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06-23-2011, 03:12 AM   #1
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standard zoom woes

So put simply, im starting to get dissatisfied with my 24-70mm. Its great at f/4 and smaller, but i bought it to use it at f/2.8 and simply find it too soft for my liking (i think im spoiled by my primes). I'd get the tamron 28-75, but i find myself shooting at the wide end of this lens more than i expected to. i also find myself thinking that the screw drive AF is rather noisy in certain situations, so SDM/HSM might be nice.

Anywho, im left with several choices:
1. Save up and get the 24-70 HSM version. I've read reviews saying it was sharp as the canon L wide open, so im sure that'd be enough to make me happy. Price tag is a bit tough to swallow atm though, since the one i got now is worth roughly half of that

2. get the tamron 17-50. This would cover my issue with the other tamron not being wide enough, but im not sure whether or not i'll need to go that wide and if i'd miss the 50-70 range.

3. save up, sell 24-70 and get the DA*16-50. same issues above with the tamron, compounded with the price of the newer sigma, but also with added worries of SDM failure and reportedly poorer optical performance than the tamron.

4. get the sigma 17-50 HSM. Same worries as the tamron and also quite costly.

5. quit being a baby and just learn shoot better, the sigma is good enough


i guess what im trying to say is, is the new sigma worth the extra price? If not, will the other zooms feel too wide for someone going from a 24-70? Should i go all the way with pentaxian loyalty and buy pentax's offering or are the issues and price too much to be worth it? Or am i just imagining things when i shoot wide open and should just learn how to shoot better? As things are right now, i am leaning towards the newer sigma, but then that would mean a longer wait till i can afford the k-5 =D

06-23-2011, 03:53 AM   #2
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Hmm...I would recommend a 17-70 f2.8 motor driven lens that is sharp wide open. Let me know when you find one.
06-23-2011, 03:56 PM   #3
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if i did, i'd already own it ;D
06-23-2011, 09:15 PM   #4
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You know, manual focus lenses don't make any noise while focusing........

06-23-2011, 09:49 PM   #5
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agreed, but i dont manual focus as fast as i'd like anywho, looks like i'll probably go the tamron 17-50 route for now, hopefully i can master manual focusing with that too bad there arent any on the marketplace right now
06-23-2011, 11:13 PM   #6
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If you are happy w/ the 24-70mm focal range but not very happy w/ your current lens' wide open performance, just save for the HSM version. That's what I'd do if I were you.

I have the FA*28-70, but quite sometimes I feel I'd enjoy using it more if it's a 24-70 ...
06-23-2011, 11:36 PM   #7
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its times like these i wish the tamron 28-75 was a 24-70
06-24-2011, 06:11 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by adpo Quote
agreed, but i dont manual focus as fast as i'd like anywho, looks like i'll probably go the tamron 17-50 route for now, hopefully i can master manual focusing with that too bad there arent any on the marketplace right now
Patience. I'm relearning my manual focus skills after a 20+ year break. Used to do sports and aviation photography back in another life. Now, I needed to add a lens correction adapter to my K-x and I'm back in the game. I have a Quantaray 28-90 AF that I like - cheap and descent performance. I just got a Pentax SMC 45-125 and its MF. I like the pictures using it MUCH better. They're sharper, better bokeh, you name it. Now I need to get better with the MF part. Though I am finding that the 1 out of 3 that I really nail are MUCH better than the 7 out of 8 the AF nails with the other lens. Not sure I'm every going to be shooting soccer with my MF lenses but stranger things have happened.

I'm finding that nearly everything comes up in our Marketplace eventually. And usually for a better price than on eBay - plus you have fewer worries.

Good luck.

06-24-2011, 06:21 AM   #9
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Sounds to me like you need to try a prime lens, something in the 28-35mm range...primes are faster and sharper than zooms, almost always.

Manual focusing using AF lens can be challenging because of the short focus ring travel -- small movement of focus ring makes big change in focus. Manual focus lenses have long focus range travel, small movement makes small change, making accurate focus easier to obtain.
06-24-2011, 06:29 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by rhodopsin Quote
Sounds to me like you need to try a prime lens, something in the 28-35mm range...primes are faster and sharper than zooms, almost always.

Manual focusing using AF lens can be challenging because of the short focus ring travel -- small movement of focus ring makes big change in focus. Manual focus lenses have long focus range travel, small movement makes small change, making accurate focus easier to obtain.
If you want to get prime quality but stay with a zoom I can recommend the Pentax SMC 45-125. I'm finding it the easiest MF lens I have used to focus and the pictures are amazing.
06-24-2011, 07:20 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
If you want to get prime quality but stay with a zoom I can recommend the Pentax SMC 45-125. I'm finding it the easiest MF lens I have used to focus and the pictures are amazing.
+1

f/4 lens, one-touch manual focus zoom

Agreed, imho, easily one of the best zooms from the film era, but the SMC primes from then are even sharper, some are faster. The difference isn't as great as between kit zoom and modern prime, that manual zoom is excellent, sharp from wide open (f/4)! That's on FF. On APS-C it only gets better...
06-24-2011, 07:23 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by rhodopsin Quote
+1

f/4 lens, one-touch manual focus zoom

Agreed, imho, easily one of the best zooms from the film era, but the SMC primes from then are even sharper, some are faster. The difference isn't as great as between kit zoom and modern prime, that manual zoom is excellent, sharp from wide open (f/4)! That's on FF. On APS-C it only gets better...
I've got a couple MF Primes from that era and I'm finding that the 45-125 is just as sharp within its aperture range. If I need lower light capability then the SuperTaks are more likely to be used (or the FA50/1.4). But for walking around, portraits, etc. its really hard to beat the 45-125.
06-24-2011, 11:45 AM   #13
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I just picked up Sigma's new 18-50/2.8-4.5 and look forward to some test shots. HSM for silent focus, decently fast optics, zero extension while zooming, and under $150 on fathers day. My mfocus zoom of choice is the Vivitar 28-105/3.5-4.5; other than zoom creep it has impressed more than I had expected. 77xxx s/n suggests a Kobori lens, sharp & solid and has the A setting.
06-24-2011, 02:01 PM   #14
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the reason im not getting a prime is cause i want a standard zoom lens with a flexible zoom range and fast aperture for indoors shooting as well as some portraits. The reason i'm unhappy with my sigma 24-70 is because of my primes, my eyes have been spoiled by their sharpness and anything less seems soft to me I'm replacing this lens for the sake of practicality, since i tend to shoot quite a few events for the university i'm at as part of the photoclub there. if that wasnt the case, i'd just sell it off and buy myself some more primes to play with personally, i prefer manual focus primes, but AF zooms are a bit of a must during some of the faster-paced events

Manual focusing isnt much of an issue to me (all my primes are MF), its just that i know autofocus is faster and a lot more practical to use for the times i need a zoom lens.

anywho, i'll just have to be patient and wait for a tamron 17-50 to pop up in the market now, thanks everyone
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