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03-12-2012, 01:39 PM   #1
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Buying new "everyday" lens

Hi I got a k-x a little over a year ago. I waited until a couple of months ago to start upgrading gear since I wanted to be sure that taking photos was a true interest. My first purchase was the Tamron SP AF 90mm F2.8 Di Macro which I think is an amazing lens. The problem now is that the images from the 18-55 kit lens can't compare with the stuff I'm getting from the tamron. The kit lens exceeded my expectations but I'm finding it soft and inconsistent with the best images being in the 35mm range. I'm in the market for a new "everyday" lens that's somewhat wide and has a little bit of reach. I've been looking at the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical [IF] AF016P-700 B&H which is $500 and the Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM Zoom Lens for Pentax 58C109 B&H which is $600. What do you guys think would be the best option? Is there something else out there that you think would be suited for me? I have about $800 to play with but would prefer not to blow all of it if possible.

03-12-2012, 02:15 PM   #2
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You might look in the marketplace. There's a 28-75 Tamron 2.8 used for $360. Not quite as wide but still a nice lens.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photographic-equipment-sale/178664-sale-p...-55-da-ii.html

There's a Sigma 18-50 too at $275.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photographic-equipment-sale/178073-sale-s...2-8-ex-dc.html

Or a Sigma 17-70/2.8 for $350
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photographic-equipment-sale/178482-sale-s...ro-os-hsm.html
03-12-2012, 02:19 PM   #3
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Between those two, I'd go with the 17-50 from Sigma - as it has HSM.

However, if you look on the used markets on this forum, you can find both lenses at 60-80% their MSRP. Used isn't such a bad thing.

Alternatively, you can look at the Sigma 17-70 2.8-4 HSM which does better than the kit lens at everything; just not as good as the 17-50s.
03-12-2012, 02:47 PM   #4
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The Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 has been great in my experience. Very sharp at all focal lengths and apertures (well until stopped down and diffusion becomes an issue).

Can't give any insight into the other options though!

03-12-2012, 02:59 PM   #5
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An everyday walkabout lens imho would be both wide and long, like an 18~250, pentax tamron and sigma have one, the sigma seems to be quite good -> Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM Lens Reviews - Sigma Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

How concerned are you with IQ? I mean everyone is concerned with IQ but if you are looking for prime quality out of a walkaround lens it's just not going to happen with any one walkaround lens, you could however get there with 2 lenses (17~50 and DA*50~135), but that option seems to be over budget. Honestly, if I had your budget I would learn to deal with the 18~55 kit lens and work on getting a DA*50~135.

I see you are referencing the 17-50 as others are, what kind of shooting are you doing? Are you using the 50FL of the kit lens often?

Here is the concern - you are noting that you want another lens to compare in quality of the Tammy 90 - well, I am not sure that the 17-50/18-50 is going to give you the IQ as good as the 90mm.
03-12-2012, 04:12 PM   #6
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Id suggest trying a 35mm prime (so its close to 50 on the crop camera). In most situations its "just right" and pentax makes some nice ones.
03-12-2012, 07:29 PM   #7
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The DA18-250 is my basic lens. My other 230+ lenses are all specialty items.
03-12-2012, 07:34 PM   #8
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I think the OP'er is on the right track; and either of the options mentioned would be good. Sometimes it comes down to filter size, or needing quiet AF, or the direction the zoom & focus rings turn in which would tip the balance either way. I think the optics are pretty close.

03-13-2012, 07:44 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
Between those two, I'd go with the 17-50 from Sigma - as it has HSM.

However, if you look on the used markets on this forum, you can find both lenses at 60-80% their MSRP. Used isn't such a bad thing.

Alternatively, you can look at the Sigma 17-70 2.8-4 HSM which does better than the kit lens at everything; just not as good as the 17-50s.
Yeah that's why I'm leaning towards the 17-50 range. The IQ on those seems really good even compared to some of the primes.


QuoteOriginally posted by jezza323 Quote
The Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 has been great in my experience. Very sharp at all focal lengths and apertures (well until stopped down and diffusion becomes an issue).

Can't give any insight into the other options though!
Thanks for your input. What do you mean by diffusion? I know a bit about diffraction. How far can you stop down before it's an issue?


QuoteOriginally posted by joe.penn Quote
An everyday walkabout lens imho would be both wide and long, like an 18~250, pentax tamron and sigma have one, the sigma seems to be quite good -> Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM Lens Reviews - Sigma Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

How concerned are you with IQ? I mean everyone is concerned with IQ but if you are looking for prime quality out of a walkaround lens it's just not going to happen with any one walkaround lens, you could however get there with 2 lenses (17~50 and DA*50~135), but that option seems to be over budget. Honestly, if I had your budget I would learn to deal with the 18~55 kit lens and work on getting a DA*50~135.

I see you are referencing the 17-50 as others are, what kind of shooting are you doing? Are you using the 50FL of the kit lens often?

Here is the concern - you are noting that you want another lens to compare in quality of the Tammy 90 - well, I am not sure that the 17-50/18-50 is going to give you the IQ as good as the 90mm.
When I use the kit lens nearly 90% of the pictures I took were between 18mm and 40mm so that range seems to work for me. I am definitely interested in really good IQ. I know a broad range walk-around lens won't get me prime quality. That's why I'm looking at the 16-50 and 17-50 range.. You don't think a 17-50 would compare to prime? Some of the reviews I read and pictures I saw made it seem like difference between the two isn't that much.


QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Id suggest trying a 35mm prime (so its close to 50 on the crop camera). In most situations its "just right" and pentax makes some nice ones.
I would love to get a 35mm prime in the future but I'm looking for something with a bit more range at the moment. Do you know/like anything about the plastic pentax 35mm? It's cheap and everyone I talk to that has it really likes it.

QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
I think the OP'er is on the right track; and either of the options mentioned would be good. Sometimes it comes down to filter size, or needing quiet AF, or the direction the zoom & focus rings turn in which would tip the balance either way. I think the optics are pretty close.
The screw-drive focus doesn't bother me much. It's loud but works well. The lenses do seem fairly close. I read a review on this website comparing the 16-50, sigma 17-50, and tam 17-50. The tamron seemed to win the majority but I'm concerned about the toughness of a plastic lens. Anyone who owns this lens have anything to say about how its holding up over time?
03-13-2012, 08:00 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Christian. Quote
Thanks for your input. What do you mean by diffusion? I know a bit about diffraction. How far can you stop down before it's an issue?

The tamron seemed to win the majority but I'm concerned about the toughness of a plastic lens. Anyone who owns this lens have anything to say about how its holding up over time?
Sorry I meant diffraction. I believe around f16 is the beginning of the effect on APS-C sensors

My Tamron has held up fine and still looks pretty much like new. It is quite a solid lens IMO. Easily better build than the DA 18-55 kit lens I had before
03-13-2012, 08:04 AM   #11
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I would get the Tamron 28-75/2.8. The IQ is great. You will get a bit more reach and you can still use the kit lens for wide angle shots as it gets really good when stopped down a bit.
03-13-2012, 08:14 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jezza323 Quote
Sorry I meant diffraction. I believe around f16 is the beginning of the effect on APS-C sensors

My Tamron has held up fine and still looks pretty much like new. It is quite a solid lens IMO. Easily better build than the DA 18-55 kit lens I had before
Thanks for your reply. I'm really leaning towards this lens.


QuoteOriginally posted by kenafein Quote
I would get the Tamron 28-75/2.8. The IQ is great. You will get a bit more reach and you can still use the kit lens for wide angle shots as it gets really good when stopped down a bit.
I don't know if its my copy or what, but I haven't been very satisfied with the wide angle shots from my kit lens. They always seem soft; even with smaller apertures. I feel like my kit lens doesn't come into its own until 30mm or so.
03-13-2012, 08:14 AM   #13
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My DA 18-55 was the opposite, sharp stopped down wide, but soft on the longer end.

You could always get an ultra wide angle, I much prefer using my 10-20mm over the 17-50mm, even though its slower and not as sharp. Would go nicely with a DA 35 too
03-13-2012, 08:30 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jezza323 Quote
My DA 18-55 was the opposite, sharp stopped down wide, but soft on the longer end.

You could always get an ultra wide angle, I much prefer using my 10-20mm over the 17-50mm, even though its slower and not as sharp. Would go nicely with a DA 35 too
That's interesting. Mine seems best from around 24mm to 40mm. I was originally going to get a super wide angle like the sigma 10-20. I felt like I would be doing a lot of cropping and that it would be better to get something more multipurpose. Especially since the 10-20 is $650.
03-13-2012, 08:32 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Christian. Quote
Hi I got a k-x a little over a year ago. I waited until a couple of months ago to start upgrading gear since I wanted to be sure that taking photos was a true interest. My first purchase was the Tamron SP AF 90mm F2.8 Di Macro which I think is an amazing lens. The problem now is that the images from the 18-55 kit lens can't compare with the stuff I'm getting from the tamron. The kit lens exceeded my expectations but I'm finding it soft and inconsistent with the best images being in the 35mm range. I'm in the market for a new "everyday" lens that's somewhat wide and has a little bit of reach. I've been looking at the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical [IF] AF016P-700 B&H which is $500 and the Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM Zoom Lens for Pentax 58C109 B&H which is $600. What do you guys think would be the best option? Is there something else out there that you think would be suited for me? I have about $800 to play with but would prefer not to blow all of it if possible.
As with you, I had tried the 18-55mm kit lens, but was dissatisfied with the performance, so sold it. About six months ago I purchased a Tamron SP AF 28-75mm, f/2.8, and love it. To me, the deciding factor for this purchase was the lens review on PF. Tamron was giving a rebate, perhaps it is still in effect.
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