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Old Aug 13, 2006, 9:08 PM   #1
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i am looking for an all around lens for candid photography, it should have good quality though i am not looking for quality of a minolta g lens (too expensive). i know tamron, sigma has lenses in this range but i am not sure which ones are good. i have looked at the photozone site for ratings but i would like some personal experiences if people have had some with them, thanks.
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Old Aug 13, 2006, 9:35 PM   #2
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Take a look at this thread (now up to 10 pages with lots of sample images posted in it):

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=84

Some of our members have been happy with the Tamron 28-300mm XR AF Lens from Cameta Auctions on Ebay for around $150.

I've seen mixed comments on it (mostly regarding usability at wide open apertures and longer focal lengths). But, most people that have one seem to be happy with it.


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Old Aug 13, 2006, 10:11 PM   #3
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Yeah, I have the Tamron 28-300 and am happy with it.

It's a fairly bright and sharp lens, considering its almost an 11x zoom. (meaning it's niethervery sharp nor very bright) Contrast and color rendition is where this lens really seems to shine (IMO). For some reason the compromises in this lens pay off very well and the images look quite good. If you have the light to stop it down, it can be pretty sharp but don't expect miracles in low light at high zoom. Also it tends to hunt for focus quite a bit more than my my Minolta 70-210 f3.5-4.5, even when stopped down the same. It's not bad, but is worth mentioning ( It typically gets focus right, then retries only to wind up in the same spot.)

I got the Tamron from Cameta because it is said to be a beter lens than the Sigma ( I prefer Tamron lenses anyway so that panders to my prejudice) and the $150 price new is stupid low. Last year, this lens would have cost over 3x that price and some vendors are still getting well over $400.

One thing that irritates me about the new IF lenses is that many don't reach full zoom unless focused to infinity. It's not a huge deal, but you shoulld be aware that it's more like a 28-200 zoom when set to it's minimum focus distance.

Though it seems like I'm beating it up, I do like the lens. It spends more time on my 7d than any other lens I own (mostly because I'm getting lazy about changing lenses) and it's performance is great formost photos. I do love the range.

What it all boils down to is that I wouldn't sell it for twice what I paid. Cameta is eventually going to run out of them, don't wait too long.


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Old Aug 13, 2006, 10:32 PM   #4
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Mercury694 wrote:
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Also it tends to hunt for focus quite a bit more than my my Minolta 70-210 f3.5-4.5, even when stopped down the same.
A quick comment...

The modern AF camera will focus with the aperture wide open, only closing the aperture to the desired setting when you take the photo.

So, a brighter and sharper lens usually has an advantage for Autofocus in less than optimum lighting, regardless of your aperture setting, all else being equal (and things rarely are).


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Old Aug 14, 2006, 2:05 AM   #5
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wow, thanks very much for the help. as you know i love tokina, and i know about tokina's 24-200, but the tamron has good stuff tough, so this will be a tough call. the tokina is harder to find and seems to be more expensive, however it is at 72mm which is what my other lenses use for filters and i would thus prefer. i think the discouraging tokina photos (though there are good ones too in that enormous thread) are due to focus problems, i have had some myself with the autofocus. the 80-400 tokina isn't fun at autofocus, it is goes back and forth several times, and the 28-70 is hard to focus unless i find something contrasty, so if i were taking a photo of someone in a white shirt i'd have to focus on say the side of the collar by the neck. it doesnt happen all the time, but it being a fast lens helps too.

i think im going with the tokina, i dont need the extra 100mm.

i just wonder is 4 mm (or 6mm with 1.5x) really any good for comparing 24-200 vs. 28-300?
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Old Aug 14, 2006, 8:14 AM   #6
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I have the 28-300 Tamron. Remember that this is not a $150 lens, it sold for close to $400 before the new digital coated one came out. Go to the DPReview KM site and do a search for CC. George uses his 5D and A-100 with the 28-300 almost exclusively, and takes great aerial shots, including some from the cockpit in flight.
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Old Aug 14, 2006, 9:41 AM   #7
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Jim,

You have me thinking about AF protocol. The 28-300 is about 2/3 stop slower than the 70-210 at 200mm (maximum aperture value). But then is it using the maximum aperture value at a given zoom for focus or the lens' absolute maximum aperture value? For instance both lenses start at f3.5 so are both lenses using f3.5 for focus at 200mm (I suspect this because I hear an audible click when I use the DOF preview) or is the 70-200 using f 4.5 and the 28-300 using f 5.6? (theirrespective maximum aperture values at 200mm) If they're both using f3.5 then a focus speed comparison is valid, if not then it isn't.

@ DU,

Iconsidered for a long while buying an 18-200 because Ishoot short far more than long. But the price of that 28-300 is just so convincing. Cope is right on with the price, I've seen this lens listed at well over $500.You can definately tell the difference between 24 and 28mm, the difference is greater than I would have suspected. IMO Tokina makes lenses with the widest quality differences of any lens manufacturer. Their Pro level lenses are outstanding, but their consumer grade lenses are of very low quality. I think that disparity is why Tokina gets a bad rap so often.
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Old Aug 14, 2006, 9:48 AM   #8
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cope wrote:
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I have the 28-300 Tamron. Remember that this is not a $150 lens, it sold for close to $400 before the new digital coated one came out. Go to the DPReview KM site and do a search for CC. George uses his 5D and A-100 with the 28-300 almost exclusively, and takes great aerial shots, including some from the cockpit in flight.
I used it quite a bit last week on vacation and did not take one picture I would consider soft or out of focus at any range. The trick to good results with this lens is to not shoot wide open. Of course that means it is not well suited for low light situations, but you can't have everything. If you anticipate shooting in low light where a flash isnot suitable, simply carry another lens with you. If it is not convenient to carrymore than one lens, simply give up the range and carry a brighter lens for the day.

Despite the opinions of some that knock or avoid lenses with such a wide range, I still say it is a keeper and I would still harness that opinion if I paid full price for it. At less than 150 dollars this lens is an unbeatable deal.

On a sperate note, when I wasn't using the 28-300 Tamronthis past week and needed something a bit lighter for all day carry, I decided to use the 18-70mm kit lens. Though not my favorite lens, I did get some good shots with it and the range of this lens covers a decent spectrum. I found the wide end extremely handy for poolside shots where I was sometimes extemly close to my subjectand without the 18mm end the composed shot would have lost some landscape and meaning. Though this lens is considered junk by many, it too has a place in my arsenalat leastuntil I find something better.
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Old Aug 14, 2006, 10:02 AM   #9
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Mercury694 wrote:
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Jim,

You have me thinking about AF protocol. The 28-300 is about 2/3 stop slower than the 70-210 at 200mm (maximum aperture value). But then is it using the maximum aperture value at a given zoom for focus or the lens' absolute maximum aperture value?
They're both going to AF with the aperture wide open, and the value associated with that wide open aperture will vary by focal length (since aperture as expressed in f/stop is a ratio between the focal length of the lens and the diameter of the iris opening). There are exceptions (some constant aperture lenses will open up the iris more with longer focal lengths). But, the brighter the available aperture is, the more light that gets through to the AF sensors.

If all else is equal (and it usually isn't), then the lens that is brighter (largest available aperture/smalles f/stop number) at the focal length you're using should have an advantage, since the AF sensors can "see" better to focus.

But, sharpness comes into the equation, too. For example, I've found that my Minolta 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 can focus in lower light compared to my Tamron 35-105mm f/2.8, even though the Tamron is slightly brighter. My theory is that it's because the Minolta lens is sharper wide open. I haven't tested in controlled conditions -- that's just a general observation based on "gut feeling".

Of course, there are other factors with AF (how a lens is geared, etc.), and even the way a lens is chipped and communicates with a camera probably enters the equation, too.

But, your aperture setting with a given lens shouldn't make any difference in it's AF performance (at the same focal length), since the camera doesn't close the aperture down to your desired setting until you take the photo. It's focusing at it's max available aperture for a given focal length. That's one reason you have a DOF preview button to check depth of field -- because that's the only way to stop it down to your desired setting without actually taking the photo with a modern AF camera.


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Old Aug 14, 2006, 10:15 AM   #10
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Mercury694 wrote:
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Iconsidered for a long while buying an 18-200 because Ishoot short far more than long. But the price of that 28-300 is just so convincing.
I too think I would find an 18-200mm more useful for my needs and am looking at the Sigma for this range. I just can't justify the money at the moment.


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