Lenses -Brand Name Or Third Party

If you have taken a look at my gear you will notice that I am a Canon user. You will also notice that I have a couple of third party lenses, namely Sigma.

For the most part the Sigma lenses seem to be fine, well except for the error 99 code caused by the shorter zoom. (I recently had to send my 28-70mm in for repairs. They have said it will take a month!)

Although the third party lenses seem to be fine most of the time I have had some stock photos rejected due to “poor lens quality”. This, combined with the error code and what seems to me to be a lack of focus, has gotten me wondering if it is better to stick with one brand. (ok so the lack of focus may be a user issue, I seem to lack focus myself from time to time)

Should I keep Canon lenses on my Canon camera? Does it really make that big of a difference? What do other people think of third party lenses?

Now I’ve got a list of Canon lenses that I would like to add to my glass arsenal someday. And from time to time I look around the web a little to see what other people say about using third party lenses. We all know that Canon products tend to cost a bit more then other brands such as Sigma so I’m  hoping to find some validation that the higher price is really worth it. You always hear “you get what you pay for”. But who doesn’t want to save a buck or two nowadays?

I have recently found a “new to me” blog by Kevin Oke and while taking a look through his posts I found this one. It’s a list of lenses that he has used and the results he’s gotten with them. There’s a lot of Sigma there.

Maybe the third party idea isn’t as bad as I’ve thought. I guess I need to do some more checking into this.

Anyone else have an opinion on brand name vs third party?

Oh, and by the way. Kevin, I forgive you for the Nikon. You do great work even if it’s not a Canon. 🙂


5 thoughts on “Lenses -Brand Name Or Third Party”

  1. It seems as though many of us go through the same scenario, are the third party lenses as good? One of the interesting tidbits that I have stumbled across on forums is that many photographers seem to have more of an issue with Sigma lenses having problems on Canon cameras than Nikons. I’m always a little skeptical about comments like that because I think many people that are having issues might just be caused by bad technique.

    Oh, the Nikon thing; I grew up with Nikons and while I know they’re completely inferior I just have to make do!!!

  2. I can honestly say, I love every Canon lens I own… I also have a Quantaray 70-300mm lens, that I’m regretting buying instead of a Canon telephoto lens. The quality of it is not as great as I had expected… but for the price I paid for it, it’s still a fairly decent lens to have in the camera bag for now. The only downside with Canon lenses is that they can be pricey, but that price goes directly into the quality of the shots. If the difference between a Canon lens and 3rd party lens is only $100 or $200, knowing what I know now, I would wait and save for the Canon, most definitely.

  3. Kevin,

    I use to think along the same lines. That the issues with the third party lenses must be user related. But I have heard more and more that the Sigma seem to have more issues with Canon cameras.

    Guess it all comes down to you get what you pay for. And for a beginner on a tight budget Sigma will do, but I hope to add more Canon glass one of these days.

    Thanks for the input!

  4. Vikki,

    I’ve never tried Quantaray lenses, I had heard a few reviewers say that some of the Quantaray lenses were not very well made. I guess that goes for any third party, it seems the quality control is kind of hit or miss. You might get one Sigma that works great but the next may be faulty to the point that it is just no good.

    I’m with you, from now on if the price difference is not so much I’ll be saving just a bit longer and going with the Canon. But if it’s a huge savings, I’ll have to think hard on another Sigma or other third party lens.

  5. On the Nikon side, the past few months Nikon has finally brought out a few lenses that could replace the Sigmas I have. Interesting enough though, on a few of them the Sigma seems to have a slight advantage in image quality although I expect the Nikkors might be a little sturdier.

    A good example is a new Nikon 10-24mm zoom that was just released and could easily replace my Sigma 10-20mm. I’m planning on taking a look at it as the Sigma 10-20mm I,m not overly fond of. Some of the others like the Sigma 30mm f1.4 I have found to be outstanding and my Sigma macros are the sharpest lenses I own.

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