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10-16-2010, 02:35 AM   #1
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Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 worth the upgrade over DA18-55mm WR?

Hi everyone! I'm new to the forums!

I hope i'm not shot down on my first post, but i'd like some advice on a non-pentax product....

I'm sold on the K-5, just wondering how long i can bear to wait for the price to drop... before or after christmas? But that's not my question...

Considering a wide-angle zoom to go with the K-5, i am tossing up between getting a kit with the DA18-55mm WR or just getting the body and getting the Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f2.8. My question is: Is the Tamron worth the extra money?

The reasons I am not going for the DA* 16-50mm f2.8 are: the Tamron is smaller (apparently doesn't interfere with the pop-up flash) and lighter, and it costs way less!

This will probably be the walk-around lens on my camera. Image quality is quite important to me.

Pro's for going with the Tamron:
+ f2.8 versus f3.5-5.6
+ image quality?

Pro's for going with the DA18-55mm:
+ smaller, lighter
+ much less expensive (when bought in a kit with the K-5)
+ better build quality?
+ WR!!!

Anything i've missed? Is the image quality noticeably better on the Tamron? Is it worth the upgrade?

Thanks for your help!

10-16-2010, 07:04 AM   #2
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I thought so

I for one considered the upgrade from the kit zoom (non-WR, but should be the same optically ?) to the Tamron to be worth the price for the faster aperture and better IQ. I've had this for a few days and so commenting on the the latter would be premature at this point, except maybe noting that this is capable of remarkably sharp shots, even wide open.

You'll find user reviews of both lenses (and others) on this site: Comprehensive Pentax Lens Listings - Pentax Lens Review Database. These are also covered here, backed with lab measurements: All Tests / Reviews (the Tamron 17-50 has been tested as the Canon version, but since this should be optically the same as the Pentax version the results in general should be useful).

Both the above review sources have nice things to say about the Tamron, which is why I was encouraged to get this particular lens: based on these it would seem to be a great value for the price, and, in fact, a very good lens even in absolute terms.
10-16-2010, 07:48 AM   #3
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I own both--the 18-55mm usually never gets into my bag and I hike year round. The Tamron is better built and has less distortion, much better resolution and IQ. Only you can decide if the diference is worth it to you. The Tamron is much heavier, obviously.
10-16-2010, 07:59 AM   #4
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I don't know about prices but usually getting the kit is not much more than just the body, if that is the case I'll get the kit even solely for WR (even if you decide to get the Tamron), though I don't know how you value that feature.
I don't know about your experience either but if you don't have any you shouldn't rule out the kit lens just because, it might just be enough for youas it is for many.
I can't comment about the Tamron since I never used it.

10-16-2010, 03:14 PM   #5
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The Tamron has awesome optics assuming it doesn't suffer from optical misalignment. Typical Tamron built quality is not very strong so don't abuse it.
10-16-2010, 04:22 PM   #6
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The Tamron without a doubt.

As for not interfering with the pop-up flash...you are getting top of the line equipment for excellent image quality - buy a flash - even a cheap one :-)
10-16-2010, 05:11 PM   #7
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worth every penny.
10-16-2010, 06:27 PM   #8
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To me, having a constant f2.8 zoom lens is a big plus,

compensating to a higher ISO for night shots even with a good
sensor like the one in the K-x (and most likely the K-5 too) simply
does not compare to having f2.8

10-16-2010, 11:49 PM   #9
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Original Poster
Thanks guys, this is really helpful.

I really do like the idea of WR - i tend to be a bit rough with my gear. My philosophy is, if you're afraid if the possibility of ruining your gear you will miss shots!

If the Tamron had better build quality (and preferrably some sort of WR) it would be a no-brainer for me.

But since a few of you have mentioned the better IQ of the Tamron, i will go with that. If there wasn't a significant improvement in IQ between the two it would have been more of a contest.

Thanks again!
10-16-2010, 11:55 PM   #10
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oh, and SpecialK, yes, i will be getting a flash as well. But i'm guessing that sometimes it won't be able to be pulled out quickly enough. So the less interference with the pop-up flash, the better.

The kit lens looks like it would be about AU$150 more than body only for me. That's a Lowepro bag or another SDHC card for me, so body only it is!
10-17-2010, 11:43 PM   #11
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The Tamron 17/50 2.8 does interfere with the pop-up flash on my k-x. Maybe somebody with a K-7 can confirm that for you.
10-18-2010, 08:44 AM   #12
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QuoteQuote:
secateurs: If the Tamron had better build quality (and preferrably some sort of WR) it would be a no-brainer for me.

But since a few of you have mentioned the better IQ of the Tamron, i will go with that. If there wasn't a significant improvement in IQ between the two it would have been more of a contest.
Put these 2 lenses alongside of one another--the Tamron is clearly better built. Just because the 18-55 is WR, does not make it better built. The 18-55 is a great value, of course, particularly if you get it with your first body, but it is no Tamron 17-50 2.8.
10-18-2010, 08:53 AM   #13
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Just out of curiosity, how does the DA* compare with this Tamron?
10-18-2010, 08:57 AM   #14
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The best thing to do is to compare images of the 2 lenses--look in approoriate threads.

Here is a shot with the Tammy--just posted a few days ago in the Tammy Thread.

10-18-2010, 09:08 AM   #15
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I am not sure how the DA* compares with the Tamron, but the comparison is worth making with the DA 16-45mm.

Each has their negatives. DA16-45 has high CAs, though Pentax now corrects for that in their later bodies, and the Tamron has some serious field curvature. Overall the better MTF50 scores bleong clearly to the DA16-45mm. And in the second hand market it is significantly less expensive. The Tamron, if it is like my 28-75mm has a decent build quality. Some people do not like it. I personally think it is quite nice.

Frankly, the 16-45mm has won me so many ribbons at this point that I just never have really ever bothered to try the Tamron - initially I heard of a LOT of Q/A issues and the one I ALMOST bought was very, very soft. So it's been a bit of a non-starter.

With the addition of a DA 15mm for really serious work (turning red ribbons into blue ones), I am not sure I'll ever go there. The 16-45mm is simply a great walk-around wa to normal lens... and worth a look.

16-45mm

Pentax SMC-DA 16-45mm f/4 ED AL - Review / Test Report - Analysis

17-50mm

Tamron AF 17-50mm f/2.8 SP XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF] (Canon) - Review / Test Report - Analysis

I am certainly open to the suggestion that this is apples and oranges. Please don't pummel me. I'd prefer to just be enlightened.

woof!
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