Tamron 18-270 vs Sigma 18-250???

Started Apr 14, 2013 | Questions
Azure2
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Tamron 18-270 vs Sigma 18-250???
Apr 14, 2013

Hello...I'm new to DPREVIEW...I'm also new to photography as well as DSLR cameras...purchased a "new to me" Nikon D3000, middle of February and love it but I'm finding the lens 18-55 that came with the camera very limiting.  I'm looking at the Tamron 18-270 and the Sigma 18-250...I've read the review on both lens, but for the life of me not sure which would be best or if it is simply a case of pick one???

If anyone has used one or both and would consider passing along any thoughts I'd appreciate it...

Cheers

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Nikon D3000 Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD
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123Mike
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Re: Tamron 18-270 vs Sigma 18-250???
In reply to Azure2, Apr 15, 2013

Neither... every comparison I've seen shows that the Tamron 18-250 (not 270) is the sharpest of all the super zooms.

I've had the Tamron 18-250 once, but I did sell it after a couple of weeks, because I could not justify tying up that much money into a lens with that much compromise. I was also very surprised to see that 250mm on that lens actually reached *LESS* than a 55-200 lens I have. The 55-200 lens I have is way WAY sharper and outresolves the Tamron 18-250 at any setting whereever possible.

I now have a Tamron 17-50 f2.8 which covers my indoor and short needs. I'm now accustomed to a high enough quality that I can not go back to a super zoom.

So what I did is I got an efficient backpack (Fastpack 250), and became very handy swapping lenses. Looking through my collection, I noticed that by far most shots were all in the shortish range. Occasionally I reached 70, but I could have easily settled at 50.

But... the convenience factor *is* a big thing too obviously, otherwise you'd not be looking for it. Myself I ended up actually thinking I made a mistake selling that lens again so soon. I ended up buying a very cheap Tamron 28-300 lens. It's ok when stopped down very hard (f10), which works right smack in the middle of summer with the sun blaring down on the scene... I think I will still use it, but reluctantly.

I think my 17-50 and BC (70-210 f4) and 55-200 will see the most action this year.

Are you sure you want a superzoom? Don't you find them a tad expensive? They're not going to give you a whole lot of options for indoor photography for one! I do all sorts of things with my 17-50 indoor these days. All kinds of shooting without flash. Couldn't do that before!

Just saying...

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mgd43
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Re: Tamron 18-270 vs Sigma 18-250???
In reply to 123Mike, Apr 15, 2013

There isn't much difference in terms of image quality. I would choose the Sigma because the HSM motor focuses faster than the Tamron.

I suggest that you also consider the new Sigma 18-200 II OS HSM. I've had several all-in-ones and this is the sharpest. It also has the HSM motor and it does focus very quickly and quietly.

If you get one of the Sigmas make sure that it's the new version. You can tell by the filter size. The new ones take 62mm filters while the older ones take 72mm filters.

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Azure2
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Re: Tamron 18-270 vs Sigma 18-250???
In reply to mgd43, Apr 15, 2013

mgd43...thank  you for taking the time to respond to my question...

because I'm so new to photography I honestly don't know what I want/need...I just know the lens I have doesn't allow for longer distance shots nor nice close up macro...I know there are individual lenses for both but I for now I want something that I can put on and leave on, I don't want to be changing/carrying lenses, nor am I at the stage where I can justify a huge expense...   will the Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 II DC OS HSM for the Nikon allow me to do descent macro shots as well as longer shots, in comparison to the 18-55?  as I mentioned I'm truly a beginner...I've read reviews but not sure what it all means?

Thank you for your time...

Cheers

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Peter A. Stavrakoglou
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Re: Tamron 18-270 vs Sigma 18-250???
In reply to Azure2, Apr 16, 2013

One thing to consider is that neither the Sigma 18-200mm or the 18-250mm are true macro lenses - no zoom lens is.  What these lenses will do is allow you to focus closer to the subject than their competitor's lenses will.  Also, all superzooms are a compromise in image quality in order to have the large zoom range they do.  With a good two-lens kit that covers the same range as one of these superzooms, you are likely to get better image quality from the two lenses than you would with the superzoom.  Perhaps a good 70-300mm like the Tamron 70-300mm VR lens added to your kit will work for you.  That said, superzooms have their place and I do use them when I want a one-lens solution.  I have the previous version of the Sigma 18-250mm DC OS HSM lens and I'm satisfied with it.

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mgd43
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Re: Tamron 18-270 vs Sigma 18-250???
In reply to Azure2, Apr 16, 2013

Azure2 wrote:

mgd43...thank  you for taking the time to respond to my question...

because I'm so new to photography I honestly don't know what I want/need...I just know the lens I have doesn't allow for longer distance shots nor nice close up macro...I know there are individual lenses for both but I for now I want something that I can put on and leave on, I don't want to be changing/carrying lenses, nor am I at the stage where I can justify a huge expense...   will the Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 II DC OS HSM for the Nikon allow me to do descent macro shots as well as longer shots, in comparison to the 18-55?  as I mentioned I'm truly a beginner...I've read reviews but not sure what it all means?

Thank you for your time...

Like Peter said there is a difference between a zoom lens with macro in it's name and a true macro lens. A true macro lens can produce an image on the sensor the same size as the object being photographed. It's called 1:1. Many zoom lenses call themselves macro. They are really close focusing lenses, not true 1:1 macros. That's not necessarily bad because you may not really need a 1:1 macro. A close focusing lens is enough for most people.

The 18-200 is considerably more telephoto than the 18-55. It is a little less telephoto than the 18-250 or 18-270. However all-in-one lenses tend to lose sharpness near the long end. The 18-200 II OS HSM keeps it's sharpness all the way out to 200mm whereas the 18-250 and 18-270 lose some sharpness near 250 and 270.

A strong recommendation I make to all newbies is to get a good basic photography book or DVD. My two favorite books now are, "National Geographic Complete Photography", and "Understanding Photography Field Guide", by Bryan Peterson. Either one will give you a good basic understanding of most aspects of photography.

 mgd43's gear list:mgd43's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 Nikon Coolpix P7800 Nikon D5200 Nikon AF DX Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G ED Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM +4 more
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Bjorn_L
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Re: Tamron 18-270 vs Sigma 18-250???
In reply to Azure2, Apr 16, 2013

Azure2 wrote:

Hello...I'm new to DPREVIEW...I'm also new to photography as well as DSLR cameras...purchased a "new to me" Nikon D3000, middle of February and love it but I'm finding the lens 18-55 that came with the camera very limiting.  I'm looking at the Tamron 18-270 and the Sigma 18-250...I've read the review on both lens, but for the life of me not sure which would be best or if it is simply a case of pick one???

If anyone has used one or both and would consider passing along any thoughts I'd appreciate it...

Cheers

Hi,

Between these two the newer Sigma gets better reviews.  The Nikon 18-200vr might be worth thinking about if you are sold on a superzoom.

However, I suggest you not buy any superzoom.  They are very convenient and not a bad choice for trips to disneyland but they produce worse results then your current lens.  I suspect that the 18-55 feels limiting because of bad habits you picked up on a pocket camera.  These seem to encourage standing still and zooming in and out and while this is not a useless feature, if you look at the gallerys the best images are more about the photographer positioning themselves for the right angle, the right light and the right composition.  You can learn all of these things on your current lens.  Doing so would improve your photos much more then a new lens.

But if you are sold on a new lens and if you live in a place with rentals, then I suggest you rent a few lenses before you buy.
Some to consider renting:

Nikon 16-85vr, my favorite DX zoom lens.  Crazy sharp, excellent colors.  Goes from very wide to mid-telephoto.  (16mm is quite wide, the difference between 16-18 is much greater then the difference from 55 to 85... google angle of view and you'll understand).  Downsides are it is a little heavy and a little expensive.  This lens also has decent close focus ability.

Tamron 17-50 f2.8 vc.  Basically what you have now but much better in low light.  Also much nicer out of focus areas.  I now use the FX version of this lens on my full-frame camera (28-75 f2.8)

Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4 OS.  Sigma's competitor to the Nikon 16-85.  The Nikon is sharper, the Sigma has nicer bokeh (out of focus smoothness, for simplicity sake.  again you can learn more with google).  The sigma is a little smaller, lighter and cheaper then the Nikon.  While I prefer the Nikon many prize the smooth bokeh of this Sigma.  Also has decent close focus abilty.

Nikon 18-105vr.  Not as nice optically as those listed above but much cheaper, a little lighter and still nice optically.  This is the best value in a zoom in my opinion.  I owned this and the 16-85 at the same time and kept the 16-85, but this one was nice.  I just prefer the slightly better optics of the 16-85, along with the better stabilization, build quality and of course the 16-85 range was much more useful to me.  I can always crop a little to get the same FOV as the 18-105, but the 18-105 can't crop to get wider.

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See my plan (in my profile) for what I shoot with. See my gallery for images I find amusing.

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mgd43
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Re: Tamron 18-270 vs Sigma 18-250???
In reply to Bjorn_L, Apr 16, 2013

Superzooms or all-in-ones are controversial. Some people love them, some hate them. There's no doubt that you lose some image quality, especially at the long end, with an all-in-one. Photography is full of trade-offs. Here the trade-off is some loss of IQ in order to get the convenience of one lens instead of two or more, not losing photos while changing lenses, saving space and weight in your camera bag, and saving money.

I don't know if you would be happy with an all-in-one, but no one can be sure that you won't. Sometimes the only way to know if you'll like something is to try it.

An important factor is how you will display your photos. If you don't print much larger than 8x10 or if you only display your photos electronically you probably won't see a significant loss of IQ with a good all-in-one. If you like to make large prints, you may be disappointed.

 mgd43's gear list:mgd43's gear list
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Azure2
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Re: Tamron 18-270 vs Sigma 18-250???
In reply to mgd43, Apr 16, 2013

mgd43 wrote:

Azure2 wrote:

mgd43...thank  you for taking the time to respond to my question...

because I'm so new to photography I honestly don't know what I want/need...I just know the lens I have doesn't allow for longer distance shots nor nice close up macro...I know there are individual lenses for both but I for now I want something that I can put on and leave on, I don't want to be changing/carrying lenses, nor am I at the stage where I can justify a huge expense...   will the Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 II DC OS HSM for the Nikon allow me to do descent macro shots as well as longer shots, in comparison to the 18-55?  as I mentioned I'm truly a beginner...I've read reviews but not sure what it all means?

Thank you for your time...

Like Peter said there is a difference between a zoom lens with macro in it's name and a true macro lens. A true macro lens can produce an image on the sensor the same size as the object being photographed. It's called 1:1. Many zoom lenses call themselves macro. They are really close focusing lenses, not true 1:1 macros. That's not necessarily bad because you may not really need a 1:1 macro. A close focusing lens is enough for most people.

The 18-200 is considerably more telephoto than the 18-55. It is a little less telephoto than the 18-250 or 18-270. However all-in-one lenses tend to lose sharpness near the long end. The 18-200 II OS HSM keeps it's sharpness all the way out to 200mm whereas the 18-250 and 18-270 lose some sharpness near 250 and 270.

A strong recommendation I make to all newbies is to get a good basic photography book or DVD. My two favorite books now are, "National Geographic Complete Photography", and "Understanding Photography Field Guide", by Bryan Peterson. Either one will give you a good basic understanding of most aspects of photography.

again thank you mgd43 for the information you provided...what I'm gathering from your response is I should consider taking the time to read a good book on photography which will give me a better understanding of what it is I truly want/need...I think from what you and the other people have said the 18-200 is probably a good choice for me, it will give descent/sharp close ups & distant shots, allowing me to have an all in one for the time being...

You have been a big help to me...it is appreciated!

Cheers

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Azure2
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Re: Tamron 18-270 vs Sigma 18-250???
In reply to Peter A. Stavrakoglou, Apr 16, 2013

Peter A. Stavrakoglou wrote:

One thing to consider is that neither the Sigma 18-200mm or the 18-250mm are true macro lenses - no zoom lens is.  What these lenses will do is allow you to focus closer to the subject than their competitor's lenses will.  Also, all superzooms are a compromise in image quality in order to have the large zoom range they do.  With a good two-lens kit that covers the same range as one of these superzooms, you are likely to get better image quality from the two lenses than you would with the superzoom.  Perhaps a good 70-300mm like the Tamron 70-300mm VR lens added to your kit will work for you.  That said, superzooms have their place and I do use them when I want a one-lens solution.  I have the previous version of the Sigma 18-250mm DC OS HSM lens and I'm satisfied with it.

-- hide signature --

My humble photo gallery: http://www.pete-the-greek.com

Thank you Peter for taking the time to help me it is very much appreciated! I find having someone explain their experiences/thoughts is very helpful to me...

As I mentioned this is all so confusing to me but I intend to figure it out...for now as I'm just learning I prefer to have an all in one type lens...I know it won't give me the best quality but it will allow me to take my camera with me all the time without having to carry a case and two or three lenses along.  as well it will be more affordable and I'm more inclined to justify the cost to myself, than I would be for two more lenses.   once I feel like I know what I'm doing I probably will want to have a specific lens for a specific job, by then I hope I will be able to decide how to proceed.

Again...thank you!

By the way took a quick look at your photo gallery and your photos of Alaska are beautiful!

Cheers

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Azure2
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Re: Tamron 18-270 vs Sigma 18-250???
In reply to 123Mike, Apr 16, 2013

123Mike wrote:

Neither... every comparison I've seen shows that the Tamron 18-250 (not 270) is the sharpest of all the super zooms.

I've had the Tamron 18-250 once, but I did sell it after a couple of weeks, because I could not justify tying up that much money into a lens with that much compromise. I was also very surprised to see that 250mm on that lens actually reached *LESS* than a 55-200 lens I have. The 55-200 lens I have is way WAY sharper and outresolves the Tamron 18-250 at any setting whereever possible.

I now have a Tamron 17-50 f2.8 which covers my indoor and short needs. I'm now accustomed to a high enough quality that I can not go back to a super zoom.

So what I did is I got an efficient backpack (Fastpack 250), and became very handy swapping lenses. Looking through my collection, I noticed that by far most shots were all in the shortish range. Occasionally I reached 70, but I could have easily settled at 50.

But... the convenience factor *is* a big thing too obviously, otherwise you'd not be looking for it. Myself I ended up actually thinking I made a mistake selling that lens again so soon. I ended up buying a very cheap Tamron 28-300 lens. It's ok when stopped down very hard (f10), which works right smack in the middle of summer with the sun blaring down on the scene... I think I will still use it, but reluctantly.

I think my 17-50 and BC (70-210 f4) and 55-200 will see the most action this year.

Are you sure you want a superzoom? Don't you find them a tad expensive? They're not going to give you a whole lot of options for indoor photography for one! I do all sorts of things with my 17-50 indoor these days. All kinds of shooting without flash. Couldn't do that before!

Just saying...

Thank you 123Mike for taking the time to offer your experiences...it is helpful to me to know what other think.

I'm a beginner and want to be able to take my camera with me with out having a case and two or three lenses, so for now I'm going to stay with the all in one...I know the photos won't be the best quality but at this point it is probably the best choice price wise for me...when I know more I'll see what happens...it was mentioned to me that I should consider reading a good photography book, which I'm going to do...

Cheers

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Azure2
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Re: Tamron 18-270 vs Sigma 18-250???
In reply to Bjorn_L, Apr 17, 2013

Bjorn_L wrote:

Azure2 wrote:

Hello...I'm new to DPREVIEW...I'm also new to photography as well as DSLR cameras...purchased a "new to me" Nikon D3000, middle of February and love it but I'm finding the lens 18-55 that came with the camera very limiting.  I'm looking at the Tamron 18-270 and the Sigma 18-250...I've read the review on both lens, but for the life of me not sure which would be best or if it is simply a case of pick one???

If anyone has used one or both and would consider passing along any thoughts I'd appreciate it...

Cheers

Hi,

Between these two the newer Sigma gets better reviews.  The Nikon 18-200vr might be worth thinking about if you are sold on a superzoom.

However, I suggest you not buy any superzoom.  They are very convenient and not a bad choice for trips to disneyland but they produce worse results then your current lens.  I suspect that the 18-55 feels limiting because of bad habits you picked up on a pocket camera.  These seem to encourage standing still and zooming in and out and while this is not a useless feature, if you look at the gallerys the best images are more about the photographer positioning themselves for the right angle, the right light and the right composition.  You can learn all of these things on your current lens.  Doing so would improve your photos much more then a new lens.

But if you are sold on a new lens and if you live in a place with rentals, then I suggest you rent a few lenses before you buy.
Some to consider renting:

Nikon 16-85vr, my favorite DX zoom lens.  Crazy sharp, excellent colors.  Goes from very wide to mid-telephoto.  (16mm is quite wide, the difference between 16-18 is much greater then the difference from 55 to 85... google angle of view and you'll understand).  Downsides are it is a little heavy and a little expensive.  This lens also has decent close focus ability.

Tamron 17-50 f2.8 vc.  Basically what you have now but much better in low light.  Also much nicer out of focus areas.  I now use the FX version of this lens on my full-frame camera (28-75 f2.8)

Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4 OS.  Sigma's competitor to the Nikon 16-85.  The Nikon is sharper, the Sigma has nicer bokeh (out of focus smoothness, for simplicity sake.  again you can learn more with google).  The sigma is a little smaller, lighter and cheaper then the Nikon.  While I prefer the Nikon many prize the smooth bokeh of this Sigma.  Also has decent close focus abilty.

Nikon 18-105vr.  Not as nice optically as those listed above but much cheaper, a little lighter and still nice optically.  This is the best value in a zoom in my opinion.  I owned this and the 16-85 at the same time and kept the 16-85, but this one was nice.  I just prefer the slightly better optics of the 16-85, along with the better stabilization, build quality and of course the 16-85 range was much more useful to me.  I can always crop a little to get the same FOV as the 18-105, but the 18-105 can't crop to get wider.

-- hide signature --

See my plan (in my profile) for what I shoot with. See my gallery for images I find amusing.

Thank you Bjorn_L for taking the time to share with me your findings...there is so much I need to learn and as was suggested to me by another comment I'm going to buy a good photo book and see what I can figure out.   Part of my reasoning for the all in one is I want to be able to take my camera with me all the time, I want it light, with out a case and a couple of lenses...so the solution is an all in one type...I understand I will loose some quality...but at this point it doesn't take much to make me happy with my photos...    I'm sure once I've come to a better understanding of what it is I'm doing I will want the multitude of lenses, but for now one will do...

Yes...you are correct...the 18-55 feels limiting because I don't know how to operate it correctly right now, and yes, I been told before that photography is more about thought, position etc and not just snapping...so I think the reading should be first...

Again thank you...

By the way your photos are beautiful...they inspire me!

Cheers

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JustKidding445
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Re: Tamron 18-270 vs Sigma 18-250???
In reply to Azure2, Nov 13, 2013

Did you end up picking one? I read the responses and, while educational, they didn't seem to answer your question. I too am a relatively new photographer. I bought a Canon t3i which came with a 18-55mm and 55-250mm lens. Both are pretty good to start off with, but I quickly realized that it was a hassle to switch between the two on and off. This led me to search for a lens that can satisfy a wide-focal range. Enter the Sigma 18-250. I did some brief research on competing lenses and I was most attracted to the Sigma. Price on amazon is good (by my pockets standard: $350) and I get free shipping because I'm an amazon prime member :D.

When I first started shooting, I asked a bunch of seasoned photographers for tips on getting good at shooting. What is better than non-stop shooting without the interruption of switching lenses?! All of them advised to keep shooting. I also was shocked to hear that a lot of the beautiful shots the photographers took were in fact photoshopped! So, while it is important for experienced shooters to use better lenses in order to shoot pictures of higher quality, it isn't necessary for us beginners.

I know the second passage seems irrelevant to the topic, but it is related in the sense that I, as a fellow beginner, acknowledge and approve your decision to get a super zoom. Oh, and swapping lenses increases the chances of dust getting on the sensor. Since we are new, though we try to be careful, we are more prone to being clumsy when handling equipment. If we keep one lens on, we avoid all of that! Woohoo!

If you did buy one already, I hope it was a great choice!

Cheers!

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