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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Des Plaines, IL
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    Post SIG vs Tok vs TAM

    Okay ... 20mm showdown at 1-foot (minimum focusing distance for the Tokina AF 20-35mm f/3.5-4.5)

    Okay ... all lenses set to an indicated 20mm, aperture set to f/5.6 and the lens swapped on a tripod mounted α700. Each lens was autofocused, several times, to remove any doubt.

    Ready ... GO!

    Tokina 20-35mm (age before beauty) 100% crop
    Name:  Tok-20-35mm-20mm-f56.jpg
Views: 299
Size:  69.0 KB

    SIGMA 10-20mm (our competing entry) 100% crop
    Name:  SIG-10-20mm-20mm-f56.jpg
Views: 300
Size:  74.6 KB

    TAMRON 17-50mm (staunch performer) 100% crop
    Name:  TAM-17-50mm-20mm-f56.jpg
Views: 302
Size:  82.5 KB


    Well, it's pretty clear that at 20mm, the SIGMA slightly outperformed the Tokina ... the image just looks better, clearer. The TAMRON ... as you can see ... just ran away with it. <Shrug> I know what I'm using for a 20mm shot. That contest is a no-brainer.

    I guess, to be honest, I expected just a little better performance out of the SIGMA, especially at the "far end." I mean, this was the Tokina's "widest-end", so what can you expect? TACK SHARP ... it ain't.

    Whatever!

    Still have yet to do distortion. Now, where are those goal posts?
    Last edited by DonSchap; 01-23-2008 at 09:31 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
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    Since I got the Whale Tail, I've wondered how it might work out with a 10mm-shot of a room. Well ... after trying it out ... Buzz! Not what I'd like. I then tried the direct flash idea, straight across to the subject ... Buzz ... rediculously directive.

    Okay ... the famed "ceiling bounce", on bended knee ... no diffuser over flash.
    Name:  no-diffuser-lens.jpg
Views: 308
Size:  225.5 KB
    Buzz ... not enough light, dark edges.

    Okay ... the little plastic flap diffuser extended over the flash lens ...
    Name:  diffuser-lens.jpg
Views: 304
Size:  215.5 KB
    Ding-Ding-Ding ... Folks, we have a winnah!

    Yeah ... that little diffuser darn near lit the room, using the lens' 10mm focal length. When you just want to light a room with a low ceiling, with no one in it, and all you have is your portable external flash ... this is how. When you add people ... well, then that's something else.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 01-24-2008 at 06:06 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Des Plaines, IL
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    Sharpness Adjustment

    Well, I knew I was going to regret going this SIGMA route and ... damn it, here we go, again! Remember: you have to pay shipping to send it back ... there goes another $30! I might as well just keep FedEx™ on the payroll.

    AM I being unreasonable? All I ask for is a lens I can pull from the box, place on my camera and it works ... as designed! If we are going to be expected to return the damn things, you can at least throw in a "return mailer" and cover the shipping. Cripes, this is no bargain! It's a SHAME!

    Sigma Corporation of America
    15 Fleetwood Ct.
    Ronkonkoma, NY 11779

    Attn: Service Department

    Dear SIGMA Repair:

    I was going to exchange my brand new SIGMA 10-20 f/4-5.6 DC EX (SONY-mount) lens with the retailer I bought it from, but they are currently out-of-stock, locally, and it is on backorder with no determined date of restock.

    Therefore, I am submitting this new lens to your facility for adjustment & calibration due to severe softening at 10mm, 17mm and 20mm settings.

    I have included several prints of the comparisons and what my SONY α700 camera is capable of with other lenses mounted. These measurements were taken at approximately 8 to 12 inches away from the subject, depending on the setting of the focal length and Minimum Focus Dist. of the comparison lens. I was informed that this lens is capable of a much higher-degree of sharpness, at these settings and I am concerned enough to have you take time out to examine and correct it, as much as possible.

    I would appreciate a timely turn-around (7-10 days) of what your Customer Service people are saying is becoming a rather "routine event" with your new lenses.

    Also, I would appreciate a detailed explanation of exactly why I should consider future SIGMA lens purchases for my camera, in light of this apparent "quality control issue" and "out-of-the-box" failures.


    Sincerely,
    Don Schap
    Certified Photographer
    Last edited by DonSchap; 02-09-2008 at 07:47 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Chicago, IL USA
    Posts
    935
    I wouldn't say you are being unreasonable. I considered your example photos to be unacceptable in my book.

    I had a tough decision some months back when I was in the market for an ultra-wide. I tried the Sigma 12-24 against the Nikon, and it was clear as day that the Nikon was sharper in all respects. I would have thought the Sigma would have been competitive against the Nikon considering it is designed for full frame and I was using the "sweet-spot" of the lens. The test shots showed that the Sigma just sucked. Maybe it was a bad copy, or maybe it was just a fact that the Nikkor is a much better lens.

    I never got to try the 10-20 as Helix did not have one in stock, but my mind was made up after using the Nikkor. I threw down my $1000 after tax and walked out the door never regretting my decision.

    The Nikkor still amazes me every time I shoot with it. Its very sharp between F/8 and F/11, and still produces fantastic results at larger apertures.

    Hopefully your calibrated 10-20 comes back working much better. If not, I would possibly hold out for a Tokina release. The Tamron just does nothing for me. I tried one out at a store about a year ago, and it was rather blah to me. Nothing really stood out and made me go "wow."
    Nikon D300 | MB-D10 | Nikkor 12-24/4 | Nikkor 50/1.8 | Nikkor 70-200/2.8 VRI | Sigma 18-50/2.8 | SB-800 | SB-80DX (x4) | Radiopopper JrX Studio |

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
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    TAMRON has announced their intention to build and release a 10-24mm UWA.

    Here's the news!

    TAMRON DEVELOPS SP AF10-24MM F/3.5-4.5 DI II LD ASPHERICAL (IF) (MODEL AB001)



    A New High Performance Zoom Lens Designed for Exclusive Use on Digital SLR Cameras Covering the Ultra Wide-Angle Range



    PMA, January 31, 2008, Las Vegas, NV— Mr. Morio Ono, President of Tamron Co., Ltd., announced the development of the SP AF10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di II LD Aspherical (IF) (Model AB001), a new high performance ultra wide-angle zoom lens designed exclusively for digital SLR cameras with APS-C size imagers.
    * “Di (Digitally-Integrated design)-II” lenses are designed for exclusive use on digital cameras with smaller-size imagers.
    * This lens is not designed for use with 35mm film cameras and digital SLR cameras with image sensors larger than 24mm x 16mm.

    The new SP AF10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di II LD Aspherical (IF) is an advanced ultra wide-angle zoom lens that is versatile and offers even higher performance and specifications than the current Tamron SP AF11-18mm F/4.5-5.6 zoom lens.

    The lens covers an extended focal length range that is particularly wide for an ultra wide-angle zoom lens, while improving the aperture to F/3.5-4.5 and keeping the filter diameter to 77mm. Its lightweight and compact size makes this new wide-angle zoom very user friendly.

    The lens was designed for use with digital SLR cameras and thereby employs special optical glass materials for outstanding optical performance such as large-aperture glass-molded aspherical elements and hybrid aspherical elements.


    Main Features

    Compact Ultra Wide-angle Zoom Lens Covering a Broad Range from 10mm to 24mm
    The new Tamron zoom covers a focal length range equivalent to 16-37mm* when converted to a 35mm full-size format. Its ultra-wide zoom ratio of more than 2X provides a versatile variety of angles of view, thus improving photographic creativity.
    *Tamron’s conversion ratio is 1.5x.

    Features an Optical Design Optimized for Digital Camera Characteristics Ensures High Optical Performance
    (1) Employment of Special Optical Glass Materials Provides High Performance The new zoom lens uses an HID glass element and a pair of LD glass elements to minimize on-axis and lateral chromatic aberrations that are the greatest hindrance to high optical quality. To further achieve outstanding optical quality, the lens uses a high quality, glass-molded aspherical element and three hybrid aspherical elements to thoroughly compensate for spherical and comatic aberrations and distortion.
    * HID – High Index/High Dispersion optical glass
    * LD – Low Dispersion optical glass

    (2) Optical Design Optimizes the Angles of Incidences of Light Rays Reaching the Imager The ultra wide zoom lens uses a new optical system designed to confine the changing angles of incidences of light rays reaching the imager within a certain scope over the entire image field from the center to the periphery, by considering the effects of variances due to zooming.

    (3) Enhanced Peripheral Illumination Peripheral light fall-off is minimized so that images are high quality from the center to the periphery.

    (4) Outstanding Resolution As an SP Di II class lens, it provides high optical quality in terms of resolution, contrast and flatness of image field.

    (5) Internal Surface Coating Reduces Ghosting and Flare The lens uses a newly developed multiple coating and internal surface coating, (i.e., multiple-layer coatings on cemented surfaces of plural lenses) to reduce the image degradation caused by the reflection of light rays entering from the lens front and affected by the imager.

    Ultra Compact and Lightweight Design
    The new zoom lens covers a wider focal length range with a greater zoom ratio and offers a faster maximum aperture and enhanced optical quality than the existing SP AF11-18mm zoom lens. Despite higher specifications that are likely to incur a bulky design, the new zoom lens is lightweight and compact. Tamron has successfully realized a versatile ultra wide-angle zoom lens that is lightweight and compact enough in overall length and diameter to accept a 77mm filter, the same as the existing SP AF11-18mm zoom lens.

    Minimum Focus Distance of 0.24m throughout the Entire Zoom Range
    Considering the importance of “close focusing capability” as an essential condition in wide-angle photography, Tamron has achieved a 0.24m minimum focus distance over the entire zoom range. Getting closer to the subject allows you to easily express a more creative photographic vision.

    Flower-shaped Lens Hood
    A glare-reducing flower-shaped lens hood is included as a standard accessory. The special hood provides optimum shading of superfluous light rays that enter from the rectangular frame outside the image field.

    New External Design Conveying “High Performance, High Precision Image” on the Basis of Tamron’s Conventional Lens Design
    The external design is improved to enhance the uniformity and smoothness. The metallic finish of the gold band of Tamron lenses makes it stand out as a Di II lens, while the layout of alphanumerical markings is improved for better visibility. The rubber patterns of the zoom and focus rings have also been improved to compliment today’s digital camera design style and to provide better handling.



    Specifications
    Tamron SP AF10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di-II LD Aspherical [IF]
    Model Name AB001
    Focal Length 10-24mm
    Maximum Aperture F/3.5-4.5
    Minimum Aperture F/22
    Angle Of View 108 44' - 60 20' (APS-C size equivalent)
    Lens Construction 12 elements / 9 groups
    MFD (Minimum Focus Distance) 0.24m (entire zoom range)
    Diaphragm Blades 7
    Filter Size 77mm
    Size (Diameter x Length) 3.3 in. x 3.4 in. (83.2mm x 86.5mm)*
    Weight 370g (13.1 oz)*
    Max. Mag. Ratio 1:5.1 (at f=24mm)
    Standard Accessory Flower-Shaped hood
    Compatible Mount Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony
    *specifications based on Nikon mount
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    3
    Don,
    Whatever happened to your Sigma lens? I am looking to buy this exact same lens for my a350, but now I am not so sure that I want to purchase the Sigma instead of the Tamron or the Tokina.

    What did Sigma have to say about their quality control issue?

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
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    I looked at the time and costs involved in returning the SIGMA for a "tweak" (the problem was not severe enough to give up the lens) ... and decided not to. I need the lens for my regular shooting, at events ... and most (85%) of the stuff I shoot is at distances where a snappy, sharp focus would go truly unappreciated. Indeed, I have other glass in my bag (17-50mm zoom, 90mm MACRO, 180mm MACRO) that I can use for the real sharp-looking, close-up work. Unfortunately, many others on the forum do not have that kind of fall back available to them.

    The best idea I can put forth, at this juncture, is to go ahead and buy the lens and just check it out, thoroughly ... because, it looks like SIGMA certainly DID NOT do the rock solid QA we would love to see and expect in our optics. These puppies are still on the shelves, just like mine was. They need a good looking at, by an interested party (YOU) to determine if they are indeed sharp ... and if not, SEND IT BACK BEFORE YOU REALLY NEED IT.

    I still have until January 2009 to get mine returned to SIGMA. If I do happen to pick up a TAMRON SP AF 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di LD ... you can bet that I will then take the time (normally 2-months there and back again), because my bases will be covered, at that point.

    The 10-20mm seems to be a nice lens ... but, I am still, personally, looking forward to the new TAMRON. Others may disagree ... and that's fine, but ... their glass works pretty well for what I do with it.

    Good luck in your decision. We've all been there.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560
    Since UWA questions have reared their heads (Sean ... ), I thought I would roll out this thread, that discussed it. It's worth a look, in light of the new TAMRON 10-24
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Ohio, USA.
    Posts
    1,161
    What can I say? was a very slow day at work, all our judges were out or doing writing days no hearings scheduled at all, 3 of the 6 people in my office on vacation, the sun was trying to shine, motivation wayned, sooooooooooooo photography research day!! ahh I do enjoy to see activity on the old forum.
    Sony A700_____________Minolta AF 50mm. F/1.7
    Minolta AF 70-210mm F/3.5-4.5 Tamron AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR DiII LD Asp. [IF]
    Tamron SP AF 70-200mm. F/2.8 DI LD [IF] Macro
    Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2
    Tokina AF 28-70mm F/3.5-4.5
    Tokina AF AT-X 80-400mm F/4.5-5.6
    http://flickr.com/

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
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    Thumbs up Warranty repair/adjustment completed

    The SIGMA AF 10-20mm f/4-5.6 DC EX was submitted by to SIGMA Corp for repair on December 13th, 2008. It returned, today (January 9, 2009).

    I then did a check to see how it measured up to the last set of images I took, comparing it. This was a tripod shot, using the A100 ... and the only item changed was the lenses. I initially set my exposure with the SIGMA ... thinking a good f/5.6 would be f/5.6 throughout the shoot. Unfortunately, not really ... apparently the manufacturer's must have some disagreement here ... because although I did nothing to the lighting, the exposure sure changed, as I swapped lenses. The TAMRON & KM shot a lot brighter, by almost a full f-stop. They actually look over-exposed ... and remember, this was a "manual shot" (M-mode) ... all settings fixed.

    Here they are ... with a surprise or two @ 18mm - f/5.6 - ISO 100 - External flash set on TTL - EV=0 - FV=+1 - Manual Mode - Dsitance to subject: 10-inches

    SIGMA AF 10-20 4-5.6 DC EX
    Name:  10-20mm-f56-@-18.jpg
Views: 75
Size:  96.6 KB

    Konica-Minolta AF 17-35mm f/2.8-4 "D"
    Name:  KM17-35mm-f56-@-18.jpg
Views: 71
Size:  96.5 KB

    TAMRON SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF)
    Name:  T17-50mm-f56-@-18.jpg
Views: 82
Size:  94.0 KB

    TAMRON AF 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 ZR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF)
    Name:  T18-250mm-f56-@-18.jpg
Views: 76
Size:  95.3 KB

    The real surprise is the comparison shot with the TAMRON 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 lens. The "Utility Lens" turned in some excellent results ... and once again, renews my faith in its ability to deliver. A truly super "all-around" lens.


    Anyway, just for review: Here is the initial SIGMA AF 10-20mm f/4-5.6 DC EX O-O-T-B shot to caused my concern and sent the lens off for manufacturer's warranty adjustment.

    B4 Adjustment
    Name:  Prior SIG-10-20mm-20mm-f56.jpg
Views: 76
Size:  74.6 KB

    AFTA Adjustment
    Name:  10-20mm-f56-@-18.jpg
Views: 75
Size:  96.6 KB

    The focus has definitely been improved to acceptable standards.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 01-09-2009 at 06:01 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

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