People say that photography is an expensive hobby… well, generally yeah, I agree especially when you invest in first party (OEM) lenses. But the good news is, there are third party lenses that you can use, which are not as expensive as the first party ones.
What is a third party lens anyway?
First of all, OEMs, or first party lenses are those that are made by the same company that manufactures a particular brand of camera. For instance, Canon, Nikon, Pentax, and Sony each make lenses designed to work specifically with their own cameras; lenses from one manufacturer are not compatible with cameras from other manufacturers.
Third party lenses (Tamron, Sigma, and Tokina are three of the best known makers) play by slightly different rules of compatibility. These lenses may be less expensive than the original ones, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t of good quality. Believe it or not, some of these third party lenses are exceptional, and can capture images that are at par – if not better – than the name-brand ones.
Over the years, I’ve invested in quite a number of lenses both made by Nikon and by third party brands. I’ve used all three major third party brands (Sigma, Tamron and Tokina), and I would have to admit, that I like Tamron a lot more, because aside from helping me achieve the quality images I want, they also provide a whole lot of other stuff which I find useful.
Anyways, as promised, here are some useful tips before buying a third party lens..
4. Must have a service center and provide excellent customer support
Like I mentioned earlier, one reason why I prefer Tamron is because they have their own local service center located at the 3rd floor of VMall in Greenhills. Whenever I need my lenses cleaned, or if I need to resolve any lens issues, I can always rely on the guys from Tamron for help, and other valuable tips.
You see, I’m not a pro yet, so I appreciate all the things I learn from people who really know their stuff. I haven’t had any problems with any of my Tamron lenses yet, but it’s good to know that in the future, I can always visit them if I need to.
Aside from lenses, you can also buy other photography related accessories such as Lowepro camera bags, Benro tripods, Hoya filters, BlackRapid straps and more!
camera sling straps by BlackRapid
3. Provides good warranty coverage
Here’s a tip: the longer the warranty coverage, means the company is more confident about the quality of their products. Most brands offer around only 1 year, so if you can find a brand that offers at least 3 years or more, I say go go go!!
2. Updated design and features
Choose a brand that constantly innovates and improves their quality and features, because it means they are driven and committed to provide the market with awesome new products to look forward to.
Kinda like this….
Before, my dream lens was to have my own 24-70mm f/2.8, as well as a 300mm telephoto. The price of these lenses are really high (over 100k combined), so I never got to seriously save to purchase them. But when I discovered the 16-300mm lens from Tamron, OMG!!! I didn’t have any doubts…. I knew this will be very useful for me. And the best part is that, it only costs less than 30k – just a fraction compared to the price of the 2 lenses I mentioned. Even if my 16-300mm’s opening is at f/3.5, it still produces sharp images – ideal for everyday casual shoots and adventures.
1. Has good value for money compared to OEM (original equipment manufacturer) lenses
Of course, OEM lenses are really good, no doubt about that. But for a hobbyist like me who don’t really get paid to shoot (yet), investing thousands of pesos to own these aren’t practical. Third party lenses like Tamron offer better value for money as they cost over 50% less than OEMs. But hey, the great thing about it is that, like what said earlier, just because they are less expensive, doesn’t mean they don’t deliver quality images. Also, most pros I know use third party lenses too! =P hehehe
You see, you don’t really have to spend a fortune just to achieve the shots you dream of. All you have to do is be wiser with what gear to choose as you journey through the art of immortalizing moments.
So next time you invest in a new lens, be sure to review the tips I gave, to enjoy a really “good” buy.
Curious about Tamron? Drop by their service center at the 3rd flr VMall in Greenhills, San Juan or visit their official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/tamronphl.