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View Poll Results: Pentax, Sigma or Tamron ?
DA* 16-50/2.8 4 57.14%
Sigma 17-50/2.8 1 14.29%
Tamron 17-50/2.8 (VC) 3 42.86%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Dec 11, 2010, 5:29 PM   #11
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If WR wasn't a major priority for me I'd probably get the Tamron as I've seen some really neat pictures from it. But I'm not going to get one because the only reason I want a lens in this focal range is to use it outside, in all kinds of environments like snow, rain and dust. I would also use it for indoors, but that's not very high priority for me.

SDM doesn't bother me much - I have one of the first 50-135 lenses sold in SoCal and it's still going strong, along with the DA*200 and DA*300 (much newer lenses for me). I haven't had any problems with any of them. It won't stop me from buying a 16-50.

I actually did buy the 16-50 a little over a year ago, when I could buy one with the K7 rebate offer. The first one I got from B&H showed significant decentering and either focus issues or another very bad problem as none of the shots were sharp with it. I exchanged it for another one that arrived in a beat-up outer box but the inner box looked fine. The lens was really, really sharp - I can see why people love this lens. Color was really fantastic. However, the zoom ring was much stiffer than it should have been. I suspect it had been damaged by UPS but there were no signs of damage and I just returned for a refund as I was out of time on the rebate (I had bought another lens that qualified at the same time and only had 30 days to send it in). If it hadn't been for the rebate, I would have tried for another one and do want to get one someday.

While the lens has 77 mm diameter, it's not all that long and it's lighter than the 50-135. I wouldn't mind carrying it around all the time for a walk-about lens. There's just too many things I want and not enough money to buy them all (sigh).
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Old Dec 12, 2010, 7:34 AM   #12
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Yes I've seen a few comments about the size of the 16-50, the Tamron / Sigma are much smaller and I believe have 67mm diameters (edit : Sigma has 72mm) - much cheaper for CPLs etc.

A link to an excellent test between the 3 lenses (in Slovenian but you can understand the comparisons) :
http://servis-doma.net/pentax-forum/....php?f=11&t=25

This is what I got (although this could be influenced by sample variation too) :

Sharpest at 16/17/18mm @ F2.8 : 1. Sigma 2. Tamron 3. Pentax
Warmest Colours at 16/17/18mm : 1. Pentax 2. Sigma 3. Tamron

Sharpest at 16/17/18mm @ F8 : 1. Sigma 2. Tamron 3. Pentax (noticeably darker too).
Warmest Colours at 16/17/18mm : 1. Sigma 2. Pentax 3. Tamron

Sharpest at 30mm @ F2.8 : 1. Sigma 2. Pentax 3. Tamron
Warmest Colours at 30mm : 1. Sigma 2. Tamron 3. Pentax

Sharpest at 30mm @ F8 : 1. Sigma 2. Tamron 3. Pentax
Warmest Colours at 30mm : 1. Pentax 2. Sigma 3. Tamron

By 50mm Pentax & Tamron seem to have taken over as #1 in the sharpness and colour warmth.

In PF Tamron is a clear winner, followed by Sigma and then Pentax.

Ghosting & flare : 1. Sigma 2. Tamron 3. Pentax

Bokeh : the Sigma seems smoother and isolates better (@2.8) with nothing much between the Pentax & Tamron.

Of course this is just one test I we can't vouch for the conditions / accuracy but it's interesting to see real life side-by-side comparisons nevertheless. One thing is clear, these lenses are so closely matched in IQ that I couldn't go wrong with any of them.

If anyone can comment on the test or disagrees with my observations - please come forward and say why, I'd love to hear other people's opinions.
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Pentax : 15 Ltd, 77 Ltd, 43/1.9 Ltd, Cosina 55/1.2, DA*300/4, Contax Zeiss Distagon 28/2.8, Raynox 150/250, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.

Nikon : D800, D600, Sigma 500/4.5, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 35/2.0, Nikkor 85/1.8G, Sigma 50/1.4. Nikon x1.4 TC, Sigma x2.0 TC

Last edited by Frogfish; Dec 12, 2010 at 2:27 PM.
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Old Dec 12, 2010, 2:07 PM   #13
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I can't add anything here but, I sure appreciate all the info for when I might go this rout. Thanks guys.
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Old Dec 13, 2010, 5:42 AM   #14
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Today I went and compared the Tamron to the 16-50 on my K7 at my favourite Pentax stockist (the Sigma wasn't in stock - should be there within the week). I was shocked - the sharpness from the Tamron blew the Pentax away at 2.8 although at F8 there was nothing in it. I also found the Tamron very fast to focus - I'd expected Pentax to edge it but there was nothing in it. I can't say that build quality looked an issue on the Tamron either - by look & feel there was nothing in it - but I did miss the quick-shift.

US$900 and a one year guarantee vs. US$360 and a three year guarantee ..... it's down to the Tamron or the Sigma (quoted US$550) I'm afraid, though I will be sorry to give up the WR but if the Tamron/Sigma takes a drenching I can buy another one (and get another new 3 year guarantee) !
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Pentax : 15 Ltd, 77 Ltd, 43/1.9 Ltd, Cosina 55/1.2, DA*300/4, Contax Zeiss Distagon 28/2.8, Raynox 150/250, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.

Nikon : D800, D600, Sigma 500/4.5, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 35/2.0, Nikkor 85/1.8G, Sigma 50/1.4. Nikon x1.4 TC, Sigma x2.0 TC
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Old Dec 21, 2010, 11:28 AM   #15
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I couldn't control the LBA

Today I went into my favourite stockist and the new Sigma 17-50 still wasn't in stock yet (and no date on delivery) .... so I bought the Tamron 17-50/2.8 instead.

I'm really looking forward to using this lense but the next time I'm there (and the Sigma is in stock) then I'll give the Sigma a run out, if I like it more than the Tamron then I won't lose too much by switching.

I tried out 4 copies of the Tamron today (checking for FF/BF) and, as thankfully I have a split prism viewfinder, it was very easy to check the focus even before I took a shot. Not one was on the money so I chose the best of the 4 and then used the K7's focus adjust to fine tune it (+5) to perfect.

I don't know how accurate this is but the owner of the shop told me that as the Tamron is made for multiple mounts it isn't adjusted in factory specifically for each brand (the mounts are simply added to the lenses after production) hence the problem with FF/BF. I wonder if this is true and if so is it the same for all 3rd Party lenses ?

Therefore my advice to anyone else buying this lense is to not buy it on-line. Buy in person, check multiple copies, and beware if your camera can not adjust focus for individual lenses.

Now I'm really looking forward to using this lense over Xmas / New Year ! Thank you again for all your help in guiding me to this decision.
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Pentax : 15 Ltd, 77 Ltd, 43/1.9 Ltd, Cosina 55/1.2, DA*300/4, Contax Zeiss Distagon 28/2.8, Raynox 150/250, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.

Nikon : D800, D600, Sigma 500/4.5, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 35/2.0, Nikkor 85/1.8G, Sigma 50/1.4. Nikon x1.4 TC, Sigma x2.0 TC
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Old Dec 21, 2010, 11:45 AM   #16
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I'm waiting for your pictures, i'll be able to control my lba till then. (I hope)
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Old Dec 21, 2010, 6:59 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frogfish View Post
I couldn't control the LBA

Today I went into my favourite stockist and the new Sigma 17-50 still wasn't in stock yet (and no date on delivery) .... so I bought the Tamron 17-50/2.8 instead.

I'm really looking forward to using this lense but the next time I'm there (and the Sigma is in stock) then I'll give the Sigma a run out, if I like it more than the Tamron then I won't lose too much by switching.

I tried out 4 copies of the Tamron today (checking for FF/BF) and, as thankfully I have a split prism viewfinder, it was very easy to check the focus even before I took a shot. Not one was on the money so I chose the best of the 4 and then used the K7's focus adjust to fine tune it (+5) to perfect.

I don't know how accurate this is but the owner of the shop told me that as the Tamron is made for multiple mounts it isn't adjusted in factory specifically for each brand (the mounts are simply added to the lenses after production) hence the problem with FF/BF. I wonder if this is true and if so is it the same for all 3rd Party lenses ?

Therefore my advice to anyone else buying this lense is to not buy it on-line. Buy in person, check multiple copies, and beware if your camera can not adjust focus for individual lenses.

Now I'm really looking forward to using this lense over Xmas / New Year ! Thank you again for all your help in guiding me to this decision.
I can't imagine that you'd be unhappy with the Tamron Lens. You'll have to share your opinion, and photos, once you've had time to put it through its paces.
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