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Tamron 60mm F2 vs Sigma 70mm F2.8

ice92 View Drop Down

Joined: 21 December 2011
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ice92 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Tamron 60mm F2 vs Sigma 70mm F2.8
    Posted: 21 December 2011 at 20:49
Hello everyone,

I am having a hard decision of what to do. I want a good macro / portrait lens. I am looking at the Tamron 60mm F2 vs Sigma 70mm F2.8. Both are the same price. I am open to other options in the same or less price range. $500

What I have:

Sony A33
Sony 18 - 250
Minolta 50 1.7
Flash Fv42 or something
I have a bunch of filters for the 18 - 250 that fit the Sigma 70mm.
I bought the 18 - 250 because it was an convenient lens that I wouldn't have to change often and it took nice pictures.

I would like to replace the Minolta 1.7 with the macro lens. I was thinking that the Sony 50mm macro wouldn't be good for macro photography. I was thinking that the 60mm and 70mm would be a good comprise. I am leaning towards the Sigma 70mm because of the filters. That being said I don't want to make a mistake of getting the sigma to find out the Tamron 60mm would have been the better choice.

Which is the better choice? Or should I consider something else?

Thanks a lot

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Bass View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 December 2011 at 23:21
Hi ice92 and welcome. If you want to do portraits then your 50/1.7 will serve you well on APS-C. Good for low light and indoor work too. I would keep it as you won't get a great deal for it if you sell it.

For the lenses you mention it must come down to what focal length you prefer and what DOF you want to achieve. For portraits the Tamron or Sigma would be the better of the three IMO.

I have no experience with the Tamron, although comments are favourable but I have a Sigma 50/2.8 EX 1:1 and it is a great lens; good value and amazing sharpness on APS-C. The 70mm is reported to be even sharper which must be really impressive.

Depending on the type of macro you want to do, 50mm can sometimes be too short. Personally, if you are really into macro you probably want to condsider two lenses - one 50mm and one 100mm.

The other lens that is worth considering is the Tamron 90mm SP Macro. It has advantages that would suit want you want to do but also 90mm on APS-C is quite a long focal length for portait work.

The Sigma seems to fit what you want but it still has compromises for dual purpose use.

Welcome to the journey of lens decisions and buying; you may never have it all!

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boyzone View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote boyzone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 December 2011 at 03:25
More prefer to Tamron as 60mm will serve well in portrait (90mm in 1.5x).
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samyboy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote samyboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 December 2011 at 04:14
Yes the 60mm focal length of the Tamron lens may be better for portraits, but the 70mm Sigma lens is far superior for macro and street photography and is sharper by a lot.

The Tamron is nice and handy and the Sigma is big and ugly, specially the finish.
SVM. Chicago.
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ice92 View Drop Down

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Post Options Post Options   Quote ice92 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 December 2011 at 04:22
I was just thinking and reading a lot. I read this.

"Where I differ with your opinion is the use of this lens in portraiture. Technically, YES, any lens can take a portrait and a flat field of focus is not a bad idea if you are trying for a soft focus of facial features with sharp detail of the eyes. But that particular technique is almost exclusively for photographing women and infants.

A sharp portrait of a male subject is usually the preferred methodology in portraiture and almost impossible with the shallow depth of field inherent in flat field of focus macro lenses. Thusly that is why I also carry a 50mm f:1.7 which can perform the task very well and a bit longer like an 85 would be even better.

So Yes any lens can take a portrait but not all lenses can take a good portrait. ;-)"

When I was thinking about why I want a new lens I was only really looking at options of what to buy and not focused on why I am dissatisfied.

Right now I am on vacation at a condo on the beach. I haven't been happy with my pictures from the Minolta. It seems to have an auto focusing problem, some pictures turn out fantastic and others the subject is out of focus. I also don't like the range as well I feel it's too close. So, I rarely use it. Maybe I don't know how to use it properly. The Sony 18 - 250 is a great lens however it's not designed for amazing portraits, low light, indoor, night. Although, right now I find it's on my camera 95% of the time.

I think maybe I should buy the Sony 35/1.8 for my walk around lens. As it will be a 52.5mm on a APS-C. I hope it would be great for portraits. I will also get the Tamron 90 or the sigma 70 f2.8 for macro and some portraits. The Sony 35 is 55 filter size which is the same as the Tamron so that wouldn't be an issue anymore.

I used my 50 1.7 to take pictures of our baby when she was born. Some turned out amazing. We will have another baby and it sounds like the 70 or 90 macro would be better for that though.

What do you think of this option? Use the sony 35 and sigma/tamron for portraits, low light, indoor, night, macro. Maybe the Sony 35 becoming my main lens after I get filters for it.
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Steve-S View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Steve-S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 December 2011 at 18:17

+1 on adding the Tamron 90/2.8 into consideration; for my shooting style, I consider the 135mm-equivalent (in FF FOV terms) to be an excellent portrait length; it's at the long end, that's true, but that just means it can double as a candid-snapper at a pinch!    Many people still consider an 85/1.4 as "the" portrait lens even on aps-c. I even know some who shoot portraits with a 70-200, and use all that range in their shooting; so 90mm isn't unreasonable at all! Last but not least, older Tamron 90's can be had relatively cheaply!

+1 on the advice to consider (long term) that 2 macro's (and I wouldn't rule out a 3rd one!) is the way to go if you're serious about shooting macro. However, I'd suggest anything in the 50-100 range as the #1 lens, and something 150mm-and-over as the #2 lens (with a wide macro as the possible 3rd): many living subjects will simply NOT hold still for you to get macro-close with a 50/60/70/90. Even 180ish can be a challenge, but at least it's possible...

I'd also suggest that the serious macro-shooter (who doesn't already have/do this) begin looking at a relatively heavy-duty and extremely-versatile tripod; something with a reversible center-column or the like, for ground-level shots.

Last on the unsolicited-advice front, is the suggestion for upgrading flash: get a second unit for setting up off-camera twin-flash'ing, or a ring-flash (either dedicated, or an adapter).

To answer the original question, as-asked: I'd get the f/2 lens for the aperture advantages (a stop of speed, a touch narrower DOF) when you want it. The Tamron can always be closed down to f/2.8 or narrower, but the Sigma can never be opened up to F/2...   

- Steve S.
Alpha: a77+7000; SAL 18135, SAL1870, MinO50/1.7, MinO75-300, Tam90/2.8, Smyg85/1.4, others.
SR(MC/MD): XD-11, XK+AEhead Min50/1.7&1.4, Tam70-150/3.5, Viv35/2.8, Viv2xTC

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Brendon View Drop Down

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brendon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 December 2011 at 06:18
Another point to remember is that the Tamron is an IF design while the Sigma still uses the liner focusing design. What this means is that the Tamron will have a constant physical length at 1:1 setting while the Sigma will almost double its physical length at 1:1.

This means that even though the Sigma has a 10mm advantage, actual working distance (from end of lens to subject) will be noticeably better on the Tamron.

The Tamron 60mm and Tamron 90mm both have practically the same working distance. The Sigma 70mm has less that that.

I haven't used either the Tamron or the Sigma so I cannot comment on sharpness but user reports and review sites all testify that the Sigma is one of the best macro lenses sharpness wise while the Tamron is an average to slightly below average performer (btw even a slightly below average macro lens is still a stellar lens as flat field designs generally give superb sharpness). So stopped down to f8 and above you might not see any great difference unless you decide to crop.
View my photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/88678881@N00/
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