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01-02-2014, 06:20 AM   #1
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dilema between lenses please help

Hello dear pentax lovers.

Im buying my first dslr and I chose k 30 witch brings me to my dilema about my first walkaround lens. i thought about tamron 17-50 f/2.8 and pentax 17-70 f/4 . can you tell me please wich one is better for walkaround lens in terms of sharpness and overall image quality. i heard that tamron has some problems so i wanted to check that out with you folks. thanks !

01-02-2014, 07:43 AM   #2
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Hey there, welcome! Do you already have the K-30 camera? Often you can get a great package deal with the K-30 and DA 18-135mm WR lens, with a good discount on the lens (for some reason, it ge. This lens has a big zoom reach and it is WR (which is great, because if both your camera and lens are Weather Resistant, you can even take shots in poor weather conditions, like a drizzle).

In regards to the lenses you mention, both should be good "all around" zoom lenses. The Tamron 17-50mm (link to review database) is often praised for its optical quality and it is a bright lens (f2.8, lower f number means brighter possible shots), but some say its build quality (barrel) is poor. But Ive seen some amazing photos taken with it. The Pentax 17-70 f4 is not as bright, but it has a wider zoom range (goes up to 70mm, which is in telephotography territory and can be useful for portraiture and animal photography). Some don't like the SDM (in-lens AF motor) of the Pentax DA 17-70mm.
Of these two lenses, I think a lot of users would recommend the Tamron since it is cheaper, brighter and offers excellent image quality.
01-02-2014, 08:19 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Hey there, welcome! Do you already have the K-30 camera? Often you can get a great package deal with the K-30 and DA 18-135mm WR lens, with a good discount on the lens (for some reason, it ge. This lens has a big zoom reach and it is WR (which is great, because if both your camera and lens are Weather Resistant, you can even take shots in poor weather conditions, like a drizzle).
I second the suggestion for you to consider getting the 18-135 WR kit lens, if you can get it as part of a kit with the K-30 at a good price. If you are just starting out with a DSLR, you might be entering a fairly experimental stage where you're learning what you like to shoot - so a wide zoom range can be useful. And of course the WR is also incredibly helpful in a walk-around lens. Once you've experimented more, you might want to look at investing in a narrower zoom with better image quality - and once you know what kind of focal length range you like to work in.

Personally, I do quite a lot of shooting in the 40-100mm focal length range, and I found that having an 18-55 and a 55-200 lens (on my Sony system) was frustrating because I often felt like I wanted to switch between the two when shooting the same scene (and without the time to do the switch). With the 18-135, I don't need to switch anymore in those situations.

I also got the 55-300 WR lens (because I do some wildlife photography and like having the long zoom range) and I like having the overlap between the 18-135 and the 55-300. (I find that the 55-300 lens produces better quality images but the 18-135 is very good for most purposes.) I also complement these lenses with a couple of fast primes that I tend to use for portraits and in low light situations, and a wide-angle prime (the 15mm f/4).
01-02-2014, 08:33 AM   #4
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You may also want to consider the new Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.0 contemporary lens. Seems to get better reviews than the Pentax 17-70 f/4, plus it's a little faster and may offer more reliable silent focusing motor. And a little more compact and lightweight compared to the Pentax.

Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 Contemporary - Introduction - PentaxForums.com

01-02-2014, 09:39 AM   #5
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I am about to buy k 30. tamron 17-50 was my first choice because of f/2.8 and price but I read some reviews that it doesnt work well with k 30 and that it has something called backfocus and serious lack in sharpness on the edges. on the other hand i read that pentax 17-70 is quite good besides som focus problems on tele end. i would go with tamron without further thinking if i didnt ran on to that post saying it has some problems with k 30. can someone please tell me something about that. thx!
01-03-2014, 06:17 AM   #6
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Don't overthink the widest aperture. When it comes to a general purpose lens, I personaly will take the little extra range of the 17-70 any time over the one stop faster.

If edge / corner sharpness is important, I would actually stay away from zooms and buy the DA35/2.4. But for a zoom, I think that the Sigma mentioned by seventysixersfan is an excelent choice; it's high on the wishlist when I upgrade my wife's K100D to a K50(0); I however don't have experience with it nor with any of the other zooms that are mentioned till now.
01-03-2014, 12:32 PM   #7
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The Sigma 17-70 is what I would recommend, unless you want to take pictures in the wet, then I recommend Pentax 18-135 WR.

You will need to adjust for front focus or back focus, we all do it, it's easy.
01-03-2014, 02:36 PM   #8
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The Tamron is an amazing lens, when it works. I sold mine after having it repaired under warranty. I had only used it a handful of times after buying it new. My Sigma 17-70 is still going strong and would be my recommendation. The extra 20mm of reach does come in handy.

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