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07-03-2011, 01:59 PM   #1
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Which is better: Kit lens or Tamron

I would like to know which of these is a better lens:
Pentax DA L 55-300 kit lens or Tamron AF28-200 f3.5-5.6 LD XR Aspherical [IF].

I've heard lots of good comments about this kit lens but when it comes to a third party lens for comparison should I have to look at it as professional grade compared to the kit lens mentioned above or are they both having the same equivalent quality optics?

07-03-2011, 02:46 PM   #2
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You can find a lot of details in the reviews section. However both these lenses are different in terms of now they function, one is a all round zoom meant to cover the wide angle and some ranged. While the other is a telephoto which is mainly used for long range (pentax) it isnt a really fair comparison. But usually super zooms lack the image quality so my suspecions id go with the pentax if you have another lens for the wider range
07-03-2011, 03:01 PM   #3
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yes I do agree they are both two different focal length families, I wanted to know only in terms of optical quality as to which one is superior and also in terms of bokeh as the broken from the tamron was not very smooth
07-03-2011, 03:40 PM   #4
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I have the Promaster badged version of the 28-300. I haven't used it that much but I rate it to be about equal or slightly better than my DA 50-200 on the long end. Since everyone says that the DA 55-300 is better than the other two kit lenses, I would get the DA just for the extra reach.

Promaster 28-200 at 200 mm with mono-pod.



DA 50-200 at 200 mm with mono-pod


Both shots were taken at ISO 1600 on my DS. The Promaster shot was from earlier this year. The DA 50-200 shot was from 4 years ago. My camera and post processing skills have improved between images.

The reason I picked up the Promaster (A Craigslist special @ $55) was for when I'm shooting outside in conditions where I don't want to change lenses between my DA 18-55 and DA 50-200. When I want to pack light, I take the two DA's (The Promaster weighs a ton around your neck). I will be taking the Promaster to our 4th of July festival tomorrow, along with my Sigma 10-20 (I have a couple of special shots I will need the wide angle lens).

Tim


Last edited by atupdate; 07-03-2011 at 03:48 PM.
07-03-2011, 04:47 PM   #5
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tamron
07-03-2011, 04:52 PM   #6
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The Tamron isn't bad. When I first used it on an *ist it really didn't impress me, but then I got the K-x and since then I've seen a such decided improvement in picture quality that I'm thinking it was actually my *ist that wasn't performing well and not the Tamron after all.

It's not been bad at all on the K-x, but that being said? Using it only in the same short range as the kit lens I'd have to say the kit lens beats it. The kit lens always has better color rendition and far less noise at the same settings than the Tamron and that's one of the reasons I am leaning hard toward the 55-300 from Pentax though I guess I'd settle for another Tamron if I had to.

It's not that the Tamron is bad it's just that the kit lens is just that much better. I know people malign it but honestly I really think my new 18-55 is great. I have no complaints using it so far and I honestly can't say that of the Tamron. Sometimes I get very good results from the Tamron, other times I don't. The kit lens so far beats it, MHO, and I know some won't agree with me, but I prefer the kit to the Tamron.
07-03-2011, 06:34 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
tamron
QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
The Tamron isn't bad. When I first used it on an *ist it really didn't impress me, but then I got the K-x and since then I've seen a such decided improvement in picture quality that I'm thinking it was actually my *ist that wasn't performing well and not the Tamron after all.

It's not been bad at all on the K-x, but that being said? Using it only in the same short range as the kit lens I'd have to say the kit lens beats it. The kit lens always has better color rendition and far less noise at the same settings than the Tamron and that's one of the reasons I am leaning hard toward the 55-300 from Pentax though I guess I'd settle for another Tamron if I had to.

It's not that the Tamron is bad it's just that the kit lens is just that much better. I know people malign it but honestly I really think my new 18-55 is great. I have no complaints using it so far and I honestly can't say that of the Tamron. Sometimes I get very good results from the Tamron, other times I don't. The kit lens so far beats it, MHO, and I know some won't agree with me, but I prefer the kit to the Tamron.
I believe the OP is referring to the DA L 55-300 only, which even though it is not commonly referred to as a "kit lens" is part of a 2-lens Pentax kit. He's not talking about the 18-55 lens.

Magkelly, how does the Tamron have more noise vs the kit lens? Noise is based on the camera's sensor, not the lens.

Sany, I've owned the Pentax 55-300 but not the Tamron 28-200. The Pentax is nearly universally praised for having decent sharpness and very fine color and contrast, whereas the Tamron is usually considered "good enough". A point in the Tamron's favor is that it is able to attain closer-focus than the Pentax, which has a minimum focus distance of over a meter.

Regarding bokeh: bokeh is highly subjective - what appeals to me may not appeal to you. However, I think it's safe to say that neither lens is going to be anything special in this regard.
07-03-2011, 11:26 PM   #8
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thankz luftfluss, u are right - I wasn't asking about 18-55. as u may see in my signnature I have this old tammy 28-200 with 72mm filter size from film camera. I was thinking of getting the 55-300 kit for all its reviews and long reach. But i stopped to check, to rephrase my original question, kit lenses are basic lenses and given the fact all third party lens manufacturers don't make kit quality lenses makes them all professional grade products - so will tamron not be a superior choice compared to pentax kit lenses?

07-04-2011, 04:56 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by sany Quote
... kit lenses are basic lenses and given the fact all third party lens manufacturers don't make kit quality lenses makes them all professional grade products ...
Third-party lensmakers produce crap also. See the reviews.
07-04-2011, 10:06 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by sany Quote
thankz luftfluss, u are right - I wasn't asking about 18-55. as u may see in my signnature I have this old tammy 28-200 with 72mm filter size from film camera. I was thinking of getting the 55-300 kit for all its reviews and long reach. But i stopped to check, to rephrase my original question, kit lenses are basic lenses and given the fact all third party lens manufacturers don't make kit quality lenses makes them all professional grade products - so will tamron not be a superior choice compared to pentax kit lenses?
Sany, there is a danger in painting things with such a large brush I'll list a few points:

1. The DA L 55-300 is not a "kit lens" from an optics standpoint. The DA L 55-300 shares the same optics as the DA 55-300, which was designed by Pentax to be a quality step-up from the DA 50-200.

2. Kit lenses have evolved over the last few years. Pentax's DA 18-55 has always been well-regarded as a kit lens, second only to the Olympus kit lens. Nikon and Canon have lately stepped up the quality of their kits, so it's fair to say that a modern kit lens is a decent quality lens.

3. Third party does not equal "professional grade" or even better than kit. As RioRico points out (in stark brevity) both Tamron and Sigma have been known to produce losers (in a relative sense) and Sigma especially has been slammed in the past for shoddy build quality.

4. Just comparing image quality, the Pentax 55-300 produces better images than both the Tamron 70-300 and Sigma 70-300.

I strongly urge you to read the lens review sections of this forum. In my own personal opinion, the Pentax DA L 55-300 is a better lens than the Tamron 28-200, unless you need the Tamron's close-focusing capability.

Last edited by luftfluss; 07-04-2011 at 11:55 AM. Reason: Oh, those typos!
07-04-2011, 11:19 AM   #11
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thanks that clears way for more clarity in decision making.
07-04-2011, 11:33 AM   #12
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As for the noise question addressed to me above I'm not actually sure of why. I admittedly don't understand the mechanics of lenses and sensors well, but I do notice that I can use the kit lens, the 18-55 and the 28-200 Tamron zoom at around the same distance under the same conditions, iso etc, and inevitably the resulting Tamron image is just a bit noisy. I rarely have to post process images done with the kit lens for noise unless I am shooting at a very high iso. To be fair It's much less than it was on the *ist though.

What the person above said about the sensor and noise does explain a lot. I actually think the sensor on my *ist must have been having issues before it died because I was getting a lot noisier photos than I would have liked even at lower iso, particularly with the Tamron and that's just not been happening much on the K-x. Seriously, it's been almost like having a new lens.
07-04-2011, 11:57 AM   #13
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I think the K-x is great. A marvel, really.
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