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  1. #1
    OldBodyOldSoul's Avatar
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    Nikon 28-105 or Tamron 24-135?

    So I want to get one of those funny looking do-it-all lenses... zooms is what they call them, right?
    Seriously, I've come to the point where I am happy with what I have (considering the budget) but for the first time in forever I find myself wishing I had one lens that could do most of shooting, at least in certain situations.
    I have looked around and pretty much nailed these two down for final consideration:
    Nikon 28-105 f/3.5-4.5 and Tamron 24-135 f/3.5-5.6

    The usual question: Which one do you prefer at their common focal lengths?
    Even if you have used only one of these, it's fine to leave your comment on it and I will try to cram it all into one useful piece of information (or I will just flip a coin, depends on moon phase).

    What I "know" is that the Nikon is excellent. I also "know" that the Tamron is excellent and that is very good at 24mm, which I like a lot (wide end is more important to me than long). I have no idea how they compare in build, feel while zooming dnd manually focusing... but I do know that Nikon costs about 50% more.

    My wishes/requirements, in case you have some other ideas.
    - I want it to work with both film and digital, so it must have the aperture ring. My cameras are FM2n, F3, F100 and D90.
    - Manual is ok, though since I am trying to provide myself with an easy shooting option, AF feels much more appropriate. Obviously, the lens MUST have the possibility for manual focusing.
    - Ideally, the zoom would start BELOW 28mm.
    - This will not be my primary shooting lens, so I don't care for lenses that cost more than $200. These two can be had in the 100-150 range, in excellent condition.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by OldBodyOldSoul; 05-16-2011 at 11:46 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2
    Jeff L's Avatar
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    I'm not a Nikon user, but for what it's worth, I've always been happy with my Tamron lenses.

  3. #3
    OldBodyOldSoul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirius Glass View Post
    If the Nikon and the Tamron were the same focal lengths, say 28mm to 105mm you would have trouble finding significant differences between them and the small differences would be hard for one to find. The quality of both companies is that high. That said, the longer the zoom range, the more compromises will be made on the length ==> short zoom length lenses are usually better than longer zoom length lenses. Still the differences are not all that great. I have a Nikon 20mm to 35mm zoom lens, a Nikon 28mm to 200mm zoom lens, and a Tamron 28mm to 300mm zoom lens. In the 28mm to 200mm range the Nikon 28mm to 300mm and Tamron 28mm to 300mm zoom lenses are indistiguishable when the same subject is photographed on the same camera body. In the 28mm to 35mm lens the Nikon 20mm to 35mm is clearly better. Again it has the shortest zoom lens.
    Thanks Steve. I know that convenience usually/always goes on the account of quality, but was wondering how much and in what area for this particular case as zooms cover relatively similar range. You say that the difference would be (almost) indistinguishable, but does that statement come from your experience with these lenses, your general experience/knowledge or something else?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sirius Glass View Post
    "I want it to work with both film and digital, so it must have the aperture ring. My cameras are FM2n, F3, F100 and D90." Photons are quite intelligent and generally well behaved and are able to behave correctly for film, digital and Daguerreotype.
    I don't get your point, if there is one. What I said there is that, for example, G lenses are out of question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sirius Glass View Post
    The question comes down to what works best for you? Since you stated "Ideally, the zoom would start BELOW 28mm." I would recommend the Tamron 24-135.

    Steve
    Yes, at the moment I am leaning towards the Tamron, for no other reason than that 24-28mm range and the fact that they are both well regarded.

  4. #4
    Ralph Javins's Avatar
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    Good morning;

    It took me a while to sort out this one. I think that the Tamron lens you mentioned is the Tamron Type 190D, SP AF24-135mm F/3.5-5.6 AD Aspherical [IF] MACRO zoom lens. This is an Auto Focusing lens, and it does not have the ability to switch it from one camera to another just by changing the Tamron Adaptall-2 mount. It is built to be used on only one camera mount, and you must specify which single camera mount you want to put it on, and that will most likely be a Nikon mount in your case.

    Having said that, it is also fairly obvious that you really want the lens to go to less than 28mm, as indicated by your emphasis on "IDEALLY." The Nikon will not go down below 28mm and on to 24mm for you. I agree that 24mm is a very useful focal length.

    While I am not that familiar with the Nikon AF lens mount, I do know that the mechanical parts are compatible, in that you can use a manually focusing NIKKOR lens on an Auto Focusing Nikon Lens Mount, such as their DSLR bodies. I am just not sure about using an AF lens on an early manual focus camera body, such as the F3. I have never tried that. I have no similar problem in this realm with my Minolta cameras, because the MF mount and the AF mount are very different. I do have the similar Tamron Type 71D lens for my Minolta AF bodies.

    Anyway, from the two choices you listed, it would seem that you might prefer the Tamron 190D for Nikon AF mount. If both of the lenses you describe are in the same condition without any problems, you will not be disappointed. Having that 24mm wider focal length can be very useful.
    Enjoy;

    Ralph Javins, Latte Land, Washington

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  5. #5
    OldBodyOldSoul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff L View Post
    I'm not a Nikon user, but for what it's worth, I've always been happy with my Tamron lenses.
    Jeff, thanks. I have a Tamron 17-50 for my D90 and I am more than happy with it, especially considering the price.
    However, every manufacturer has come up with some gems and some garbage and the whole spectrum in between, and I am trying to figure out where these two lenses fall, especially with respect to each other.

  6. #6
    OldBodyOldSoul's Avatar
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    Thanks Ralph. Yes, that is the lens I am considering and, yes, I would be using it with my Nikon cameras.

    So long as the lens has the aperture ring it should work with any Nikon camera I have. Obviously it would not autofocus with FM2n and F3 since those are manual cameras, but would with F100 and (digital) D90. I don't know if there are AF lenses that you can't focus manually, which is why I listed that as one of the requirements (if somebody wishes to throw another lens in this pool of two).

    I may have put too much emphasis on 24mm by using capital letters there . I do have prime lenses that work for me (20, 28, 35, 50, 85, 105, 135, 180) but since I am looking for a do-it-all lens that would be convenient in situations when changing lenses is not the best option, it would be nice to have something lower than 28mm. However, I don't care for that extra range if it comes at a high price, image quality wise.
    That's why I posted my question, hoping there are people who have used both, or have a link to a place where such information exists.

    Thanks again.
    Last edited by OldBodyOldSoul; 05-16-2011 at 03:23 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: "don't want" replaced with "don't care for"

  7. #7
    OldBodyOldSoul's Avatar
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    Steve, thanks for your reply.

    Actually, I was more concerned about the other way around - lenses that work on digital but might not work properly on my FM2n and F3, like G lenses that don't have the aperture ring. I like to change those things every once in a while

  8. #8
    Diapositivo's Avatar
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    I would check the direction of the focusing ring: does it turn, in the Tamron, the same way that it turns with the Nikon?
    I would also check the bayonet on the lens, as I have a prejudice against plastic bayonets.

    I would then consider the typical use of this lens. If this is going to be a "walk around" lens, for holidays and "casual" visits to places, then I would value the weight of the lenses. I suppose the Tamron to be lighter and this is important for those long walks.

    Regarding the lack of the 24mm in the Nikon, my experience is this: my digital has a fixed "walk around" lens spanning from 24mm to 120mm equivalent focal length. With film, my "walk around" lens is the Minolta Rokkor 28-85 mm. After having been "spoiled" by the wide-angle excursion of the Sony, now when I go round with my Minolta I tend to have a second body with a 24mm on it, so as to have a 24-85 combined capacity. This gives interesting possibilities (such as bringing two film speeds in the two cameras and, when needed, swapping lenses) but overall is much less practical than having a 24mm within one lens.

    For a walk-around lens, 24mm is very, very nice to have. Besides - and I hope not to raise a flame war now - the Nikkor 28-105 optically is not the most renowned Nikkor lens around. If you look on the forum of stock agency Alamy you see that it hasn't got rave reviews. Practical yes, but a bit edgy quality-wise. We are talking professional use here, so its quality might well be up to your expectations for the use you are going to make of it, but beware that it is not performing as the average Nikkor zoom. I have no idea about how the Tamron would compare.
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  9. #9
    OldBodyOldSoul's Avatar
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    Diapositivo, thanks for your advice. This zoom would indeed be my walk around lens, meaning for the casual times when I don't expect to make shots I would later hang on the wall. My current 35mm setup is all primes, which I love to work with, but sometimes the situation just doesn't require the best I have. My digital (1.5x cropped sensor) setup has 17-50 and again some primes, so a 20-100 (or thereabouts) lens would come in handy there too.

    According to the photozone.de:
    "The lens belongs to Tamron's SP (Super Performance) lineup indicating a professional grade product. The build quality is good indeed and a little up from the usual Tamron standard but Canon L or Tokina AT-X lenses play in a different league. Nonetheless it feels superior to the usual Canon consumer zooms (which is not all that difficult anyway). "
    My guess is this should warrant a metal mount. As of the focusing ring turning the "wrong way", I am not overly concerned though obviously I would prefer the direction of Nikon lenses. Image quality is my primary concern (within the price range I mentioned earlier).

    As for the absolute quality of Nikon 28-105 - it obviously isn't a top quality product and that is what its price reflects. And that's fine, I am not looking for a top grade lens. The Tamron is not much better, if it's better at all, but that is exactly the type of lens (or price, if you will) I am considering.

  10. #10

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    Get the 24-135, I've heard good reviews. Now I'm a Canon guy but I use a 24-105 f4L IS as a walkaround all-in-one. I love the wide angle the 24 gives, which made me choose it over the 28-135 IS and similar zooms. But I have heard some rave reviews about that Tamron. It's not a Canon L but it's damn close.
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