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03-07-2011, 01:17 PM   #1
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No decent 200mm zooms?

I've been closely researching 200mm zooms (70-200's and similar), looking at the Tamron AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD IF Macro Lens for my k-x. I like the professional and user reviews/comments about this lens. Although it's a bit of a "budget" lens, the optical quality, bokeh, contrast and sharpness are all generally highly praised by most (consumer and professional reviews). I've decided that it would be a better decision, above the sigma 70-200 (both models) for very good reasons (flare control, sharpness, purple fringing, etc.). Anyways the main thing keeping me from going ahead with the tamron is the fact that people say the autofocus is HORRIBLY slow. Well how slow is it? Each person has a different opinion of what slow is. If it's as fast as my DA 50-200MM WR, I'd be pretty satisfied. There are also MANY consumer issues with the aperture getting stuck with this lens. Anyways, these new lenses, seem to have decent optics, but more random defects than ever. I am really close to buying the pentax smc FA 200MM 2.8 IF as well. Since I almost always have my DA 50-200 close to, or at 200mm constantly (135-200+ just seems to fit my style). So, I want the tamron 70-200 di macro but paranoid about autofocus speed, I want the pentax fa 200mm 2.8 but it doesn't have the close focusing ability, and I really want the pentax fa 80-200 2.8 IF, but i'm not sure if that zoom would have much better optical quality/I.Q, than the newer tamron. Eh..........advice?


Last edited by outsider; 03-07-2011 at 03:05 PM.
03-07-2011, 01:21 PM   #2
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03-07-2011, 01:37 PM   #3
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I think the only way to answer the question is to go and visit a bricks and mortar store. try it out for yourself.

As to the other comments,

no 70-200F2.8 zoom is a budget lens. while they may be lower cost than perhaps a similar lens from the camera maker, the sigma and tamron zooms have generallt been optically just as good.

as for what lens to buy, you may also want to look at the sigma 70-200F2.8 EX (non DG Non Macro) on the used market. This lens is sharper at 200mm than the follow on lenses, except for perhaps the latest version of the lens which includes OS. BUT that lens is somewhat more expensive.
03-07-2011, 01:45 PM   #4
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you are right, "slow" is a relative term, so the only way to know what you are getting is to try one.
I have used the DA*200 and DA*50-135 recently and those SDM lenses were much faster than the Tamron. I also find my DA70Ltd to be faster than the Tamron. Now, i do not feel the Tamron is slower than my other two DA lenses, the 10-17 and 16-45, seems about the same. The difference there is that because the throw of the focus is longer than those wide lenses, when the Tamron needs to hunt, it has further to travel. That said, if you are serious about fast sports and want to use continuous focus for that, i do not think the tamron is the right lens. for most other applications, the thing is crazy good...which reminds me that i lent mine out to igilligan and need to get it back because i miss it.

good luck deciding and though i havent heard about widespread aperture issues, aside from one that i read about in the lens reviews section, remember this lens carries a SIX year warranty. I havent owned any lens for that long so i kinda think i'm going to be fine.

03-07-2011, 01:53 PM   #5
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From a Tamron 70-200 owner I can say that the AF speed is only 'slow' if the camera happens to miss the focus point and have to whirr to each extreme to catch the focus point again, as Mike mentioned. This is more camera-dependent and more evident in low lighting conditions. Nevertheless with my use, I have never felt I have missed a shot from 'slow AF' with this lens. My technique to keep the focus distance of the lens right about the approximate intended focus distance of the subject helps to minimise focus hunt, and it seems to work for me quite well.
03-07-2011, 01:54 PM   #6
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03-07-2011, 02:51 PM   #7
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As long as the camera decides to track the subject the AF is fast enough for just about anything. I have missed a couple shots from where the camera decided to check and see if there was something in the macro range worth focusing on though. This isn't due to it's speed but rather due to the fact that it doesn't have a macro focus limiting switch.
03-07-2011, 03:07 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info Man!! Much appreciated!!

03-07-2011, 03:08 PM   #9
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Thanks for your input!!!!
03-07-2011, 03:09 PM   #10
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Thanks
03-07-2011, 03:18 PM   #11
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The lens is no slower to focus than any of my others. Never had an aperture problem.
03-07-2011, 03:25 PM   #12
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I've owned the Tamron and I wouldn't call it's AF slow, in fact, it's actually quite responsive. The only time it is "slow" is when using it for sports (i.e., tracking a moving subject that is coming toward or going away from you). That's the only reason I didn't keep mine. I kind of regret returning it now, that is just one cool lens... I especially love the size (I know, that may seem a little ironic).
03-07-2011, 04:36 PM   #13
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Fast Sports Zoom Lenses for Pentax | Sigma 70-200mm vs. Tamron 70-200mm vs. Pentax FA* 80-200mm F2.8

I wouldn't recommend the FA* 200mm for sports as I've observed a great deal of aberrations from it on digital. The FA* 80-200mm, however, is superb. See above for a comparison of it with the other two lenses. The main difference between the 3 is in handling- the Tamron is hard to hold and has a weird manual focusing system. The IQ of all 3 is excellent.

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03-07-2011, 06:01 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Fast Sports Zoom Lenses for Pentax | Sigma 70-200mm vs. Tamron 70-200mm vs. Pentax FA* 80-200mm F2.8

I wouldn't recommend the FA* 200mm for sports as I've observed a great deal of aberrations from it on digital. The FA* 80-200mm, however, is superb. See above for a comparison of it with the other two lenses. The main difference between the 3 is in handling- the Tamron is hard to hold and has a weird manual focusing system. The IQ of all 3 is excellent.
which says a lot considering the FA*80-200 sells used for twice the price of a new Tamron 70-200.
03-08-2011, 07:30 AM   #15
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Why not recommend the pentax FA 80-200? Aberrations? That's funny i've never head a problem with that in any review i've read regarding that lens, and 99% of the people that own it, rave about it with almost no significant complaints. One thing I've learned, if many people are raving about something, there's a reason. There's only a choice of 4 or 5 zooms here and the Sigma is out. For the crap users are saying about that lens, being sub par in sharpness, having purple fringing issues and a few other critical F$ck Ups, Sigma must think i'm crazy if i'm going to pay that much money for a lens they should have gotten right. It's ridiculous we don't have some of these lens optical, image and mechanical issues resolved. You can't tell me Tamron doesn't know they screwed the autofocus up on the tamron either. I'm convinced companies deliberately under-design products so that they keep consumers wrapped around their finger, so to speak. This just ticks me off.
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