Interesting read. Not sure what it means for Canon, or how they will interpret those data. But, I've said elsewhere that while a lot of people who shall remain nameless but are quite vocal about this Nikon camera or that Nikon camera 'blowing away' the Canon counterpart, the overall sales figures certainly point to Canon doing many things right...
The sales figures are interesting. Canon leads the markets in all categories-- but not by the same margin. If Canon sells camera bodies in much larger volumes than Nikon, why is Canon's lead in lens sales relatively smaller? Do Nikon users buy more lenses on average than Canon users?
Off the top of my head... For professional grade, top-of-the line lenses, both companies offer strong options, and I'd be surprised if there's a huge difference in this segment. Nikon offers a few cheap primes on the wider end that Canon can't really compete with, so this could skew some numbers in the enthusiast segment-- but I'd be surprised if it skewed that
many numbers. Nikon lenses can be adapted to other cameras (i.e. m43) more easily than Canon lenses, so third party use could drive a limited number of Nikon sales (this segment, though, seems to have a fondness for the used market, which would mitigate impact in Nikon's primary sales statistics). In a sense, I think some buyers might actually be more biased toward purchasing Canon lenses because third parties like Tamron and (to a much bigger extent) Sigma seem to have trouble reverse-engineering Canon's AF algorithms-- a problem that doesn't seem to plague the Nikon folks. So a Canon disadvantage doesn't seem likely to come from third party defectors, as such as scenario might actually be more palatable for the Nikon crowd. I suppose the high-end third party manufacturers (i.e. Zeiss) might draw some sales from Canon-- but this is a very expensive market segment, so the effect of someone buying a Zeiss 21mm instead of a Canon 24mm L seems limited.
I'm just suprised Canon's lead in bodies is over 18% while its lead in lenses over Nikon is only about 10%. I realize that this figure refers to sales shares, which makes it difficult to extrapolate WHICH lenses and WHICH bodes contributed to these figures, as the sales distribution across the companies' respective inventories could be part of an informed metric. The percentages were just so plainly different without this additional math, though, that I was surprised.
As for the OP, Tamron only makes a few truly decent lenses (17-50, 28-75, 70-300 VC, off the top of my head) but all of these lenses are relatively good deals relative to their L/high-end equivalent (the 17-55 IS, 24-70, and 70-300 L IS, respectively). Based on Amazon sales rankings and internet chatter, I think the enthusiast and budget filmmaking communities (bright aperture zoom is important) give Tamron some additional markets. I doubt that these sales figures contribute as heavily as superzooms and the "second kit lens" sales pitches-- but I'm not surprised to see Tamron rate so well. I am surprised that Sigma, which ALSO offers lenses for many mounts and enjoys a broad market place, is not more competitive. I've also felt that they're price a little higher than they should be, relative to Tamron or Tokina quality offers. But I've only tested, never owned, a Sigma lens, so I'm no authority.