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      01-27-2009, 12:15 AM   #1
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Tamron lenses for Nikons?

So I've come to a point in my life where I need an SLR again. I used to have a Minolta Maxxum 7xi (35mm film) camera years ago (bought in 1991, so I'm dating myself a little......) I had Sigma lenses for this camera and I remember being moderately OK with them.

Then I went through a period where I was trading performance for portability with the coming of the digital age. So now the "best" camera in the house is a Canon SD1100 IS! The wife really loves it, because she always has it with her. When the kids were very little and no more than a few feet away, it wasn't a big deal. But now they are getting bigger and doing more activities. Clearly the little pocket camera doesn't meet all the new photography needs.....

The SLR will be needed for the following events and lighting conditions:
1.) Dance recitals (indoor with moderate to low light, longer distances, lots of motion.)

2.) Ice Skating (indoor with moderate light, longer distances, lots of motion.)

3.) Soccer (outdoors, moderate to bright light, moderate distances, lots of motion.)

4.) Basketball (indoors, moderate light, longer distances, etc.)

5.) Tennis (indoor and outdoor, moderate to bright, shorter distances, lots of motion.)

Of course, I'll also use the camera with the BMW! Track days, scenic drives, meet-n-greets, etc. But the main reason is for the children.

I really like the Nikons (D90 or D300), mostly because of the reviews on Ken Rockwell's website. I've handled both the D90 and D300 and I like them both (heft, ergonomics, etc.) I'm not ruling out the Canons though, but I've spent more time looking at the Nikons. I tend to "over-buy" on stuff, meaning going a level or two above what I really need, but damnit, I want it!

The biggest issues are the indoor events with low to moderate lighting. That is pushing me towards a 70-200 f/2.8 lens. That of course means BIG bucks! The Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR runs around $1,600. This got me searching for a quality alternative and I came across the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 for $700. It doesn't have image stabilization like the Nikon, but is less than half the price. I do know you "get what you pay for", but is the Nikon worth twice as much?

This also led me to the Tamron 18-270 lens for the Nikon, which does have image stabilization. I was planning on the Nikon 18-200 VR as the "everyday" lens, but this Tamron seems to almost match it on paper. The price isn't too bad at $600 either, although the local camera place is willing to sell me the Nikon 18-200 VRfor $450 if I buy the D300 ($1,650.)


My initial thoughts on the various setups looked like this.
SLR "kit #1":
Nikon D90 ($900)
Nikon 18-200 VR lens ($750)
Nikon 75-200 VR f/2.8 lens ($1,650 budget killer....)
Tokina 11-16 ($570)
Nikon SB-400 (or maybe the SB-600) ($130)
$4,000

SLR "kit #2":
Nikon D300 ($1650)
Nikon 18-200 VR lens ($450)
Nikon 75-200 VR f/2.8 lens ($1,650 budget killer....)
Tokina 11-16 ($570)
Nikon SB-400 (or maybe the SB-600) ($130)
$4,450

If I swap in the Tamron, at least on the 75-200 f/2.8, I shave nearly $1,000 of those kit prices. If I go with the D90 and both Tamron lenses (18-270 and 75-200) instead of the Nikons, I drop down to $2,900 total.

So, what opinions do people have with regards to the Tamron lenses? Are they good alternatives to the Nikon lenses? Will they be "out of place" on the D90 or D300?

Now, D90 vs. D300 is a whole other thread! D90 being brand new, D300 being over 1 year old.....
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      01-27-2009, 02:08 AM   #2
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Blah. The only thing I like about Tamrons are their warranty periods. Six years! That's more than most others.

I own their 10-24mm Built-in Motor (big mistake) wide-angle for my Nikon D60. I wouldn't get any of them with a built in motor. They're loud, slow, and indecisive. I usually have to takeover in manual mode if it can't find the right focus distance. The loud motor makes it seem like a toy!

You're right on the Tokina. I'm planning on selling the Tamron and getting that exact one instead. Ken Rockwell says its image quality is better than the Nikon 12-24mm, and has that wider aperture that can come in handy under low-light.

But if I were you, I would get an SB-800. I'm having regrets owning the SB-600 just because it doesn't have some cool features that the SB-800 has. Just don't get the SB-400. For $70 more, you can get the SB-600, and it's well worth the bouncing capability.
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      01-27-2009, 03:08 AM   #3
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Thanks for the feedback. Bummer though, as I don't really want to spend $1,600 on a lens right now. Hmmmmmm......

Also, do you buy local or off the 'net? If you do buy local, where do you shop? I haven't been to Glazer's in at least 10 years, but it used to be a good shop.....
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      01-27-2009, 03:09 AM   #4
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I have to tell you something up front, I'm not knocking on nikon, they have some fantastic products in various ranges.

1) Ken Rockwell is a joke: generally speaking, on various photo forums, this is the name that gets used as a fake avatar and made fun of for being so incredible anti-canon and pro-nikon that its silly.

The man is a pro photographer that shoots in jpeg mode and doesnt think that photoshop is useful since he'd rather take the true output of the camera (plus, who has a computer that can run that program!)

*sarcasm*

So in any case, I would say that after spending a few months of research on cameras and nikon vs canon etc. The conclusion I came to was that both have good models and comparable lenses. Nikon is known for its wide angle, Canon known for its zooms and such. Not to say nikon isnt good at those, but the people that look @ marginal differences will see them somewhere, anywhere.

Check out dpreview.com for good reviews of cameras, and www.the-digital-picture.com for some really in depth canon product reviews and photo samples of all their lenses on all their bodies as well.

D90 vs. D300 in a short thread for you:

-D90 is more prosumer
-D300 is more pro

physical differences:
d90 has a plastic body, d300 is semi sealed and you'll notice the difference when you hold them, as the d300 is bigger/more substantial

mechanical diff:
d90 is based off the d300 sensors, so quality will be very similar as both have the same size sensor etc. d90 does video, d300 does not, if you want video, the d90 is the one you want, if you dont care, d300 is the winner. The d300 is a faster camera than the d90, but neither are slow. quality on both is very good with any of the lenses you mentioned since they are based on the same sensor essentially.

I personally preferred canon's body feel/menus etc (the intangibles haha) as the quality on both at such a price level is rather high.

The minute difference between mid-higher end canon and nikon:

-Nikon has a more "advanced" AF (54 pts)
-Canon has an advanced AF with less points, so it is 'faster'
-Canon image quality tends to be roughly on par with nikon, but for my eye, it has better color reproduction
-Nikon camera is faster than the canon (like comparing a ferarri to a bugatti though @ this level) <--im referring to the shutter black out time and fps shooting allowed

It seems you plan on primarily shooting sports, so a fast camera/lens combo is needed for you. The nikon is fast, the canon is fast, both can shoot sports

To me, the minute quality difference swayed me to canon, as I think the speed is just fine. Its very fast. As an example, I took some indoor hockey photos this weekend with my 5dmkii and 70-200 f2.8 lens (the 2.8 indoors is a must if you dont want to sacrifice image quality) and I think they came out pretty damn good.

Here is what I would get for both manufacturers based on what you want to do:

Nikon:

-D300 (if you dont care for the video of the D90, the D300 is a better camera..minutely, but still, we're comparing minutes here)
-Nikon 70-200 F 2.8 VR (you will need this indoors, fact)
-Nikon 1.4x extender (why get a longer telephoto (400) when you can get pretty far out there with your best lens...no need to waste the dollars on the longer telephoto thats not as good)<--unless you want to
-Nikon 17-55 F 2.8 lens (you need the speed, and while this is pricey...its..awesome)

If you still want super wide angle 10mm lenses, you can always add. This however guarantees the best quality from 17mm all the way through roughly 300mm (which is what you seem to be shooting)

Canon:

-50D/40D
-Canon 70-200 F 2.8 IS L
-Canon 16-35 F 2.8 IS L
-Canon 50mm 1.4
or
-Canon 24-70 F 2.8 L (the brick)
-Canon 17-40 F 4 L (cheaper than the 16...but slower)

Wow, this has gotten long, anyways, if you have any questions, feel free to throw them out there, Ive probably come across the same one in the past few months haha
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      01-27-2009, 03:13 AM   #5
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ps.

keep in mind the small things you will need if you get 4 lenses as well

-filters (they can get very pricey if all your lenses have different sizes and can add tons to your overall cost)

(you cant cheap out on filters, no use buying amazing glass to put a bad piece of glass on the front of it)
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      01-27-2009, 03:25 AM   #6
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Thanks Vudoo4u2!! I really appreciate all the feedback. I'm in no rush, and I knew the Canon folks would come out to play.

I know about Ken's reputation as a photographer, but I thought his technical reviews were good. Is that no the case so much? I know he has a definite bias towards Nikon, but since I was researching Nikon specifically, he seemed like a good technical resource (within the brand.) I didn't spend any time looking at his composition, other than when he was comparing lens performance on the same picture.

The wide angle lens would probably be the last one added, since most of the shooting would be from much longer distances. That saves the budget a little, at least for now.

And just like with these damn BMWs, the body and first lens are just the tip of the iceberg.....

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      01-27-2009, 03:43 AM   #7
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I believe whole heartedly, his technical reviews are rubbish

If you pay attention to his "same situation" comparisons, he says that he tries to keep everything alike and shoot jpeg.

1) contradiction, since shooting jpeg means your camera will make certain decisions for you as far as sharpening etc
2) he says the canons are "too sharp" for his liking and they lose detail...but he very quickly also mentions @ the beginning of the review, that he prefers less sharpening, so he turns it down on his nikon shots prior to shooting...yes very equal ken
3) I agree, that if you shoot both cameras in jpeg you are getting comparable results since many folks shoot jpeg, however its a tough comparison since there are so many variables in how both cameras handle a scene. While not adjusting any settings for both cameras gives you "comparable" results, both canon and nikon cameras have certain setting biases to begin with, which you as a user should be aware of (especially if you are spending thousands of dollars) before you complain about output <--not that you would

On that basis I say that ken's reviews of canon vs nikon on similar shots are very bias. He loves color saturation to the point that his photos look cartoonish. Which is cool since as a photographer thats his touch, but...to each their own. It would be unfair to be harsh on him for preferring this, its up to each person...but saying that unaltered output from another manufacturer or model is not colorful enough because of this preference, is not equal and unbias.

I think in the reality of it, you will find that both canon and nikon have wonderful products, and neither one is "better" than the other when comparing two models with similar specs. Both have their pluses, nikon is a notch quicker of a camera, canon is a notch better color/detail. but the differences are minute, and it wont make a difference. So I say, find the two models you like spec wise, and then compare based on usability for yourself. Since the output will be based on how well you shoot and can develop your shots.

for myself, I prefer that notch of better color/detail of the canon, but I was looking @ full frame cameras, and the d700's resolution lacks vs the 5dmkii, so that made my choice considering they both had good iso performance etc. I also dont like nikon menus, but that is a very personal preference, and theres nothing wrong with them. I just prefer the other. Try them both
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      01-27-2009, 03:46 AM   #8
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one more thing

the 70-200 F 2.8 whether its the nikon or the canon, is a must for sports

filters are very pricey like I said, so I would try to (if possible) keep similar thread sizes for your lenses so you can share filters.

I have the 70-200 F 2.8 IS L and the 24-70 F 2.8 L, they are both 77mm

B+W filters are the best, but they cost a lot.

(adorama B+W slim kaeseman mrc circular polarizer filter 77mm=245 dollars alone, Uv filter was 150)
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      01-27-2009, 03:49 AM   #9
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try to get your first 1-2 lenses to cover the most usable range for yourself, last thing you want to do is switch lenses every minute
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      01-27-2009, 03:54 AM   #10
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Ah, got it. I was looking at the specs on the 40D and 50D, but I was a little bummed to see it uses CompactFlash for memory! Rats. Everything else I have takes SD (or Micro SD) so I was hoping to stay with the same form factor. Not really a deal breaker though.

But damnit man, I'm trying to cut down on costs, not increase them! It looksl like the Canon equivalent 70-200 is even MORE money!

I'll check out those other sites you mentioned. Like I said, I'm in no big hurry, so I want to make sure I buy right the first time. Camera bodies come and go, but the lenses seem to have lasting power, so once you decide on a higher end lens, it's better to stick with that brand. I need to pick either system, buy the good lenses (not the crappy plastic kit lenses) and start shooting!
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      01-27-2009, 03:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vudoo4u2 View Post
try to get your first 1-2 lenses to cover the most usable range for yourself, last thing you want to do is switch lenses every minute

Yes. I remember that from my Minolta days. That is part of the reason I was looking at the 28-200 for an everyday "walking around" lens. It gets most of the job done, even if it is a stop or two slower. But for the indoor stuff, I know I need the faster lenses.

Alright, time for bed, I'm tired and the furnace kicked off 2 hours ago, so I'm freezing my ass off too!
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      01-27-2009, 03:58 AM   #12
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you'll want CF with UDMA capability fastest memory out there, lets you shoot and flip through your shots with no delays

definitely agree with you though, better to get it right the first time.

toy with 40/50 D and the D90/300

I wouldnt get the D90 unless you needed the video (might as well get the metal body of the D300)

The canon 70-200 F 2.8 IS L was roughly the same price as the nikon equivalent...Its my favorite lens Ive ever used...with an extender you can get 1.4x or 2x the distance, and with a macro extension tube you can use it as an image stabilized macro lens...that my friend, is incredible
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      01-27-2009, 03:59 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scollins View Post
Yes. I remember that from my Minolta days. That is part of the reason I was looking at the 28-200 for an everyday "walking around" lens. It gets most of the job done, even if it is a stop or two slower. But for the indoor stuff, I know I need the faster lenses.

Alright, time for bed, I'm tired and the furnace kicked off 2 hours ago, so I'm freezing my ass off too!
have a good night!

this is a long journey of info haha
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      01-27-2009, 05:01 AM   #14
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Dude, ditch theNikon 75-200 VR f/2.8 for now. The 18-200 VR will handle virtually ever situation without any issues till you NEED the extra stops.
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      01-27-2009, 06:06 AM   #15
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teshi, you speak with the voice of reason to wolves needing meat haha
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      01-27-2009, 06:50 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scollins View Post
I know about Ken's reputation as a photographer, but I thought his technical reviews were good. Is that no the case so much? I know he has a definite bias towards Nikon, but since I was researching Nikon specifically, he seemed like a good technical resource (within the brand.) I didn't spend any time looking at his composition, other than when he was comparing lens performance on the same picture.
Not sure if it's been mentioned here already but you might want to check out Thom Hogan's website too...

http://www.bythom.com/
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      01-27-2009, 11:37 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teshi View Post
Dude, ditch theNikon 75-200 VR f/2.8 for now. The 18-200 VR will handle virtually ever situation without any issues till you NEED the extra stops.

Yeah, but it is just like the Alcons, M3 suspension bits and coilovers for my E90 335i. I don't need those either, but I WANT IT!

What was the acronym I saw in another thread, GAS? I've got GAS for sure! "Gear Acquisition Syndrome". I've always got GAS, for whatever it is I'm into.

But in all seriousness, and practicality, I should get the 18-200 VR and see how it works out. Don't wait for the "big day" of course, but I can find similar conditions just about any time, any where and check the results.

Also, a few places nearby rent lenses, so I'm sure the 70-200 f/2.8 is available to try out.
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      01-27-2009, 11:40 AM   #18
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if you go nikon, the 18-200 lens is very very good

if you go canon, get ready to drop dough on glass (worth it..not that nikon glass isnt worth it)
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      01-27-2009, 12:09 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vudoo4u2 View Post
if you go nikon, the 18-200 lens is very very good

if you go canon, get ready to drop dough on glass (worth it..not that nikon glass isnt worth it)
yup I use my 18-200vr allllll the time. I am planning on picking up a 80-200 f2.8 as well.

I also want a D700....I want I want I want, but I dont need.

most of my shots that I post are taken w/ the 18-200vr or my beloved 50mm f1.4

keep in mind i'm shooting w a now antiquated d80.....I would love some high ISO quality.....D700 anyone?


50mm



18-200vr

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      01-27-2009, 12:10 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vudoo4u2 View Post
you'll want CF with UDMA capability fastest memory out there, lets you shoot and flip through your shots with no delays
Shows how much attention I paid to this when looking at the Nikons.......

The D300 uses CF with UDMA, while the D90 uses SD.


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      01-27-2009, 12:25 PM   #21
Vudoo4u2
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sniz, first, great shots :

second...i think that if I was a nikon user and had a bunch of nikon lenses, I wouldnt get the d700 right now.

when canon came out with the 5dmkii, they almost doubled the resolution of the d700 while matching its iso performance essentially...essentially trumping the d700 in the same price zone. So you figure nikon has to come out with a D3X spinoff with the d3x sensor giving you 20+ mp sometime in the near future...no use ditching 2.6k on a body thatll be outdated in a few months because a competitor stomped them out

but yes, d700=amazing...just in comparison to whats avail now, today, I dont think its worth it until they upgrade that sensor...

just my 2 cents tho, nothing against d700, its quality is amazing, but it did come out a while back already


Summary of my babble:

If I had no camera/lenses and wanted a full frame sensor, I wouldnt get the D700 over the 5dmarkii (after a lot of research), but I would wait for a new nikon body with a higher res sensor

If I already had nikon stuff, I would prob still wait for a d700 successor since if I was switching to full frame and paying the dollars for it, id want the resolution to go with it for bigger prints etc.

but d700=thesex
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      01-27-2009, 05:05 PM   #22
scollins
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Ok, I read a few reviews on dpreview.com. Here is an interesting quandry:

The Canon 70-200 f/2.8 rated extremely well on the full frame bodies (5D), but not quite as well on the APS-C bodies (40D/50D).

Quote:
dpreview.com
A comparison to Nikon's AF-S VR 70-200mm F2.8G is particularly interesting. The two lenses are near-identical in specification and price, but their characteristics are substantially different. The Nikon lens clearly outperforms the Canon for sharpness on the smaller DX/APS-C format, however this comes at the cost of rather compromised performance on full frame, with significantly higher distortion, vignetting and chromatic aberration, plus extremely soft corners. This leads us to conclude that the two lenses were optimized differently, the Canon for full frame and the Nikon for DX, and illustrates how the different demands of the two formats appear difficult to reconcile in a single lens design.
The Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 was the opposite, rating extremely well on the DX/APS-C format, but under-performing on the full frame bodies.

Quote:
dpreview.com
So overall we're left with a lens which is a great option for most potential buyers, but simply isn't quite up to the demands of full frame capture. For anyone using the Nikon's DX format DSLRs, the incorporation of image stabilization alone means that it's the best option currently available, but FX shooters may well wish to think long and hard before buying.
So it seems that Canon optimized their 70-200 for the full frame bodies (like Vudoo's) and Nikon optimized theirs for the DX series (D90/D300.)

Anyway, looking at a Canon 50D with the 18-200 IS is the same price as the D300 with the 18-200 VR, both with similar performance. So now I'm stuck with a "997TT vs. R8" scenario!! I guess it all really boils down to when I would actually pick up the 70-200 f/2.8.

<--- having a hard time deciding....
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