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Sigma v Tamron 28-300 Lenses

2 Apr 2003 1:43PM
Had my heart set on Sigma Compact HZ @ 180 for my Canon EOS300v. However I have just found that the Tamron one seems to have a better spec. Is it worth the extra 100?

DiaxLen: 73x84mm (Sigma 79x90mm)
Filter: 62mm (Sigma 67mm)
Weight: 420g (Sigma 560g)
Min Focus: 49cm (Sigma 90-129cm)
Magnification: 1:2.9 (Sigma 1:5.1)
Groups/Elements: 13/15 (Sigma 15/17)
Diaphragm: 9 (Sigma 8) blades

Rest of spec is pretty much the same. Obviously weight and size are a major plus for Tamron as is min focus distance.

What bearing does the magnification parameters have? I understand this is for Macro but what does it determine?

Any general comments on Sigma v Tamron gratefully received.

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mitchellhatpeg 15 205 1
2 Apr 2003 3:26PM

the magnification figures quoted are the maximum you can achieve in close-up mode. 1:2.9 means 1 divided by 2.9 at the film plane. eg. if you are photgraphing a lady-bird it will appear slightly larger than 1/3rd life size on your slide or negative when photgraphed as close as you can focus. 1:5.1 means the same lady-bird would be slightly smaller than 1/5th lifesize on the film plane.

As regards Sigma vs. Tamron in terms of quality, both manufacturers do a standard quality range and a top of the line range. In Sigma this is called EZ and in Tamron this is called SP.

I have owned and used both types from both manufacturers over the years and the only general statement I can make is that they were both much better made 20 years ago! These days they are all plastic, though much lighter of-course.

I'd be willing to bet though that if you compare like with like in each range, you won't be able to tell the difference. Also, if you want ultimate quality then short focal range zooms or fixed lenses are better than these hyper-zooms. You won't notice the difference though unless you blow the prints up to at least A4.

I will say one last thing, I would describe the Tamron and Sigma lenses I have owned as either good or very good. The only 'outstanding' lenses I have ever owned were made by Canon and Minolta.

3 Apr 2003 10:57AM
So is a magnification of 1:2.9 better than 1:5.1 then?

This is my first SLR system and I am only just getting into photography. I will use it mainly during my travels so I initially want my kit to be light and small - the all-in-one 28-300 kind of meets this and prevents having to change lenses. I understand that a wide telephoto range will impact in quality over a fixed focal length.

I have looked at the Canon 28-90/28-105 + 70-300 twin lens option but this will work out more expensive (for USM) and will actually be bulkier (if carrying both) and a pain for changing lenses.

I ultimately want to take photos that I can be proud of an enlarge/mount some for my walls. For a smaller beginner budget will these 28-300 lenses be sufficient? The superior spec of the Tamron is swaying me at the moment but it is 100 more expensive and I just want to know if it is worth this?
mitchellhatpeg 15 205 1
3 Apr 2003 6:55PM
Magnification of 1:2.9 is bigger then 1:5.1. If you want bigger then it is better!

I strongly suggest you go and try both lenses at a good dealers on your own camera. That way you can decide if you think the Tamron is worth the extra dosh. If you want small and light then also consider the 28-200 Tamron, which is tiny.

My own main lens is a Sigma 28-135 at present. It costs just over 100 now (there is a related link on this forum under 'starter lenses' where I describe it's performance)

Also remember that you will rarely be able to hand-hold a 300mm lens and get shake-free images unless you use a fast film. Using fast film introduces a certain amount of grain and generally lowers saturation and contrast compared to slower films. To get good quality images at 300mm most folks would recommend a tripod. Tripods (that work) are not small and light.

If you want a lens for travel photography then 300mm may be unnecessary. Have a look through one on your camera and make up your own mind. Try-out the close-up mode and see for yourself. You will also see how difficult it is to hold it still at 300mm. (Checkout the Canon image stabiliser lenses whilst you are at it, brilliant but pricey!)

As regards the quality issue I can't be specific about which lens is technically better. You might find a test of these lenses though in something like Amateur Photographer or Which Camera. You might also find reviews on these lenses by logging onto the manufacturers web sites. Both lenses are in a very competitive section of the market though so I expect they would both produce very acceptable results. If you are used to a compact camera then either will probably blow your socks off!

Don't forget either that good film and processing probably makes a bigger difference to the quality of your prints. Do try Fuji Superia print film (iso 200 is brilliant) and do get it from 7dayshop.com where it costs only 1.35 or so per roll.

I'd be interested to know what you choose. Once you have made up your mind I hope you will be able to concentrate on learning good photographic technique and forget about the kit you are using.

Best of luck.


7 Apr 2003 8:33AM
Thanks for you reply mitchellhatpeg. The Tamron is actually reviewed in one of the mags this month and it gets 4/5. They think it is a bit pricey and also that the max aperature at 300mm is f6.3 which is slow. However, all the other 300mm zoom lenses seem to have the same aperature at this focal length (only the fixed lenses seems to be faster). Any comment on whether this aperature is too slow - will require a tripod to use successfully but then again 300mm will anyway!

I checked the specs of Canon's own twin lens kit (28-105+75-300) and they didn't seem any better than the all-in-one solutions (but I'm certainly no expert).

Anyway I may be swinging back to the Sigma again to save 100 - I'm still starting out and may find in a year or so that the all-in-one, "jack-of-all", might not be good enough for my superior photographic technique (I can only dream!). Seriously though it should be good enough for travel and I can get some better lenses if and when I really get into it. The Tamron is small and light though!!

28-200mm may be a bit restrictive - don't know.
sneaky 14 132
12 Apr 2003 6:09PM
I used the Tamron for my work as a Telecomm surveyor for 3 years.I cannot fault it one bit,it is an awesome lenses and is perfectly faultless for everyday use.I didnt want to worry about the specs so much,but more ease of use and ruggedness.I am at the moment going to purchase a Sigma 28-200 for my private camera,and my reason is obviously the cost.Good luck
markrich 14 3
14 Apr 2003 7:07AM
Has anyone any direct experience of the Sigma lens? I am tempted to buy one for my EOS 30, but although no purist, I understand that the images are not as sharp from 200-300mm. Is this obvious sharpness or just complaining from semi-professionals? Will I waste 200 buying this lens or should I save further for the Canon 28-200 or the Tamron 28-300?

Also, is the Tamron lens the same size physically as the Sigma as the later balances well on my camera when I tried it in the shop.
sneaky 14 132
14 Apr 2003 3:01PM
I have just ordered the Sigma 28-200 so as soon as I have tried it I'll let you know
16 Apr 2003 8:12AM
OK I actually plumped for a Tamron 28-300 XR MACRO in the end. I did try and order a Sigma 28-200 Compact HyperZoom but they didn't have any in stock and I go on holiday on Friday!!

Anyway it arrived yesterday. Initial impressions are that although it is supposed to be silver it is more like a quartz silver or goldy colour so doesn't exactly match my Canon 300V. Auto-focus is noisy and slow-ish (compared to a bog standard 28-90 non-USM I has tried).

Another thing though - the lens is rated at f3.8-5.6 but my camera only has an f-stop of 3.5 or 4.0 so it never gets below 4.0 with this lens. Does this mean I effectively have an f4.0-5.6 lens or is the camera just "rounding" up?

This is why I wanted the Sigma as it is f3.5-5.6 (and 30 cheaper!).
markrich 14 3
16 Apr 2003 8:24AM
From shopping around, the Sigma is about 200 now and the Tamron another 100-150 so I am tempted to buy the Sigma, however I've just seen an ad for a Canon 28-200 at 250 so now I am completly lost for choice.

I tried the Sigma in my local shop and it felt good. Balanced well with my EOS30 and focused quickly and to my ears quietly. Closest focusing distance was about half a metre which wasn't bad, but does make macro photos of flowers tricky (unless of course I find a big flower :-0). Anyway I still need to know if the picture quality is any good. What is the verdict on the Tamron one?

Does anyone have experience of the Canon lens at all?

markrich 14 3
20 Apr 2003 2:36PM
Well what could I say. Couldn't wait. Bought the 28-300mm Sigma lens. Will see how it works out when I get this film developed Smile

sneaky 14 132
28 Apr 2003 5:56PM
Sorry I have been offshore so couldn't give feedback.My new Sigma 28-200 has arrived and is absolutley awesome.Ease of use,sharp focusing and fast and good quality pictures and very nice macro option.... a very good all round bit of kit.
paul holden 14 16 United Kingdom
6 Aug 2003 4:14PM
I've just spoilt myself and bought a Canon EOS3 and a 28-300 Sigma lens. This would negate the need to carry too many lenses for general shooting(as opposed to serious photography), so I thought. The trouble is, a lot of my images are out of focus, especially longer distance shots. The USM 70-300 len is fine. Has anyone had anyone had any similar problems ??? Im going to see if I get the same probs with my EOS50 as well.
paul holden 14 16 United Kingdom
11 Aug 2003 2:56PM
Checked out both cameras and its the lens. Sigma say if the lens is an IF model then it will need to be replaced with 5.00 P&P. If its an ASP model then it should be fine....

Its still going back tho....


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