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Friday, February 27, 2009

a country drive...

Went out in the country the other day, here's a couple from that...

all from the Pentax K20D with the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8...

(click the photo for a larger version...)

Big swell hittin' the coast...

Shot last week in Oregon looking down on the Pacific...

Shot with the Pentax DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 @ f/8 on the K20D. Converted to B&W in Lr...

Monday, February 23, 2009

PENTAX-DA* 50-135mm vs Tamron 70-200mm Comparison and Shootout

It was rainy all day today, and I needed something to do while the boy was napping... so I fell to this :p.

Edit: The validity of the comparison photos below has been called into question by several folks on DPR. They claim and I can't dispute that they get better results than I present here from their copies of the DA* 50-135 Like I say below, it's possible that some error in my focusing or methodology caused the DA* 50-135mm to look weaker / softer than most peoples experience shows it to be (or perhaps I have a weak copy of this lens). Regardless of these results, I think it can be assumed that based on everyone's experiences the DA* 50-135 is a stellar lens, whether or not mine lives up to the general population. I feel that the Tamron 70-200/2.8 is too, and what I'm really just trying to highlight is that the choice between these two lenses (and probably the Sigma 70-200/2.8 - which I've never used myself) comes down to usage / needs / preference rather than image quality.

Edit 2: After finding that my DA* 50-135 needed a -2 focus adjustment on my K20D, I've figured out why those photos looked worse than those from the Tamron 70-200mm... So the photos are removed, but the discussion is still valid.

We see the questions all the time... "which should I buy?" Which is a question I asked before getting the first one, but now having handled both it seems such a silly question - they're so different, they're almost incomparable.

Pluses for the Tamron:
  • much more tele reach
  • much better "macro" ratio/magnification
  • slightly sharper :eek: (photos below for those who doubt - though you'll still doubt - I know you ;))
  • you can fit your hand in the hood to put on and remove the lens cap
  • tripod collar
  • six year warranty

Minuses for the Tamron:
  • much bigger
  • noisy focus
  • much bigger
  • lacks quick shift focusing

Pluses for the DA*
  • smaller / less intimidating when pointed at someone
  • SDM / quickshift focusing
  • weather sealed
  • 50mm is very handy indoors or when mixed in to the crowd (weddings etc.)

Minuses for the DA*:
  • annoyingly small hood / hard to put cap back on (wah... wah.. I know)
  • "long end" is still pretty short (for me)
  • close focusing capability very lacking (1:5.8 according to B&H)

If I had to give one up...

If I were a wedding shooter, I'd hem and haw and give up the Tamron... The Pentax is well suited to event shooting as long as you can get in fairly close when needed.

Since I'm more of a landscape / nature shooter... I'd drop the Pentax if necessary. The closer focusing and the longer long end are both sorely missed when I use the Pentax, and these are areas the Tamron shines in (I'd miss the wx. sealing though).

Unless I get a layoff notice or let this itchy LBA trigger finger do something rash, I'll keep both and have options :D.

[Photos Removed]

I hope this helps someone out there make a decision ;).

P.S. - If anyone out there wants to mail me a Sigma 70-200 or a Sigma 50-150, I'll throw those into the mix too :D.