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03-10-2009, 01:25 PM   #1
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Pentax 16-45 vs Tamron 17-50/2.8

I am looking for a good al around lens. Good portriat, landscape, lowlight and Macro if i am not getting to greedy. I have heard great things about both these lenses but nothing to say anything against one or the other. Any feedback from anyone that shoots either or both?

03-10-2009, 01:46 PM   #2
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I think for your requirements you need to go with the Tamron. I used to own the 16-45, fantastic lens. I also owned the Tamron 28-75 (many say it is comparable in quality to the 17-50) and it was excellent as well.

Anywho, for portrait and lowlight the step up to the speed of the f2.8 is a big difference. Not sure one gets closer than the other for macro (but neither are true macro), and the extra 10mm on the Tamron will help with portraiture. For landscape you'll usually be stopping down the lens, so that's a wash between the two.

Todd
03-10-2009, 03:01 PM   #3
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I think you may be asking too much. You are pretty much asking for a lens that will do everything except long telephoto.

I don't think there is such a thing as a perfect lens for both landscapes and portraits. Good portrait lenses are generally above 50mm while landscape lenses are usually wide angle.

The 16-45mm is a great lens for landscape work but probably not that useable for portraits, as the angle is a bit wide even at 45mm.

I would agree with gnaztee...the Tamron 28-75mm is more of an all-around lens. It's good quality as well.
03-10-2009, 04:05 PM   #4
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How about the SIgma 17-70mm macro.

Wide, portrait and semi macro all in one.

03-10-2009, 08:54 PM   #5
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I'm currently liking and recommending Pentax DA 17-70/4 SDM. I also own DA 16-45/4 though I suspect I won't be using it much now.

For me, I wanted this to be a do-it-all social/travel/walkaround zoom. I've found in the past that 45-60 just isn't long enough for portraits for me--ideally I'd like 80-90mm but 70 is a fair compromise. When I want better/faster I'll use primes.

That being said, this is a business of tradeoffs. All these lenses are approximately the same size/weight, all are capable of approximately 4:1 magnification/close focus (close enough for flowers but perhaps not bugs), and the cost difference is not huge.

Cheapest are the 16-45 and Sigma 17-70. The 16-45 has the least reach but the widest wide. The Sigma is a little larger (72mm filter), and is f/4.5 at the long end. 16-45 has a slightly odd design where it extends at the short end of the zoom, exacerbating compatibility with the built-in flash (though I imagine all these lenses due to their largish sizes can cast shadows from the flash in some situations).

The Pentax lenses offer quick-shift focusing, while the Sigma and Tamron do not. One thing that bugs me a bit about Sigma is that their zoom & focus rings turn the opposite direction from Pentax--not a big deal I guess if its your only lens but nearly all my lenses are Pentax, and the one Sigma I own (24-60/2.8) is backwards from my perspective.

I don't own the Tamron so don't have a lot to say other than that it's up to you to decide which is more important, f/2.8 speed or reach to 70mm. From what I've read about this lens on Canon & Nikon, it's also a good lens that is competitive with the others I've mentioned here.

The DA17-70/4 is the most expensive of this group but I personally think it's worth it. I like the silent and fast SDM focusing, and it covers the most common range that I'm likely to use for general-purpose walkaround (film equiv, ~27-105), and does it all pretty well. I prefer that the lens is constant f/4 rather than f/2.8-4.5 like the Sigma--the Pentax is faster at the part of the zoom where you really want it to be faster. I also think the build quality of the Pentax 17-70 is a step up from the 16-45 (which isn't terrible either).
03-10-2009, 10:39 PM   #6
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QuoteQuote:
robcap13
4 Pentax 16-45 vs Tamron 17-50/2.8

I am looking for a good al around lens. Good portriat, landscape, lowlight and Macro if i am not getting to greedy. I have heard great things about both these lenses but nothing to say anything against one or the other. Any feedback from anyone that shoots either or both?
Both of these lenses are excellent lenses and they are graciously priced as well. For landscape, either one will make you happy. Neither the Tammy, nor the Pentax do Macro, but the Tammy's MFD is .27m & the Penny is .28m.

For Portrait, the extra reach of the Tamron is a plus, but not real significant. For lowlight though, the larger (f 2.8) aperture of the Tammy is a big plus and one of the main reasons why the lens is more money than the Penny.

I think, if lowlight is your thing in this purchase, and these are the two lenses from which you will select, the Tamron is the better choice. I bought the Tamron for my K20d back in April of 2008 and am very happy. Here is a shot with the Tammy at close, but not closest focus. Best of luck.
ISO 100---f 4.5--/180th--50mm

Last edited by Jewelltrail; 09-25-2009 at 09:04 AM.
03-10-2009, 10:44 PM   #7
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Moved to SLR lens section
03-11-2009, 01:29 AM   #8
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100% crop, Sigma 18-50 mentioned a few posts north. Pentax K10D. Good lens, really stable quality imho.




Last edited by Zewrak; 03-11-2009 at 01:35 AM.
03-11-2009, 01:47 AM   #9
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In my opinion and based on personal experience, I'd choose the Tamron 17-50.

Jason
03-11-2009, 01:51 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by robcap13 Quote
I am looking for a good al around lens. Good portriat, landscape, lowlight and Macro if i am not getting to greedy. I have heard great things about both these lenses but nothing to say anything against one or the other. Any feedback from anyone that shoots either or both?
Since most so far have been advertising their favorite lenses instead of actually answering your question, I'm going to jump in (and likewise not answer your question ) : Buy a DA 17-70 f/4 SDM and you're going to think you're using a slightly different camera system, in a good way. After using manual focus lenses for a while, it was difficult for me to return to the screw driven AF ones. Also, DA 17-70 f/4 SDM focuses fast for an SDM lens.

Also, I keep suggesting on every other thread the very good manual focus zoom SMC-A 35-105 f/3.5 (Manual Focus Forum / PENTAX SMC-A 35-105 F/3.5). Although, it may not be wide enough for you.
03-11-2009, 05:34 AM   #11
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I usually use my 50-135mm as a portrait lens, but this time I pulled the shot below with my 12-24mm.

03-11-2009, 07:32 AM   #12
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PDO, that 12-24mm looks amazing when used as a portrait lens. Love the different perspective that it gives to the traditional portrait look.
03-11-2009, 09:07 AM   #13
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The best things about the Tamron lens is that it is fast and sharp. I've used it professionally for the past 9 months shooting events. It's good for that.
I don't recommend it for more artistic uses though, as the color is a bit off to me when compared with Pentax lenses. I also don't really like its rendering of depth and texture all that much. But for non-critical shots of people doing things it is very valuable and reasonably priced.
The Pentax DA I do not own, but have seen plenty of sweet pictures. The focal range is about the same and is useful. The relatively slower f 4 only matters in some contexts, especially if you cannot use a flash. As with most Pentax lenses, the color rendering is excellent.
Your requirements are pretty challenging for a single lens.
Actually, I would recommend the 35mm Limited Macro. It is my current favorite and I use it for landscape, portrait (it is pretty easy to soften skin once you learn the software), street shooting, and a bit of macro here and there. The sharpness, and more importantly the rendering of texture and subtleties of light is remarkable. Quite small and lightweight.

M
03-11-2009, 09:51 AM   #14
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Between the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 and Pentax 16-45 f/4 for landscapes, portraits and low light the Tamron would be the choice hands down. Landscapes 16 vs 17 is not drastic. f/2.8 will answer your low light and portraits needs more than F/4. Finally, 50mm (75mm) for portraits is a common well used focal length.

I had the Tamron on a Nikon camera and it's contrast and color rendering is excellent. Probably the best constant f/2.8 standard zoom for the money.
03-11-2009, 08:29 PM   #15
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QuoteQuote:
ajuett: I had the Tamron on a Nikon camera and it's contrast and color rendering is excellent. Probably the best constant f/2.8 standard zoom for the money.

I like the color and contrast a lot too. At f 2.8, you can notice a slight drop in color and contrast, but it is more than made up for as you stop down.
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