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04-01-2010, 12:03 PM   #1
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One chance to buy: tamron 28-70mm,70-200mm,100mm prime

I only have enough money to buy one lens this year. I want no less than f2.8 and so I'm torn and stuck.

There is a person near me selling a Tamron 28-70 f2.8 which sounds great but I heard horror stories of plastic internals wearing out.

Tamron makes a 70-200 f2.8 which also has great reviews save "plastic" again.

Pentax makes a 100prime 2.8 with Pentax weather sealing.

I MOSTLY take candid and portrait of my son. I don't understand from first hand if I need upto 200 or if 70 isn't enough, or if 70 isn't wide enough. I accept with the prime that I have to move to focus.

I once had a 50 prime with my 5d before going Pentax so i don't mind prime completely but zoom is very convenient with a toddler.

I LOVE pentax weather sealing because I don't have enough money to invest in hardware only to flush it because I got caught in the rain.

So please tell me, will the Tamron's wear out on me or break on me, which zoom range is best for my usage or is it most safe to get the 100 prime?

Thank you,
-Shawn

04-01-2010, 12:10 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by smcook99 Quote
I only have enough money to buy one lens this year. I want no less than f2.8 and so I'm torn and stuck.

There is a person near me selling a Tamron 28-70 f2.8 which sounds great but I heard horror stories of plastic internals wearing out.

Tamron makes a 70-200 f2.8 which also has great reviews save "plastic" again.

Pentax makes a 100prime 2.8 with Pentax weather sealing.

I MOSTLY take candid and portrait of my son. I don't understand from first hand if I need upto 200 or if 70 isn't enough, or if 70 isn't wide enough. I accept with the prime that I have to move to focus.

I once had a 50 prime with my 5d before going Pentax so i don't mind prime completely but zoom is very convenient with a toddler.

I LOVE pentax weather sealing because I don't have enough money to invest in hardware only to flush it because I got caught in the rain.

So please tell me, will the Tamron's wear out on me or break on me, which zoom range is best for my usage or is it most safe to get the 100 prime?

Thank you,
-Shawn
I've only heard good things about the 28-75 Tamron (enough to make me get one when my 18-50 dies) and never anything about plastic parts failing.

The 70-200 may be a bit unwieldy for running around after kids, and that and the 100 are a bit long for portraits, perhaps.
04-01-2010, 12:11 PM   #3
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what do you already have
04-01-2010, 12:21 PM   #4
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Agree with Special K. Get the Tamron 28-75. I had it when I used Canon. For the uses you site, it is the only one that makes sense. The other two could be used but much less than the 28-75 for that application. I have never heard of internal parts failing. They do have a six year warranty.

04-01-2010, 12:21 PM   #5
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QuoteQuote:
smcook99:
So please tell me, will the Tamron's wear out on me or break on me, which zoom range is best for my usage
All lenses have the risk of failure, but some manufacturers recognize this more than others in their warranties. Tamrons comes with a 6-year warranty--in the box. The Tamron 28-75 f 2.8 is a great lens, and just right for you to do portraits with your son.

On a crop-sensor DSLR, I find the 65 to 75mm range sweet as can be for indoor portraits.
04-01-2010, 12:41 PM   #6
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Thank you all for the fast and unified response! That really clears it up for me!

I've had*, a 50m prime when I was canon, and only the 18-55? kit with my alpha700 and the short zoom kit with my k20d now. The kit's 55mm I actually find to be less zoom than I'd like when trying to get my son 15 feet away on top the jungle gym and that's why I was afraid 70 might not be enough. I read TONS of articles saying the most common amateur portrait lens is a 100prime and most pro outdoor portraits are shot with a 200mm from farther away to allow for better lighting / no shadow cast.

The reason I grew concerned about the tamron wearing out is because I wouldn't be getting mine from a store but a person (albeit unused and in box) so I'm not sure how the warranty would apply to me, but for $150 less AND the chance to test it before buying I can't beet it! That's $150 more I can put toward my flash purchase. Of which, I'm now torn again lol.

Last edited by smcook99; 04-01-2010 at 12:49 PM.
04-01-2010, 06:11 PM   #7
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The Tamrons aren't that bad in build quality, so don't worry excessively

You have the kit lens and frankly that's not a bad lens :ugh:

Personally, of the 3 lenses you mentioned, 28-75 is more than sufficient

Can't imagine you running after the kid with the 70-200. They are very heavy

Since you are willing to put in the money for a 70-200, I suggest you take a look at the 50-135

To me, that complements your kit lens and provides you the reach

The 50-135 is a real gem and you can just plan to upgrade your kit to a 16/17/18- 50 in the future
04-01-2010, 06:20 PM   #8
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I believe Peter Zack's Tamron 28-70mm punked out on him but that didn't stop me from getting one (and I really like it.) I think it's a very good choice for your purposes.

04-01-2010, 06:24 PM   #9
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28-75 gives you more versatility compared to the 70-200. don't worry, you'll have 6 years of warranty and I think by that time, you would had probably replaced it with some new and better lenses.
04-01-2010, 06:32 PM   #10
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I would honestly go with the 100/2.8. You say you do candids and portraits. I think this would be good for that.
04-01-2010, 06:37 PM   #11
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I'd go for either the 50-135 or the 70-200. When I shoot my kids, especially outdoors, I like to be a bit away from the action. I use my 24-135 for that, and sometimes I'd like to get even further back and up to 200 would be nice. It places me away from their focus and the girls can just be girls doing their thing, either in the play house, the pool, or whatever.

Just my thoughts...
04-01-2010, 09:16 PM   #12
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QuoteQuote:
smcook99: I MOSTLY take candid and portrait of my son.
My first response to you was based on the above, but you do not specify outdoor portraits here--which is why I answered, conditionally:
QuoteQuote:
jewelltrail: On a crop-sensor DSLR, I find the 65 to 75mm range sweet as can be for indoor portraits.
Your second post is more specific, focusing on outdoor portraits:

QuoteQuote:
smcook99: The kit's 55mm I actually find to be less zoom than I'd like when trying to get my son 15 feet away on top the jungle gym and that's why I was afraid 70 might not be enough. I read TONS of articles saying the most common amateur portrait lens is a 100prime and most pro outdoor portraits are shot with a 200mm from farther away to allow for better lighting / no shadow cast.
For this post, I would steer you away from the Tamron 28-75mm and suggest something a good deal longer. Since you are happy to save the $150 on the Tamron 28-75mm, to put money towards flash, I am reluctant to suggest a Tamron or Sigma 70-200 2.8 because now the price is upped a good deal. The same goes for the Pentax 50-135mm 2.8.

I think, given what you say above, you will also find the reach fo the tamron 28-75mm too short for what you hope to do. I am not saying it cannot be done, but it would be better done with more reach outdoors, especially in situations where your son is up on a jungle gym. Of course, this gives you an excuse to climb up there with him though.
04-03-2010, 08:55 AM   #13
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Lesson Learned

My biggest concern was valid. I picked up the lens last nite. I tested it but without pulling the RAWs onto my computer I couldn't see that this lens is silly soft down to f5.6 . I don't have a warranty as I stated above because it was a person to person purchase and he bought it new from some obscure online store. I can't take it back and now I've lost Easter weekend to a lens that has 20mm more than my kit lens and half the sharpness. Basically I'm going to put my kit lens back on and say Hurrey for flushing $320. I will NEVER buy a non-Pentax lens again, because even if it was a store purchase, I still would have lost this weekends shots to a return. I'm just praying that the serial on the lens validates it for manufacturer service and it wasn't some grey market import. It's a shame because my first impressions were great until I got the images onto my computer.

Thanks for the input. If the lens was perfect it would be a great walk around, but I'll never get another "My son at 2 years old Easter" photo op. The savings don't compare to priceless moments lost to the risk you take buying other brands.
04-03-2010, 11:50 AM   #14
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Hmm, occasion duds happen with all brands, even Pentax. Without knowing more about your experience level, though, I wouldn't rule out the possibility that you or the camera simply misfocused (eg, either user error or AF calibration needed). You might consider posting some of the problem images.
04-03-2010, 12:05 PM   #15
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With all due respect smcook99, this is way too broad a generalization against non-Pentax lenses, considering how many good lenses there are out there (including in the Pentax mount) from Tamron, Sigma, Vivitar, etc. Hopefully you can get your issues worked out.
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