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08-25-2008, 06:35 AM   #1
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18-50 f2.8 lenses... need opinions

I am about to upgrade my 18-50 kit lens and at this point am looking at 3 lenses...


My first choice right now is: the TAMRON 17-50MM DI-II F2.8... (seems like the best value for price). From the onoine reviews I saw there seem to be very few complaints on this lens.

Second choice is the Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC... It's in the same price range as the Tamron, but seems to have more complaints about CA than the tammy...

Third choice would be the Pentax DA*16-50, but getting a good one is so hit and miss, and Pentax service in Canada sucks so... well... Plus I'll be ordering it online (Montreal Camera store prices are WAY too high) so I won't have an easy way to exchange it. At nearly twice the price of the Tamron and Sigma, I'm not sure it's worth the high risk of getting a lemon.


Any opinions?

Pat

08-25-2008, 07:13 AM   #2
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Sigma 18-50 is decent, although i think the new MACRO model is better. PopPhoto really liked that one, and the Tamron has been well received on other mounts.

however all 3 lessons have somewhat of a bad rep for bad QC so try to buy locally if possible

checkout photozone for technical reviews and the popphoto site for some generic blurbs
08-25-2008, 08:43 AM   #3
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I think Tamron has the edge over Sigma. If you decide to get it check out the price at Canada Camera (dot) com. Their prices are pretty comparable to USA prices if you consider that they have very low shipping fees. And if you have to return it and get a replacement, it is easier.
08-25-2008, 12:55 PM   #4
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k100d ... For the Sigma, I'm definetly looking at the newer Macro version! Looks good to me

Stratario ... I'm ordering from a Canadian supplier for sure... it's just that the brick and mortar photo stores in Montreal generally have insane prices. I like to order from Henrys as 90% of the times their prices are better than here, shipping is nearly free, no PST and I can always drive up to Ottawa if I need a little face to face with someone

Pat

08-25-2008, 06:15 PM   #5
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Hmmm the more I read reviews on the new sigma macro, the more I like it... it seems to be quite a hit!

Pat
08-26-2008, 04:34 AM   #6
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bump... nobody else has the Tamron or Sigma?

Pat
08-26-2008, 05:29 AM   #7
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I bought the Sigma 18-50 EX Macro, and it's a very good lens. The only negative about it, is the internal reflections with bright light sources outside or inside the frame.

Mike

Last edited by wavecurrent; 09-07-2008 at 02:48 AM.
08-26-2008, 12:45 PM   #8
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Hi

I have the Tamron & to be honest it is very rarely of my camera. I shoot mainly rock concerts so needed a 2.8. Like you I didn't want to risk buying the Pentax & ending up with a lemon.

My band pics can be seen at www.garystafford.co.uk . My gig photos are without flash & usually ISO800 on Samsung GX20.

Regards

Gary

08-26-2008, 12:54 PM   #9
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Wavecurrent ... How bad are those internal reflections on the Sigma lens? It's pretty well the only "bad" comment I've been hearing about the lens (and some say it's soft between 2.8 and 4, but most of the 2.8 pics I've seen were quite acceptable!)

Cabstar ... Holy cow, those are some pretty decent band pictures! The photos shot at 2.8 are something else! Thats seriously making me lean back towards the Tamron. How is the tamron reflections wise?

Pat
08-26-2008, 07:00 PM   #10
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My Sigma Macro is great

It's not a prime but it doesn't come off my K10D unless I pull a prime out of my bag.

The photo is from the Island of Vieques off the coast of PR this summer.

Last edited by joelovotti; 12-20-2010 at 04:23 PM.
08-26-2008, 08:54 PM   #11
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Well, I bought the Tammy 17-50mm as my K20s first companion--I am delighted with the purchase. There is some barrel distortion @ 17mm, so I avoid 17 if it is going to negatively affect anything I'm shooting wide. Also, with the hood on, and only with it on, and shooting wide open in low light I have encountered vignetting. So the hood is usually packed away unless there is serious cause to take it along.

I have not had any CA issues with the lens yet--5 months of shooting. The lens is sharp. I did not need to make any AF adjustments with the K20.

Being an avid hiker, I really would have loved the sealed Penny. But after weighing everything, I felt there really was only one choice for me. Best of luck to you.
08-26-2008, 09:54 PM   #12
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I have both the Tamron 17-50 and the DA*16-50. Finally after 3 tries I got a useable 16-50. The interesting thing that I am finding is that the Tamron is sharper across the entire field of view than the DA*16-50, at f/2.8 That really surprises me. The Tamron is obviously less expensive, and doesn't cause a shadow when used with the built in flash. When I get some time, I am going to do some more head to head tests. The only advantage I really see to the DA* is the weather sealing. The SDM doesn't do much for me because I don't think Pentax screw drives are too noisy anyway, and SDM certainly isn't any faster.

My results are consistent with the photozone tests of the Tamron and the Tokina (same as DA*16-50 optically).
Tamron on Nikon mount
Tamron AF 17-50mm f/2.8 SP XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF] (Nikon) - Test Report / Review
Tokina on Nikon mount:
Tokina AF 16-50mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX (Nikon) - Lens Test Report / Review

Last edited by PentaxPoke; 08-26-2008 at 10:06 PM.
08-27-2008, 02:10 AM   #13
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I have Sigma 18-50/2.8 Macro. I've bought it half-year ago new for 12000 rubles (~$510) (DA*16-50 costs 30000 (~$1280) rubles in Russia). It is so great!!!!
It provides EXcelent quality.

But there are two... I don't want call them minuses...
1) Petal type blend, when reversed can be easily removed. And it usually self-dismounts while camera is in a bag
2) Zoom self-extends under its weight. (But on the other hand it is quite smooth and easy to use)

Again. Remember 80-20 joke - For 20% of money you can buy 80% of quality, but for 20% quality left you have to pay 80% of money
08-27-2008, 02:47 AM   #14
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I've got a similar decision to make...

I really fancy the DA* 16-50 (16mm and weather sealing...), and I'm not worried about the bad copies - I can buy locally for a good price and possible return would not be a problem.
But the price, when compared to the 3rd party lenses...

Both Sigma an Tamron are internal focus - so AF speed should be OK, I think? I've had no opportunity to try/compare them on the K10D yet.

Sigma seems to be a bit better built - Tamron looks more... plasticky IMHO.

And another plus for Sigma - close focus. If it behaves, of course... I don't expect the quality of a dedicated macro lens but is it usable?
08-27-2008, 04:44 AM   #15
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Hmmm I think I made my decision and am going to go with the Tamron!

joelovotti ... Nice pic!

Jewelltrail ... I guess I would expect a little vignetting at 17mm with any lens with a hood on.

Zebooka ... You are SO right about the 80/20% thing!

ixian ... I guess I pretty well made up my mind and am going with the Tamron.

Seeing the image quality and satisfaction of the Tamron and Sigma owners, I figure both lenses are practically equivalent. I am quite impressed with their quality, and am not willing to take the chance to get a nasty lemon with a DA*.

I'm ordering a Tamron this afternoon, and I'll let ya all know what I think of it when it arrives!

Thanks for everyones input!

Pat
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