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03-05-2013, 04:16 PM   #1
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Sharpest zoom covering 50-90mm & <$400?

I'm looking for a sharp zoom that covers approx the range of 50-90mm mainly for portraits (70-135 equiv.)

I'm already gonna buy the Samyang/Bower 14mm f2.8 for my wide-angle needs
But for my portrait/versatile needs, I thought of the DA 55-300mm...Is there anything better in approx the same price range?

(pref. no legacy as I'm ordering online with no chance of testing or refunding so can't risk with used ones...)

03-05-2013, 04:28 PM   #2
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The 55mm f1.4 is pretty much made for portraits. Not a zoom, though.
03-05-2013, 04:28 PM   #3
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Heh, your best bet was the Sigma 50-150 refurbed going at $499. Besides that, I would say there really isn't anything out there that would suffice for you, maybe the FA 28-105, or DA 18-135.
03-05-2013, 04:31 PM   #4
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Sigma were unloading refurb 50-150/2.8 lenses for $499 just a few days ago.... see if you can jump on that deal becuase I can't imagine any better for the price.

03-05-2013, 04:32 PM   #5
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The Tamron 28~75 2.8 may work for you, a little shorter than what you are looking for on the long end though...
03-05-2013, 04:40 PM   #6
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Tamron 28-75 f 2.8 lens: not as long but is sharp enough. About the same price or slightly more.
Here is a nice review:
Comparison Review: Tamron 28-75mm VS Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 - Music Photography
03-05-2013, 04:47 PM   #7
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I'm a big fan of my old manual focus Pentax A 35-105 for portraits. It has good bokeh, and is very sharp at all focal lengths. It's my go-to portrait lens, along with my Pentax DA-L 55-300.
03-05-2013, 05:25 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by GibbyTheMole Quote
I'm a big fan of my old manual focus Pentax A 35-105 for portraits. It has good bokeh, and is very sharp at all focal lengths. It's my go-to portrait lens, along with my Pentax DA-L 55-300.
Found the Osawa MC 35-105mm...It's for ~$60 so I'm thinking it's worth the risk

Otherwise, the Tamron 28-75 is in consideration although I'll be pushing my budget...

Did I mention i'm looking for a sharp zoom BELOW $400 ?

03-05-2013, 05:38 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by dstructor Quote
Did I mention i'm looking for a sharp zoom BELOW $400 ?
392 dollars new:
Tamron | AF 28-75/2.8 XR LD Aspherical IF Di Wide Angle Telephoto Zoom Lens For Pentax (67mm) *FREE SHIPPING* | AF09P700 | Tri-State Camera, Video, and Computer
03-05-2013, 06:11 PM   #10
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Why a zoom? Get something like an A (or M) 50/1.7 or 1.4, and an A (or M) 100/2.8.

If you really want AF, quality, speed (which some portraits need) and zoom, you'll have to spend more. Otherwise you'll have to give something up, especially if buying new.


If you want an inexpensive AF lens covering that range that can do portraits I also vote for the FA28-105 (specifically the f/3.2-4.5 version). The DA55-300 is also good, but I never employed it for portraiture, so I can't comment much in that regard.

Last edited by DSims; 03-05-2013 at 06:18 PM.
03-05-2013, 06:28 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
Why a zoom? Get something like an A (or M) 50/1.7 or 1.4, and an A (or M) 100/2.8.

If you really want AF, quality, speed (which some portraits need) and zoom, you'll have to spend more. Otherwise you'll have to give something up, especially if buying new.


If you want an inexpensive AF lens covering that range that can do portraits I also vote for the FA28-105 (specifically the f/3.2-4.5 version). The DA55-300 is also good, but I never employed it for portraiture, so I can't comment much in that regard.
AF is not important as well as wide aperture;
The K-01 makes me comfortable to pump up the ISO and the focus peaking makes manual focusing a breeze

What matters is a quality (sharpness, mainly) and buget
Zoom comes next but also important for flexibility

I don't feel well about buying old lenses off the internet since there's no way to check their quality
So, I'd rather pay a bit more for new lenses that are more consistent in the quality
03-05-2013, 08:25 PM - 2 Likes   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by dstructor Quote
What matters is a quality (sharpness, mainly) and buget
Zoom comes next but also important for flexibility

I don't feel well about buying old lenses off the internet since there's no way to check their quality
So, I'd rather pay a bit more for new lenses that are more consistent in the quality
I don't know about the quality of the Osawa, but if you hang out around here for a little while, you should be able to score a nice copy of the Pentax A 35-105 for under $150. (I paid $60 for mine in a local camera shop.) The Pentax 35-105 is extremely sharp and prime-like in it's performance.

Here are a few taken with it to give ya an idea:




A couple more, linked due to large size:

http://img843.imageshack.us/img843/7460/imgp37821ppfx1.jpg

http://img266.imageshack.us/img266/3697/pose2donefx1.jpg

Cheers,
Bob :-)
03-06-2013, 02:00 PM   #13
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What are your thoughts on the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 ??
03-06-2013, 02:09 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by dstructor Quote
What are your thoughts on the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 ??
A lot shorter than the range you are asking for, but a very very good lens. Some users have complained that their Tammy 17-50s have focus adjustment issues (i.e. need big focus adjustment for a new lens), but otherwise, it's a fantastic lens.
03-06-2013, 02:55 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
A lot shorter than the range you are asking for, but a very very good lens. Some users have complained that their Tammy 17-50s have focus adjustment issues (i.e. need big focus adjustment for a new lens), but otherwise, it's a fantastic lens.
I was thinking of having a Tamron 17-50mm & DA 55-300...?
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