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01-26-2012, 08:28 AM   #1
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Looking to add a lens to the stable - Tamron ?s

I am currently looking to add a lens to the stable and I am looking for advisement. I think what I want is a walk around/indoor zoom 2.8 lens. I am debating between the Tamron 28-75 2.8 and the Tamron 17-50 2.8. I just am not sure which one to get (or others to look at having a top price point of $400-450).

Is the IQ about the same between the lenses?
Is the Build quality about the same?
How much of a difference is 18mm on the kit and 17mm on the Tamron?
Can the tele end of the 28-75 be used well for potraits?
Is 28 too wide for tightish indoor shots? (I would say no since I have been doing ok with my 35mm)
Well my 2.4 35mm collect dust after I pick up one of these up?
Which would you pick if you had the choice between the 2 and why?


Bonus Question!
Would love to play with some macro on a shoe string budget, tips? I currently hand hold my 50mm backwards on my 18-55 with ok results. Any pointers for doing it with what I have, or what I should get on a budget?

I currently have:
Pentax K-r
18-55 Kit
55-300 DA-L
2.4 35mm DA-L (By far my favorite as of right now)
50mm F2
Pentax 360 Flash


Last edited by claimed4all; 01-26-2012 at 08:48 AM. Reason: Added Links
01-26-2012, 08:50 AM   #2
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I went with the Tamron 17-50/2.8, Model A16P.

At the wide end, there's no big difference in field of view
compared with 18mm from the kit lens.
The A16P starts to exhibit mustache distortion at 17mm,
and the extremes are weaker than the rest of the image,
so I'll often crop it to 18mm in PP anyway.
But it's great for interior shots, even at f/2.8,
where the kit lens needs stopping down to f/5.6 - 8.

At its 50mm long end, the A16P is usable for portraits at f/2.8.

Disregarding its wide and long ends,
it's one of the best 24mm primes currently available in K-mount!
(We've yet to see how the Samyang stacks up.)

The Tamron is a lot bigger than the DA35/2.4,
so your prime would be better for candid photography.
The rendering is more or less the same:
sharp, but soulless in comparison with classic primes.


PS: For macro, you could use your 50mm with an extension tube.
01-26-2012, 09:06 AM   #3
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Well Tamron 28-75 is roughly FF lens corresponding to 17-50mm on aps-c regarding field of view (well actually it should be more like something 25-75mm).

That said it depends which one you are going to pick. If you need/want some more reach and don't need much in wide end, than 28-75 may be better option. On the other hand if you want more wide-angle aps-c lens then the 17-50mm is just fine.

I got a 28-75mm and it produces just fine photos. I like the reach of it since I have small kids so that I can take some nice "closeups" of them without actually disturbing they play. On the other hand if/when I just have to take a phot of the whole action I switch to sigma 10-20. Tamron 28-75 is now my "default" lens and most photos are taken with it. Since I don't have 17-50 I can't say wether I would use that as much as I use 28-75. The lens I can compare it is the Pentax 18-50 DA WR lens. Since tamron is both faster and sharper the kit lens is seldom used and basically degraded to taking outdoor photos in rain or snow.

Here is an example from Terracota warriror exhibition in Stockholm a little more than a year ago (K-7 with Tamron 28-75)

Regarding the macro work here are some options:
1. extension tubes - here is linkt to a video on how to make one:
2. macro focusing teleconverter
3. reverse macro adapter (to screw the converter to the lens ant then attach it inside out to the camera mount)
4. male macro lens coupling ring (to screw one lens backwards to the other - basically what you have been doing handheld)





Last edited by stanislav; 01-26-2012 at 09:17 AM.
01-26-2012, 09:30 AM   #4
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My understanding is that the 28-75 is sharper than the 17-50, particularly because of the wider range that the 17-50 has to cover. Also, the 28-75 is a full frame lens, while the 17-50 has some distortion and vignetting at the wider range if used on a full frame camera.

You should look at your history of shots and see how many shots you have taken at the 18-25 range on your 18-55. That should tell you if you need wider than 28mm.

01-26-2012, 09:31 AM   #5
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I've got a Tammy 17-50 and I was very pleased with the improvement over the kit 18-55 (from a Samsung GX20). I debated the 28-75 too but in reality I would say that's more usable on FF, especially if like me you dumped the kit lens, after all the sums pretty much equate to 17-55 on APS-C = 28-75 on FF.
01-26-2012, 09:45 AM   #6
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I have the 17-50 and I also have a DA70. I love the 70, but it is often too long for me, so I'm glad I didn't get the 28-75. Also 17mm is noticeably wider than the 18mm on the kit lens. I'm thinking of parting way with my 17-50 now that I have a limited line-up. PM me if you are interested.
01-26-2012, 10:17 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
My understanding is that the 28-75 is sharper than the 17-50.
Photozone tests of both, on a 10MP Nikon, suggest the opposite.
01-26-2012, 11:00 AM   #8
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I tried both Tamron's you mention. I kept the 28-75 and did not keep the 17-50.

Both lenses are similar in size, much larger than the 35 2.4 or your kit lens. You will want to keep the 35 2.4 for it's size and prime-abilities.

*For My Own Usage * I preferred the 28-75 because the range is more to my liking for indoor gym sports. I use it in combination with a 2.8 70-200 and it is just great.

The tele end of the 28-75 is great for portraits.

When I need the wider angle it is usually outdoors, and then my 18-135 (or your kit lens) fits the bill for that.

There isn't a lot of diff between 17mm and 18mm.

You need to decide if you really need a fast lens in the 17-34mm range, if you do then go with the short one.

It's really up to you, folks will tell you what their preference is but you can't go wrong with either one. They are very good lenses both.

Go here and check out their videos http://www.tamron-usa.com/lenses/learning_center/pro_learning_center_podcasts.asp


Last edited by crewl1; 01-26-2012 at 11:05 AM.
01-26-2012, 12:05 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
Photozone tests of both, on a 10MP Nikon, suggest the opposite.
Actually it seems you are right, I retract my statement.
01-26-2012, 01:26 PM   #10
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I had both at one point. Optically they’re excellent…to me. The 18-55 kit, at least my copy, is not even in the same league. As mentioned above, Photozone test shows the 17-50 edging the 28-75. But to be honest unless you’re printing large posters or mural sections, I think it will be difficult to distinguish which shot was taken by what lens at the same focal length. I did a rudimentary comparison between the two and the only way I cold differentiate the initial results was that the 17-50 tends to underexpose on my K-x. But after PP, it was a very close call event at 100% crop.

I no longer have either. Why? Tamron’s built quality was not exactly good to me. First copy of the 17-50 was contaminated, the second was severely de-centered as if the glass was smudged on one side. I decided against a third. The 28-75 copy I got had problems with exif where it will only show two focal lengths; 35mm and 50mm throughout entire range. Putting QC aside, if I were to pick one between the two I’d keep the 17-50 since I mostly shoot at the wide end.
01-26-2012, 01:45 PM   #11
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Perhaps this will help. Or perhaps not.

I kept the 28-75 when I was divesting myself of excess lenses, only because I wanted the longer focal length. I would have been happy keeping either one otherwise.
01-26-2012, 04:12 PM   #12
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Thanks for the help pentaxians. After weighing my options I am going to go with the 17-50. Since I am going to be "replacing" the kit lens with the Tamron I think I would want the wide since the next widest lens I have is my 35mm prime.
01-26-2012, 07:26 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by claimed4all Quote
Thanks for the help pentaxians. After weighing my options I am going to go with the 17-50. Since I am going to be "replacing" the kit lens with the Tamron I think I would want the wide since the next widest lens I have is my 35mm prime.
In that case I'd PM Greg and see what deals can be done VVV

QuoteOriginally posted by L33tGreg Quote
I'm thinking of parting way with my 17-50 now that I have a limited line-up. PM me if you are interested.
When I replaced my kit lens with the Tamron 17-50mm-2-8 the was an instantaneous and drastic improvement in image quality... It truly made my K-x feel like a new and improved camera!
The improved IQ made me enjoy using my camera more too and as a result my composition skills improved also...

I've not used my Tamron for nearly a month now (except to try it on an AF-film camera I bought) since buying an FA28 to go with my FA50 and much prefer shooting primes... But if it is a zoom you want I deffo can recommend... I won't be getting rid of mine until I'm close to a perfect and Ltd-laden all-prime set-up...
01-26-2012, 07:45 PM   #14
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I should say that although I'm well-equipped with primes:
DA15, DA35 Macro, and lots with manual focus,
I still find the Tamron 17-50/2.8 useful for travel or for event coverage.
01-26-2012, 07:55 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by DaveHolmes Quote
In that case I'd PM Greg and see what deals can be done
Don't worry, that may already be taken care of.

I am still dreaming of picking up a few limiteds one day. Would love to have a 15/40/77 set. Someday I will get there. This is my first DSLR and I have only had it for about 4 months.
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