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02-13-2010, 10:52 AM   #31
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The Tamron 28-75 really is a great lens. I have one, but don't shoot it all that often because I much prefer primes and the specific bokeh that each of my primes deliver.

The versatility over a prime is huge, and it really is a great all round performer.

I'd recommend the Tammy over the DA40 for now for you. If you find the 40mm length suits you well you can always pick one up later (pending funds, of course), and still maintain the versatility of a great performing wide to short tele 2.8 lens.

I hope this helps.

c[_]

02-13-2010, 11:52 AM   #32
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QuoteQuote:
asdf: Well, the 17-50mm is not a fantastic lens, if you think it's a replacement for a prime. For low light or night-time photography, you can get ugly looking concentric onion rings in the background.

To learn something about the 17-50mm, you need to leave this one thread which has absorbed you--you can do do some research here, at this reputable forum:

FM Reviews - AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF]
There are 164 owners of the 17-50mm getting candid here. WARNING: the growth in reading may engender an outbreak of LBA.

You can find any opinion you want on the Internet. A good researcher never relies on an anomalous source. BTW, what in the world is the Photoforum--never heard of them?
02-14-2010, 02:00 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
I suspect that has a lot to do with why 50mm was so popular on film - it really was the *only* lens many people owned, and hence needed to achieve that sort of compromise.
Traditionally, 'normal' was defined as the diagonal of the image frame. Many MF folders and TLRs had fixed 'normal' lenses that seem to have served well. For 135 cams, with a 24x36 frame size, 'normal' would thus be 43mm. (Various fixed-lens 135 RFs had lenses around 44mm.) I've read that 50mm, which really is a short tele, became the standard because 1) MF's have more leeway for cropping prints, and 50mm served as a "pre-cropped" focal length; and 2) wily lensmakers could whip out fairly fast 50mm's economically.

As you say, fave focal lengths depend on personal taste -- what's a comfortable distance, how much of a subject or scene do you want to capture, etc. In the 35mm half-frame or APS-C world, where 28mm is 'normal', then 18-24mm are scene-grabbers, 40mm is intimate, and 85-90mm is a safe distance, heh. But for speed... I know there are non-50s of f/1.5 or faster, but not that many, and not that small. 50mm seems to be a sweet spot for lensmakers. Such is life.
02-14-2010, 04:17 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
You can find any opinion you want on the Internet. A good researcher never relies on an anomalous source. BTW, what in the world is the Photoforum--never heard of them?
A picture is not an opinion. Do you work for Tamron?

EDIT: If you don't find the concentric rings ugly, then that's fine. However, unless you work for Tamron or are a reseller, I don't see the point of not mentioning a weakness (or a property that many would consider to be a weakness) of the lens, when someone's looking for an honest opinion.


Last edited by asdf; 02-14-2010 at 04:30 PM.
02-14-2010, 06:44 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by asdf Quote
If you don't find the concentric rings ugly, then that's fine. However, unless you work for Tamron or are a reseller, I don't see the point of not mentioning a weakness (or a property that many would consider to be a weakness) of the lens, when someone's looking for an honest opinion.
I agree. I find the Tamron 17-50mm bokeh fatally ugly. It doesn't seem to bother everyone, but it's worth raising along with the nice qualities of the lens.
02-14-2010, 08:29 PM   #36
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I have the 17-50 (new to me, haven't shot it yet) and the 28-75 (which I've had for 6 years and have taken 70-80% of my shots with). Almost all the time the bokeh is very pleasing to me. Under the right (wrong?) conditions it makes me feel like scratching my eyes out.

After using the lens for so long I know the circumstances that are likely to cause me pain and I try to avoid them. I can't imagine getting rid of the lens (or not buying one) because it occasionally doesn't perform to my liking.

Hopefully my 17-50 will treat me as well as the 28-75 has.

So I'm curious- those of you who find the bokeh of the 17-50 something less than stellar, is it an all-the-time thing or just under certain circumstances?
02-14-2010, 09:53 PM   #37
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I have shot with the Tammy on the K20d for almost 2 years--I have a few thousand shots with it--none have bad bokeh.

QuoteQuote:
asdf: A picture is not an opinion.
BTW, that shot was taken on a Canon body--isn't it you I so often hear ranting about how one cannot compare lenses across different mounts?. I know Photozone preaches this one.

QuoteQuote:
asdf: Do you work for Tamron?
No, why, do you need work?

QuoteQuote:
asdf:If you don't find the concentric rings ugly, then that's fine.
You are misquoting: I did not say I do not find the rings ugly; rather, I have not found those rings--period. BTW, I love onion rings! I'm willing to bet, nearly all wide angle, zoom glass, under %100 pixel peeping, would reveal comparable flaws.

QuoteQuote:
asdf: I don't see the point of not mentioning a weakness (or a property that many would consider to be a weakness) of the lens, when someone's looking for an honest opinion.
Nobody said you can't bring your opinion to the table, though it would have more validity if you shot with the lens, IMHO. Remember, I am equally entitled to respond to your opinions. How many shots have you taken with the Tamron?

The best place to get an honest opinion on the lens is from those people who shoot with it. Have you ever shot with it? That is why I provided a link, with 164 reviews, from actual owners. Are all of those reviews 2 thumbs up--of course not--no lens pleases all of the people all of the time. However, most owners of the Tamron 17-50mm f 2.8 lens give it very high praise. In fact, if you read some of the reviews, a lot of owners find the Tammy better than the much higher priced Canon, Nikon and Pentax counterparts. This is all I am really saying. I am not saying the lens is pefect.

Here is the bottom line: I regularly shoot with the lens and love it--can not think of a replacement I would rather have, and I have shot with it for almost two years. It is a fantastic lens!!!
02-14-2010, 10:21 PM   #38
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Here is a shot, along with a big crop, from a lens which is commonly used for bokeh. It is an 85mm lens, one of my most prized possessions, because a dear family member, who bought it brand new in 1961, gifted it to me. It is absolutely mint, and a fantastically crafted lens.

Is it perfect--of course not. Under the right conditions, I can get some odd bokeh, especially @ & near wide open. This lens is the Pentax Auto-Takumar 85mm f 1.8 lens.


Last edited by Jewelltrail; 02-27-2010 at 01:19 AM.
02-15-2010, 11:29 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by bimjo Quote
So I'm curious- those of you who find the bokeh of the 17-50 something less than stellar, is it an all-the-time thing or just under certain circumstances?
Definitely not all the time. I've seen some great photos and I've seen a few with onion bokeh. Not only does it not happen all the time, but peoples' sensitivity varies. Some people don't notice, some notice and don't care. I would point out that some pay a hefty premium for lenses with extra special bokeh.

I don't like to see people attacked for criticising any lens. The purchaser should be able to hear all the opinions, do the research and decide if it's an issue or not. The perfect lens doesn't exist, you have to make some sort of compromise and go with that.
02-15-2010, 11:34 AM   #40
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True - I'd just like to see that opinion presented with a little perspective. Starting right off with "don't buy the Tamron" makes it sound like a far bigger problem than it actually is.
02-15-2010, 04:04 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by torchdoc Quote
I purchased my K-x (first dslr) about a month ago, and I'm loving it so far. I'm looking to upgrade from the kit lens, and I think I've narrowed down to the DA 40mm f2.8 vs the tamron 17-50mm f2.8, and I was wondering if anyone has owned both and would choose one vs the other.

I use my camera casually, mostly taking pics of family/friends and while travelling. About half the time I'm indoor, half outdoor. Can't really say too much about my tendencies so far, as I'm still growing and learning.

I like the range of the tamron zoom, but the DA 40mm is so small and presumably produces slightly sharper pics. Any advice is greatly appreciated, thanks!

I don't know anything about the Tamron 17-50, but I have owned the 28-75 that others have mentioned and I agree that it is an excellent lens. I sold mine a while back and I kind of regret that decision.

I would not count on the Pentax 40 producing noticeably sharper images than the Tamron 28-75 @ 40mm. There may be a handful of primes whose image quality is simply unparalleled—the Pentax 21, 31, 43 and 77 seem to be in that category. Alas, I don't own any of them yet. The 40 is an excellent lens but so is the Tamron 28-75 and I'd be surprised if there was a dramatic difference in image quality between those two particular lenses at that one focal length. And if you absolutely have to shoot at 28mm or 75mm, well, the Tamron is much better at those focal lengths than the Pentax 40. I guess about 99% of the photographers shooting today use zoom lenses, and the image quality of the best zoom lenses, used properly, is so good today that it's hard to argue with this decision.

Even so, I've been moving away from zooms and toward primes. I think the advantage of the prime lenses lies elsewhere than in image quality.

A few of the primes are smaller and, if you will, less threatening than your average big zoom lens; the Pentax 40 has these advantages. First time I used it, my daughter (my subject) told me I didn't have a lens on the camera.

Some primes—like with my Sigma 28 f/1.7 or Pentax 35 f/2 or Pentax 50 f/1.4—are significantly faster than any available zoom lens; zooms seldom go faster than f/2.8. If I'm shooting in low light with one of these lenses and I can't use flash, the prime's advantage is decisive.

But there's a third reason to choose a prime lens, although it's a bit vaguer and more personal. Even when the prime has no particular advantage over a zoom in size or aperture, still, using primes makes me think harder about what I'm doing—about where I'm standing and how I frame the shot—and I personally find that particular challenge very stimulating. Shooting with primes is sort of like using M mode on the camera. It's not necessary, and it's nearly impossible after the fact to argue that any particular shot could not have been taken just as well using the alternative approach (zoom lens or one of the automatic modes). Still, slowing down and thinking hard about what you're doing seems to me an inherently good thing. Since I started using primes 90% of the time, I think I'm taking fewer photos overall but taking more good ones. Perhaps I'm just getting better generally, but I don't think that's the whole explanation. I think I've gotten better because I've slowed down and made myself work harder.

So it's hard to advise here. The Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 is a really nice lens, fast, really good image quality (I love dgaies's shot of the baby!) and it's versatile, as zooms are. And yet, my cameras usually have either the Pentax 40 or the Sigma 28 mounted—even though I have the Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.4, which isn't constant aperture but can be a very nice lens too. You have to figure out for yourself how you like to shoot.

But if you really want some help making a difficult decision, then I will help you. Get the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 (or the 17-50 if you really need the wider angle). I shot for a long time in the 60s and 70s with fixed focal length lenses because I didn't have a choice. But today, I think the normal thing to do is start with zooms and move to primes if you start to feel you have a good reason to do so. So get a really good zoom and enjoy it. And don't blame me later if you start wishing you'd got the Pentax 40 instead. :-)

Will
02-15-2010, 04:42 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
True - I'd just like to see that opinion presented with a little perspective. Starting right off with "don't buy the Tamron" makes it sound like a far bigger problem than it actually is.
Look at the bokeh (in the following cases the onions are more difficult to spot, but the rendering is mirror lens quality):

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/88312-sharpnes...17-50mm-6.html

Here's another one:

Flickr Photo Download: World Trade Bokeh

Perhaps, the OP's "or" was inclusive, so he may want to buy both...eventually.
02-15-2010, 06:25 PM - 1 Like   #43
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I've seen hundreds of pictures from the 17-50, most look great. If a small handful have less than ideal bokeh, that's doesn't change my opinion. I understand that for the tiny of minority of photographers who care about bokeh above all else it will be a dealbreaker, but it doesn't seem reasonable to assume the OP will be among that minority. So I'd simply point out the 17-50 might not have the best bokeh around, so the Op can take that into consideration along with the great things it has going for it that make most people decide it's still the lens to get.
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