Best Sigma and Tamron lenses for Canon 5D

So you got your Canon 5D MarkII or other Canon FF camera and now you want to save some money on lenses. Great, make sure you read this post about the cost/benefits of doing so first. Here is a short list of the best value lenses.

Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6
If you want to go wide without using a fisheye, this is your only alternative. Very popular for architecture, landscape and street shooters. Be aware that sharpness used to vary a lot in older models (discontinued ones) so you better get new in store.

Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8
At a fraction of the cost of the 24-70 from Canon, this lens is a real bargain for such a good performer. Dont let the low price fool you, this lens offers an exceptional value!

Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8
A bit wider than the Tamron version. Get this one, the 12-24 and a 70-200 and you have everything covered in a set of 3 lenses for (almost) the price of a single L glass. Not bad!

Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8
A very good alternative to the Canon model for half the price. Everything on this lens is on par with its competitor except focusing speed and size. So it should be more interesting for videographers than photographers.

Sigma 20mm f/1.8
Cheapest wide prime lens you can get! I really see a lot of use for this lens for videophotographer.

Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8 Macro
Of all the lenses in this list, this one has to be the biggest underdog. Everyone I know who uses this lens is happy about it. It is a very nice alternative to the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro.

I am sure there are other gems hidden out there. I just reviewed the lenses I have personally played with. If you feel that I missed something, feel free to add it to the comments below!

Andrew Howe suggested the Tamron AF 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di LD VC and I have to agree with him. While not as good as the others in terms of image quality, its wide focal range and small form factor make it the perfect travel/walk about lens capable of shooting nice macro as well.

About Tommy

Photography allows me to be what I want to be, to be where I want to be, and to do what I want to do ... I'm not professional photographer and I don't need a title, I love to take photographs and that is what I do, I love to learn and I always try to do it better ...
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  • http://endeavour.smugmug.com Andrew Howe

    One you didn’t include is the Tamron 28-300 f3.5-6.3 VC. After hauling my full bag around the US and Canada on a recent holiday, I realised I needed a walkabout lens that I could fit in my small bag. This lens has predictable drawbacks at the extremes but it is light, compact and the VC works efficiently and quietly. On the 5D MkII its range means you have 90% of shooting scenarios covered and there is still room in my bag to squeeze in my 50 1.4 for low light. It was a strong enough argument for me to spend my precious 15mins in B&H buying it (darn queues in the Empire State). I also have a 15mm Sigma Fisheye. I have only just started to experiment with this for video.

    • admin

      Thx Andrew, you are right. I dont know how I could have missed that one! Added to the list.

  • stefan

    you forgot one:

    Tokina 11-16/2.8
    if you want to go wiiide… this is the choice.

  • hideo

    stefan, that tokina does not cover full frame

    12-24 is beautiful lens, if you can find good copy. unfortunately, yield of good ones is pretty low

  • Nicholas Ennis

    What about the new Tamron AF18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC . I’m looking to get that one

  • nicomontreal

    Sigma 35mm f1.4 at 400$ Rock & Roll
    Only fixe lenses offer best results and proper light.

  • http://www.garrettgibbons.com Garrett Gibbons

    +1 for the Tokina 11-16. It’s 2.8 throughout, pretty heavily built, and super duper wide.

  • http://www.garrettgibbons.com Garrett Gibbons

    …for the 7D, I must add.

  • Mat

    Anybody know how the Tamron AF 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 lens works with the 5D mark II – is it any good? couldn’t find any test footage. How about the Canon 50mm f/1.8? Thanks!

  • http://www.pau.cc pau valiente

    Hi!
    I have the sigma 50mm 1.4 EX DG and it is incredibly nice. Very good built. I love it.

    • admin

      Hi Pau. I agree with you, it is very well built and ultra sharp but bulkier, heavier and more expensive than the 50mm1.4 Canon. That is why it is not on the list. It is not really an alternative and more of an upgrade ;-)

  • Sbu18

    hi guys.
    i need to shoot a hip-hop and Rnb music video with a canon 5D, now i am confused which lense should i use since i’ll be shooting from outside and indoors?

    • http://www.canon5dtips.com/ Tom K.

      Sbu, can you please let us know which lenses you have, or you could use, or you would rent (or get new ones for video) ?
      Thanks.

  • Mercedes Noriega

    Hi, I just got the 5D mark 3. I own a Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6

    This lens obviously make a vignette on the photo when shooting at 10 mm
    (can get rid of it when shooting at 15mm) cause it’s not compatible with
    full frame sensors. Anyway, I read on some posts that the EF S lenses
    can break the mirror of full frame cameras. Does this Sigma lens work
    like an EF S lens? Will it break my 5D camera’s mirror or will it just
    give a vignette but not break it? So, are these mounts compatible or
    not?

    Thanks in advance!

    • http://www.canon5dtips.com/ Tom K.

      Can you please let us know where did you read about it. Lens cant break mirror, as between mirror and lens there is some space. Maybe bad adapters and wrong usage could break it.

      I dont recommend usage of 10-20mm on the 5D III, you should get some EF mount lens, among best would be 16-35mm.

      Think about it, you have top class body and average lens, while lens is more important.

      Thanks for ur comment and question.

      • Mercedes Noriega

        Hi Tom, Thanks for your answer!!!
        I read on the web.. from different forums. guess I’ll just have to get another expensive lens… and keeo that sigma on the canon 60d.
        Thanks again!!

        • http://www.canon5dtips.com Tommy

          No problem.
          I have Canon EF-S 10-22mm 3.5-5.6 for Rebel T2i (550D), and while having Canon 5D Mark II and other lenses, you can see how “bad” 10-22 is, big distortion, not able to go in low light, etc, new 10-22mm is somewhere near used 16-35mm f2.8 II, price, and those lenses are not comparable. And remember it’s always best to invest in light and lenses before bodies. GL.

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