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01-16-2017, 07:59 AM   #1
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Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 vs Pentax 35mm f2.4

I've got a Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 but i'm thinking of getting a Pentax 35mm f2.4, do you guys have both lenses or can you tell me if the Pentax would be better image quality than the Tamron at 35mm? I know prime lenses are generally better than zooms and i've read good reviews of the Pentax 35m f2.4 but the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 is a great lens with excellent image quality. My way of thinking is if the Pentax does have better image quality then I can just get closer to or back off from subjects to make up for the Pentax lens not being zoomable.

01-16-2017, 08:18 AM   #2
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I have had them both. Thinking about the image quality, Pentax wins easily.
It's your choice, which one serves your current photography style better, a zoom or a prime. Tamron is a very good lens too.
01-16-2017, 08:25 AM - 1 Like   #3
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I have both; Pentax 35 mm of slightly better; all other focal distance of the Tamron better
01-16-2017, 09:04 AM   #4
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I have both and would say that the 35mm is noticeably sharper wide open with better contrast overall. Closed down, I have to look at the exif to know which lens was used. Anyway, since the 35mm can be had for not much money, it's difficult not to recommed getting it.

The 35mm is also quite lightweight and small relative to the Tamron. This sometime makes me bring it instead of the Tamron.

01-16-2017, 09:24 AM   #5
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Thanks guys, i'll buy the Pentax then, later on this year i'm going to get rid of the Tamron and instead buy the Pentax 16-85mm f3.5-5.6 to use for situations where I can't back up enough or maybe need a little more focal length than the Pentax 35mm f2.4 can give me like in my flat or on a bus, train etc...I can't afford the 16-85mm f3.5-5.6 yet though. Also I have a Sigma 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 which for the money is excellent but i'm wanting an better quality long range zoom lens, do you guys have any suggestions?
01-16-2017, 10:51 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by richardstringer Quote
Also I have a Sigma 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 which for the money is excellent but i'm wanting an better quality long range zoom lens, do you guys have any suggestions?
The new 55-300 PLM would certainly be a good choice if your camera is compatible with it. The DA* 60-250 is really good if you don't mind the price. If you can do with 200mm and a big lens, the Tamron 70-200 2.8 would also be a significant upgrade.
01-16-2017, 12:34 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by richardstringer Quote
Thanks guys, i'll buy the Pentax then, later on this year i'm going to get rid of the Tamron and instead buy the Pentax 16-85mm f3.5-5.6 to use for situations where I can't back up enough or maybe need a little more focal length than the Pentax 35mm f2.4 can give me like in my flat or on a bus, train etc.
I own the Tamron, and there are many times when I've had to use the f/2.8 aperture
in low-light situations at the extreme ends, or for reduced depth of field with portraits at 50mm.
01-16-2017, 12:44 PM   #8
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Well

... sorry to contradict some other members, but for me, it is a toss. The Tamron is slightly better at full aperture. they are equivalent at f/4.0 and above.

01-16-2017, 01:21 PM   #9
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The Tamron-SP 70-200mm f2.8 DI VC USD was the one I was initially looking at although I read in a professional review that it's not as sharp as the original without the vibration compensation but i'm not sure you can still get the original one, i'm not sure anyone sells it anymore.
01-16-2017, 05:48 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by richardstringer Quote
The Tamron-SP 70-200mm f2.8 DI VC USD was the one I was initially looking at although I read in a professional review that it's not as sharp as the original without the vibration compensation but i'm not sure you can still get the original one, i'm not sure anyone sells it anymore.
Maybe I'm wrong, but I think the VC version was never made in Pentax mount. The only one appearing on the B&H website is the original one (Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro AF Lens for Pentax AF).
01-17-2017, 01:59 AM   #11
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Actually I just looked and I think you're right the only version is the normal one without the VC.
01-19-2017, 11:43 AM   #12
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I decided to go ahead and buy the 35m f2.4 lens and I have to say my god it's excellent image quality, it rapes the Tamron for image quality, below is a simple test photo of my girlfriend I took earlier and you can see the image quality is fantastic, I also took a photo of her daughter too, and I also converted that one to black and white too.
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-70  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-70  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-70  Photo 
01-19-2017, 12:13 PM   #13
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It's nice to have at least one or two primes. The DA 35 2.4 is nice and sharp and not very large so it's easy to go stealth for street shooting. Be careful though. Once you get hooked on prime lenses it's a fast and slippery slope. You may never go back to zooms again I am speaking from experience. I only have one zoom left and it's the DA*50-135. It's so good I just can't seem to get rid of it.
01-19-2017, 03:12 PM   #14
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Yeah funnily enough I was thinking that exact same thing earlier, that I now love prime lenses SO much but I think later on this year i'm gonna get the Pentax 16-85mm f3.5-5.6 instead of buying a longer focal length prime and wide angle prime lenses because i've read a few reviews on sites like ephotozine etc...that state the 16-85mm lens is excellent and sharp at all focal lengths and aperteurs. I also have a Sigma 70-30mm f3.5-5.6 which has excellent image quality for it's price but i'll be replacing that the end of this year with the Tamrom 70-200mm f2.8 as people i've spoken to say it's a definate upgrade in image quality from the Sigma. I might next year replace the Pentax 35mm f2.4 prime lens I have with either the Pentax DA 35mm f/2.8 Macro Limited or the Pentax SMC-FA 31mm f1.8 AL Limited depending on which has the better image quality.
01-19-2017, 04:35 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by richardstringer Quote
Pentax SMC-FA 31mm f1.8 AL Limited depending on which has the better image quality.
The FA 31 and FA 77 are legendary. I have the FA 31. I don't have the FA 77.....yet

The DA 16-85 is supposed to be a fantastic zoom. I'm thinking of getting that or the DFA 28-105 for my wife as a vacation lens.
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