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which lens (1 Viewer)

Islandergirl

Well-known member
Hi Everyone,
This is my dilema and maybe you could help. I want to get a new lens. I have been looking at the Sigma 170-500mm, and the Tamron 200-500mm.Weight is an issue so I don't want to get the 50-500mm. I like to be on the move so If possible I would like to hand hold at times or use a monopod. Does anyone have the Tamron lens, and what about the auto-focus, will it be a problem at the 500 end.
Hope you can give some advice.

Islandergirl
 

Chris Oates

Why does a Black-headed Gull have a brown head...
Islandergirl said:
Hi Everyone,
This is my dilema and maybe you could help. I want to get a new lens. I have been looking at the Sigma 170-500mm, and the Tamron 200-500mm.Weight is an issue so I don't want to get the 50-500mm. I like to be on the move so If possible I would like to hand hold at times or use a monopod. Does anyone have the Tamron lens, and what about the auto-focus, will it be a problem at the 500 end.
Hope you can give some advice.

Islandergirl

With these lenses the main issue is money - they are all fairly heavy and definitely bulky.
I have the Sigma 170-500 and it's a great lens for the price - I often hand hold it at the beach following kite surfers, I have a good monopod but never use it - I either have a crap technique or they are a bad idea - I'd much rather carry around my carbon fibre tripod and use at least two legs.
 

DOC

Well-known member
Maybe i have the answer for you -

I have had the 170-500 for a while (but did not like it ) and later i checked out the Sigma 50-500 and the Tamron 200-500 . Due to the weight issue i decided against the Sigma 50-500.
After doing some research , enquiring etc - and after getting some good advice from BF members( rezMole+ RobChace) - i purchased the Tamron 200-500 - and I do not regret a single moment !!!!
I have had the Tamron for the last 6 months, it has not left my camera ( D-70) , and it is a great lense . Easy to hand hold ( very important to me ), sharp even though not super fast . It has it's flaws ( no HSM , hunts in low light ..) but they are minor from my point of view.
The Sigma 170-500 is not a bad lense, but from my experience - the Tamron tops it in every issue .
There is absolutely no problem with autofocus at the 500 mm end. ( almost all my pictures are taken at the far end of 500 m"m with autofocus).
My gallery - is the best example for the lense's capabilities- it speaks for itself.

Hope i've helped in some way .
Regards
 
Last edited:

postcardcv

Super Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
I used to use the Sigma 170-500 and was always very happy with it, I ended up selling it to a friend when I went over to a prime so still get to use it sometimes. Yes the AF is not as fast as on more expensive lenses, but then you wouldn't exopect it to be. I used to handhold the lens for most shots, only in low light did I put it on a tripod.

I think that both the lenses you're considering are of a similar standard, the best thnig would be to try them yourself and see which handles better for you.
 

Islandergirl

Well-known member
Thanks Everyone for your input, my camera is a Canon 20D. I must say I think the Tamron seems to be the best one for me. I am a bit lazy about using the tripod even though I take it with me. I get excited when I see something and just start shooting away. Not a good idea I know as often I forget to check things like ISO, but I am learning.
 

Islandergirl

Well-known member
DOC said:
Maybe i have the answer for you -

I have had the 170-500 for a while (but did not like it ) and later i checked out the Sigma 50-500 and the Tamron 200-500 . Due to the weight issue i decided against the Sigma 50-500.
After doing some research , enquiring etc - and after getting some good advice from BF members( rezMole+ RobChace) - i purchased the Tamron 200-500 - and I do not regret a single moment !!!!
I have had the Tamron for the last 6 months, it has not left my camera ( D-70) , and it is a great lense . Easy to hand hold ( very important to me ), sharp even though not super fast . It has it's flaws ( no HSM , hunts in low light ..) but they are minor from my point of view.
The Sigma 170-500 is not a bad lense, but from my experience - the Tamron tops it in every issue .
There is absolutely no problem with autofocus at the 500 mm end. ( almost all my pictures are taken at the far end of 500 m"m with autofocus).
My gallery - is the best example for the lense's capabilities- it speaks for itself.

Hope i've helped in some way .
Regards

Hi Doc,
Just took a look at your gallery. I AM INSPIRED,BRILLIANT...
If i can eventually achieve shots like those i will be very happy.
Thanks, Islandergirl
 

Rob Chace

Well-known member
Hi,
As already mentioned, i had the tamron for a while & only changed it as i found a 500mm prime at a once in a lifetime price, so had to have it. This is a cracking lens & never left my D70 while i had it. Like alot of zoom lenses it benefits from being stopped down 1 stop, & will produce sharp images if the light allows this. AF is ok, if a little noisy. Best results will of course be gained by using a tripod in conjunction with a reasonably fast shutter speed, although i have used it hand held & got away with it.
I dont think anyone in the market for a 500mm zoom will regret buying this lens. I dont know how noisy the AF is on the Sigmas, (The 50-500 has a HSM motor, which should give fast almost silent focusing.) but you must take this into consideration if you are likely to stalk up on deer for example.
Hope this has been some help to you,
Best regards
Rob.
 

rezMole

Well-known member
Like DOC, I use the Tamron 200-500 almost all the time (although sometimes switch to Tamron 28-300 when just out and about taking "general" pics. I also use almost exclusively hand-held - although often i "rest" on a ledge is in the hides, and occasionally use a monopod. I find the lens reasonably easy to use and is pretty sharp, even at 500mm and at f6.3, which i think can be a problem area with some of the Sigma lenses.

My gallery (http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery/showgallery.php/cat/500/ppuser/18597)is probably nowhere near as good as DOCs, but i don't think i do too badly. Given that i shoot in "dull" UK, you'll see that the lens is still fairly usuable even in winter here.
 

Islandergirl

Well-known member
rezMole said:
Like DOC, I use the Tamron 200-500 almost all the time (although sometimes switch to Tamron 28-300 when just out and about taking "general" pics. I also use almost exclusively hand-held - although often i "rest" on a ledge is in the hides, and occasionally use a monopod. I find the lens reasonably easy to use and is pretty sharp, even at 500mm and at f6.3, which i think can be a problem area with some of the Sigma lenses.

My gallery (http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery/showgallery.php/cat/500/ppuser/18597)is probably nowhere near as good as DOCs, but i don't think i do too badly. Given that i shoot in "dull" UK, you'll see that the lens is still fairly usuable even in winter here.

Hi RezMole,
Thanks for your input. I was actually wondering how different it would be taking shots here in dull Uk as you say. Your photos are very good indeed, and you've even got a robin on my birthday.Down here on the IOW we are very lucky because the clouds often drift over us and drop their contents on the mainland, which is very nice for us. I am going to order the lens, so wish me luck.
 

Islandergirl

Well-known member
Hi All
Have now ordered the Tamron lens and hope it will be here for the weekend. I shall post some pics and let you know how its going with it.
Thanks alot for all advice.
 

Pie Face

Well-known member
Having only just crossed over to the dark side (I was a die hard digiscoper) I would be interested to here any comments good or bad on the Sigma 50 -500 APO RF. A good friend of mine has lent it to me (on an unlimited trial) so that I can have a play and says if I like it it's mine for £400. The weight is not really an issue, though to be honest I didn't think that it was that bad. Having had a very very brief play with it on my new D50 It feels a very well built piece of kit and is in absolute immaculate condition.
Any thoughts?

Mark
 

Haspengouw

New member
Got the Tamron 200-500 since two weeks and I'm doing some test shoots now (pic in attachment). I found out there is few information on the internet about using this lens for bird photography (techniques, settings, etc...) - isn't there any (yahoo) discussion group where Tamron 200/500 users could share their experiences (and photos of course)?

Also, I first had a 500mm Reflex and a Tokina 400mm 5.6 on my Minolta 5D, and I think their AF might be a little bit quicker than the Tamron 200-500. How do you guys focus on flying birds (without too much hunting)?

Thanks,
Haspengouw
 

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DOC

Well-known member
As far as i know- and i've searched a lot in the past - there are almost no Tamron 200-500 forums. Even in Dpreview - i found little information .
Also in "Nikonians " - there is not much talk about the lense .
I assume the reasos is that the lense is not as popular as it should be- all because the previous version ( Tamron 200-400 ) - was a disaster- and many photographers decided against it .
But who cares ? - As long as it's good for you \ for others who bought it ...

AF is a bit slow when compared to prime lenses. Catching flying birds - the best setting is "continous AF" and rapid sequence shooting . You can also try Manual focus but it's harder .
2 weeks is a short time - you'll love the lense as time goes on .

Here are 3 examples of flight shots with the Tamron :
http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery/showphoto.php/photo/65764/sort/1/cat/500/page/2
http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery/showphoto.php/photo/65057/sort/1/size/medium/cat/500/page/3
http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery/showphoto.php/photo/70502/sort/1/cat/500/page/2
 

Islandergirl

Well-known member
Hi everyone,
I am still waiting for my Tamron 200-500 lens to come. I am so looking forward to seeing what i can achieve with it. A friend in similar circumstances has decided to go for the Sigma 100-300 with a 1.4 converter. He thinks it will be better because its f4 all through. So it will be interesting to compere our pics. I will post some on the gallery when i finally get my lens. I also had great difficulty finding any reviews of the lens, thats why i asked the kind folk of BF to help.
Anyway hope to be snapping soon.
 

rezMole

Well-known member
It won't be f4 with the converter stuck on it though, and it won't get him to 500mm either. I have a Tamron 28-300mm, but very rarely use it for bird photography.
 

Islandergirl

Well-known member
Lens at last

Hi all,
I now have my Tamron lens and have had great fun trying it out.Although very frustrated with the windy weather we've had. I am really pleased with the lens, so a big thankyou to all of you for your advice. I've tried it on a tripod and hand held and it works a treat. Not to heavy for me to carry all day. The focus was very quick and even through twigs if i repressed the shutter then it refocused where i wanted it really quickly. Have posted a few of my first efforts with it. will see how it does in lower light, but so far it is great.
Once again thanks particulary to Doc and rezMole. :bounce:
 

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