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08-22-2011, 07:42 AM   #1
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The other LBA (Lens Buying Advice) Tamron/Sigma 70-200, Pentax 50-135, or 60-250?

So I come to the infinite wisdom of people who have these lenses and make me jealous with their lovely wide open shots of sport subjects and portraits to ask:

I plan to go to a few game tournaments this fall and winter. I plan to capture photos of the players, which means I may not be able to get close to use a shorter fast zoom like a 17-50 or 28-75. Since it's an indoor event and it may be very dim in certain areas, I need a fast zoom telephoto. Does anyone have any experience with these situations (I assume concerts would be similar)?

The reason I chose to look at the Sigma/Tamron 70-200 is that they are quite cheaper than the Pentax 80-200 and I can get them at B&H in person (I like to make big purchases in person). I assume 70-200 would give me sufficient range for portrait shooting when I can walk up to the person, and also for shooting on stage or from a non-distracting distance. The 2.8 is also quite a big factor since from what I've seen, many of the events have dimly lit sections.

But do I need 135-200 range? This is something I have no experience with, and if someone could chime in, that'd be great. If the 50-135 has been good enough for people to shoot at concerts or similar events, then I would gladly buy that one based on WR and the fact that it's a nice sexy Pentax DA* (I'm conceited). However, if the image quality isn't far better than the 70-200s, then I wouldn't get this in that case (for example, the Canon 70-200 is quite a big better than the Sigma).

And then there's the big gun. The motherloving DA*60-250. Will F4 be killer in dim lighting conditions? My fastest lenses right now are the 35 F2.4 and the Tamron 90 F2.8, and I recently shot inside an extremely dark restaurant and the biggest issue was the focusing. Now, I'm very sure the events I am attending won't be as dark as the restaurant I was in, but if anyone can chime in whether or not F4 is a dealbreaker in event shooting (like concerts), that'd be great.

Personally, I want the 60-250. Again, I'm conceited, have lens-envy, and want the biggest, baddest mofo on the block. But at twice the price of the Tamron, I'm not so sure it's worth it to get the 60-250 at this time when I need the lens for event shooting for the rest of the year. So it's basically a "now and immediate" vs "I can use the 60-250 forever and ever".

Sorry for the long post, I'm planning on getting one of these at the end of September, and would love to get experienced input. Unless someone knows where I could rent one of these lenses to try out..

08-22-2011, 07:58 AM   #2
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You didn't say what sport you are shooting indoors, so that could make a difference. If you are stuck up in the rafters at a basketball game then you will want the longest zoom/tele you can get. But if you can get at court-side or the first few rows, your options begin to open up. I use the 50-135 at court-side. Not quite wide enough for right under the basket, but from the corners to half court it's great.
08-22-2011, 08:03 AM   #3
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I own both the DA* 50-135 and the Tamron 70-200. I like them both a lot for both their image quality and speed of the lens (f2.8). In my opinion, for concerts you need the longer reach of the Tamron.
08-22-2011, 08:05 AM   #4
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Gaming tournament, more specifically, Starcraft 2.

I'm not so sure of what distances I'll be dealing with (and I'll ask around to see what other people have been dealing with), but I know I'll be at the front row section for the october event. The reason I likened it to a concert is because the main events happen on stage, so it is similar to a concert. The lighting would be relatively similar as well, although less dynamic.

QuoteOriginally posted by blackcloudbrew Quote
I own both the DA* 50-135 and the Tamron 70-200. I like them both a lot for both their image quality and speed of the lens (f2.8). In my opinion, for concerts you need the longer reach of the Tamron.
Thanks, I was hoping not so, but with that being the case, I will lean away from the 50-135.

08-22-2011, 08:26 AM   #5
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If I understand correctly you want to shoot people who are playing computer games and they are sitting on a podium or behind a fence so the spectators will not disturb them.
In that case the Sigma 70-200 is not the first choice. That would be the case if you need a fast lens (F2.8) PLUS a fast AF system (Sigma HSM). I have both the 50-135 and the Sigma 70-200. If I have to shoot an indoor sports event the Sigma is my first choice.
The 50-135 is a very good lens and is very good for portrait work. Only if you realy need the 200mm reach you could consider the Tamron as the first option.
I could not find which camera you are using, but for indoor events the K5 is almost a prerequisite.
08-22-2011, 08:32 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by andre-mz5 Quote
If I understand correctly you want to shoot people who are playing computer games and they are sitting on a podium or behind a fence so the spectators will not disturb them.
In that case the Sigma 70-200 is not the first choice. That would be the case if you need a fast lens (F2.8) PLUS a fast AF system (Sigma HSM). I have both the 50-135 and the Sigma 70-200. If I have to shoot an indoor sports event the Sigma is my first choice.
The 50-135 is a very good lens and is very good for portrait work. Only if you realy need the 200mm reach you could consider the Tamron as the first option.
I could not find which camera you are using, but for indoor events the K5 is almost a prerequisite.
Sorry, the subsequent statements makes me feel the bolded is a typo ? Or do you mean I won't need fast AF (the HSM)?

Unfortunately I'm running on a k-x right now - will be upgrading to the k-5 or k-5 equivalent in a year or so (after I burn out my k-x).
08-22-2011, 10:40 AM   #7
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QuoteQuote:
Sorry, the subsequent statements makes me feel the bolded is a typo ? Or do you mean I won't need fast AF (the HSM)?
If you are shooting PC gamers sitting behind their machines I don't think a fast AF (HSM) is required, that is why I made the statement. Of course if in the future you want to shoot some real action sports, that Sigma is one of the best choices you have.
I think that the K-x will be adequate for the job.
08-22-2011, 10:42 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by andre-mz5 Quote
If you are shooting PC gamers sitting behind their machines I don't think a fast AF (HSM) is required, that is why I made the statement. Of course if in the future you want to shoot some real action sports, that Sigma is one of the best choices you have.
I think that the K-x will be adequate for the job.
Ah gotcha - yes, I do plan on a little future proofing of the choice, and the HSM is a big factor for me because of its quietness.

Nevermind, found a place - maybe I'll rent the sigma vs the tamron and see!

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