which is the best 70-300mm for A57

Started May 22, 2013 | Discussions
NAwlins Contrarian Veteran Member • Posts: 3,297
Re: which is the best 70-300mm for A57

re: "the Sony Steady Shot was so much more effective then Sigma OS that I end up always leaving the Sigma OS turned off and the Sony Steady Shot turned on."

That to me is maybe the main reason to choose the current top-end Tamron 70-300 (the SP USD) over the current top-end Sigma 70-300 (OS). The Sigma has optical image stabilization on the Sony version, while the Tamron does not; and the Tamron has an SSM/USM-type focus motor, while the Sigma does not. Given the choice between (1) the Sigma's optical stabilization with little if any value beyond what the Sony bodies' sensor-shift Super Steady Shot provides, and (2) the Tamron's ultrasonic focus motor with substantial improvements in focusing speed and/or accuracy plus the ability to do full-time manual focus touch-ups, to me the Tamron seemed like the much better call. (If there were big differences in optical quality, that might be the most important factor, but as far as I could tell, overall, there do not appear to be.)

 NAwlins Contrarian's gear list:NAwlins Contrarian's gear list
Nikon Coolpix S30 Canon PowerShot S110 Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di USD +5 more
(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 6,192
Re: which is the best 70-300mm for A57

True, it is the cheaper Tamron offering. Sorry to cause confusion. Presumably the SP will be better.

NAwlins Contrarian wrote:

Just to make sure it's clear, the Tamron LD with which this example was taken is a different lens (optically and mechanically) than the originally-asked-about Tamron SP. See, e.g.:

Tamron SP:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/728346-REG/Tamron_AFA005S700_SP_70_300mm_f_4_5_6_Di.html

Tamron LD:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/423729-REG/Tamron_AF017M700_70_300mm_f_4_5_6_Di_LD.html

NAwlins Contrarian Veteran Member • Posts: 3,297
Re: which is the best 70-300mm for A57

Okay, first example, to demonstrate sharpness and to some extent bokeh. Shot yesterday, hand-held. Sony A580, Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di USD at 120mm, ISO 400, 1/250 s, f/5 (maximum aperture at 120mm is f/4.5, so this is 1/3-stop down from wide open). Here's the full image scaled down and a 100% crop. Files prepared from raw in Sony IDC but without any adjustment, then cubic-scaled or cropped in GIMP 2.8.4 without any sort of post-processing sharpening and saved as maximum-quality JPEG's.

The whole frame:

The 100% crop:

I think that's pretty good sharpness--and of course this is hand-held, and relies on the A580's auto-focus. A proper test would use a sturdy tripod, a stationary subject, and magnified live view manual focus.

 NAwlins Contrarian's gear list:NAwlins Contrarian's gear list
Nikon Coolpix S30 Canon PowerShot S110 Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di USD +5 more
NAwlins Contrarian Veteran Member • Posts: 3,297
Re: which is the best 70-300mm for A57

Okay, second example, mainly to demonstrate bokeh. Shot last month, hand-held. Sony A580, Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di USD at 135mm, ISO 800, 1/250 s, f/5.6 (maximum aperture at 135mm is f/4.5, so this is 2/3-stop down from wide open). Here's the full image scaled down and a 100% crop. Files prepared from raw in Sony IDC but without any adjustment, then cubic-scaled or cropped in GIMP 2.8.4 without any sort of post-processing sharpening and saved as maximum-quality JPEG's.
The whole frame:

The 100% crop:

 NAwlins Contrarian's gear list:NAwlins Contrarian's gear list
Nikon Coolpix S30 Canon PowerShot S110 Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di USD +5 more
NAwlins Contrarian Veteran Member • Posts: 3,297
Re: which is the best 70-300mm for A57

Okay, third example, to demonstrate performance at 300mm. Shot last month, hand-held. Sony A580, Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di USD at 300mm, ISO 400, 1/800 s, f/5.6 (wide open). Obviously depth of field, coupled with the auto-focus system's guess about what is the main subject, really limits what you get here. Here's the full image scaled down at a 100% crop. Files prepared from raw in Sony IDC but without any adjustment, then cubic-scaled or cropped in GIMP 2.8.4 without any sort of post-processing sharpening and saved as maximum-quality JPEG's.
The whole frame:

The 100% crop:

 NAwlins Contrarian's gear list:NAwlins Contrarian's gear list
Nikon Coolpix S30 Canon PowerShot S110 Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di USD +5 more
OpticsEngineer Veteran Member • Posts: 6,525
Re: which is the best 70-300mm for A57

This link to a German website also has the Tamron 70-300 SP as the best telezoom for Sony (Testsieger is test winner) over the more expensive Sony G lens.    You have to scroll down a quite a pages to get to the Telezooms fur Sony page.

http://www.testberichte.de/d/read-swf/344252.html

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Fujifilm XF1 Olympus XZ-2 iHS Canon PowerShot G7 X Olympus Tough TG-4 Pentax *ist D +23 more
Gary Eaves Regular Member • Posts: 447
Re: which is the best 70-300mm for A57

I own the SAL70-300G and haven't shot with the other lenses, but I'm totally head over heels in love with the 70-300.

Good luck with your choice.

Gary E

 Gary Eaves's gear list:Gary Eaves's gear list
Sony SLT-A55 Sony a7R Sony a7 Sony a6000 Sony a7R II +20 more
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