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10-23-2011, 11:55 AM   #1
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Best "Standard" Zoom

I know I want to get the 31mm Ltd, and the 12-24 1:4, but I shoot events on occasion and want a f/2.8 zoom to cover anywhere from 16-28 to 50-75 so I can have some quick flexibility. I know there are plenty of f/4 options, but I would like f/2.8 constant. I prefer Pentax brand, and would be willing to go looking for old FA* lenses if that's my best option. What is the best quality lens in Pentax mount for this range? Thanks guys!

P.S. I did read the in depth reviews, kinda disheartened me because before that I was set on the 16-50 f/2.8, but I HATE CA and purple fringing which that lens seemed to exhibit lots of. Combine the mediocre performance with shotty SDM, and that turned me off that lens. Should I be, or was that perhaps just one copy of the lens? I want to love it since it's the perfect range, fast, weather sealed, and built like a tank, but if the optics aren't great, then I have to look elsewhere...

10-23-2011, 12:01 PM   #2
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You might want to take a look at this lens. It has 40 reviews in the lens data base and I have read that its very good for its focal length range.You can also walk the lens database for Pentax lenses in your focal length range across the M42, K, M, A, F, FA

You can fix CA in post processing pretty easily, but its still another step.

10-23-2011, 12:04 PM - 1 Like   #3
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This might be right up your alley:
Comparative Review: Fast Normal Zoom Shootout - Introduction

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10-23-2011, 12:17 PM   #4
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Thanks Adam, I looked at that and that was what brought this question up in the first place. I was set on the 16-50 until I read that review... Thanks though.

Interested observer, I am looking into the Tamron 28-70 right now. The link you sent also has a link to a FA* 28-70, does anyone know anything about that lens (price, quality, etc?). I feel like with the Tamron it'd be difficult to get a pro quality lens for $400... But that could just be my opinion.

10-23-2011, 02:07 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by soppy Quote
I feel like with the Tamron it'd be difficult to get a pro quality lens for $400...
The 'pro quality' is linked with the photographer, not the hardware.

You can have the best lenses in the world and take crappy shots. (That would be my case .) And I have seen some superb shots by true professionals with basic kit lenses and all-around zoom lenses, incl. in this forum.

My 5 cents comments...
10-23-2011, 02:16 PM   #6
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Thanks for your comments hcc, but I wasn't entirely referring to the quality shots the lens makes when I said "pro" quality, as we all know, it's the photographer that "makes" the shot. There is a distinct difference in build quality between something like a DA* and something like the kit lens. Also, durability, reliability, and overall optical quality vary from lens to lens, otherwise nobody would pay for more expensive glass.

I understand what you are trying to say, but I look at lenses as an investment and want the absolute best I can afford, which is why I am asking about this. I am not new to photography and hoping to improve my work by simply spending more on glass. Most of my current work is done on the kit lens, however I am increasingly finding myself in situations where that isn't enough (need more light, etc.), so I am looking to upgrade.

Perhaps the Tamron is the best option, but I just want to clear up that I am not expecting the lens to make me "pro", I was simply referring to the build and optical quality of the lens in regards to QC, reliability, and longevity of the lens.

On a side not, I have the opportunity to buy a FA* 28-70 for just under $900. Is that a good deal?

Note: I didn't intend to sound harsh, mean, abrasive or condescending or anything with what I said above, so please don't take it that way, I was just explaining my position and what I meant earlier.
10-23-2011, 02:17 PM   #7
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We really like our 16-50.

Fwiw, the FA* 28-70 seems really overpriced in the current used market; although at todays prices $900 might be pretty good.
10-23-2011, 02:26 PM   #8
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Go with the Tamron 28-75 2.8. It's and outstanding lens for what you want.
Your "feel like with the Tamron it'd be difficult to get a pro quality lens for $400" is wrong here.

Best regards,

Last edited by ddharriman; 10-23-2011 at 02:32 PM.
10-23-2011, 03:09 PM   #9
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+1 for the Tamron 28-75/2.8. I've been using it for 2 years. Although it was not praised high for FF (Canon FF, Photozone) the same Photozone gave it 4* on APS-C (Nikon mount), which is pretty rare. It's great as a normal zoom, and it's very good for close-ups (pseudo macro). There are a couple of samples:
10-23-2011, 03:35 PM   #10
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In spite of a lot of bad press my DA* 16~50/2.8 has been doing a fine job for me for a couple of years.

Tom G
10-23-2011, 03:51 PM   #11
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If you can get the FA*2870 for under $900, just go for it. It's overall a better lens than the Tamron 28-75. It's not 2x better optically, but it's better, especially in built quality.
10-23-2011, 04:33 PM   #12
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To me, a standard zoom should be something that goes under normal vision to higher than normal vision. I have the Tamron 28-75 f2.8. which i use quite often. very sharp. The only thing i don't like about it is that i wish it went down to 24-70, as often i like to go a bit wider. Some of the Sigma's do that. I use it for theatre work plus general walk around.

I thought that one would not need f2.8 with the K5, but i'm finding out that one can never have too much light gathering lens we're greedy guys when it comes to light, i guess.
10-23-2011, 05:41 PM   #13
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I am hoping to pick up a 12-24 when they become available to supplement the 28-70 (whichever I choose) to cover the wider end. If that isn't for a while I don't mind using the kit lens to cover the wider end for a little bit.

Are there any issues in particular to watch out for with either the Tamron or the FA*?

I think I am also kind of liking the idea of having a mostly FF kit, just in case Pentax does jump on the bandwagon. I would hate to have to buy all new lenses just to have a FF camera... Although hat does mean bigger, more expensive glass... Trade offs...

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