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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Lightbulb The Utility Lens (or the "Mom lens")

    A lot of folks have asked, "What lens can I buy that will kind of cover all the bases and one I will not have to change all the time.

    The answer is and has been the "utility" lens. It was originally introduced by TAMRON back in 1992, as the AF 28-200mm f/3.8-5.6 LD. It has since had a digital redesign and face lift, resulting in one of the best ones on the market ... now, this is a mouthful but here it is:

    AF 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF)



    After doing some rather extensive testing on my own, the images that result from using this lens are on par or better than any other lens of its kind. It runs about $450-500, depending on where you get one, but it is handy as heck for vacations or just running around, when you cannot keep your assortment of glass at your side.

    Now, there are some things about a lens that has this broad a focal length. It really is more like an 18-135mm, when your subject is standing 10-feet away. If they get to 27 feet away ... because of the focus adjustment, it effectively extends the focal length to the advertised 250mm. You really have to witness this to appreciate it, but that's the way the lens works.

    It also shoots a little darker after 70mm, because of the f-stop drop that occurs in a longer tube. If you are outdoors, it usually is not an issue. If you telephoto indoors ... better have an external flash handy.



    Once again, this is the convenience lens (the "mom" lens) and is the grab&go alternative to your lens case. It's not perfect, but its not bad, either. A far cry better and brighter than most kit lenses (18-50/18-70).
    Last edited by DonSchap; 10-27-2008 at 06:30 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Guelph, Ontario
    Posts
    1,903
    i want the Sony version of this lens....
    Canon EOS 7D

    flickr
    FLUIDR

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554
    I believe it will serve you well. Good luck!
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,204
    Quote Originally Posted by Elisha82 View Post
    i want the Sony version of this lens....
    Quote Originally Posted by DonSchap View Post
    I believe it will serve you well. Good luck!
    That's a good choice. It does focus faster (because it requires less AF screw turns). But the Tamron warranty has got it beat by an ADDITIONAL 5 years and a $~75 less price tag.

    Anyways, yes good luck. This is certainly a must have vacation lens. It's one end of the path away from the kit lens.
    flickr

    Canon 7D - 5D | 550EX - 430EX II - (2) PW FlexTT5 | 24-105 f4L | 70-200 f2.8L IS | 100 f2.8L IS | 50 f1.8 II

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Guelph, Ontario
    Posts
    1,903
    lol unfortunately i will have to wait till after i come back from my trip to Singapore and Malaysia in December.
    hopefully i can pick up some used glass down there for cheap.
    Canon EOS 7D

    flickr
    FLUIDR

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Ohio, USA.
    Posts
    1,161
    If your going to Singapore and malaysia I hope you have a couple of pieces of good glass to go with you. A good zoom for sure, something fast for low light. maybe a wide angle? Again the Tamron 70-300 won't break the bank and could be handy. I hope we will see plenty of pics from your trip.
    Sony A700_____________Minolta AF 50mm. F/1.7
    Minolta AF 70-210mm F/3.5-4.5 Tamron AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR DiII LD Asp. [IF]
    Tamron SP AF 70-200mm. F/2.8 DI LD [IF] Macro
    Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2
    Tokina AF 28-70mm F/3.5-4.5
    Tokina AF AT-X 80-400mm F/4.5-5.6
    http://flickr.com/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Guelph, Ontario
    Posts
    1,903
    there is a guy here selling the Tamron LD Macro 1:2 used here for $140 and i have been contemplating it but i still want a Beercan :-)
    Canon EOS 7D

    flickr
    FLUIDR

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Ohio, USA.
    Posts
    1,161
    beercan is big and heavy, go for about $200.00 at the very least. I haven't used one but they are said to be very nice, how much is fact and how much is myth / legend? You may want to get a couple of good digital lensesbefore you start picking up film lenses, Don helped me understand that
    Sony A700_____________Minolta AF 50mm. F/1.7
    Minolta AF 70-210mm F/3.5-4.5 Tamron AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR DiII LD Asp. [IF]
    Tamron SP AF 70-200mm. F/2.8 DI LD [IF] Macro
    Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2
    Tokina AF 28-70mm F/3.5-4.5
    Tokina AF AT-X 80-400mm F/4.5-5.6
    http://flickr.com/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,204
    Beercans are pretty popular. F4 is nice to have at something like ~210mm. The Tamron 70-300 was like $145 when I got mine, so it's pretty cheap. The beercan's quality though is probably better, but doesn't quite have the range. (But at the 300mm end of the Tamron, it's pretty soft anyway).
    flickr

    Canon 7D - 5D | 550EX - 430EX II - (2) PW FlexTT5 | 24-105 f4L | 70-200 f2.8L IS | 100 f2.8L IS | 50 f1.8 II

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    30
    How does my 28-300 Tamron compare to the lens listed by Don?

    I use that for an all around lens. I wish I had found this site prior to lens shopping. Sean suggested that I should get a 70-200 (I think) I have not even taken a picture with my Kit lens yet. Maybe I never will. I was able to get a nice used mini beercan ( 35-70). I have used that a couple of times. I really only use the Tamron. I will be looking for a Tamron 70-200 or 300 2.8. When I have money to spare.

    Jordan
    Sony Alpha 350
    Sony 18-70 Kit Lens
    Minolta AF 35-70 f/4
    Tamron 28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Xr Di LD Aspherical Macro

    My Flickr Page

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