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10-07-2011, 05:37 PM   #1
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Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 vs Tamron 17-50mm and Pentax DA* 16-50mm

Which fast F2.8 standard zoom lens is the best? Check out our latest in-depth comparative review!

Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 vs Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 vs Pentax DA* 16-50mm F2.8


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10-07-2011, 06:23 PM   #2
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I own the DA*16-50 and I don't find it so "atrocious" at 16mm ... however, I haven't tried the other tow lenses featured here, so that leaves little to my comment.

I still use it a lot, mounted on the K7, sometimes on the K5 and I am satisfied with the results.

JP
10-07-2011, 06:35 PM   #3
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I currently own the Tamron.

It gives me no reason to try the similar Pentax or Sigma lenses.
10-07-2011, 06:42 PM   #4
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I've owned both the Pentax DA* 16-50 and the Tamron 17-50. I also had the DA 17-70 f/4. My unscientific choice would be the Tamron. I have it in the Canon mount now.

10-07-2011, 06:43 PM   #5
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Weathersealing is the main draw for the DA* 16-50mm for me. That said at the current prices I'm not sure I'd buy it again. I also have access to a friend's Tamron 17-50mm, I like its performance and its low size/weight. It balances much better on the K-5/K-7 than the DA*.
10-07-2011, 07:01 PM   #6
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I have a copy of the tamron and love it, mine is s/n 00035x. Bought used on ebay for like $150, poor sod typoed the title! For all that it's old, the focus is bang on, no back/front focus issues on it. Only issue is the rubber ring is swelled, but it's not such a problem that I've bothered to call tamron about it.
10-07-2011, 07:08 PM   #7
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This comparative review is a great resource - will answer a lot of potential questions when looking at these lenses.

Thanks Adam!
10-07-2011, 08:15 PM   #8
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I own the Tamron and its never given me a problem and no reason to buy something different.

10-07-2011, 08:22 PM   #9
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i dont know, sigma has 17-50 /2,8 ..i think the range is 18-50/2,8
but thanks for the information adam
10-07-2011, 09:51 PM   #10
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The review is great and the test shots are very useful, but the description, conclusions, and scoring have a few puzzling elements:

- There is a test for flare, but there is no score assigned in the end based on that. Any big factor that deserves its own test page in the review should contribute to the final score.
- The Pentax build is described as "superb". We should reserve such mentions for lenses like the Limited line. I don't think any of these three reviewed lenses has a superb build - excellent maybe, but not superb. The Pentax lens also has a dual cam zooming system, which is worth pointing out as a design difference.
- In conclusions, the OS is described as a Sigma "con": "Value diminished by irrelevance of OS", but in the lens description, it is mentioned as an advantage: "The Sigma’s other major advantage is its built-in Optical Stabilization system.". When did a major advantage become a con?
- The criticism around the lack of features is rather meaningless, but it is graded and contributes to the final score, unlike the flare test. Here's an example for the Tamron: "Among other shortcomings are the lack of weather seals, optical image stabilization, and an AF/MF toggle.". OK, it doesn't have WR and we're still not sure if OS is an advantage or not, but why lament the lack of an AF/MF toggle when the camera body has the only one we ever need?
- The fact that the Tamron accepts 67mm filters rather than 77mm, is an advantage that should be pointed out somewhere. It is countered by vignetting issues, but it balances that drawback a bit.
10-07-2011, 09:52 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ewig Quote
i dont know, sigma has 17-50 /2,8 ..i think the range is 18-50/2,8
but thanks for the information adam
Sigma has both a 17-50 lens and an 18-50. The review covers the 17-50. Now you know.
10-07-2011, 10:02 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ed n Georgia Quote
I've owned both the Pentax DA* 16-50 and the Tamron 17-50. I also had the DA 17-70 f/4.
I think it would be a good idea to update this test to include 17-70 zooms (Pentax and Sigma).
10-07-2011, 10:07 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by asw66 Quote
I think it would be a good idea to update this test to include 17-70 zooms (Pentax and Sigma).
That's a slightly different league- F4 lenses!

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10-07-2011, 11:02 PM   #14
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In July, I bought both the Pentax and the Sigma. I don't make any claims to testing them properly, but I kept the Sigma and returned the Pentax. The chromatic aberration with the Pentax was terrible. I sent an image to Pentax, and they said that it was par for the course. Even in the center of the field (at 16mm, f2.8), there was considerable blue fringing. CA was reduced by stopping down, but I don't carry an f2.8 lens to use it at f5.6 and above. The fringing at the edges was not removed by the in-camera correction (JPEG only) and, for RAW images, could barely be removed with Photoshop Camera Raw (no certainty that I was using it correctly; I've never used it before). The Sigma is much better for CA. In my unsophisticated image sharpness tests, the Sigma was a little bit better, but I'm not sure that this would matter in real usage. The Sigma does have problems. In the identical situation (with the tripod and with indoor lighting), the Pentax K5 with the Sigma lens overexposes by about 2/3 of a stop. It seems to be this way every time. With the flash, the K5 has some exposure issues, and these are much worse with the Sigma lens (especially with the Pentax external flash). Sigma Tech Support says that they have a firmware update for the lens that will correct these problems, but I have not had a chance to send the lens in for them to update it.

Now I'll have to read the review here.
10-07-2011, 11:24 PM   #15
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I got the Tamron because I could just about afford it. It does for me, although like other Tamrons it seems to have an internal dust magnet. When the weather is rubbish I use the kit WR 18-55 (although at less than a year old the auto focus drive is failing), so I feel all bases are covered for my needs.
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