Best lens between 18-70 mm range ?

Started Dec 11, 2013 | Discussions
Szalik
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Best lens between 18-70 mm range ?
Dec 11, 2013

Hi everyone

I have read many reviews and comparisons and still I haven't decided which lens I should buy.

My kit lens 18-55 quality is really bad and I would like to replace it with something much better.

What I am looking for is something between 18-70, but it could be 28-75 as well.

I would like to buy possibly the best lens for up to 700 $

Could you recommend me something ?

So far my choices would be:

1. Pentax SMC DA 17-70mm f/4 AL [IF] SDM

2. Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 AF XR Di LD Macro SP

In the DA 17-70 I have heard a lot of bad things about the auto focus :/ .

I was even considering the Pentax DA 40mm or 70 mm limited lenses, but I need flexibility in adjusting the focal length especially when you are on a event's where you can't move to much.

Which one should I chose ?

Thx

Adrian

steephill
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What is so bad about the 18-55?
In reply to Szalik, Dec 11, 2013

It would help if you could expand on why you think your 18-55 is very bad. Some example images with intact exif data would help too.

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Bob Corson
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Re: Best lens between 18-70 mm range ?
In reply to Szalik, Dec 11, 2013

Szalik wrote:

Hi everyone

I have read many reviews and comparisons and still I haven't decided which lens I should buy.

My kit lens 18-55 quality is really bad and I would like to replace it with something much better.

What I am looking for is something between 18-70, but it could be 28-75 as well.

I would like to buy possibly the best lens for up to 700 $

Could you recommend me something ?

So far my choices would be:

1. Pentax SMC DA 17-70mm f/4 AL [IF] SDM

2. Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 AF XR Di LD Macro SP

In the DA 17-70 I have heard a lot of bad things about the auto focus :/ .

I was even considering the Pentax DA 40mm or 70 mm limited lenses, but I need flexibility in adjusting the focal length especially when you are on a event's where you can't move to much.

Which one should I chose ?

Thx

Adrian

I do not have either one of those lenses but I do have the Tamrom 17-50mm and it is a VERUY nice lens so if the 28-75 is similar then it would be a good lens. However, I suspect you may find it not wide enough and the 17-50 would be closer to the range of your kit lens, or pick upa wide zoom to pair up with the 28-75. CHeck out some reviews on the 28-75 and see what they have to say.

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Szalik
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Re: What is so bad about the 18-55?
In reply to steephill, Dec 11, 2013

For instance I have the Pentax 55-300 and when I compare the image quality to the 18-55 it I can see the difference. Simply the 18-55 isn't enough for me expectations anymore. I want something better.

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Bob Corson
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Re: What is so bad about the 18-55?
In reply to Szalik, Dec 11, 2013

Szalik wrote:

For instance I have the Pentax 55-300 and when I compare the image quality to the 18-55 it I can see the difference. Simply the 18-55 isn't enough for me expectations anymore. I want something better.

In that case go for the Tamron 17-50 . . .the image quality is stellar. Depending upon which review you read it is #1 or #2 in this range, The other forum has a comparison of it, the Sigma and the DA*16-50. The Tamron comes in second overall in this one and is half the price of the Sigma that squeaked past it.

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drummercam
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Re: Best lens between 18-70 mm range ?
In reply to Szalik, Dec 11, 2013

My Pentax 17-70 has no problems with the motor and is very sharp.  It's my go-to lens every day.

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leopold
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Re: Best lens between 18-70 mm range ?
In reply to Szalik, Dec 11, 2013

The Tamron 17-50mm/2.8 would be my choice but i hesitated because of difficulties to get a good copy .

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Kaso
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Re: Best lens between 18-70 mm range ?
In reply to Szalik, Dec 11, 2013

Szalik wrote:

So far my choices would be:

1. Pentax SMC DA 17-70mm f/4 AL [IF] SDM

2. Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 AF XR Di LD Macro SP

A third option could be: Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro HSM "C".

I use my copy practically all the time.

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fakuryu
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Re: Best lens between 18-70 mm range ?
In reply to Szalik, Dec 11, 2013

Szalik wrote:

Hi everyone

I have read many reviews and comparisons and still I haven't decided which lens I should buy.

My kit lens 18-55 quality is really bad and I would like to replace it with something much better.

What I am looking for is something between 18-70, but it could be 28-75 as well.

I would like to buy possibly the best lens for up to 700 $

Could you recommend me something ?

So far my choices would be:

1. Pentax SMC DA 17-70mm f/4 AL [IF] SDM

2. Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 AF XR Di LD Macro SP

In the DA 17-70 I have heard a lot of bad things about the auto focus :/ .

I was even considering the Pentax DA 40mm or 70 mm limited lenses, but I need flexibility in adjusting the focal length especially when you are on a event's where you can't move to much.

Which one should I chose ?

Thx

Adrian

I was able to test the Pentax 17-70 f4 before on my K-r, it is quick and sharp. I was also able to try the Tamron 28-75 on my K5II and I'd say the Pentax 17-70 was sharper and has better contrast, plus the Tamron just hunts.

Another good option is the Pentax DA 16-45 f4

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MightyMike
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Re: Best lens between 18-70 mm range ?
In reply to Szalik, Dec 11, 2013

Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4.0 "C" wins hands down! but then that is just my opinion and i don't own the "C" version, I've owned the 2 previous versions.

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david tittermary
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Re: Best lens between 18-70 mm range ?
In reply to Szalik, Dec 11, 2013

Hi everyone

I have read many reviews and comparisons and still I haven't decided which lens I should buy.

My kit lens 18-55 quality is really bad and I would like to replace it with something much better.

What I am looking for is something between 18-70, but it could be 28-75 as well.

I would like to buy possibly the best lens for up to 700 $

Could you recommend me something ?

So far my choices would be:

1. Pentax SMC DA 17-70mm f/4 AL [IF] SDM

2. Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 AF XR Di LD Macro SP

In the DA 17-70 I have heard a lot of bad things about the auto focus :/ .

I was even considering the Pentax DA 40mm or 70 mm limited lenses, but I need flexibility in adjusting the focal length especially when you are on a event's where you can't move to much.

Which one should I chose ?

Thx

Adrian

Its to bad you cant live with 18-35, the new sigma 1.8 is beyond good better then most primes is this range but sounds like you favor the big end so this might not work for you but I figured I'd throw it out there
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Cane
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Re: What is so bad about the 18-55?
In reply to steephill, Dec 11, 2013

It would help if you could expand on why you think your 18-55 is very bad. Some example images with intact exif data would help too.

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Steve

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It's pretty common knowledge that the kit lens isn't the greatest lens ever made. I don't think he needs to spend the time formulating a scientific thesis to prove his position. The words 'kit lens' should cover his argument for wanting better optics.

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britcam
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Re: Best lens between 18-70 mm range ?
In reply to Szalik, Dec 11, 2013

Hard decision. Much depends on your budget & needs.
I use a DA 16-50 along with either the DA 70 or the 50-135. I also use an FA 24-90 but those are hard to come by.

I don't have experience of the Tamrons or Sigmas in this range.

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britcam - Rich S

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Twong
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Re: What is so bad about the 18-55?
In reply to Cane, Dec 11, 2013

"Better" is a very subjective word. OP compared his 18-55 to his 55-300 which is like comparing apples to oranges. If OP is looking for subject/background isolation, it is not necessary better optics but instead should be larger aperture. Getting to know what OP is looking for will allow for better recommendation. While I have better and faster lenses, I can do reasonably well with the standard kit also.

Cane wrote:

It would help if you could expand on why you think your 18-55 is very bad. Some example images with intact exif data would help too.

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Steve

www.pbase.com/steephill

It's pretty common knowledge that the kit lens isn't the greatest lens ever made. I don't think he needs to spend the time formulating a scientific thesis to prove his position. The words 'kit lens' should cover his argument for wanting better optics.

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steephill
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Re: What is so bad about the 18-55?
In reply to Cane, Dec 11, 2013

But 18-55 is not bad either. There is very little discernible difference between lenses when used within their capability e.g. a middling aperture and zoom range. This has been shown many times in lens tests. Where kit lenses are found wanting is usually at extremes of aperture and range where faults like distortion, vignetting and corner resolution loss are at their most obvious. Sometimes it is simply a need for a wider aperture or a different zoom range. Bad has many possible meanings.

Some of these faults also plague "better" lenses so it is easier to recommend a replacement if we know which of these is most important.

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Kaso
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Re: Best lens between 18-70 mm range ?
In reply to david tittermary, Dec 11, 2013

david tittermary wrote:

Its to bad you cant live with 18-35, the new sigma 1.8 is beyond good better then most primes ...

In theory.

Still waiting for Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM "A" lens for Pentax K mount:

New Item, Available for pre-order

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Holger Bargen
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Re: Best lens between 18-70 mm range ?
In reply to Szalik, Dec 11, 2013

Hi Adrian,

I have the Sigma 17-70 HSM as version 2 - the latest version is version 3. I bought my lens in K10D days and it was an improvement if you compare it to the first version of the Pentax 18-55 mm lens that came with my K10D. The 18-55mm lens that came with my K5 was mauch better (the WR version).

I still think that my Sigma is slightly better than the Pentax lens - but not very much. I like the option to open the aperture a little wider with my Sigma - the aperture range that is added to the range of the Pentax is not a range where you can get very good IQ from the Sigma lens (not bad - but IQ is far better within the range f 5.6 - f11.0). My Sigma lens has a in lens stabilisation that works a little better than the stabilisation of my K5 - there were a few situations when I was glad about it.

Actually I bought a couple of lenses that would work with a FF camera - most time old Pentax lenses. e.g the Pentax F 35-70 mm is a very nice lens - it it is very cheap to get it used as it was a kit lens of the cameras of its generation. I thought about buying another good old Pentax zoom for the range below - but actually I would like to wait till the new Sigma 18-35 mm is availble for Pentax mount, which many people praise a lot.

I would like to introduce another aspekt: Did you ever tried to do postprocessing of your RAWs with DxO?

I have DxO8. And I have the Pentax 55-300mm lens. With my K10D I was glad with that lens - but with the K5 the limits of this lens become visible - especially at the corners I would like to have more sharpness. If you ever had the chance to compare it with a Pentax 60-250 you would know what I want to say. The 55-300mm is a consumer lens and it is not fair to compare it with professional equipment.

But the combination K5 and 55-300mm is supported by DxO8 and if you use this software, you will be surprised what's in your RAWs. It's a way to get high quality IQ from a middle class lens. If I remember it correctly, DxO offers free trail versions - so why not testing it? The 18-55mm lens should be in the list of supported lenses, too.

Best regards

Holger

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Brooke Meyer
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Re: Best lens between 18-70 mm range ?
In reply to Szalik, Dec 11, 2013

Never had a kit lens but I do have the Tamron 28-75/2.8 and Pentax 17-70/4.  Bought Tamron new in 2007 and 17-70 used from KEH.com in 2012.

Sometimes its useful to have the extra stop of the Tamron.

Sometimes its useful to have the extra width of the Pentax.

IQ on both is very good. Both are good in studio.

I photograph Santa Claus with children each year at a local winter festival.

In 2011 I used the Tamron, didn't have the 17-70 yet. In 2012 & 2013 I used the 17-70 for the extra width, easier than backing up in the street with a crowd.

Galleries are here: Heart of Cary Association These are rough edits, JPEGs made directly from DNGs in batch mode.

Simple setup using ambient for fill and 1/4 power flash through umbrella for main.

I'm shooting from the street and you have to be fast with kids.

I use both lenses, for dance, my main work.  You can do fine work with either lens. Also, they are good backups for each other.

Since I do a lot of portraits, I'll often use the Tamron at 2.8 for shallowest depth of field although if I have room, I use the Pentax 50-135/2.8. That is my favorite portrait lens.

I use my gear heavily and I don't baby it.  Have never had a problem with SDM or any of the six Pentax digital bodies I've had.

Recently, I finally came to understand that my workflow is Concept, Capture, Edit & Presentation.  All those things make a difference, the lens is just one part.

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Szalik
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Re: Best lens between 18-70 mm range ?
In reply to Brooke Meyer, Dec 11, 2013

Thx for all the comments

I think that I have decided. I will go for the AF 17-50mm f/2.8 SP XR Di II LD (non VC).

For that price I suppose that it will do it's job and will be a big improvement over the old pentax 18-55.

So far I have the Tamron 90 DI 2.8 for macro and the Pentax 55-300 which I think is brilliant, especially for it's price. My point is not to spent fortune for lenses and take them everywhere I wan't without being scared that I have just dropped or got wet a 1000$ lens

Seriously I think that now I will have a good coverage for different type of scenery and situations I want to capture while carrying only 3 lenses in the bag.

What do you think ?

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JNR
JNR
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Re: Best lens between 18-70 mm range ?
In reply to Szalik, Dec 11, 2013

I can't comment on any of the 17-70s. However, I have the Tamron 28-75 in Canon mount and have shot it in both FF and 1.6x format. It is very good from f/4 on up when used on a FF, but just a bit weak on the crop sensor. It is an odd length for crop sensor - I strongly prefer the Pentax 35-105 A-series as a comparative (especially from 50mm upwards where its particularly strong).

The biggest problem with the Tamron is just how poor it is wide open. Unless you want a soft effect or need added shallowness of f/2.8, it will always make more sense to stop down to f/4 and increase ISO accordingly. At that point, you would tend to question the need for an extra stop.

As a matter of comparison, the Pentax 16-45 is a significantly sharper lens overall, especially so if you take the time to correct the CA in post. On crop sensor, I prefer to have my wide angle covering the normal range and leaving the portrait length to telephoto (or prime) lengths. Of course, not everyone will agree with that as some like the idea of a lens covering 42-110mm equivalent (essentially normal and portrait).

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