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07-02-2016, 01:43 AM   #1
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Tamron vs Pentax 70-200

Hi fellow Pentaxians,

At some point I want to save up enough to get a 70-200 f2.8 lens for my K-1. I've got two very active boys so I need some fast focusing lenses to catch them in action.

I live in Denmark, and the prices for the two lenses available for Pentax K mount are roughly 900 USD for the Tamron and 2700 USD for the D FA*.

Is there any way to justify paying three times as much for the Pentax to get WR and Quick Shift focusing?

Is it that much faster at catching focus? Do you get that many more in focus images when compared to the Tamron in quick action? Is it sharper? Better color rendering?

Let me hear what you guys think.

Brgds,
Ro

07-02-2016, 02:13 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by noelpolar Quote
From any practicle perspective...... no. Thats it...... really simple.....I'm like your partner talking.
Hahaha.... It is what I am suspecting. But if you're like my partner speaking.... Imagine how much BETTER our pictures of the boys might be with genuine pentax glass?!?

I wish the DFA wasn't so darn expensive...!
07-02-2016, 02:17 AM   #3
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The D FA* 70-200mm is one of the sharpest, if not the sharpest zoom lens Pentax has ever made if you consider the entire image. It focuses quickly and quietly, though still slower than competing DSLRs systems.

That said, I wouldn't say it's worth $1800 more than the Tamron. You can really fill up your prime kit nicely with all that money!

Adam
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07-02-2016, 02:18 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by roksonne Quote

Is there any way to justify paying three times as much for the Pentax to get WR and Quick Shift focusing?

Is it that much faster at catching focus? Do you get that many more in focus images when compared to the Tamron in quick action? Is it sharper? Better color rendering?

Let me hear what you guys think.

Brgds,
Ro
From any practicle perspective...... no.

Thats it...... really simple.....I'm like your partner talking.

I have the last Sigma 70-200/2.8 and for most things such as Kids, dogs etc it's really good (so is the Tamron)

A great shot of your kids is going to be a great shot of your kids with ether lens. Buy the Tamron and spend $2k on your life with your kids!

Of course, if you are a self involved photo hobiest (or just wealthy) you will get the Pentax anyhow.

07-02-2016, 02:25 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by roksonne Quote
I live in Denmark, and the prices for the two lenses available for Pentax K mount are roughly 900 USD for the Tamron and 2700 USD for the D FA*.
I guess Demark is still in the EU. Then you can painlessly order the lens at srs in the UK where the lens costs 1853 EUR and that is 2059 USD.
Even the MSRP is only 1999 EUR incl. taxes which equals 2222 USD.
At cameranu.nl the lens costs 1799 EUR (= 1999 USD) by the way.
07-02-2016, 02:26 AM   #6
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It's up to you I think. Compare it to the DA* 16-50 and Tamron 17-50. I know I can get three Tamrons for the price of one Pentax. But that doesn't matter if I want to use it for taking pictures of e.g. a waterfall at close range.

If you don't need that, than the Tamron is probably a fine choice. It has some quirks, like switching between AF and MF requires moving the switches on both the lens and the body. It makes a lot of noise when focusing. Also, it is a third-party lens and as such, compatibility is not guaranteed (something like the Sigma lenses damaging the K-1 body might happen along the way).

Also, I think the Pentax could be better optically. Not that the Tamron is bad. But from the reviews, it seems the Pentax is excellent.
07-02-2016, 02:27 AM   #7
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Get a roundtripp to new york for $300, cheapest you can find, take return train to manhattan for $20 and go back to denmark again. Save yourself some $500.
07-02-2016, 03:15 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by melander Quote
Save yourself some $500.
And lose two years of warranty you'd have for wares bought in the E.U. D'you really want to send the lens to the U.S. for servicing?

Besides, when importing the lens to the E.U., you'd have to pay import taxes which are as high as the VAT in your home country. In Denmark that would be 25%.

Comparing U.S. prices to E.U. prices is confusing, since U.S. prices are given without tax, and E.U. prices are given with tax.


Between the 70-200 from Tamron with it's kinda outdated screwdrive AF and the pricey Pentax 70-200 there is a third option - the 70-200 from Sigma. In it's last incantation it features optical stabilization - yes, on Pentax bodies!
It's AF is using faster HSM/SDM mechanism, which also gives something similar to Pentax' quick focus shift.

As Sigma seems to do some kind of restructuring of their lens lineup, it's not that easy to come by, but as of now, at least one online seller in Austria sells that lens for 1150 EUR - that's including VAT.

07-02-2016, 03:58 AM   #9
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I wasn't planning to buy the D FA* 70-200, but a great deal came up that I couldn't ignore. I haven't tried the Tamron, but the Pentax is ... wow!

Still, I agree, the price difference does make the Tamron the sensible buy.
07-02-2016, 04:33 AM   #10
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QuoteQuote:
a great deal came up that I couldn't ignore. I haven't tried the Tamron, but the Pentax is ... wow!
.
What sort of deal? Please tell!
07-02-2016, 05:35 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by roksonne Quote
Hi fellow Pentaxians,

At some point I want to save up enough to get a 70-200 f2.8 lens for my K-1. I've got two very active boys so I need some fast focusing lenses to catch them in action.

I live in Denmark, and the prices for the two lenses available for Pentax K mount are roughly 900 USD for the Tamron and 2700 USD for the D FA*.

Is there any way to justify paying three times as much for the Pentax to get WR and Quick Shift focusing?

Is it that much faster at catching focus? Do you get that many more in focus images when compared to the Tamron in quick action? Is it sharper? Better color rendering?

Let me hear what you guys think.

Brgds,
Ro
For me it was an easy call. I could not justify another $1,200-1,300 (in the US) for the Pentax so I got the Tamron. It has all the disadvantages that people talk about, no WR, slowish focus, screwdriver focusing, etc. etc. However when it comes to image making, it is a big time winner. The images from the Tamron are breathtaking. It is as sharp as any lens I have including my FA limiteds and my macro lenses. For the money, it is easily the best investment I have ever made in a lens.

Then again for the type of shooting I do (non-sport or action type photography), the Tamron delivers and I do not think the Pentax will offer much more in the image quality department.

If you have the funds get the Pentax. If it is too much of a stretch, get the Tamron. You will not regret it. Besides, the Tamron holds it value really well. If you have the funds to go with the Pentax in the future, sell the Tamron and get the Pentax. You will get back most of the money you spend on the Tamron.
07-02-2016, 07:05 AM   #12
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Although I would prefer the sharpness of the Pentax over the Tamron, be aware that the Pentax weighs almost TWICE as much as the Tamron at 1.75kg Vs 1.15kg. That's one heavy Bugger of a lens
07-02-2016, 08:16 AM   #13
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I have the Tamron, and true, it's hard to switch to MF, and the throw is so short, honestly I can get sharper images with a 80-200 prinzflex I bought for 20€, but... the Tamron is great, although I can get sharper images with the 20€ lens that's just in a very controlled environment, really really carefully MF and a lot of treatment to correct the images after, the Tamron works ok with AF, it's not a fast sports lens or great to hunt birds, but what it does it does good, the image quality is excellent, especially for portraits, the lens just shines there, at 2.8 is sharp where it needs to be and renders the skin beutifuly. It's a bit noisy, but not more then anything with a screw af, and what you get for what you pay, it's just awesome, if you want MF though, forget it.
07-02-2016, 11:57 AM   #14
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I am actually on the verge of selling my K-1 and sticking to my good old K-5 and some good Pentax glass in light of my needs for more action and sports photography. With the money from the K-1 I could get a reasonable "action" house from one of the other brands and then look for a good deal on a 70-200 for that other brand, once the funds are there. One solution could be the Nikon D500 even though it's quite expensive for an APS-C sized sensor.

I'm mainly in doubt of whether to keep the K-1 because of the comparatively slow focus speeds and the smallish buffer / slow SD card write speed. There are so many things to love about the camera apart from those shortcomings. But if I have to buy yet another camera and proper lens for sports besides that, it'll be a long time before I'll have the funds for such an action setup.

Decisions.......
07-02-2016, 01:01 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by roksonne Quote
I am actually on the verge of selling my K-1 and sticking to my good old K-5 and some good Pentax glass in light of my needs for more action and sports photography.
I used my K1 + D FA*70-200 yesterday for a football match, and it performed brilliantly. I don't shoot much sport, but for the times I do, I'm happy with it. Even though 200mm is a bit short for Australian football, I got much sharper images at 200 and cropping than with the 55-300 @300 without cropping. The burst speed was adequate; I had many shots of great "moments" with players in the air meeting ball.
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