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01-22-2018, 03:00 PM   #1
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Pentax DA* 60-250 vs. Tamron 70-200 on FF (K1) which one would you pick?

Having read the article about how to modify a Pentax DA* 60-250 for full frame makes me think about the 60-250mm again.

My first choice for shooting people at events/in the street has been the Tamron 70-200mm 2.8 - at least after switching from APS-C to FF. The 50-135mm 2.8 was my no. 1 weapon for this purpose before the Tamron replaced it.

Now that there seems to be a third option I'm wondering whether it'll make sense to replace the Tamron with the Pentax 60-250mm again.
Which one of those two lenses would you opt for using it on full frame (and for which reason?).


Last edited by zeitlos; 01-22-2018 at 03:18 PM.
01-22-2018, 03:26 PM   #2
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DA* 60-250
pros: extra reach, weather sealed, 110g lighter
cons: SDM, 1 stop slower, need to modify for FF

It's a tough choice! I have the Pentax 70-200, and can't see myself replacing it with anything for many years. I believe the Tamron is pretty good too. I don't think I'd be replacing it unless there was some significant way in which it failed to meet my requirements.
01-22-2018, 03:28 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Difficult to answer this, depends on what your priorities are.
I have both lenses and use them both on a K1 and a K3 - the 60-250 is unmodified, so does exhibit a degree of vignetting on the K1. As I crop most of my pictures to a 5:7 ratio, I can live with the vignetting.

The advantage of the 60-250 is the WR- this and the 28-105 and a FA35 F2 is my default FF kit if the weather is iffy. However, the Tamron 70-200 is really sharp, even on the K1 and the AF, whilst noisy, is probably more consistent than the DA* lens. The extra stop is useful for subject isolation too, so unless WR is a priority, I'd stick with the Tamron.
01-22-2018, 05:47 PM - 1 Like   #4
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I have both lenses, the K-1, and the K3. They are different lenses. My 60-250 is modified and I designed the replacement baffle used in the Homepage article. The 60-250 is just a joy to use. Smaller, more compact, and of course weather sealed. The Tamron is about the most compact 70-200 f2.8 lens there is. The Tamron also has a closer MFD than the 60-250, although the 60-250 is not terrible either. For low light shooting or action shots, I go for the Tamron. I think for portraits I would favor the Tamron as well. For a two lens kit I grab the DFA 28-105 and the 60-250. All weather sealed and ready to go. If I had to pick between the two it would be a very hard choice indeed. I think it would end up being the Tamron for the extra stop and closer MFD. I feel everyone should have a 70-200 f2.8 lens if possible.

01-22-2018, 07:04 PM - 1 Like   #5
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I had both and stuck with the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8
01-22-2018, 07:06 PM   #6
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I also have both lens , and I use K-1.

Please note that if you use K-1, the AF speed of Tamron AF 70-200mm will not be slower than than 60-250mm SDM.

For quality, I use the modily version of 60-250mm on K-1, I think, it is generally above average for Pentax lens , I can rate 85 for the whole 60-250mm range , F4 aperture is no different with other aperture value, like F5.6 and F8.

For Tamron , the best point is it can focus very close and I will rate 90 for 70-200mm range , and the lens is good at 70mm F2.8 , but at 200mm , you need to stop down to F3.2 for usable image quality. I wonder why this lens is so strange. It just disappointed me on 200mm F2.8.
01-23-2018, 06:13 AM   #7
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Thank you a lot for your answers! Helps me a lot. Tendency seems clear: most people opt for the Tamron (or both if possible ).

I'm trying to minimize weight and size, but probably the 60-250mm isn't that much smaller and lighter, I assume.

Loved my 50-135mm 2.8 and try to get anywhere close to it. I already had the Pentax 70-200mm 2.8 for a short time but it was way to big/heavy for my purpose (travel photography). The Tamron is okay, but well, I'm spoilt by my former 50-135mm .

Seems as if the Tamron is the best option on the market then. Followed by the Pentax 60-250.
01-24-2018, 06:15 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
DA* 60-250
pros: extra reach, weather sealed, 110g lighter
cons: SDM, 1 stop slower, need to modify for FF
Other pros: better image quality (better at F4 than the Tamron at F4), more compact, silent AF, better foot design
Other con : extends when zooming

Having tested/reviewed the Pentax and Tamron 70-200, and owning the 60-250, the choice is obvious for me : the modified 60-250 is by far the most interesting package. the Pentax 70-200 is the best optically, closely followed by the 60-250, but the smaller package and lower price make the 60-250 a better choice for me.

01-24-2018, 08:02 AM   #9
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Thanks for your opinion! Interesting.

I still cannot really assess how huge the difference might be in Size when you compare those two lenses (Tamron 70-200/Pentax 60-250). Maybe anyone who has both of them could publish some pictures? Would be of great help!

Thanks a lot for your support.
01-24-2018, 08:33 AM   #10
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I have considered the Tamron for years but never pulled the trigger. It's a really good lens, but so is the 60-250. For me, it's all about the weight. I rarely shoot at ƒ2.8, and ƒ4 does not degrade AF the way ƒ6.3 lenses do. To me, carrying around the weight of an ƒ2.8 lens for what I'd get out of would be crazy. But then, if you were a fan of the 50-135 then obviously you see things differently.

As for pseudo macro and macro "close focusing", the 60-250 and 100 macro in a bag, still weigh less than any 2.8 70-200.

I'm always hesitant to offer advice to folks who shoot ƒ2.8 glass in zooms. I have 2.8 glass in 35, 40, 50, 70, 90, 100, 200 and 300mm. But not one 2.8 zoom so I'm obviously operating under a different mindset.
01-24-2018, 11:14 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I have considered the Tamron for years but never pulled the trigger. It's a really good lens, but so is the 60-250. For me, it's all about the weight.
Besides size, this is also an important factor for me. But is the Pentax really that much lighter?

Tamron: 1320 g
Pentax: 1040g (36.7 oz.) without hood 1120g (39.5 oz.) with hood, 1.230 g with hood and tripod adapter.


I suppose that the Tamron is 1320 including the hood and the tripod adapter?
01-24-2018, 03:03 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by zeitlos Quote
Besides size, this is also an important factor for me. But is the Pentax really that much lighter?

Tamron: 1320 g
Pentax: 1040g (36.7 oz.) without hood 1120g (39.5 oz.) with hood, 1.230 g with hood and tripod adapter.


I suppose that the Tamron is 1320 including the hood and the tripod adapter?
Considering I often leave the 60-250 home and take the DA*200 2.8 and 1.4 TC, which is another half a pound lighter, a whole pound lighter than the Tamron.... ya, that's a lot.

It's not about the just the lenses, the whole package just gets to be too much. At some point you're taking too much weight and anything you add to the camera bag is "over the top."
01-24-2018, 05:40 PM - 3 Likes   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by zeitlos Quote
Besides size, this is also an important factor for me. But is the Pentax really that much lighter?

Tamron: 1320 g
Pentax: 1040g (36.7 oz.) without hood 1120g (39.5 oz.) with hood, 1.230 g with hood and tripod adapter.


I suppose that the Tamron is 1320 including the hood and the tripod adapter?
Awhile ago another Forum member asked about size difference in lenses. I posted these photos of some various lenses. The Tamron 70-200 and 60-250 are second and third from the right. Fully extended the 60-250 is slightly longer than the Tamron. Overall the 60-250 is lighter and more compact. It fits better in a camera bag. However when I really need the extra stop, and there are times I do, the Tamron goes. If size and weight are a major concern than the 60-250 is definitely the way to go.

From left to right;
Sigma 50-500 OS HSM, this lens has become to heavy to carry.
Tokina 400mm 5.6, lightweight and compact but best IQ is at f11.
HD DA55-300 WR, This and the 18-135 where my all around kit.
DA*60-250, my K-1 all around kit and the DFA 28-105.
Tamron 70-200, my sports, action, and close up lens.
DA 18-55, sits in a drawer and never comes out.


01-25-2018, 05:53 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by zeitlos Quote
I still cannot really assess how huge the difference might be in Size when you compare those two lenses (Tamron 70-200/Pentax 60-250). Maybe anyone who has both of them could publish some pictures? Would be of great help!
The Pentax/Tamron 70-200 review will help you:

HD Pentax-D FA* 70-200mm F2.8 ED DC AW Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews

In particular this page:

HD Pentax-D FA* 70-200mm F2.8 ED DC AW Review - Construction and Handling | PentaxForums.com Reviews
01-25-2018, 07:20 AM   #15
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Thank you both for the link and the pictures!
So the difference isn't tremendous but noticeable. Really depends on what one wants to shot. I sometimes use the 70-200mm when shooting people in churches, which means that light conditions aren't always that favorable. Maybe my 135mm 2.8 could be a suitable replacement?
When shooting at daylight out on the street the 60-250mm Pentax should be good alternative. Stoping down to f4 isn't that much of a problem then...

Still weighing pros and cons.
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