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 Post subject: Sony or Sigma?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:30 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:33 pm
Posts: 165
I'm interested in an 18-200mm zoom lens, because my setup with 18-55 and 70-300 requires that I switch in a lot of instances, and it's really a hastle sometimes. Sigma's is $250, where the Sony version is $400. So obviously for someone on a budget like me the Sigma looks like the way to go, but I just wanted to get some professional input on what (if any) differences there are with the Sony lens, and if it can justify being 150 bucks more. Or are you just paying for a name?

Mark


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 5:57 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:23 pm
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Location: Boca Raton, FL, USA
My advice would be to consider stepping up to the 18-250mm range. In all cases, the 18-250mm lenses receive better ratings than the 18-200mm versions - Sony's 18-250 receives much better ratings and reviews than their 18-200, and Sigma's 18-250 is a seriously better lens than their 18-200, though with the commensurate price increase. Sony's 18-250 is more expensive new, but you may be able to pick one up used for a reasonable price...another option would be to look for a Tamron 18-250mm lens - it is optically the same as Sony's (Tamron actually makes the Sony 18-250mm lens) with some minor cosmetic and focus ring differences...and it was much less expensive than the Sony version when new...used it would be well within your range.

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Sony DSLR-A580 / Sony 18-250mm / Minolta 50mm F1.7 / Sigma 30mm F1.4 / Tamron 10-24mm / Tamron 150-600mm / Tamron 90mm F2.8 macro / Minolta 300mm F4 APO
Sony A6000 / 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 / 55-210mm F4-6.3 / 10-18mm F4 / 35mm F1.8 / 16mm F2.8 / via manual adapter, lots of Pentax K mount, Konica K/AR mount, and Leica M mount manual lenses

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:03 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:33 pm
Posts: 165
Thanks for your input.
A) I never buy electronics used
B) I've heard bad reviews about Tamron being cheap

Doesn't the image quality decrease the larger the range goes? And I definitely want to keep it under $300.

Mark


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:06 pm 
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Location: Belgium
If I recall correctly, Sony does change Tamron's design a little. Sony's 18-250 focuses faster than Tamron's - again, if I remember correctly, it's been a while since the last time I read about this lens :).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:42 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:23 pm
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Location: Boca Raton, FL, USA
Quote:
A) I never buy electronics used


No problem - to each their own on that one. I don't have any problems with used purchases of some things...to be honest, I don't buy electronics used either - but remember, lenses aren't electronic devices. Of course you take chances with abuse, etc...but sticking with good used dealers can ameliorate that issue. Still, if that's not your preference, no problem.

Quote:
B) I've heard bad reviews about Tamron being cheap


I would tend not to believe that - I have personal experience with lenses from Sony, Tamron, and Sigma which are sitting in my bag now, and there are no differences in image quality, build quality, or reliability between them. In fact, ironically, it's Sigma that's had the worst problems in their Sony mounts, due to gear-stripping issues with Sony's faster focus motors (my 30mm F1.4 hasn't experienced any problems so far). I've had extensive use for more than 3 years with 3 Tamron lenses, none of which have had any issues. I also have Minolta and Sony lenses in my collection. I switch between the 4 brands with no qualms at all...and see nothing in the build or image quality that would label any of them as inferior to the others (other than the Minolta 300mm F4 which is built like military hardware and could survive a nuclear blast).

Quote:
Doesn't the image quality decrease the larger the range goes? And I definitely want to keep it under $300


As a generality or stereotype, yes. In reality - it depends. Like anything, mantras or sayings like that are based on past experiences, but not always indicative of future resutls. Sometimes a lens just hits the sweet spot - or further development of technology allows large leaps in quality or ability. With the 18-200, reviews were mixed on the Sony version and Tamron version - OK, but not great. With the 18-250, the reviews were quite different - and widely accepted now after many years as one of the better wide zoom lenses ever made for any manufacturer. They basically learned from their first effort, and significantly improved upon it for their second effort, while also extending the range. The worst problem of the 18-250 is the same as it was on the 18-200 - some barrel distortion at the widest setting...but otherwise it's a very versatile and solid lens for nearly any purpose. Any wide zoom like these will be a compromise compared to primes or shorter faster zooms in a particular range, and if you want the flexibility the 18-200 should still be pretty solid for general use.

As for keeping under $300 - it sounds like you might need to stick with the 18-200mm lenses if new is your only option...I just thought I'd throw alternatives out there.

Joris...I believe you're right on the focus - I think Sony quickened the gearing just a bit to require less turns to focus. Optically, they seem to be twins.[/quote]

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Justin Miller
Sony DSLR-A580 / Sony 18-250mm / Minolta 50mm F1.7 / Sigma 30mm F1.4 / Tamron 10-24mm / Tamron 150-600mm / Tamron 90mm F2.8 macro / Minolta 300mm F4 APO
Sony A6000 / 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 / 55-210mm F4-6.3 / 10-18mm F4 / 35mm F1.8 / 16mm F2.8 / via manual adapter, lots of Pentax K mount, Konica K/AR mount, and Leica M mount manual lenses

Galleries:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:30 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 5:08 pm
Posts: 99
Location: Salisbury, MD
I would pick the lens that feels better to you. I prefer Sony Zeiss to Canon L, not because of technical superiorities but the subtle difference in feel- and for me that makes all the difference in use.

And aside from any freak problems that each may have, I wouldn't really look into much else, but that's just me. If one is slightly sharper on the edges than the other, just ask yourself if you are really going to give a damn- at what sizes it would be visible, for your application, etc.

Tamron certainly does make cheap, crappy lenses. So does Sony, Canon, etc... find a model that has received good reviews, has no known technical faults, and you're really going to be just fine regardless of whatever brand you go with.

Can you look at an image and tell me whether it was shot with canon L, a sony, a tamron? Really? Do you have any idea? Don't get into brand hype, because in the end, your gear doesn't make you a good photographer, this just about follows suit in any profession

I do think it is worth shelling out more for the 18-250. If used gear is certified and accompanied by a warranty, it is quite simply a no-brainer to make use of the savings, unless there is some sort of superstition involved with using another man's gear. I just like opening the plastic sealing...

Other factors to consider any differences in size, weight, internal/external focusing mechanisms (whether or not that matters to you), stabilization, coated optics, filter-size, in addition to the headline features (focal and aperture)

In the end, you'll be fine. I personally think Sigma's entry level gear feels much more solid compared to entry-level Sony/Canon/Nikon.

The other option is buying a 2nd body :)

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