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05-28-2011, 08:02 AM - 3 Likes   #1
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Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8, Best $300 I ever spent (lots of pics)

I recently posted some sample photos from my Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 in a thread where somebody was looking for a good portrait lens for taking pictures of their children with available lighting. I noticed that the pictures I posted didn't look quite right (slightly desaturated and the colors were off), and that's when I learned they needed to be converted to sRGB for viewing on the web. (Thanks jstevewhite for your help with that, and I've rep'd you!) I've now gone through and converted them, and am now reposting them in case they can help anybody else looking for a good, inexpensive zoom lens.

Most of these pictures were taken on my Pentax K-x, but there's a few that were taken with a Pentax K100D and a Samsung GX-1S (which I'm currently selling on eBay).

All of the pictures were taken with my Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8, which I bought used on eBay from Japan a little more than a year ago for around $300. The vast majority of the pictures were taken at f/2.8 with available lighting (no flash), but I've also included a couple shots from my home studio (one high key, one low key). Except for adding some vignetting on a couple of the photos, these images have not had anything done to them, other than the normal exposure/saturation adjustments made while developing in Adobe RAW.

For anybody looking for a good portrait or all-purpose lens that won't break the bank, I can't recommend this Tamron highly enough. Constant f/2.8 aperture, sharp across the frame at f/2.8, and ridiculously sharp when stopped down, with no noticeable vignetting or distortions. And since it will focus within a few inches of the front element, it's even good for some quasi-macro work. And best of all, they often go on eBay for around $300 used.

If you're inclined to pixel-peeping, I'll also be posting links to a couple of the full-size 12MP images in few minutes.

Last edited by Edgar_in_Indy; 05-28-2011 at 08:09 AM.
05-28-2011, 08:06 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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As promised, here are a couple of the pictures from above linked to their full-size images so you can see what kind of sharpness and image quality to expect at 100% magnification. Click on the picture to open the full-size image.

The first shot is at f/2.8, and the second shot is at f/8.0. In both pictures the eyes were the point of focus.

I once heard somebody describe the Tamron 28-75mm as "having a bag full of primes" in one lens. I don't know if that's true, but I've always been extremely impressed with the image quality at all focal lengths and apertures.

05-28-2011, 08:43 AM   #3
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Absolutely SUPERB shots...each and every one of them.
05-28-2011, 10:23 AM   #4
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I've never had more than a very slight interest in this lens, but these shots are really impressive, both technically and artistically. Wow.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 05-28-2011 at 01:28 PM.
05-28-2011, 10:28 AM   #5
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Superb pics.

I agree with the tamron review. I wish it did not look and feel so plasticky and not as loud. But for the price and weight one cannot complain.
05-28-2011, 11:34 AM   #6
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I like shooting with manual focus primes because of their old school build and sheer enjoyment of using old lenses. Despite the plasticky build quality of modern AF zooms, these pictures remind me that this Tamron can certainly deliver the goods and then some even at wide open.

Very well done!
05-28-2011, 11:49 AM   #7
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Excellent images!

My Tammy 28-75 is my most used lens, I agree that it's one of the best lenses for the price.
05-28-2011, 12:53 PM   #8
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Those are stunning shots and very sharp! I have a similar experience with my Tammy 17-50 f2.8. Well done!

05-28-2011, 01:18 PM   #9
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Great shots indeed.

I've always been a huge advocate of the Tamron 28-75 as one of the most useful lens forcefully pictures of people and an exceptional value as well. If someone could take the optics of the 28-75 and put them into a body like the 18-135WR (in terms of build, weather sealing and DC motor) I'd readily pay $700-800 for it.
05-28-2011, 01:23 PM   #10
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And if I could add to my previous comment, certainly the lens has a factor in the image quality showcased here, but 99% of the credit has to go to the photographer
05-28-2011, 02:14 PM   #11
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Thanks so much for the kind words. I was a total novice to photography when I bought my first DSLR, an Olympus e-510, a couple years ago. With over 20,000 shutter actuations on my Pentax K-x since I bought it a little more than a year ago, I guess that all the practice is having an effect. Of course, having good models at my disposal makes getting good pictures a lot easier, so I have to give a lot of the credit to my daughters and their cousins.

I agree with those of you who would like to see Tamron update this lens. If they offered the same optical formula but in a higher-quality package, and with silent focusing, I'd be in for sure. I never had any complaints about the build quality of the lens when I first got it. It was my first non-kit lens, so it seemed light years ahead of the kit lens in build. But now that I have the Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 HSM, the build of the Tamron is obviously inferior, as is the auto-focus motor.
05-28-2011, 03:01 PM   #12
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Hello Edgar

The first photo looks an exactly copy of my setting: “Stormtrooper” Kx with the Tamron 28-75 2.8!

The rest are… what one can say… amazing good photos… congratulations!

Best regards,
05-28-2011, 05:17 PM   #13

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Glad you like the lens.
Really beautiful shots and beautiful children too. Like all of the shots.

The 28-75/2.8 is indeed a wonderful lens at a great price. I always recommend it to ppl starting off and needing a fast and good lens.
05-28-2011, 05:27 PM   #14
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Looks like it is a "winner" lens...obviously in the hands of a "winner" Photographer! Thanks for sharing.
05-28-2011, 05:40 PM   #15
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My friends, you make the best kid photo I never seen

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