DPReview Top Picks: Stand-out third party lenses

When you buy into a new camera system, it can be tempting to only consider lenses of the same make as your camera. But other lens manufacturers also produce interesting alternatives, some of which provide unique capabilities, or simply excellent quality at a relatively low price. So it can be well worth exploring these offerings too.

Who else makes lenses for my camera?

The main third party manufacturers are Sigma, Tamron and Tokina, and all three make fully-featured autofocus lenses for SLRs, often including such goodies as ultrasonic-type focus motors, image stabilisation and (occasionally) weathersealing. Another name to look out for is Samyang, which makes inexpensive manual focus primes with a reputation for very decent optics; the same lenses are also rebadged and sold under the Rokinon, Bower, Opteka and Pro Optic labels. At the other end of the scale, Zeiss and Voigtländer make premium manual focus primes with the emphasis on optical quality (and prices to match). 

How are the lenses in this article chosen?

In this article, we're highlighting our pick of stand-out third party lenses. By this we mean lenses that offer something that the camera manufacturers own options can't match, either in terms of zoom range, maximum aperture, or value for money. This does mean that many of the lenses we've picked are quite expensive, because outstanding features can command a high price. There are plenty of inexpensive lenses worth buying too though, but while they tend to be good value, they're generally not quite as outstanding in terms of optics or features.

Here's the full list of the lenses we've picked, and why. Click on any lens name to see full specs, user reviews and sample images (opens in a new tab/window):

Comments

Total comments: 79
vharwood
By vharwood (3 months ago)

Went in to store today to check out this lens. (Tamron 70 200) Neither I nor the salesman could get it to achieve focus. He finally told me, he had had other complaints about this lens. Does anyone have any experience with this lens and a Nikon camera. We tried it on a D 610 but he said complaints had been with a variety of bodies.??

Comment edited 41 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Rolleix
By Rolleix (3 weeks ago)

Nosing but good. No complains here really.

0 upvotes
RCardwell
By RCardwell (2 weeks ago)

Fast and quiet. Mine focuses accurately. Smooth bokeh. The hood does not go on easily and I learned the hard way to check that it fully clicks in place. The first event I shot with it, a 5k, resulted in a lot of shots with black corners because I did not know the hood had worked loose. I learned that it needs to be twisted on quite hard to lock in place. It seems to perform as well as the Canon for $1000 less. This is a tank of a lens that will give you tendonitis if you lug it around all weekend at Comic Con. I am quite happy with mine.

0 upvotes
DGurney
By DGurney (4 months ago)

Can anyone explain why 35mm lenses are so big? The 30 mentioned in the intro is smaller, as is a 50mm (at least based on the Canon 50mm I have).

The Canon 35mm is relatively huge too. What's the deal?

1 upvote
PK24X36NOW
By PK24X36NOW (4 months ago)

Sorry, but if there is any lens that belongs on this "stand outs" list of 3rd party lenses, it's the Sigma 300-800 f5.6. THAT is a "stand out" lens. The vaunted camera makers don't have any current zoom with a maximum focal length longer than 400mm. Pathetic! The "Sigmonster," as it is affectionately known, is the ultimate telephoto lens, covering the complete range of focal lengths from 300mm to 800mm, at a reasonably fast (for this reach) f5.6 CONSTANT aperture. You would need a steamer trunk full of big, heavy, expensive primes to match only a limited patchwork of SOME of the focal lengths covered by the Sigmonster alone.

I'd also vote for the Sigma 12-24 f4.5-5.6 (FF) to be on this list, as the widest rectilinear zoom lens in existence (the 8-16 APS-C lens is not quite as wide). With almost NO distortion, it is also a "stand out" lens, and is another example of Sigma pushing the envelope beyond where the ultra-conservative camera makers dare to go with their lens offerings.

0 upvotes
birdbrain
By birdbrain (4 months ago)

Isn't the Lens Baby the cheapest tilt shift?

0 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (4 months ago)

No; LensBabies are 'selective focus' lenses which tilt, but don't shift as such. 'Proper' TS lenses also offer graduated, locking tilt and shift movements - Lensbabies are designed to be moved around freehand. Most of the optical units are deliberately uncorrected, too, so tilting the lens is used to move a zone of sharp(ish) focus around the frame, rather than control depth of field.

The exception to this is the Edge 80, which is reasonably sharp across the frame and can be used more like a conventional tilt lens.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 42 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
munro harrap
By munro harrap (4 months ago)

Sigma's three new lenses all seem good, but I have serious doubts because they cannot focus manually on Nikon bodies. Can any company so uncaring make a good lens? I ask myself. I would certainly be very interested in their products if I could use them on my camera, and I am absolutely certain that I am not alone in this. Tamron can manage it, Tokina can manage it, Samyang manage it, but Sigma refuse to be bothered.

Furthermore I have read other reviews using APS-C as the reference AND I note from Sigma's website that they use their own Foveon sensors to design and test these new Art lens designs. As no full-frame Foveon sensors are known to exist, who would want a machine designed for an APS-C sized camera (or smaller as they claim they used their SD1)?

Are these tests for real? and is a company that sells Nikon fit lenses a serious proposition if they simply cannot be bothered at any price to make them compatible with the focusing systems of the host bodies?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (4 months ago)

Almost nothing in this post is correct.

1) Of course Sigma lenses can focus manually on Nikon bodies. Which ones do you think can't, and why? Are you simply getting confused by the fact that the focus ring turns the opposite way, which obviously isn't the same thing?

2) Plenty of reviews - including our own - have tested Sigma's DG lenses on full frame and found them to be excellent. Your claim that they are designed for APS-C is entirely wrong. (The DC lenses are, of course, designed only for APS-C.)

3) The size of the chip used in Sigma's proprietary 'A1' testing system (note: not the SD1) is almost irrelevant. It's entirely possible to test the whole of the full frame image area using either multiple chips or multiple measurements.

4) Incidentally, the size of the current 15MP X3 Foveon APS-C sensor is the same as most others - 1.5x crop, not 1.7x as you appear to believe.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Profwsa
By Profwsa (4 months ago)

I have to strongly disagree with munro. I own two Sigma lenses, the APO 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM and the 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro, and use both with my Nikon D3100 and D7100. Both are APS-C formats. Both lenses work great. Not sure what you are talking about when you say "they cannot focus manually on Nikon bodies." That is absolutely incorrect. The truth is, you should be able to focus any lens 'manually.' Even if you meant "automatically," that also would be incorrect since many of their lenses are designed with the HSM motor for AF on Nikon entry level cameras without a built-in focus motor. Both of my Sigma lenses work on my D3100 which does not have a built in motor. This is not an issue on the D7100 as it does. As for manual focus, both lenses have fulltime manual focus even while in autofocus mode. If I understand your post, you are incorrect my friend.

0 upvotes
munro harrap
By munro harrap (4 months ago)

Well, Nikon designed a lot of lenses with their APS-C sensor in mind-they reckoned that was OK, it isn't. I bought the 24-70 f2.8 Nikkor new twice. Twice I had to return it. Twice I had to get a refund, and who gets it in the neck from the retailer? The customer.

What does Dpreview do to ensure we get stuff supplied to us in good condition when the average online retailer in the UK cant pack, wont pack for toffee, let alone a multi-element zoom lens costing a fortune. They arrive in the boxes they are sold in in the shops with no proper packing, the lenshoods jammed on in reverse, etc.Now review lenses are not treated this way.they are couriered by the manufacturer's lackeys and presented to drooling reviewers hoping for free samples on velvet cushions!!

So what gets reviewed is not what gets purchased. Naturfotograf's guy admits he needed a crate of 17-35mm f2.8 nikkors (cost now £1500 each) to get a good one, and we cannot cherrypick as you can.

You have enough now for 2014!!

0 upvotes
BrianWig
By BrianWig (4 months ago)

Trade-in value for third party lenses is likely to be VERY much less than for camera manufacturers' lenses.

0 upvotes
armin304
By armin304 (4 months ago)

I don't know, how often you trade in your lenses, but in the few cases I did, the loss wasn't very high. Example: I bought the Tokina 4/12-24 in the first year it was on the market for 400€ new and sold it after 5 years of use for 300€. If I had bought the Nikon 4/12-24, not only the initial invest would have been much higher, but the absolute loss in money after 5 years also.

1 upvote
white shadow
By white shadow (4 months ago)

Not all original brand lenses will keep its value better. It all depends on the particular lens whether it is highly rated or not. Some original lens like the Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4.0-5.6 has less second value because of imperfections like higher barrel distortion at the wide angle and some zoom crept.

Third party lenses like Zeiss and Voigtlander keep its value better or even sells for more because of short supply. The Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95 micro 4/3 lens is a good example. One hardly lose much with the Zeiss 35mm f/2.0 or the Zeiss 21mm f/2.8.

Finally, it also depend on the condition of the lens. If a particular lens has been used by a photojournalist its value will be much less as it will tend to have higher wear and tear.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
munro harrap
By munro harrap (4 months ago)

THese are not results from USE! I have tried reviews of the new Sigma ART 24-105mm and downloaded sample photographs from lenstip.com that clearly show that the lens is unusable if there is a light source in the image. Terrible flare and coma, really quite dreadful, so we need not an A list, but samples like lenstip provide that prove HOW a lens acts in daily use. I had the old EX DG 24-70 Sigma and again, there being no lenshood protection effective at all, the image was dreadful at 70mm. I dont know about you, but what IS all this about numbers? I could'nt care less if the resolution is fantastic IF it resolves flare and coma fantastically well as well. Mark you checking through DXO results today, an awful lot of lenses are no good on new sensors, resolving only 8, 9 or 11 megapixels on 24 and 36 MP sensors, so we have a problem in that we are simply now uprezzing lower quality images as the magnification gives a bloated result in very many cases.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
white shadow
By white shadow (4 months ago)

Despite all the hype about Sigma lenses recently, the true quality of their lenses are still questionable. Since they reverse engineer most if not all their lenses, most still suffer from AF problems. Optically, they maybe better now but they still suffer from flare and other problems. It is still more of a cheaper alternative than a choice.

The only third party lens which is reliable is Zeiss. Build quality, finish and optics are first class. One can easily choose them on top of the original lenses. Probably, they are the only stand-out third party lens.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Spectro
By Spectro (5 months ago)

Can DPreview clarify if Sigma reverse engineer their mount while tamron and tokina license 1st party mount protocol. Or do they all just reverse engineer it unless it is open source.

1 upvote
Revenant
By Revenant (4 months ago)

Tamron and Tokina also do reverse engineering. Canon and Nikon definitely do not licence out their mount specifications or lens protocols.

0 upvotes
Spectro
By Spectro (4 months ago)

""Thank you for contacting Tamron. Unfortunately the information you are requesting is confidential so we cannot provide this information.""

I guess they do have an agreement otherwise they would say how.

0 upvotes
sierranvin
By sierranvin (4 months ago)

@ Sectro - conclusion illogical. Perhaps they offer only a tight-lipped "business-speak" reply such as above simply because they are embarrassed by their own behavior and practices; or could also be simply obeying a corporate legal policy. Their stating "confidentiality" as reason in correspondence to you doesn't mean it's the only reason, or even that it's true, really.

0 upvotes
artistguy
By artistguy (5 months ago)

I have the Samyang 24TS and the 14mm, certainly the 24TS is great value in the bigger scheme of things. It is known to be soft wide open , but at realistic apertures it's sharp, and as it has a manual aperture ring it's a great add on for my m43 where I get the benefit of articulated screen/focus peaking and double the focal length. It's easy to compare the Canon version as 'just twice' the price, but we're not talking the difference between £200 and £400.....£900 and £1800 left me with enough to buy the 14mm and £600 in change.

0 upvotes
monographix
By monographix (5 months ago)

I hope this version of the 120-300 is issues-free. I got the previous version after much praising and encouragement from the webs, little i knew, i should had researched more on the failure rates since theres no testing - renting option where i live. Now i know but its too late that version has high issues statistics no surprise you can find it half the price of the "S" version. If you get a working sample great, if not .... i am on a sex ride with Sgma of three countries since April ... the lens just hasn't been able to be worth to get with me on the field once yet.

1 upvote
semorg
By semorg (5 months ago)

Samyang 14/2.8 has copy variations. However, a good copy will best both the zeiss 21/2.8 as well as the 14-24/2.8 nikon in sharpness. I own all these lenses and tested them on the Nikon D800e. My test was on short distance. Since that was the most reliable way I could test for sharpness.

2 upvotes
ysengrain
By ysengrain (5 months ago)

And what about somme incredible Zeiss lens ?

1 upvote
white shadow
By white shadow (5 months ago)

Thanks for asking.

I am about to ask when I saw your entry. YES! WHAT ABOUT THE INCREDIBLE ZEISS LENSES?

When it comes to image quality few brands can beat the Zeiss especially those manual focus ones for Canon and Nikon mounts. Yes, DPR mentioned them in their opening second paragraph but nothing was said further about them. Are these lenses considered to be beyond the reach of the average Joe or are they not up to standard?

Very strange indeed.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
3 upvotes
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (5 months ago)

I wouldn't buy anything from Amazon as their warranty is only a month for electronics! Buy from a proper camera shop where you'll get better customer service.

Amazon treat employees like cattle and don't pay corporation tax! Boycott!

1 upvote
Tom Lusk
By Tom Lusk (5 months ago)

Hugo - are you serious? Have you heard of manufacturers' warranties? Amazon has a 30 day return/exchange program - as good as anywhere. And Amazon doesn't pay corporate taxes?

Sure.....

11 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (5 months ago)

There are no Zeiss lenses in this roundup simply because it had to stop somewhere. I had some on the original long list (Otus 55/1.4, Touit 12/2.4, and the 100mm macro), but decided to leave them out of the final selection mainly on the grounds of price.

0 upvotes
srados
By srados (4 months ago)

All this negative press against amazon is clearly british fascination and push back against russian values of mr Elon, including his car empire. Hugo,month of warranty beats any 15 days return policy in any "proper camera shop".

0 upvotes
papparazzi
By papparazzi (5 months ago)

SAMYANG 35MM 1.4 / 14MM 2.8 / 85MM 1.4 ???????????????????? Where are they?

5 upvotes
billashline0428
By billashline0428 (3 months ago)

I'm just curious. Where can I get Samyang's lenses other than from Amazon? Anyone? Help!

0 upvotes
Gennaro Ciavarella
By Gennaro Ciavarella (5 months ago)

and Tokina 10-17 ?

0 upvotes
ProfHankD
By ProfHankD (5 months ago)

For what it's worth, I have the 8-16mm. It's huge, a pain to use, not cheap, etc. However, it is the widest rectilinear view angle on APS-C and IQ is excellent. In sum, it definitely belongs on this list....

0 upvotes
slippedcurve623
By slippedcurve623 (5 months ago)

I aggre with most of the list... Except perhaps the rokinon 24 tiltshift (soft wide open and average image quality) rather pat 1500$ for refurbished canon 24mm ii. And why isn't the rokinon 14mm (nearly as good as canon 14mm ii for 300$), tokina 16-28mm for full frame (again nearly as good as canon 16-35mm ii for 700$) or the sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 "sport" (optically between the excellent canon 70-200mm ii and 300mm f/2.8 ii for around 3,500$) or perhaps even the sigma 180mm f/2.8 OS macro (replaced my canon 180mm because of 2.8 and OS) sorry for nagging just a tad disappointed my favorite 3rd party lenses not in the list lol :-)

P.S (for canon users who uses the 200mm end of the 70-200 f/2.8 I strongly recommend the 70-200 ii over the tamron even though the tamron is optically as good as canon EXCEPT at 200mm (noticeably softer) sorry 3rd party lenses you can't beat the canon 70-200 f/2.8 ii :-)

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (5 months ago)

just get 24-70-200/2.8 and 300/2.8LIS (all mark ii) and say bye-bye to Canon (but visit CPS maybe every six months).

0 upvotes
Steve_
By Steve_ (5 months ago)

To quote:

"When you buy into a new camera system, it can be tempting to only consider lenses of the same make as your camera."

This roundup does little to inform that decision, as it isolates the third-party alternatives from the context they need be judged in - the performance of those same-make designs.

2 upvotes
vadims
By vadims (5 months ago)

I would definitely add Tamron 28-300 to the list.

For Canon FF shooters like myself, that's the only true walk-around FF super-zoom. I wish Canon would come up with it's own 28-300 that doesn't have push-pull design and weight of a tank (like Nikon did); until that happens, Tamron 28-300 definitely deserves honorable mention IMHO.

0 upvotes
ageha
By ageha (4 months ago)

No, definitely not.

0 upvotes
dom33
By dom33 (5 months ago)

I'd like to see reviews of 2nd party lenses.

6 upvotes
riman
By riman (5 months ago)

Yes very good point,,,why did they skip first and and second party lenses? :)

1 upvote
Sarciness
By Sarciness (5 months ago)

2nd person is from the perspective of "you", so 2nd party lenses would be made by yourself, I guess!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second-person_narrative

7 upvotes
DaveE1
By DaveE1 (5 months ago)

Feel free to use any of these lenses at your parties ;-)

0 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (5 months ago)

I review my own lenses. Go to pentax forums.com It's full of second party lens reviews.

0 upvotes
camcom12
By camcom12 (5 months ago)

Thanks for this compendium. That said, we all know there are many other places that focus on lens reviews if 'your' fave lens is not listed.

But I look forward to more lens reviews here...especially those that allow the side-by-side comparison view, which is great.

FWIW: Tokina, how about other mount options for the 12-28mm?

Comment edited 55 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
samfan
By samfan (5 months ago)

Gooo 3rd party.

I have a wish Tamron and Tokina would start making lenses for the Sigma mount. Aaand that Sigma would make a FF DSLR. Maybe they could merge with Ricoh to create something amazing together.

Oddly, my list of dream lenses consists almost solely of 3rd party lenses, but combining bodies from any of the 3 main DSLR makers with too many 3rd party lenses is an exercise in frustration, especially when the future is concerned.

1 upvote
gillamoto
By gillamoto (5 months ago)

that's weird.. two days ago I had an unexpected dream at night about Ricoh/Pentax and Sigma joint together in developing outstanding lenses. let's hope it will come to reality :))

0 upvotes
samfan
By samfan (5 months ago)

Heh. I don't think Sigma needs help with doing lenses, but can you imagine a Pentax-designed FF DSLR with Foveon sensor and all those Sigma + Tamron + Tokina + Pentax Limited lenses? Maybe some Voigtlanders and Zeiss thrown in. Oh yea and a Ricoh compact camera also with a Foveon and Sigma lens.

If I had that dream it would be quite wet I think.

1 upvote
wootpile
By wootpile (5 months ago)

Not a single macro?

1 upvote
cplunk
By cplunk (5 months ago)

Tamron makes some excellent macros, and Sigma makes some too that are probably very high quality.

But they aren't equipment that unique to there product lines, for each of the Tamron or Sigma macro lenses there's a directly competing 1st party lens from at least Nikon, Canon and Sony, unlike the other lenses listed above that just have no direct comparisons.

0 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (5 months ago)

From my experience, the Zeiss ZE/ZF 100mm f/2.0 macro and 50mm f/2.0 macro are about the best there is even surpassing those made by the original camera maker and they were left out.

I would definitely prefer them to the originals.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Jylppy
By Jylppy (5 months ago)

"Biological_Viewfinder, while you may be right in general, some of the lenses actually beat their Canon/Nikon equivalents (at least Sigma 35mm/1.4f). It seems Sigma and Tamron have greatly narrowed the gap to Canon/Nikon top models with their new products. I own three L-zooms, but I have been very satisfied to my Sigma purchases.

0 upvotes
Fuzzfuzz
By Fuzzfuzz (5 months ago)

I just wish the Tokina 11-16 2.8 existed in Pentax k mount... That lens is the only lens i really miss to the k-mount

1 upvote
gillamoto
By gillamoto (5 months ago)

I prefer pentax 12-24mm. the tokina is nice but the zoom range is awkward.

0 upvotes
Karroly
By Karroly (5 months ago)

@gillamoto,
There is no awkward range. It either fits your needs...or it does not.

Comment edited 60 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (5 months ago)

+1 I fine 12-24 too be too narrow for an UWA and even 10mm isn't too wide for me but I can't afford the 8-16mm nor do I like the lack of filter support which is a big no no for me.

So it all depends on ones needs.

0 upvotes
Fuzzfuzz
By Fuzzfuzz (5 months ago)

yes, the tokina has a bit short focus range but on my sigma 10-20 i nearly never use 16mm and up.
and i think the pentax is way to expensive, the tokina 12-24 which is practical same lens optically the same cost under half the price for the pentax.

0 upvotes
moji
By moji (5 months ago)

I'd like a zoom in k mount like 15-35.

0 upvotes
Biological_Viewfinder
By Biological_Viewfinder (5 months ago)

I think it is a useful article for those who would explore the DSLR world of photography when they are just starting out or buying too much body.

Any self-respecting person would buy the very best lenses money can buy, AND THEN buy whatever they can afford for a camera body (even if it's a 5 year old, well used camera body).

I purchased a 3rd party lens when I was new to DSLR photography and I will never ever make that mistake again. There's a reason beyond the brand-name for why a REAL Nikon or Canon lens cost so much.

1 upvote
atamola
By atamola (5 months ago)

These "DP top picks" are really shameles and laughable.

The "How are these lens chosen" should read: based on what is most convenient for us.

The Samyang 35 f1.4 is an absolute optical marvel and the undisputed champion £ for £ and yet is missing from the list.

These "Top Picks" are nothing but shameless retail sale catalogs disguised as objective reviews.

6 upvotes
JakeB
By JakeB (5 months ago)

Translation: A lens I own is not on the list. Wahhh!!

22 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (5 months ago)

"shameless retail sale catalogs disguised as objective reviews"

I think you might be overreacting. Realistically, we exist to offer recommendations, based on experience, testing and insight. This article, which does not claim to (and could not) cover EVERYTHING is intended to highlight some of our favorite standout third-party lenses. Your suggestion of the Samyang 35mm F1.4 is duly noted, and it has its own page here:

http://www.dpreview.com/products/samyang/lenses/samyang351p4/overview

Feel free to leave your own user review.

4 upvotes
Biological_Viewfinder
By Biological_Viewfinder (5 months ago)

Well, in another parallel universe, his views are the only ones that matter. I mean scientists are really clinging to this infinite universe theory, so since there is no limit to the possible differences in the universe, eventually you get to the one where atamola's views are the only ones that matter.

I think that's the universe where he's the only one left standing from the Zombie apocalypse, but it would still be true. His views would be the only ones that would matter.

1 upvote
Scott Birch
By Scott Birch (5 months ago)

For want of one lens, the list was panned. Dear oh dear.

0 upvotes
bokehman123
By bokehman123 (5 months ago)

What? Is the Tamron 70-200 F2.8 better than the Sigma version?

0 upvotes
Mustafa
By Mustafa (5 months ago)

The Sigma 50-150mm might have made it to this list on the basis of its unique configuration, its constant f2.8 and the quality of its IQ.

1 upvote
samfan
By samfan (5 months ago)

Sigma 50-150/2.8 is my 2nd favorite lens of all time. Though to be fair it's not that marvelous optically (I have the older II version, not the latest one). It's the fact that's a 2.8 telezoom with fast focusing for APS-C is what make it great.

That Nikon and Canon weren't able to make anything similar just proves how oblivious they are to the users needs. All they care about is pushing more megapixels and maybe selling some gigantic and hyper-expensive FF lenses.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Bjorn_L
By Bjorn_L (5 months ago)

Correction needed:
On the Sigma 120-300 you say
"... but it's not weatherproofed..."
Problem is, it is weather sealed, the older model with out OS is not weather sealed.

0 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (5 months ago)

Corrected, thanks.

1 upvote
t.c. marino
By t.c. marino (5 months ago)

pity they did not include the samyang 14mm 2.8, i have the nikon version and it is absolutely razor sharp on ff and dx..compares VERY well to the stellar nikkor 14-24 at 14mm

0 upvotes
drewski70
By drewski70 (5 months ago)

Interesting not one standard zoom for aps-c...I love my Tamron 17-50 f2.8, and I have heard good things about sigma 17-50 f2.8 too. If you are gift shopping for a photographer get them a fast standard zoom, and they will never take it off there camera.

1 upvote
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (5 months ago)

The Sigma 18-35/1.8 is a standard zoom for APS-C.

7 upvotes
rtxln
By rtxln (5 months ago)

I love my Sigma 17-50 f2.8 and would hate it to stop at 35mm. I use mine a lot at 17mm for close settings and large groups, frequently around 30mm for normal photography, and also quite a bit at 50mm for the best portraits and to get some reach across the room. Larger aperture would be nice, but not at the cost of my zoom range.

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (5 months ago)

I would agree, more or less, with the top 10. But the Rokinon TS is, by all accounts, a softie. Now, you say "But it's half the price of a 24PC-E or 24TS-II" True, but half price is still $900.

Speaking of Samyang/Rokinon, their 14mm really is impressive, both sharp and cheap.

1 upvote
offertonhatter
By offertonhatter (5 months ago)

Some crackers there. M43 Noktons if you have that system, and the new Sigma's which are setting the world alight with their quality. Shame that the 120-300 is not on Pentax mount though. Sigma kept promising, but not forthcoming. I can imagine it would be wonderful on the K-3. In fact wonderful on my K-5.
Please Sigma, act on your promise and finally release it on the K-mount.

2 upvotes
FrankS009
By FrankS009 (5 months ago)

Might you not give us more information in your headline?

Third party lenses for Full Frame and APS-C cameras, perhaps.

You do not include M4/3rd third party lenses and it would be better to say which ones you do include.

F.

2 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (5 months ago)

There are some Micro Four Thirds lenses included in this article - the Voigtlander Noktons and the Samyang 7.5mm fisheye.

12 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (5 months ago)

What 3rd party m43 lenses you suggest should be in the list

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (5 months ago)

I agree. It would have been very much reader-friendly to classify all of the reviewed lenses into various form factor categories -- like "lenses for full-frame cameras,: "lenses for APS-C/DX sensor cameras," Lenses for M4/3 cameras," etc.

I understand Samyang's 7.5mm is available for various different form factor/size sensor cameras.

0 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (5 months ago)

I'd say those three very nice Sigma prime lenses for M4/3 and NEX (19,30, and 60mm) are hard to ignore.

Very nicely built lenses that are sharp and well priced. And these are all AF lenses thatl include hoods and pouches.

Incidentally, when you say "M4/3 and NEX" you are really saying "75% of all the MILC cameras in existence."

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Total comments: 79