nikkor 18-70 vs tamron/sigma 17-50 vc/os

Started Aug 17, 2010 | Discussions thread
Stoker98
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Re: nikkor 18-70 vs tamron/sigma 17-50 vc/os
In reply to djwuk, Aug 18, 2010

I know all the lenses that have been discussed on this thread very well, and have also used several samples of each.

The 18-70mm is a very good all-round lens, though its a little soft unless well stopped down. Its the sort of lens that people tend to sell on, whereas for what its good at (general photography in good light, where great bokeh is not important) you really cannot buy a better lens. The 16-85mm is a little sharper, but its also somewhat slower, and I never took well to using it.

Of the Tamron and Sigma, I have found a good copy of the Sigma will easily beat the Tamron, though due to poor QC, you could easily find a Sigma that was not as good as the Tamron. I am no great fan of the Tamron, as I find the build very flimsy, while the Sigma has excellent build. I have not tried the new 17-50mm Sigma, and am looking forward to doing so, as the new slightly cooler glass sounds appealing. The Tokina is far too cool for my taste, and I find that Tokina's are too soft for my liking also, whereas the Sigmas generally have very sharp centres.

I have some Sigma 18-50mm albums in my galleries on this site (but cannot get the link to work this evening).

I would not think of getting the 20mm f1.8 Sigma. It has simply awful edges on dx, and I fought with Sigma for a year to get me a great copy, and after five tries, we both gave up. Probably its better on full frame. You are better off with the Sigma 17-50 or 18-50 in its various iterations, all of which offer very sharp centres from f3.5.

The Sigma 30mm f1.4 is worth considering, but it is also very soft around the edges. Used carefully, it can produce some great images, but its not an easy lens to use, and you can expect a lot of frustration before you get the best from it. Unless you are shooting FF, then you will be better off with the Nikon 35mm f1.8G lens, which is much sharper across the frame, and I find also exposes with slightly greater accuracy.

Of the above lenses, the Sigma 18-50mm is easily my favourite, followed by the 35mm f1.8 Nikon. The HSM version of the Sigma is supposed to offer advantages over the non-HSM version - but to me both seem to focus just as quickly. The non-HSM version is also a little smaller. Its the neat size of the lens that I really like. It produces image quality thats not far below that of the Nikon 17-55mm, yet its much easier to cart around and costs one third of the Nikon lens.

I hope this helps.

S.
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