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03-21-2011, 09:43 AM   #1
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Tamron 17-50 or Pentax DA18-135?

Dear Pentax Community,
I would like to ask you for advise. I am looking to update my lens line. I am shooting mostly landscapes and cityscapes. I like prime lens and never have used a zoom lenses. I have DA15 to cover the wild angle and few manual 28, 50 and 135 mm lenses. I am thinking to buy FA43 (or FA31) and FA77 and one zoom for more flexibility. Zoom probably will be used not very often, because I do prefer primes. I stacked in my decision between Tamron 17-50/2.8 and Pentax 18-135. First one as I read is very sharp and fast in term of aperture, Pentax lens is WR with fast autofocus and larger zoom range. What would you suggest? Which of these two lenses should I go for?
Thank you in advance.
Best regards,

Yuriy

03-21-2011, 10:14 AM   #2
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There's no question that the Tamron is sharper. It's also much faster. However, it's not WR and the zoom reach is less than half that of the Pentax. Just depends on what you want to get out of it...
03-21-2011, 10:29 AM   #3
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Thanks. IQ is more important for me than WR, so probably I will buy a Tamron. But what about autofocus speed?
I am thinking to build similar lens line as yours, Deadwolfbones, except I can not decide about which zoom to go with.
03-21-2011, 10:55 AM   #4
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I was very happy with AF speed of the Tamron--17-50 is a great range for city & landscapes. The Tamron is up there with the IQ of primes.

03-21-2011, 11:02 AM   #5
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I haven't used the tamron, but I must say I'm impressed with the DC auto focus of the 18-135.. not overly impressed with its IQ (sending it back to be checked over).
03-21-2011, 11:37 AM   #6
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AF speed with the Tamron is as fast as any other screwdriven lens, which is to say "fast enough" for most things. Not Canon USM fast, not Pentax SDM slow. The DC motor in the 18-135 is about as fast as the Tamron, I'd say. Of course, it's nearly silent, whereas the Tamron is a lil' bit noisy.
03-21-2011, 08:17 PM   #7
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QuoteQuote:
But what about autofocus speed?

Landscapes and cityscapes do not require fast AF.
03-21-2011, 09:18 PM   #8
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Thanks a lot. I will most probably go with Tamron lens. Thanks again for the information and suggestions.

03-21-2011, 10:07 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by yurko_yr Quote
Thanks a lot. I will most probably go with Tamron lens. Thanks again for the information and suggestions.
One other thing to mention about the 17-50... this lens is known for some QC issues, so it might be best to look for a known-good used copy, or else buy from a company with a very good return policy. I myself have owned two and had good luck with them, but I've seen enough complaints to be careful if I try again.
03-21-2011, 10:46 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by deadwolfbones Quote
One other thing to mention about the 17-50... this lens is known for some QC issues, so it might be best to look for a known-good used copy, or else buy from a company with a very good return policy. I myself have owned two and had good luck with them, but I've seen enough complaints to be careful if I try again.
Agreed--which is why I bought mine @ B & H--Hone Run run with the 1st copy. It is not worth saving a few bucks on a lens like this, if you have to fight to get the seller to accept it back. I notice a lot of EBay sellers, cleverly & carefully word their return policies:

In larger letters it reads something like--return if not %100 satisfied
In smaller letters it reads: all returns must have verifiiable factory defect
I would steer clear of anything worded this ambiguously. Good Luck!
03-22-2011, 12:03 AM   #11
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I don't think I would be looking at the 17-50 when the 28-75 macro would probably be a better all around lens and can do double duty being able to shoot Macro. I'm sure after I get my 18-135 serviced it will be just fine. Having the WR lens to go on the K-5 for those wet days will be nice.
03-22-2011, 01:27 AM   #12
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When choosing a zoom, you will always need to compromise between speed & range. So it depends on which one you want, as these are very different lenses. Some say the Tammy has too short a range for a walkabout therefore it´s not flexible. I disagree & think that the speed gives it more flexibility (artistically & for low light shooting) than the extra range.

But then, if you have a lot of primes you´re probably all set in the speed department, but it will depend on whether you want to be switching lenses.

Are you sure you´ll use the zoom if you´re already so sure you prefer primes?
03-22-2011, 02:26 AM   #13
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Save your money and get those limiteds

If you are already comfortable with primes, you'd unlikely need to use zooms. I too have primes and some zooms, but the times I use the zooms is only out of necessity to give them some 'exercise' (get the moving parts moving) .


If you really want to try zooms out.
The DA18-135 impressed me with its WR, small package for so much focal length coverage and very good close focusing ability (40cm at 135mm FL) which is very useful for a all round walk around lens.
Don't have a 17-50/2.8, but my 28-75/2.8 is great for its general utility while having the fast aperture for low light and shallow DOF shots. Pity its no wider than 28mm though. I'd guess the 17-50/2.8 is about the same except that its wider on the wide end, but a bit short at the long end for some portraits or reach.
03-22-2011, 03:07 AM   #14
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Clearly a trade off between larger aperture and focal range. But for utility, the 17-50/2.8 is a very good performer, and excellent value for money.
03-22-2011, 07:33 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chex Quote
I don't think I would be looking at the 17-50 when the 28-75 macro would probably be a better all around lens and can do double duty being able to shoot Macro. I'm sure after I get my 18-135 serviced it will be just fine. Having the WR lens to go on the K-5 for those wet days will be nice.
28 is pretty damn narrow for an all-around on a crop-sensor camera.
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