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05-16-2011, 01:01 PM   #1
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FA 20-35 vs Kit Lens

I'm looking for a wide-normal zoom for my Kx and came across the FA 20-35. I have a 50mm prime, and will get a 15mm eventually, so I really just want to fill in the gap in between. I find that I mostly use 20-35 with my kit, so this would be the perfect zoom range. I was wondering if the image quality is significantly better on the FA vs the kit lens?

05-16-2011, 01:12 PM   #2
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The image quality of the 20-35mm is very good- certainly much better than the kit, considering that it's a full-frame lens. It's not any faster, however, and given the overlap, it might not really make that much sense to have it unless you completely dump the kit in favor of something like the 50-135mm.

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05-16-2011, 05:49 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by ironlionzion Quote
I'm looking for a wide-normal zoom for my Kx and came across the FA 20-35. I have a 50mm prime, and will get a 15mm eventually, so I really just want to fill in the gap in between. I find that I mostly use 20-35 with my kit, so this would be the perfect zoom range. I was wondering if the image quality is significantly better on the FA vs the kit lens?
I own the 20-35/4 AL lens and can vouch for its IQ and resolution. I don't know if it's just me, but the color rendition of FF lenses seem much more natural and different from digital lenses (I've tried a DA40Ltd, DA50-150WR, DA16-45/4 and various Sigma DC lenses). I prefer their color rendition.

I chose the 20-35/4 over the DA16-45 as it is more compact and doesn't zoom out at the wide end. This was particularly important for me as I used the lens as my wide angle lens, shooting at 20mm almost 90% of the time. I thought that I would prefer a wider FL zoom range, so I bought a 17-35mm Sigma to give it a try. Well, 17mm is indeed wider, but after using the lens these past few months, I've decided to stick with the 20-35/4 and sell the Sigma, more than anything because I found out that I compose better landscape shots at 20mm than at 17mm, and because of the color rendition of the Pentax.

In short, if you don't mind changing lenses, go for it. I recommend it.

These shots pushed me to keep the 20-35/4 AL and sell instead the Sigma 17-35/2.8-4:






Last edited by vinceloc; 05-16-2011 at 05:55 PM.
05-16-2011, 06:55 PM   #4
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Yeah, the 20-35 is one of my favorite lenses. Excellent colors, nice and sharp even wide open, and goes from as wide as I usually need to a nice normal length for pictures of people without distortion. I have an 18-55 WR for weather, but its output is distinctly less nice.

05-17-2011, 10:37 AM   #5
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Sounds like the 20-35 is a winner...thanks for your inputs
05-17-2011, 10:53 PM   #6
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Why not look at the Tamron SP 17-50/2.8? Wider range, sharp wide open at a faster aperture, and cheaper to boot.
05-17-2011, 11:45 PM   #7
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The 20-35 makes sense on a FF sensor where it's a good wide angle zoom, but on APS-C it's wide normal to normal and there are other very good options; 16-45, 16-50, Tam 17-50, Sig 17-50, Pen 17-70. I don't understand the attraction of this lens and this is coming from a wide addict.
05-18-2011, 10:54 AM   #8
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Hmm I'll definitely check out the tamron 17-50. The average rating put me off, but apparently it was just a few "5"s. Seems to be a great lens.

The attraction of the 20-35 is that it is my most used range, and possibly the chance to get a used one for a few hundred. Of course, at full price, I'd much rather dish out an extra 200 and get the 16-50.

05-18-2011, 05:01 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ironlionzion Quote
Hmm I'll definitely check out the tamron 17-50. The average rating put me off, but apparently it was just a few "5"s. Seems to be a great lens.
Check the photozone reviews for the Canikon versions. You can't compare the sharpness scores with Pentax lens scores, but you can look at the curve and compare numbers with Canikon lenses - it compares well.
05-18-2011, 06:30 PM   #10
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Tamron zooms with a low to medium throw are "dust suckers". I've owned a Tamron 28-75/2.8 which ended up with a lot of internal dust after a year of regular use. Then, fungus started to form in the internal glass elements, so I sent it to a technician to have it cleaned. While watching him disassemble the lens, I noticed how there weren't any rubber rings or bushings around.

That's why I prefer zooms with minimum throws, hence the 20-35/4.

Nowadays I only buy zooms with minimum throws (lens extension movements), internal zooming/focusing mechanisms or WR.
05-18-2011, 11:33 PM   #11
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17-50 certainly has a more useful range than 20-35. I would prefer it over 20-35 any day.

@vinceloc, Can you share more details. I have been using 28-75 and 17-50 for a long time and never got into any dust issues so far. Both lenses are protected by filter though. I just want to be careful - 28-75mm is my fav lens.
05-19-2011, 03:38 AM   #12
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Hi Yusuf, Placing filters on your Tamron lenses may offer some protection from dust being sucked through the front ring of the lens. But dust can also enter through the sides of the lens when zooming in and out. I believe this has been discussed thoroughly in other threads.

I see you are from India (Bangalore) which, like the Philippines is quite a humid country. Unfortunately, we are areas of the world where fungus growth in lenses is common. I have owned Pentax, Sigma, Voigtlander, Tokina and Tamron lenses, and the only lens which ever got infected with fungus has been the Tamron lens.

Tamron lenses are great value lenses, since they offer high IQ for prices lower than the competition. There must have been an area where they have scrimped, in order to maintain lower price ranges. My suspicion is that they have scrimped on the build and durability of their lenses. Again, this is just my opinion.
05-19-2011, 09:42 AM   #13
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Thanks vinceloc, will check out other threads, fortunately Bangalore is not humid place at all - so all is good

QuoteOriginally posted by vinceloc Quote
Hi Yusuf, Placing filters on your Tamron lenses may offer some protection from dust being sucked through the front ring of the lens. But dust can also enter through the sides of the lens when zooming in and out. I believe this has been discussed thoroughly in other threads.

I see you are from India (Bangalore) which, like the Philippines is quite a humid country. Unfortunately, we are areas of the world where fungus growth in lenses is common. I have owned Pentax, Sigma, Voigtlander, Tokina and Tamron lenses, and the only lens which ever got infected with fungus has been the Tamron lens.

Tamron lenses are great value lenses, since they offer high IQ for prices lower than the competition. There must have been an area where they have scrimped, in order to maintain lower price ranges. My suspicion is that they have scrimped on the build and durability of their lenses. Again, this is just my opinion.
05-19-2011, 10:27 AM   #14
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I was looking to get the FA20-35 for 350 mint condition on ebay, but of course someone sniped it for 355 at the last millisecond...typical. anyone have any experience with the tamron 17-35? for 250 for an ex+ shipped from KEH it sounds like a good deal.
05-19-2011, 01:15 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ironlionzion Quote
I was looking to get the FA20-35 for 350 mint condition on ebay, but of course someone sniped it for 355 at the last millisecond...typical. anyone have any experience with the tamron 17-35? for 250 for an ex+ shipped from KEH it sounds like a good deal.
doesn't matter. you could had bid higher and still get sniped. just think that what you bid is the maximum that you wanted to pay for the lens. it doesn't matter if you get outbidded by $5 which you might be able to afford. when it comes to bidding, make sure you get your hands full. getting lucky nowadays is difficult to find.
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