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09-26-2013, 12:31 AM   #1
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Sigma or Tamron all around lens (picture quality)

I am interested in upgrading my kit lens. I was hoping to get the new Sigma 18-35mm 1.8 but I dont quite know if this is going to be available for pentax. Their site does not show Pentax in available mounts.

Anyway, i am looking for the best quality overall in a all purpose lens to replace my 18-55 WR that came with my K-30

I have read around and it seems that the best bang for the buck is offered by

Tamrom 17-50 2.8 Amazon.com: Tamron AF016P-700 SP AF17-50mm F/2.8 Di II LD Aspherical (IF) Lens with Hood for Pentax AF Cameras (Black) (Model A16P): Camera & Photo
Sigma 17-70 2.8-4 C Amazon.com: Sigma 884101 F2.8-4 Contemporary DC Macro OS HSM 17-70mm Fixed Lens for Canon EF-S Cameras: Electronics

They are both listed in amazon for $499 with free shipping.

My question is now:

1- which one is better lens overall? (anyone that has tried both?)
2- which one offers the BEST image quality (if the differences are negligible for day to day use I would go with the 17-70 for its wider range)
3- I read that the hood in the sigma is loose/moves from its lock position. Is it that bad?
4- which lens do you recommend that I buy? why?


Thanks in advanced for your replies! I am getting prepped up for winter pictures!

09-26-2013, 12:51 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by jrcastillo Quote
I am interested in upgrading my kit lens. I was hoping to get the new Sigma 18-35mm 1.8 but I dont quite know if this is going to be available for pentax. Their site does not show Pentax in available mounts.

Anyway, i am looking for the best quality overall in a all purpose lens to replace my 18-55 WR that came with my K-30

I have read around and it seems that the best bang for the buck is offered by

Tamrom 17-50 2.8 Amazon.com: Tamron AF016P-700 SP AF17-50mm F/2.8 Di II LD Aspherical (IF) Lens with Hood for Pentax AF Cameras (Black) (Model A16P): Camera & Photo
Sigma 17-70 2.8-4 C Amazon.com: Sigma 884101 F2.8-4 Contemporary DC Macro OS HSM 17-70mm Fixed Lens for Canon EF-S Cameras: Electronics

They are both listed in amazon for $499 with free shipping.

My question is now:

1- which one is better lens overall? (anyone that has tried both?)
2- which one offers the BEST image quality (if the differences are negligible for day to day use I would go with the 17-70 for its wider range)
3- I read that the hood in the sigma is loose/moves from its lock position. Is it that bad?
4- which lens do you recommend that I buy? why?


Thanks in advanced for your replies! I am getting prepped up for winter pictures!
The 18-35mm will be coming out for Pentax- AFAIK it is already available outside of the US, but I can't confirm this for sure.

The Tamron 17-50mm is an affordable alternative to a professional constant-aperture F2.8 lens. The Sigma, on the other hand, is meant as a prosumer walkaround lens. We have in-depth reviews of both lenses on our homepage if you'd like to compare their performance based on tests:
DA* 16-50mm vs. Sigma and Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 Comparison - Introduction - PentaxForums.com
Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 Contemporary - Introduction - PentaxForums.com

With its more flexible zoom range and silent focusing, I am tempted to recommend the 17-70mm over the older Tamron. While you will get slightly better IQ out of the Tamron, I personally found the 17-70mm to be one of the most enjoyable walkaround lenses I've ever used, and I would recommend it to any APS-C DSLR user for its perfect mix of versatility, quality, and value.

Adam
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09-26-2013, 02:34 AM   #3
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I'll second Adam on the Sigma 17-70, although I have not tried the Tamron. The Sigma has few faults - a very versatile lens.
09-26-2013, 03:08 AM   #4
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I'll have to say that the Tamron is kick ass sharp, if you don't mind the limitation of it only going to 50mm

09-26-2013, 04:32 AM   #5
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Depending on your requirement you could also look at the Tamron 28-75 F2.8. I love it, as walkabout for me is generally pictures of family so I appreciate the extra zoom (always wanted something a bit more than 55 on the kit lens) and don't really miss the lack of wide end as I don't use it much. All depends on your requirement though.
09-26-2013, 10:36 AM   #6
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at some point i even considered the 18-135 WR, But i read that image quality is not that much better than kit lens.
i was leaning towards the 17-70 but saw that 17-50 2.8

are there any built quality concerns with the tamrom?
09-26-2013, 10:45 AM   #7
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Well, the build quality on the Sigma is better, plus if you have one with HSM, it is nice and quiet, but the Tamron's build is adequate. I have one copy for my Pentax and another for my Nikon. I love the optics on this lens, which is its strongest feature.
09-26-2013, 11:41 AM   #8
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I have no hesitation in recommending the Sigma 17-70 "C". It's a quality lens that delivers excellent images quietly and reliably. I don't have the Tamron 17-50, but I do have the Tamron 28-75 and can recommend it too (it's my favourite for landscapes). But for a general-purpose "all round" lens, I prefer the Sigma over both the Tamron and the DA 18-135 (which I use in bad weather).

09-26-2013, 11:55 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jrcastillo Quote
are there any built quality concerns with the tamrom?
My experience, yes. Must have been bad luck on my side but I went through two brand new copies both with quality issues. First one was contaminated internally with - whatever foreign material it was - sitting right on the internal glass - didn't show up on images though. Second was severely de-centered - images appear as if the front element was smudged on one side. The lens (first one) did produce excellent sharp images that lately I've been considering it again.

On the other hand, the build quality of the 18-135 is excellent.

Can't speak for the Sigma but the new "C" version is getting my interest also.
09-26-2013, 07:05 PM   #10
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I think the center image quality of the 18-135 is noticeably better than the 18-55, especially at larger apertures. The border performance is maybe not as good, but that is less important to me for my style of photography. The Sigma 17-70 looks great, but my walk around zoom absolutely must be WR, since I live in Florida, and it rains pretty much all the time. My personal recommendation would be to sell the 18-55, get the 18-135 and a fast prime of your choice for low-light/bokeh/super high IQ. My two lens kit is pretty much my 18-135 and my Sigma 30/1.4. The 15mm is usually in there too, but that's a different addiction.
09-27-2013, 09:49 AM   #11
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My only complaint about the 18-135 is that it's pretty uninspiring @135mm. It's usable but not amazing. I find it to be pretty awesome @18mm and excellent up to around 100-120mm. It's also WR which is an excellent feature that isn't available from Sigma or Tamron.
09-27-2013, 09:57 AM   #12
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knowing this, I think the real question might be... how does the 18-135 compares with the Sigma and tamrom from 17/18-70... If the 3 of them have same/close image quality... then the 18-135 would be better as whatever you get from 70-135 would be just a plus anyway.

the 18-135 runs cheaper used (300+) from what i've seen
09-27-2013, 10:34 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jrcastillo Quote
how does the 18-135 compares with the Sigma and tamrom from 17/18-70.
See Adam's review of the Sigma 17-70 where he compares the sharpness to the DA 18-135:
Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 Contemporary - Sharpness - PentaxForums.com

I don't believe he attempted to compare the image quality between the Sigma/Tamron 17-50's with either the DA 18-135 or Sigma 17-70 models.
09-27-2013, 10:52 AM   #14
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so its seems that on the wide end, sigma is sharper on corners... but long end Pentax is "better" as it offers same image quality at 70mm as the sigma, plus it offers 70-135 that is not available in the sigma.

oh man... this has just made my decision a little harder. :P
09-27-2013, 11:16 AM   #15
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Even harder still is deciding whether having a variable aperture zoom is okay, or if you need a constant f/2.8 throughout the focal range. And if variable is okay, then the question is whether you need the faster speed of the Sigma 17-70 compared to the DA 18-135. Compare-- the Sigma 17-70, at its slowest wide-open focal length, is f/4.0 at 70mm, whereas the DA 18-135 is slower than f/4.0 starting around 28mm.
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