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Third Party Lenses. Are they really that bad?

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Old 11-17-2010, 12:05 AM   #1
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Third Party Lenses. Are they really that bad?

SO, i have heard from A LOT of people that third party lenses are bad or cheap in quality. Dont get me wrong if i could afford it i would stay in the family and buy Nikkor. but times are obviously tough. and i really want the Nikkor 16-35mm F4 with VR. But the Tokina 16-28mm F2.8 looks so good and its significantly cheaper, AND its a faster lens. and my thinking is, Tokina, Tamron, Sigma, Bushnell, etc etc. all they make is lenses. so they cant be THAT bad. maybe i just need direction.
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:10 AM   #2
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The Tokina 16-28mm F2.8

The Nikkor 16-35mm F4
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:10 AM   #3
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I have never had any problems with a third party lense!
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:13 AM   #4
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me neither!! i have a 28-80mm sigma and a 28mm bushnell and theyre both great!
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:15 AM   #5
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Exactly! Haters...


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Old 11-17-2010, 12:40 AM   #6
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There are indeed cases where OEM lenses suck compared to 3rd party brand's counter parts, you just gotta look for the reviews. I know us Canon user have some good wides angles made by Tokina, some fast lenses with good IQ from Sigma, and Canon has their fair share of good L glass. Join a forum and see what they have to say. Im on a forum that has reviews and sample photos for pretty much any lens that fits on our cameras, I'm sure you can find something similar
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:01 AM   #7
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As a professional photography i'll say.......... haahaha jk im hyper right now. I'll stay within Tamron, Tokina & Sigma only
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:13 AM   #8
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ok because saving a $480.00 difference for a FASTER lens (F2.8), and having to sacrifice the "Nikkor" name, seems well worth it to me. and i have heard nothing but great things about Tokinas WA. ive actually heard that some of them are better than some of the nikkor lenses. so.....yeh
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:16 AM   #9
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:43 AM   #10
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In my experience I'd have to disagree in that Nikkor lenses are superior to 3rd party lenses. Before you stone me, let me explain. I have a sigma 70-200 2.8. The problem is, the Camera manufacturers make lenses designed to work with their bodies, with circuitry built just for the camera's. Whereas the 3rd parties don't have the proprietary information that the camera manufactures have, and they 3rd parties have to reverse engineer the OEM lens to make a similar product. The problem lies herein: after a while, camera makes may make a change to the bodies (Nikon does this alot) and the camera's chip doesn't communicate with the older 3rd Party lenses correctly so things don't work right. Case and point: My 2.8 lens now will read 3fstop. I called Sigma, and they said its because the chip in my lens is out dated and won't communicate with my camera correctly.

Also the camera manufacturers in creating their lenses specifically for their bodies, patent and copyright their glass design to get the most efficient and consistent picture out of the different pieces of glass, whereas the 3rd parties have to re-arrange the glass and re-shape it in order to not infringe on the OEM patents, which is why you'll hear (not always) that distortion on certain lenses is bad, or softness in the corners more so than the OEM lenses.


THAT BEING said, I say, when looking at a 3rd party lens, look at their used value on KEH, if they resale high, then they are generally a desired lens, and you can recover a good portion of your costs when the time comes and you want to upgrade your lens.

For the record, I have two sigma lenses, the 10-20mm, and the 70-210 2.8 They do the job, but when the time comes I will drop that 70-210 for a nikkor 70-200 in a heart beat, not just because of name brand, but of speed in focusing, compatibility and reliability.
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Old 11-17-2010, 03:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flocktothewall View Post
In my experience I'd have to disagree in that Nikkor lenses are superior to 3rd party lenses. Before you stone me, let me explain. I have a sigma 70-200 2.8. The problem is, the Camera manufacturers make lenses designed to work with their bodies, with circuitry built just for the camera's. Whereas the 3rd parties don't have the proprietary information that the camera manufactures have, and they 3rd parties have to reverse engineer the OEM lens to make a similar product. The problem lies herein: after a while, camera makes may make a change to the bodies (Nikon does this alot) and the camera's chip doesn't communicate with the older 3rd Party lenses correctly so things don't work right. Case and point: My 2.8 lens now will read 3fstop. I called Sigma, and they said its because the chip in my lens is out dated and won't communicate with my camera correctly.

Also the camera manufacturers in creating their lenses specifically for their bodies, patent and copyright their glass design to get the most efficient and consistent picture out of the different pieces of glass, whereas the 3rd parties have to re-arrange the glass and re-shape it in order to not infringe on the OEM patents, which is why you'll hear (not always) that distortion on certain lenses is bad, or softness in the corners more so than the OEM lenses.


THAT BEING said, I say, when looking at a 3rd party lens, look at their used value on KEH, if they resale high, then they are generally a desired lens, and you can recover a good portion of your costs when the time comes and you want to upgrade your lens.

For the record, I have two sigma lenses, the 10-20mm, and the 70-210 2.8 They do the job, but when the time comes I will drop that 70-210 for a nikkor 70-200 in a heart beat, not just because of name brand, but of speed in focusing, compatibility and reliability.
this part confused me
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:04 PM   #12
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this part confused me
Buy the best one for the task. Who cares who made it?
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:40 PM   #13
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agreed.
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:00 PM   #14
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I have Tokina's 11-16mm 2.8 and its a great lens I absolutely love it. Tokina's products that I have used in the past are really good. There are some 3rd party I would avoid... Quantery, Tamron (I'm not a fan) Sigma's are hit and miss.

Cool fact of the day though: Tokina was actually founded by a bunch of former Nikon Engineers though

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokina
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:25 PM   #15
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i agree with the hit and miss part for sigma...then its settled. im hetting that 16-28mm!
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:03 PM   #16
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there are a few factors in play when it comes to third party lenses... i have used Tokina, Tamron, and Quantaray over the years to cut costs, but in the end, all of those lenses ended up in the trash or on ebay...

at web size resolution, they were decent lenses, but in a heavy volume environment at high resolution print size, they got soft fast...

im sure by now they have greatly improved, but if you are trying to make a living out of your photography, it would be best to invest in the higher end glass...
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:14 PM   #17
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there are a few factors in play when it comes to third party lenses... i have used Tokina, Tamron, and Quantaray over the years to cut costs, but in the end, all of those lenses ended up in the trash or on ebay...

at web size resolution, they were decent lenses, but in a heavy volume environment at high resolution print size, they got soft fast...

im sure by now they have greatly improved, but if you are trying to make a living out of your photography, it would be best to invest in the higher end glass...
i absolutely agree with this. BUT on the same token until i can get some pro nikkor glass, i can do the exact same thing for almost half the price. and im not doing gallery sized prints. im hardly doing any prints for that matter.
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:30 PM   #18
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i absolutely agree with this. BUT on the same token until i can get some pro nikkor glass, i can do the exact same thing for almost half the price. and im not doing gallery sized prints. im hardly doing any prints for that matter.
yah.. if not in need of prints and not shooting everyday, then non pro glass will suffice...
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:41 PM   #19
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yah.. if not in need of prints and not shooting everyday, then non pro glass will suffice...
well i shoot almost everyday but i think that tokina will do just fine for now
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Old 11-18-2010, 12:45 AM   #20
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I haven't had any problems with my sigma's. I know there are some cases of AF problems with some canon sigma's but they have a 4 year warranty and that isn't something that a trip to sigma for a new lens or calibration wont fix. Its well worth it for the lenses that have the same IQ for less than half the price. I know the sigma 50/1.4 is said to give the canon 50L a run for its money and it a lot of guys are saying that the new sigma 85/1.4 is as good if not better than the canon 85L.

You really just have to read reviews and figure out what is best for you and your wallet.

I know I wouldn't mind taking a sigma, tokina, tamron over a canon in some cases. In fact all I own are sigma's right now because they work great for me, the IQ is great and it allows me to have three lenses when I would probably only own one if I stuck with canon lenses
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