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11-10-2007, 07:22 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Chesterfield, Virginia
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Greetings from new member/K10D owner in Chesterfield, VA!

I'm looking forward to corresponding with, and learning from other Pentaxians.

First, a little about me:

Purchased my first Pentax (ME Super w/50mm f/1.4) while attending college in the late 70's (University of Richmond "Spider"- class of '81). Not long after purchasing the camera I added a rather cheap Albimar 80-200mm zoom. (Note: didn't realize how truly awful this lens was until taking test images w/it last weekend attached to my K10D). Later, I added another cheap (but not so bad optically) Albimar 28mm lens to the collection.

A few years later after graduation and just before leaving on my honeymoon I purchased a Pentax 100mm Macro f/4, and matching Pentax 50mm extension tube which used in combination will allow for 1-1 image size. This combination led me to develop a fascination for macro photography. Primarily for economic reasons I soon learned how to develop and mount my own slide film. Still, the combination of limited resources and development of new interests (motorcycling) led me to gradually drift away from the hobby over the next several years-but not before I purchased my second Pentax 35mm body (still owned): a Super Program. Note that I made a gift of my ME Super and 50mm f/1.4 lens to my Dad after I purchased the Super Program and as far as I know it's also still in working condition today.

Also after buying the Super Program body I added a Vivitar Zoom Thyristor 5200 flash and PM/P-TTL/S Pentax module which allowed the choices of using the flash in fully automatic, manual or TTL metering flash control when used with the Super Program.

In the late 80's my interest shifted temporarily to use of a full-size VHS video camera, and later after the births of my kids I purchased my first digital camera, an Olympus "Ultra-Zoom" UZ-2100. This is a 2.1 MP point & shoot offering 10x optical zoom, anti-shake technology and a far greater-than-average range of options-at least for a digital first introduced in 2000. Despite the limits of having just 2.1 MP resolution, the convenience and flexibility offered by the Olympus soon relegated my Pentax SLR film equipment to the back corner of a closet.

I only recently became aware of Pentax's entries in the DSLR market and was quite pleased to find that all my old Pentax-mount SLR lenses and related equipment could be probably still be used with some of the Pentax DSLR bodies. So, a period of considerable research led to the purchase of a my K10D body. Since then some early test images taken with my old 50mm f/1.7 and 100mm f/4 macro lenses last weekend has certainly renewed my interest in photography-and macro photography in particular!

However, since none of my old lenses can take advantage of the K10D's full functionality I'm currently in the market for a new mid-range zoom lens that will allow the camera to auto-focus and also allow use of all the camera's metering modes.

At this point I've narrowed my list of lenses under considerations down to two...but would still consider other lens suggestions. Accordingly I would welcome comments, observations and suggestoins offered by Pentaxians who've have had experience with the following two, or similar lenses.

The two lenses I'm currently considering are:

Tamron 28-70 mm f/2.8 Di
Tamron 24-135 mm f/3.5-5.6

Actually, I had already placed an order for the 28-70 a few days after receiving my K10D, but through an unfortunate and somewhat aggravating series of experiences while dealing with Beach Camera, that order has since been cancelled (by them). Don't get me started on some other recent "experiences" (and lessons learned) through my dealings with a few other internet-based photography sales organizations operating out of in New York!

Through research I've found that both of the lenses listed above have received both positive and negative reviews from users, and that both are available new for around $350 (before rebates) on the internet. I'm also well aware of reports concerning the apparent lack of consistency and potential quality-control issues related to both of these lenses, as well as for most third-party lenses in general.

The Tamron 28-70 seemed like it might be a better match for my new DSLR's imaging sensor and should also offer superior low-light performance. My impression has also been that it's held in slightly higher regard by more users vs Tamron's 24-135 mm lens. I'm also aware that the 24-135 isn't listed on Tamron's website among their other lenses optimized for use with DSLRs-which means the 24-135mm doesn't include Tamron's "Di" or "Dii" lens classification.

However, the 24-135mm IS currently available with a $100 rebate offer vs a $10 current rebate available for Tamron's 28-70mm. Also, along with some sacrifice in low-light performance, the 24-135 does offer somewhat greater flexibility in both the wide angle and telphoto ranges.

Decisions, decisions! Note that since I still have the Pentax 50mm f/1.7 I believe I have the low light issue at least partially covered, although on a DSLR the 50 mm lens loses some field of view capability. So my decison may come down to choosing between value, flexibility and sharpness. Of the three I'd probably choose to place a bit more importance on sharpness. However, if the two lenses are quite similar in sharpness I'd probably have to give greater consideration nod toward the greater flexibility (and lower final cost) offered by the 24-135 vs the superior low-light abilities offered by the 28-70mm.

Any comments and sharing of personal experiences with these, or other comparable lenses would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Carey


Last edited by cdtk10d; 11-10-2007 at 12:14 PM.
11-10-2007, 08:56 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, Carey. Looking forward to seeing some of your images. Not sure how to advise you. I think in the end, it's something you're going to have to come to peace with for as you said, various reviewers have different evaluations of those lenses. And I'm certain you'd find the same thing here (as I've already discovered). We all come to this with our biases based upon our shooting habits and our own limitations. But you asked for an opinion so here's mine. I'd go with the Tamron 24-135 mm f/3.5-5.6. It seems to me to offer more picture-taking possibilities. Just my own bias speaking.
11-10-2007, 12:10 PM   #3
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Original Poster
Thanks for the welcome and suggestion JamesD. Do you have any experience with either of the Tamron lenses I've been considering? I'm also wondering what, if any compromises there might be using the 24-135mm lens on a DSLR.
11-10-2007, 05:07 PM   #4
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No, I haven't any experience other than the reports I've read. One is found here:

FM Reviews - AF 24-135MM F/3.5-5.6 AD Aspherical (IF) Macro

My wife and I are getting ready to purchase the Pentax 18-250mm when it is made available. Currently its clone, the Tamron 18-250mm has been released and several here in this forum have it. My wife and I do a lot of traveling so this sort of "one-lens-fits-all-occasions" (which it doesn't of course) is perfect for us. Neither of us want to carry a bag load of lenses. Nothing kills the joy of photography quicker than hefting around a ton of glass and having to constantly change lenses. We know it is not a perfect lens but so what... there are no perfect lenses. Like your Tamron in question, this one is slow and has a variable aperture. But it suits us. So... for me, the Tamron you mentioned would be a great walk-about lens. Perhaps not for you, though. As I mentioned before, only you can answer that question. Check out the review. It seems to have a faithful following.

11-11-2007, 12:18 AM   #5
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Chesterfield, Virginia
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Thanks again for the link to owner reviews for the Tamron 28-135mm James. Although I had previously discovered this site while conducting lens research earlier it's been helpful having the opportunity to read through them again.

Like you said any one lens represents a compromise in one way or another and like you I've also considered buying an 18-250 or 18-200, among others. So I probably should give these more consideration as well.

In some ways having multiple choices is of course wonderful, yet in other ways it can be awfully frustrating when you're trying to reach a decision on where to best spend your $$ on more equipment.

Right now my impression is that with the $100 rebate offer now available the Tamron 24-135 sure seems to represent an excellent walk-around lens value for the money in exchange for perhaps a sacrifice of little sharpness and low light performance vs the 28-75mm Tamron. Similarly, either a 18-250 or 18-200mm would offer a little more flexibility at both ends of the zoom range in exchange for an additional investment of probably around $225, or $120, respectively plus perhaps a tad more sacrifice in overall optical performance vs the other two Tamrons I've been considering.

Time for more research...and soul-searching before I make a decision.

Last edited by cdtk10d; 11-11-2007 at 12:51 AM.
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