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02-12-2008, 08:32 PM   #1
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Tamron 17-50 or DA21

First, I was leaning towards the 21, then the 17-50, then the 21...and so on and so forth....
If I had the money, I'd get both, but that's not realistic. Here are the pros and cons in my mind for each choice

17-50
Pro: versatility in focal lengths, fast aperture
Con: heavier weight, no info on how it does on Pentax bodies yet (although it is highly regarded in other mounts), won't be able to pick it up gently used for a while once it's released (no definite US release date yet)

21
Pro: lightweight, proven track record on Pentax cameras, great IQ, it is possible to pick up a gently used one and save some $$$, my kit would be all Pentax lenses
Con: 1 focal length (well, I guess that's what feet are made for--zooming), a little slower, aperture-wise (not that big of a deal)

One other thing to factor in is that I'll be getting an 18-55 kit lens in the next couple of days. With the 17-50, it could be used as a backup zoom. With the 21, it could be used as a decent lightweight zoom whenever I didn't feel like using primes or I want to go a little wider than the 21 or fill the gap between the 21 and 43.

On my last vacation, I found myself using a couple of primes a lot and found it wasn't that big of a deal to switch them when I needed to.

After thinking "out loud" like this, I think I know what I want to do, but I'd like some input from anybody who's willing to give me any.

Thanks!
Heather

02-12-2008, 09:44 PM   #2
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re:

Hi, I have a 24mm Sigma prime as my general use lens and sometimes I find it a little too wide for some of the applications I plan on using it. So I'd imagine 21 mm would be wider still. If you dont mind changing lenses I'd say you can give it a go. Although for me personally I abhor changing lenses unless I positively have to when I'm out. I find it very inconvenient.

Also I find that since 24mm is wide, I have to go very close (as close as 4 to 3 feet) to my subject for me to get an equivalent of "normal" FOV and still I cannot isolate the face area to get a decent portrait shot. I always get the head + body shot even when Im less that 3 feet away from my subject.

In those situations I am wishing for a 50mm (or longer) focal length.

BTW, If you look at it closely the only advantage the DA 21 has over the 17-50 is size and that it offset since even if you have the DA21, the K10D is still a big camera. In fact you'll find holding the lens while holding the camera inconvenient. (Since there isnt much to hold on to)

- The 17-50 is faster. DA21 F3.2 vs 17-50 F2.8
- The 17-50 is wider on the wide end and longer on the tele

Last edited by jeff1101; 02-12-2008 at 10:00 PM.
02-12-2008, 10:11 PM   #3
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These are completely different lenses. I'd go with the DA 21/3.2 Limited for now, since you have the Sigma 28-70mm. You'd have a pretty significant overlap with the Tamron zoom.
02-13-2008, 10:30 AM   #4
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As for the 28-70, as crazy as it may sound, I've got it up for sale to be replaced by the 18-55. While the 18-55 is not the greatest lens on the planet, it goes wider than the 28-70, which is what I want at this point.

In order to get a somewhat objective opinion, I went to Popphoto.com and was able to find that they had reviewed both lenses. When you put the subjective quality charts of both lenses together, it's obvious that the Tamron is the winner.

I emailed customer service at Tamron USA to see if they have any idea of when the 17-50 might be released in the US. I hope it isn't too long after Japan's release date of 3/7. If it's going to be months and months before the US release, I'd consider getting the Sigma 18-50/2.8 Macro, as I've read good things about it, as well.

Again, thanks for the help!
Heather

02-13-2008, 06:56 PM   #5
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I had yet another idea that may help me in making a decision--downloading one of those programs that analyzes the focal lengths that I use the most. After doing some looking, I downloaded ExposurePlot, a freeware program and tried it out on some existing images to see what could see. As expected, I do a lot of shooting at the wide end, but not as wide as I thought I had. A lot of my pics have been shot at the 40mm equivalent (full frame), which translates into 26.67 mm on an aps-c lens. Of course, a lot of these were as wide as the lens in question could go. In cases where I actually used the 28mm prime, I remember finding that this length was wide enough for most of my shots.

At any rate, once I get my 18-55, I'm going to use it to take a variety of pics like I normally would and analyze them with ExposurePlot to see how much I'm actually using the range from 18-27mm. If it turns out that I'm not using that range very much, then that will help me make a more informed decision in my next major lens purchase.

If I'm not using the widest end that much, then I may actually see about picking up a Tamron 28-75/2.8 instead of waiting on the 17-50. I love the IQ of the 28-75, so I'd be tickled to have it in my bag. It also would compliment my F70-210 nicely.

If I decide to go that route, I still may pick up a wider angle prime at some point, perhaps a 21 or Sigma 20/1.8 or one of the older MF primes like I've seen in the Marketplace, as of late. Even though it's a fisheye, the Zenitar 16 isn't out of the question, either.
02-13-2008, 07:09 PM   #6
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Keep in mind that the Sigma 20mm is a BEAST!
I've got the 28mm, and it's already bigger and heaver than the kit lens (which I don't have, but it looks like that). The 20mm is even bigger and heavier--not pocketable. Not sure how it compares in size to the tamron 17-50mm, though.
02-13-2008, 07:12 PM   #7
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I'd just go with the 21mm after youg et the zoom because it'd make for a nice travel kit.
02-13-2008, 07:23 PM   #8
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Lens weights:

Tamron 17-50: 15.2 oz.
Tamron 28-75: 18 oz.
Sigma 20/1.8: 18.3 oz. (yikes!)
Pentax 21/3.2: 4.9 oz.

In this lineup, it would make the most sense to go with the 21 + 28-75 to cover the widest range of focal lengths that I would most likely use.

Another idea that I had was to keep the Sigma 28-70 that I already have, get the 21, and then eventually get the 28-75 later on.

Hmmm...
Heather

02-13-2008, 07:44 PM   #9
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If you're happy with the Sigma 28-70/3.5-4.5, then I wouldn't go for the other zoom just yet. I'd get the Pentax 21/3.2 Limited so that you have something new to use and enjoy. You already have a fast normal prime, and 2.8 isn't all that faster than 3.5. I think it's half a stop slower.
02-13-2008, 07:55 PM   #10
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What are you using it for?

My problem with the 21mm is that it performs best quite close to it's subject, it renders beautifully. If use don landscaope image smuch of this is lost and it's hat .... $550? Also a fixed landscape lens is awkward to say the least.

Honestly, when out and abaout I use the kit lens for landscapoes because at f/8 to f/10 there is bugger all difference in performance at 21mm.
02-13-2008, 08:08 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
What are you using it for?

My problem with the 21mm is that it performs best quite close to it's subject, it renders beautifully. If use don landscaope image smuch of this is lost and it's hat .... $550? Also a fixed landscape lens is awkward to say the least.

Honestly, when out and abaout I use the kit lens for landscapoes because at f/8 to f/10 there is bugger all difference in performance at 21mm.
A lot of fixed lenses are geared for landscapes, and the DA 21/3.2 renders beautifully in all of the photos I've seen. Also, the DA 21/3.2 is not $550 at most retailers. It's about $430, and I've seen it for $370 the cheapeast.
02-14-2008, 04:07 AM   #12
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Unless it's sold the last time I checked, Adorama has a gently used one for $374. That seems to be about the going price ($350-375) for a gently used one on Fleabay, as well.

I wish that Pentax rebate check would hurry up and get here--that $100 is going towards my next lens purchase. Assuming that my K10 arrives either tomorrow or Saturday, I'll be putting my DS up for sale shortly thereafter. Along with some other money that I've saved up, that should put me in the ballpark for either the 21 or 28-75.

Heather
02-15-2008, 08:23 AM   #13
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Basically, I've decided for sure to go ahead and get the 28-75. Besides the focal length, the fact it can be used on film bodies is a plus, as I plan on getting another film body at some point.

As for WA, part of me is telling me to just go ahead and get the 21 and be done with it, but the upcoming Tamron 10-24 has piqued my interest, as well, but I haven't heard a definite release date for it.

As for what order to get these in, I've got a couple of choices--
1. Really push to sell the Sigma that I already have and get the 28-75 first since I know for sure that I want it and then wait for more info about the 10-24 before making a decision on the WA. In the meantime, the 18-55 can cover the gap between 18-27 when I need it.

2. Go ahead and get the 21 and keep the Sigma for now. My birthday's in July and usually I get $200 in birthday money, if I don't have the 28-75 money saved up yet. Once the 10-24 gets released and reviewed, assuming those reviews are very positive, then I'll have the option of selling the 21 to get the 10-24.

At any rate, I feel better about the direction of my kit.
Heather
02-29-2008, 01:02 PM   #14
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Focus on the Tamron

Since you most likely haven't gotten at least a Tamron 17-50 yet, be warned that it might have a focusing issue on Pentax. I've been happy with a specimen I got for my Konica-Minolta last year, but the one for Pentax I got today front focuses so badly I'll have to return it.
Correctly focused it's a great lens but try to buy it from a store where you can check it with your own camerabody for focusing errors beforehand.
02-29-2008, 08:55 PM   #15
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Actually, I wound up getting the Sigma 17-70 instead, as it would be more a more versatile lens for the way I shoot. Constant aperture would be nice, but veratility is more important to me now. With the fact that the 17-50 might be prone to having focusing issues with the Pentax bodies, I'm glad I went on ahead and passed it by.

Heather
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