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08-12-2010, 03:11 AM   #1
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Tamron 28-75mm or primes?

Hi
New to dSLR here - 2 month owner of k-x.
After reading many threads I decided to buy a Tamron 28-75. First two copies went back (first with FF, which in retrospect may have not been that bad, second with some instability in the picture when focusing, as if one og the glass elements was moving). Third copy more stable, but since I shoot mostly indoors and at higher ISO (my kids) it seems to have some issues with AF and perhaps a bit soft at 2.8. Is that the most I could expect form the lens or is it a less-than-stellar copy? Frankly, it can become an obsession just pixel-peeping for "perfection" and I am not sure getting other copies of it or sending it to Tamron would do. I have two more weeks to return it. On a LBA crisis this am I bought a copy of the DA 70 limited - as much out of curiosity to compare the two. If the IQ of the prime is much better - likely the case - how practical is it to have a couple of primes covering the focal length instead of the zoom?
Thanks

08-12-2010, 03:20 AM   #2
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Less practical but surely will give you better IQ.

As one who has the FA 31/43/77 +Tamron 90mm I can tell you that I am never going out with all primes. Usually I throw on the body the 18-250mm from tamron and take one or two of the primes, depending on where I go and what I am about to do.

A zoom is definitely more practical shooting events or indoors or from fixed positions because ... duh, instead of zooming with your feet you zoom with your fingers in a snap of a second.

Last edited by kytra; 08-12-2010 at 05:39 AM.
08-12-2010, 08:14 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by tbirdas Quote
Third copy more stable, but since I shoot mostly indoors and at higher ISO (my kids) it seems to have some issues with AF and perhaps a bit soft at 2.8. Is that the most I could expect form the lens or is it a less-than-stellar copy?
We can not tell the image quality you have without seeing examples.

The Tamron is highly rated for its sharpness. If you are a pixel-peeper, then there is no answer even with primes...

Last edited by SpecialK; 08-12-2010 at 11:45 AM.
08-12-2010, 08:22 AM   #4
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If you generally just prefer zooms, then no number of primes will feel like an adequate replacement. Too few primes will leave with with too many "gaps"; too many primes will mean too much lens changing.

But if you generally prefer primes, then primes will be preferable pretty much independent of any difference in IQ.

08-12-2010, 08:27 AM   #5
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Tammy 28-75 is sharp wide open, but it is indeed less sharp than itself @f/4 or F/3.2, perhaps you're expecting too much out of that lens. Maybe post some samples comparing F2.8 and f4 then we can judge the lens quality of your third copy

On a whim i bought the DA 40 ltd, and during my last vacation I ended up using it plenty. I actually didnt bring the Tammy because it's just so heavy (despite being the lightest 28-70/2.8 that there is), and for spontaneous street shooting it doesnt work for me. On regular use, the 28-75 did satiate my lust for the DA pancake trios for a while though; I keep telling myself "I'm not going to get any speed or range upgrade with the limiteds!". Compared to the DA 40, Image Quality wise the tammy loses at 2.8 and slightly loses in bokeh and color, but everything else about that lens is pretty much equal to the DA from my experience. It's a stellar lens.
08-12-2010, 08:44 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
We can not tell the image quality you have without seeing examples.

The Tamron is a highly rated for its sharpness. If you are a pixel-peeper, then there is no answer even with primes...
+1...I was wondering how best to reply to this thread and couldn't come up with an appropriate response...this is basically what I had in mind.

P.S: @ OP, I would however love to hear your opinion on the DA70 as compared to the Tamron.
08-12-2010, 09:03 AM   #7
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What shutter speeds are you getting indoors? Sometimes what appears to be softness can actually be camera shake or motion blur.

Shooting indoors can be a bit of a problem, depending on the light source. Our eyes can adjust better to dim lighting than our camera's AF system!

To capture the kids indoors, some kind of flash would help, and either bouncing off the ceiling or using some kind of reflector can help make things look more natural.
08-12-2010, 11:29 AM   #8
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Thanks to everyone for the replies. I will try to post some pics when I get home from work.
I realize that without flash indoors, camera shake becomes an issue. Off the top of my head, I think around 1/50 or so is a usual shutter speed.
Pixel peeping aside, last night I went to an informal party in a not-so well lit restaurant. Half of the shots were no-good (some due to operator error with focusing but most due to softness +/- blur.
I have looked at some of the pics posted in different threads - I am sure these are usually the keepers, but I dont think it's really close to some of the Limited shots - granted most are in daylight outdoors.
I also have a FA 50/1.4 - at 2.8 it is sharper than the Tamron (I suppose to be expected, wide open @1.4 not much different at "test shots" at home, didnt have it with me last night).
I am very curious to see how much better the DA 70mm will be. If it is much better, I may keep it and send the Tamron back. After that, next goal the DA 15mm, as I will be a little reluctant to try more zooms such as the Sig 10-20.

08-12-2010, 11:44 AM   #9
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depends what you shoot

I shot a couple of models the other day with a bag full of primes
how I wished I had access to the 24-70 f2.8

zooming with your feet isn't so attractive when you're getting paid to get the shot
08-12-2010, 11:59 AM   #10
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Having just sold 2 excellent primes in favor of zooms to cover the range (21 and 35 ltd), I can say that while I loved shooting with primes, it was not the most convenient for the type of shooting I typically do. Also - having around $1000 tied up in lenses I barely used was no longer feasible.

Instead, I sold my kit zooms and my limiteds and purchased 2 used zooms: A sigma 10-20 f4-5.6 to cover the ultra wide angle and a sigma 24-60mm f2.8 zoom which is plenty fast (faster than the 21ltd!) and plenty sharp. I come out $400 ahead and still have 2 excellent lenses.

When I have the hankering ot shoot primes, I still have my fast 50 (which is probably still my favorite lens, even after owning the 21 and 35)!

Not saying anything bad about the limiteds - they are simply wonderful - but for me, a quality zoom is more practical at only a small sacrifice in IQ.
08-12-2010, 03:28 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by tbirdas Quote
Pixel peeping aside, last night I went to an informal party in a not-so well lit restaurant. Half of the shots were no-good (some due to operator error with focusing but most due to softness +/- blur.
If you were shooting at high enough ISO to get fast enough shutter speeds, than there is essentially no chance that lens softness was even close to being an issue (aside from pixel peeping, as you say). The lens is more than capable of delivering results that re basically as good as you can get at high ISO and the borderline shutter speeds involved in this kind of photography. So I'm guessing your problems were more ones or blur, perhaps missed focus, as well as too-shallow DOF. But seeing the pictures will answer that.

QuoteQuote:
granted most are in daylight outdoors.
Precisely. Shooting in low light means high ISO and slow shutter speeds, and both conspire against you. You simply cannot expect to match the resolution you see in daylight.
08-12-2010, 03:54 PM   #12
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I only shoot primes because of what I own and their low cost, but if there's one zoom that has really blown my mind, it's that 28-75 Tammy.

It's an amazing lens based on what I've seen in the Tammy Club.
08-12-2010, 04:24 PM   #13
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The baby picture looks good to me, the other two not as much.

Last edited by tbirdas; 08-24-2010 at 06:21 PM.
08-12-2010, 04:29 PM   #14
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The second one is definitely OOF
The third one... maybe oof, maybe not enough shutter speed

If the baby picture was at 2.8 then your lens is probably fine at that zoom range (28mm?)
08-12-2010, 04:53 PM   #15
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Sorry, no EXIF
1st ISO 1600/2.8/ 1/100 speed
2nd ISO 1600/2.8 1/80 speed
3rd ISO 800/3.5 1/125 speed
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