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08-19-2009, 10:07 AM   #1
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Tamron 17-50 2.8 v. Pentax DA* 16-50

I don't have images to back up my results, nor do I even have the Pentax in my possession anymore. All of my opinions are based on the lenses in title of this thread, on a K200D body (which I'm selling today, as I get my K20d this friday).

Handling:

Pentax: The pros is that Pentax has made an impressive piece of kit. The Hood fits nice and tight, and it comes with a nice cap!. Unfortunately that's all that was impressive. The cons are numerous:
1) It's huge - no one handed self portraits of you and a buddy in front of a scenic landscape unless you actually have delt and forearm muscles:P
2) It's SLOW to focus. Very silent though, which I don't really care about.
3) Absolutely horrible placement of the zoom ring. I have physical recall of the imminent feeling of carpal tunnel as I contort my left hand to zoom, then re-adjust my entire palm to play with the focus.

Tamron: The Pros:
1) I love how thickly banded the zoom ring is, allowing me to place my middle finger and thumb on the zoom band to quickly zoom, and with the focus just in reach of my index finger to quickly manual focus. The zoom action is nicely weighted, and the focus is perfectly weighted for one finger flicks. It's great.
2) Uh, wow, this thing absolutely kills the Pentax DA* 16-50 in the time it takes to focus. Sure it's loud, but I'm not a wedding photographer, so silence wasn't necessary for me.
3) Zoom Creep? There is non so far. The lock button is a nice feature, if a bit chintzy.
4) The pinch lens cap is very nice. Like Pentax pinch nice.
5) It is LIGHT compared to the DA* 16-50, and I have no problems one handing shots.

The Cons:
1) The hood locks into place, but there are gaps between where the hood locks with the camera lens. Cheap.
2) When fully extended, the tamron is long and feels slightly wobby.

Other observations:
When looking through the viewfinder of the Pentax, everything seems darker. The Tamron is quite bright on the otherhand! The weight, the image quality, ergonomics, focus speed, and the price of the Tamron makes it clear to me that i'm very fortunate I didn't settle on the Pentax. As soon as I received the Pentax, I was filled with remorse. It was slow, clumsy, heavy, and i was disappointed by the image quality. It was supposed to be so good that I could replace my primes. Instead, I think the Pentax is overpriced for the performance that it delivers.

I'm not a pro photographer by any means, and I'm genuinely sorry that I don't have pictures to backup my observations, but for those of you on the fence about buying the Tamron 17-50 over the Pentax 16-50 need not feel ANY remorse. The lens is what I imagined the Pentax DA* 16-50 to be: a good walk-around lens that produces images nearly as sharp as my bag full of DA 21, F 28, FA 35 and FA 50. All the primes have been sold, and I don't feel one iota of remorse.

Kudos to Tamron and Prodigital2000 (on ebay) for a spectacular product!

08-19-2009, 10:35 AM   #2
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I too bought my Tamron 17-50mm from Prodigital2000 and I'm very happy with it. It's nice and compact and the image quality is excellet. I sold my DA 21mm Ltd without hesitation after I got the Tamron. No regrets either. I've never touched the pentax 16-50mm so I can't comment on it. I'm sure it has a lot fans of its own. Competition is good though.
08-19-2009, 10:41 AM   #3
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The DA 21 Limited so much fun to shoot with, but the point of me buying the Tamron was to replace all my little primes
08-19-2009, 11:15 AM   #4
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Weathersealing on the 16-50mm is nice, but CA is pretty bad wide open compared to the Tamron, surprisingly. I still have both, but in the end I think I will sell the Tamron.

08-19-2009, 11:31 AM   #5
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Not surprisingly, the Tamron SP 28-75/2.8 & 17-50/2.8 are their hallmark designs and really brought Tamron back from death. Optically, the Tokina/Pentax 16-50/2.8 are pretty much the most inferior 2.8 zooms on the market.
08-19-2009, 11:40 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by parkpy Quote
I don't have images to back up my results, nor do I even have the Pentax in my possession anymore. All of my opinions are based on the lenses in title of this thread, on a K200D body (which I'm selling today, as I get my K20d this friday).

Handling:

Pentax: The pros is that Pentax has made an impressive piece of kit. The Hood fits nice and tight, and it comes with a nice cap!. Unfortunately that's all that was impressive. The cons are numerous:
1) It's huge - no one handed self portraits of you and a buddy in front of a scenic landscape unless you actually have delt and forearm muscles:P
2) It's SLOW to focus. Very silent though, which I don't really care about.
3) Absolutely horrible placement of the zoom ring. I have physical recall of the imminent feeling of carpal tunnel as I contort my left hand to zoom, then re-adjust my entire palm to play with the focus.

Tamron: The Pros:
1) I love how thickly banded the zoom ring is, allowing me to place my middle finger and thumb on the zoom band to quickly zoom, and with the focus just in reach of my index finger to quickly manual focus. The zoom action is nicely weighted, and the focus is perfectly weighted for one finger flicks. It's great.
2) Uh, wow, this thing absolutely kills the Pentax DA* 16-50 in the time it takes to focus. Sure it's loud, but I'm not a wedding photographer, so silence wasn't necessary for me.
3) Zoom Creep? There is non so far. The lock button is a nice feature, if a bit chintzy.
4) The pinch lens cap is very nice. Like Pentax pinch nice.
5) It is LIGHT compared to the DA* 16-50, and I have no problems one handing shots.

The Cons:
1) The hood locks into place, but there are gaps between where the hood locks with the camera lens. Cheap.
2) When fully extended, the tamron is long and feels slightly wobby.

Other observations:
When looking through the viewfinder of the Pentax, everything seems darker. The Tamron is quite bright on the otherhand! The weight, the image quality, ergonomics, focus speed, and the price of the Tamron makes it clear to me that i'm very fortunate I didn't settle on the Pentax. As soon as I received the Pentax, I was filled with remorse. It was slow, clumsy, heavy, and i was disappointed by the image quality. It was supposed to be so good that I could replace my primes. Instead, I think the Pentax is overpriced for the performance that it delivers.

I'm not a pro photographer by any means, and I'm genuinely sorry that I don't have pictures to backup my observations, but for those of you on the fence about buying the Tamron 17-50 over the Pentax 16-50 need not feel ANY remorse. The lens is what I imagined the Pentax DA* 16-50 to be: a good walk-around lens that produces images nearly as sharp as my bag full of DA 21, F 28, FA 35 and FA 50. All the primes have been sold, and I don't feel one iota of remorse.

Kudos to Tamron and Prodigital2000 (on ebay) for a spectacular product!
.

I just bought my Tamron 170-50 from prodigital last week (for Nikon mount.)

I have to agree, it's an impressive lens, but so was the DA* 16-50 I used to own.

I wonder if you may have had a bad copy of the 16-50...

Anyway, here's Tamron imagery:


50mm f/2.8 40% crop:



17mm f/8:




Same position, same subject, 17mm f/8 followed by 50mm f/8






17mm

08-19-2009, 11:42 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
Not surprisingly, the Tamron SP 28-75/2.8 & 17-50/2.8 are their hallmark designs and really brought Tamron back from death. Optically, the Tokina/Pentax 16-50/2.8 are pretty much the most inferior 2.8 zooms on the market.
.


Completely disagree, I still probably prefer my old copy of the DA* 16-50 2.8
over my Tamron, as much as I like the Tamron.

The Tokina 16-50 seems to maintain a better rep among Nikonians, also, over the
Tamron.
08-19-2009, 03:08 PM   #8
Ash
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What evidence do you have to back up this claim, Alan?
Haven't heard that before, and certainly couldn't vouch for it from the results I get from this lens.
Although I've never tried the Tamron 17-50, I've never felt lacking for image pop with the 16-50.

08-20-2009, 05:48 AM   #9
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I've both. To me, I like the build of 16-50. You can feel the quality by just holding it, and just inspire confidence.

When I hold the 17-50, light weight and the build feel a bit on the cheap side.

AF speed to me on a K7 feels about the same in low light condition. That's just my unscientific finding.

Both lenses are sharp. Again, I don't look too much to the corner sharpness, just in general if the focus point is sharp, I'm happy.

I also like the 16mm POV better than 17mm, just a bit wider, but feels like a lot more possibilities to shoot.

Anyway, I'm still deciding whether to keep the tamron or just list it on the market.
08-20-2009, 06:15 AM   #10
RaduA
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
Not surprisingly, the Tamron SP 28-75/2.8 & 17-50/2.8 are their hallmark designs and really brought Tamron back from death. Optically, the Tokina/Pentax 16-50/2.8 are pretty much the most inferior 2.8 zooms on the market.
QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
What evidence do you have to back up this claim, Alan?
Haven't heard that before, and certainly couldn't vouch for it from the results I get from this lens.
Although I've never tried the Tamron 17-50, I've never felt lacking for image pop with the 16-50.
Hi, Ash!

This guy is a Rice High with less motivation and persistence but in the rest the resemblance is striking. They were both Pentax users (and now Canon first and foremost), they both had a bad experience in the past with Pentax that left them bitter and scared for life and also they both have basically no modern Pentax gear (after FAs). Oh, they also have a K-m mostly because they can't find the heart of paying some real money to Pentax for a K-7 and also know deep down that replacing the Pentax lenses with Canon equivalents would be a more costly proposition than they can afford. Look at his history of postings here and on dpreview (in the Pentax section at least) and you'll see the pattern crystal clear: almost all his messages are just wise cracks about how bad Pentax is, no proof, no need to either . Like RH this guy tests the gear for 10 minutes in a store and talks about things he knows little to nothing about.

Ignore him, I bet it is hard to be a RH wannabee.

Regards,
Radu
08-20-2009, 07:51 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by RaduA Quote
Hi, Ash!

This guy is a Rice High with less motivation and persistence but in the rest the resemblance is striking. They were both Pentax users (and now Canon first and foremost), they both had a bad experience in the past with Pentax that left them bitter and scared for life and also they both have basically no modern Pentax gear (after FAs). Oh, they also have a K-m mostly because they can't find the heart of paying some real money to Pentax for a K-7 and also know deep down that replacing the Pentax lenses with Canon equivalents would be a more costly proposition than they can afford. Look at his history of postings here and on dpreview (in the Pentax section at least) and you'll see the pattern crystal clear: almost all his messages are just wise cracks about how bad Pentax is, no proof, no need to either . Like RH this guy tests the gear for 10 minutes in a store and talks about things he knows little to nothing about.

Ignore him, I bet it is hard to be a RH wannabee.

Regards,
Radu
Nice story, if that makes you feel better.
08-20-2009, 08:38 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
Nice story, if that makes you feel better.
This story is based on real events, no names of people and brands were altered because it was not necessary. My "story" is based on hard facts, your gear is in the profile (on dpreview the Canon gear also) and your history of postings available to all.

It's not a matter of me feeling better or worse since my level of *I don't care about you one way or another* is close to infinite anyway. It also isn't about you using Canon or whatever other brand either like many people here who somehow manage to talk about Pentax based on facts (and not necessarily positive all the time)!. It's all about you being a shallow, phony and most of all an useless and annoying presence here and on the dpreview as well. You deliver one line punch lines, wise cracks and empty ignorance based on your I don't know how many years ago bad experience with Pentax.

Move on, be happy with Canon or whatever and stop be a pesky bitter man talking about things you don't know!

Now, be a sport and say to this forum what is your hands on experience with 1x-5x zooms on Pentax since you said couple of posts above that DA*16-50 is "the most inferior 2.8 zooms on the market"?

Radu
08-20-2009, 09:31 AM   #13
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The 16-50 is a very fine lens. I cannot comprehend the negative statements of some. It is a zoom lens, it is sharp AND has nice bokeh, which is quite unusual. It's rendering appeals to my eye very much, which is not possible to make objective. What is objective I guess is that the build quality is superb, and it handles really well.

I had the Tamron for a few days and returned it, because at the wide end it didn't focus correctly, and no AF adjustment could cure it. I am glad about it, because the Pentax is a different league (better). One big thing which is often overlooked is the manual focus override which is very handy if you want the camera to focus again. Sometimes I know that the focus is off, then I just turn the focus ring to throw the lens out of focus so that it refocusses again.

So, you get weather sealing, 1mm more wide, better build, manual focus override for a little more money. The Pentax is actually quite cheap compared to other lenses of this type.

Bottom line: I would go for the Pentax.
08-20-2009, 09:57 AM   #14
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Tamron 17-50

I am not here to take sides, just to give my opinion of the Tammy--I never shot with the Pentax. The Tamron has been an awesome addition to my K20. It focuses very quickly, even in very low light. I take the lens & K20 above tree-line, in the Presidential range of NH, in January--conditions sometimes have wind chill factors minus 20 degrees--never had a problem with the camera or lens. Here are a few shots from last week in the soul-watering beauty of fantastic Vermont! I apologize for the spot (water on lens' filter) on one of the shots.

Last edited by Jewelltrail; 09-25-2009 at 09:25 AM.
08-21-2009, 02:36 PM   #15
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the tamron 17-50 looks impressive! shame the 16-50 still has issues with the QC, SDM.
anyone knows pentax's new lens map? maybe a 16-50 Version II with better RING type motors?

i wish
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