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06-16-2012, 02:22 PM   #1
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A good SHARP lens question.

I've been caught up in the LBA, but realize I gotta have this, gotta have that, is waisting my money. I need some opinions as to a good all purpose, walk around lens that will give me much improved IQ over the kit lens. AF is a must. I am on a serious budget, (less than $400.00). Most likely, a zoom will be my thinking. I do have a couple of manual focus lenses I like, and will keep, but every thing else will go to a new home.

06-16-2012, 02:30 PM   #2
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Budget but good IQ = Tamron
Walk around = wide to tele in one lens.

How about the Tamron 28-75
Or Tamron 17-50
(Or even cheaper 18-200, probably not the IQ that you want, go with #1 or 2)

We really ought to develop a key word generated lens selector chart.
06-16-2012, 02:36 PM   #3
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^Tamron 17-50 or 28-75 is your bet, as Norm states.
06-16-2012, 02:39 PM   #4
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Many love the Tamron and Sigma 17-50/2.8 kit.zoom replacements; these would be within your budget (I think) as would the DA16-45/4. The DA*16-50/2.8 would be better, but it's definitely a budget-buster.

Are other walkaround options. My basic lens is the DA18-250; my 240 others are specialty items. No, the DA18-250 isn't the fastest nor overall sharpest, but it's THERE. The IQ of a missed shot is zero. It's just the most flexible lens for travel.

For sharper and cheaper, consider something other than a one-size-fits-all solution. My favorite replacements for the DA18-55 are the Cosina-made Vivitar Series 1 19-35/3.5-4.5 (MF) and the SMC-F 35-70/3.5-4.5 (AF). The F35-70 is the smallest zoom Pentax ever made, is extremely agile (VERY fast AF), is sharp as a bag of primes, and is a bargain at around US$50. The Vivitar is very sharp, like many 2x zooms. Mine is MF, but AF Vivitar- and Cosina-badged versions can be found. I could maybe point you to a source of the Cosina version, selling price US$70 plus costly postage from Germany.

My basic most minimal AF kit: DA10-17 fisheye zoom; Tamron 10-24 ultrawide zoom; DA18-250 superzoom; FA50/1.4 Fast Fifty; Raynox DCR-250. All except the Tamron and Raynox are my original kit, and still most-used. To 'replace' the DA18-250 takes the 19-35 and 35-70 I mentioned, and the FA100-300/4.7-5.8 (silver), another VERY sharp bargain lens, around US$100.


Last edited by RioRico; 06-16-2012 at 02:47 PM.
06-16-2012, 02:42 PM   #5
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I knew you wouldn't be able to resist making it complicated.
06-16-2012, 02:53 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I knew you wouldn't be able to resist making it complicated.
G'z, and there are so many I *didn't* mention.
"I know so much, I hardly know where to begin."
--Anon. commencement speaker

Last edited by RioRico; 06-16-2012 at 04:01 PM.
06-16-2012, 03:05 PM   #7
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I would also vote for the Tamron 28-75mm. It was my first upgrade lens, and I've been through a lot of glass since then, but I don't think I will ever be able to bring myself to sell my Tamron. It's still my go-to lens in my home studio or when I'm shooting items for eBay due to its incredible sharpness and overall image quality.
06-16-2012, 03:12 PM   #8
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Tamron 17-50/2.8 kit

I use the Tamron 17-50/2.8 kit as my walk around lens on my K10 and like it very well.

06-16-2012, 03:57 PM   #9
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If you're going to be doing a lot of portraits and candids, then I think the 28-75mm would serve you better as it is a much more comfortable focal length range for portraits. It is more flattering to your subjects, and it does not require you to be right in their faces. If, on the other hand, you will be shooting a lot of landscapes and architecture, then the wide angle of the 17-50mm would be more important.

I've owned both lenses, and both had excellent image quality. Both were very sharp and contrasty, even wide open. My experience was that the 17-50mm wasn't a true f/2.8 (more like f/3.3), but it's apparently close enough for most people.

One more piece of information that might be helpful to you is that the 28-75mm is also a good quasi-macro lens. It will focus within a few inches of the front lens element, even when zoomed all the way out to 75mm. This close-focusing ability has come in handy for me many times. So if you will be photographying small objects, or food, etc, the 28-75mm is a very good choice. I'm not sure how the 17-50mm behaves in this regard, so maybe somebody else can chime in.
06-16-2012, 04:29 PM   #10
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Tamron 28 - 75 2.8

And once you get some more money supplement it with the fun 10 - 20 sigma lens.
06-16-2012, 04:59 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by kaiserz Quote
Tamron 28 - 75 2.8

And once you get some more money supplement it with the fun 10 - 20 sigma lens.
Or the Tamron 10-24. I don't have one but have heard great things about it, plus love the images.
06-16-2012, 05:49 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
^Tamron 17-50 or 28-75 is your bet, as Norm states.
I agree. Both are weighty, however.
06-16-2012, 07:07 PM   #13
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QuoteQuote:
Tamron 17-50 or 28-75 is your bet, as Norm states.
Neither of those is a walk around. 50 is too short, 28 not wide enough.

Combine them into a 17-70 :-)

Used ones go about 325 in the marketplace.

Sigma makes a few versions. I have the older f2.8-4.5 type that works well, though not quite the IQ of the two listed above.
06-17-2012, 08:56 AM   #14
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Define "much" better. I'd suggest that if it's about IQ alone, there is no zoom in that price range (or perhaps any) that would yield results so much better that people would be able to tell the difference at web size, in a home print. Or indeed at any size much under 100%. The real reasons to look to upgrade would have to do with wanting greater range, larger maximum aperture, or some other capability.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 06-18-2012 at 10:06 AM.
06-17-2012, 09:02 AM   #15
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QuoteQuote:
Define "much" better. I'd sun,it that if it's about IQ alone, there is no zoom in that price range (or perhaps any) that would yield results so much better that people would be able to tell the difference at web size, in a home print.
And really for those kinds of shots, I should probably still be shooting with my old *ist with my kit lens and Sigma 70-300. As long as you are reducing the size 2:1, most everything looks pretty sharp. CA is a different issue though. I have had web shots ruined by CA, and purple fringing.

Last edited by normhead; 06-17-2012 at 09:15 AM.
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