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02-15-2013, 02:40 AM   #1
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General purpose lens

I have a bit aging but still OK Pentax k-x. So far I've been using Tamron f2.4 17-50 lens which was OK...except for VERY annoying autofocus problem. I'm not 100% positive that it was the lens fault, but quite probably it was.

Anyway, this lens is finally dead and I'm looking for a new one. The options are:
1. The same Tamron f2.4 17-50, but I'm afraid I will have the same autofocus issue
2. Similar, but slightly more expensive Sigma f2.4 17-50, but I'm not sure the price difference is justified
3. Any native Pentax lens?

Thanks.

02-15-2013, 03:05 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by moshepupkin Quote
I have a bit aging but still OK Pentax k-x. So far I've been using Tamron f2.4 17-50 lens which was OK...except for VERY annoying autofocus problem. I'm not 100% positive that it was the lens fault, but quite probably it was.

Anyway, this lens is finally dead and I'm looking for a new one. The options are:
1. The same Tamron f2.4 17-50, but I'm afraid I will have the same autofocus issue
2. Similar, but slightly more expensive Sigma f2.4 17-50, but I'm not sure the price difference is justified
3. Any native Pentax lens?

Thanks.
Why don't you try a manual lens? An M35, 2.8 might be useful.
02-15-2013, 05:32 AM   #3
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Why would I want a manual lens for general purpose photography?
02-15-2013, 06:06 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by moshepupkin Quote
Why would I want a manual lens for general purpose photography?
You will always find MF fans in the Pentax community. And indeed these lenses can be good and inexpensive, but it's clearly not what you're looking for.

For the record, I believe you're refering to f2.8 lenses?

I'm not completely surprised you get AF problems with your Tamron 17-50, I have to colleagues (using the Nikon version) who have had problems too. The lenses were fixed under warranty, and they did not "die". I would start by contacting Tamron about this.

There is a review on this site comparing the Pentax 16-50 to the Sigma and Tamron equivalents. You should consider reading it.

The only other alternative I see is a Sigma 17-70 f2,8/f4. It's a bit slower at the tele end, but it has a longer reach and better close focusing capabilities. Many people (including me, even though I own the older version) love the versatility of that lens.

02-15-2013, 06:08 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by moshepupkin Quote
Why would I want a manual lens for general purpose photography?
LOL.

Take a look at the Pentax 18-135mm. You can get it for under $500. The reviews here have been very positive. It's also weather resistant.
02-15-2013, 06:10 AM   #6
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All around lens (budget permittimg)

Most "failed" photographs were either out of focus, the photographer was too far away from the subject, or in the case of short lenses, the photographer was to close to the subject. For this reason, my ideal general purpose lens would be the Pentax 18-135.
02-15-2013, 06:25 AM   #7
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The inexpensive DA 16-45 served me very well for several years. I don't know if you can put it in the range of these other lenses, but I found it useful and reliable.
Now I use the 18-135 more frequently, but still find the 16-45 very good indoors and quite sharp if stopped down a bit.
02-15-2013, 06:28 AM   #8
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The Tamron 17-50 is generally known for AF issues, and is usually better on a k-5 with individual lens AF adjustment. On the k-x, it can be quite the hassle. It is, however, very good and sharp.

The Sigma 17-50 is as sharp or just a little sharper, but has less AF issues noted. It also has HSM, which is silent and very enjoyable to use. I will never part with my Sigma 50 1.4 except for a DA*55 1.4 because of that silent motor.

Possible alternatives:
Pentax DA 16-45 F4 - you lose a stop, but it is a lighter lens and still very sharp. It's also quite cheap and I don't hear many issues with AF regarding that lens.
Pentax 17-70 F4 - again, you lose a stop, but gain SDM and extra range for walking around. It's not as sharp as the 16-45 or the 17-50s though.
Upgrade to a k-30 or k-5 - you gain individual lens adjustment, improvement in AF, and a bunch of other benefits.
Upgrade to a k-5II/IIs - you gain individual lens adjustment, a massive improvement in AF in accuracy and low-light, and a bunch of other benefits.

A manual lens can often be used for walking around if you are a bit patient. I used to use a 24-28mm in F8 and zone focusing during the day to just capture the scene. It's not ideal, but it can be done.

02-15-2013, 09:21 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by moshepupkin Quote
I have a bit aging but still OK Pentax k-x. So far I've been using Tamron f2.4 17-50 lens which was OK...except for VERY annoying autofocus problem. I'm not 100% positive that it was the lens fault, but quite probably it was.
I've used live view CDAF for really critical (pre-)focusing with the Tammy 17-50 on a K-x.
Another trick is to focus at 50mm, then zoom out.

QuoteOriginally posted by moshepupkin Quote
Anyway, this lens is finally dead.
"Dead" in what sense? It doesn't have SDM!
Did it come with the 6-year warranty?
02-15-2013, 09:48 AM   #10
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Yes, I was referring to f2.8, this was a typo.

Sigma f2.8 17-70 seems to be another option, thanks for the tip. Any idea why it is so much cheaper compared to 17-50?
02-15-2013, 09:52 AM   #11
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Looks like all Pentax alternatives are f4 or f3.5... well, difficult choice, I do like to use deep focus when I take portraits... Looks like its gonna be Sigma after all... so back to my first question - why 17-70 is significantly cheaper than 17-50?
02-15-2013, 09:52 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by moshepupkin Quote
Sigma f2.8 17-70 seems to be another option, thanks for the tip. Any idea why it is so much cheaper compared to 17-50?
Do you mean the 17-70 2.8-4? It isn't 2.8 with all focal lengths versus the 17-50 which is.
02-15-2013, 10:00 AM   #13
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Yes, I was referring to that Sigma. Sorry, still a newbie... can a spend a few minutes explaining the difference?
02-15-2013, 10:07 AM   #14
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The 17-70 will have longer range (it goes to 70 versus 50) than the 17-50 and has macro ability. The 17-50 is a faster lens with the constant 2.8 aperture.

Do you want a faster lens or longer range? It really depends on what appeals to you and/or what you are hoping to use it for.

ETA: And I'm still a newbie too even though I've had my camera for 2 years now! I'm always learning and have more to learn.
02-15-2013, 10:13 AM   #15
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So 17-50 is constant aperture... now I'm really confused, I read this review
Review: Sigma 17-50 F2.8 OS vs Tamron 17-50 F2.8 VC | francoisMalan
today and somehow assumed that both Tamron and Sigma 17-50 f2.8 they review are similar in features and all aperture 2.8-4...
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