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The 10 best Sigma and Tamron lenses you can buy

Sigma and Tamron offer amazing bang per buck!
January 29, 2022
Sigma ART lens product shot

Sigma and Tamron lenses have become the best alternatives for buying third-party glass. Their optics and tech have evolved so much you can barely notice the difference. Some Sigma and Tamron lenses are better than their original counterparts. These are often available in all popular camera lens mounts, 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.

The best Sigma lenses

Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art DC HSM

Sigma 18 35mm F1.8 Art DC HSM lens

The 18-35mm f/1.8 Art lens quickly became one of the most popular Sigma lenses, and for good reason. This is an exceptional 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.

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

It has impressive optics, a very wide aperture, and a focal length that will work for most shooting situations. This Sigma lens launched with a $799 MSRP (it’s even cheaper now!). That is an amazing price for a lens with these specs, and the only reason all photographers are not running to get it is that it is only made for cameras with APS-C sensors. Those not using a full-frame camera should definitely get it.

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM

Sigma 50mm f1.4 DG HSM

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 has 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).

Sigma 105mm F2.8 DG DN Macro

Sigma 105mm F2.8 DG DN Macro

Another essential 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 extended 105mm focal length helps you get even closer, making this an excellent lens for those who want to shoot small objects, close-ups, or insects. You can also capture detail in a much more intricate way.

More: What is Macro photography?

This lens’s only downside is that it’s only available for L-Mount and Sony’s E-Mount. Look at the Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro if you want a lens for other cameras.

Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 Art DG DN

Sigma 24 70mm F2.8 Art DG DN

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 instead of your camera company’s alternative.

This specific lens is made for mirrorless cameras, and is only available for Sony E-Mount and L-Mount cameras.

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | S

Sigma 70 200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM S

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

Tamron 28-200mm f2.8-5.6 Di III RXD

Tamron 28 200mm f2.8 5.6 Di III RXD

The Tamron 28-200mm f2.8-5.6 Di III RXD could be the only Tamron lens you ever need, and it’s pretty affordable. It doesn’t come with an impressive wide aperture, and it closes down as you zoom in, but the focal range goes from 28mm to a mighty 200mm.

Related: What is HDR, and how do you do it?

What’s also impressive is that, while the aperture is variable, it goes as wide as f/2.8. That’s a very wide aperture for a lens with so much focal flexibility. It’s also made to work with full-frame cameras, so you can take it with you once you upgrade your camera’s body.

Tamron SP 35mm F/1.8 Di VC USD

SP 35mm F1.8 Di VC USD

35mm prime lenses are affordable, smaller, have wide apertures, and sport excellent optics. This is why our first recommendation to photography beginners is usually a 50mm or 35mm f/1.8 prime lens. There are currently no 50mm Tamron lenses, but there is a 35mm f/1.8. The only difference is your shots will be wider, but you’ll benefit from excellent quality at a lower price point.

Tamron SP 90mm F/2.8 Di MACRO 1:1 VC USD

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

As mentioned above, 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 fast enough. This is the best Tamron lens for shooting small objects, close-up details, insects, and more.

Tamron 35-150mm F/2-2.8 Di III VXD

35 150mm F2 2.8 Di III VXD

Tamron came out with something extraordinary when it launched the Tamron 35-150mm F/2-2.8 Di III VXD. This lens is costly, but it’s one of those lenses that could replace multiple others, and not cheap ones.

More: Photography tips that will take your images to the next level

The 35-150mm focal range is impressive, especially considering the aperture. While most lenses with so much focal range have to close down aperture significantly as you zoom in, this one stays pretty wide at f/2.8. Zoom out, and aperture can go as wide as f/2. Even at its narrowest aperture, this lens matches the industry standard f/2.8 aperture.

Tamron 70-180mm F/2.8 Di III VXD

70 180mm F2.8 Di III VXD

If you need a bit more reach, the Tamron 70-180mm F/2.8 Di III VXD is a great option with quality glass and a great motor. The f/2.8 aperture is great, and it meets all high-end performance standards. The only downside is that it’s only available for Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras. If you use another camera brand, you can also look at the Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC G2.

Sigma and Tamron lenses are great, but there are other options out there. You may want to stick with your camera manufacturer’s brand. Check out our other lens recommendations if the ones on this list do not convince you.

All of these lists include various types of lenses for all your shooting needs. You’ll likely have to pay more for the equivalent Tamron or Sigma features and quality, though.