Sigma and Tamron lenses have become the best alternatives for buying third-party glass. Their optics and tech have evolved so much you can rarely notice the difference. Some Sigma and Tamron lenses are better than the original counterparts. These are often available in all popular camera lens mounts too, so you should be able to use any of these regardless of your DSLR or mirrorless camera brand. Not to mention going with Sigma or Tamron can save you some serious cash!
Looking to get a new Sigma or Tamron lens? Take a look at our list of the best ones.
The best Sigma and Tamron lenses:
The best Sigma lenses:
- Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art DC HSM
- Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM
- Sigma 105mm F2.8 DG DN Macro
- Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 Art DG OS HSM
- Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM
The best Tamron lenses:
- Tamron 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di-II VC PZD
- Tamron SP 45mm F/1.8 Di VC USD
- Tamron SP 90mm F/2.8 Di MACRO 1:1 VC USD
- Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2
- Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2
Editor’s note: This list of the best Sigma and Tamron lenses will be regularly updated as new products launch.
The best Sigma lenses
1. Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art DC HSM
Every photographer using an APS-C camera should have the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Art lens.
The 18-35mm f/1.8 Art lens quickly became one of the most popular Sigma lenses, and for good reason. This is a very special lens in that it has a non variable f/1.8 aperture, which means it keeps the same aperture regardless of the focal length. Other lenses tend to close down aperture as you zoom in.
It has amazing optics, a very wide aperture, and a focal length that will work for most shooting situations. To make matters even better, this Sigma lens launched with a $799 price tag (it’s even cheaper now!). That is an amazing price for a camera with these specs, and the only reason not all photographers are running to get it is because it is only made for cameras with APS-C sensors. Those not using a full frame camera should definitely get it.
2. Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM
The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 kills the competition with a wider aperture.
Everyone should have a 50mm wide aperture lens in their photography bag, and the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 is especially good. While most 50mm prime glass have an f/1.8 aperture, this one takes things a step further by offering f/1.4. This means you can let more light in during lowlight situations. A wider aperture also captures a nicer bokeh (blurry background).
3. Sigma 105mm F2.8 DG DN Macro
Another important investment for any photographer to make is a good macro lens. Macro lenses are made to focus at very close ranges, and the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Macro has a 1:1 magnification. The long 105mm focal length helps you get even closer, which makes this a great lens for those who want to shoot small objects, close-ups, or insects. You can also capture detail in a much more intricate way.
4. Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 Art DG OS HSM
You can save hundreds of dollars by going with the Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 professional lens.
24-70mm f/2.8 lenses are the holy grail of professional photography. The focal length is optimal for general shooting situations, as this lens can photograph wide while also zooming in enough for most long distance images. The advantage of this lens is that you get a fast f/2.8 aperture at any focal length, and you can save hundreds of dollars by going with Sigma, as opposed to your camera company’s alternative.
There’s also a version for mirrorless cameras. You might want to check it out!
5. Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM
Those who need more reach will love the 70-200mm f/2.8 Sigma lens. It also has a non-variable aperture that can stay wide open at all focal lengths. This lens is widely used by sports and wildlife photographers, among others. Optics are top-notch, and the price is much lower than competing equivalents.
The best Tamron lenses
1. Tamron 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di-II VC PZD
Tamron 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 lens is made for APS-C sensors, so full frame users are out of the picture.
The Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di-II VC PZD could be the only Tamron lens you ever need and it is very affordable. It doesn’t come with an impressive wide aperture, and it closes down as you zoom in, but the focal range goes from 16mm to a mighty 300mm. It also happens to be a macro lens, so you are killing multiple birds with one stone here. The only real issue is it’s made for APS-C sensors, so full frame users are out of the picture.
If you have a newer full-frame mirrorless camera, you might want to take a look at the 28-200mm F/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD, which offers pretty good flexibility too. And it’s actually a much better (and more expensive) lens.
2. Tamron SP 45mm F/1.8 Di VC USD
50mm prime lenses are affordable, smaller, have wide apertures, and sport great optics. This is why our first recommendation to photography beginners is usually a 50mm f/1.8 prime lens. There are currently no 50mm Tamron lenses, but there is a 45mm f/1.8. The only difference is your shots will be a little wider. Thankfully the minimum focus distance is not very long at 11.42 inches, so you can get closer.
3. Tamron SP 90mm F/2.8 Di MACRO 1:1 VC USD
Everyone needs a good macro lens, and this 90mm f2.8 one is Tamron's best option.
Everyone needs a good macro lens, and this is Tamron’s best option. Its 11.8-inch minimum focusing distance, paired with the 90mm focal length, will let you get very close to your subject. Its f/2.8 aperture is plenty fast. This is the best Tamron lens for shooting photos of small objects, close-up details, insects, and more.
4. Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2
The 24-70mm f/2.8 Tamron lens is also a great option for professional photographers. The technical differences between this product and the 24-70mm f/2.8 Sigma lens are very similar, so picking one over the other will be a matter of preference.
Those with a Sony full-frame mirrorless camera should also consider the 28-75mm F/2.8 Di III RXD.
5. Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2
If you prefer Tamron lenses, the company’s 24-70mm f/2.8 is also a good pro level product you should consider. Its premium optics, non-variable f/2.8 aperture, and long focal distance will do great in situations in which you need a longer reach.
Sony full-frame mirrorless camera users should also consider the 70-180mm F/2.8 Di III VXD.