K10 general purpose zoom choices.


viewfinder

Link Posted 16/04/2007 - 12:45
I have never really used a zoom lens successfully. My wife has forced me to take shots with her Canon EOS and 75-300 from time to time but I have never amnaged to make an image which satisfies me,...essentially, i just don't like the look of the, admittedly high st. processed, 6x4's.

If, as now seems likely, I do go the K10 route, I will probably get a short zoom as a general purpose lens. I hope to get approx 20-60f2.8. Ideally, any resulting images that satisfy my eye should be able to be printed at A3. The smallest prints will be A4. If at all possible I hope to print at A2 as I now have access to that size for selected shots and special work.

I am not interested in the Pentax 16-50f2.8 as it is not yet here and will be a 'rip off' item for the foreseeable future costing the same as the camera itself.

I have been looking at Sigma 24-60f2.8 EX DG, also, 17-70 f2.8 and 18-50 f2.8 EX. however, there seems to be some doubt about the sharness of EX zooms on the web......

Any help or pointers would be most welcome.

Classvino

Link Posted 16/04/2007 - 15:32
I also would be interested on hearing opinions on Sigma's 2.8 zooms, since I can't afford Pentax lenses...

I've been looking at the 24-70 Macro and the 28-70 (I know it's just personal, but I've never used the short end very much, so a 17mm bottom end for me would be like putting pearls on swine...)

The 24-70 macro is C$599 and the 28-70 is C$399. Are the extra 4mm worth the money? Same question for the Macro? (It's pretty short for a Macro lens, isn't it ?)

Anyway, specific AND general comments on Sigma fast zooms would be appreciated...

TIA
--------------
MZ-6,K10D,K20D,Grip,DA*Zooms,DA 18-55-200 Kit,FA50,1.7TC,AFZ360
For Saleentax FA28-90,FA100-300,Sigma EX28-80,DC18-200,
Makinon 500mm Mirror

johnriley

Link Posted 21/04/2007 - 15:07
The perfect general purpose lens must be the SMC Pentax-DA 16-45mm f4. Superb quality, constant f stop, price much lower than it was.

It comes complete with a dedicated bayonet fit lens hood and I use it 95% of the time.
Best regards, John

Snadalholme

Link Posted 21/04/2007 - 21:19
The Sigma 17 -70 2.8 lens is pretty good if you don't go all the way down to 17 at f2.8, as you get noticeable barrel distortion and some vignetting. The vignetting can of course soon be cropped out, but it depends how tight your shot was in the first place. The barrel distortion soon disappears above 17 and around f4. I find the range very useful and supplement it with the Sigma 70 -300 APO which is a lovely lens, good macro between 200 and 300 - when you can remember how to revert to normal mode, the fiddle here is very irritating. The 70 - 300 goes up to about 260/270 before getting quite soft.

I am sure there are much better lenses, but on a budget the Sigmas deliver the goods.

Mongoose

Link Posted 21/04/2007 - 23:50
when you say you're interested in ~20-60 F2.8, have you taken the crop factor into account?

If so then your options are basically the Pentax 16-50, Pentax 16-45 F4 (much cheaper but F4) or the Sigma offerings.

viewfinder

Link Posted 22/04/2007 - 23:30
Sandalholme,...thank you for your reply about Sigma 17-70, this is just the kind of info i was hoping for. you clearly like this lens but what size are you printing at please?

Mongoose,..thank you for your reply, yes i have taken the crop factor into accounbt. The 16-50 looks like a great lens which would fullfill my needs almost exactly however, it is not here yet and is likely to cost more than the k10 itself for the foreseeable future. The 16-45 f4 is a nice lens which i was looking at yesterday afternoon. however, i would much prefer a f2.8 lens because although I will likely not use f2.8 very often, it means a much better v/f image for manual or tricky auto focussing,..bearing in mind that my eyes are not getting any younger and that we live in N. Europe rather than somewhere that is always sunny.

Snadalholme

Link Posted 23/04/2007 - 08:43
Re print size. I only have an A4 printer so can only say that, as you would expect, there are no problems here. Not having had the K10D very long and taking more shots than I can process so far I have little printing experience as yet from the K10D and have yet to find out for example how small a cropped shot will still print well at A4.

johnriley

Link Posted 23/04/2007 - 09:49
This is a difficulty when getting advice from forums as we don't know what size people are printing to, and equally well we don't know what their subjective quality expectations are.

If you want superb A3 prints and files that will happily grace magazine pages then the SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm stopped down will be fine and the SMC Pentax-DA 16-45mm will be better and at wider apertures.

IMHO the Sigmas and others are not up to the same standard, but that depends on what criteria you apply.
Best regards, John

Mongoose

Link Posted 23/04/2007 - 10:47
viewfinder wrote:

Mongoose,..thank you for your reply, yes i have taken the crop factor into accounbt. The 16-50 looks like a great lens which would fullfill my needs almost exactly however, it is not here yet and is likely to cost more than the k10 itself for the foreseeable future. The 16-45 f4 is a nice lens which i was looking at yesterday afternoon. however, i would much prefer a f2.8 lens because although I will likely not use f2.8 very often, it means a much better v/f image for manual or tricky auto focussing,..bearing in mind that my eyes are not getting any younger and that we live in N. Europe rather than somewhere that is always sunny.

I have a very similar debate, TBH I think baring a lottery win I'll eventually end up with the Sigma DC Macro 18-50 F2.8. The DA* 16-50 would be excellent, but I'll have a hard time justifying that much money on a standard zoom and the 16-45 F4 just isn't quite fast enough.

For now I'm sticking with the 18-55, which does a good enough job stopped down a bit. My more pressing desire is a nice long tele since this makes up most of my summer time photography and my 80-320 just isn't quite up to what I want.

viewfinder

Link Posted 23/04/2007 - 12:13
The 18-55 is compact, cheap and available,..and did I mention that it is cheap?......

However, I learned long ago that cheap lenses are invariably false ecomomy.

As John so succinctly points out, peoples expectations and 'performance envelopes' are very different and not easy to judge. Plenty of accounts on the web suggest that the 18-55 is perfectly adequate for the largest prints once stopped down a 'coupla'clicks'. However, others plainly claim that the thing is hardly better than a piece of milk bottle and is only intended to be a sort of dual purpose body cap.....

Quite apart from the fact that there is often a big variation between different samples of the same 'inexpensive' lens because quality control and testing are usually minimal.

golfdiesel

Link Posted 23/04/2007 - 12:38
I made some nice shots with the 18-55 kitlens, but the 16-45 is really better. I don't kow exactly what it is (ok, it is sharper at the low F stop range). It could allso be that the number of aperture blades is positively influencing the image.
And I for one DO use the wide angle area quite a lot, it is kind of addicting. I am looking into even shorter focal lengths at the moment... There is quite a difference between 18 and 16mm.
Camera:K20D|Ist*DS|Spotmatic II|MZ-10
Pentax Lenses: DA16-45|DA50-200|50A 1.7
Tamron Lenses: 28-200
Takumar Lenses: SMC 55 1.8
Sigma Lenses: EX DG 50-500 'Bigma'|EX 50mm Macro
Flashes: Metz 58 AF-1|Samsung SEF-36PZF|Pentax AF-220T

Mongoose

Link Posted 23/04/2007 - 13:49
the 18-55 is certainly not a pro grade optic, even stopped down. Even at F8-F10 (which seems to be where mine is at its best) it is no match for either my SMC-A 50 1.7 or CZJ 35 2.4. Admittedly comparing a kit zoom to primes of that caliber could be seen as unfair, but I'm just trying to qualify my statements regarding this lens. I regard it as the best of the kit zooms, certainly it is better than the Canikon offerings, I have never seen it directly compared to the Oly or Sony kit lenses. Still beating the Canon EF-S 18-55 is hardly a stellar achievement.

In many cases it's "good enough", but you do have to ask yourself, is that REALLY good enough?

I already have an 18-55 because it came with my DL2, so it is filling that role in my kit bag until I get around to affording a replacement for it. I don't do wide angle very often so it doesn't bother me a great deal. If I was without a lens at that focal length and wanted to buy one tomorrow, the 18-55 would not come into the question, but I'm really not sure if the Sigma 18-50s F2.8 would end up beating the Pentax 16-45s 16mm and SMC.

ChrisA

Link Posted 23/04/2007 - 14:50
I realise it's not going to be in the 16-45's league when it comes to sharpness, but has anyone any experience of the Sigma DL Hyperzoom 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3?

Mannesty

Link Posted 23/04/2007 - 15:26
ChrisA wrote:
I realise it's not going to be in the 16-45's league when it comes to sharpness, but has anyone any experience of the Sigma DL Hyperzoom 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3?

Now I like Sigma lenses, some Sigma lenses at least. I have a 70-300mm Macro and a 135-400mm APO. Both excellent lenses . . . but . . .
. . . as for the 28-300mm, the numbers say it all. 28-300mm is almost 11x zoom ratio, and it's a slow f3.5 at the 28mm end, and a snail at f6.3 at the 300mm end. This lens has got to be loaded with compromises.

You can't really compare 2 zooms having such different ranges as 16-45mm and 28-300mm anyway, can you?
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream

ChrisA

Link Posted 23/04/2007 - 15:38
Mannesty wrote:
You can't really compare 2 zooms having such different ranges as 16-45mm and 28-300mm anyway, can you?

Well I wasn't trying to.. but there's no denying 28-300 is "general purpose".

I'm not so bothered about slow, but I'd like to know if it's reasonably sharp, considering.
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