance between the 'regular' (non-pro) lenses from the OEM maker vs the 'regular' lenses from the 3rd-party lens makers

    I have used many 3rd-party lenses over the past 40yrs of SLR photography ... and I have found Tamron best suit my needs. I used to test my lenses via a shoot on ISO-40 B&W film, then blowing up the neg to a 40-inch wide image and printing a series of 4x6" prints across the centre as well as the four corners. I have been surprised at the sharpness of the Tamron "SP" lenses, as well as (occasionally) others who would be snubbed by many big-nob photographers

    Please don't mis-interpret the above as suggesting "only Tamron" - other makers DO make very good lenses ... you need to examine & test each possible lens in the shop before buying the one that suits you best. Most shops will let you stand at/near the door and shoot a series of test pix for later evaluation

    Hope this helps a bit
    Regards, Phil
    Of all the stuff in a busy photographers kitbag, the ability to see photographically is the most important
    google me at Travelling School of Photography
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    As OzzieTraveller says, and you can get some great older manual focus lenses including Tamron.

    It would help if you told us what sort of camera you've got? Sounds like it's a Canon.

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    Account Closed reaction's Avatar
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    read reviews. Canon Lens vs Tamron Lens doesn't make sense, since in some cases same spec canon $2000 tamron $500 and reviews say IQ is the same maybe except for a specific zoom or f,stop.

    "you get what you pay for" is a combination of quality, and brand. for a $1000 lens you may pay $50 for the Tamron "brandname", $950 for the lens. For canon it may well be $200 for canon "brandname", $800 for the lens. So you'd have more lens for your Tamron dollar, but less showoff potential.

    That also ignores the fact non 'L' Canon lenses don't come with a hood or lens bag. All other brands I've seen do. Canon hoods cost $80 separately!

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Agree with the above, you need to assess each lens on its own merits. Take the Tamron 90mm Macro, it won numerous awards over quite a few years as one of the very best macro lenses on the market. Recently both Canon and Nikon have caught up and brought out some brilliant macro lenses themselves. So research for your lens needs, and remember that no matter what you get, give it a few years and there will be something better. Use your gear to its limits and it will give you a lifetime of pleasure, and don't get to caught up in needing the latest version of a lens you have that performs perfectly in the first place
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
    Nikon, etc!

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    Member Thor's Avatar
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    Whilst i was looking for comparisons for a Tamron AF 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 SP Di II LD Aspherical (IF) Lens vs the canon 10-22 lens. i stumbled across this... Its a reveiw of a different tamron lens but it still is a good guide to go by.

    Here is a reveiw of Tamron 11-18 Vs Canon 10 - 22 Super wide lens Shoot out...W/ Comparison pics

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.co...ient=firefox-a

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    Thanks heaps to everyone who replied! Really appreciated!
    I guess i've always known the perception to evaluate an item/service on its individual basis and what it can provide, but needed to squash my opinions and perceptions that everyone keeps hammering me with.

    I currently don't have a DSLR at the moment and most people's 'knowledgeable' advice is that to get a half decent body (Which i'm looking at either the Canon 500D or 550D, as i'm only starting off and hopefully this lil episode is not a fad rather a passion) with a capable lens. But in saying that, a friend of mine says that a 75-250mm or something with a little greater zoom is extremely handy for holidays trips when you need the zoom. This lead me to the cross road whether to buy the twin lens kit which has the 75-250mm or simple do without the lens kit and start off from the start with decent lenses.

    I totally agree with everyone who has posted above. I will do more research as to what i want out of photography, what type of photos i want to take and discover my style of photography.

    Cheers everyone!!

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Can I chime in with a small amount of user experience with three lenses of similar/same technical specs.

    lens type 70-200mm f/2.8

    Tamron, Sigma and Nikon(as well as Canon) all make these lenses to varying degree of quality and performance, and my experience is with the Nikon mount versions.

    Tammy is a great lens, and if I only had $1K as a budget, I'd go for the Tammy every time.
    it's a good lens with great performance. Sharp, lightweight and good to excellent 'handling' characteristics. The focusing ability has been derided many times over, but I've never realy found it to be an issue when viewed separately from the other lenses. When directly compared against the other lenses it competes against, it is slower less decisive and awkward to use due to the more mechanical system it uses(whereas the others use a more electronic system). If you want to focus it manually, you need to push/pull a clutch system which can be less user friendly than the hypersonic type motor type systems. ie. can be annoying in some situations.

    The Sigma, good lens. using the electronic focusing system it's nicer to use similar performance, but with two major differences. wide open it's slightly softer than the Tammy, but the focus is slightly faster. If I hadn't tried this lens as well then the Tammy would be considered more than sufficient. It's only a (insignificant)problem on the Tammy because it's now been compared directly to the Sigma.
    I'd rather have the better contrasty/sharper images at f/2.8 with the Tamron than faster focus on the Sigma.. BUT!!!! I'd rather have the full time manual over ride focusing ability of the Sigma compared to the more clumsy system used on the Tamron.

    The Nikon is the best of both worlds! .. plus it has optical stabilisation. BUT!!! it cost at least 2x -3x as much form the same source. The Nikon version is as at least good as the Tammy wide open(maybe better, maybe not.. but if there is any difference it's insignificant). And the focusing ability/speed is a lot better/faster than both. And it has the hypersonic focusing type system and it has VR and it costs an arm'n'a'leg.
    I don't think I could ever bring myself to pay closer to $3k for this type of lens rather than closer to 1K for the Tammy(which I think is slightly better in absolute image quality than the Nikon is.. and the Nikon is a very good lens).

    So.. what to do?
    Do I want VR? Do I want hypersonic focus ability(for nicer manual over ride ability)?
    Do I want it cheap?

    At the time I wanted cheap.
    I'm not a heavy user of this focal length, but I do use it.
    The 'slower' focusing has never been an issue for me in 99.9% of the situations I've used this lens.
    yeah it'd be nice to have the Nikon with it's much more professional ability/performance but my reasoning is that I'll only ever pay approx $1500 for that type of lens(ie. good secondhand if I ever find one).

    In order of better build quality it's: Nikon, Sigma, Tamron. The difference is small to insignificant. Tammy feels more plastic but not weak as pee. Solid high quality plastics and some metal.
    I really don't believe that a fully metal 'solid' lens is always what its cracked up to be, and I've never found that the Tamron 70-200/2.8 is going to ever break on me.
    I use it as a lens... not a hammer!

    In order of preference at current new pricing for me then is the Tamron, Sigma and Nikon.
    (note Sigma has announced a new version of their lens with optical stabilisation, and if this lens comes in at approx $1500 with good performance my preference may change to the Sigma, then the Tammy.. but the Nikon is always going to be last due to it's 2x price policy).

    I think it's safe to assume that the Canon version is about on par with the Nikon so easily substituted for it.

    Now all that is for the 70-200mm f/2.8 lens range.

    I've briefly had the opportunity to compare Tamron's 28-75 Sigma's 24-70, and Nikon's 24-70 (all f/2.8 lenses) and even though the Nikon is over 3x more expensive than the other two, I think it's also worth the added expense.. it's so much better by a country mile(or two hundred).
    I have the Tammy 28-75, and the first lens I'd upgrade is this particular one(to the Nikon version) because I'll get more value for my dollar there.

    So, your question as to whether the original manufacturer lenses are better.. generally they definitely are... but whether they're worth the expense compared to the thirdparty lenses is debatable.
    And only you can decide for yourself if you're willing to spend much more on a single item.

    There's no clear cut answer.

    For me.. sometimes yes, but mainly no.
    On another note; I also tried the two 50mm f/1.4 lenses available to the Nikon range(Sigma and Nikon), and found that the Sigma version, even though it cost me $50 more, was better.

    Sometimes yes, sometimes no.. it really depends on the lens(type) in question.
    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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