a long time, the 50mm prime lens was my go-to lens. It operates very well in low-light, and most indoors pictures are low light. It takes sharp pictures at the right f-stop, but it also produces wonderfully soft narrow depth-of-field pictures. It’s great for taking pictures of people from the chest or shoulders up.
Problem is, if you want to take a full body pic, you need to be standing ten feet or more back on a cropped-sensor camera. You’re in trouble. You don’t always have that much room, particularly in the clear.
I could — and often did — use the wide angle lens, but it’s too wide. Even at 28mm, you often get distortion as you move out towards the edges. I’ve got a picture of my daughter I took with that lens that works, but if you think about it for too long, it’s bizarre. She’s sitting down, facing the camera. Her head at the top of the frame is huge and bulbous. Her feet at the bottom stick way out. And her body is itty bitty. It’s almost a chibi. But that’s what a wide angle lens does to people, close-up.
The 70-300mm is completely useless to me indoors. At 70mm, you need to stand ten feet back just to get head-and-shoulders. It’s a great outdoors lens for sports or nature or animals, but it’s not great indoors at a family event.
That’s why I went for the Tamron 28-75mm lens. It provides a little extra zoom in either direction of the 50mm. Now I can get multiple people standing across the frame without backing up terribly far, but I can also get a candid shot of someone across the room without them knowing it at 75mm.
And, best of all, it’s f/2.8 throughout. Cheaper lenses allow a much more open f-stop at the lowest zoom. You’ll start at f/2.8 or f/3.5, but you’ll quickly move to f/4.8 or f/5.6 by the time you rack out (zoom all the way in) the lens. Getting f/2.8 throughout is huge. It lets in a large amount of light. It allows for a shallow depth of field at any distance. And it produces great images.
It’s the best of both worlds. And, being Tamron and not Canon, you’re not paying through the nose for it. Sure, I’d love to own a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L lens (IS or no), but I can’t afford it, it wouldn’t work for the pics I mostly take, and (from the reviews I’ve read) the pic won’t be that much sharper than my Tamron.