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07-03-2011, 09:50 AM   #1
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Wide zoom or wide prime? IQ I mean

What's the best IQ between 21 f/3,2 Ltd and Tamron 17-50 f/2,8?

07-03-2011, 09:18 PM   #2
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They are both very good.

You should decide on prime vs zoom before other considerations. And if you want wide, I'd suggest the 12-24.
07-13-2011, 03:55 PM   #3
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Perhaps I can help. As I own the DA21.f3.2
In the last few weeks I owned both the Tamron SP 17-50 and Pentax DA 16-45. Sadly the Tamron went back due to one side being soft at 17 and inconsistent AF on my K10D (which is a common issue with K10D). I am certain a K-5 or K-r would be better. Anyway I kept the DA16-45 and am pleased with its performance especially at 16 which has far less distortion or vignetting compared to the Tamron.

The Tamron did have some great qualities and I wish at times it was the one that got to stay but I did not want the burden of QC issues. The Tamron has great colour like the Pentax however I will say the Tamron seems a bit sharper especially in the center. It also has good micro contrast like some of my primes. Some will not like the Bokeh (out of focus areas) however it was not the deciding factor.

Comparables.
After using both i have been comparing shots and use to my DA21 (and others) For the most part both zoom lenses are very close to each other in overall look however the DA16-45 is more uniform across the frame throughout the zoom range at most F stops. While I am sure you could get close to the DA21 in performance most of my 21 shots just have more detail. I have noticed this in highlight areas and distant details such as city scenes or nature landscapes.
So to me the DA21 is better at 21....However the difference is pretty subtle to the point that if i am just going for a casual walk with the wife i will just bring the DA16-45 and leave the primes and lens changing at home for more serious shoots.

As many on this forum will point out review websites like Photozone will not measure things like colour contrast or character for that matter. The differences between these lenses do exist and they do not show up in an obvious way. For me it took a while to be able to really tell but my DA21 is my street shooter go to lens.

What i can advise is while the DA primes are great your decision should include more than just maximum image quality. It should include application and convenience. For example if you are a casual type shooter a zoom may be more convenient and close enough in quality.

If you go Prime I could literally achieve most things with my DA21 DA35 and Tamron SP90. But the DA16-45 not only covers the wide end but acts as a convenient zoom option

Hope this helps
Roger
07-13-2011, 08:58 PM   #4
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On pure image quality, nothing beats a really well-made prime, like the 21mm for example.

07-15-2011, 09:10 AM   #5
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According to MTF tests, the tamron 17-50 beats the da21. The tamron has some field curvature at the wide end, so it may give softer results in some scenes at wide aperture. For wide only, the da12-24 and sigma 8-16 better the pentax ultrawide primes. The tamron 17-50/2.8 and sigma 17-50/2.8 should equal or better the da21 at 21mm. They are, of course, larger lenses.
07-17-2011, 04:19 AM   #6
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MTF (or resoloution) is only one criteria. And not often the deciding one...
07-17-2011, 09:29 AM   #7
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Only buy the prime if you don't shoot a lot of wide angles and want a compact set up.

I only shoot about 10% of my shots as wide, so the DA 15 is perfect for me. If I shot more, I think I would be better served by the 10-20 or 12-24.
07-17-2011, 11:14 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
Only buy the prime if you don't shoot a lot of wide angles and want a compact set up.

I only shoot about 10% of my shots as wide, so the DA 15 is perfect for me. If I shot more, I think I would be better served by the 10-20 or 12-24.
I don't think you need zoom if you shoot wide often. I did have Sigma 10-20 but 99% of the shots were at 10mm and remaining 1% between 11 and 14mm. And there was a time when it was my most used lens...it's all about what FL one prefers...if the Sigma was 10mm prime I wouldn't miss the 11-20 range at all...

07-17-2011, 12:51 PM   #9
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My UW/FE's (wider than 24mm) are: Tokina 21/3.8; Zenitar 16/2.8 FE; DA10-17 FE; and Tamron 10-24. The primes ARE more compact (although the DA10-17 isn't large) and about as sharp as the zooms at the same FLs. The DA10-17 gets about 50% at 10mm and the rest scattered throughout the range. The Tamron shoots mostly at 15-24mm and a fair amount at 10mm, but much throughout the range also -- whatever feels right. I can't comment on pricier Pentax primes, but I find the Tam10-24 to be indispensable now. Yes, I like small primes, but I won't blow my paltry budget to get LTDs. Maybe after my next inheritance... (C'mon and DIE, somebody!)
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