what's your brand in glass after Nikon

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by juanjo_viagran, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. Hey...

    just out of curiosity..

    what's your second (and why not 3rd and 4rd) pick of lenses brand after Nikon.. and why!

    Tokina, Sigma, Tamron, Vivitar..ect.!!?

    even tho all my glass is Nikon now my second pick would be Tokina..
    IMO the ATX pro line have the best built (in some cases even better than Nikon) and they are very good performers.

  2. No second brand... after some attemps I decided not to spend on anything but some Nikkors anymore... (up to date...)

    My other 35mm favourite brands are mainly Leica, Canon and vintage Zeiss, usually cheaper than new Nikkors.
  3. Lensbabies. :)
  4. I have three non Nikkor lenses. A Sigma 120 to 300 f/2.8 because Nikon does not make anything like it.
    A Tamron 14 mm f/2.8 because it performed better then the Nikon 14 mm I tested it against. And a Tamron 300 mm f/2.8 because the price was so much better then the Nikon.
    I do not really care who makes it as long as it does what it is supposed to do.
    Is there a company I look at first. Yep its Nikon. If they don't make it I look else where
  5. depends. i look more at performance and cost/benefit than simply marketing. with 3rd party lenses, each manufacturer has some gems and some dogs, but among the gems i would say are the tamron 17-50/2.8, tokina 12-24/4, sigma 50-150/2.8, sigma 30/1.4.
  6. mjt


    Nikkor and Zeiss
  7. Some Tamron Adaptalls have been handy. I've used the same lenses on Canon, Olympus and now Nikon SLRs.

    Zuiko. Very impressive optics, including on their P&S type cameras, film and digital.

    Older Vivitar Series 1 lenses have been good values.
  8. I don't buy third party lenses, not because I'm a snob, but because I've gotten burned too often by the "other" companies. I have a Tokina ATX 28-70 that's just falling apart. It still works but everything's loose and funky and the optics leave a lot to be desired. I've got no reason to use it. On the other hand, I had a manual focus Tokina 24-45 (I think) which has held together pretty well, but I gave it away to a friend because it was just collecting dust. I paid $50 for an ancient, 24mm nikkor that more than fills the gap.

    Regarding camera companies, I think all of them make good lenses. Pentax, Canon, Ziess and Leica lenses are excellent. I haven't had a lot of experience with older, Minolta or Olympus glass but I imagine those companies make some winners as well.
  9. Zeiss lenses are crazy expensive for a Manual Focus lens, for the same price as the Zeiss 85mm 1.4 you can get the Nikon 85mm 1.4D AF..
    I'm not only rather buy a Nikon lens but also rather have a AF lens than a MF..

    is really there glass much better than Nikon?

    I had a friend with an 85mm 1.4 and 35mm 2 Zeiss and there pictures were good, but as good as a picture you can take with a good Nikon glass..!
  10. I look at these lenses on a case-by-case basis. Brand loyalty? None.

    I am rather unimpressed by Tamron's handling and build quality, but their 90mm macro looks way cool. I think Sigma's 10-
    20 is awesome, I think their midrange consumer zooms are not so great. I LOVE the tokina build quality and the images
    from my 11-16, but I wouldn't buy the 16-50 based on the bad stuff I've read about it.
  11. I have 2 Tamrons...SP AF11-18mm F/4.5-5.6 Di II LD Aspherical (IF), SP AF200-500mm F/5-6.3 Di LD (IF) and the 3rd on the way SP AF17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF). I like them very much with no issues so far. I also have some older Sigmas that are just so so...they are slow and CA is very noticeable in both... Also have a couple of Nikkors (primes)... I like those as well..except I hate zooming with my feet.. Someday my boat will come in and I will be able to afford all Nikkor I can handle but until then I buy the best of what I can afford.
  12. Most of the new Zeiss lenses seem to be quite a bit more contrasty and somewhat sharper than Nikkors typically at
    wide apertures if you do a side by side comparison. Not all of them are "better" in every respect - itt depends on the
    specific lens and what you're going to do with the lens. E.g. the 25mm ZF is not as sharp as the 24-70 Nikkor wide open
    at a distance of 2m. At infinity or stopped down to f/8 the Zeiss is better. The 35mm and 50mm ZF lenses I have are
    spectacularly sharp, here the advantage is considerable. On the other hand the 50/1.2 Nikkor is better than the Zeiss at f/1.4. The 100mm
    f/2 ZF which I tested in a store produced higher contrast and better detail when focused close and when wide apertures are used -
    compared to 105 mm AF-D Micro-Nikkor. At f/11 the difference was smaller. Despite the obvious optical superiority of the Zeiss 100mm, I
    decided to go for the less expensive 105 VR which is closer to the Zeiss in performance than the 105 AF-D Micro and is nice for situations
    where tripod use isn't possible.

    Autofocus is convenient but if it results in optical compromises then maybe it's not so hot for situations where there is
    no rush. On the other hand price and autofocus are also important considerations.
  13. Nikon first, for all the usual reasons. But I prefer Sigma's 30/1.4 over Nikon's (um, since such a thing doesn't exist!). And Sigma's 10-20 has been a terrific tool for me so far. Very happy with every other Nikon prime and zoom I've got, and wouldn't do a thing differently. But if they aren't going to step up and fill certain niches, then they can't complain when we wander off the reservation.
  14. Rodenstock.

    Kent in SD
  15. I have a couple MF AI Tokina lenses that I like quite alot...70-210 compact & 35-105...They are sharp, smooth, and the color & contrast is good.
  16. There's no doubt whatsoever that the major manufacturers do make very fine lenses for their own cameras.

    On occasion, however, the main surviving lens-only makers do come up with something good. It is just not very smart to restrict your choices blindly to only one manufacturer. It's worth checking reviews like those at Photozone.de or the reviews linked to at PixelPeeper, to make sure you're spending your money wisely.

    At least Nikon doesn't have so much of a caste system as Canon lenses do! There you encounter not only "I only buy Canon lenses" , but also "I only buy Canon L lenses."
  17. Nikon has always been my first preference for lenses, but due to the unavailability or non existence of a particular lens in the Nikkor range; I have acquired Vivitar Series 1 (35-85/2.8 and 70-210/3.5), Tamron (24/2.5), Tamron SP (17/3.5 and 300/2.8 LDIF), Voigtlander (12/5.6 and 40/2) and Olympus (24/3.5 Shift) lenses. I am more than satisfied with these lenses.
  18. My only Non-Nikkor is the 10-20mm Sigma previously mentioned.
    It really does work very well. The only thing I have a quirk about is the dull feeling finish.
    I guess it help you from dropping the sucker, but it feels weird to me.
    I was considering the 12-24 Nikon, but too much money considering I have the 18-200VR.
    If Nikon made a wider Zoom, I would have saved up for that.
    I held off on the 10.5mm as I felt it didn't offer enough flexibility.
  19. I would have to say Sigma. At this point, I only have one Nikon lens, the 60mm AFS micro. From Sigma, I have the 10-20,
    18-50 2.8, 50-150 2.8, and the 30mm 1.4. If I ever get enough money saved, I will probably get either the 100-300 f/4 or the
    new 120-400, and maybe one of their fisheye's.

    Sigma gets bashed around here quite a bit by a few people, and they may have reason, but I have been very happy with my
    Sigma lenses so far.
  20. To continue in the spirit of diversity rampant in this thread, I'd have to say:<br>
    Computar, because your enlarging lens should be your best lens, and Ctein recommends it.
  21. Kiron - also known as 'Lester Dine' esp. the 105mm f/2.8 Macro lens - fabulous quality and inexpensive.
  22. Every time I go to third party lenses, it turns out badly. I have tried a few times over 50 years and I don`t try any more.

    My Pentax, Nikkors, Leica M and R lenses have satisfied my needs. I`ll admit to three CV lenses, 12,15,24. I tried them before i bought them, and they are OK, but the Leica glass is better. I needed a screw mount 24 and Leica did not furnish a 12 or 15.

    With the electronic couplings, you will get incompatability somewhere down the line. Then the savings will evaporate. I looked at some Tamrons, Sigmas, and never thought about a purchase. Mechanical construction does not impress me.
  23. All of the third party (are there any second party?) lensmakers have flagship products. They include Tamron (17-50 and 90mm macro), Sigma (10-20 and 30mm), and Tokina (12-24, 100mm macro).

    I am impressed with Sigma's long lens lineup. Yeah, too many of them are a slowish f/6.3 at the long end but they were quick to adopt fast autofocus (HSM) and stabalization (OS). The only Sigma I have ever used is their 300 f/2.8 and was very pleasantly surprised with the IQ.

    I really like Tokina but they are a bit more frustrating. While their build quality and optics are excellent, they seem to be falling further behind the others by failing to offer AF-S equivalents much less stabalization.

    In the end, this is more about maximizing a limited budget and trying to get the best bang for the buck, regardless of manufacturer because each has something to offer.
  24. I have two Tokina lenses the AT-X 300 AF PRO (300 mm f/2.8) and the AT-X 287 AF PRO SV (28-70mm f/2.8) I use
    almost on a daily bases for the last 5 years, for journalism, sports, commercial art. There D lenses. Their AF is not as fast
    Nikkor but they are sharp and well made. And for what I paid for them they have more than paid for themselves.
  25. Rodenstock, then Zeiss, then Fuji, the Schneider - but not really what the OP is looking for.

    If I were to put third-party glass on a Nikon body I would consider Zeiss and Voigtlander.
  26. Canon

  27. I have Nikon, Tamron, and Tokina. J Sevigny, I also have the Tokina ATX-Pro 28-70mm f2.6 lens. I have used this lens for years and it is built like a tank. Optically it is one of the sharpest lenses I have ever seen. It does have more chromatic aberrations than I would like but these are correctable with Photoshop and Capture. It is the lens I reach for when shooting portraits.
  28. I love my Sigma 10-20. I think it has outstanding color and I have nothing but good experiences with it. I looked
    at the Nikon that is close but in the end the extra range of the Sigma, the color, and the price, just made it
    the lens for me in the situations it is called for.

    I am mixed on the Tamron 28-200 that I used to have. It took fine pictures for the money and I used it for 15
    years (it was a first gen) but am much happier with my Nikon 18-200 VR. The Nikon is obviously miles ahead in
    terms of technology and IMHO gives great images in terms of bang for the buck. Obviously there are a lot of folks
    that do not like this lens but on my D300 I can take the 18-200 and fell confident that I can get a decent photo
    in almost any situation. I never felt that confident with the Tamron even though it did an OK job most of the time.
  29. Sigma 10-20mm , Sigma 50-150mm 2.8 ,Tamron 17-50 mm 2.8 , Tamron 28-75mm 2.8-- --- No complaints !!! -raf
  30. Nice crystal rocks glass (2) with two large ice cubes and a 18 year old bottle of Macallan shared with a dear friend of mine who is a dedicated Canon and very fine shooter. Oh, let's add a couple of Drew Estate Naturals. Ahh, with jazz in the background and our wives putzing around, we would each shoot into the back of our property, which is forest.

    Other than that, is there really any other glass than Nikon??? Or, Canon?

  31. It depends. Sigma (150, 105), Tamron (sp90) for macro, although I prefer Sigma. Tokina 12-24/4, 11-16/2.8) for wide angle. I never tried Vivitar. Would like to try out Zeiss though.

    - sergey
  32. My only non-Nikor is a 12-24 Tokina. Love it & saved nearly $500 over the Nikon. But otherwise I stick with Nikon.
  33. Sigma 30mm f1.4
    If Nikon would make a 1.4 wide angle prime lens at a decent price I'd buy in heart beat.
    I have used this lens for a couple assignments this week because exactly what I needed - wide and fast.
  34. The only two third-party lenses that I use on my Nikons areTokina AT-X Pro. One is a 12-24 f/4 and the other is a 100mm f/2.8 macro.

    Very satisfied with both and the 12-24 really seemed like a no-brainer given the savings over the Nikkor with virtually the same performance.
  35. I have the 12-24 Tokina that I use on my D300 and love it--especially since I paid a lot less for it than for the Nikkor 12-24. I also have a MF Tokina 80-200 f2.8 zoom that produces great images and a Kiron MF ai f4 80-200 macro zoom.

    One lens I originally got to use on a D100 that produces excellent results is a Promaster (Tamron) 28-105mm zoom.

    I like Nikkor but I'll use whatever works and what I can afford.
  36. Interesting thread. Unfortunately, my ability to create compelling images is the limiting factor for my photographic talents rather than the brand or the price of my lenses.

    That said, I do like my Tamron 28-70 f2.8. Can't tell the difference between that lens and similar Nikon glass.
  37. Tokina is my 2nd choice. I have the 12-24 f4 and the 28-70 2.8 pro lens. Both have been great preformers and are very sharp and very well built and half the price of Nikon.
  38. I shoot a Nikon D300 and use the Nikkor 18-200 and the 105 f/2.8. I also have the Sigma 10-20 which is fantastic. I've
    never owned Tamron, but I think it's important not to get persuaded by marketing. Most of us would be very hard
    pressed to really see the difference between manufacturers (assuming the same lens). I would almost bet the bank that
    if someone shot a gorgeous photo with a Sigma or Tamron and posted on here claiming it to be a Nikkor prime f/2.8 that
    no one would suspect anything different. There are many professionals out there traveling all over the world shooting for
    Nat Geo, using other than Nikon and Canon lenses.

    Nikon makes amazing glass, no doubt, but really one needs to determine the price/value ratio. If price isn't an issue,
    then why not shoot with the best lens you can? But if budget is an issue, then try to get the features you want (image
    stabilization, quality glass, f/2.8 or f/4, etc) and worry less about the brand name slapped on the side. I think so long as
    your looking at the top manufacturers, i.e. Nikon, Canon, Sigma, and Tamron, you'll be safe with the build quality. That
    said, there are definite differences between a Nikon 105 f/2.8 and a Sigma 150 f.28 in build quality (I own the Nikon 105,
    but seriously considered the 150 by sigma) - but again, it's the cost/value ratio.
  39. jam


    Despite what everybody says about Sigmas, I own equal number of Nikkors and Sigmas. I even use 18-50 f/2.8 and
    10-20mm, as my two primary lenses. I may be lucky guy, but I picked good copies on my first attempt.
  40. I've shot with many brands and Nikon glass is my first choice for all formats. I've enjoyed Schneider, Zeiss, Rodenstock, Sinar, Bronica, Mamiya, Tokina, Vivitar Series 1, Tamron, Sigma, and Kodak Ektar. Every manufacturer has it's gems and it's dogs. You can't say company X is all good and company Y is all bad, it's just not the case in my experience. But overall I prefer Nikon over everything else I've used. Zeiss is overpriced in my opinion.

    Great photos have been taken with average lenses. David Hamilton's gorgeous photos of young girls taken in the 1970s were made with ordinary Minolta cameras and lenses. I'd rather take a great photo with an average lens than an average photo with a great lens.
  41. Nothing. Nikon/Nikkor glass only for me.
  42. Dave:

    I totally agree with your comment on Zeiss being overpriced.
  43. I'm not sure this counts, but back in my film days, I was using the Hasselblad system and upon entering the digital age, I was relunctant to give up the MF format, especially because of the superb lens. I was using the Zeiss Sonar 180mm f4, Zeiss Planar 80mm f2.8 and the massive Zeiss Distagon 40mm f4. Anyway, I finally discovered quite by accident that there are adapters that will allow the Hasselblad lenses to be mounted on my D700. It's on the way, so I have yet to test the combos out, but according to research, it should work very well in terms of sheer IQ, although it works only in manual mode which is fine for me when doing studio work.

    Has anyone tried this combo? I know it's impractical as far as buying from scratch, but seeing that the Hassy lens were sitting in my closet, this seems to be a nice way to "bring them back to life!" Thoughts?

  44. I never used MF lenses on a 35mm or DSLR camera, but I`m pretty skeptical about it. Hassy lenses are big and heavy, with slow max. apertures and no metering benefits. It makes not worth it to use on a small format camera, thought.

    I really doubt than e.g. a Distagon 40/4 could bring anything that a 50/1.8 AFD could not. It`s also more than two stops slower. I wonder if the Planar or Sonnar have something interesting to offer, bokeh or whatever.

    Anyway, I surely would buy that adapter just for the fun.
  45. I totally agree with your comment on Zeiss being overpriced.
    Obviously these are specialty items, not intended for the mass market. If you don't see the difference due to technique or shooting conditions, then they are perhaps overpriced - though where I live, Zeiss lenses are similarly priced to new manual focus Nikkors, and between those two, the Zeiss are superior in sharpness though in practical shooting situations the difference is often less than in a rigorous test. Japanese glass are dumped into the U. S. market (priced lower than anywhere else), whereas Zeiss glass are priced in the USA about the same as in Europe (although many of them are made in Japan, but the company pricing policy is more favorable to European customers). I always wonder about the reasons for this but I suppose it's one of those curiosities in world politics and ages back to the second world war.
    For me, there are distinct gaps in the current Nikkor lineup, and Zeiss lenses fill in some of these gaps. I intend to get some more, ie. the 18mm and the 100mm. I do use Nikkors, new and old but I don't like the wobbly kind where the barrel shakes around and makes rattling and squeaking sounds as you focus and you never get a feeling of confidence when operating the lens. The extra sharpness of the ZF lenses is a bonus which is sometimes useful and sometimes not. For example, I like my 85mm f/1.4 AF-D Nikkor precisely the way it is, but never liked the 50/1.4 Nikkor much. Today the Nikon user has more options than ever before, which is great.
  46. I've tried most off brands and found them to be inferior both mechanically and optically.
    I will buy a used Nikkor over an off brand, and I have many times. I even prefer Nikon filters.
  47. it is not the maker, it is the lens. any maker can make a dud lens, that upon using or reviews is determined that it is a bad performing lens. rpt any maker.

    the best way to go is that if you are interested in a lens, look for reviews done by websites that you trust and see what they say. base your decision on objective evidence not a maker's label.

    i have a $110 zoom lens that is equal in performance to a $1100 zoom lens by a name maker. in a photo magazine the 2 lenses were tested in different reviews, in comparing the numbers they were identical. the magazine flatout stated that they did not know why the cheap lens was being sold at that super low price. they mentioned that it should have a price at least 5 times higher. i wouod not have known that if i didn't read the reviews. i bought the lens, and still use it. it produces excellant images.
  48. ... Why don`t tell us which lenses are these? :))
  49. My two main lenses are Sigma. They offer great build at a somewhat reasonable price. the Sigma 18 - 50 f/2.8 and 70 - 200 f/2.8. Both are excellent and have great IQ
  50. nikon, then nikon, then after that i'd probably have to go for nikon.
  51. No particular preference. Everyone makes some crappy lenses so I rely on reviews and a large sampling of opinions to narrow the field down to specific models.

  52. sigma has definitely raised the bar on their line. according to DPreview, their new 50/1.4 has the best IQ at wide apertures of any standard prime by any manufacturer (excluding Zeiss). their 150 macro, 120-300, 50-150 and 30 all exploit gaps in the nikkor lineup, though sample variation and QC continue to be a concern for some.

    IMO this is a good thing, since it's forced other manu's to step up their game (i.e., Tamron adding micromotors to 70-200, 17-50, 28-75, and 90 macro, tokina spinning off the 12-24 into the 11-16); they may even have had an effect on nikon (more AF-S lenses).

    going all-nikon clearly has snob appeal (as would going all-Zeiss), but its getting harder and harder to make a case for brand loyalty on that basis alone. for DX users, there's such a wide range of glass that it becomes easier to fit one's particular shooting style, which is what it's all about IMO. FX is a little tricker unless you have the cash to spend big bucks on the 14-24/24-70/70-200 combo, and i'm not sure we're gonna see a big rollout of new FF lenses by 3rd party manu's while DX is still selling like hotcakes on a consumer level. i think there will be some scattered FF-compatible glass here and there--like the sigma 50/1.4 and tamron 70-200, as well as film-era holdovers -- but D3/D700 owners clearly dont have as many attractive 3rd-party options at this time. for 3rd party lensmakers, they can spread R&D costs between different camera brands (Sony, Pentax, etc.) so closely following the DX market seems to make more sense in the immediate future than jumping feet-first into FX-optimized glass.
  53. Tamron SP, older Vivitar Series 1 and Kirons.

  54. I use Sigma glass where Nikon doesn't offer a similar lens such as the Sigma 50-150 F2.8, 120-300 F2.8, or 300-800 F5.6. I use all three of these lenses and no one else has anything close.
  55. Zeiss, Though MF the images they draw are in my opinion superior to Nikon. I've all the Nikon Pro Zooms from 17-35 f/2.8 through 70-200
    f/2.8 and with out a doubt this is the glass I'll use when "speed and action" are on the menu. When it comes to "deliberate and thought out
    image making" i'll go for my Zeiss optics.
  56. bmm


    For no scientific reason - and probably a hefty dose of OCD - its all Nikon for me. The only 3rd party lens that has seriously tempted me is the Tokina 11-16/2.8 due to the lack of a fast wide Nikon option short of the 14-24 (which is a waste on a DX-format D80).
  57. In addition to Nikon glass, I use the Tokina 90mm f/2.5 AIS macro. Wonderful lens!
  58. Sigma 50-150/2.8 DX, very good lens, and an optical design that Nikon should produce with FX coverage.
  59. I think it depends on the lens. Maybe I'm wrong but I'm willing to bet every lens manufacturer out there has produced a product that stunk as well as produced a product that was great.

    I'd go for Nikon 1st. But I have a Sigma 10-20mm that I absolutely love.
  60. Leica. If I hv more money they might be my first choice.
    I am one of those hardcore film fella. I just don't like to work with digital image unless i must for work.
  61. Sigma, because I was not going to pay $4,200 for a Nikon 28mm f/1.4. I purchased the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 for $430.
  62. Generally try and stay with Nikon for 35mm. I tried a couple of the well known makes that were cheaper but the quaility just wasnt there. Having said that I have had some bad Nikon lenses and some razor sharp lenses of other makes such as Minolta.

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