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12-22-2010, 12:18 PM   #1
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Tamron 28-75mm for Portraits

Hello everyone!

I'm currently a prime guy, but I'm finding that I simply own too many lenses and would like to consolidate them a little bit.

I'm not a huge IQ junkie because this is a hobby, not a job, but right now I am most happy with every prime I have.

So I began to think that I would like to buy myself a DA ltd. prime set up, but the cost is beginning to look daunting when I consider that the speeds of these lenses are not exactly ultra-fast, a 40 and 70 can easily be covered by one f2.8 zoom. I would love the DA* 50-135, but it simply looks too heavy for me, and I don't really require WR or SDM, which means I feel overall it would be money wasted. Furthermore, the 28mm-50mm range I find very useful, while the 100mm+ range I find less useful. I'm beginning to wonder if the Tamron, while infinitely larger, would be a good pairing with one of my fast 50's for low light, and maybe a DA 15 for wides, while the rest could be sold.

I've begun to really enjoy portraiture, and the DA 40 has taught me that the limited DOF control of 2.8 is not incredibly important to me (and when it is, a nifty 50 tends to fit my bill).

But I wanted opinions from those who have tried both. I was thinking along the lines of the DA 15, 40, 70 as being very flexible. For those who enjoy environmental portraits and classic portraits, do you find much difference between the DA limited's and the Tamron 28-75mm lens? My major concern is low light AF, and bokeh. One thing I am wondering is whether the bokeh of the da ltds is considerably better than the Tamron?

Thank you so much for your help, folks!

One good LBA solution is to sell when you buy .

12-22-2010, 12:37 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Hey paperbag!

I'm a rare (extremely rare) poster here. But I'm just killing time this afternoon and may be able to offer a useful opinion.

I have too many lenses. Here are my usual set ups: Two lens kit = 16-50 & 50-135. One lens kit = Tammy 28-75. Prime kit = 21, 40 and 70.

The Tammy takes excellent portraits. My usual formula is 75mm, 4.5 and a hotshoe flash tilted to 45 with an omnibounce. Compared to the 16-50 it's a lot easier to carry (smaller diameter and smaller hood). My problem with it is that isn't wide enough. So sometimes I'll carry the 21 with it (or a 10-17 FE). Yes, LBA has struck me hard...

Bokeh comparison between the Tammy and DA70 Limited - Hmmm... It's really subjective. There's a little something special about the 70's bokeh. But the Tammy is excellent, really. I would be hard pressed to find an example of ugly/angry bokeh with the Tammy. It really is an exceptional performer for the price.

Peace - Roger Hayslip
12-22-2010, 12:55 PM   #3
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I agree 100% with the above poster. The 28-75 is a fantastic lens and makes an excellent portrait zoom. I find I end up in the 50-75mm a significant amount of time so I prefer this to the 16-50 as well (the Tamron is also smaller, lighter and less expensive lens). I also like the 50-135 a lot, but I find the range of the 28-75 more useful if I don't want to switch lenses.
12-22-2010, 01:07 PM   #4
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Thank you both for your advice.

Dgaies, I notice that you have a really amazing lens collection, and have the DA 40. How does the bokeh of the DA 40 compare to the Tamron?

I want to use this lens for general short DOF uses (not crazy thin DOF, but I would like to make use of some nice bokeh when appropriate). I quite like the bokeh of the DA 40... it's not to loud, but very smooth. How about the Tamron?

12-22-2010, 01:26 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
Thank you both for your advice.

Dgaies, I notice that you have a really amazing lens collection, and have the DA 40. How does the bokeh of the DA 40 compare to the Tamron?

I want to use this lens for general short DOF uses (not crazy thin DOF, but I would like to make use of some nice bokeh when appropriate). I quite like the bokeh of the DA 40... it's not to loud, but very smooth. How about the Tamron?
I've found the bokeh of the Tamron to be pretty decent, and although I can't say I've done a direct comparison with the DA40, I think it would compare fairly well with the 40 having a slighty edge. But regardless of the differences, it's really more a case of having the nice 28-75mm range vs the compactness of the 40 as the IQ is excellent on both lenses. FWIW, while the AF on the 28-75 is decent, the AF on the 40 is about as good as it gets, especially in low light.

Despite the really nice collection of glass I have at the moment, the 28-75 is my go to lens if I just want to grab the camera and a single lens. It's covers my most used focal length range, it does well for close-focusing/"macros", and is reasonably small and light.
12-22-2010, 01:27 PM - 1 Like   #6
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The Tamron performs well for portraits, and is versatile enough to get full-length as well as head & shoulders shots. It's a sharp lens that doesn't do badly back-to-back with the DA* 16-50.

I'd also recommend it, but could also suggest that if were just portraits you wanted to shoot with the lens, then you could complement your 40 with a 70. The DA ltds do add more of that 3D rendering that is not quite as pronounced with the Tamron, although PP can do well with results from the Tamron.
12-22-2010, 01:30 PM - 1 Like   #7
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If you're used to the primes, I don't think the zooms will cut it for you.

That being said, that Tammy 28-75 is incredible, and aside from an UWA like a 10-20 or 10-17, the 28-75 would be the first one in my bag based on the shots I've seen from it.
12-22-2010, 01:31 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteQuote:
Hello everyone!

I'm currently a prime guy, but I'm finding that I simply own too many lenses and would like to consolidate them a little bit.

I'm not a huge IQ junkie because this is a hobby, not a job, but right now I am most happy with every prime I have.

So I began to think that I would like to buy myself a DA ltd. prime set up, but the cost is beginning to look daunting when I consider that the speeds of these lenses are not exactly ultra-fast, a 40 and 70 can easily be covered by one f2.8 zoom. I would love the DA* 50-135, but it simply looks too heavy for me, and I don't really require WR or SDM, which means I feel overall it would be money wasted. Furthermore, the 28mm-50mm range I find very useful, while the 100mm+ range I find less useful. I'm beginning to wonder if the Tamron, while infinitely larger, would be a good pairing with one of my fast 50's for low light, and maybe a DA 15 for wides, while the rest could be sold.

I've begun to really enjoy portraiture, and the DA 40 has taught me that the limited DOF control of 2.8 is not incredibly important to me (and when it is, a nifty 50 tends to fit my bill).

But I wanted opinions from those who have tried both. I was thinking along the lines of the DA 15, 40, 70 as being very flexible. For those who enjoy environmental portraits and classic portraits, do you find much difference between the DA limited's and the Tamron 28-75mm lens? My major concern is low light AF, and bokeh. One thing I am wondering is whether the bokeh of the da ltds is considerably better than the Tamron?

Thank you so much for your help, folks!

One good LBA solution is to sell when you buy
Well said, with much wisdom in your words. Now that I've had time to shoot with a plethora of lenses, primes & zooms, it is time to use what I have learned and settle down with a few good lenses, Although the Tammy 28-75mm 2.8 was a serious front focuser on my K20d, I do not hold it against her. The lens meets so many different needs, that it is worth waiting for its repair. I love the range for portraits, and the speed allows me indoors, in daylight hours, to capture portraits without fussing with flash. When I clean house, and sell off many unnecessary lenses, soon, this lens will stay. Here is a shot, @ 3.2.



12-22-2010, 02:07 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
I'd also recommend it, but could also suggest that if were just portraits you wanted to shoot with the lens, then you could complement your 40 with a 70
Yes that was my original thought. However I have found someone who is willing to trade his Tamron 28-75 for my DA 40. One of the things I like most about the DA 40 is the snappy autofocus, but considering the money saved / my skill level, I'm not so sure it's a huge compromise. I do love the bokeh of the DA 40 and I suppose I will have to do a direct comparison to see if the Tamron will cut it for me in that department, but I've seen some really nice bokeh in samples from Tamron (including Jewel's shot above, really nice!)
12-22-2010, 05:09 PM - 1 Like   #10
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Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 vs Pentax 35mm f/2.4 sharpness

I just received my Tamron 28-75 f/2.4 and I already had the new Pentax 35 f/2.4 and I have concluded after many tests that even though the Tamron is a zoom lens, it is A LOT sharper than the Pentax in the center and edge of the frame. (both tested at 35mm f/2.8 on a Pentax kx) I just wanted to share my findings. Now I can get rid of the Pentax.
12-22-2010, 05:44 PM - 1 Like   #11
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I'm not about to give up my primes but I have to say that the Tamron zoom is really very good.
12-22-2010, 07:07 PM   #12
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What about a comparison of sharpness at the 70mm range?

I took about 100 pictures with the DA 70 2.4 and it was really, really good. The DOF at f2.4 was perfect and the lens was very sharp wide open. Is the Tamron as useful at f2.8, or does it really need to be stopped down to f4?
12-22-2010, 07:12 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
What about a comparison of sharpness at the 70mm range?

I took about 100 pictures with the DA 70 2.4 and it was really, really good. The DOF at f2.4 was perfect and the lens was very sharp wide open. Is the Tamron as useful at f2.8, or does it really need to be stopped down to f4?
The Tamron performs very well wide open and doesn't need to be stopped down to get good sharpness. I don't think I kept them, but I took a bunch of test shots when I bought the FA*28-70 and was deciding which lens to keep (between the Tamron or the FA*). As I recall, the sharpness of the Tamron across the entire focal length range was excellent from f/2.8 on up.
12-22-2010, 07:25 PM   #14
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+1 on f/2.8 useability.
The Tamron really does well wide open. There may be some dorp in contrast but otherwise, I get good results also at f/2.8 at all focal lengths.
12-22-2010, 09:48 PM   #15
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QuoteQuote:
Paperbag: Is the Tamron as useful at f2.8, or does it really need to be stopped down to f4?
I have seen a lot of shots with it wide open, my shots and shots from so many others: the lens is excellent wide open. My 17-50 is sharper @ 2.8, but the 28-75 is right behind it.
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