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06-20-2007, 04:58 AM   #1
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Tamron 70-300 Di Ld Vs Pentax SMC FA-J 75-300

need a recommendations for my pentax k100d
"Tamron 70-300 Di Ld or Pentax SMC FA-J 75-300"


help pls

thx

06-20-2007, 05:20 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by senjakala Quote
need a recommendations for my pentax k100d
"Tamron 70-300 Di Ld or Pentax SMC FA-J 75-300"


help pls

thx
i have the tamron.
pros:
lightweight, extremely sharp, vivid colours, creamy bokeh, macro
cons:
purple fringing (CA) in *very* contrasty areas (e.g. reflecting metal in bright sunlight), front element rotates

overall:
excellent lens for the price; if you are aware of CA in certain situations you will avoid these situations. when it comes to sharpness, this is one of my absolute favourites. on my photo-site (sternbild.zenfolio.com -> "lens tests") you'll find some test shots taken with the tamron. on the *other* forum you could do a search for the tamron - you'll find numerous sample pictures. i can't speak for the fa-j lens as i don't have one.

Last edited by stern; 06-20-2007 at 09:09 AM.
06-20-2007, 07:58 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by senjakala Quote
need a recommendations for my pentax k100d
"Tamron 70-300 Di Ld or Pentax SMC FA-J 75-300"

You can't go far wrong either way, but after comparison, I decided on the Tamron myself.

I bought the Pentax 75-300 first. Liked it. Then I read a few things about the Tamron 70-300 - and in the meantime I had also picked up another Tamron lens. So I bought the Tamron 70-300 and did a bit of shooting with both lenses (it and the Pentax counterpart).

Ended up selling the Pentax.

For me it wasn't really a matter of the basic quality of the photos that I took with each lens. They're both quite decent lenses, and both are reasonably priced. But if I recall correctly (you can double-check this for yourself), the Pentax lens does not claim any macro capability, while the Tamron lens does. And I like Tamron's lens caps better. Seriously. Tamron lens caps can be grabbed in the middle. This makes them MUCH easier to take off and put on while the lens is wearing a hood.

Will
06-20-2007, 02:18 PM   #4
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I have the Pentax FAJ 75-300 and have been using it for a few months. I am not familiar with the Tamron mentioned, but IMO the Pentax disappoints me a little. I have found it to be rather soft at the long end.
I did a test of exactly the same shot with this lens and the DA 50-200 ( both lens at 200mm) and the difference was remarkable in sharpness and clarity.
Personally I would'nt recommend the 75-300 as a long lens but Ok at the shorter end.
I'm thinking of selling it for something better ( Prime perhaps?).

06-20-2007, 02:58 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
For me it wasn't really a matter of the basic quality of the photos that I took with each lens.
Erm...
QuoteQuote:
And I like Tamron's lens caps better. Seriously.
Erm...

Please forgive my linguistic inadequacies. I'm from England.

Please explain...
06-20-2007, 03:53 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisA Quote
Erm...

Erm...

Please forgive my linguistic inadequacies. I'm from England.

Please explain...

I sense skepticism. Or worse.

Re my comment, "For me it wasn't really a matter of the basic quality of the photos that I took with each lens," I'm not sure what's unclear about it. I readily admit that I'm not a pixel detective. But I don't see a huge difference in acuity or much else between this picture of a pelican coming in for a landing, and this picture of a red-wing blackbird. Both were taken at 300mm, which I suspect we would all agree is probably not the sweet spot for either lens - although the ability to go to 300 is why I purchased both lenses, so performance at that focal length does matter. For the record, the blackbird was shot with the Tamron; the pelican, with the Pentax.

As for my comment about lens caps, again, I'm not sure what was unclear about it. I said,

QuoteQuote:
I like Tamron's lens caps better. Seriously. Tamron lens caps can be grabbed in the middle. This makes them MUCH easier to take off and put on while the lens is wearing a hood.
Seems clear to me. Pentax and Sigma lens caps have to be squeezed from the outside to be released. If the cap is on the lens, and the lens also has a hood on, it's a bit awkward for me to get my big hands to the outside edge of the lens to squeeze it and take it off. With the Tamron lens caps, it's just a matter of poking my finger around to the middle of the lens cap and pinching.

Not sure why anyone would suspect me of this confusion, but again, for the record let me say that I am aware that the lens cap has nothing to do with the quality of the lens. My point was simply that, if two lenses seem about equal in quality, and cost about the same, why not buy the one with nicer lens caps?

In sum, anyone looking for a decent zoom lens that goes to 300mm and doesn't cost an arm and a leg may find either of these lenses satisfactory.

But I believe that I did point out one difference: the Tamron has a macro capability that (if I recall correctly) the Pentax lens doesn't claim.

Will
06-20-2007, 05:19 PM   #7
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@all

thx for the opinions
06-21-2007, 10:31 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
As for my comment about lens caps, again, I'm not sure what was unclear about it.
Will, you said "hood". Over "there" a hood is a bonnet or boot, I forget. Perhaps "shade" is correct?

Oh, you can buy a Tamron cap for your other lenses. At least the 12-24 has a Tamron-like cap - or is that "cover"?

06-21-2007, 11:03 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
Will, you said "hood". Over "there" a hood is a bonnet or boot, I forget. Perhaps "shade" is correct?
Oh, okay, thanks for the tip. I wasn't aware that it wasn't called a hood in British English. Anyway, this is the kind of thing I'm talking about - notice the two reviews there. Apparently I'm not unique in my appreciation for the Tamron design.

Again, has NOTHING whatsoever to do with whether the lens itself is good optically.

Will
06-22-2007, 03:02 PM   #10
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I have been using my girlfriend's Tamron 70-300, seem to be nice lens, lightweight and not too big. I like the macro capability (it really can deliver *) and certainly picture quality, though purple fringing can be a real issue... I have shot of white pelican under the trees (in shade) and there the fringing is reeeaaaaly obvious, but if you can avoid so contrasty situations, then the lens is excelent, the only other drawback is that front element is rotating while focusing, so using filters will be bit harder...

*if you don't mind having lens extended to at least 180mm - camera shake can become a bit of an issue
06-24-2007, 07:21 PM   #11
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Any experiences with the (somewhat more expensive - $219 from B&H) Sigma 70-300 f/4-5.6 APO DG?

I'm almost surely ordering the Pentax 50-200 (from everything I've read it's a no-brainer and I should have bought it with my K10D last week for the extra $50 in rebates from the combo deal), but am considering also ordering something in addition to cover the longer lens ranges. Due to the incredible overlap I've been seriously considering just a 70-300 lens, but given everything good I've heard about the 50-200's image quality I'm thinking I should get that at least and then maybe something else.

Or does anyone have any other suggestions for a lens to cover just the 200-300mm range (and possibly longer) with an aperture competitive to the 70-300? (i.e. no teleconverter) (Edit: 300mm prime would be just fine, the chances of me wanting something in between 200 and 300 are unlikely.)

Last edited by Entropy; 06-24-2007 at 07:33 PM.
06-24-2007, 09:13 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Entropy Quote
I'm almost surely ordering the Pentax 50-200 (from everything I've read it's a no-brainer and I should have bought it with my K10D last week for the extra $50 in rebates from the combo deal), but am considering also ordering something in addition to cover the longer lens ranges. Due to the incredible overlap I've been seriously considering just a 70-300 lens, but given everything good I've heard about the 50-200's image quality I'm thinking I should get that at least and then maybe something else.

Or does anyone have any other suggestions for a lens to cover just the 200-300mm range (and possibly longer) with an aperture competitive to the 70-300? (i.e. no teleconverter) (Edit: 300mm prime would be just fine, the chances of me wanting something in between 200 and 300 are unlikely.)
The really hard part about buying lenses is that no two photographers really want or need the same lenses. You have to figure out what kind of shooting you want or like to do, and try to end up with the lenses that match your style or shooting predilections, as well as your pocketbook. Unfortunately, finding those lenses may involve some experimentation, because until you actually HAVE a lens and can try it, you won't really know whether it's right for you or not. It's not enough for someone to tell you that this or that is a great lens. I think the Pentax 16-45 is the best quality lens in my bag. It's also the lens that I use least often.

My experience, for what it's worth: The Pentax 50-200 was the first lens I purchased (after getting the 18-55 kit lens with my K100D). I bought it because it was affordable and everybody said it was great. I did take some photos with it that I was pleased with.

But I ended up selling both the 50-200 and the 18-55 and replacing them with the Tamron 18-200; and I've now replaced THAT with a Tamron 18-250. It wasn't that the Pentax lenses were bad or worse than the Tamron - although I don't think they were better, either. For me the problem was mainly that the ranges of the lenses didn't suit my shooting style. I shoot a lot in the 30-80 range. With the kit lens, I found myself constantly wanting to get just a little more reach; with the 50-200, I found myself frequently wanting a little wider view. Upshot was that I was changing lenses more than I thought advisable or desirable.

Now, I keep a Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 on the camera most of the time; and if I go outside, I switch to the 18-250, which is my most versatile lenses. (Went to the zoo today: that was a job for the 18-250.) I have the Pentax D FA 50 f/1.4 and the Pentax 16-45 for special uses (although the latter is pretty versatile, too, if the light's good). But for the majority of my own shooting, the 28-75 and 18-250 serve very well.

But your needs are likely to be very different.

Will
06-24-2007, 11:22 PM   #13
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I have the sigma and its very cheap for the range you get but I dont think its very good. Its fine < 135mm, just ok at 200 and pretty bad at 300mm.

Of course you get what you pay for, so for the price its still an ok buy.... but if you want to use it at 300mm then you better be prepared for some PP. Most notably hte contrast is no good unless you really stop way down and your pictures will look very flat because of that. But with some hefty curves action and a lot of USM you can get something decent out of it.

But, the competing alternative to this lens is the Tamron 70-300 and I have no doubt whatsoever that the Tamron is a better lens, in fact from the shots I have seen of it, it appears to be in a completely different league.

So I think the Tamron 70-300 is a good choice if you want a zoom in that range.

If you dont need the extra 100mm then I think the Pentax 50-200 seems a great buy like other have pointed out.

And finally, as Will so correctly is pointing out, its also a question of what range is usefull for you. People are so different a lens that can be one persons favorite and most used lens can be the dust collector of another person, since that person doesnt prefer to take shots in the range that the lens provides.

QuoteOriginally posted by Entropy Quote
Any experiences with the (somewhat more expensive - $219 from B&H) Sigma 70-300 f/4-5.6 APO DG?

I'm almost surely ordering the Pentax 50-200 (from everything I've read it's a no-brainer and I should have bought it with my K10D last week for the extra $50 in rebates from the combo deal), but am considering also ordering something in addition to cover the longer lens ranges. Due to the incredible overlap I've been seriously considering just a 70-300 lens, but given everything good I've heard about the 50-200's image quality I'm thinking I should get that at least and then maybe something else.

Or does anyone have any other suggestions for a lens to cover just the 200-300mm range (and possibly longer) with an aperture competitive to the 70-300? (i.e. no teleconverter) (Edit: 300mm prime would be just fine, the chances of me wanting something in between 200 and 300 are unlikely.)
06-25-2007, 07:30 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by and Quote
I have the sigma and its very cheap for the range you get but I dont think its very good. Its fine < 135mm, just ok at 200 and pretty bad at 300mm.

Of course you get what you pay for, so for the price its still an ok buy.... but if you want to use it at 300mm then you better be prepared for some PP. Most notably hte contrast is no good unless you really stop way down and your pictures will look very flat because of that. But with some hefty curves action and a lot of USM you can get something decent out of it.

But, the competing alternative to this lens is the Tamron 70-300 and I have no doubt whatsoever that the Tamron is a better lens, in fact from the shots I have seen of it, it appears to be in a completely different league.

So I think the Tamron 70-300 is a good choice if you want a zoom in that range.

If you dont need the extra 100mm then I think the Pentax 50-200 seems a great buy like other have pointed out.

And finally, as Will so correctly is pointing out, its also a question of what range is usefull for you. People are so different a lens that can be one persons favorite and most used lens can be the dust collector of another person, since that person doesnt prefer to take shots in the range that the lens provides.
In general I'm more interested in the 70-300 range, but there's the issue of image quality - from what I've seen the Tamron has the best IQ of the 70-300 offerings but it has its own issues.

Your description of the Sigma (was it the lower end DG or the higher end APO DG) sounds exactly like my first-gen Sigma 28-200 - After my experiences with that I'm not touching a superzoom lens (although newer versions are probably far better) - the Sigma I have now has utterly no contrast whatsoever. (Why do I have it? That's what my family's old PZ-70 used. I thought we were just accidentally overexposing everything, but now I'm positive that it's the lens.) In general everything I've heard has indicated that while the superzooms like the 18-250 are convenient, they sacrifice image quality.

Looks like I'm going to go for the 50-200 and a flash unit and hold off on any other lenses for now. While I'd like a longer lens, there's not much point if the image quality leaves much to be desired. I might eventually go for a Russian Rubinar 300/4.5 mirror - from what I've heard, unlike many of the cheaper 500/8 mirrors, the Rubinars (whether 300/4.5 or 500/8) are actually quite good quality if you can accept the donut bokeh, which from the pictures I've seen I don't really mind.
06-26-2007, 12:09 AM   #15
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I have the APO DG version.

Well its my impression that the Tamron 70-300 is not too bad. And of course we have to remember these lenses are really cheap, I didnt pay a lot for mine so we cant really expect that much.

The 50-200 is also very cheap but seems to do a better job since it more realistically stops at 200mm. I believe pentax has a 70-300 on the roadmap but god knows when that will be out...
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