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Tamron AF (IF) 79D/179D 28-105mm F4-5.6

Reviews Views Date of last review
13 63,572 Wed December 14, 2016
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $48.89 8.54
Tamron AF (IF) 79D/179D 28-105mm F4-5.6

Tamron AF (IF) 79D/179D 28-105mm F4-5.6
Tamron AF (IF) 79D/179D 28-105mm F4-5.6
Tamron AF (IF) 79D/179D 28-105mm F4-5.6

Tamron Fully Coated AF (IF) Series Gold Lettering, Model 79D/179D. Full frame, originally produced for film cameras.

It is quite likely this is optically the same lens as the SMC Pentax-FA 28-105mm F4-5.6 [IF] (note there are two other FA series 28-105's), designed by Tamron (Pentax also rebadged the 28-200mm from the same series).
(Pic 1 is my lens, pic 2 a Tamron library image, pic 3 a 79D, Pentax mount).

15 elements/12 groups.
62mm filter
6 blade iris.
CFD 50cm.
weight 305g.

User manual: see here.
Price History:

Add Review of Tamron AF (IF) 79D/179D 28-105mm F4-5.6
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-13 of 13

Registered: May, 2015
Location: Hampshire
Posts: 891
Lens Review Date: December 14, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Internal focus, good AF
Cons: A bit slow
Camera Used: K-5   

I have just received today, my copy of the 79D version, bought on Ebay as "new and not used" and it looks like new! Both caps were present but no hood or box.

I had previously owned the 179D model, sold after buying a Pentax-A 35-105mm F3.5. Apart from being AF, being lighter and having a 28mm wide end, it could not quite compete regarding colours, IQ and faster apertures, so it had to go.

This 79D seems to provide identical output to the 179D lens I had, so the IQ is not up to the Pentax-A 35-105mm and no improvement on the 179D. A shame as this is the sort of lens that could stay on the camera a lot if you generally shoot in the range of FL's provided. Purple fringing can sometimes show up but is not too obtrusive when it does. Probably best used, stopped down a bit, in nice sunny conditions or with flash.

I have given it a 9 and a recommendation, more of an 8 would be right but the fact that they can be found at low cost, seem to have good AF, average IQ and a useful range, it deserves an 8.5.... so rounded up. Worth having in your arsenal if you can only afford budget price lenses.
New Member

Registered: March, 2014
Location: Lisboa - Portugal
Posts: 20

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 26, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $70.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Portability, Versatility, Sharpness, Colors
Cons: Sometimes Not Wide Enough, Flare
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-m   

Bought it brand new (really!) on Ebay, last month! My model is the older one (79d).
Flare for me is the main drawback of this lens.
All lens have limitations ... but for the price payed this one is very nice.
I'm having a lot of fun with it and my K-m.

Registered: August, 2012
Posts: 644

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 31, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Nice handling, feels balanced on the camera. Sharp but not harsh
Cons: Plastic construction
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Kx   

I think I've got a new favorite lens here. This is the first Tamron lens I've ever owned and so far, I like it very much. As with all my Pentax-related gear, I picked this lens up on eBay for about $30 with shipping. The net purchase price was $23.88. It came with both caps and the tulip-shaped lens hood, and except for a few scratches on the end cap, it's in excellent condition. One of the first things I noticed about this lens upon unpacking it was its girth. The 62mm filter diameter tells almost the whole story. I say almost because the lens is surprisingly comfortable in my not-so-huge hand. The zoom and focus rings are very responsive and have just the right amount of tension on them—light enough to be operated with a feather touch but not so light as to be 'fiddly'. The autofocus is quick and accurate and the optics are nice and sharp. Despite its plastic construction, metal bayonet base notwithstanding, the build quality feels good; in fact, the lens feels very good on my K-x. That body and lens feel well balanced together and they seem to like each other The autofocus on my K-x seems to hunt less with this lens than with any of my others. I have yet to try the lens on my K-2000 or my K-100D, but I'd expect similar performance on them. I only have taken a few shots with this camera so far, but I have so far been more than satisfied with the results. Images are sharp but not harsh. Colors are natural looking—pleasantly saturated but not overly so, and there are no noticeable aberrations or optical artifacts. It also seems to handle low light situations better than my other lenses. Perhaps the larger diameter is helping there as well. Although not a macro, the lens isn't bad for close up work. I also like the extra bit of telephoto reach the lens has over my Sigma 28-80 Macro zoom. I think this is a superb lens for the money and it has now become the default lens for my Kx.
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2008
Location: Paris, TN
Posts: 3,129

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 13, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Economical long-normal zoom
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 9   

There is an ongoing discussion about the pedigrees of the Pentax FA 28-105/4-5.6 IF and the Tamron AF 28-105/4-5.6 IF (179D). I finally had the opportunity to compare the two side-by-side.

Short story: exact same optics and body design with differences in zoom grip pattern, style of lettering and, apparently, some difference in coatings. Subjective results are nearly identical. -- well within my tolerance for lens-to-lens variation.

Focusing: This Tamron had a very slight tendency to front focus in all situations compared to the Pentax. Range and feel of the focusing mechanism and AF speed are identical.

Rendering: The Pentax seemed to consistently expose about a 1/3 stop lighter with slightly more saturated colors with EXIF data recording identical numbers. The Tamron was slightly cooler. The Tamron was prone to slight purple fringing but not as prominent as the typical 70-300 zoom lens.

IMO, any differences in the rendering of the two lenses may very well be attributed to the presumed use of SMC or BBAR coating. Surface reflections off the objective lenses do have different characteristics. I could observe no difference in flare sensitivity but the light available wasn't conducive to flare.

Cosmetics: The Pentax looks somewhat more refined and its lettering is easier to read. It can also be found in the silver finish if desired and looks equally attractive on the black bodies. Build quality is essentially identical and common to the better poly-carbonate materials of the era.

Category: In terms of general satisfaction, both lenses fall between the DA 18-55's and the DA 16-45. Used with the same care as the kit lenses, they produce similar quality images. Paired as the long-normal choice of FL with the DA 16-45, either lens would produce comparable results for light-weight, outdoor trail use. They work acceptably well with the Tamron Pz-AF 1.4X TC for occasional shots into the 150mm range but the DA 50-200 or one of the economy 70-300 zooms would better serve the long shots with similar IQ.

I'd value either lens at about the same used price as the DA 18-55 AL ll. Perhaps a bit more for the silver FA.

Site Supporter

Registered: August, 2011
Location: New Joisey
Posts: 1,362
Lens Review Date: February 20, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Good sharpness, decent contrast, convenient range, compact, light
Cons: Could go a little wider
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 9   

Very good lens for the money. Not a bad walk around lens, but wish it went a bit wider.

Here's a sample @37mm f5.6 ISO500 on a K20D

We are the 99% by Spodeworld, on Flickr
Junior Member

Registered: January, 2011
Location: kuhmpawapi Thailand
Posts: 28

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 12, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10   

Bought this lens used for $10.00 dollars, I bought this lens on a whim figured it was propably junk glass.
I was very wrong! great knock around lens, a little slow but i like it a lot.
Forum Member

Registered: December, 2008
Location: Fishtown, Philly PA
Posts: 55
Lens Review Date: November 4, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: price, colors, size
Cons: focus ring feel, speed, plastic-y
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10   

Picked this up on ebay for 60$ but it was sans hood and rear cap. had a rear cap lying around, but had to buy the hood off ebay for an additional 16$. You want the Tamron 1d3fh hood for the lens--which is the 179d. I took a few shots last night and really liked the color from the lens as well as the sharpness. feels great on the k20d with grip. the lens is compact, seems like a nice complement to the regular kit lens. Lately I have been feeding my LBA with the cheap older zooms--recently bought pentax F 35-70 3.5-4.5 and Pentax FA 100-300 4.7-- and so far all of them have been great. I don't see how you can go wrong when you can purchase these nice lenses for less than 100$.
Inactive Account

Registered: October, 2010
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 2,542

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 12, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Lightweight, Quick AF, Nice FL, IQ
Cons: f4 a bit Slow
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

First, I think this is quite a good looking lens, looks nice and well balanced on camera... IQ is more than acceptable, sharp, good color and contrast. Very typical Tamron sharpness and color...

I've got the SMC-f 35-70 and 70-210 didn't like swapping out the lenses and found myself needing a little more wide on the 35 and using the shorter end of 210, so I picked this up and so far so good. Super all around lens and the price was right!!!

The only reason I don't use this lens more often, it's not a Pentax


Registered: October, 2009
Location: Winchester
Posts: 2,371

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 29, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Compact, good contrast, interesting fl range
Cons: Not tack sharp, a bit slow
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: K20   

I give this an 8 but is an 8.5 really considering the low cost. I bought this for a particular reason -taking photos of trains, this lens has an ideal range for this - slightly wide normal (on my K20d) to medium telephoto.

Nice build for the price, equivalent to 18-55mm kit lenses and about the same size at short zoom. Good contrasty images even wide open, no real fringing Fast focus. Not razor sharp but photos look better than pixel peeping says they should!

Just a tad slow, f5.6 at the long end is not stellar, but it beats the kit lens I guess

PhotoMe reads it as the Pentax FA 28-105 - as noted in the header to this review section.

A good solid lens, not seen one before I got this on e-bay fo£65, probably could have got cheaper if I waited a bit. Don't regret it
Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2008
Location: Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Posts: 3,948
Lens Review Date: August 1, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Good size and weight, very useful FL
Cons: A bit stiff on the throw

I was looking for a longer, less wide outdoor walkaround lens that was reasonably priced. With APS-C no one is making the 24-28 to 90-135 focal lengths, opting instead for the more compromised 18-200 or 250 ranges.

So I came across this one at a very reasonable price and thought: "Why not?"

It's a terrific lens. It is sharp and contrasty, as good as any zoom. Good bokeh (Tamron has a way with decent bokeh). Like any zoom it's a bit compromised at the 28 and 105 ends, but not noticeably. It's a hand above any super-zoom 18-250 range glass in terms of IQ, especially contrast.

It's the FL that's the appeal here. It's not the fastest glass, but with outdoor lighting it is just right. If you want indoor use, use a flash. But for outdoor, natural light composition, this is just an ideal lens.

The understatement of the lens is that it has a very good operational feel. The throw is stiff, but there's no hint of zoom creep whatsoever. The hood is excellent, The weight is terrific—no problems hauling this around all day. It's a very manageable lens that is solidly built and easy to use.

Bonus: It's a Full Frame lens
Veteran Member

Registered: February, 2010
Location: California
Posts: 1,602

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 4, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Price, compact, great focal length, fast focus
Cons: none at this $

I paid next to nothing for this lens and my rating took that into account but I would have paid twice as much as I did for this lens.

I think this is almost the perfect focal length for a general knockaround lens and that was the main selling point for me.

The image IQ/Sharpness is really good but not great.

Focus is fast and accurate.

Little to no CA when shooting birds on against a clear blue sky.

All in all this is a very good lens for the price. Paid $40 + (10 shipping).
Junior Member

Registered: March, 2009
Location: EU
Posts: 26

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 26, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: useful range, sharpness, weight, covers FF,
Cons: sometimes CA, not fast
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9   

Quite good lens, not especially common. I have bought this one by accident buying with some of my old analog cameras,
I was surprised when started to make digital photos. Images are really sharp, contrast. It is made of plastic but looks and works decently. Handy range 28-105 is enough as a walk around zoom. Sometimes in some circumstances CA is visible. Sharp in the center and a bit softer on the edges.
I use it with my digital camera and PZ-1p and other manual focus film cameras as well.
Aperture starts from 4, it could be better
Generally I use it very often.
New Member

Registered: November, 2008
Location: Houston
Posts: 22

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 9, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Good Range, Film Frame, Good Feel
Cons: None Found, Polycarbonate Barrel

This Pentax Mount Tamron was found used in a Houston Camera store that no longer sells Pentax due to Pentax USA distribution practice, vastly underpriced.

I am very used to a 28mm to 105mm Canon FD F1:3.5. The lens is assembled in China of Parts made in Japan. This Tamron fills the void in my heart left by the long time use of the Canon lens.

It has good feel and zero zoom drop. Other than weight it provides good images apparently every bit as good as the Canon FD 28mm to 105mm lens I used for 20 years with a Canon A1 (And I still have both.)

The Lens pairs excellently with a K20D all features work flawlessly. This copy did not come with the Tamron butterfly hood. (Tamron HAS parts! Correctly ID the hood part # and sold a hood for $22+$6 UPS Shipping) It appears to be of the Gold Tamron line AF-IF.

Good colour on images good sharpness no fringing corners sharp on APC sensor. Excellent walk around lens. Appears to deliver at least as good contrast and sharpness of Pentax/Tamron Zooms. While not having done Pixel peeping I would have no trouble recommending this lens. It is likely that this lens delivers at least the sharpness of the 18-250mm lens. For me the price was very right.
Add Review of Tamron AF (IF) 79D/179D 28-105mm F4-5.6

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