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11-20-2008, 06:39 AM   #1
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Suggestions for f2.8 telezoom?

I am wondering what the pros/cons are of

Pentax 50-135mm f2.8
Tamron 70-200mm f2.8
Sigma 70-200mm f2.8

Looking at dpreviews.com, it seems the tamron has better optics than the sigma, but slower focusing. It is not clear if the Pentax version of the Sigma has HSM or relies on the in camera motor. (I know that the Sigma 10-20 has HSM in other mounts, but not in Pentax).

Any thoughts? The lens will be for general purpose tele work; I do little sports photography, so most likely people shots with the very occasional wildlife. If I start doing more wildlife/bird photography I would invest in a longer lens.

I have a K20D and a K100D (IR Converted)

Thanks,

Jonathan

11-20-2008, 12:35 PM   #2
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Hi Jonathan,

I'm mainly a bird shooter, and do candids at events/people stuff just for fun, and to provide friends with a reasonably competent record of the event, so take MO for what it's worth. . .

For me, weight is a real factor, especially in relatively dimly lit venues -- which generally require an external flash. I use the Tamron 28-75/2.8 XR Di for most of this work, and even it gets to be cumbersome with a 540 FGZ attached during the course of a few hours. This range lens, with a 70-200-ish f2.8 zoom were the traditional team for candids in the film days. I find any of the 70-200/2.8 zooms just too heavy to work well for me, so I was very glad to see Pentax come out with its APS-C crop factored equivalent.

The lens is stellar in performance, which helps a bunch, but the difference the weight makes between the 50-135 and the fast 70-200s for an extended session has to be experienced to be believed. I found the longer ranges of the 70-200 a bit of overkill in FL for candids, from a perspective point of view. Also, flash range (bounced and diffused) became an issue with the longer FLs. Add the intimidation value of the big zoom, and the 50-135 became the easy preference for this kind of work.

With weather sealing, mounted on a K20, the 50-135 also is a great all-weather walk around tele zoom -- my tendency is towards teles as opposed to wide -- so that's just a bonus.

The newest 70-200models from Tamron and Sigma are both one-system AF lenses -- the Tamron is screwdrive only and the Sigma is HSM only, so the Tamron will AF with both of your bodies, while the Sigma will AF with the K20, but will be MF with the K100D. The DA*50-135 will AF with both bodies. Another bonus with the bodies that you have. I still have a DS, so this was a consideration for me also.

Hope this helps a little. . .

Scott
11-20-2008, 01:13 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jfsavage Quote
I am wondering what the pros/cons are of

Pentax 50-135mm f2.8
Tamron 70-200mm f2.8
Sigma 70-200mm f2.8

Looking at dpreviews.com, it seems the tamron has better optics than the sigma, but slower focusing. It is not clear if the Pentax version of the Sigma has HSM or relies on the in camera motor. (I know that the Sigma 10-20 has HSM in other mounts, but not in Pentax).
Pros DA* 50-135 : it's amazing.
Cons : for my needs a 200mm would sometimes be great, that leads us to :

Tamron vs. Sigma. I'm sure you'll find as many afficionados for each of them. I tried both on a K20 (Sigma) and a Nikon D90 (Tamron) before deciding to buy my camera.

So far I think that the Tamron IQ is a little better than what I experienced with the Sigma, but since I used two different camera brands, that isn't really conclusive. As far as speed is concerned, the Sigma is focusing as you would expect from a HSM glass :
Sigma - Lenses

I finally decided to get the DA* 50-135 because IQ is fantastic, because I shoot a lot in bad weather conditions, and finally because it far less heavy than the Sigma/Tamron.
11-20-2008, 01:33 PM   #4
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time to plan out the rest of your kit.

if you want wild life a 70-200 is better than the 50-135, if you don;t think long tele shots are necessary, maybe the 50-135 is the best, you can always add the 300 F4 later.


What you need to do is consider how you will cover from 10-200mm (see above maybe 135/150 is OK) with 24-200 at F2.8

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