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03-23-2010, 03:46 PM   #1
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DA* 50-135 -vs- Tamron 70-200 f/2.8

Just curious if anyone has had both of these lens and one time or another and how you would compare them.

I've read the reviews here on both.

Is the extra reach @ f/2.8 worth giving up the wx sealing and SDM?

03-24-2010, 10:42 AM   #2
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Guess no one has owned both or has an opinion.
03-24-2010, 12:20 PM   #3
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I used to own the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8, and I currently own a DA* 50-135.

The Tamron is really loud, and when I say so I mean it. Optically the Tamron is really sharp, I would say that it's on par with the DA*, the Tamron might be a little sharper wide-open if you pixel-peep it out, but they're both good wide-open.

The thing I like about the 70-200 is the minimal focusing distance is much closer than the 50-135 although the focal length is longer. It actually has the smallest length from subject to lens out of all the 70-200s if I remembered correctly, they really aren't kidding when they put the word Macro on there, although it's not true 1:1.

The weather-sealing on the DA* 50-135 is a huge plus and is one of the major factors that play in me selling my Tamron 70-200. I've never used my DA*'s in the rain before, but it'something about the weather-sealing that makes me more comfortable of using my lens outside.

The build quality of both are equally the same in terms of feel. Just because Tamron is known to make cheaper build doesn't mean you should disregard this as the same, the 70-200 is definitely a quality lens, the best I've used from Tamron and is equivalent in quality to my DA*'s except weather-sealing.

As far as autofocusing goes, I don't know about with any other bodies, but the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 is really fast on the K-7. Some people say that the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 hunts too much in low-light but I don't agree, it may hunt just a tiny bit on the K-7 but it is by no means as bad as everyone claims it to be. It is much quicker than the DA* 50-135 but the 50-135 seems to lock focus a little better in low-light. I have a video showing the AF speed of the Tamron 70-200 below.

The weight on the DA* 50-135 feels significantly lighter on my K-7 than the Tamron, I really don't know what the weight differences is but the Tamron is supposed to be the lightest out of all the 70-200's and wow does it feel heavy on my K-7 compared to the DA* 50-135.

03-24-2010, 04:02 PM   #4
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Jsherman if i remember correctly loved his Tamron 70-200mm but still thought the DA 50-135mm was better.... but not by much.

03-24-2010, 04:15 PM   #5
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The ranges are *different*, but whether the 70-200 or 50-135 suits you better depends on your shooting style. You need to examine you own focal length preferences to see this for yourself. My usage is such that I'd find the 50-135 far more useful than the 70-200, because I'm much more likely to want to shoot wider than 70 than I am longer than 135. Plus the 50-135 is quite a bit smaller and lighter. So it would be a no-brainer choice for me. But someone else who routinely shoots longer than 135 and doesn't mind the larger size might find the 70-200 the obvious choice.
03-25-2010, 12:52 AM   #6
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At a brief point in time I owned both lenses, but never had enough time to compare the two side-by-side because a sale was pending on the DA*. I liked the DA* 50-135 for its optical quality, weather sealing and smooth zoom action, but I felt like I needed the extra reach at f/2.8. The Tamron 70-200 is a lot bigger, heavier and noisier than the DA*. My arms never got tired shooting with the DA* but with the Tamron I get a bit of fatigue sometimes during long shoots. The AF noise isn't really disruptive, even when I shoot quiet events, and I actually like to hear the aural feedback from the AF system. However, the lack of quick-shift and slightly clunky AF clutch on the Tamron makes the transition between AF and MF impractical. Optical quality is on par with the DA* but with the benefit that it can also be used on my Super Program. I don't shoot in very bad weather, but I think the Tamron, being non-extending, should be fine in light drizzles if I'm ever caught shooting in one.

So to answer your question: Yes, the f/2.8 @ 200mm is a great photographic asset, but that also depends on how much you use/need it. I personally don't miss weather-sealing, and being rid of SDM lets me breathe a sigh of relief without the fear of Suddenly Dead Motor. Tamron's 6-year warranty makes it an even safer bet!

Here's a photo comparing their relative sizes with hood attached FYI
03-25-2010, 03:58 AM   #7
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As Marc says, the real question is what focal length will work best for you. 50-135 is quite a bit wider than 70-200, it is also quite a bit shorter. I think both are great optically, but the range of the 50-135 worked better for me. Oh, and I have shot in the rain and the DA* lenses hold up great.
03-25-2010, 09:06 AM   #8
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Thanks guys,

Good information. Just what I was looking for.



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