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01-26-2015, 05:11 AM   #1
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Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 VS. DA* 16-50mm f/2.8

Hey I know they are not quite comparable, one having full frame coverage while the Pentax DA* is a cropped sensor lens. But as a DA* 16-50 user myself, I am quite interested in the comparison. Of course, it is highly unlikely that a K-mount version will ever be released - which makes me wonder if Pentax will have a version of this lens? (e.g. there is one more wide zoom DA lens on the roadmap not announced)

1. Both being constant aperture, widest at f/2.8
2. Both premium built quality
3. widest focal lentgth quite similar

The only reasons that might persuae me to consider the Tamron are:
1. Is the Tamron weather resistant?
2. Similar price
3. I don't need 30-50mm or using it less than the wider end (15mm sound better than 16mm to me, and the DA* sucks at 16mm sadly...)
4. Pentax full frame in the future (I know...)

There are of course some downsides to the Tammy, like the filter thread.

01-26-2015, 07:41 AM   #2
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A long time ago Sigma made an EX series 15-30mm f/3.5-4.5 Zoom lens, it is a surprisingly useful focal length range on both FX and DX sensors. My copy performs remarkably well at 15mm, image quality decreases at the long end though.

It will be very interesting to see how the new Tamron lens performs - it is aimed squarely at people looking for a cheaper alternative to the Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G, or camera systems that do not have such a lens in their current full format line up.




Pentax K5IIS - Sigma 15-30mm f/3.5-4.5 EX DG @ 15mm f/8 1/30th ISO 80

At 15mm image quality is virtually indistinguishable from my Sigma 8-16mm at the same focal length. Though at 30mm end of its range this lens is inferior to the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Art and the Pentax FA31 Limited.
01-26-2015, 08:08 AM - 1 Like   #3
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If your DA 16-50 is truly bad at 16mm it might be a bad copy. Mine isn't great wide open but it gets very sharp stopped down. I find it a pretty good landscape lens.
01-26-2015, 10:19 AM   #4
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You might also consider the Tamron AF 17-35 f/2.8-4 Di LD Asp(IF) as a FF alternative.



01-26-2015, 02:10 PM   #5
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It would probably be better just to get a DA15, or a Sigma 8-16 if that's your style. It's true the DA*16-50 is a little weak between about 16-20mm. But as noted, it improves when stopped down, and you end up with the gap between 15 and 20/21mm with primes anyway.

The DA15 is small, relatively affordable (especially used), and available now. And the Sigma 8-16 is being re-released in K-mount (it was always a bit hard to find used copies, and they were barely discounted because most owners seem to like them and hang on to them). So get one of those instead, or even the DA10-17 (which is the one I've still kept, out of the three).
01-26-2015, 06:38 PM   #6
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Thanks for the input.

Frankly the thing that put me down is the size of DA* 16-50, simply too big and defeats the "everyday lens" purpose (not to say it is specifically built for this reason). I am still hanging onto it mainly for the weather resistance feature. None of the alternatives proposed above are so.

The DA* 16-50 does perform quite well at 16-20 when stopped down beyond f/5.6. Do you guys think it out-resolves the sensor of my K5? Meaning, should I keep using it because if I upgrade a body in the future, it will continue to perform (even better)?
01-26-2015, 10:07 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by mythguy9 Quote
the size of DA* 16-50, simply too big and defeats the "everyday lens" purpose
The Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 is going to be bigger than the 16-50mm f/2.8 which is an APS-C specific zoom lens, because the Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 covers full frame, which puts even greater demands on lenses.

Just to illustrate:



The sigma 15-30mm f/3.5-4.5 is already a big lens (but it is surprisingly light) a constant f/2.8 lens will be bigger than that.


QuoteOriginally posted by mythguy9 Quote
Do you guys think it out-resolves the sensor of my K5?
A 50mm f/1.4 takumar from the 1970s can outresolve the K5 sensor. I really wouldn't be bothered by it.
01-26-2015, 10:23 PM   #8
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you should consider sigma 18-35/1.8 vs DA*16-50.

tamron one is not aimming at APSC market.

01-26-2015, 11:17 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by MegaPower Quote
ou should consider sigma 18-35/1.8 vs DA*16-50.
The DA16-50mm f/2.8 wins here, as it has greater focus accuracy than the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 ART
01-27-2015, 12:32 AM   #10
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Cool, that pretty much cleared my thoughts. Time to go out and shoot with my DA* 16-50 again.
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