Sigma 35 Art vs. Tamron 35 or 45?

Cory

EOS 7D MK II
Oct 20, 2012
551
3
Yardley, PA
eorthoTENS.com
For a nice option to sit in between an UWA and an 85mm lens would there be a winner among the Sigma 35 Art, Tamron 35 and Tamron 45 (on a Canon crop)?
67mm threads are a bonus (hence including these) and I really do like that Sigma "contrasty" look (which the Tamrons seem to have as well). Not a fan of a lot of CA even though easily removed, but still.
Leaning towards the Sigma, but figured I'd do a tiny bit more agonizing.
Thanks.
 

TWI by Dustin Abbott

EOS 5D MK IV
Oct 4, 2012
2,669
17
www.dustinabbott.net
Cory said:
For a nice option to sit in between an UWA and an 85mm lens would there be a winner among the Sigma 35 Art, Tamron 35 and Tamron 45 (on a Canon crop)?
67mm threads are a bonus (hence including these) and I really do like that Sigma "contrasty" look (which the Tamrons seem to have as well). Not a fan of a lot of CA even though easily removed, but still.
Leaning towards the Sigma, but figured I'd do a tiny bit more agonizing.
Thanks.
Cory, the Sigma is optically great, but I would personally never purchase it. I had very inconsistent focus results, whereas the Tamron lenses focus very consistently (particularly if you spend the time to dial things in with the Tap In Console). I own the 45 and 85 VC and love them. The 35mm would be a great option on your crop body, as it focuses faster than the 45 and has a really incredibly near-macro level magnification.

I don't own the 35 VC because I own the best 35mm lens out there - the 35L II.
 

ahsanford

Particular Member
Aug 16, 2012
8,441
1,266
Cory said:
For a nice option to sit in between an UWA and an 85mm lens would there be a winner among the Sigma 35 Art, Tamron 35 and Tamron 45 (on a Canon crop)?
67mm threads are a bonus (hence including these) and I really do like that Sigma "contrasty" look (which the Tamrons seem to have as well). Not a fan of a lot of CA even though easily removed, but still.
Leaning towards the Sigma, but figured I'd do a tiny bit more agonizing.
Thanks.
My thought process:

1) Nail down the FL you really want for your needs. I've seen 'paired prime' arguments for a 24 and 50, 35 and 85, etc. -- just pick the one you need. (35 and 45 are different animals to me, btw)

2a) Presuming it's 35...

Best = Dustin is correct in that the 35L II is the best tool out there. I'm oversimplifying, but the 35L II is effectively the 35mm Art with near-flawless first party autofocus. The 35 Art is optically stellar but has -- to a varying degree -- been plagued with the Sigma 'inconsistent AF' problem which cannot be corrected in their USB dock, which may / may not be a major problem for how/what you shoot.

Best value
= Toss up between the Sigma 35mm Art and the Canon non-L 35mm f/2 IS USM. The Sigma's sharpness per dollar value proposition is off the charts, but it's relatively large/heavy and the AF is a wildcard. The Canon is small and unassuming (better for street, candids, etc.), packs IS and (critically) has fast/reliable/consistent AF. However, you do lose a stop with the f/2 design.

Best Budget value = Get a Canon pancake that works on your mount, either the 22 f/2 STM for EF-M, the 24 f/2.8 STM for EF-S or the 40mm f/2.8 STM for EF. The 40 is the least desirable for FOV reasons if you are gunning for a 35mm lens, but it's your only option on a FF rig. All three of these lenses are staggeringly sharp for what you pay, but know that some larger lens creature comforts (focus scale, solid hood attachment, common filter diameter with your other lenses, fast AF) will not be there for you.

Avoid = Tamron 35mm f/1.8 VC. I don't say avoid it like it's a poor product -- far from it (it's quite sharp!). But why you'd pay the same money and get this instead of such a solid first party Canon option is utterly beyond me. A fraction of a stop quicker and a hair sharper wide open is not remotely worth walking away from first party AF, IMHO, but you may feel differently.

2b) Presuming it's 45mm (let's say 45-50):

If you need IS, the Tamron is the only option. (Unlike the 35mm space which is a hornet's nest of recent very good lens releases, Tamron has some open water here and should sell well.)

If you don't need IS, that's a very long thread. There is a clown car full of non-IS 50s to choose from, and all of them have drawbacks. There is no 9/10 at everything 50mm lens, so you usually end up choosing the one with the drawback that angers you the least.

- A
 

Cory

EOS 7D MK II
Oct 20, 2012
551
3
Yardley, PA
eorthoTENS.com
TWI by Dustin Abbott said:
Cory, the Sigma is optically great, but I would personally never purchase it. I had very inconsistent focus results, whereas the Tamron lenses focus very consistently (particularly if you spend the time to dial things in with the Tap In Console). I own the 45 and 85 VC and love them. The 35mm would be a great option on your crop body, as it focuses faster than the 45 and has a really incredibly near-macro level magnification.

I don't own the 35 VC because I own the best 35mm lens out there - the 35L II.
Thank you, Sir. I really appreciate that.
I agonized a lot over this and found lots (including yours) of extreme positive about the Tamron 45mm lens. Probably should have taken a look at that in person.
I really like the way Sigma renders colors and contrast so I crossed my fingers and went for it. The new Tamrons are probably similar and maybe more reliable over the spectrum of different cameras maybe.
It's staggeringly perfect (on my 70D). It's just exactly what I was after.
Thanks again and your reviews are truly the best (as well as your links to purchase, of course - as might be the case with the new Tamron 70-200 with the delivery timed for when my wife is at work).
 

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slclick

135L
Dec 17, 2013
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as might be the case with the new Tamron 70-200 with the delivery timed for when my wife is at work).
[/quote]

LOL!
[/quote]

This never works for your first big white.
 

ahsanford

Particular Member
Aug 16, 2012
8,441
1,266
johnrudoff@yahoo.com said:
AH Sanford -- I find your comments lucid, thorough, and reasoned. Very useful. Thx for posting.
And you made my day. Thank you!

- A
 

fish_shooter

Underwater Photographer
Oct 9, 2013
101
0
Alaska
www.salmonography.com
Cory said:
For a nice option to sit in between an UWA and an 85mm lens would there be a winner among the Sigma 35 Art, Tamron 35 and Tamron 45 (on a Canon crop)?
67mm threads are a bonus (hence including these) and I really do like that Sigma "contrasty" look (which the Tamrons seem to have as well). Not a fan of a lot of CA even though easily removed, but still.
Leaning towards the Sigma, but figured I'd do a tiny bit more agonizing.
Thanks.
The Tamron 35 was the "winner" for me by meeting my most important criterion, which is important for underwater photography. That is minimum focusing distance. I concur with the reviewers that reported axial color error for this lens. It is not obvious in most shots, however. I would have chosen the Canon 35 L mk2 but for the minimal focusing distance. This is how important this criterion is for my work. The Tamron is replacing my Sigma 28/1.8 lens that also focuses very close - I chose it over the old Canon 28/1.8 when I bought it a few years back.
 

jd7

EOS 7D MK II
Feb 3, 2013
782
151
Hi Cory

Glad to hear your 35 Art is working well for you.

For what it may be worth, I had the Canon 35 f/2 IS for a couple of years before switching to the 35 Art. I had sworn off third party lenses after a couple of not-so-good experiences, and I like how small and light the 35 f/2 IS is. However, after disregarding the Sigma because it was third party and because it was larger and heavier, I eventually got a chance to try out the 35 Art over a couple of days. Well, I bought a copy within the week, and the Canon went up for sale!

Regarding AF with the Art, I don't feel like the hit rate is really any different from what I was getting with lenses like my old 35 f/2 IS. It seems there must be some Art lenses with bad AF out there, given I've seen reports of that from people who seem to have a pretty good idea of how to work a camera, but I often wonder if there are other issues at play too: perhaps Sigma having had a poor reputation for AF accuracy, people tend to blame a Sigma lens for AF misses, without investigating whether there may be an issue with the camera body or their technique; or their expectations are simply unrealistic (bearing in mind how thin DOF can be if shooting at wide aperture). I haven't owned any L primes though, so I cannot personally compare the AF against them.

As for the Tamrons, I tried both just before I bought the 35 Art, and decided I would rather a 35 Art and 50 Art. From my limited testing (only one copy of each, and only in a shop), the Arts seemed optically better at f/1.4 than the Tamrons at f/1.8. In the end I felt like the Tamrons were neither small and light (like the Canon 35 f/2 IS) nor very fast aperture and optically great (like the Art). Of course, no doubt some people see the Tamrons more as a "best of both worlds" compromise - just wasn't my choice. I do sometimes miss the size/weight advantage of the Canon, but then I see photos taken with the Art and quickly remember why I changed over.

Hope you continue to enjoy your 35 Art!
 

Cory

EOS 7D MK II
Oct 20, 2012
551
3
Yardley, PA
eorthoTENS.com
Thanks jd7. That's extremely cool.
In defense of others, I did find the Canon 35 2.0 IS to maybe be as sharp as it gets, but kind of "sterile" in a way if that makes sense or is the right word. Extremely sharp, but I just find that Sigma rendering to be very Sigma-like or something - I just like it (even if not as sharp; although maybe it is).
I even thought of getting a 24 or 40 pancake lens for when traveling light, but then my new Sigma wouldn't be on the camera and what good is that.
So, in closing, here's another around-the-house shot at 1.4/crop sensor:
 

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Luds34

EOS 6D MK II
May 15, 2014
919
0
jd7 said:
Hi Cory

Glad to hear your 35 Art is working well for you.

For what it may be worth, I had the Canon 35 f/2 IS for a couple of years before switching to the 35 Art. I had sworn off third party lenses after a couple of not-so-good experiences, and I like how small and light the 35 f/2 IS is. However, after disregarding the Sigma because it was third party and because it was larger and heavier, I eventually got a chance to try out the 35 Art over a couple of days. Well, I bought a copy within the week, and the Canon went up for sale!
My buddy owns the 35 f/2 IS and it's a great lens. However there is just something about the draw and render of the Sigma 35 Art at f/1.4 that I can't shake... I just absolutely love the look/feel I get from this lens. Heck even just "boring" shots around the house look that much better. Anyway, I have owned the Sigma 35mm Art for about 18 months now and it is by far my favorite lens to shoot with on my 6D.

As far as AF??? I only use the center point on my 6D and it required zero AFMA. I do own the dock but never really mucked with it other then to verify the fw was up to date. AF is dead accurate, but a bit slower then my 85mm, 135mm, and even the 70-200mm. In good light it performs very well and any slowness compared to Canon's fastest focusing lenses is nearly negligible. However in lower light the camera and lens are not as in sync on the whole feedback algorithm and it does seem to take an extra hiccup to lock in focus.

Anyway, can only speak of my experience with the Sigma (have not shot the new Tamron 35mm yet) but reiterating... It's my favorite EF mount lens I own.