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10-14-2010, 01:20 PM   #1
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Help me decide: Sigma 17-70 or Tamron 28-75

Hi,

I already have a Sigma 17-70 which I love. It's sharp and allow close up pictures.

With the winter and cold coming up, I would spend more time inside taking pictures of my 3 kids and therefor I believe I need a faster lens.

It looks like the tamron will be ideal since it's 2.8 all the way through the zoom range and will still allow me to to close up which I love.

I do enjoy landscape too and I'm afraid I will miss the 17-28 range.

Did any of you had to make the same time a decision for the same similar reason?
Please, share what you have decided and why.

Thank,
Yael

10-14-2010, 01:26 PM   #2
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Never had to decide between the two but looks like a 2 lens solution to me, unless you're happy with 50mm for portraits, in which case a Tamron 17-50 may suit you nicely. f/2.8 constant and good IQ.
Otherwise a Pentax DA* 16-50 is just as good and has quieter, but not faster, focusing.
If you're after more telephoto focal lengths for portraiture, then it's 2 lenses, like your Sigma for landscapes and general all-around work, plus a DA 70 or FA 77 if you've got the funds. Or for value for money add an FA 50/1.4 - not bad for portraits at all.
10-14-2010, 01:33 PM   #3
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I used to have the 50 1.4 if didn't the range so I never pulled it off my back. Ended up selling it here.

I cannot have 2 lens, because of money (I need to save for a new camera). I need to keep the sigma or sale it and get the tamron.
10-14-2010, 02:06 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by YJD Quote
I cannot have 2 lens, because of money (I need to save for a new camera). I need to keep the sigma or sale it and get the tamron.
I'm sure you will badly miss the 17 - 28mm range, especially indoors.

Keep the Sigma, bump up the ISO, and handle noise in post-processing.

10-14-2010, 02:11 PM   #5
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High ISO to increase speed in low light might not be as good on my Pentax K100D Super.

Is there a software for Lightroom, Bibble or stand alone to check how often I use that range?

I have pretty big rooms at my house, so I should be fine. Worst case I could get a cheap kit lens in case I do need that range.
10-14-2010, 02:49 PM   #6
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I hear the 18-55mm WR kit lens has decent IQ...

What you might consider is to keep the Sigma, and then upgrade to a new camera (is K-5 what you're thinking??) that has better high iso capabilities...

Otherwise, yes you're going to miss the 17-28mm range. Like, you'll really miss it.
10-14-2010, 02:55 PM   #7
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Here is a Lightroom plugin and a stand-alone Windows program (Exposure plot) that will plot your EXIF info. Both are free or donationware.

As for your lens question. I shot with the Tamron 28-75/2.8 for a few years now and it's become my "go to" carry around lens. It's usually in my bag along with the Pentax DA 12-24/4. Very good for closeup shots and for indoor with decent light. As much as I love my Tamron my Pentax gets the most use. Before getting those 2 lens my primary was the Pentax DA 16-45/4, another great lens for the money. So I think you would miss the 17-28 focal length as well. I know I would.

That said I think the advice about sticking with your current lens and bumping up your ISO is a good suggestion. Lightroom 3 does an excellent job with color noise as does NoiseNinja and Topaz DeNoise 5. With any noise reduction method you do lose some image detail, so your mileage will vary. I'd test them out with some of your high ISO photos before diving in too deep.

Last edited by tybeck; 10-14-2010 at 03:00 PM.
10-14-2010, 03:49 PM   #8
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Thanks for sharing the software to look at my files, but I only shoot raw so it didn't help really and I couldn't make the plugin to work in lightroom.

Yes, I'm hoping to buy the K-5, I still need to save a lot more money and by that time, the price would have dropped.

I believe I have a good kit lens for now (sigma 17-70 and pentax 55-300).

10-14-2010, 05:29 PM   #9
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I had the Sigma 17-70. Then got the Tamron 28-75. Sold the Sigma. Missed the wide end, so picked up a different wide-ish alternative to go along with the Tamron. Were I to do it again, I would've just held onto the Sigma, as I found it a great walkaround / family snapshot focal length range.

FWIW, I find 2.8 still not fast enough for some indoor family photos and especially not for fast-moving kids. (We tend to prefer natural light, even into the evenings, and don't have particularly brightly lit homes.)

Have you considered an inexpensive flash?

Even with my Tamron 28-75, I used a cheap Sunpak 383 Super. The 383 isn't P-TTL, so I used it in Auto mode. And despite using it in Auto mode, it still took a bit of experimentation to achieve the results I wanted. I mostly set the Auto mode to significantly weaker than recommended.

Anyway...you might consider trying an inexpensive flash with the Sigma 17-70.
10-14-2010, 05:30 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by YJD Quote
Thanks for sharing the software to look at my files, but I only shoot raw so it didn't help really and I couldn't make the plugin to work in lightroom.

Yes, I'm hoping to buy the K-5, I still need to save a lot more money and by that time, the price would have dropped.

I believe I have a good kit lens for now (sigma 17-70 and pentax 55-300).
Yes, I believe you'll be happiest with what you've already got!
10-14-2010, 05:51 PM   #11
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Well whatever you choose, enjoy the K-5.
10-14-2010, 05:56 PM   #12
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Though, on the new camera, I might go with K-r instead. The only reason I would NEED the K-5 would be for the second wheel.

There might be other reason, but we will have to wait for reviews to test IQ and AF system.
10-14-2010, 05:57 PM   #13
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Another thing for the Sigma 17-70 is it's macro capability.
10-15-2010, 07:01 AM   #14
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The Sigma 17-70 doesn't do macro, it does close up which I do like but so does the Tamron 28-75 even though the close up aren't as close. I think the sigma is 1:2.7 and the tamron 1:3.5. It's not those exact number but it should be around there.
10-15-2010, 11:26 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by YJD Quote
The Sigma 17-70 doesn't do macro, it does close up which I do like but so does the Tamron 28-75 even though the close up aren't as close. I think the sigma is 1:2.7 and the tamron 1:3.5. It's not those exact number but it should be around there.
The close up in Sigma is of much higher life size ratio over the Tamron. I don't remember the exact number, it is roughly 1:2.7 in Sigma while the Tamron is about 1:3.9.

Only you can make the right decision for your needs. No body can tell you the right thing for your needs. I end up having both as I really liked both of them.

To make things more simple, I would suggest you to stick with the Sigma and add the use of flash to help with indoor. Add a reflector as well. You won't gain much by selling the Sigma and replace it with Tamron as you may find yourself needing the wide angle especially in family outing when you want to do casual shootings with a wide to portrait zoom range.

If your purpose is t do freelance work and aim for the direction for event and portraits, then the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 is a good value to add to your gear but it can't replace the walk-around purpose in the Sigma. In terms of IQ, the tamron is a touch better than the Sigma. But the sigma's core strength that you won't find in the Tamron are a few
  • Much more versatile from wide to portraits
  • a better walk-around due to focal range
  • smaller, lighter and more compact as 1-lens do it all type of zoom
  • a better close up lens over the Tamron

If you plan for a K5, K-r and K-x, the sigma's weaknesses in slower aperture and vari-focal apertures is reduced by the high iso capability of the camera body. The sigma is still quite a fast lens if you use it in the range of 17-50.

When you use flash with Sigma, remember to take the lens hood off. Combined with your AF280 flash and a upgraded body in the future, the combo is hard to beat.

Hope this helps you a bit. Again, nobody thinks alike and you don't need to decide based on others' input.

Thanks,
Hin
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