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Lens showdown: Nikon 50mm 1.8D vs the Tamron 28-75mm 2.8 XR Di LD

by Sander-Martijn on 05/09/2011

Exhibit A: 50mm 1/50s f/2.8 ISO 200

Exhibit A: 50mm 1/50s f/2.8 ISO 200

Most lens reviews talk about technical details, show charts and some image samples. It seems to be common knowledge that a Branded prime lens is superior to a third-party zoom lens. But can you tell the difference in a resulting image? Yeah? Prove it.

Here I will show you three sets of images. For each one I took the same photo with both lenses. One is shot with the Nikon 50mm 1.8D and the other is shot with the Tamron 28-75mm 2.8 XR Di LD. Take a look at them and make your guess as to which image was shot with which lens.

Some hints

  • Each pair was taken with identical settings, with the Tamron set to 50mm
  • All photos were taken on a tripod for consistency, using available light
  • They’re not in the same order (as in it’s not photos A,C and E one lens and B,D and F the other).
  • I’ve removed the metadata from them so don’t bother trying to figure it out that way.
  • There’s a link at the end of the article to download full resolution images

First pair

The first set were taken indoors at 1/50s, f/2.8 ISO 200. Image A is above, image B is below:

Exhibit B: 50mm 1/50s f/2.8 ISO 200
Exhibit B: 50mm 1/50s f/2.8 ISO 200

Second Pair:

The second set were taken outdoors at 1/640s, f/5.6 ISO 200.

Exhibit C: 50mm 1/640s f/5.6 ISO 200

Exhibit C: 50mm 1/640s f/5.6 ISO 200

Exhibit D: 50mm 1/640s f/5.6 ISO 200

Exhibit D: 50mm 1/640s f/5.6 ISO 200

Third Pair:

The third set were taken outdoors at 1/125s, f/22 ISO 200.

Exhibit E: 50mm 1/125s f/22 ISO 200

Exhibit E: 50mm 1/125s f/22 ISO 200

Exhibit F: 50mm 1/125s f/22 ISO 200

Exhibit F: 50mm 1/125s f/22 ISO 200

Full resolution download:

Download the files here

Gear used for this test:

So there you have it – take a look, make your guesses in the comments below, and come to your own conclusions about what this means.

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