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01-09-2010, 01:11 AM   #1
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Tamron 90mm Macro vs DA*50-135

Has anyone owned both of these? OR one or the other? I really like my DA*50-135, but I'm really into nice prime lenses. And was thinking I might 'mentally' work better with a telephoto prime for my applications. I am hoping this lens would compliment my setup of:

Sigma 30mm F1.4
DA*55 F1.4

So, came across the Tamron 90mm Macro F2.8. Reviews some really really good, and doesn't look to suffer from PF or CA's (unlike the FA77?). Also, I REALLY like the 135mm focal length on full frame, which is about 90mm or so. FA*85 is way too expensive. Would be curious to know what people think of the Tamron in comparison to the DA*50-135

One thing I really like about the Tamron 90mm is the focus limiter option. The SDM on the DA*50-135 is okay but I heard (and correct me if I'm wrong) the Tamron 90mm is faster? Maybe with the limiter on?

My application for this lens would be event, weddings, engagement, portraits and general walk around as well.


Last edited by dugrant153; 01-09-2010 at 01:40 AM.
01-09-2010, 03:46 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by dugrant153 Quote
Has anyone owned both of these? OR one or the other?
I have the Tamron.

QuoteQuote:
One thing I really like about the Tamron 90mm is the focus limiter option. The SDM on the DA*50-135 is okay but I heard (and correct me if I'm wrong) the Tamron 90mm is faster? Maybe with the limiter on?
With the limiter on, it hunts on the K20D in a way similar to the following:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xskO4KH-Jes
Here's the hunt with the limiter switch off:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAWzr7BCCsU

In the field, the lock-on speed depends on the camera body and the light, obviously.

The lens is relatively small and light--and to me it's pretty despite all the plastic.

One weird thing you shouldn't worry about when you buy it is that there is a small ping/rattle when the aperture lever is moved--and Tamron claims it's there by design.
01-09-2010, 04:07 AM   #3
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Take a look at the Sigma 70mm f2.8 macro.
I have the Tamron 90mm and the D-FA 100mm but since getting the Sigma I have not used either. Saying that I wouldn't get rid of my 50-135mm just because of it.
01-09-2010, 11:24 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by asdf Quote
I have the Tamron.



With the limiter on, it hunts on the K20D in a way similar to the following:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xskO4KH-Jes
Here's the hunt with the limiter switch off:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAWzr7BCCsU

In the field, the lock-on speed depends on the camera body and the light, obviously.

The lens is relatively small and light--and to me it's pretty despite all the plastic.

One weird thing you shouldn't worry about when you buy it is that there is a small ping/rattle when the aperture lever is moved--and Tamron claims it's there by design.
Thanks for those videos. I figure any autofocus system will call it quits with inadequate contrast. The limiter makes a HUGE difference!


QuoteQuote:
Take a look at the Sigma 70mm f2.8 macro.
I had the DA 70 F2.4 limited for a while but I found the focal length didn't really work for me. A lot of people have recommended the Sigma

01-09-2010, 12:24 PM   #5
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I had both at the same time, and decided that with the Tamron 90mm (and the 70-200 ), I didn't need the 50-135. I think the 90mm prime would do for all the long shooting I did with the 50-135 (since 135mm never seemed long enough for me anyway), but you'll have to change lenses for the short end. If you shoot sports or events / weddings / etc., I'd say you'd have to keep the zoom ...
01-09-2010, 12:58 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by heliphoto Quote
If you shoot sports or events / weddings / etc., I'd say you'd have to keep the zoom ...
Around my parts, a K20D body is cheaper than DA* 50-135. So you can go with two bodies.
01-09-2010, 01:55 PM   #7
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haha... well, I have a K10D and a K20D specifically for this. It's a lot cheaper than changing brands (yikes!! $$$$$). My current load out is

k10D - Sigma 30mm F1.4 + Pentax DA21 Ltd F3.2 (for wide angle)

k20D - DA*55 F1.4 + DA*50-135.

I've shot a few events with prime lenses and for me it's perfectly fine as long as they are fast enough (and as long as I'm fast enough when I go with a two camera setup!).

Having a lighter lens would be great too. I mean, that's what Pentax is about, right?
01-09-2010, 02:19 PM   #8
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I shoot with the Tammy 90mm in doors, a lot--it is a great lens. Of course, I find it even more useful with Macro work--which is its main design purpose. The focus limiter does perform well with potraits. IQ is excellent in either application and owners are generally thrilled with it.

01-09-2010, 02:21 PM   #9
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I owned both before I sold the 50-135. The Tamron is faster at focusing, and it is a true 1:1 macro.
01-09-2010, 04:26 PM   #10
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Jon, still haven't decided on a telephoto prime? oh well, why not try the FA100/2.8 ? it's an excellent telephoto and would give you the focal length that you need. I'm still contemplating of whether to sell my copy or not.
01-09-2010, 05:37 PM   #11
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naw, I kinda decided (at the time) to stick with the DA*50-135. But SDM and the desire to use a prime for the focal length has me thinking of maybe the Tamron.

I like the focus limiter on the Tamron. I don't believe the FA100 F2.8 has that? OH! oops. just did some research. Yes it does... hmm....

Last edited by dugrant153; 01-09-2010 at 05:44 PM.
01-09-2010, 05:44 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by dugrant153 Quote
naw, I kinda decided (at the time) to stick with the DA*50-135. But SDM and the desire to use a prime for the focal length has me thinking of maybe the Tamron.

I like the focus limiter on the Tamron. I don't believe the FA100 F2.8 has that?
it has a focus limiter switch. trust me !
01-09-2010, 06:04 PM   #13
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I have/had both. They are both amazing. I can't see any IQ differences between them but I can tell you that both of them take stunning images. I also didn't notice a difference in focusing speed too. The focus limiter help in the Tamron when doing portrait...One thing I noticed is that the DOF was still thin (with low apertures) when the focus is out of the macro zone in comparison to the DA*. It helps to buy it if you have some interest in doing macro work too. As for the DA* 50-135mm, if you have the money for it and you don't care about the extra weight and the fact that it's a zoom, I'll say go for it. You won't regret buying either one when it comes to quality.
01-09-2010, 08:20 PM   #14
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I currently own both. IMHO, the 50-135 is a superior lens, especially for portrait and indoor sport/action. Yes, the Tamron focuses faster, but the 50-135 is more flexible and the build quality is superior. For portrait work, the 50-135 has better colors than the Tamron and is almost as good as the... DA 70.
01-09-2010, 08:21 PM   #15
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I have both. Each a great lens in it's own right but recently, I've found that unless I need 1:1 macro, I'll always use the DA*. What I want to do is swap the Tammy for a Sigma 180mm macro or Pentax 200mm macro to fill a hole in my lens line up and get greater macro reach.
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