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01-22-2010, 01:10 PM   #1
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DA*16-50, Tamron 17-50 2.8, or Sigma 18-50 2.8 for Weddings

I have previously owned a DA*16-50 2.8, which I really enjoyed. I sold all of my gear to move to Nikon and now I am back in Pentax land with a new K7. What I am wondering is which of the above mentioned lenses (Pentax, Sigma, or Tamron) would be best for weddings. I am worried about the Pentax with regard to the SDM, worried about the Sigma (due to lack of internal focusing motor and weather sealing), and am now leaning toward the Tamron due to price/performance. I could use the extra money toward a Sigma 70-200 and an extra body. Any opinions from members who have made this same decision or have shot weddings with the above lenses? Thanks,

Eric

01-22-2010, 01:28 PM   #2
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I pretty much had to ask myself the same question 1 year ago.
I asked people to show off their 17-50 and 16-50 pictures. A good lens, either one of them, will give you excellent results it seems:
Decision phase II, color rendering/bokeh 16-50 vs. 17-50: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

The Tamron is cheaper, but I do like the silence of SDM, and the wide end of 16mm.

I do not think you can go wrong with either one. There are a lot of proponents of the Sigma, but 18 is a little too narrow for a standard lens.
01-22-2010, 01:54 PM   #3
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I have the Tamron 17-50 - no regrets, awesome performance and build for the price, but it is soft wide open, and quite loud because of screw drive - and lacks full-time manual.

If you are willing to take the risk on the SDM, the 16-50 is a superior lens in just about every way.
01-22-2010, 01:59 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by efkelly Quote
I have previously owned a DA*16-50 2.8, which I really enjoyed. I sold all of my gear to move to Nikon and now I am back in Pentax land with a new K7. What I am wondering is which of the above mentioned lenses (Pentax, Sigma, or Tamron) would be best for weddings. I am worried about the Pentax with regard to the SDM, worried about the Sigma (due to lack of internal focusing motor and weather sealing), and am now leaning toward the Tamron due to price/performance. I could use the extra money toward a Sigma 70-200 and an extra body. Any opinions from members who have made this same decision or have shot weddings with the above lenses? Thanks,

Eric
The Tamron 17-50 is the sharpest (edge to edge) wide zoom lens for a Pentax mount that I have ever owned. (And I have owned the 16-50 as well) If you don't believe me, photozone has shown how sharp the Tamron is wide open, edge to edge. The 16-50 is sharp in the middle, but is on the verge of a "poor" rating on the edges. (Plus, if you want to chance the SDM thing, that is up to you)


Last edited by PentaxPoke; 01-22-2010 at 03:08 PM.
01-22-2010, 02:03 PM   #5
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While I love my DA*16-50, I think the idea of being able to afford a 70-200 lens and an extra body trumps everything else. You absolutely need a spare body if you're going to do weddings and they should (ideally) be the same body. I am leaning more and more towards Tamron. The iq is pretty stunning. I worry, though, about build quality (the same goes for Sigma, IMHO).
01-22-2010, 02:13 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by potatolicious Quote
I have the Tamron 17-50 - no regrets, awesome performance and build for the price, but it is soft wide open, and quite loud because of screw drive - and lacks full-time manual.

If you are willing to take the risk on the SDM, the 16-50 is a superior lens in just about every way.
I'd suggest checking your AF calibration on the 17-50mm. Mine's sharp from f/2.8.
01-22-2010, 02:24 PM   #7
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I have the DA* 16-50, and no regrets from me either.
I don't doubt the 17-50 is great too for this application, so take your pick - but if you want to save yourself from all the SDM headaches, the 17-50 won't have such issues (although it may have others )

I also have the Tamron 70-200 and it too is a fine lens for weddings - again, no regrets there but it did have to go back for repair soon after purchase for a sticky aperture lever. A top lens optically nonetheless.
01-23-2010, 12:40 PM   #8
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QuoteQuote:
potatolicious: I have the Tamron 17-50 - no regrets, awesome performance and build for the price, but it is soft wide open, and quite loud because of screw drive - and lacks full-time manual.

My Tammy 17-50mm is splendid wide open--amazingly sharp. you should have your copy looked at.


QuoteQuote:
potatolicious: If you are willing to take the risk on the SDM, the 16-50 is a superior lens in just about every way.
I think you need to re-read the specs on these two lenses. The Tamron outperforms the Pentax in most categories. BTW, the Tamron has a 6-year Warranty, which is an amazing comfort factor. Pair this with the stress-inducing effects of the words Pentax SDM, and, well.....need I say anything more. Check out Photozone--read, read, read!!!

There are more than 150 owner's reviews of the Tamron here:

FM Reviews - AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF]

01-23-2010, 01:01 PM   #9
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I agree with Jewell.

Back when I had the Tamron, as well as the 16-50, I started a couple of threads with pics. They may be helpful in your decision. I'm sorry I can't comment on the Sigma because I have never owned one:

wanna-see-how-sharp-tamron-17-50-wide-open.html

tamron-17-50-vs-da*16-50-throwdown.html
01-23-2010, 08:05 PM   #10
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Here is the Tamron wide open--no post processing, just converted and downsized Raw--did not even adjust WB, which needs a tweak.

Last edited by Jewelltrail; 02-27-2010 at 01:25 AM.
01-24-2010, 02:05 PM   #11
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Thanks everybody. I just decided to go with the tamron 17-50. I got it off prodigital2000 (on e-bay) for 389 with free shipping. I'll post some pics when I receive it. Thanks again,

Eric
01-24-2010, 03:12 PM   #12
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QuoteQuote:
EFKelly: Thanks everybody. I just decided to go with the tamron 17-50. I got it off prodigital2000 (on e-bay) for 389 with free shipping. I'll post some pics when I receive it. Thanks again,
Eric

Eric, that really is a great price for that lens--awesome deal. I paid $440 for it almost 2 years ago, and the lens has gone up a bit since. I wish you the best with the lens--you are going to love it. It is my most used lens by far. Best!

I have a question for you: What is this prodigital I hear so much about? How come their prices seems so awesome? Can anyone buy from them? Where do I find them? Thanks. Ernest
01-24-2010, 04:06 PM   #13
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Prodigital 2000 is a Canadian ebay company that sells a variety of camera equipment, including Pentax stuff. They use to be amazingly cheap, but since Pentax's price rise they are about the same as every one else, but as mentioned above, they have some Tamron's on their clearance rack. Here.
01-24-2010, 04:11 PM   #14
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I've looked through the prodigital2000 threads -- couldn't really figure out if there any hidden fees or issues in buying from them to the USA.

Anybody know if there is any brokerage fees charged by UPS to the USA?

And if the 7 year Mac warranty is legit (and if those warranties are any good)?
01-24-2010, 07:00 PM   #15
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Tamron 17-50mm

But why rule out Sigma? Tamron has no weather sealing either. Sigma makes quite a few lenses with internal HSM focusing motors now for Pentax, but not the 18-50mm sadly, but it is still an excellent lens IMHO, but the Tamron is a better choice IQ wise. .
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