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09-18-2011, 09:47 AM   #1
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28-80mm kiss-of-death range?

I’m curious why 28-80mm seems to be the kiss of death range for most manufacturers? I browsed through the lens reviews and I’ve only seen one “9” rating for a Seikanon and maybe a couple 8s for off-brands. As for the rest of the "Big names" (Sigma, Tammy, Pentax, Etc.) are in the 7’s and below rating? I had a Vivitar 28-80 at one point and I though it produced decent IQ around f8-f10 in comparison to the kit lens but the build quality was substandard and never really warmed to that lens. Do any mfg even producing this range anymore? Just curious...

09-18-2011, 10:11 AM   #2
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I think you could say that about any zoom that tries to go from wide to tele. Take the 35-80 in the A series and all the versions later and mix in that budget price or kit lens factor as many of the 28-80 seemed to be targeted back then or to some extent even still. Move away from compact and add more compensative or corrective formulas and now it is a lens that few can afford.
09-18-2011, 11:05 AM   #3
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I think some of the reason has to do with marketing. The really good lens for example the FA 28-70 f2.8 are expensive. So if you can make a 'kit' lens that to a prospective buyer has similar or 'gasp' even better specs like 28-80 that is an easy sell to people who really do not know.

Camera sales person: "This lens has even more range than ones costing 10 times as much!" Of course in marketing you only mention the specs that make you look good and completely ignore everything else, marketing 101.

I do not think there is any optical reason for that range to be so bad. There are very good lenses that are very close to that.

I had an FA 28-90 that I really liked until I read all the reviews and found out how 'bad' it was. Sold it off and have regretted it ever since, that is a really useful range for me.
09-18-2011, 12:11 PM   #4
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Tamron 28-75 seems to do OK!

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/145599-tamron-...lots-pics.html

09-18-2011, 01:31 PM   #5
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Funny enough the 18-55 equates to full frame range of about 27 - 82mm. But optically that is still a different focal range and looking at the reviews that lens scores lower than other ranges (but to be fair scores higher than the old 28-80s).
A lot of it is probably that you are dealing with cheaper lenses competing with kit lenses. However from a marketing perspective perhaps 28-80 has become associated with poor quality - which may be why the Tamron is 28-75 rather than 28-80!
09-19-2011, 05:22 AM   #6
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It does make sense if 28-80 was somewhat targeted for the kit lenses back then. I guess marketing wise what makes the difference between the 28-80 and 18-55 kit (other than FL and performance) is the latter actually being based on a decent lens.
09-19-2011, 08:30 AM   #7
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I think it's a matter of what lenses you're checking out. The 28-80 range is a workhorse for FF folks (film or digital). There are kit lenses in that range that are just so-so, but there are also more expenses lenses that cover that range and are excellent.
09-19-2011, 11:42 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
I think it's a matter of what lenses you're checking out. The 28-80 range is a workhorse for FF folks (film or digital). There are kit lenses in that range that are just so-so, but there are also more expenses lenses that cover that range and are excellent.
I wasn’t really looking at any specific 28-80. I just got curious on why it seems most of 28-80 of any brand reviews I come across seems to be on the low side. I was actually looking at a possible and more affordable (to me) alternative to the above mentioned Tamron 28-75 f2.8, which is far superior and miles ahead in performance…and cost! Besides I don't think a 28-80 f2.8 exists? As for kit lens, I must have gotten a very good copy because my 18-55 still surprises me on what it’s capable of.

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