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Cameras, Lenses and Accessories: Discuss Third Party Lenses...hey everyone, I'm looking for a budget zoom lens below $200. I was looking at Canon's 55-250. But I want ...
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Old 22-12-2010, 06:23   #1 (permalink)
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Third Party Lenses

hey everyone,
I'm looking for a budget zoom lens below $200. I was looking at Canon's 55-250. But I want to try my luck with 3rd party lenses as well, especially after I read some reviews. the problems I'm having is that lens manufacturers use different technical terms to describe the same feature (i.e. IS & VR etc). I'm not very familiar with the technical terms Tamron and Sigma use. now I'm looking at the 70-300mm range. Canon's 70-300 USM doesn't come with IS. the one with IS is a little over $400. Sigma and Tamron have the capability to take macro shots. It's not true macro but at least 1:2 with a closest focusing distance of 0.95m.

a little help here? I'm all confused now

P.S. - I'm not in a hurry to buy a zoom (well actually I don't have enough money yet). by the time I earn enough money to go for a zoom, the prices will probably go down
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Old 22-12-2010, 07:59   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Third Party Lenses

For some time the Sigma 70-300 APO has been very well regarded. (Not the non APO version). It used to sell for about 130GBP. It is not a stabilised lens, but I think you will struggle to get a stabilised lens on your budget.

Stabilisation is useful, but for me is not near the top of my list of things that I'm looking for in a lens. I have nine lenses and only one has stabilisation.
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Old 22-12-2010, 08:24   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Third Party Lenses

yeah I actually read some reviews (amazon) of the Sigma 70-300 APO. they are pretty good. I'm not very strict about IS. it's just a "nice to have" feature. So I don't want to pay like $200 more for IS alone.

another thing I'm struggling about is to decide between Tamron and Sigma. I know it's rather a personal choice. but what would you recommend?
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Old 22-12-2010, 08:39   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Third Party Lenses

Another vote for the Sigma 70-300 APO though I've the non-APO and had some excellent results (like all gear, if you keep within the optimum shooting characteristics, you'll get some good shots!)

I like IS/OS/VR (take your pick of optimisation!) but prefer non-stabilised if I can get away with it!
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Old 22-12-2010, 08:41   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Third Party Lenses

I've no experience with Tamron lenses, so I think you need to try to read reviews on both lenses - including, if possible, by the same reviewer to keep a level playing field.

From memory I don't think there is much between them, so if you also come to that conclusion, price might be the deciding factor.
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Old 22-12-2010, 08:46   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Third Party Lenses

thanks guys. yeah price is always a deciding factor for us 3rd world country citizens unfortunately.

I found these two sites and they explain what all those letters mean. Could be useful for another noob like me. especially when it comes to lenses.

Photography Terminology
terminology - What do all those cryptic number and letter codes in a lens name mean? - Photography - Stack Exchange
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Old 22-12-2010, 12:40   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Third Party Lenses

If I were to buy a none branded lens it would be Sigma but only the latest version Sigma just seem to get better and better so its important that you buy the latest! and make sure that lens is the one that you need,if you make a mistake and decide to sell it on after a couple of months then you will lose a lot of dosh so think very very hard on your choice!
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Old 22-12-2010, 16:44   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Third Party Lenses

I have shot with sigma lenses, Tamron lenses, Tokina lenses and my own brand Nikon lenses and I have limited experiences with Canon lenses (as I used to have a canon DSLR)
Of all of them I prefer Nikkor lenses from Nikon best, but that is because they are my camera's brand. However, of the other 3 brands I have mentioned I liked Tamron and Tokina the best for older lenses. With newer lenses Sigma has come along way and have some really good lenses nowadays that makes them both excellent and competitive in pricing.
Tokina lenses: Built like a brick for most lenses, they good but often heavy.
Tamron lenses: Bulit well but certainly can feels plastic like at times, good lens quality and light. Some of their lenses can be a tad slow on focusing in low light in my experience.
Sigma lenses: Bulit like the Tamron lenses, good quality and a lower price point than Canon or Nikon lenses. Recent lenses has been very good.

For a $200 budget I would hunt for a good 2nd hand lens. If you are not picky with IS or VR stuff...you can get a good lens, maybe even a Canon one, if you look around. Always, test out a 2nd hand lens before you pay money for it though (or at least that is how I feel about it) IF you are willing to shoot manual focus, then you have a WHOLE lot of M42 manual lens you can choose from for your budget range and we are talking about VERY good glass!

Just a word on IS and VR lenses, they are AWESOME and VERY NICE, but if you can't afford them, cause THEY MAKE YOU PAY a HECK of alot more for them, you really should consider switching to shoot in manual exposure mode and learn to compensate with your shutter speed and maybe even your ISO. Since I know you work in photoshop, you can do alot with pictures taken at higher ISO, so don't be too scared to bump your ISO pass 400 to get a little more out of your shutter speed.
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Old 22-12-2010, 17:08   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Third Party Lenses

thanks for the advice
I was looking into 2nd hand lenses too. the thing is, there are only a handful of DSLR users in SL. and very few of them are willing to sell their gear. if I order a 2nd hand lens from ebay, I won't get a chance to test it.
even if I had money, I wouldn't want to buy a zoom lens right away though. since I'm still getting into photography, too much gear could overwhelm me. I just like to do my homework. so when the time comes, I know what to buy and what to avoid. (although I do hate explaining to people why I spent $$$ on this camera which apparently doesn't have "optical" zooming ) lol
currently I'm waiting for the 50mm prime and the flasher. there's a whole new world to explore
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Old 22-12-2010, 17:12   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Third Party Lenses

I had the Sigma 70-300mm APO DG and loved it, for the money you cant go wrong
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Old 22-12-2010, 17:19   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Third Party Lenses

great
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:12   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Third Party Lenses

Quote:
Originally Posted by stupot View Post
I had the Sigma 70-300mm APO DG and loved it, for the money you cant go wrong
I also have this lens and have got some great results, as above it seems very good given the price. There are higher quality lenses out there with better features but the Sigma 70-300 DG APO is so cheap (can be had well under £100) it is hard to beat if your on a budget I reckon
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