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03-02-2010, 10:59 PM   #1
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Looking for a general-purpose, bright, fixed f lens

My main lens is currently a SMC-FA 28-105 f4.0-6.3. It gives decent results in bright conditions, but when the sun goes down the problems come up.
Looking for something better, I decided to go for a fixed-f lens, as it seems the best way to get decent zoom without having to worry about brightness decreasing as zoom goes up.
I've had a look around, and it seems the best compromises are in the 28-70 or 28-75mm, f2.8 range.
After a quick eBay search, in this range I can get lenses by Tamron or Sigma.

Sigma has the 28-70 f2.8 EX DG; I can find it for about 270 second-hand, otherwise the same lens goes for 360. But then, the 28-70 f2.8 EX DF costs 280 new. What's the difference between DF and DG? Is there a catch?

Tamron has the SP AF 28-75mm 28-75 f/2.8 f2.8 XR Di LD, which costs approximately 320 shipped from Hong Kong. The 35-108 f2.8 tempts me too; I could use the higher zoom, and I don't think I'd be too bothered by the minimum 35mm. But, it somehow costs less than the 28-75 (about 260). What's the deal?

General opinions and suggestions are appreciated, of course.

03-03-2010, 12:04 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fallingwater Quote
My main lens is currently a SMC-FA 28-105 f4.0-6.3. It gives decent results in bright conditions, but when the sun goes down the problems come up...
Hey there! A year after I bought my K10D I was in a same situation - I was looking for brighter lens, however I had no idea what you can do with fast primes back then.

I ended up with a used Tokina 28-70 2.6~2.8, which is a good lens, however looking back, I think I would be good getting an used F35mm 1:2 instead. Did you consider getting yourself a fast normal prime like that? Sigma 30mm 1:1.4 can work wonders.

Regarding your question about specific models, Tamron 28-75 1:2.8 is generally praised for good image quality ( However I didnt have any of the two )
03-03-2010, 12:23 PM   #3
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There is an FA 28-70mm f4 in the marketplace at the moment. Those are fairly compact lenses. Its almost on par with the the F 35-70mm f3.5-4.5 IQ wise but not quite. But it is wider. Both of these are hard to beat for the money and performance ratio if the focal length range works for you.
03-03-2010, 12:35 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fallingwater Quote
Tamron has the SP AF 28-75mm 28-75 f/2.8 f2.8 XR Di LD, which costs approximately € 320 shipped from Hong Kong. The 35-108 f2.8 tempts me too; I could use the higher zoom, and I don't think I'd be too bothered by the minimum 35mm. But, it somehow costs less than the 28-75 (about €260). What's the deal?
What 35-108/2.8? I've never heard of such a lens, and Google hasn't either (your post here is the only relevant hit)...

03-03-2010, 12:42 PM   #5
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If you want to shoot in those conditions your actually better of buying a tripod.
I honestly don't find that a fast lens will buy me muck longer once the sun starts going down, whereas I can shoot all night when using a good tripod.

Where a fast lens is nice is on a dimly lit room, where your not allowed to use a flash or a tripod.
03-03-2010, 01:14 PM   #6
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Sample from my Tokina zoom

I was bored and got a sample out with my Tokina 28-70 1:2.6~2.8.

Shot in low light, slight PP. Should give you an idea of what you can get out of similar lens.

P.S. Damn I gotto shake dust off the thing more often! Its a good lens.
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03-03-2010, 01:44 PM   #7
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It seems I shoot frequently in low light where a flash is not appropriate, and have acquired several lenses, all of which have their place, including the FA 50mm/1.4, the FA 31mm/1.8, a Sigma 28-70/2.8, and a Tamron 70-200/2.8.

There are times that even the 2.8 is not enough, so the primes and an aperture of 2-2.4 have made the difference. That is on the assumption that the objects are moving and you cannot just solve it with a tripod and a longer exposure.
03-03-2010, 01:51 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
What 35-108/2.8? I've never heard of such a lens, and Google hasn't either (your post here is the only relevant hit)...

An easy guess would say he probably means a Tamron 35-105mm f2.8.

Would love to get one of those .. never seen a AF version in Pentax mount and the Adaptall 2 version is just as rare.

03-04-2010, 09:40 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
What 35-108/2.8? I've never heard of such a lens, and Google hasn't either (your post here is the only relevant hit)...
PentaxForums.com Third-Party Lens Review Database - Adaptall SP 35-105 f 2.8
Yeah, it's -105, not -108. Sorry, my mistake.

It seems to be incredibly rare. I can find a few on eBay, but for Canon and Sony mounts. No Pentax.

As for primes: I already have a 50mm f1.4 that I carry around and break out when things get really dim, but it's not really suitable as a main lens. I really need a zoom of some sort.

I looked for the Tokina on eBay Italia, but got no hits.

So apparently my only choices are the Sigma 28-70 and the Tamron 28-75...
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