As I wait for the potential ascension of the next precious (when they finally ship) I took what would have been two prior contenders for the throne out for a spin. Had about one day with each.
I originally intended to write two individual review posts, but found them similar enough to each other in actual use I chose to write this one combined overview post instead. Both are great lenses and capable of fantastic results. Will not be purchasing either. But I am getting ahead of myself. Before I get to that let me show some sample photos from each, followed by my thoughts on each individually and as compared to one another and then why I am not buying either.
- Useful focal length range.
- Great colors.
- Solid aesthetics and build.
- Does not make for better images but now that Tamron has stepped up their build game I would put them in the same ball park build wise.
- Capable of respectable bokeh.
- Capable of impressive close focusing.
- No IBIS, but that is fairly common now that all recent and current Sony bodies have IBIS.
- Either make a strong case for choosing them over the Sony G Master, leaving quite a few hundred dollars in your pocket.
- If pressed I would say that the SIGMA was ever so slightly better built.
- But that just might be the slightly heavier weight talking.
- Upon reviewing the images back to back the colors of the SIGMA seem a bit more saturated.
- Whether that is good or not is mostly up to personal taste. A wash for me.
- The Tamron is slightly lighter though neither are what I would call heavy.
- The Tamron saves you $200.
- Great value, but the price difference would not sway me alone between the two.
- Tamron has a USB-C that promises added configuration flexibility.
- SIGMA gives you a bit more width at the wide end.
- Tamron gives you a bit more length at the long end.
Why I am not buying either.
- So many other options on the market.
- Around this focal length range there are 9 AF FE full frame lenses on the market now. If you are so inclined you might want, or need, to check them all out yourself to see if you have a preference.
- As of this date, and always subject to change, I have chosen the compact collapsible Sony 28-60mm.
- Great IQ and I chose small price (used or with kit), size, and weight over aperture spec. Strictly a personal choice.
- But you could not go wrong no matter which of these 9 lenses you chose.
- Personal preference for 50mm.
- If there were any way to make it work I would rather a 50mm prime over either of these lenses.
- If I had to have an f/2.8 zoom I would prefer the added flexibility of the upcoming Tamron 35-150mm.
- If shooting for myself I use primes. If shooting for events I typically pair a lens in this range with a short to long tele zoom on a second body. The 35-150mm would either let me cover a similar range with one body or use the second body for a fast prime or a wide zoom which would allow me to cover an even larger range of focal lengths.
- But if one did not want that added size and expense once again either of these lenses would do just fine. More than that they would be exceptional actually.
When looking at these two lenses in isolation I consider it a wash. If you see a great enough difference in the sample shots to choose one over the other great. If you have a brand allegiance to one over the other great. Choose one and I doubt that you will be disappointed. I could get on just fine with either one of these lenses and be perfectly happy.
These are great times. I have been saying for a while now that there are a ton of great cameras on the market right now. You could hardly go wrong with any of them. But Sony is alone right now as far as third party lens choices go. And as with the camera bodies, there are a ton of great FE lens choices on the market right now around this spec. Having trouble choosing? Just choose one and stop looking at other reviews and you cannot go wrong.
And that applies to these lenses as well. When I tested them I wanted to write a separate review of each, but they are very much alike. I have no preference to offer. Only confirmation that they are both solid choices.