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View Full Version : Four Lenses for Canon SLR's Compared



jamison55
03-19-2005, 09:06 PM
I had a chance to go out today and test my new Sigma 18-50 f2.8. I wanted to see how it compared to my Tamron 28-75 f2.8 for sharpness and contrast, and how much of an improvement it is over the 18-55 kit lens. For kicks, I also threw in my 50 f1.8. I shot comparisons at 18, 28, and 50mm at full stop increments between f2.8 and f11.

I threw my samples up on a junk bit of web space I had lying around: http://rain.prohosting.com/jwexler/lens_comparisons.htm

So which do you think wins...?

speaklightly
03-19-2005, 09:21 PM
Thank you, Jamison-

I really do appreciate the chance to compare these lenses.

Sarah Joyce

Bluedog
03-19-2005, 10:07 PM
Top notch job for sure. The Sigma seems to be more Vivid/Brighter rendering a more appealing over color balance.

Making a note of this lens for future reference.

NewTekBuzz
03-20-2005, 03:46 AM
I agree with Bluedog... the sigma looks the best, as it should for $450 ;)

gary_hendricks
03-20-2005, 05:45 AM
I'd say the Sigma has a nicer color tone.

D70FAN
03-20-2005, 06:54 AM
I had a chance to go out today and test my new Sigma 18-50 f2.8. I wanted to see how it compared to my Tamron 28-75 f2.8 for sharpness and contrast, and how much of an improvement it is over the 18-55 kit lens. For kicks, I also threw in my 50 f1.8. I shot comparisons at 18, 28, and 50mm at full stop increments between f2.8 and f11.

I threw my samples up on a junk bit of web space I had lying around: http://rain.prohosting.com/jwexler/lens_comparisons.htm

So which do you think wins...?

The differences are, well, stunning even at f8. This might explain why the XT shots I've seen so far look so bad. Maybe Canon needs to rethink their low cost lens option and make a deal with Sigma and Tamron to supply the lenses.

I'm not sure that most people moved over to the Tamron when comparing on your site, as it definately delivers on all fronts. Color, contrast, and sharpness all very nice. Probably the reason it rates so highly. For $329 (after rebate it's a heck of a lens).

Thanks again for the comparison. You need to make a deal with Sigma and Tamron as I would bet they will see an increase in sales just from this board alone. ;)

jamison55
03-20-2005, 08:03 AM
I'm not sure that most people moved over to the Tamron when comparing on your site, as it definately delivers on all fronts. Color, contrast, and sharpness all very nice. Probably the reason it rates so highly. For $329 (after rebate it's a heck of a lens).

From real life experience I expected the Tamron to do well, and it definitely continues to deliver. I was most surprised that both the Sigma and Tamron were such strong performers against the Canon 50 f1.8. To my eye, they were both sharper at f2.8!

I am also pleased with the new Sigma. It is a clear improvement over the Canon in sharpness, color, and contrast, and is pretty darn close to the Tamron. It will definitely meet my needs for a fast, sharp wide angle.

After the test shots, I walked around the city for a little while with the Sigma. Here's more of a day-to-day shot that shows off the sharpness of the lens: (ISO400 f2.8)

jamison55
03-20-2005, 08:04 AM
A 100% crop of the same - straight from the camera:

Bluedog
03-20-2005, 02:22 PM
This might explain why the XT shots I've seen so far look so bad. Maybe Canon needs to rethink their low cost lens option and make a deal with Sigma and Tamron to supply the lenses.

George I think you might have really hit the nail of the head with the statement. I for one have not been impressed with a lot of the images posted around the net, namely the ones using the Kit lens. I wanna see Sarah's results and others using something other than the $100 lens.

I did see some pretty good photos on pbase not taken with the Kit.

These results and the not being able to see the LCD in bright sunlight (read that in a review but wanna know other experiences) will be a deciding factor in making a future purchase on one these cameras.

D70FAN
03-20-2005, 03:42 PM
George I think you might have really hit the nail of the head with the statement. I for one have not been impressed with a lot of the images posted around the net, namely the ones using the Kit lens. I wanna see Sarah's results and others using something other than the $100 lens.

I did see some pretty good photos on pbase not taken with the Kit.

These results and the not being able to see the LCD in bright sunlight (read that in a review but wanna know other experiences) will be a deciding factor in making a future purchase on one these cameras.

I posted a shot on the Photo Gallery boards called Spring Has Spung. This with a D70 and Sigma 18-125 DC straight out of the camera. I am always amazed at some of the shots with this lens (and of course the camera).

Mr. Peabody
03-20-2005, 04:52 PM
Great reviews.

I can't wait to get my Tamron lens in the mail.

Bluedog
03-20-2005, 05:38 PM
I posted a shot on the Photo Gallery boards called Spring Has Spung. This with a D70 and Sigma 18-125 DC straight out of the camera. I am always amazed at some of the shots with this lens (and of course the camera).

Yea your D70 shots are per say: sweet. I wanna that lens coupled with the XT. Decisions Decisions ... :rolleyes:

D70FAN
03-20-2005, 06:11 PM
Yea your D70 shots are per say: sweet. I wanna that lens coupled with the XT. Decisions Decisions ... :rolleyes:

I'm not sure of the thought process here, but why would you buy an XT if you are not going to use Canon lenses? The D70 is as good, or better than the XT. MegaPixels does not a dSLR make...

eagle17
03-20-2005, 06:29 PM
sorry george I have to take another exception with you, we have not seen a single full noise comparison, yes I know about noise ninja but I do not like to add yet another app to my already full post processing workflow.

of course I do want to Echo what you say about megapixel... don't buy into the hype..... I have seen a d2h and canon 1d produce blowups that put the 6megapixel D70 and dreb to shame. (the d2h and 1D are both 4 megapixel cams).

more to the point why buy a Nikon if you aren't going to use nikor lenses? it can be the same thing... personally I do not like the plastic feel of either the canon dreb/Xt or the nikon D70. I currently still see a better path in the canon line of cameras for this year if you are planning on upgrading in the next 12-18 months. if you will only use this camera than the nikon is a great camera however I think the 1dm2 and the 1dsm2 are better than the nikon counterparts (the d2x).


of course this is only my opinion so please go out and try as many cameras as you can before buying that is your best bet... BTW the one feature the D70 has that none of the lower end canons have (includeing the D20) is spot metering which for many compisitions is very nice.. I use a seksonic 508 for this myself but not many people want to cary around an extra metoring device or they are not proaoctical for there type of shooting.

Bluedog
03-20-2005, 06:53 PM
I'm not sure of the thought process here, but why would you buy an XT if you are not going to use Canon lenses? The D70 is as good, or better than the XT. MegaPixels does not a dSLR make...

Sorry George as my typing and proof reading before posting isn't always the best. I meant to have said: "I wanna see that lens coupled with the XT." As in end results photo wise. I do understand the MP comparison.

Thanks

D70FAN
03-20-2005, 08:41 PM
Sorry George as my typing and proof reading before posting isn't always the best. I meant to have said: "I wanna see that lens coupled with the XT." As in end results photo wise. I do understand the MP comparison.

Thanks

Ah... me too. The XT has to be better than what I've seen so far.

TheObiJuan
03-21-2005, 12:03 AM
I will be happy to oblige soon. :D
I will see if my friend will let me borrow her 70-200 f/4L so I can do some tests similar to this with my 350D. I will also use my 50mm f1.8, kit lens, and the canon 75-300 just to compare to the 70-200 with.

Jamison55, thanks for spending the time to take the pics and then make a webpage for them too! Your efforts help out many people.

I am saving up for the sigma 70-200 2.8 and will also do some tests to compare my friends canon 70-200 f/4L at f/4 and smaller.

and I will also do some 100% crops at all the available ISO's for people who have concerns about noise. ;)

jamison55
03-21-2005, 03:33 AM
I am saving up for the sigma 70-200 2.8 and will also do some tests to compare my friends canon 70-200 f/4L at f/4 and smaller.

I was set to buy the Sigma 70-200 next, but I just picked up a Canon 80-200 2.8L for around the same price. I'll post some pics from it as soon as it arrives. Incidently, for those who are looking for a great place to buy used gear, I have found the Fred Miranda Buy and Sell forum to be quite the candy store...

ttmatsu
05-25-2005, 08:37 PM
Great comparison. That Tamron you have is incredibly sharp wide open. I was wondering which of the two had the more true (Sigma versus kit) color in the beginning examples then the Tamron backed up the color rendition of the Sigma as did the 50mm.

jamison55
05-26-2005, 06:21 AM
Great comparison. That Tamron you have is incredibly sharp wide open. I was wondering which of the two had the more true (Sigma versus kit) color in the beginning examples then the Tamron backed up the color rendition of the Sigma as did the 50mm.

I think both the Tamron and Sigma are a little warm, but I tend to like a slightly warmer tone in the subjects I shoot...

24Peter
05-26-2005, 08:41 AM
Thanks again for your comparison Jamison.

Just a word of caution to the XT owners out there considering the Tamron 28-75 - Jamison's shots were taken with a 20D. My experience with that lens on my XT was much more hit or miss. In fact, at f2.8-4.5 in the 28-55mm range the lens is very, very soft. Unusable in my opinion. I sent the lens back to Tamron and even after re-calibration, it was the same. I just found out today they are authorizing a refund to me because they acknowledge the problem. And in fact, there are lengthy threads on the XT/350D/300D dpreview forum of many other XT users having identical problems with this lens. The problem seems to be limited to the XT since I don't recall any original Rebel 300d people having issues.

Also - re: the Canon 50mm 1.8 II - IMHO this is really an f4 lens since in my experience anything below that is soft (esp. at f1.8-3.5) and I have seen many other posts confirming this. For $69 it's still a good lens but don't think you'll be getting sharp shots at f1.8.

jamison55
05-26-2005, 08:50 AM
That's good info on the XT...I wonder if Canon is up to a little trickery (since they have certainly lost sales of the 24-70L because of the Tammy!). It is equally as good on my DReb (300D) as it is on my 20D.

I disagree on the 50 f1.8, I have really had some extrordinarily sharp results from mine right down to f1.8. I find that at portrait distances it is possible to get tack sharp shots, but difficult due to the extremely shallow DOF. FOr me it seems to be hit or miss, but when I hit it is amazingly sharp!

TheObiJuan
05-26-2005, 09:01 AM
Thanks again for your comparison Jamison.

Just a word of caution to the XT owners out there considering the Tamron 28-75 - Jamison's shots were taken with a 20D. My experience with that lens on my XT was much more hit or miss. In fact, at f2.8-4.5 in the 28-55mm range the lens is very, very soft. Unusable in my opinion. I sent the lens back to Tamron and even after re-calibration, it was the same. I just found out today they are authorizing a refund to me because they acknowledge the problem. And in fact, there are lengthy threads on the XT/350D/300D dpreview forum of many other XT users having identical problems with this lens. The problem seems to be limited to the XT since I don't recall any original Rebel 300d people having issues.

Also - re: the Canon 50mm 1.8 II - IMHO this is really an f4 lens since in my experience anything below that is soft (esp. at f1.8-3.5) and I have seen many other posts confirming this. For $69 it's still a good lens but don't think you'll be getting sharp shots at f1.8.



The same issue is for all of the EOS cameras. Many people post 100% crops with their 1dmk2s or 1dsmk2s and have the same issues.
With cheap lenses you get a lot of quality control issues. Tamron's super sharp lens is a hit or miss. One guy posted that he had to buy 7 of them to get his super sharp copy and he will never sell it. Some other guy, I presume a guy, sent his in 3 times to get calibrated. Did you send your's in with the camera?

There is no difference bw the 20D and the 350D, at all.

Regarding the 50mm I have no qualms with mine. I can use it at f/2.2 and get sharp pictures. Then at f/3.5 very sharp pictures.


Here is picture of my fiance' at her birthday party. Handheld to boot.
f/2.5 @ 1/80 ISO 400.

http://www.styleandspeed.com/theobijuan/pics/IMG_5709_small.jpg

The shot is very sharp, and this is a reduced size picture, they always get softer when reduced too.

Find someone with a 20D locally and test your lens out on it. Or go to besbuy and do a comparison shooting it with your lens, then your camera with it.

jamison55
05-26-2005, 11:18 AM
Juan, you should get your Fiance to model for you more often! She has lovely eyes and beautiful hair...she'd make your portfolio look really good!

TheObiJuan
05-26-2005, 11:43 AM
Thanks!
I wish I could get her to pose more. She is frustrated with my photographic habit. :p

She is allowing me to do a little photoshoot for our wedding this Saturday though. :D

If only she knew that this pic is online. I would probably be castrated. She is pretty shy.

jamison55
05-26-2005, 12:06 PM
My wife was a little shy when I first "caught the bug" as well. But she started to see how good she looked in photos, and now she is my most willing model (and my favorite as well, she has realy become quite good).

The secret? Figure out the angles and poses that make her look good. Maker her feel beautiful, and she will always jump at a chance to model!

TheObiJuan
05-26-2005, 12:17 PM
I have a flash document that has over 300 or so poses. She went through a bunch and drew the ones she likes. Every now and then, when she asks, we use the poses to photographer her. I sure could use some AB800's and softboxes/umbrellas.

jamison55
05-26-2005, 12:27 PM
Would you mind sharing that document? I'd love to have a look as I am always searching for new, creative ways to pose my subjects. Email it if you can. TIA.

Oh yeah, and be sure to post some images from your wedding this weekend. With all of the preparation you put into it, I can't wait to see how it turns out!

TheObiJuan
05-26-2005, 01:16 PM
message sent. ;)

aparmley
05-26-2005, 07:00 PM
OBI - I second Jamisons comments on your fiance, I am going through the exact same as him and you, the shy girlfriend/fiance/wife. She really shouldn't be shy, very beautiful and gorgeous eyes. Congratulations on the engagement and upcoming wedding! The best of luck to you both! I also look forward to those wedding pictures! Very sharp picture BTW, I also can get sharp results at F/1.8, but I have noticed There is a sweetspot as far as distance is concerned... too far and focus is too soft, to near DOF is hard to control and some of the subject blurs... If I can recall correctly, the sweetspot on my camera for good sharp heads and shoulders is about 8-10 feet, somewhere in there... at least this is how it seems to me, I have a few portrait shots from a little further away that were soft and I have some closer shots that some of the hair blurred a bit and the shoulder edges were a little blurry as well, not crisp if you follow me... Still learning though...

TheObiJuan
05-26-2005, 07:14 PM
Thank you for your kind comments. :p

I hope the 30mm sigma gives nice bokeh like the 50's do.

jamison55
05-27-2005, 04:32 AM
message sent. ;)

Got it. Thanks!

Bluedog
05-27-2005, 05:32 AM
Thanks!

If only she knew that this pic is online. I would probably be castrated. She is pretty shy.

Sounds like someone I know ... :rolleyes:

Congratulations on getting married. Are you guys going on a honeymoon?

D70FAN
05-27-2005, 08:56 AM
Thank you for your kind comments. :p

I hope the 30mm sigma gives nice bokeh like the 50's do.

Another one bites the dust. Seriously though I hope that you have as good a marriage as I have for the past 34 years. It's been a great journey so far.

Your future wife is lovely, and I'm sure that you realize your fortune.

Best wishes on your nuptials.

eagle17
05-27-2005, 12:21 PM
Thanks again for your comparison Jamison.

Just a word of caution to the XT owners out there considering the Tamron 28-75 - Jamison's shots were taken with a 20D. My experience with that lens on my XT was much more hit or miss. In fact, at f2.8-4.5 in the 28-55mm range the lens is very, very soft. Unusable in my opinion. I sent the lens back to Tamron and even after re-calibration, it was the same. I just found out today they are authorizing a refund to me because they acknowledge the problem. And in fact, there are lengthy threads on the XT/350D/300D dpreview forum of many other XT users having identical problems with this lens. The problem seems to be limited to the XT since I don't recall any original Rebel 300d people having issues.



I disagree with this as I own both the 20D and the rebelXT. I get the exact same sharpness on both cameras with my tamron 28-75. I do find the lens warm (on both) when shooting with out a flash but with a flash the color is far more correct. also it is very easy to fix overal color in post processing so this should not be too big of an issue (unless you are a photojurnalyst who needs to sell his shots minutes after taking them).

I do believe you when you say that your copy was not sharp as there have been many complaitns from people on different boards about the sharpness wide open on this lens. this is however a problem with those specific lenses and not the camera model. I was lucky to receive a sharp lens when I purchased mine.

TheObiJuan
05-27-2005, 05:11 PM
Royal Carribean cruise, going to Florida Keys, Grand Caymen, and Cozumel.
Lots of pics to come. ;)

Bluedog
05-27-2005, 09:18 PM
You guys will have fun. If you have time in Key West be sure and visit the Earnest Hemingway Home and the Key West Lighthouse across the street. Its a short distance from where they let the Cruise ships dock ... the wife and myself are heading to Vegas and the Grand Canyon tomorrow ourselves.

lawhamptons
11-19-2008, 01:43 PM
I've tried to access Jamison Wexler's review of the various zoom lens, but the site bounces me. Does anyone know the present URL for this. Thanks. lawhamptons@optonline.net

droopy1592
11-19-2008, 01:52 PM
After reading the failure rates on lensrentals.com, I'm skurred of Sigma lenses, but I'm tempted by the 18-50 and 50mm f/1.4

jamison55
11-20-2008, 07:01 AM
Sorry, I took that page down a while ago when I switched webhosts.

Suffice it to say that the Sigma 18-50 was the sharpest of the bunch. Very nice optics in that lens.

HOWEVER

6 months later I got rid of it in favor of a Canon 17-40 f4. The reason? I started shooting weddings professionally and the Sigma had a really tough time focusing in dark reception venues...even when I used it with a flash with an AF Assist grid. I would either miss shots because it wouldn't lock focus or it would give me a focus confirm, but the resulting image was OOF.

So, bottom line is that it had awesome optics, and was a crackerjack of a lens in the daytime, but failed in low light situations.

Rhys
11-20-2008, 08:34 AM
I have the 28-75 Tamron and the 17-85 Canon. The Canon performs well on my XT and my 30D. The Tamron I have not yet tried on my 30D but is inaccurate on my XT. Having said that, the 17-35 Tamron is not good on my XT at all. On my 30D it's really quite good. It seems the XT is very finicky about which lens you use on it. When finances and the wife allow I might get a 2nd 30D.

adam75south
11-20-2008, 02:45 PM
i was really confused at first when reading the thread.