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08-22-2010, 05:47 PM   #1
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DA 35mm ltd macro vs tamron 28-75mm 2.8 macro

hey all!
still pretty new to this forum and the world of pentax, but I'm lovin it thus far!

I'm considering picking up either a DA 35mm ltd macro when I go to japan this December, but I've started hearing about the tamron 28-75mm 2.8 being a pretty awesome lens as well.

I guess which lens I choose ultimately depends on my needs and uses, but I just wanted a bit of feedback from people who have used both, or just a push in either direction.

I'd always been planning on getting a ltd prime sometime, and had my eye on the 35mm macro because of its bonus macro ability (not much of a bug shooter anyways, so the focal length is not a problem), but after reading up on the tamron, I feel that the tamron has better flexibility (due to being a zoom), while having a bit of pseudo-macro capabilities. Other than size and weight, are there any advantages of the DA 35mm ltd over the tamron? is it significantly sharper/contrasty?

I wish I could rent them to try them out, but there doesn't seem to be a place in australia/brisbane that lends out pentax lenses

For those of you who are curious, I shoot a variety of things, but mainly portraits and street shots

any suggestions or insight would be appreciated!

Thanks!

08-22-2010, 06:09 PM   #2
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I would love to, and Do recommend the DA35. 99.9% of the time, I will suggest a prime over a zoom.

Pentax DA35mm Limited - a set on Flickr

However, for your stated use, the zoom may be more suitable. No, I have not used both lenses. No need to purchase the 28-75 Tamron.

08-22-2010, 06:18 PM   #3
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I have both lenses and you really can't go wrong with either (so long as you get a good copy of the Tamron 28-75).

It really comes down to your priorities and what you intend to do with the lens.

The advantages of the 35 over the 28-75
-smaller, lighter, built-in hood and better build quality
-closer focusing (true 1:1 macro, which may or may not be important)
-quick shift focusing

The main advantages of the 28-75 over the 35
-versatile zoom range, especially for shooting people
-quicker AF, albeit a bit nosier
-about $100 cheaper
08-22-2010, 06:20 PM   #4
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I don't have them but still have an opinion

I think 'macro' in 28-75 name is deceiving since 1:3.9 is hardly a macro. I mean, even Pentax kit DAL18-55 gives avout 1:3 and it's not called macro...

IMO macro is at least 1:2

and for the record 35mm limited is 1:1 but you have to bring the front lens almost to touch the subject to get such a magnification.

08-22-2010, 08:20 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by olenl Quote
I don't have them but still have an opinion

I think 'macro' in 28-75 name is deceiving since 1:3.9 is hardly a macro. I mean, even Pentax kit DAL18-55 gives avout 1:3 and it's not called macro...

IMO macro is at least 1:2

and for the record 35mm limited is 1:1 but you have to bring the front lens almost to touch the subject to get such a magnification.
That's true, the 28-75 is certainly not a true macro lens. It is nice that it focuses relatively close and is great for things like flowers where you're typically not going down to 1:1 anyway.

Also true regarding the DA35 and how close you'd have to get to achieve 1:1. In fact, if you have the hood extended you're likely to make contact with your subject trying to focus at 1:1. For 1:1 macro photography, the working distance of a 100mm lens makes a lot more sense. But for general use, including close-focus work that's not quite 1:1, the DA35 is a wonderful lens.
08-27-2010, 01:55 PM   #6
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I have both. Generally, I prefer the greens and blues of the Pentax more and it seems to have a bit more 3d look to it. If I'm out on a walk-about, I'll more likely have the 35 (along w/ the 12-24). BUT... if I'm shooting a party or where action could happen anywhere but light is minimal, I'll grab the Tamron every time. Faster focusing and a good zoom range makes it much more flexible for this type of shooting. Different tools for different situations in my opinion...
08-27-2010, 03:03 PM   #7
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You already got some good advice. Let me look at it from a different perspective?

Why do you want to buy the Pentax 35mm Ltd? For macro ?

There were a few threads on the 35mm. It is well-liked by Pentaxians, but not really considered as the best macro lens. There are, on the other hand, some awseome macro lenses around 90-100mm: Sigma 105mm macro, Tamron 90mm macro, Pentax FA100mm macro. All these lenses are very-highly recommended (eg in www.photozone.de) and you would not get wrong with any of these.

I was thinking to buy the Pentax 35mm Ltd macro, but I bought the Tamron 90mm SP macro instead. I got some good advice from some forum members and I do not regret my decision.

Last edited by hcc; 08-27-2010 at 05:00 PM. Reason: Typos
08-27-2010, 05:17 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
You already got some good advice. Let me look at it from a different perspective?

Why do you want to buy the Pentax 35mm Ltd? For macro ?

There were a few threads on the 35mm. It is well-liked by Pentaxians, but not really considered as the best macro lens. There are, on the other hand, some awseome macro lenses around 90-100mm: Sigma 105mm macro, Tamron 90mm macro, Pentax FA100mm macro. All these lenses are very-highly recommended (eg in www.photozone.de) and you would not get wrong with any of these.


Other than possibly the close focus distance for 1:1, What makes you say that?



08-28-2010, 01:55 PM   #9
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JeffJS has a good point. I do not have a DA35mm and should be carefull with my own words.

There are some very relevant Forum thread on macro lenses that say a lot:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/111952-macro-lens-question.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/104894-what-ge...acro-lens.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/108578-best-macro-lens-money.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/106028-best-macro-lens.html
08-28-2010, 03:09 PM   #10
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While 1:1 can be difficult to achieve with the DA35, I find it to be quite capable.



This is one of the very first photos I took with the lens and yes, this is the full frame.




08-28-2010, 09:32 PM   #11
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I have to agree with JeffJS the DA 35 is the way to go. I recently picked one up and I have to say it is an amazing lens. Prime lenses also have much sharper images than zooms. In addition, the weight of the lens also factors in when you have to carry your camera for more than an hour or two. :-) The Tamron 28-75 is a heavy lens. It's a great lens, but it's not a prime.
08-29-2010, 01:54 AM   #12
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thanks for all the awesome advice! I'm still torn between the two though! lol

well I wouldn't get the 35mm just for macro as it's probably not the best focal length. The macro ability is just an awesome bonus to an already fantastic lens! I'm sorta leaning towards the 35mm, but I'm a bit apprehensive about giving up the flexibility of the tamron 28-75. The fact that the tamron also takes quite sharp images (while being just as fast) makes it an even harder choice!

I also don't mind the weight of the tamron, as I'm used to lugging around the sigma 10-20mm.

I wonder if the IQ is much different on the tamron at 35mm vs the DA 35mm. If it is, and the only difference is just the weight and the macro ability of the DA 35mm, I may be more tempted to go for the tamron and save up for a tamron 90mm macro

but ughhh I want a limited lens at some point! (seems like I'd be missing out if I have a pentax camera, but am not taking advantage of the limited line)
sooo harddd to deciiide... must get job so I can buyy bothh.....
08-29-2010, 02:30 AM   #13
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You don't say what lenses you have, but look at JeffJS' profile for his lens list. He has a definite weakness for high quality primes and his primes alone cover just about any focal length shooting situations. You on the other hand sound as if you are just starting out (Sigma 10-20mm, not withstanding), I would suggest the Tamron zoom over the Pentax 35 for the versatility and very good optical quality. If later on down the road you find yourself shooting with 35mm focal length most of the time, I would think that would be a good time plunk down the money to buy the Pentax 35mm limited.

Thanks,
08-29-2010, 09:04 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by excanonfd Quote
You don't say what lenses you have, but look at JeffJS' profile for his lens list. He has a definite weakness for high quality primes and his primes alone cover just about any focal length shooting situations. You on the other hand sound as if you are just starting out (Sigma 10-20mm, not withstanding), I would suggest the Tamron zoom over the Pentax 35 for the versatility and very good optical quality. If later on down the road you find yourself shooting with 35mm focal length most of the time, I would think that would be a good time plunk down the money to buy the Pentax 35mm limited.

Thanks,
I guess you could call it a weakness but I prefer the word preference. I've done a lot of trading up to acquire that set. That said, I don't have anything against a good quality zoom. The DA*16-50 spends the most time on my camera.



2500
08-29-2010, 12:06 PM   #15
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If you're not so concerned with macro, don't overlook the DA 40mm Limited. Also stellar image quality, cheaper than the 35mm macro, and it's super-compact and has very fast AF.
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