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06-02-2016, 05:17 PM   #1
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Does the gap between 17-50 and 70-200 cause you problems on your APS-C Pentax?

I am, primarily, a Pentax guy when it comes to photography. However, I also have a non-Pentax full-frame, and on that camera I largely rely on two very good lenses - a 24-70 f/2.8 and 70-200 f/2.8 - for the majority of my activities. That gives me an uninterrupted range of 24-200mm, which covers 90% of my requirements quite nicely.

With Pentax, I'm still using APS-C format cameras (the K-5, K-3 and K-3II), and that's likely to be the case for some time given that I already have full-frame capability elsewhere in my kit. In addition to a wide collection of primes, I have a Sigma 17-50 f/2.8, and I'm very happy with that - it gives me a FOV range equivalent to 25-75mm on full-frame (almost identical to the 24-70). However, I've been wanting something to cover the short-to-medium-tele focal range for a little while. I considered both the 50-135 and 60-250, but my concerns over SDM failure (whether justified or not) prevented me from going with either (that's also the main reason I went with the Sigma 17-50 rather than Pentax's own 16-50, and not the slight edge to the Sigma optically which I doubt I'd have noticed ). Well, after much deliberation, I've just ordered a Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 (equivalent to 105-300 on full-frame) and I have no concerns that it will do it's job admirably. My question is, does anyone find the gap between the 50mm long end on typical f/2.8 zooms, and the 70mm short end on typical f/2.8 teles, to be much of a hindrance? I realise, of course, that my legs can (and will) largely compensate for the gap, but I'm really asking if anyone finds this gap much of a limitation?

Thanks in advance


Last edited by BigMackCam; 06-02-2016 at 06:03 PM.
06-02-2016, 05:48 PM   #2
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You have to buy a DA*55mm to fill that gap. Otherwise you might as well sell all your gear.

lol but joking aside, I don't think a gap like that is important, unless you are doing some very specific work where that would be the exact range you need (in which case, DA* 55mm. SDM wasn't as big an issue with the 55mm as it was for the zooms, if I remember right). So maybe if you are doing portraiture and the Tamron is just too long, and f2.8 is just too slow.
I mostly carry around primes, with massive FoV gaps in my lineup. I've made my peace with it. I may not be the best one to ask, so I'll say that I know of some photographers that carry zooms with some overlap, just in case.
06-02-2016, 05:54 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Hi Mike,

I normally use the Sigma 17-50 and Pentax 50-135.

I've not had a problem with the gap when I substitute the longer lens for the Tammy 70-200 you're getting.

I reckon I'm caught out only if there's more than a doubling of focal lengths between lenses.
06-02-2016, 05:56 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
You have to buy a DA*55mm to fill that gap. Otherwise you might as well sell all your gear.
Great response, and thank you I should have said, I'm quite happy with f/2.8 as my widest aperture - even for portraiture, I tend to stop down to f/4-ish or narrower most of the time, though happy to open it up if necessary. Given the primes I own, like you I'm already used to gaps... I guess what I'm really asking is, for a two lens kit, is that 50mm-70mm gap significant? Thanks for the reply - it's helpful


Last edited by BigMackCam; 06-02-2016 at 06:05 PM.
06-02-2016, 06:00 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
I normally use the Sigma 17-50 and Pentax 50-135.

I've not had a problem with the gap when I substitute the longer lens for the Tammy 70-200 you're getting.

I reckon I'm caught out only if there's more than a doubling of focal lengths between lenses.
Thanks, mate. Hmmm... you know, I really considered that 50-135. Maybe I was a wuss to worry about the SDM? Anyway... decision already made for now (although I could return the Tammy 70-200 at no cost to me if needed). Good point re the "doubling of focal lengths" 'rule' - thanks for that
06-02-2016, 06:13 PM   #6
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to bridge the gap get the portrait length da55 or get a used fa 28-80 only if you were a portrait photographer would I be worried.
The 55-300 is also a good buy for most of that gap.
06-02-2016, 06:17 PM   #7
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My two lens package is the 18-135 and 60-250, gap? What gap?

My motto has always been , fast primes slower zooms.

I may or may not carry the FA 50 1.7, the DA 35 2.4, the Sigma 70m Tamron 90 or DA*200, Tamron 17-50 or 40 XS all ƒ2,8, depending on circumstances, and of those I've used the Tamron 17-50 the least.
06-02-2016, 06:17 PM   #8
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If it fails, converting it to screwdrive is no biggie, or so i've heard. Then isn't it faster as screwdrive? Besides, the Tamron is already screwdrive.

Currently I use the Tamron 17-50 and Pentax HD 55-300. Before that, I'd use the kit 18-55 and FA 80-320. With that combination, if I was going on a hike or anything, I remember I always used to feel frustrated with 80mm as the shortest, as that would often cause me to switch lenses just for a shot, and then switch back for birds. 55mm is a lot better for me. However, this might not be relevant for the type of photography that you're doing.

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
40 XS
Would you even notice if you were to carry that lens?

06-02-2016, 07:10 PM   #9
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No, gaps are good.

I'd rather have gaps than high(er) magnification zooms to bridge them.
Lighter, higher quality, more efficient.
A slight foot-zoom is all you need, plus small corrections in post (horizon adjustment, small crops) mean the difference in F.o.V. will only get fuzzier.
06-02-2016, 09:34 PM   #10
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I don't believe in gaps. The whole focal length obsession is weird to me. At anything less than 2:1, you can zoom with your feet to get an equivalent shot >80% of the time. When you can't, just be happy with what you can shoot.

Ask yourself this, have you EVER seen a photo, and thought to yourself, Man, if only he'd taken 3 steps back and used a lens 10% longer, that shot would be perfect. Also, cropping 20% from a too-wide lens is easy, and unless you need to print huge, resolution will still be fine.
06-02-2016, 09:36 PM   #11
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I'm using the Pentax 16-50 Sigma 70-200 on two bodies (K3, K5) for concerts. I do not miss anything. The gap can be closed by a little bit of cropping at the 50mm pictures.

The next concerts will be 16-50 with K3 and 70-200 with he K1 (no gap at all, but missing ca. 100mm at the top end).
06-02-2016, 09:41 PM   #12
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This is where the unicorn Sigma 50-150 fits in! The range that you'll gain between 50-70 is much more noticeable than between 150-200. I would love to rock a 16-50, DA* 55 and 50-135 as a perfect 3 lens setup for weddings/portraits/events, however AF reliability (both in terms of focusing your shot and mechanical failure) completely eliminates all three of these for me. Unfortunately I had to go outside of Pentax to meet these needs (Sigma 17-50 and the aforementioned 50-150) and will rely on rain sleeves in case the weather turns on me. Back to the unicorn statement.... the 50-150 is a rarity and you're going to have a tough time finding one (although I have two potential sellers lined up).
06-02-2016, 10:49 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
My question is, does anyone find the gap between the 50mm long end on typical f/2.8 zooms, and the 70mm short end on typical f/2.8 teles, to be much of a hindrance? I realise, of course, that my legs can (and will) largely compensate for the gap, but I'm really asking if anyone finds this gap much of a limitation?
Personally I don't. I have the same Sigma as you (17 - 50 f2.8 ) and a Sigma 70 - 200 f2.8 and in reality I've never, ever been in the situation where I've thought that I was seriously missing something. Some of my primes are 50mm and 100mm so they don't cover the range either.

I've sometimes thought that I should have had the other zoom on.
06-02-2016, 11:23 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Well, after much deliberation, I've just ordered a Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 (equivalent to 105-300 on full-frame) and I have no concerns that it will do it's job admirably. My question is, does anyone find the gap between the 50mm long end on typical f/2.8 zooms, and the 70mm short end on typical f/2.8 teles, to be much of a hindrance? I realise, of course, that my legs can (and will) largely compensate for the gap, but I'm really asking if anyone finds this gap much of a limitation?
Like you, I use the Tamrons 17-50 and 70-200, a number of years ago I skipped on the 50-135, because the 70-200 is FF and cheaper. But, I never carry both at the same time, I usually have either the 17-50 or the 70-200 mounted as primary lens on the camera depending on what I aim at photographing and I carry a complementary prime on the side (in a pocket or in the bag). So if I go landscape I use the 17-50 and carry the DFA100 macro, if I do city traveling I use the 17-50 and the 15ltd, if I do sport I carry the 70-200 and a 21mm or 35mm prime.

Regarding your concern (50mm to 70mm gap), I never felt the gap was of any significance between 50mm and 70mm, except for photographing models at the carnival of Venice or fashion shows with more than one model in the frame, the reason was that 70mm is too narrow on APSC for group photos, and 70mm is not so long for head portraits (including some background) and switching lenses during the same shot session is rather not convenient if you want to compose verious shots when the models are posing... no time the change lens... that precisely the kind of situation where the 50-135 is so helpful, but that only one case where I see a problem to have lenses on apsc with a gap between 50mm and 70mm.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 06-02-2016 at 11:28 PM.
06-03-2016, 04:56 AM   #15
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Thanks for the responses, everyone It sounds like I won't have a problem with the gap, even if a little cropping and/or footwork are required (and I do plenty of both already ). I do also have the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 that I use mainly for portraiture, so if absolutely necessary I *can* cover that range - just not as a "two zoom kit".
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