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04-05-2008, 06:39 AM   #1
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Tamron 70-300 or DA50-200

I'm thinking about getting rid of the F70-210 that I have. It's a great lens that produces sharp pics that I'm happy with, but it's heavy and it feels a little awkward to hold. I'm considering the Tamron 70-300 and the DA50-200. The big advantage to the Tamron is that it has the 1:2 macro feature, while the DA is very light, which is important to me. The Sigma 17-70 also has the macro feature at 70 (1:2.3) that I really like. The IQ on both lenses seems to be decent enough, so either would be fine in that respect.

The question is would I find the 1:2 macro useful enough to warrant carrying around the extra weight--granted, the Tamron is still a good bit lighter than the F70-210.

Any thoughts?


04-05-2008, 10:08 AM   #2
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Why waste your money replacing a decent zoom with yet another consumer grade zoom? If you really want to upgrade, I would suggest something better like the upcoming DA 60-250 f/4 instead of the options you have listed.

The 1:2 macro feature is no substitute for a proper macro lens, after all the primary purpose of a tele zoom is to shoot telephoto images, right? You ought to be happy with your Pentax 70-210 because newer lenses frequently use cheap plastic elements in part as a cost cutting measure. That accounts for the light weight of many consumer grade zooms today.
04-05-2008, 10:12 AM   #3
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i agree with creampuff. but if $'s are in question, the tamron is $129 with free shipping:

Tamron 70-300mm 1:2 F/4-5.6 DI LD Macro FS=62 For Pentax AF |, The Internet's Digital Superstore
04-05-2008, 10:53 AM   #4

My 2cents... I have both. I wanted the extra 300mm reach of the Tamron. I like it fine, but the PF/CA can be a bit of a pain and in way too many shots... If you dont mind PPing it out then for 140 dollars it is a fun lens. And it is pretty sharp even out at 300
If you really think you need the 300mm also look at the sigma- a bit more $, but less PF. Maybe not as sharp at 300.. there are tons of threads about the 70-300 tams and sigs

The 50-200 is just a better lens IMO. I trust it... and that means a lot, to be able to throw it in the bag and know it will produce under any condition except low light.
If you want macro with it, pick up a cheap raynox 250 to clip on the end of the 50-200. There have been some really wonderful macro's done with that combo.
There are used DA 50-200's on this forums market place for 100-130 dollars recently. One right now for $130...

good luck

04-05-2008, 02:01 PM   #5
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Never mind the price, but I've seen some pretty impressive pics taken with the 50-200--sharp and good color.

My approach to building a useful kit is this. Figure out what which focal lengths you shoot the most. Sink the most money into lenses that cover these focal lengths. For those focal lengths that you use, but not that much, don't worry about spending a ton of money on lenses that cover those focal lengths (unless you're made of money and don't mind spending it). For example, if you know you like to shoot wildlife, but aren't real big on landscapes or portraits, it would make sense for you to spend a pile of money on a fast tele prime or zoom (ie--a Bigma or 70-200/2.8 + TC), but not spend so much on a wider angle lens (ie--the kit lens or other inexpensive wider zooms or primes). In my case, I shoot more wide to mid-tele and close-up, so I'm putting more of my money into lengths at that end of the spectrum--in addition to what I already have, I'd like to add a 77 (or 70) and a 21 or 31. I'm not a big pixel peeper, so I'm pretty satisfied with IQ on the 50-200, whereas the person who is into wildlife probably wouldn't be.

Do you get where I'm coming from?

Build, price, and weight don't automatically mean that you're going to get a great or a poor image from a particular lens. I've seen pics taken with expensive fast lenses that were cr@ppy and I've seen pics taken with inexpensive slower lenses that were great (Did that really come from that lens?). You have to throw a photographer's skill into the mix, too.

04-07-2008, 10:50 AM   #6
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I have them both.

I'd vote for the DA 50-200, hands down.
NO PF problems, sharp-sharp, small to tote, and uses filters you probably already have for your 18-55.

The Tammy is OK, - but there's got to be better around...
04-07-2008, 12:43 PM   #7
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I don't have any experience with the DA 50-200, but I have the Tammy. I bought it because I'm really not much of a tele shooter, but at $129 it's something to play with.

I don't think the Tammy can really produce anything absolutely spectacular, compared to my other two teles (M200/4 + Viv S1 70-210). Color rendition is not as good & definitely PF/CA issues. It is pretty light and small though, if that matters.

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