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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎04-24-2018

Difference in lens quality

I have seen a lot of people use Tamron and Sigma lenses and always wanted to know how they compare to a Canon lens, specifically in the 600-800mm range?  I want the best quality pictures possible, but will I be disappointed with a non-Canon lens?  I have a 5DSR and a 7D MII, so they aren't cheap cameras.  This lens would be for mostly wildlife and I love getting good close up shots of the subjects.  Suggestions, recommendations???

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 93
Registered: ‎09-13-2014

Re: Difference in lens quality

What lenses do you currently have, I also have a 5DsR and have considered just like you to purchase another brand, my subject matter is different, however....
I have all Canon L series and opted for an extender first.
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,083
Registered: ‎02-06-2013

Re: Difference in lens quality

[ Edited ]

Great choices on camera Smiley LOL . I have exactly the same two.

 

I will give you my opinion on the subject... I have a Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS II, a 600mm f/4L IS (Version 1), a Tamron 150-600mm version 1 and a Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary.  I also had a Canon 400mm f/5.6L that I used for years until I got the 100-400mm. This zoom lens is just as sharp @ 400mm.

 

Neither the Tamron or the Sigma will match the Canon lenses, especially the 600mm f/4L in IQ, focus speed and durability.  However, the Tamron and Sigma 150-600mm is pretty decent, enough that I use them all the time (until the Tamron broke on me).  They are so versatile.  I wish Canon'd make a lens with that zoom range but Canon doesn't.

 

Once I did an experiment with the Canon 400mm f/5.6 @ 400mm and the Tamron @ 600mm side by side.  I  used photoshop and just magnified it by 1.5 to make the image equal to 600mm and its IQ still beats the Tamron...so when you hear people using the 1.4x instead of getting the 150-600mm, it is not far-fetched at all.    Having said that, I don't use the 1.4X on my 100-400mm because I dislike the slowed down focusing speed and its hunting a little bit.  The Tamron and Sigma focusing speed is better than the Canon with a 1.4X, in my experience.

 

You can visit my Flickr, look at different albums for different lenses.  The pictures will give you some ideas of what can be achieved by the Tamron and the Sigma.

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Diverhank's photos on Flickr
Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,490
Registered: ‎11-13-2012

Re: Difference in lens quality

What is your assessment of IQ of the 100-400 with 1.4X compared to Sigma zoom?

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X, Rebel T5i, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LRCC Classic
Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,608
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Difference in lens quality

, if is pre
@jrhoffman75 wrote:

What is your assessment of IQ of the 100-400 with 1.4X compared to Sigma zoom?


That is a very good question.  In my experience, the focusing system of the camera can be a factor.  The more AF points you can put on the subject, the better the camera/lens combination is able to track and focus.  Your AF points settings come into play  AF point sensitivity wants to be a factor, too.  

 

My action photography C2 custom shooting mode is Case 2.  I think your AF settings can make a significant difference, and of course what it is that you are photographing.  For me, it has become mostly football.

 

Wtih a 6D or 7D2, I get better results with the Sigma “C” than with the 100-400 w/1.4x.  With a 6D2, I get better results with either lens over the 7D2 under most conditions.  The 7D2 is only useful to me for its’ reach on sunny days.

With a 6D2, it is pretty close between the two setups, but the 100-400 w/1.4x has better IQ.  But, you can take a small hit in AF speed, which I think only brings it down to the speed of the Sigma “C”.  The Sigma might be a little faster at initial capture, but that is as far as it seems to go.  Once the Canon is tracking, it stays locked on like pit bull.

 

The Sigma “C” had never been a fast focusing lens, but the firmware rewrite a couple of years ago completely changed the lens.  Sigma claims a 40% increase in focusing speed, and I am not going to argue with them.  The lens used to become soft at greater than 500mm, which caused to limit it to just 500mm, but not anymore.  I also found that my copy tended to back focus at the short end, and front focus at the long end, but no more of that, either.  In fact, I cleared all of the Sigma AFMA settings.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,490
Registered: ‎11-13-2012

Re: Difference in lens quality

Thanks for an informative response. i appreciate the time you put into it.

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X, Rebel T5i, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LRCC Classic
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,809
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Difference in lens quality

Just out of curiosity, Waddizzle, does the 100-400 accept the same 1.4x as the 70-200 lenses do?

Bob
Boston, Massachusetts USA
Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,608
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Difference in lens quality


@RobertTheFat wrote:

Just out of curiosity, Waddizzle, does the 100-400 accept the same 1.4x as the 70-200 lenses do?


I am using the 1.4x III, and it works on both lenses.  I think you need to have that version with the newer 100-400mm.  As far as I know, the main difference between each new version of the extenders has been firmware updates for new lenses.  

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
VIP
Posts: 10,651
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Difference in lens quality

"I have seen a lot of people use Tamron and Sigma lenses and always wanted to know how they compare to a Canon lens, ..."

 

This is a multi-faceted question.  Most responders can only see IQ. Pun intended! I have been interested in lenses more than usual since I retired some 15 years ago.  I bought and sold several dozen lenses. I gained a lot of experience and knowledge I had not had before.  I satisfied my own self.

 

On top is how do you intend to use the lens and what results do you expect from it. If you expect a $1000 lens to equal or surpass a $10,000 Canon "L", you are going to be disappointed. No doubt. Is that shocking?  However, there is good enough.

Another factor is, if you can't afford the mega thousand dollar lens what good is it to you? Nada! No matter how fantastic it is.

 

Second point, does Canon even make that lens?  If they don't, what to do or where to go is the question.

 

Now for that all important IQ part. Almost nothing beats a Canon "L" here either.  But the top level third party lenses come very close. Very close. Yeah, if you use PS to blow up images past 100% you are going to see some difference. At normal viewing levels you are going to be challenged to see a determinable difference.

 

One of the top super zooms right now is the Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2. OK, let's compare to the closest Canon offering, the new  EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens .  IQ is similar with the Canon besting by a little. The downside it is $500 more expensive and doesn't not have native 500 to 600mm.  This requires you to buy a tel-con with its expense (another $400 bucks) and other faults. The Canon build is better by far so if that is important this is what you should buy. What is my preference in this range, the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens. Why?  It has good IQ and it is built as well as any "L".  IMHO, if Canon ever sees fit to bring it own version of this lens, it's been rumored, and it isn't mega-thousand dollars, I would buy it. There again, if you can't afford it, what good is it?

 

When you go to compare these lenses or any lens, consider the entire package.  There are gems out there for sure. If you are a pixel peeper you better stick with Canon "L" glass. On the other hand if you just want to make some great photos, check out the entire bunch of lenses availible.  If you expect a $1000, off brand, lens to equal or surpass a $10,000 Canon "L", you are going to be disappointed.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, along with less and less other stuff.
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,083
Registered: ‎02-06-2013

Re: Difference in lens quality


@jrhoffman75 wrote:

What is your assessment of IQ of the 100-400 with 1.4X compared to Sigma zoom?


Oh sorry, I should have mentioned this.  With the caveat that I didn't really do careful comparisons, I feel that the Sigma IQ is slightly better than the Tamron V1 but not by a whole lot. So I'd say that its IQ is roughly the same as the 100-400 with the 1.4X .  So I usually use the Sigma when I need the range because, to me, the Sigma focus is better than the Canon combo.

 

@I use the Canon 100-400mm II whenever 400mm is adequate.  For close in work, this lens is incredible - being able to focus at all FL at a distance of just a tad over 3 feet.  400mm @ 3ft is like using a macro lens...

 

Happy New Year!

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