Tack Sharp Lens under $400? Recommend one!

keith204

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ZOOM lens. I know they don't come as sharp as primes, but I'd really like a zoom lens for under $400 that performs pretty well. I'd like 2.8 if possible :) but realize that may not be reasonable.

I'm fine with 3rd party, as long as the lens review is good.
 

Big Mike

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My cheap 18-55 kit lens can be tack sharp when used at F11 or F16. Most zoom lenses can be sharp when used in the right scenario.

Check out the Tamron 17-50 F2.8 or the Sigma 18-50 F2.8. It might be a stretch to find them under $400...but I think they are both under $500.
 

Sw1tchFX

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The Nikkor 18-70 is tack sharp
 

Sw1tchFX

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oh wait, you shoot canon, nvm, that wont work will it!
 

Mitica100

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Sigma 75-300 APO is a good and very sharp lens, not bad for about $200.
 

Patrice

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I know you use a canon but nikkor has a really good 35-70 f2.8 d lens that can be had second hand near about your price range. I wonder if a similar one can be had from canon?
 

DEANO914

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TAMRON 28-75 f/2.8............Just under $400 :thumbup:
 
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keith204

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I didn't know Sigma made that lens. I had the 24-70 2.8 from Sigma and liked it, but it was simply a bad range to have as my 'wide' lens. So I returned that for my 17-85IS. Now that I have a 2nd body and just need another somewhat wide lens. At least wider than 70mm. The Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 might not be a bad investment. It was huge, and looked professional. VERY solidly built.

Other than the focal range being to narrow, the zoom ring was pretty stiff. Probably something I could get used to...but stiff nonetheless.

When I get another lens, it'll probably be the Tamron or Sigma in that range. The Tamron has a more practical filter size (67mm) and I have filters for that already. The Sigma 24-70's 82mm filter size was very costly when getting a filter for it.

So it looks like my main options are the Tamron 17-50, Tamron 28-75, and Sigma 24-70. All 2.8's (nice!)

Rumor is, Sigma isn't consistent with this lens. One may be sharp, while the next one soft...etc. This makes me hesitant about this. As for the Tamrons, the 28-75 sounds better so far, simply...the range. I plan to get a 10-22 in the next year or so.

Wow, lots to consider. It would be super to have another wide-ish lens so when I give my 17-85 to use with the XT, I can have the option of using a wider one as well. Maybe this points to the 17-50 then? Or, maybe this points to going ahead and saving for the 10-22? Many many options. They need to stop making lenses :)
 

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I've read a few reviews on the tamron 17-50 and it appears to be the sharpest (and one of the cheapest) f2.8's in that focal range. The build quality probably won't be on par with even the sigma's, but it'll be sharp as can be.
 
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keith204

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how big is the Tamron in comparison to the 17-85IS etc.?

The Tamron 17-50 has a 67mm filter size too it appears..also, does the same lens hood fit the Tamron 17-50 that fits the Canon 17-85? (can I use my current hood for the Tamron?)

That lens does look real nice, and you're right...we only hear good things about it.
 

Mav

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For $250 I recently picked up a used 4th generation Tokina 28-70mm f/2.8 AT-X PRO and love it. Center sharpness at f/2.8 is great from 28-50mm but gets a bit soft at the 70mm end. At f/4 the center is very sharp but the corners are still a tad soft. At f/5.6 everything is very sharp. Build quality is TOP NOTCH. It feels very sturdy and is professionally built. Of course I'd love it to be tack sharp from corner to corner at f/2.8 and all focal lengths, but that's what the $1000+ lenses do. For the money I paid, I'm pretty happy with it. You can get them on KEH.com for a steal. I hear lots of good things about the Tamrom 28-75/2.8 too, so long as you get a good copy.
 

Deadeye008

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how big is the Tamron in comparison to the 17-85IS etc.?

The Tamron 17-50 has a 67mm filter size too it appears..also, does the same lens hood fit the Tamron 17-50 that fits the Canon 17-85? (can I use my current hood for the Tamron?)

That lens does look real nice, and you're right...we only hear good things about it.
I have the Tamron 17-50 2.8 and like it very much. It is sharp when stopped down a little and still fairly sharp wide open. I don't think you can use the same lens hood on the Tamron and Canon but the Tamron comes with a nice hood. The front lens cap on the Tamron is also very convenient as it can be easily removed with the hood in place. Before I bought mine I was debating between the Tamron and the Sigma and, based on many reviews I read, chose the Tamron mostly because of image quality.
 
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keith204

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I have the Tamron 17-50 2.8 and like it very much. It is sharp when stopped down a little and still fairly sharp wide open. I don't think you can use the same lens hood on the Tamron and Canon but the Tamron comes with a nice hood. The front lens cap on the Tamron is also very convenient as it can be easily removed with the hood in place. Before I bought mine I was debating between the Tamron and the Sigma and, based on many reviews I read, chose the Tamron mostly because of image quality.

"Tamron comes with a nice hood" - well that'll work!
 

Leo

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Another vote for the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8. You'll never go wrong with it. Best bang for the buck, although it's a little over $400.00 but well worth it.
 

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