Used Nikkor 28-70 or a New Tamron 28-75?

Started Sep 17, 2010 | Discussions
the_arje
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Used Nikkor 28-70 or a New Tamron 28-75?
Sep 17, 2010

I can't afford a new Nikkor 24-70, so I think I've narrowed it down to the above two. I will use the lens for portraits.

Thanks in advance.

Stoker98
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Re: Used Nikkor 28-70 or a New Tamron 28-75?
In reply to the_arje, Sep 17, 2010

The 28-70mm Nikon is a totally superb lens. No disrespect to Tamron's offerings, but its in a totally different league, both in terms of its optics and its pro quality construction.

Go try one, and it will sell itself to you in minutes.

The only reason for buying the Tamron, would be for its portability. But a portrait lens is not the same thing as a travel lens. I don't mind a heavy portrait lens, as I would not want to trek it around in my kitbag just in case the need arose. If you want a portrait lens that you can carry, I would look at a used Nikon 35-70mm f2.8D. Or a prime, like the 50mm f1.4 AI-S.

If you are using a dx camera, then before setting on the 28-70mm, you might just want to try a Sigma 50-150mm f2.8 EX DC HSM. It makes a good portrait lens, even if it is not as good as the Nikon. But its sharp, light enough, and has a pleasent bokeh. It falls just a little short of the quality of the 80-200mm f2.8 ED, which is the lens I like to use for portraits if I want something longer. But the Sigma is a great compromise because its relatively short and light. Its a hugely versatilie lens, so it represents probably the best bang for the $$$.

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Camillo
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Re: Used Nikkor 28-70 or a New Tamron 28-75?
In reply to the_arje, Sep 17, 2010

I bought a 28-70 2.8 Nikkor used and the IQ is amazing, truly outstanding and works really well with my 80-200 2.8 AFD. The only problem is the AFS motor after shooting for about half an hour or an hour starts stuttering and cant focus. I usually switch it off and then on and starts working again. Eventually I'll send it to Nikon to have it replaced and cleaned. Even if it costs 600 bucks to service it's still better and cheaper than buying it new! Plus I get a new AFS motor!

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Fish323
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Re: Used Nikkor 28-70 or a New Tamron 28-75?
In reply to Camillo, Sep 17, 2010

I had the Tamron and it was very soft wide open on FX. Now have Sigma which is far better but if I could justify the Nikon second hand or otherwise I would.

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Hear2see
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If money is tight get the Tamron 28-75
In reply to the_arje, Sep 17, 2010

It's price is very easy to justify..
it can make lovely photographs...

it's very hard to tell the difference in the end...between this lens and lenses that cost 2 ,3 or 4 times as much.

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Bjorn_L
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Re: Used Nikkor 28-70 or a New Tamron 28-75?
In reply to the_arje, Sep 17, 2010

the_arje wrote:

I can't afford a new Nikkor 24-70, so I think I've narrowed it down to the above two. I will use the lens for portraits.

Thanks in advance.

The price difference is quite large. I tried out the Tamron 28-75, Nikon 28-70, Nikon 24-85 f2.8-4 and Sigma 24-70. They were all nice. Picked the Tamron amongst the ones I tried. Reasonably sharp wide open. Excellent image quality. Fast enough in focus speed (on a d700) that I use it for in close "sports". For example kids on bumber cars (moderately dim at distances that range from right at my feet to 20 yards away), and similar things where I need some zoom and 50mm f1.4 is there for not suitable.

Yeah the 28-70 Nikon was maybe a touch better than the Tamron. But after hours of pixel peeping I could barely tell the difference. And, for the price difference I got the Tamron plus two nice primes.
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Uncle Frank
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Re: I've owned both
In reply to the_arje, Sep 17, 2010

the_arje wrote:

I can't afford a new Nikkor 24-70, so I think I've narrowed it down to the above two. I will use the lens for portraits.

Thanks in advance.

I needed a midrange zoom for event work, and decided the Tammy 28-75/2.8 would be a good, affordable solution. It's actually a very nice lens, but I found it didn't focus quickly or accurately, particularly in low light situations. Once I realized I couldn't rely on the Tammy for "money shots", I traded up to the Nikon 28-70/2.8. In the ensuing 5 years, I've used the Beast in the studio and at numerous weddings, and it was definitely worth the extra bucks.

One caveat. The 28-70 is an anchor. It's too bulky and heavy to be a good holiday lens. I reserve it for studio and event work.

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cajuncc
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Re: Used Nikkor 28-70 or a New Tamron 28-75?
In reply to the_arje, Sep 17, 2010

I'd actually suggest a used Tamron 28-75. Try to find one without the built-in focus motor (provided you're using a camera body with its own motor). The newer BIM version is much slower and less accurate in focusing.

the_arje wrote:

I can't afford a new Nikkor 24-70, so I think I've narrowed it down to the above two. I will use the lens for portraits.

Thanks in advance.

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tyb
tyb
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Re: Used Nikkor 28-70 or a New Tamron 28-75?
In reply to the_arje, Sep 17, 2010

The beast in various stages of condition can be had for between 700-1100 used.

The Tamron can be had for the non BIM for about 250-350 but hard to find.
The newer one with crap BIM motor can be found new everywhere.

You are still comparing two lenses that are very different in design philosphy that may or may not have a market effect on your choice

1) 2 to 5 x in money different. If you are shooting a body with motor wait and pick up a nice used non BIM. Pay the extra 140 bucks that Tamron charges for a tune up. You are far better off with that then the crap and skittish BIM model new. I had the BIM and no BIM, on D700/D3s the non BIM version is as good as any D lense like 50 or 85, not as fast as the fastest AFS but no complaints. If you can't focus in low light it is your camera focus problem not the lens. With the NON BIM never had a problem that wouldn't also be on my 2400 buck 70-200 VRII

2) IQ, the corners are less then perfect compared to the 24-70 and again a bit softer compared to 28-70. If you are shooting 2.8 and expect or need the outer corners to be sharp then you will be dissapointed. If you are doing portraits I don't think with a little post processing of color or contrast that any peeper would be able to tell a Tamron apart from the 24-70 or 28-70. They may think they can but I really doubt it.

3) Build, no question the 28-70/24-70 IMHO is the best build. I never liked the 24-70 profile nor design that much. The large movement of the optics on the 28-75 is prone to put dust into the lens and camera if you shoot in such enviroments, but its a lens that costs 1/5 as much weights 1/3 as much and 1/3 as big.

Here are a few side threds with shots compared to the 24-70 ( You can tell I've been thinking hard about whether I want to waste 1800 bucks or not )
http://www.nikonjin.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=64

http://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=262947

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1030&message=33245105&changemode=1

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1030&message=30690710&changemode=1

the_arje wrote:

I can't afford a new Nikkor 24-70, so I think I've narrowed it down to the above two. I will use the lens for portraits.

Thanks in advance.

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wy2lam
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Re: Used Nikkor 28-70 or a New Tamron 28-75?
In reply to the_arje, Sep 17, 2010

If for portrait only, why not a new 85/1.8?

the_arje wrote:

I can't afford a new Nikkor 24-70, so I think I've narrowed it down to the above two. I will use the lens for portraits.

Thanks in advance.

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the_arje
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Re: Used Nikkor 28-70 or a New Tamron 28-75?
In reply to wy2lam, Sep 17, 2010

Thank you all for the great points and advice.

I failed to mention that I have an 85/1.4; But having that lens on my D90 just makes things a little more tight than I like.

I do have a nifty 50, and could use that indoors (or even my 35mm), and foot zoom it. Which then leads me to just getting a 70-200, since I have some great primes already that can cover the range of the 28-70.

Awww man. Just a hodge podge of possibilities.

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Bhimaprasad Maiti
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Re: Used Nikkor 28-70 or a New Tamron 28-75?
In reply to Camillo, Sep 18, 2010

Mr.Camillo ,I recently changed the Swm motor of 28-70 F2.8 Afd puchasing a used one with 9+ about 2 years ago from BHPhoto. Apart from that problem 28-70 Afd Nikor is a class lens. If one gets a chance,he should not hesitate to puchase the same.

An ardent advocate in heritage preservation.

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Mannypr
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Re: Used Nikkor 28-70 or a New Tamron 28-75?
In reply to the_arje, Sep 18, 2010

I recently bought a used Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 lens. It's a stubby lens, but not to long , fairly light . On a DX sensor wide open it's very good but step it down and from F4 onward it is tack sharp .

On my D90 it focuses quickly with no wondering around. Recently I was at a convention center lobby and while moving on the electircal staircase upwards I took a photo of the downward lobby with only the lobby lighting and when I saw the results I was very impress . It's a great lens for the price and can recommend it highly . By the way, my copy is not the BIM one.

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eNo
eNo
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About Tamron 28-75...
In reply to the_arje, Sep 18, 2010

I was fairly happy with mine. Bought it used a few months back. Lately, though, the AF has been very spotty, both on my D300 and D700, in good light. I've cross-checked other lenses, and they don't have the same issue. Just last night I was trying to AF fine tune it on my D300, and it just stopped focusing... totally lost. I'm going to try a few more things, like cleaning the contacts, etc., and if not, it's bye-bye. Third-party lenses are such a crap shoot. I think we're all better off saving up and getting the real deal.
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angelhappy
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Re: Used Nikkor 28-70 or a New Tamron 28-75?
In reply to the_arje, Sep 18, 2010

Used to own the tamron 28-75 paired with a D90. Great combination and I miss it so much because it was so light and portable. The tammy was a bit soft wide open but perfectly sharp by f4 nevertheless it was less evident at low light conditions. I now have the nikon 28-70 beast and the D300s and these are just heavyweights. I really lost portability for extra performance but its the price you have to pay. The beast is a totally different animal. It is built like a tank. The tammy is plastic crap. The beast extends very little and the tammy a lot more so more risk of getting dust in. The beast is very sharp wide open and the tammy a bit soft wide open. The beast is a heavy weight and the tammy a feather weight. Both produce rich colors.

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lynnG
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Re: Used Nikkor 28-70 or a New Tamron 28-75?
In reply to the_arje, Sep 18, 2010

Get the old Nikon one. The Tamron is very soft from F2.8 to F8 and only acceptable after F11.

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Hear2see
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Just how fresking sharp do you need it?
In reply to lynnG, Sep 18, 2010

We keep reading this stuff about how the Tamron is soft until you get to f/4 or my goodness now it's not sharp until f/11 ?!?!?!

You guys must be looking at your photos under microscopes...

Come on, for less than $400.00 bucks which might be a lot of money to some of us, this lens isn't that bad is it? Really? I've got a couple Nikon lenses and like to have more of them but... for those of us that aren't made of money, the Tamron is more than just barely OK...

I'd love to try one of those thousand or two thousand dollar lenses out for a week or so... just to see how much better the pictures would be. To you users of the big Nikon 28-70 or 24-70 the 4x's cost premium may well be worth it.....but the little Tammy can make do no?

cropped pic shot at f/2.8

crop taken from this pic below

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Glenn Ikeda
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With respect to sharpness, the Tamron 28-75 equals the Nikon 28-70
In reply to Hear2see, Sep 18, 2010

Properly calibrated, the Tamron 28-75 is as sharp or sharper than the Nikon 28-70.
I've had both and directly compared them with respect to sharpness.

My 24-70 is slightly sharper than my Tamron wide open, and has slightly more contrast, but you need to really pixel peep to see any differences in actual shooting.

The Nikon 28-70's build is superior to that of the Tamron 28-75, but at the cost of size and weight.

The Nikon's AF is faster, although the non-BIM Tamron is very fast itself (on my D90, D300, D2HS, D3). On my D90, the 28-75 was noticeably quicker than my AF-S 16-85vr with respect to focus speed. I never experienced the low light AF lag of which some Tamron owners speak.

I prefer the Nikon's colors, but can easily bring the Tamron's colors to my liking in PP.

I'm a longtime fan of the Tamron 28-75.
In fact, my 24-70 will be gracing someone else's bag by midweek.
For me, the Tamron 28-75 will do just fine.

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eNo
eNo
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After re-calibration
In reply to eNo, Sep 18, 2010

After posting in this thread, I got all hot and bothered and decided to do something about it. I cleaned the contacts on my 28-75, and re-did AF fine-tune on both my D300 and D700. Then this morning I did a quick test on a (sort of speak) real life subject. At least on my D700, the Tammy seems to be acting well now:

(Focus point on the near eye)

@f/2.8

crop @f/2.8

@f/4

crop @f/4

These were tripod-mounted, with off-camera flash bounced from the left of the frame. I also tried a few hand-held shots, with less encouraging results. I think when shooting wide open, it's very hard for me not to drift forward or backward after locking focus and before I press the shutter.

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Mannypr
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Re: With respect to sharpness, the Tamron 28-75 equals the Nikon 28-70
In reply to Glenn Ikeda, Sep 18, 2010

It's incredible that someone here said that the Tamron is only sharp at F8 . He must have a bad copy because my copy is extremely sharp from edge to edge by f4 onward and center sharp with slightly soft edges at 2.8 . I've got six lens including Sigma 105 macro and this lens is almost as sharp as the Sigma edge to edge from f4 onward at ANY focal lenght ! Only the extreme edges are slightly soft at 2.8 with excelent center sharpness.

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