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Old Monday 8th August 2005, 16:36   #1
JSI
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Tamron 200-500mm vs. Sigma 50-500mm DG

I know I've read some comparisons on here about these lenses and the Sigma Bigma lens seems to be the better of the two.

But I can get the Tamron 200-500mm for $1250 Cdn or the Sigma 50-500mm DG for $1499 Cdn.

I'm still leaning towards the Sigma because of the reviews I've read but want to get some expert opinions.

Will I be happier with the Sigma? Or is the Tamron as good?

Thanks,
Jeremy
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Old Monday 8th August 2005, 18:10   #2
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Go for the Tamron - the Sigma is mainly recommended on here because it is a much older lens, and more people have one. More than happy with my Tamron - and i think it's a little more compact and less heavy.

From more recent reviews i've read, the Tamron is better at the 500mm end (which i suspect is where it would be used most). The best quality also seems to be obtained at the widest aperture on the Tamron - which is always a good thing given that it's most likely you'll have it as wide open as possible.

I've had mine for 6 months and love it - it's fairly usable with hand-holding too - not sure the Sigma would be.

The range on the Sigma is what put me off initially - ten times zoom for a lens is pushing things a bit. Given that prime lenses are better that zooms, surely zooms with small ranges are better than ones with a big range?

However, having said that, i've not seen anyone using a Sigma Bigma in the field - although i have seen people struggling with the Sigma 170-500, and was glad my Tamron was more manageable.
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Old Monday 8th August 2005, 18:34   #3
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Thanks rezMole,

I'm starting to think the Tamron is the way to go. It's hard to find a bad review on either.

Jeremy
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Old Tuesday 9th August 2005, 18:27   #4
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Could someone explain to me how focal length and magnification compare?

The Tamron has a magnification of 5.0 @ 500mm where the Sigma has a magnification of 5.2 @ 500mm? I don't really understand this and is 0.2 worth anything?

Jeremy
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Old Saturday 29th October 2005, 18:57   #5
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Was wondering about buying either one of these lens,s.Any more inputs ?
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Old Saturday 29th October 2005, 23:26   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry B
Was wondering about buying either one of these lens,s.Any more inputs ?
Have the Tamron 200-500 and am happy with it. Seems a good lens for 699.

Linz
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Old Saturday 29th October 2005, 23:58   #7
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Hi Jeremy,

where did you get those "magnification" figures?

I ask, because I can't really rationalise them or understand their relevance, so I'd be interested to see what they mean too.
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Old Tuesday 1st November 2005, 16:07   #8
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I just started using the Minolta 80-200/2.8 APO G lens. Instead of buying either Tamron or Sigma, I'm going to buy a 2.0x teleconverter. This will give me 400mm at f5.6 with superior glass. I do have a friend using the Bigma in the field with me. His lens has MAJOR lens creep. The lens is equipped with a lock to prevent the lens creep but it still occurs. He gets very annoyed. Its a BIG lens...

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Old Tuesday 1st November 2005, 17:14   #9
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How do you know the glass superior? Because it states APO? Not all manufacturers use the APO designation - Tamron is one that doesn't - but it doesn't mean the glass is inferior.
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Old Tuesday 1st November 2005, 18:09   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rezMole
How do you know the glass superior? Because it states APO? Not all manufacturers use the APO designation - Tamron is one that doesn't - but it doesn't mean the glass is inferior.
Minolta's "G" lenses are highly respected. Its the best they make. Both the Minolta 80-200/2.8 APO G and the Minolta 70-200/2.8 APO G SSM are highly rated zoom lenses. There's not much question that they are superior.

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Old Tuesday 1st November 2005, 19:25   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatT
Minolta's "G" lenses are highly respected. Its the best they make. Both the Minolta 80-200/2.8 APO G and the Minolta 70-200/2.8 APO G SSM are highly rated zoom lenses. There's not much question that they are superior.

Pat
Well, there is. What superiority there maybe will be lost by sticking a converter on.
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Old Tuesday 1st November 2005, 19:40   #12
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Got me a Sigma 50-500mm to-day,,seems quite a capable bit of kit. will post later with with some pics....hb
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Old Tuesday 1st November 2005, 22:56   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rezMole
Well, there is. What superiority there maybe will be lost by sticking a converter on.
Yes, but it is cheaper than buying the Sigma or Tamron PLUS the Minolta. I was shooting an older (15 years old) Sigma 400 APO. Very slow to focus so I must use manual focus for all birds and older technology. So the Minolta
80-200 APO G and the 2.0x teleconverter will still be a step up for me.
Happy shooting!
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Old Monday 14th November 2005, 16:54   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Reeder
Hi Jeremy,

where did you get those "magnification" figures?

I ask, because I can't really rationalise them or understand their relevance, so I'd be interested to see what they mean too.
I got those stats from the Sigma and Tamron sites. Regardless I ended up getting the Sigma 50-500mm DG and am really happy with it.
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Old Monday 14th November 2005, 17:03   #15
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Thanks Jeremy - it was just that those terms didn't mean anything to me.

Never mind, you've picked a great lens, and that's what really matters.
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Old Monday 14th November 2005, 17:51   #16
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Magnificaton ;a 50mm lens is supposed to be the same angle as the normal human eye ( for a 35mm camera) ; a 100mm lens has twice the focal length, therefore jhas a magnification ration of 2:1 , a 250mm is 5:1, and so on. But the 50mm bit is arguable, someone ( Leica ? ) used to say 55mm was the norm - so a 500 would then be 9:1.
I can't imgine where 5 comes from.
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Old Friday 18th November 2005, 21:03   #17
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I myself was having the same problem - on deciding between the Tamron and Bigma.
Finally ( with Rezmole's help and advice ) i got the Tamron and i must say i am very pleased with it and have produced some very fine pics.
The main issue regarding which lense to buy was the fact that i wanted something that i can hand hold and get some "in flight shots" with ease. The Bigma is too heavy for that . ( on a tripod - there's no difference- they are all steady and easy ).
The Tamron has never left the camera since then.
A 500 or 600 m"m prime lense is surely better but considering the average bird photographer and budget - i find the Tamron \ Bigma a great solution . I think that the differences are minor .
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Old Saturday 17th May 2008, 22:41   #18
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Firstly, can I say thanks to all who have posted on this thread, I found the comments invaluable whilst deciding on the above lenses.

I eventually chose the Tamron & am really happy with the resulting shots. I find the lens returns good results hand-held too, if I rest against something solid. The most astonishing thing to me, is that the quality when using a 1.4X Tamron (Kenco) converter, seems nearly as sharp as without it, whilst the autofocus works right up to around the 450mm mark.

I am very happy with my choice, but think that it is just down to personal preference in the end, so if you're looking to choose between the two, I would suggest that you physically handle each one, then make your choice, because on optical performance, it's really splitting hairs. I recommend that you buy either one of these lenses, it will add a whole new dimension to your photography.


Regards

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Old Sunday 18th May 2008, 09:45   #19
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Hi Mark and welcome to BirdForum from all the staff.

I'm glad to hear that you are happy with you new lens and I look forward to seeing some of your photos in the gallery here.
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Old Sunday 25th May 2008, 13:44   #20
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Where did you end up buying JSI, I getting one this week and am looking for the best price, I live in Kington. It can be at Henry's for $1,2499.99
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Old Monday 26th May 2008, 09:32   #21
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I know someone who recently purchased a canon 400D and a Sigma 50-500 and he is really disillusioned with his efforts, although I have seen some and they look pretty good to me.
One problem he quotes is that they have a "washed out" appearance. Not being a Canon user, it's difficult to know what he's doing wrong. I suggested restoring factory settings in case he had inadvertantly changed the exposure compensation but he said he had, and with no effect.
Anyone got any ideas where he may be going wrong ? Or is it simply that he expects too much out of that combination when he is comparing other peoples efforts using more expensive equipment to his ?
I'm sure any ideas would be appreciated.
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Old Thursday 29th May 2008, 21:16   #22
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Wow I have not signed in for a long time and saw this thread still here.

I got the Bigma from B&H back in 2005 but Henry's or Downtown camera in Toronto are good places to go. Downtown has it for $1100.

Jeremy

P.S. Lens is still working great only downside I've seen is the paint on the tripod mount has chipped off a lot over the past couple years of good use.

Last edited by JSI : Thursday 29th May 2008 at 21:19.
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Old Wednesday 6th August 2008, 13:26   #23
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Originally Posted by Keith Reeder View Post
Hi Jeremy,

where did you get those "magnification" figures?

I ask, because I can't really rationalise them or understand their relevance, so I'd be interested to see what they mean too.
Hi Keith don't know if this has been answered but I have a 50 -500 the max magnification is not 5.2 but 1:5.2 @1.1meters @ 200mm zoom this gives you the biggest image no where near 1:1 as full size eg macro hope this clears things up for you
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Old Thursday 8th January 2009, 23:20   #24
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Can anyone give me advice for a lens? I have a Pentax K10D, and am going to Costa Rica in the spring (March/April), and wanted a good lens for wildlife/rain forest photos...currently have 18-55 kit lens and 50-200, but not thrilled with them...I'd been wanting a longer reach lens but am not sure whether I'd be better off getting a 400 or 500 mm lens, or a faster 2.8 lens (ie, 200 mm 2.8 or 300 mm 4). Can anyone give me some advice?

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Old Friday 9th January 2009, 12:14   #25
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Don't forget there is a fairly new Sigma 150 -500 mm f4.5-f6.3 with optical stabilization.
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