Your guide

Sigma ART lens product shot

Credit: Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority

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:

Terms to keep in mind:

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

Sigma 18 35mm F1.8 Art DC HSM lens

Every photographer using an APS-C camera should have the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Art lens.

Edgar Cervantes

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

Sigma 50mm f1.4 DG HSM

The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 kills the competition with a wider aperture.

Edgar Cervantes

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 EX DG OS HSM Macro

Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro lens

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 minimum focus distance of 12.3 inches. 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

Sigma 24 70mm F2.8 Art DG OS HSM lens

You can save hundreds of dollars by going with the Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 professional lens.

Edgar Cervantes

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.

5. Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM

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 F3.5 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.

Edgar Cervantes

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. The only real issue is it’s made for APS-C sensors, so full frame users are out of the picture.

2. Tamron SP 45mm F/1.8 Di VC USD

Tamron SP 45mm F1.8 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

Tamron SP 90mm F2.8 Di MACRO 1 to 1 VC USD

Everyone needs a good macro lens, and this 90mm f2.8 one is Tamron's best option.

Edgar Cervantes

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

Tamron SP 24 70mm F2.8 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.

5. Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2

Tamron SP 70 200mm F2.8 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.

Photography is a complex art, so we have put together a series of tutorials and in-depth material for you to learn more!

We also have plenty of recommendations for those looking to get new camera equipment!