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06-10-2010, 11:05 PM   #16
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My 17-50 stays on my camera a good bit. It's plenty sharp wide open.

Jason

06-11-2010, 01:37 AM   #17
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I think that pimes are your answer for sharpnness...

I had a working Tamron 17-50 until our dogs got into a fight over a piece of cheese and knocked my, now stolen, Gx-20 over that was sitting on the tripod. Needless to say the camera survived, the lens didn't.

Now with my K100D Super (replacement for my Gx-20) I realized that none of the images with the 17-50 and Gx-20 are as sharp as the images I shoot now. The differences are that I shot with mostly primes and just the 18-55 ALII and I shoot in RAW. On the Gx-20 I used the on-board Jpeg because my computer was just too slow to work in RAW. So the images would have been sharper if I was using RAW on the Gx-20.

So in conclusion, the 18-55 is no slouch when I finally learned how to use it well, in bright light stopped down a little. The Tamron is a "good" lens from my initial experience, but looking at it now, I'm not sure I would get one again... Pentax is known for it's prime lenses, so that's where my money is going for now.

Last edited by theperception2008; 06-11-2010 at 01:45 AM. Reason: edited title, imcomplete
06-11-2010, 02:43 AM   #18
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In my experience, the DA 16-50 is very useable wide open. I don't care too much for corner sharpness when taking images of kids or portraits - the center sharpness is much more important in these situations.

Another lens, that is very useable wide open is the Sigma 18-50/2.8, which seems to have lost ground to the Tammy. I still keep the older pre-Macro version of the Sigma, because it is so much smaller than the Pentax DA. In terms of sharpness the Sigma is easily en par with the DA, even wide open.

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06-11-2010, 09:06 AM   #19
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Thank you all very much for the useful replies! It has confirmed my research so far that the Tamron 17-70 is what I may try first. I also see primes in my future but I better learn to use this thing first.

I did say that I'd post up a pic and I will this weekend. I was too tired after work yesterday. This will give me a chance to see if I can get better pics from the kit lens before $ is spent. Looking forward to it.

06-11-2010, 09:30 AM   #20
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Just went through this very same thing, but more general -- I was just looking for a better replacement for my 18-55 kit lens. I ended up with a used Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX, and the difference between it and the 18-55 kit lens is HUGE. I had to go used because the Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 EX is very hard to find new. It's backordered everywhere and I'm beginning to suspect it might be discontinued since a HSM version was put out by Sigma. Sigma still has the none HSM version on their website though.

I was considering the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 SP as well, and if I hadn't found the Sigma for so much cheaper, I would've likely ended up with the Tamron. I'm sure it's equal or better than the Sigma, judging by the feedback/recommendation that both I and you have received.

Frankly, I wasn't aware that such significant improvement in IQ was available in a $400 price range or I would've upgraded a long time ago. I was always thinking that I'd have to spend the better part of $1,000 to get anywhere close to this or any significant (worthwhile) improvement over the kit lens.
06-11-2010, 09:43 AM   #21
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QuoteQuote:
I had to go used because the Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 EX is very hard to find new. It's backordered everywhere and I'm beginning to suspect it might be discontinued since a HSM version was put out by Sigma.
The older one has been discontinued for over a year. The only supplier that still had them for a while, Cameta Camera, ran out some time ago. The newer version is the "macro" variety.

I have the old one which is very good.
06-11-2010, 09:50 AM   #22
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Sigma has the 17-50/2.8 EX DG OS on its way, replacing its 18-50. Likely it will be optically on par with the Tamron (pure spec, but quite possible). The K-mount is not released yet.

It might be pricier than the Tamron as it is HSM, not screw drive.
06-11-2010, 10:30 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
For some of what you describe, faster shutter speed is what you need, and that's a flash solution. Bounce it off the ceiling and it's excellent for photographing kids. A wider aperture cannot help you for some of what you describe.
I have to agree with Aristophanes here, the best way to shoot kids indoors is using bounce flash. I typically shoot at f/5.6, ISO 200 and shutter speed 1/60s. With these settings, almost all the light comes from the flash, so you don't get trouble with mixed lighting temperatures or ghosting effects. A typical hotshoe flash has more than enough power to light up an entire room.
An aperture of f/5.6 gives you enough depth-of-field to capture moving kids which can be a challenge at f/2.8. Also, most lenses are sharp at f/5.6.

06-11-2010, 11:27 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
+1 to that.
And my Tamron 28-75mm is also quite impressively sharp at 2.8. Don't have any examples, but I expect others can echo this.
My original Sigma 70-200mm EX is also pretty impressive.
06-11-2010, 12:59 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by AndrewJ Quote
Thank you all very much for the useful replies! It has confirmed my research so far that the Tamron 17-70 is what I may try first.
Be sure to differentiate the Tamron 17-50 from the Sigma 17-70. Both good, although optically Tamron has the edge, and the Sigma has a maximum aperture of f/4.5 at 70mm.
06-11-2010, 03:26 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
The older one has been discontinued for over a year. The only supplier that still had them for a while, Cameta Camera, ran out some time ago. The newer version is the "macro" variety.

I have the old one which is very good.
Hmmm...the "old one" that I just bought is the "macro" variety, but it's not HSM. Are there three? Non-macro, macro, and HSM? We're talking about the 18-50mm f/2.8 only right? I know there are several 18-50's but they're not all a constant f/2.8.

Regardless of which one I have, I'm loving it. Even the "macro" works very well on it. I was surprised by the rather viciously narrow DOF when it doesn't actually have a macro "mode" or switch.

The Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 was a very close second for me and only because it had a higher price. If I could've found one used like the Sigma 18-50mm I ended up with, I probably would've gone with the Tamron if for no other reason than what I encountered looking for a circular polarizer and a R72 IR filter for the Sigma -- 72mm filter thread! "OUCH!" said my wallet!
06-16-2010, 03:26 PM   #27
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I have the Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 EX, DG/DF and it too is fine performer at f/2.8,
Not too wide, but 35mm FOV isn't to bad.
I find that it does better at closer distances at f/2.8, but at INF it is still good.
06-16-2010, 04:39 PM   #28
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Maybe the sharpest 2,8 zoom ever made by AsahiOpticalCorporation
DA* 2,8 50-135.
Is this sharp enough??
Made with 2,8 and aprox.80mm
Best regards,Andy
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06-16-2010, 04:55 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Internetpilot Quote
Hmmm...the "old one" that I just bought is the "macro" variety, but it's not HSM. Are there three? Non-macro, macro, and HSM? We're talking about the 18-50mm f/2.8 only right?
Yes. When I say the old one, I meant this non-macro version:

Amazon.com: Sigma 18-50mm F/2.8 EX DC Lens for Pentax Digital SLR Cameras: Camera & Photo

Cameta listed it for about a year or so after everyone else was out of them and the macro version was coming. If there is a HSM version, it is the new-new one :-)
06-16-2010, 05:39 PM   #30
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I love my Tamron 17-50 and it's nearly ideally sharp wide open.
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