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How different are third party lenses for Canon, Nikon and others?


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#1 Reinier

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 12:20 AM

Hi All,

Third party lens manufactors make their lenses for different brand. But is there much difference between a Sigma or Tamron lens for Canon in comparison to one made for Nikon? I do understand they have a different mount, but construction wise, like the lens groups, the distance of the lens elements, etc, are these very different?

Kind regards,
Reinier

#2 toni-a

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 05:58 AM

As far as I know, no. In Sigma ART series you can actually ask Sigma to change the mount of your lens.



#3 obican

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 10:04 AM

Some change the direction of focus and zoom rings to match the original manufacturer, some don't. IIRC, Zeiss does it but Sigma keeps it as is. So some of them at least have some of the internals changed from mount to mount. Not the optics though.

 

Most of them add the aperture ring on Nikon versions. Again, Zeiss does it but Sigma doesn't.

 

Since Sony A-Mount doesn't support IS in lens, some manufacturers simply remove the IS by fixing the stabilizing group of lenses. Optics are still the same.

 

Tamron used to have Adapt-all series or named something similar where you could have change the lens mount to adapt the lens to multiple mounts. What Sigma does not via a paid service, 30 years ago. And it was just changing the back of the lens in a few seconds.

 

Voigtlander tweaks the optical formula slightly in their E-Mount lenses compared to M mount lenses.



#4 JoJu

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 11:35 AM

Some change the direction of focus and zoom rings to match the original manufacturer, some don't. IIRC, Zeiss does it but Sigma keeps it as is. So some of them at least have some of the internals changed from mount to mount. Not the optics though.

 

Most of them add the aperture ring on Nikon versions. Again, Zeiss does it but Sigma doesn't.

 

"Most of them" adding aperture rings made me wonder. Am I always buying the "wrong glass"? Can you give a current example - let's say, the lens is on market for no longer than 3 years - of an AF lens from third-party manufacturer with an aperture ring on Nikon verison? These rings are on their way to extinction, I only see them on manual focus lenses or older models.

 

As someone who uses MF only occasionally, I don't care that Tamron and Sigma usually go the Canon way of focussing direction, for me it's more like try and error, than a "learnt by long hours of doing" process.



#5 wim

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 04:44 PM

Aperture rings are actually making a big comeback these days, because everybody apparently wants to shoot video ....

 

Kind regards, Wim



#6 obican

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 08:29 PM

"Most of them" adding aperture rings made me wonder. Am I always buying the "wrong glass"? Can you give a current example - let's say, the lens is on market for no longer than 3 years - of an AF lens from third-party manufacturer with an aperture ring on Nikon verison? These rings are on their way to extinction, I only see them on manual focus lenses or older models.

 

As someone who uses MF only occasionally, I don't care that Tamron and Sigma usually go the Canon way of focussing direction, for me it's more like try and error, than a "learnt by long hours of doing" process.

 

I think I should edit it to say "Only Zeiss adds an aperture ring on the Nikon version" instead. At least they do their job properly.



#7 JoJu

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 09:10 PM

Which is the next thing to question for me. I don't see an aperture ring "a properly done job", especially when all other lenses I own use the "normal" front dial to change aperture. However, if I want to make movies, I would welcome the possibility to with the aperture ring to click-less, like Zeiss introduced with their Milvus series.

 

Also Zeiss, "doing their job" - not a complicated one: The lenses are manufactured somewhere else (Cosina), there are better lenses around and also better lenses with AF. So, their job shrinks a bit and the price paid for their lenses can be discussed as well. They are not exactly cheap for what they deliver.



#8 obican

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 09:24 PM

Actually what I meant by a properly done job was how their focus and aperture rings turn the correct way on every single lens for every manufacturer. Their lens pretty much nail the AI-S lenses as far as the specs and ergonomics go. 

 

If the quality is concerned, I'm not convinced you are getting your money worth with Zeiss ZF/ZE lines at all. Almost all of them are rebadged Contax lenses made by Cosina and as you've said, there are quite usually better options everywhere. 



#9 JoJu

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 09:31 PM

Thanks for clearing that up. I already used your statement to become a bit ironically about Zeiss Touits. There's abit more to complain about these - like far too easy to move aperture ring, cheap lens hood handling and cheap front cover (the latter points go more for Batis). When it comes to DSLR lenses, Zeiss has to milk the last drops of their former reputation which was not undeserved, but I think, these days they focus on more profitable items like medicine or measuring systems.



#10 obican

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 09:37 PM

Which Zeiss are we talking about now?
 
The one who did the Touit? Some people say Fuji actually builds them.
The one which builds the Milvus, ZF, Batis, Loxia and others? Cosina, then.
Or the ones sold by Sony?
How about the Carl Zeiss Jena which actually made my 35/2.4 Flektogon?
Did I mention I have a Zeiss on my Hasselblad as well, made by another company called Zeiss, in West Germany.
 
Which of these actually built that reputation, I wonder sometimes :)


#11 JoJu

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 10:44 PM

  :lol: Good one, obican! I think, the name and it's reputation came originally from Carl Zeiss, the microscope makers. Back in 1890, when they made micrsocopes which were better than others, just by try and error.

 

Roger Cigalla wrote interesting blog articles about their history with names like Schott, Abbé, Petzval, Rudolph.

 

https://www.lensrent...o-abbes-number/

https://www.lensrent...ound-the-world/

 

So, it was Zeiss Jena until the company split to Zeiss Jena (GDR) and Carl Zeiss, Oberkochen (FRG), now I lost interest for the network of the company. I once was in Oberkochen to have a lens fixed. The focus point for infinity at the time was on a different building 60 or 70 metres away. My business letter was handwritten at the time, my parents and neither me had a typewriter at hand. I still have the copy of it. But they took care, the guys from Zeiss. I think it was Zeiss Oberkochen developing the T* coating they benefitted a lot from - the 85/1.4 Zeiss Jena was a very "normal glass" looking not magenta coloured. A friend adapted it to his Rolleiflex (135 film, yes, there was one SLR from them, made in Singapore). Great resolution, horrible contrast. But cheap like dirt.

 

As Fuji lists the Touits on their lens line-up, I think you're not far away from the truth. Haven't seen Nikon listing Tamrons or Sigmas...



#12 Reinier

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 03:22 PM

So, all lenses are pretty much the same. Thanks for your replies.


Talking about Zeiss optics. Is Zeiss manufactured under lince by Cosina or do they own the brand?

Are most of the lenses of the big brands made in China these days or are there still camera lenses being made in Germany and Japan or other countries?

Kind regards,
Reinier

#13 obican

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 03:29 PM

Zeiss (apparently*) designs them, Cosina makes them and Zeiss sells them without ever mentioning Cosina. 

 

 

*Apparently: Tamron has patents that perfectly describe and detail Zeiss' Batis line of lenses. Many people believe those lenses to be Tamron designs manufactured by Cosina and badged, priced and sold by Zeiss at a premium.



#14 toni-a

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 03:31 PM

So, all lenses are pretty much the same. Thanks for your replies.


Talking about Zeiss optics. Is Zeiss manufactured under lince by Cosina or do they own the brand?

Are most of the lenses of the big brands made in China these days or are there still camera lenses being made in Germany and Japan or other countries?

Kind regards,
Reinier

 

AFAIK for law reasons, all sigmas are made in Japan if country of manufacturing is important to you 



#15 Reinier

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 10:34 PM

No, it doesn't matter where a lens is made. Although having said that, I do care how a company is run. If they under pay the people who manufactor the equipment or they damage the environment, then yes, I do mind.

But that is a problem, that it is not always clear and sometimes hard to find out.

Kind regards,
Reinier




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