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06-04-2011, 02:39 AM   #1
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best mid to long range zoom lens

Hi, As you can see in my signature I have a tammy 28-200 which I bought a couple of weeks ago for around $60, I knew it will not be a great lens but only bought that as a only a backup till I save some money and get a better one.

I am seeing the performance to be worst in indoors in low light and gets worst grains even in ISO 3400 in my K-r. Even IQ in good sunlight also is not so great. I know I am expecting too much for $60. I have not used a kit lens so don't really know how they all will behave will the performance almost be like this?

So, can the experts advice me on an affordable zoom that can perform indoors decently and what kind of max aperture that will do justice here. Or will it be a F2.8 constant aperture that can only do this job well (but they all are expensive). Manual Zoom is okay but my preference will be for atleast auto aperture at this time.

thanks

06-04-2011, 04:56 AM - 1 Like   #2
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The kit lens (DA 18-55) is surprisingly good, but it is at its best at f/8. It is a 'slow' lens. So too is your lens, and it also performs its best at f/8.

But examples of what the 18-55 can do is here:







Any faster than the kit lens and you are looking around $300 for something like the Tamron 17-50 or Tamron 28-75, both of which are f/2.8 maximum. These are considerably better and more capable lenses than both yours and the kit lens, but as you can see the kit lens does remarkably well if shot at its sweet spot.

A hint for you: use your DA 35 f/2.4 more often - in fact, keep the lens on your K-r. It is a fantastic little lens. I'm in fact in the process of replacing my kit lens that shot the images above with the DA 35 - it really is an undervalued little gem.
06-04-2011, 05:20 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote

*snip*

A hint for you: use your DA 35 f/2.4 more often - in fact, keep the lens on your K-r. It is a fantastic little lens. I'm in fact in the process of replacing my kit lens that shot the images above with the DA 35 - it really is an undervalued little gem.
+1 what Ash said. great little lens

I think the one problem 18-55 kit lens has is that there is a marked range in quality from unit to unit. I had an 18-55 kit that I got with my DS that I really really liked. The 18-55 kit that I got with my K-x wasn't nearly as good. If you get a good one it delivers great bang-for-the-buck. If you don't get a good one...

NaCl(but everybody likes the DA 35mm f/2.4 )H2O
06-04-2011, 07:18 AM   #4
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A good general rule for zooms is to look for a zoom range of 3x or 4x. That's the longest focal length divided by the widest focal length. Your 28-200 is about 7x. It is hard for a lens to be good for such a broad range.

A highly recommended zoom, the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8, is in the next thread. That's one example of a 3x range, pretty fast too.

06-04-2011, 07:20 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by sany Quote
I am seeing the performance to be worst in indoors in low light and gets worst grains even in ISO 3400 in my K-r.
"Grain" (noise) is not a function of the lens, but of ISO. That is, *any* lens would be equally noisy at ISO 3400. The advantage of better lenses is that they wouldn't make such high ISO necessary as often, because they have a larger maximum aperture. But you won't find large aperture lenses with anything like the zoom range you are accustomed to.

I'd recommend either the Tamron 28-75 as a good general purpose f/2.8 zoom, or the DA35/2.4 as mentioned above - not a zoom at all, of course.

Still, there is no getting around occasionally needing high ISO even at f/2.8 or better. So you should investigate the NR settings in your camera, also software options. Doing NR on high ISO images is a fact of life, but it needn't take but a few seconds for a whole night's worth of images.
06-04-2011, 12:36 PM   #6
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When I said mId to long range zoom I was thinking of 70 plus range. The reason being my plan for my future lineup of lenses.
So I have the following questions here for your advice,
since i own 35mm I also wanted a 85mm 1.4 vivi as a fast lens for portrait that will also give me some distance for taking portraits. Now my question is if I go for the tammy 28-70 suggested here, can this fill the slot of85mm prime I have planned as this is almost in the focal range, I can drop the idea of 85mm?
My next question is, will owning the tammy 28-70 make my 35mm obsolete since this focal length is also in range?
Last but not least, after sorting all of the above, suggest a supporting 70-200 or 70-300 that is decently affordable?

thanks for your patience!
06-04-2011, 03:13 PM   #7
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f/2.8 zooms that go past 75mm get expensive fast. Expect to pay close to $1000 to a 50-135 or 70-200; there is nothing that goes to 300. Any of these could be fine options, but if you're hoping to keep costs down, then a manual focus 85, 100, or 135 can be a fine choice, depending on which focal length(s) you find most useful. Tons of reviews of various option in the lens db on this site - see the Lenses link above.
06-04-2011, 03:34 PM   #8
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The cheapest you'll find a 70-200 is for about $600-700 second hand and $700-$800 new.
These lenses are worth the money for what they can do.

06-04-2011, 09:22 PM   #9
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Good cheap fast zooms don't exist, period. Especially not A-type or AF. Especially not over 50mm. At least, I haven't found any, and I've searched extensively.

* My cheapest good fairly-fast zooms are both M42, so no auto-aperture. (Sears-Tokina 55-135/3.5; Vivitar-Kiron Series 1 70-210/3.5.)
* My cheapest A-type zoom is slow and not exactly brilliant. (Promaster-Tamron 60-300/4-5.6.)
* My cheapest fairly good A-type zooms aren't too fast. (Sears-Samyang 70-210/4 and 80-200/4; Takumar-A 70-200/4.)
* My cheapest good AF zooms are brilliant but slow. (F35-70/3.5-4.5; FA 100-300/4.7-5.8, silver.)

I'm a cheap bastard. I've about given up searching for faster longer zooms. Maybe when I get my next inheritance -- Uncle Lou can't last forever.
06-05-2011, 11:48 AM   #10
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Will buying a tammy 28-75mm make my 35mm f2.4 a duplicate? or still 35mm need to exist. Similarly will there be still a requirement for an 85mm f1.4 vivitar asper my original plan?

thanks
06-05-2011, 12:26 PM   #11
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Hi all that contributed here (Ash,Just1moreDave, NaclH2O, Marc and RioRicco), see this thread for me please and help me choose.

thanks
06-05-2011, 05:29 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by sany Quote
Will buying a tammy 28-75mm make my 35mm f2.4 a duplicate?
Depends if at some point you decide you don't like the size of the 28-75. If I had that, there wouldn't be room in my bag for much else, and yet I can carry five primes comfortably.
06-05-2011, 05:59 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by sany Quote
Will buying a tammy 28-75mm make my 35mm f2.4 a duplicate? or still 35mm need to exist. Similarly will there be still a requirement for an 85mm f1.4 vivitar asper my original plan?
Zooms do not make primes redundant, especially not faster primes, and not even slower primes with character. Just because a zoom 'covers' a focal range, doesn't mean that it will see the world like primes in that range. Owning the F35-70/3.5-4.5 doesn't mean I should (or would) toss my slower 35-40-50-65mm primes. All have their own strengths and weaknesses. Your 35 makes you see a certain way. The 28-75 will let you see in other ways. Neither becomes obsolete when you add more lenses. And as Marc said, many small primes can be carried in place of one big zoom.
06-05-2011, 06:36 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Owning the F35-70/3.5-4.5 doesn't mean I should (or would) toss my slower 35-40-50-65mm primes. All have their own strengths and weaknesses
Agreed... I love the F35-70 as well and it deffo has a place in my bag alongside the FA50 1.4 even if it is considered a 'dirt cheap' zoom
06-05-2011, 11:12 PM   #15
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50-135mm f2.8
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