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05-14-2010, 04:51 AM   #1
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Upgrade from the Tamron 70-300mm?

I have the Tamron 70-300, and overall, I love the lens. For its price, I don't think it can be beaten. However, it is a tad soft at 300mm, and it does exhibit purple fringing in some situations. So I was thinking of upgrading, but it doesn't look like there is any clear "next step." Basically, it looks like the next step up is a whopper -- e.g., to the 60-250 f/4, for $1200.

Since the Tamron retails for about $165, I was hoping that for, say, 4x the cost I could find something better. Instead, it looks like I have to jump to more than 7x the cost .

What (if any) other options are there? It looks like the 60-250 would be a nice lens, and I'm sure I'd like the extra 10mm on the short end, but I would miss the 50mm on the long end too. I usually use my Tamron for soccer, air shows, etc., where the long end is really useful.

Any ideas are welcome!

Thanks,

Michael

05-14-2010, 05:02 AM   #2
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The Pentax 55-300mm is a nice upgrade over the tamron 70-300mm.
05-14-2010, 05:42 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by rockmaster1964 Quote
The Pentax 55-300mm is a nice upgrade over the tamron 70-300mm.
According to photozone, the Tamron has less vignetting than the Pentax, and is comparable in sharpness and chromatic aberrations. The Pentax is a tiny bit slower at the long end, but it does go wider than the Tamron. I'm not sure how this works out in real-world shots, but it didn't look like a big enough upgrade to catch my attention. I'll have to read up on it a bit more to make sure.

I should add that I was eyeing the 50-135 f/2.8 or the Sigma 50-150 f/2.8 as upgrades on the shorter end to let me get some basketball shots that I'm having trouble capturing now. My 17-70 is not quite long enough for a lot of shots, but my 70-300 is too long for some. The 50-135/150 range looks about right, and f/2.8 will certainly help indoors. If I do go for one of those lenses next fall, then I'll have the short telephoto end of things covered pretty well. So I'm really thinking of something longer, thus my emphasis on the 300mm end of things.
05-14-2010, 05:51 AM   #4
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The Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 and a 1.5x kenko tc might fit your needs. B&H has it for $729, near your 4x pricing.


Last edited by ivoire; 05-14-2010 at 06:01 AM.
05-14-2010, 07:46 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by ivoire Quote
The Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 and a 1.5x kenko tc might fit your needs. B&H has it for $729, near your 4x pricing.
Would the image quality of the 70-200 f/2.8 + TC really be better than my current Tamron without a TC? I already have a Kenko 1.4x TC. Of course, that would only give me 280mm on the long end, vs. 300 that I have now, but it would be f/4 instead of f/5.6.
05-14-2010, 07:54 AM   #6
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You could wait till the fall and see if Pentax comes out with a WR version of the 55-300. That would add a unique feature for a lens in that price range.
05-14-2010, 09:13 AM   #7
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I use to have the Tamron 70-300mm and now have the Pentax 55-300mm. In my opinion it was a nice upgrade. The Pentax is sharper at 300mm and is wider. I think the Pentax also focuses faster and has better contrast and colors.
05-14-2010, 09:53 AM   #8
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The 50-135mm is a beautiful lens, but i would still go for the 55-300mm since it is bar none the best bang for the buck.

However, for 4x that, go with a tamron 70-200mm f2.8.

05-14-2010, 12:59 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eagle_Friends Quote
The 50-135mm is a beautiful lens, but i would still go for the 55-300mm since it is bar none the best bang for the buck.

However, for 4x that, go with a tamron 70-200mm f2.8.
The 55-300 is very good (better than my Pentax 50-200 or Sigma 70-300 that are usually compared to the Tamron 70-300) , however I just got the Tamron 70-200 that is barely 2X the cost (350 vs 729), but about 4x the weight and 4x the size :-)
05-14-2010, 07:06 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
The 55-300 is very good (better than my Pentax 50-200 or Sigma 70-300 that are usually compared to the Tamron 70-300) , however I just got the Tamron 70-200 that is barely 2X the cost (350 vs 729), but about 4x the weight and 4x the size :-)
How do you think the Tamron 70-200 compares to the 55-300? I did some more reading about the 55-300, and it does look like it's a bit better than my Tamron 70-300. If your Tamron 70-200 is noticeably better than the 55-300, then maybe it would stand up to use with a teleconverter, as suggested above. I haven't had the time to research that option yet.

Thanks for the suggestions...
05-14-2010, 09:17 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by mlaird Quote
How do you think the Tamron 70-200 compares to the 55-300? I did some more reading about the 55-300, and it does look like it's a bit better than my Tamron 70-300. If your Tamron 70-200 is noticeably better than the 55-300, then maybe it would stand up to use with a teleconverter, as suggested above. I haven't had the time to research that option yet.

Thanks for the suggestions...
The Tamron 70-200 is noticeably better than the 55-300 which was noticeably better than the Pentax 50-200 and Sigma 70-300 (last 2 about equal to the Tamron 70-300 by most accounts).

I would guess the 70-200 with a good TC would be at least as good as the 55-300. I haven't used a TC in 25-30 years :-)

At the moment, the last page or two of my photobucket has a few samples of the Tamron 70-200, mostly just catch-as-catch-can at the park. I'm taking it out to an airshow (yeah, still a tad short for in-flight shots) tomorrow and should have a better idea of what it is capable of. I suggest using a monopod :-)

And there's also some shots from a cheap 500 mirror and cheap 800mm "bazooka" a few page earlier. What a handful....
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