Sigma vs Tamron Telephoto Lens Quality

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by William Kahn, Dec 22, 2017.

  1. I'm considering buying a Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary lens, and have also looked at the Tamron SP 150-600mm lens. The specifications seem to be similar, the major difference in aperture ranges which is not an issue for me. Does anyone here have some hands-on experience with either or both of these lenses, and an opinion on their overall quality? The price of the Tamron is about $170 less than the Sigma (at B&H), but I've had some bad experience with Tamron lenses in the past and I'm not sure if the savings is worth it.

    Thanks for any help,

  2. I'm assuming that your primary purpose for one of these lenses is to shoot at 600mm. Based on that, if you're talking about the first generation (G1) of the Tamron lens, whihch came out in 2013, then the SIgma wins hands down. The SIgma is much sharper at 600mm and is compatible with the SIgma Dock which allows you to fine tune focus with a specific body.

    The Tamron G2 (2016) is better than the G1 but at a higher cost ($1300), and is probably on par with the less expensive Sigma Contemporary at 600mm.. In fact, if you are considering the G2 version and you shoot Nikon, the Nikon 200-500mm is a much better choice for about $100 more, although it only goes up to 500mm
  3. sorry no experience, but I did hold the sigma and the Nikon 200-500 at BHPhoto the other day. Thesalesman had personal experience with both--the tamron didn't come up--and much prefered the sigma for IQ and price and weight over the Nikon. He even preferred it, the contemp., over the sport version--S heavier with minimal IQ improvement and many more $$$. He had taken the sigma on safari and rec'd it highly. All anecdotal, i know, but I am looking at that mix also and came away thinking the sigma was the one, at least vs the Nikon. YMMV. Hell, my mileage may vary when I look at them tomorrow.
    There are a few youtube videos out there comparing them, including head to head sigma vs tamron. The decision is a hard one though because they are so evenly matched. One thing I like about the Tamron though is the foot on it is a swiss arca mount. But, everyone says they are all very close with no clear cut winner
    These are heavy lenses and though you'd likely use on a monopod or tripod, you still have to carry them. The Nikon and the sigma S had noticeably more heft than the sigma C.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
  4. Thanks, guys. I'm going to go with the Sigma. Stunning images to follow... ;-)
  5. I have the Sigma 150-600mm C, reviews and comparisons between Sigma and the Tamron said the Sigma was sharper and a bit better. I am very pleased with mine. Also, you can buy a SIGMA USB Dock for $59 and update the firmware for lens yourself if ever needed. Any firmware updates for Tamron has to be done by Tamron and if the lens is out of warranty you are going to pay. Just something to consider. LINK

    The SIGMA is sharp.

    Sample shot a few months ago at 600mm.
    Sony Camera Guy 600mm x 2400-1.jpg
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
  6. Here is a hummingbird shot handheld with the 150-600mm C at 600mm. Cropped, not the best photo, but pretty sharp and I can see a lot of detail in the hummingbird and they are really small.
    Humming Bird 600mm x 2400-1401.jpg
    MarcelRomviel and marc_bergman|1 like this.
  7. Thanks, guys. I ordered the Sigma lens from B&H on Friday. Really looking forward to this...

    Merry Christmas!
    John Di Leo and Mark Keefer like this.
  8. Sigma is good, but some Tamrons are good too.

    What used to be called (LINK) has useful reviews of a large number of lenses of all sorts for future reference.
  9. William, I've never used any Sigma products. However, I previously used a Tamron 18 - 300 mm zoom. Aside from it's being somewhat slow, I dumped when the barrel became so loose I couldn't turn the camera over without the lens automatically extending fully. Currently, I have another Tamron zoom, 15 - 300 mm, which h is slightly faster and, so far, the barrel still is tight.
  10. Thanks, Michael. I used to have a Tamron 70-300mm that I used with my old Canon 35mm camera back in the '90s. It was a piece of crap. That why I decided never to go near Tamron again. Anyway, it's academic now. My new Sigma 150-600mm lens is on its way, should be here Friday.

    Merry Christmas, guys!
  11. Well, I have the lens, and I'm still on the learning curve, but here's one of my first shots with it. One of the things I've learned so far is that auto focus does not work well at 600mm with my Canon 5D2, but manual focus is OK with me. I may go for the dock, as suggested.

    Anyway....Happy New Year, and great shooting!

    Sigma Test 12-30-17a.jpg

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