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03-28-2010, 11:47 AM   #1

Join Date: Nov 2008
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DA*50-135mm vs cheap 70-300mm: radical comparision

This might sound like a stupid question to compare a premium $1000 lens with a cheap $100 lens, so excuse me for my ignorance. I really need some help.

I have Tamron 70-300mm Di and been very happy with it. It is f4 till 120mm and f4.5 till 220mm. Results looks good to me but again I am not a pro and 'good looking' result may be just from my eyes. I heard good praise for DA*50-135mm and itching to buy one (or sigma 50-150mm).

I was wondering, how much better DA*50-135mm is compared to my Tamron 70-300mm (or similar lens). DA*50-135 is only a +1 stop faster, so speed does not appear to be an advantage. I am sure it is better optically, but how much better? Worth spending $1000 if difference is just marginal (not a small amount, at least for me).

What's your opinion? Does anyone owning both and have some test results to share?

Some of my Tamron 70-300mm pictures are:


03-28-2010, 04:44 PM   #2
Marc Sabatella's Avatar

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A few things:

- At the posted image sizes, pretty much all lenses perform about the same. IQ differences won't be readily visible without a little pixel peeping.

- Unless your 70-300 stays at f/4 all the way through to 135mm, the difference is *more* than a stop.

- One stop is often a *huge* difference. Particular in low light photography, where it's often the difference betwene stopping motion blur / camera shake and not - you're usually right on that line. Doubling (or tripling, as would be the case if your 70-300 is really f/4.5 at 135mm) shutter speeds is a pretty big deal when you're hovering in that borderline territory.

This is to say, I woudn't get the 50-135 assuming it's going to produce better results in the situations were you are already getting good results from the 70-300. The main point of the 50-135 would be to get good results in situatins where the 70-300 can't (and indeed, that 50-70 range is part of that - pretty useful for weddings, concert, and other events).

Of course, the IQ *will* be better, too, and if your needs are more demanding than web display, that could be important. But if you're basically happy with the IQ of the 70-300 in that range (and I was with mine), as I said, the difference in IQ would not really be reason to upgrade. The difference in speed would.
03-28-2010, 05:28 PM   #3
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in my opinion I can not tell the difference between the picture quality. But then again the resolution is so small that everything would look alright. Also the comparison is a little bit unfair since it doesn't look like the pictures are at the same aperture. Also each lens has a sweet spot in terms of aperture. Some are better wide open some only are good stopped down all the way. Alsothe focal length also makes a difference. Post processing can help contrast and saturation.
03-28-2010, 06:57 PM   #4
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Excellent pictures!!

I've read posts on forums about the tamron 70-300 lens with purple fringing, etc. but I have not found my copy of it to specifically have such issues. In fact, according to it is a sharper lens than the DA 55-300, but I'm sure many here would dispute with their DA 55-300 pictures.

Flickr search shows some cool portrait shots with the Tamron 70-300...
Skywalker on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Too bad the photographer dosen't come with the lens sold, as the case with DA* 55-135 as well. I can only window blur with my Tammy 70-300...


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