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01-18-2010, 05:36 AM   #1
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New Lens: Prime or Zoom?

Hi there!

I'm thinking about getting a good wide angle lens. I definitely want an autofocus lens, and I'm considering getting the SMC Pentax-FA 28mm F2.8 AL, the SMC Pentax-F 28mm F2.8, or another good 28mm or 24mm lens. I want specifically those focal lenghts as that's what I normally use and because I think I can get something like this in the price range I want to spend, between 200 and 250$.
I want it to be prime because I'm looking for sharpness and color rendition, and I know those have very good qualifications in that field.

My doubts come when I've seen very good reviews for the Tamron AF 17-50mm f/2.8 SP XR Di II LD Aspherical, on which is mentioned that this lens have really good sharpness and color rendition. This lens is slightly above my price range, but I wonder if the sharpness of this lens is equal to that on the prime 28mm when using the same focal. If that was the case, or very similar, then I'll get the Tamron giving the fact that it offers me more than the prime in relation.

What do you think? Do you believe the sharpness of the Tamron at 28mm is equal, or very similar, to that on a 28mm prime?

Thanks everyone for your help.

01-18-2010, 07:17 AM   #2
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Can't fully answer your question, but I thought I'd put in my 2 cents.

I have a FA28/2.8 and a 21/3.2 ltd. For the past year or so, I've been toying with picking up a Tamron17-50, to get something on the wider end, and still retain the speed. Haven't done it yet, largely because of the size. I'm usually carrying my 50-135 mounted on my K10D with grip, and the 28 & 21 tucked in separate pouches in my bag. Getting the (much bigger) 17-50 would force me to review my carrying system.

(plus, I really like being able to grab my small DS with the 21 or 28 or 50 mounted for a compact system).

I have no idea how the 28/2.8 compares to the 17-50 in terms of image quality. The FA28/2.8 is good to my eyes.

Just food for thought.
01-18-2010, 07:39 AM   #3
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I cant say about the sharpness of the Tamron vs FA 28mm but given both are f2.8
it will be the choice of range against size/weight /price
My vote is on the tamron 17-50 2.8
01-18-2010, 08:33 AM   #4
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My vote would be for the Tamron 17-50mm as well. I love this lens. And frankly, it is smaller and lighter than you might think it would be.

01-18-2010, 08:47 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone,

I see the balance is falling on the side of the Tamron. Now, is it significantly sharper and better in general than the Pentax 18-55 kit lens that comes with the K10D to justify the 300$?. I know the Tamron is significantly faster than the Pentax, but it's the sharpness what I'm really looking for.

Does the sharpness of the Tamron compare to what we can see with a Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 50mm f1.4?
01-18-2010, 08:49 AM   #6
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What body will you be using? What other lenses do you own?

My first purchases (after the kit lens that came with my first DSLR body) were primes. I might have gone for a fast 28mm (wide normal on aps/c) if I hadn't had one from the film days already. Though I use zooms, I tend to value weight, lens speed and quality (less a factor with zooms, today) over the inconvenience of zooming with my feet.
01-18-2010, 09:14 AM   #7
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I own a K10D, and I'm a lover of the old Takumars. I have Super-Multi-Coated versions of the 50mm f1.4, 135mm f3.5 and 100mm f4 macro. Apart of those, I have the 18-55mm kit lens, a Sigma 70-300mm and a Tamron 18-250mm.

So far, I've used mostly the Tamron 18-250mm for daily and trip photos, and the Takumars for creative photography. What I'm looking for is a lens to carry more frequently, and more on the wide angle range, with which I can obtain the quality that I do with the Takumars, but having automatic focus so I can basically "point and shoot".

Again, thanks everyone for your advice!
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