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11-15-2008, 12:46 PM   #1
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Need recommendations on my kit (75/25 portrait/landscape)

I need some help with my current lens kit. I'm more into portrait photography now, though on occasion I will do landscapes. Here's my current kit:

Tamron 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3
FA 35mm f/2
FA 50mm f/1.4
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 II HSM
Asahi Pentax M42 135mm f/3.5

I'm thinking of selling the 135mm (since it's covered by my Sigma) and the FA 35mm and getting the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8.

I want a wide-angle zoom for more interesting angles in portrait photography. The 18-250mm fills the bill, but a faster and sharper wider-angle zoom would be nice, and I have the 70-200mm for regular shots.

After getting the 70-200mm, I rarely use the 35mm or the 50mm. The 50mm might be worth keeping at least for now, but I would essentially exchange the 35mm for the 17-50mm.

What do you guys think?

11-15-2008, 01:47 PM   #2
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I love my Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR LD Di II It is the crispist of my lenses I think, and is great for landscapes. I would say that the FA 50mm f/1.4 or a DA 77 limited would be a great afforable portrait lens.
11-15-2008, 02:07 PM   #3
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It definitely won't hurt you to hang on to that 50, as it's speed will definitely be a benefit for available light photography.

I don't have the 17-50 myself, but from what I gather, it's definitely no slouch. I've got the DA16-45/4, which I like pretty well, but if I decided that I needed faster that f4, then the 17-50 would be getting some serious consideration.

Heather
11-15-2008, 02:33 PM   #4
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I too, love my 17-50...on my K10. I just got my K20 and am not impressed with the Tammy on the K20, yet. I think I will need to adjust the focus on that lens, but haven't yet.

I also have the 50mm f/1.4 and rarely use it, but will never get rid of it.

The 17-50 has just enough distortion at 17mm to give an interesting look without the over the top look of a fish eye(not that I don't enjoy a good distortion photo).

11-15-2008, 02:50 PM   #5
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Good advice in the previous replies, but if portraiture is your main interest you might consider getting the Tamron SP 28-75/2.8, as it covers just about all the focal lengths you usually need for this. IMO the Tammy 17-50/2.8, while a fine general purpose lens, is a tad too short at maximum extension.

Regards, Jim
11-15-2008, 02:54 PM   #6
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Jamesk has a good point. I often wish I had a little more reach, but my makeshift studio is in tight quarters, so 28mm is just not wide enough most of the time with family portraits.
I also shoot a lot of car shows and I really need the extra zoom at the short end.
11-15-2008, 03:54 PM   #7
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Original Poster
Thanks for all the replies. Sounds like the Tamron 17-50mm is what I need. I can cover the longer end with the 70-200mm, and I'd just be missing the 50-70mm range, which I think is fine by me.

I guess no one thinks the FA 35mm shouldn't be traded for the 17-50mm?
11-15-2008, 04:24 PM   #8
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I don't have any experience with the 35mm, but have considered it or a 28mm. Sometimes, the "fiddy" is a little long for me. Again, I have a limited space problem indoors.

11-15-2008, 04:30 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jamesk8752 Quote
Good advice in the previous replies, but if portraiture is your main interest you might consider getting the Tamron SP 28-75/2.8, as it covers just about all the focal lengths you usually need for this. IMO the Tammy 17-50/2.8, while a fine general purpose lens, is a tad too short at maximum extension.

Regards, Jim
You make a very good point. I recently "re-discovered" my old FA 28-75/2.8 and since then, it is my most used lens for environmental portraits/informal shots. The reach at the long end is much more important, than a wider angle, at least for me. I have used my 18-50/2.8 for a while, but always felt it too short...

Ben
11-15-2008, 04:33 PM   #10
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if you don't use a lens, get rid of it
that's my personally philosophy at least, no need to hold on to things you think you will use in the future
not to say the FA35 isn't bad, but i'd rather have the 17-50
11-15-2008, 04:36 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by krypticide Quote
Thanks for all the replies. Sounds like the Tamron 17-50mm is what I need. I can cover the longer end with the 70-200mm, and I'd just be missing the 50-70mm range, which I think is fine by me.

I guess no one thinks the FA 35mm shouldn't be traded for the 17-50mm?
I think you are missing the most important focal lengthes that way.

As you asked for some comment on the 35/2: I would not sell it. It is small, very sharp - indeed sharper than my 31mm Limited - and fast. A very useful little lens, which I personally would not part with. Its performance rivals the 50/1.4 but gives a "normal" angle of view on the K10/K20 etc., which we all forgot to a degree, as we use zooms day in day out. In fact I have deliberately taken out this lens for a whole day of photography, without any fallback (aka zooms) and was very happy with the results. It is simply sharper than a zoom, and then it is tiny, which can be of advantage at times.

Ben
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