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Myboostedgst
09-06-2010, 10:00 PM
Without considering focal length, what is the sharpest/highest IQ lens that can be had under $500? I find it hard to compare lenses of different focal lengths since most people only compare lenses of similar focal lengths. My guess would be something like the 50mm f1.4? Or should I just save the money and stick with the 35mm f1.8?

PS- I sold my 55-200VR to a buddy and am considering looking for something super sharp for the time being until I decide exactly what lens combo I would like to go with. I cant afford a 70-300, 16-85, and a Sigma 10-20 quite yet.

umijin
09-06-2010, 10:25 PM
I like the 50mm F1.4D, which you should be able to get for around $330 or so. The 50mm F1.4G is about $100 more, and perhaps not worth the extra for most folks.

K1W1
09-06-2010, 10:31 PM
Bang for buck would have to be the 50mm f1.8 AF-D lens at around $120 but of course it won't auto focus on your camera.

Myboostedgst
09-07-2010, 12:01 AM
Bang for buck would have to be the 50mm f1.8 AF-D lens at around $120 but of course it won't auto focus on your camera.
Sorry, I should have stated what K1W1 said. Yes, I need it to autofocus on my D5000. How close are the Nikon 16-85 and the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 to the 35mm F1.8G?

Myboostedgst
09-07-2010, 01:39 PM
I'm really interested in the IQ quality between the 35 f1.8, Nikon 16-85, and the Tamron 17-50. Being as though the Tamron is a f2.8, I would be able to skip the 35mm f1.8 and save the extra money? Or is the sharpness of the 35mm greater than the Tamron and still worth buying?

Option 1.
35mm f1.8, Nikon 16-85, and the Nikon 70-300

Option 2.
Tamron 17-50, Nilon 70-300 and save some extra cash?

kjmdrumz3
09-07-2010, 02:07 PM
FWIW, I was under the impression that the 35 has some pretty pronounced CA. IIRC, Reg did a shoot awhile ago in some type of warehouse showing the CA pretty clearly

photowerkz
09-07-2010, 03:23 PM
Yeah, CA's are bad on the 35 f1.8 wide open.

r3g
09-07-2010, 06:19 PM
I'm really interested in the IQ quality between the 35 f1.8, Nikon 16-85, and the Tamron 17-50. Being as though the Tamron is a f2.8, I would be able to skip the 35mm f1.8 and save the extra money? Or is the sharpness of the 35mm greater than the Tamron and still worth buying?

Option 1.
35mm f1.8, Nikon 16-85, and the Nikon 70-300

Option 2.
Tamron 17-50, Nilon 70-300 and save some extra cash?

Spent the last 45 minutes doing the following...

sees this thread -> remembers i posted test shot of the 35mm that would probably help -> head to subscriptions to pull up my test shots of the 35mm -> realize i didnt subscribe -> search and search for thread thinking i made one dedicated to it -> realize i actually piggybacked a thread K1W1 made about the lens -> search through 19 pages to find my posts -> realize the links to the shots are no longer valid -> search computers to re-upload test shots -> realize that for some reason unknown to me they are nowhere to be found.

Just thought I'd share that little tidbit lol..



Anyway, I happen to have the 35 and the 17-50.


35mm
Great price along with great IQ. Lens produces excellent sharpness even wide open. Also focuses fast and quiet.

The bad... Undesirable amounts of barrel distortion (any straight lines in a shot are visibly bending). High levels of CA wide open in high contrast situations. Build quality isnt the best but it doesnt feel like a total pos.


All in all in real world use if you dont mind stopping down in direct sunlight the CA issue is virtually non-existant. The barrel distortion however is there to stay but this may not be an issue depending on how often straight lines appear in your pictures. Do I regret this lens? Not a single bit. I hardly ever use a lens wide open in direct sunlight so the CA problem doesnt come up. What little CA that does show its face is easily fixed in post processing. Some may not want to spend time with that extra step but its worth it if your on a budget but want above average image quality in my opinion. You can keyword search my flickr and see many shots from this lens.


17-50mm

This lens is my pride and joy. It offers IQ that makes the Nikon kit lens look like it came off a toy camera. The constant f/2.8 come in handle in all sorts of situations. Build quality isnt pro level but it def satisfies me.

The bad... Costs more than the 35mm. AF on this lens is somewhat loud but it doesnt bother me and I dont think it would be an issue unless in a situation where you arent allowed to make any kind of noise.

Besides my D90 this lens is the best money I've spent since getting into photography. You can keyword search my flickr and see many shots from this lens as well.


All that being said, its hard to directly compare a prime to a zoom. The Tamron is way more versatile given the focal length so unless you need the speed of f/1.8 thats the route I'd take. It costs something like $100 more than the 35 but its worth every penny when you consider the capabilities of this lens. If you have any specific shots you'd like me to take with either lens let me know and I'll get them posted here asap.:D

Myboostedgst
09-07-2010, 08:28 PM
r3g, I would love it if you posted some pictures of the same object at 35mm (For a direct comparison), but I would hate to send you on a 35min long excursion through your hard drive and across the internet. :D

But thank you for the info. That really makes me happy knowing that by going the cheaper route I would not be missing much. Unfortunately, on B&H and Adormama the Tamron is about $420-550 depending on if you get a VC lens or not. Is your lens the VC model?

r3g
09-07-2010, 08:33 PM
Nope mine isnt VC and honestly at this focal length at f/2.8 I dont need it. Are you asking for a scene at 17mm and the same scene at 35mm?

Myboostedgst
09-07-2010, 08:45 PM
Sorry no. I am asking for a 35mm shot with the Tamron and a 35mm shot with the 35mm f1.8 Even just a random shot out the door or something. Preferrably something not set up (lights,etc) so that way I can tell the difference of a quick snap shot.

I don't want to be to needy. :o

But honestly, it isnt that big of a deal. I have looked at your FLickr account and seen some photos with the Tamron. I am thouroughly impressed with the examples you have. That will most likely be my top choice. Do you have experience with the 16-85?

r3g
09-07-2010, 10:09 PM
No experience with the 16-85. From what I hear its excellent but the fact that it isnt constant aperture was a deal breaker for me. I'm going to get you those shots asap, its pretty late here. I'm going to stop down the 35mm to f/2.8 to be fair.

Myboostedgst
09-07-2010, 10:18 PM
Thanks for the effort and info. Also, if I go with the Tamron 17-50, that might open up some extra cash for the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 II. I do quite a bit of sports, so that would be much nicer than the 70-300.

Cant wait to see the results.

anco85
09-08-2010, 12:25 AM
GST, I doubt this will help, but as you know, I've been looking at a few "cheaper" lenses with the main pulling factor being IQ.

Everywhere I went, the 17-50 2.8 Tammy got the win, so I ordered it and should be here in a couple of weeks

Why not get the Tammy and the 50 1.8 Nikkor?

Myboostedgst
09-08-2010, 07:17 AM
The 50 f1.8 will not autofocus on my D5000. As well, since the Tamron is so sharp, I was hoping to be able to skip anything in the same range as the Tamron.

Please post your results and how well you like it. The more reviews the better.

K1W1
09-08-2010, 07:29 AM
The 50mm f1.8 AF-S will auto focus but that's not the $120 one.

Myboostedgst
09-08-2010, 07:46 AM
I know the answer, I will just upgrade to a D90. :o

r3g
09-08-2010, 08:03 AM
Good move. And THEN you'll get the Tamron :D ill post some stuff when I get off of work.

Myboostedgst
09-08-2010, 08:42 AM
By moving up to the D90 it would also solve my off camera flash problem by being able to fire my SB600 as a slave with the onboard flash.

Now I've got myself thinking...

r3g
09-09-2010, 06:37 PM
I tried to think of a shot that would much sum up my feelings on the 2 lenses. Both shots are taken at 35mm, f/2.8, 1/60 shutter, +0.7ev, JPEG Fine.

As you can see both lenses are sharp and retain detail very well. The 35mm however has a much harder time controlling the CA. I'll gladly post more examples of you need.

Tamron 17-55
http://r3g-media.smugmug.com/photos/1001402599_QG9ZR-X3.jpg


Nikkor 35mm
http://r3g-media.smugmug.com/photos/1001402640_FcBGY-X3.jpg

Myboostedgst
09-09-2010, 06:44 PM
Thanks for the photos r3g. I really like the way the Tamron looks. Hopefully after paying for school books this semester and some other items I will be able to afford a new lens soon.

BikerJohn
09-11-2010, 03:24 PM
I hate to say this, but I can't tell the difference.

r3g
09-12-2010, 10:32 AM
I hate to say this, but I can't tell the difference.

Look at the Blackberry logo and on the top right of the phone. Notice that there is a green halo on it on the 35mm shot but not on the Tamron shot. Also notice the green and purple down the right side and along the chrome in the keypad are more visible in the 35mm shot. Mind you that at f/2.8, so image what its like at f/1.8.