5 Amazing Third Party Lenses To Consider

It is no secret that when you buy a DSLR you “marry” the entire system. This means your lens choices are limited to only one mount. It’s tempting for most photographers, both amateurs and professionals, to buy only glass of the same make as the camera. However, there are some third party lenses out there that offer unique capabilities or simply amazing quality at a fraction of the price you would pay for a lens made by the camera manufacturer.

We picked out a few lenses from third party companies that offer something unmatched by camera manufacturers. This could mean highlights in terms of zoom range, maximum aperture or value for the money. Don't expect all of these lenses to be cheap and don’t make the mistake of thinking that price is their only advantage. Here they are.

Tamron SP 24-70 F2.8 Di VC USD

Why is it on this list? Because it is the only zoom lens of this focal range, the standard as it’s known everywhere, that is optically stabilized. Tamron’s VC (Vibration Compensation) does a good job and what’s even better is that they’ve managed to integrate it without dropping the quality in other areas. The build quality is good, the speed as well, although not as fast as a Canon or Nikon. The USD (Ultra Silent Drive) contributes to the silent, quick focus. Overall, Tamron did a great job with this standard zoom.

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See more specs and photos of this lens here.

Sigma 18-35 F1.8 HSM

This is the first f1.8 zoom lens the world has ever seen. That should cover it. But no, besides that, it was designed specifically to be used with APS-C DSLRs and it uses Sigma’s Hypersonic Motor for the fast, silent focus. It’s quite simply an amazing lens and it is the perfect choice for photographers who are looking to keep the ISO values as low as possible in low light.

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See more specs and photos of this lens here.

Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DCHSM

This is the world’s widest lens made for APS-C cameras. It’s not to be confused with a fish-eye. Although the distortion is pretty obvious, the center of the image has to be straight in any non-fisheye lens. It is the equivalent of the company’s 12-14mm f4.5-5.6 wide angle lens for full frame cameras. The optical quality is very good, and the build quality as well.

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See more specs and photos of this lens here.

( Download this cheat sheet: 9 Step lens cleaning checklist. So you don't screw up your lenses. )

Samyang/Rokinon 8mm fisheye f3.5

Samyang lenses have made a name for themselves because of their very affordable, high quality, manual focus optics. If you’re looking for a fisheye lens to give your photos and videos that specific look, but you aren’t in the position to spend a lot of cash, this lens is a very fine bet. It is a diagonal fisheye lens, that means that it has a 180 degree diagonal angle.

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See more specs and photos of this lens here

Voigtlander Nokton 25mm F0, 95

If you thought I was going to give you only “conventional” stuff, you were wrong. If you thought I was only going to focus on APS-C and full frame cameras, you were also wrong. This black beauty is made for the Micro 4/3 format. I don’t think I need to explain what makes it special, but just in case, it’s brighter than most lenses you’ve ever seen or laid hands on with a maximum aperture of f0.95! It is perfectly suited for photography, and it can work magic on video.

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See more specs and photos of this lens here


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