Nikkor 16-85 f3.5-5.6 vs. Tamron 17-50 f2.8 vs. Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4 OS

Started Feb 10, 2010 | Discussions
gnius
Regular MemberPosts: 250
Like?
Nikkor 16-85 f3.5-5.6 vs. Tamron 17-50 f2.8 vs. Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4 OS
Feb 10, 2010

I am looking for a new normal zoom for my new D90. My wife wants to keep and use the D40, so she'll take the 18-55 VR kit lens most of the time. As a consequence, I'm free to look for a replacement.

Unfortunately, the replacement will have to be a series of compromises.

I don't dwell too much in the wide angle area, but when i do, I think I'd appreciate a little more reach. I use the 55-200 kit lens a lot, and do find myself switching a lot, and find myself wanting to switch at the most inopportune moments. I didn't like the 18-200 though...

So I was trying to weigh the pluses and minuses of these three lenses (and I'd appreciate additional suggestions).

1. Nikkor 16-85.
+ large range
+ sharp
+ well-made

  • slow

  • expensive

2. Tamron 17-50 f2.8
+ sharp
+ constant f2.8 = big deal
+ cheaper than Nikon

  • limited range

  • not as well made as the nikon

3. Sigma 17-70 HSM OS
+ better range than the 18-55
+ faster (but not as fast as the Tamron)
+ 9" min focus - macro use
+ cheaper than Nikon

  • not as well made as the nikon

  • not many in circulation - not much data on focus speed/quality or sharpness

Would appreciate some suggestions or tips... Feel free to comment on these three options or to propose another.

Thanks in advance.

slimandy
Forum ProPosts: 14,346Gear list
Like?
Re: Nikkor 16-85 f3.5-5.6 vs. Tamron 17-50 f2.8 vs. Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4 OS
In reply to gnius, Feb 10, 2010

If it's going to be your main lens I'd say go for the fast zoom. I had the original version of the Tamron and it is rather good! I swapped it for the Nikon 16~85 but that's bec ause I wanted the extra range and VR as this was my all-in-one travel and party lens (otherwise I have to make do with na Nikon 17~35 f2.8, 28~70 f2.8 and 70~200 VR).

The Sigma looks a good compromise between the two and I'm tempted. The one drawback of the Nikon 16~85 is a slow f5.6 though the long end of the range. I think I'd still take the faster Tamron as my everyday choice if I couldn't afford the fast Nikon gear.
--
http://www.andrewsandersphotography.co.uk

 slimandy's gear list:slimandy's gear list
Sony RX100 II Nikon D200 Nikon D700 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Fujifilm X-E1 +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
msc1
Senior MemberPosts: 1,416
Like?
Re: Nikkor 16-85 f3.5-5.6 vs. Tamron 17-50 f2.8 vs. Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4 OS
In reply to gnius, Feb 10, 2010

gnius:

Presumably you are looking at the VR/VC/OS versions of each of these. You can open up your options (for a given budget) if you are not wedded to VR.

You might also indicate how important f/2.8 is to you. The easy choice if you have the cash, want VR in this range, and need "build", is the Nikkor 16-85.

If you want a little more range with VR I instead of VR II, the Nikkor 18-105 is an option.

There is a Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 HSM Macro out there, but I don't believe that there is an OS version.

msc

I am looking for a new normal zoom for my new D90. My wife wants to keep and use the D40, so she'll take the 18-55 VR kit lens most of the time. As a consequence, I'm free to look for a replacement.

Unfortunately, the replacement will have to be a series of compromises.

I don't dwell too much in the wide angle area, but when i do, I think I'd appreciate a little more reach. I use the 55-200 kit lens a lot, and do find myself switching a lot, and find myself wanting to switch at the most inopportune moments. I didn't like the 18-200 though...

So I was trying to weigh the pluses and minuses of these three lenses (and I'd appreciate additional suggestions).

1. Nikkor 16-85.
+ large range
+ sharp
+ well-made

  • slow

  • expensive

2. Tamron 17-50 f2.8
+ sharp
+ constant f2.8 = big deal
+ cheaper than Nikon

  • limited range

  • not as well made as the nikon

3. Sigma 17-70 HSM OS
+ better range than the 18-55
+ faster (but not as fast as the Tamron)
+ 9" min focus - macro use
+ cheaper than Nikon

  • not as well made as the nikon

  • not many in circulation - not much data on focus speed/quality or sharpness

Would appreciate some suggestions or tips... Feel free to comment on these three options or to propose another.

Thanks in advance.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
gnius
Regular MemberPosts: 250
Like?
Re: Nikkor 16-85 f3.5-5.6 vs. Tamron 17-50 f2.8 vs. Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4 OS
In reply to slimandy, Feb 10, 2010

slimandy wrote:

The Sigma looks a good compromise between the two and I'm tempted.

That's exactly how I see it, but I'm not that eager to drop $500 to be the guinea pig for that lens.

slimandy wrote:

I think I'd still take the faster Tamron as my everyday choice if I couldn't afford the fast Nikon gear.

Thanks for the answer. I definitely can't afford the fast Nikon stuff. Hell - even the 16-85 is practically outside of my price range. I prefer the specs of the Tamron also, and it's got plenty of fans... but I don't know if I could tolerate constantly being at the end of the 50mm range.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Bjorn_L
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,457Gear list
Like?
Re: Nikkor 16-85 f3.5-5.6 vs. Tamron 17-50 f2.8 vs. Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4 OS
In reply to gnius, Feb 10, 2010

I really like the Tamron. I will probably buy it.

But, I would be hard pressed to give up my 16-85. That range is just so useful. Plus the lens is just an excellent lens as well. It is my most used lens because of the range. I would pay a lot to have the same and have it in a f2.8 flavor.

If I did not have a couple of fast primes, I suppose the Tamron would be even more tempting... but even 2.8 is no substitute for f1.4-1.8 primes.

For my money, the 16-85 was worth it. It will probably remain in my lens collection as long as I own a DX camera.

 Bjorn_L's gear list:Bjorn_L's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5 Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Nikon D700 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G +9 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
MiWo
Regular MemberPosts: 438Gear list
Like?
Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4 OS --- REVIEW!!!
In reply to gnius, Feb 10, 2010

The polish photography service optyczne.pl has already posted a review of the Sigma you're contemplating. It's still not on their english counterpart lenstip.com.

In the summary they put a little 'verbal' comparison (no pictures unfortunately) between the nearest competition on each mount. For Nikon they put it along with the 18-70, 18-105 and 16-85 and what they're basically are saying is:

The 18-70 is cheaper and that's its only strong side - apart from that its range is worse, it's slower, no VR.

The 18-105 is a great lens IQ wise, has VR, more range, more bang for the buck but it's slower and severely lesser built.

The 16-85, I quote, is 'the toughest competitor with great IQ (although not better than the Sigma), costs more less the same, is solidly built, has VR and can compete with the Sigma's faster aperture with its slightly wider range. Again I [being the reviewer] am convinced they gonna win the same amount of fans'.

Sorry if the translation is a bit ruff but I'm tired after 9 hours of work... If you care for some samples, check out:

http://www.optyczne.pl/181.11-Test_obiektywu-Sigma_17-70_mm_f_2.8-4.0_DC_Macro_OS_HSM_Podsumowanie.html

 MiWo's gear list:MiWo's gear list
Fujifilm X100S Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 Apple iPhone 4 Apple iPad Mini Wi-Fi
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads