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Old Oct 23, 2006, 3:31 PM   #1
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I have Just purchased a Nikon D50 body only and am looking to get the most out of the small amount of my budget left I was recently in San Francisco and was shown the Phoenix 28-300mm lens which looked good on the demos in the shop. I have been looking on the internet at thisand the Cosina 28-300mm which looks remarkably similar . can anyone please give me recomendations on either of these or of a similarly priced one. Regards
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Old Oct 23, 2006, 4:35 PM   #2
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As a general rule, the greater the difference between wide and long, the more compromises a manufacturer needs to make.

So, 28-300mm lenses are not known for having the best image quality, even when looking at lenses in this focal range from the better manufacturers (and the Phoenix/Vivitar/Cosina lenses tend to be of lower quality than most).

You'll find an MTF chart for it here (very low score):


Even so, they offer convenience as a "walk around" lens when you may not need mind the lower quality, and you have the luxury of using a lens in optimum lighting. So, their popularity remains with some users, despite their optical compromises.

If I were going to go with a 28-300mm lens (and I have no plans to buy one), I'd probably lean towards the Tamron over the Sigma or other brands.

You can get the Tamron 28-300mm XR lens for under $200 from CametaAuctions (a popular Ebay vendor). It's not the newest Di version (which is supposed to have more optimized coatings for Digital).

But, it is the XR version (not one of the much older ones). This particular model wasn't on the market long before being replaced, and I doubt there is very much difference between it and the newest model (size, weight, number of optical elements, etc. all match up).

CametaAuctions has been slowly raising the price over time ($149, then $169, now $199).

Here's an example of it in Minolta mount, but I don't see any listings right now in Nikon mount from CametaAuctions for it (they may have sold out). Do not order this one (it won't work on your Nikon, as this is the Minolta mount version).


I don't own one. But, a number of our KM DSLR owners here in the forum members do.

You can see a long thread about 28-300mm lenses here in the KM DSLR forum:


So, it may be worth looking into if you plan on going with an "all in one" lens.

Personally, I'll pass on these lens types, and if I ever change my mind, I'd probably go with one starting out at 18mm instead.

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Old Oct 23, 2006, 6:50 PM   #3
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I have the D50 with the Tamron 28-300 and have been very happy. Here's a couple recent shots with the lens:

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Old Oct 23, 2006, 8:08 PM   #4
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It's rare to see anyone that doesn't like the newer Tamron 28-300mm XR (and XR Di) lenses.

Yet, I see frequent complaints about other brands like the Sigma (and based on the MTF charts, I wouldn't touch the Cosina/Vivitar/Phoenix 28-300mm the OP mentioned with a 10 foot pole, as it looks soft at anything above the wide angle setting, even stopped down to smaller apertures.

Color and contrast are usually complimented from the Tamron's users. The only major "niggles" I see from time to time is a bit of softness at the longer end, and slow/unusable focusing in less than optimum lighting (it's not an indoor lens). I do see some comments about needing to stop it down a bit for better sharpness. But, most users praise it's usability for a lens with it's focal range.

So, if I were to ever "break down" and get one of the 28-300mm lenses (unlikely for my shooting needs), I'd lean towards the Tamron for sure.

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Old Nov 5, 2006, 11:29 PM   #5
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what about the nikon 28-200? I just came across it the other day while surfing the net for a new lens. I have an old tamron 28-300 from my nikon F65 and it works fine when I use it on my D50. However, I am sometimes dissappointed by the perfomance indoors and with the softness at the long end of the zoom.

Would the nikon 28-200 be a better choice?

Also, I currently have the 50mm 1.8 but I find it a bit too crowded for portraits of groups in small rooms. I only have a budget for one lens, about AUD $700, but i just wanted some good walk about lens. Would the 35mm f2 be a good companion? What other lens would u recommend?

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Old Nov 6, 2006, 5:52 PM   #6
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also used the old film tamron af 28-300mm on the d50 and it performed very good for its specifications.
what are the newer versions doing different?
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