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05-29-2011, 12:41 AM   #1
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The great 2.8 zoom debate!!!!

I've put this off long enough. I need a good zoom. My efforts have narrowed my search down to the holly trinity:

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APOMacro HSM II
Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8
Pentax DA* 50-135mm F2.8

Ok, internet. Which one should I get?

05-29-2011, 12:42 AM   #2
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Sigma 50-150/2.8 HSM II
05-29-2011, 01:45 AM   #3
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Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 - through out the range it's sharp compared Sigma and beautiful bokeh. IMO, the only disadvantage compared to 50-135 is weight.
05-29-2011, 03:37 AM   #4
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I have 50-135 and that is a fine lens for portrait, streetwork and some sport/events as long as fast AF is not an issue since SDM on this lens is not so very fast.

05-29-2011, 03:48 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Twin-Reverb Quote
I've put this off long enough. I need a good zoom. My efforts have narrowed my search down to the holly trinity:

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APOMacro HSM II
Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8
Pentax DA* 50-135mm F2.8

Ok, internet. Which one should I get?
The short answer: it depends.

The longer answer: it depends on what is important to YOU and YOUR circumstances, which will most likely be different to everyone else. You haven't given us much to work with.
E.g. is silent AF important (Sigma/Pentax), is fast, silent AF important (go the Sigma), is AF reliability important (Tamron/Sigma), is weight and size and carrying it around all day important, what's your budget, do you see yourself using the <70mm focal range more or the 135mm+ focal range more...etc etc etc
05-29-2011, 04:01 AM   #6
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I would suggest referring to the review on fast sports zooms that was done on this site for insight into the Sigma and Tamron which can be found here.

I'll also add that I own the Sigma and I love it! I bought mine right before the discontinued it for the OS version, and have nothing but praise for it. Build quality, sharpness, color, fast (and reliable) AF - sorry to dig on the Pentax lens there.

Greg
05-29-2011, 04:19 AM   #7
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Pentax FA* 80-200mm!

As sharp as the Tamron but renders much nicer with beautiful bokeh.
05-29-2011, 04:22 AM   #8
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I only tried myself the 50-135 and the Sigma 70-200. The DA* was better all the way.

05-29-2011, 04:48 AM   #9
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This is the great debate.

These are My thoughts after having made a similar call although I also considered the Pentax 60-250 f/4. End result of my research I got the sigma, and I quite like it.

Sigma 70-200mm
Pros:

-Fast AF,Silent AF, Longer reach, Build quality.
Cons:
- (a little) Soft wide open, 8.5/10 IQ, Not weather sealed, expensive. Not AF compatible with 2X TC's although I am not sure about the others.

Tamron 70-200mm
Pros:

-IQ 9.5/10, Build is good. Longer reach, Cheapest
Cons:
-AF is a little sluggish, Not weather sealed.

Pentax 50-135
Pros:
- Incredible IQ, Weather sealed
Cons:
Build quality (SDM has been troublesome), Slow AF, Expensive.
05-29-2011, 05:12 AM   #10
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Tough call. If I must, I would probably go for the Pentax only because it has much better resale value, and I am done with anything Sigma or Tamron. However, I would probably strip it down and locate the source of problem should the SDM failed. I am just curious. As to recommending for someone else, Sigma would be it if there is nothing else to choose from. The SDM is not to be trusted, and the Tamron is doomed from start on both built quality and AF. Tamron have some awesome optics but their built quality and AF can only be described as poor. Their SP are not what they used to be anymore.
05-29-2011, 05:15 AM   #11
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I recently had this debate with my self on which to get this year, and after looking at sample pics, reading many reviews and opinions, I came to the conclusion that the Sigma 50-150 HSM II has the most pros and the least cons. (For me anyway)
05-29-2011, 05:30 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
I would probably strip it down and locate the source of problem should the SDM failed. I am just curious.
you should check this thread out it seems to be a fairly reasonable conclusion, and explains why some SDM motors die.
05-29-2011, 05:36 AM   #13
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Pop4 asked the right question, what do you need the lens for and what focal length best fits. Also does it need to be HSM/SDM?

The original Sigma APO 70-200F2.8 EX is quite sharp even wide open and also works with sigma tc's. They go for about 650 if you can find one
05-29-2011, 05:46 AM   #14
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Depending on what your primary use is : Sigma 50-150/2.8 (no longer in production but a superb lense, very sharp, fast and quiet AF - recently used for an X Games event here : https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/142684-sports-x-games-sh...-part-1-a.html

Otherwise if you don't need the extra 20mm on the wider side (more useful IMO) and do need the extra 50mm reach then the Tamron 70-200/2.8. I checked this lense out recently and will be getting one. The AF was more than acceptable, and this was in a dimly lit corridor, not at all noisy though not silent, and IQ was superb.
05-29-2011, 04:27 PM   #15
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I guess I didn't give enough info. So here it is...
My priorities are fast and ACCURATE auto focus with decent range. While I'm not looking to shoot wildlife a football field away, I would like more mm if I can get them. I would like weather sealing but not at the expense of IQ. I shoot a lot of indoor events with terrible lighting.
Also, since several of you have mentioned the DA* F4 60-250mm, how good is it for terrible indoor lighting?
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