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03-25-2010, 06:10 AM   #1
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Can't decide : Tamron 28-75mm or 17-50mm

Hi !

I got my K-x late january and took about 5000 images so far and loving it. Now, I am looking to replace my 18-55mm kit lens. Actually, I already tried the Sigma 17-70mm 2.8-4.5 and although it is a great lens (really is) it wasn't quite fast enough for indoor stuff (for me anyway). I was always hoping for a 2.8...

So both the Tamron were obvious choices. Here is the tricky part. My desire would be a 17-70mm 2.8 but last time I checked, they were none to speak of, right ? I know I could go with the new Sigma of the very nice Pentax 17-70mm SDM, but they don't offer me much improvement over the sigma 17-70mm I had.

Now, I find the Tamron 17-50mm a little short for my indoor needs as I mostly take photos at church gathering and concerts and rarely need the 17-23 range (but off course, I sometimes do need it...) and I feel like I would miss the 50-75mm range. Even though I have a manual 100mm 2.8, 135 3.5, I would like a good all around indoor lens so I don't need to switch lenses all the time.

Then the Tamron 28-75 would offer me a better option at the long end, but I would miss the wide angle. Here is what I am thinking : I could keep my 18-55mm kit lens and use when I really can't make it happen with 28mm. Mostly for group photo and stuff like that I assume.

Also, the tamron 28-75mm is a quite old lens... any chance that it could not be as good as the 17-50mm ?

I am sorta thinking of buying the 28-75 and carry my 18-55mm in case but I would really appreciate your feedback and opinion !
Thanks guys

03-25-2010, 06:15 AM   #2
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While I love the Tamron 28-75 2.8, on aps-c format, I personally find the 17-50 2.8 a much more useful FL range.

There's much greater difference between 17-->28mm than there is 50-->75mm. A slight crop makes up the difference between 50 & 75mm, but you can't crop back from 28mm to 17mm.

My 2c. Both are pretty great lenses.

03-25-2010, 06:25 AM   #3
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appreciate that, you are right for the crop part... That is always an option and considering the lens is supposedly very sharp, cropping shouldn't be to bad.
Thanks for your input
03-25-2010, 07:19 AM   #4
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Another fairly new Kx user here....

I chose the 28-75 because a little zoom is more important for my priority, which is mostly indoor people shots (at home and school). To get candids you need to be able to zoom a little, and it allows me to easily play more with DOF.

I do need to back up quite a bit for large group shots, but it works, and by far the majority of my shots are smaller groups and individuals. I've had it now for just a few weeks, and have used it for student shots for the yearbook (candids and club shots) and a family shower, and 28-75 worked great for me. (Although for Drama Club I was smashed up against the wall to try and get every inch of distance I could to get everyone in......).

I do love all the pictures I see from the 17-50 though, so I'd like to add that one to my kit too!

03-25-2010, 08:26 AM   #5
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17-50 or 16-50 is a very useful focal lens. But people shots are often not very flattering below 25-30mm.

I would have a look at a Sigma 24-70, either with or without SDM. It is supposedly a decent lens, I was considering buying it, but have not so far (lack of funds, plus I have a 16-50).
03-25-2010, 09:01 AM   #6
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I bought the Tamron 28-75 for a couple of reasons. First, I wanted something to go with the excellent 70-200, and I don't have a lot of need to go below 28. Second, the 28-75 is full frame, while the 17-50 would need replaced if Pentax ever gives us a FF option.

Of course, I'm now trying to find a suitable super-wide for those rare instances I need it.
03-25-2010, 09:28 AM   #7
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Yeah, me too I feel like I will be looking for a super wide soon enough.
The full frame argument is something I have heard before and I also agree that it is a big plus. One day pentax will go all in with a 5d II killer camera.... on day !
The sigma 24-70 is quite expansive and I don't know if it is as sharp as the Tamrons ?
By the way, besides all the reviews out there, anyone seeing a real life different between the 17-50mm and the 28-75mm?
thanks to all!
03-25-2010, 09:36 AM   #8
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For me I'd keep the 18-55mm and add the 28-75. You mention indoor shooting a lot and under tough light and higher ISO's cropping may not be an option. It's very different than cropping a shot at low ISO and good light where the details are much sharper and the noise is low.

Then I'd look toward saving for a Sigma 10-20mm or a Pentax 12-24mm. Both would make a great mate to the 28-75mm.

In my kit are the Sigma 10-20mm, Pentax DA*16-50mm and the Tamron 28-75mm. Often the last 2 are each on different bodies to switch back and forth from. The 10-20mm is used less but allows me to have a wide backup to the DA*.

03-25-2010, 09:50 AM   #9
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Really appreciate your input Peter. Very concise, clear and it makes a lot of sense. My gut feeling tells me to go with the 24-75mm, I believe that is what I will do !
Plus, I like the idea of having to justify a 12-24, that would awesome ! haha
03-25-2010, 11:08 AM   #10
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I have both the 17-50 and 28-75--both phenomenal lenses, but my 28-75 is frankly on my camera much more often than my 17-50. I just don't need or use wide angle all that much, and I find the 28-75 a pretty awesome range for family and people shots. Mind you, I did have the kit lens backing up my 28-75 until I sold the kit lens along with an old DSLR, and well, I just had to buy a wide angle walk-around lens to replace the kit, and the 17-50 was it.

Colors, rendering, sharpness, etc. are virtually identical between the two Tamron zooms, so that can at least be removed from the decision. I think you would find the 28-75 to be pretty perfect most of the time, and as long as you had some wide angle solution for the times you'd need it, I think you'd be in good shape. Similar to what Peter suggested, I'd get the 28-75 now, keep the kit lens, and then sell the kit lens down the road after getting a better wide angle solution.
03-25-2010, 12:11 PM   #11
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If I didn't buy the DA 15 Ltd (and by buy I mean wait for it to ship b/c its backordered), I'd have gone with the 17-50. But I have the 28-75 and am sticking with it. It'll be an awesome combo.
03-25-2010, 12:33 PM   #12
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I like the DA 15 LTD idea... not sure my wife does though ! haha...!

On a more serious note, thanks to your input, I decided to go with the Tamron 28-75mm and to keep my 18-55mm for the wide end. Hopefully, as my skills grow and if I can sell a photo or two, I will be able to justify the purchase of a pentax 12-24mm or something !

I'll let you know how my purchase goes ! I might buy it from Prodigital2000 on Evilbay, great price, great service (bought my k-x from them) and 7 years Canadian Warranty... sounds good (plus their aren't too many here on the marketplace).

thanks everyone.
03-25-2010, 06:10 PM   #13
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The Pentax DA 12-24/4 and Tamron 28-75/2.8 is my most common walk around zoom kit. Wonderful pair (and I don't notice the 4 mm gay at all ). Both are sharp and have good contrast. I also like the close focus option on the Tamron, not a macro prime but an excellent capability for a zoom. I highly recommend this lens combination.
03-25-2010, 08:25 PM   #14
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I struggled with this same decision for some time myself. It really comes down to 2 things:

EITHER you need the 17-27mm range more,

OR you need the 51-75mm range more.

I really think it is that simple--I opted for the 17-50, but the wide end is valuable to my hiking hobby, very much so. However, there are times, indoors and with family, when I'd like to have f 2.8 @ 51-75mm. But I have so many other lenses it isn't funny.

Enjoy that awesome 28-75mm!!! Be sure to post some shots for us too.
03-26-2010, 06:06 AM   #15
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JT nailed it on the head. Pick what focal lengths you use most often and get that lens (you already did). I've also got both lenses, the 28-75 was the first lens I bought 6 years ago & I've had the 17-50 for 6 weeks.

I'd be hard pressed to choose between them. Fortunately I don't have to.

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