Re: canon vs. tamron lense

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Posted by John R. on March 20, 2000 at 11:53:45:

In Reply to: canon vs. tamron lense posted by Debbie on March 14, 2000 at 13:39:03:

: I am looking to purchase a Canon Rebel 2000. One retailer sells it with the Canon 28/80 lens another sells it with the Tamron 28/80 lens claiming that the Tamron is a superior lens. What do you think?
: Thanks


All major lens manufacturers have good and not so good lens models in their product line. Tamron and Canon both make quality optics. Considering the 28-80 the only way to be sure which has better performance than the other is to read test evaluation results. Otherwise the next best method is to shoot a few test frames (of a McBeth color chart and a lens test target in daylight)on the same roll of transparency film. Evaluate the results to your eye. Don't worry about what others think. The important thing is that YOU are satisfied with the results. Do test frames at a middle aperture ie: f8. Shoot some at infinity and at minimum focus, make sure the results are sharp in the center and at the edges. Being a zoom you will see some variances. Use different focal lengths and shoot a frame or two of a vertical line such as the edge of a building or the corner of a wall and take note of any distortion of the vertical line. Take a frame or two of a fleshtone in open shade. Evaluate the results. Feel for any mechanical slack in the zoom function. Feel for the quality of the aperture setting ring, there should be no slop, it should be firm. Look at a diagram of the lens' construction and note how many elements in how many groups. That will give you an indication of the general optical quality of one vs the other.

A good camera store will allow you to shoot a few frames with the lens you are considering. In your case you may need to purchase the camera body first since a store is not as keen about loading a roll of film in a new body. I use Contax equipment and Zeiss and Tamron SP lenses. Yes Zeiss lenses are more expensive than Tamron's. That does not mean the Tamron is not a good lens. I use Tamron's 17mm SP and am very pleased with the results and it's durability. The Zeiss equivelent would have cost twice as much. Would the results be worth the difference? Not for my needs nor my clients needs. That's where evaluating your needs comes in. I also use the Tamron 500mm SP for special applications and it has afforded me with some excellent results as well. Determine your needs and expected results and then go shopping wisely. I have found most amateurs way over buy when it comes to equipment. Most totally overspend their knowledge and abilities. Watch out for all the marketing hype and some salespeople, keep it simple.

Also bear in mind that zooms have come a long way over the last few years in performance but they still fall short of a fixed focal length lens for a given focal length. You may want to consider individual lenses in focal lengths that you particularly like.

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