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Which Tamron SP 150-600 is best?


I have been out West several times and wished I had a good telephoto lens for my Digital Rebel XSI to shoot wildlife.  With another trip coming up I am ready to make a purchase. From research am thinking of buying the Tamron SP 150-600mm lens.  However, I see there is 1 under $1000 and a newer G2 model for $400 more.  I am having a hard time seeing the difference that justifies spending that $400 more and would love some input.


I am also wondering what case to purchase for airtravel for the lens and what tripod might be recommended.  Is there a quick release gimball head recommended to use with that big lens?  Am in bit new working with tripod. Am wondering if the less expensive lens would be just as good and allow me some budget for the tripod and head.


Again, thanks for any input!  Am hoping to make a purchase soon so I can get in a bit of practice with equipment before our upcoming mid October trip.



" If you were going to upgrade from the Rebel XSI what would be the next logical jump?"


The next logical choice is the Canon 90D of course.  Smiley Happy


The problem with most all the advice you got so far is these guys are just review readers. The same as you.  Not many have actually "owned" and used both or all of them.  I have or had the entire crop of 150-600mm super zooms.  People tend to promote the lens they eventually bought as the best.  Nobody wants to think they didn't buy the best.


The best of the crop right now is the Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 if you want the best IQ and AF ability.  It also has a dock like most of the others.  Which lens did I ultimately decide was the best for me?  The Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens. It fits my needs and shooting style best.  And, that is what you really need to decide, which one works best for you because all of them are good. The factor of money; cost it high on the list, too.  The lens you wish you had won't take a better picture than the lens you have.


Something you haven't thought about and a couple lenses I am high on is the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens.  Also, the Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens along with the 1.4x tele-con. Yeah, they are primes, not super zooms but they work very well for what you want. A fixed aperture is nice. With the 300 +1.4x you get two FLs, 300mm and 420mm and a faster aperture. WHat's not to like?


Remember on a new 90D that would be (the 300mm + 1.4x) equivalent to nearly 700mm.  Yes, I do own and use both of these choices too!  BTW, it keeps all your gear all Canon.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

View solution in original post



You may not see or notice the difference but there is one. The G2 is better all around, IQ and AF, not to mention the dock.  It all depends on how far you want to go and how much quality you want.

In the case of the tripod, always buy the best one you can afford.  You don't need a gimbal. They are nice and I most always use mine but it is not mandatory.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!


I have a Tamron 150-600 version 1 and a Sigma 150-600 Contemporary.  I very much prefer the Sigma C over the Tamron.  On the Tamron, you HAVE to turn off the VR (Tamron term for IS - image stabilization) for moving objects - no such problem for the Sigma.  In addition to being able to use IS, the Sigma focuses faster and has better IQ (image quality) and is better built.


 PS. My Tamron is currently broken - the mount broke on its own and fell out of my camera.  This is my first and last Tamron lens I'll ever buy.

Diverhank's photos on Flickr

Thanks! I saw the Sigma lens and for some reason leaned towards the Tamron,  But now I am looking at it again and reading fantastic reviews.  Curious what others here think of the comparison between the Sigma 150-600 Contemorary and the Tamron SP150-600 G2?

I use the Sigma in a rather challenging venu but on better bodies than what you have and AF performance is part body & part lens but I can't break that down enough to decide how much % wise it's the body. This is the link to my Gallery on another forum & you can easily see the body / lens info under each photo thumbnail. All samples hand held by a senior citizen.


Just click on any photo you want to see at uploaded resolution.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."



You can see which one I have. 


I like Sigma lenses over Tamron, but its really up to you  I already owned a few sigma lenses, so the contemporary turned out to be the right choice for me.  Had the USB dock as well.  


Don't get me wrong Tamron makes some nice lenses, and the (A022) G2 variant is one of their best based on what I've read, and the images I've seen.  Sigma's however have better overall compatibility with current and newer body's  Tamron is slow to release FW and sometimes they don't at all.  Problems like this can be mitigated by doing some prepurchase research.


As with all of the sigma lenses I've used..  No regrets.  Oh, the Sigma C is .4lbs lighter too. 


The Tamron has a cool zoom lock.  Rotate barrel and push forward to lock.  Its also just a littl bit newer.  With newer you also usually get slightly better optical coatings, as these are always improving. 


Last consideration for me.  I mostly stick with Canon lenses, but do have a few sigmas.  If I bought the G2 it would probably be the only Tamron I owned.  I'd have a tap-in for one lens.  Its not the money, its just the thought of having one piece of gear that I'd only use with one lens once a year.  The Sigma has worked out very well for me.

Bay Area - CA

~R5 C ( ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100 Macro, ~RF 100~400, ~RF 100~500, +RF 1.4x TC, +Canon Control Ring, BG-R10, 430EX III-RT ~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~DaVinci Resolve ~Windows11 Pro ~ImageClass MF644Cdw/MF656Cdw ~Pixel 8
~CarePaks Are Worth It


“I have been out West several times and wished I had a good telephoto lens for my Digital Rebel XSI to shoot wildlife.”


For me, it is hard to say what lens would work best with that older body.  Do bring some extra batteries, though.  


Have not used either Tamron.  I have the Sigma 150-600 “C”, and shoot at f/8 almost exclusively with it.  It includes a docking station like the Tamron G2.  Actually, Sigma lenses had docking statins before Tamron lenses.  Initially the Sigma C was a little soft, and a little to AF.  After an update to the AF algorithms in the lens from Sigma, it is tack sharp and quick to AF.


The Sigma has a separate zoom lock switch that locks at every 100mm focal length, which is better than sliding the focus ring that Tamron uses, IMHO.  Once I lock at a focal length, I am not switching very oftern.  I locked it because that is where i wanted it.


This brings us to a gimbal head.  I currently have no use for a gimbal because I do not own any super telephoto primes.  The 150-600mm lenses change length significantly over their zoom range.  Because of the precise way that gimbals are balanced, I think gimbals are ideal for long primes, not variable length super telephoto zooms.  A big lens that changes its’ lenght also changes its’ Center of Gravity which throws off the balanced gimbal.


For sports photography, I have found a monopod to be more useful than a tripod.  A monopod is smaller, lighter, and FAR more portable and mobile than a tripod.  I go with a Benro MAD49A monopod with a Kirk MPA-2 tilt head.  It is a tall monopod, but not having to fully extend each section means added strength.


Wildlife photography may be a different story, though.  If you are going to setup in a blind for an extended period of time, use a tripod.  If you will be on the move, then use a monopod or go handheld.  These 150-600mm lenses are heavy, so I recommend some means of support for extended use.

"The right mouse button is your friend."

Sigma 150-600mm and 6D.  Original photo.


EOS 6D2017_10_221791-2.jpg


Cropped version.  Look at the big kid’s eyes!


EOS 6D2017_10_221791.jpg


You will not be able to crop images this deep with your current camera body.

"The right mouse button is your friend."


Yes, well said.  I liked the "lock button" as well, but noticed the whole barrel zoom lock thing on the G2 when I was doing my comparision (why I mentioned it).  The "eyes" are another reason I went with the Sigma.  I saw the clarity and detail in many images before purchase and was not disappointed either.  The "C" was the last lens purchase for my current "system".


I said I would go mirrorless some day, and I will, but I'm taking my current lens line up with me and won't be dumping "EF" and investing in "RP" until battery life improves.  Great shots guys.  I love the planes and sports photos.   

Bay Area - CA

~R5 C ( ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100 Macro, ~RF 100~400, ~RF 100~500, +RF 1.4x TC, +Canon Control Ring, BG-R10, 430EX III-RT ~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~DaVinci Resolve ~Windows11 Pro ~ImageClass MF644Cdw/MF656Cdw ~Pixel 8
~CarePaks Are Worth It

Thanks all for your valuable input.  Gives me lots to think about and more to research. All of this leads me to another question though.  If you were going to upgrade from the Rebel XSI what would be the next logical jump?

click here to view the gallery