LBA strikes


Mongoose

Link Posted 07/11/2007 - 23:11
Help! I think I'm about to spend rather a lot of money.

Through a sequence of happy events I have on the order of 300 burning a hole in my back pocket.

Although up to now most of my photography has been in the telephoto or macro ranges, I have recently developed an interest in wide angle. The 18-55 is as wide as my kit goes at the moment, and it doesn't quite cut the mustard, being neither particularly wide nor particularly good at 18mm. My wide angle fun and games have centered around using the perspective to make a close subject seem larger than life, rather than panoramic landscapes which I tend to prefer to do with stitched shots at longer focal lengths.

I am considering a number of options:

The Sigma 10-20:

Not a direct replacement for my 18-55, but would take over the roll of wide angle lens and support the kit zoom where it is weakest (I have a 50mm prime to deal with the other end if needed!)

Sigma 18-50 F2.8 DC Macro

No wider than the 18-55, but faster and I would hope better quality. Would come in handy at fencing matches where I am currently limited to my 35, 50, 90 and 135mm fast primes.


Sigma 17-70 F2.8-4

A nice walk around focal length, faster than the 18-55 and longer/wider too. Is it better though?


Pentax 16-45 F4

Wider than the 18-55, better optics and a stop faster at the long end. Given the better quality, probably effectively more like 2 stops faster than the 18-55 since using it wide open is not a total fantasy. Not as wide as the 10-20 though.



Also nagging at the back of my mind as ever is the fact that I'm not totally happy with my 80-320's long end performance, but I have my doubts that the Sigma or Tamron 70-300 4.5-5.6 lenses would actually be better and there's just no way I'm going to get 750 together for a Sig 100-300 F4 any time soon, so I think I'm going to concentrate on the end of the range I can actually afford to improve for now.
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johnriley

Link Posted 07/11/2007 - 23:22
It depends on your photographic style, but I have found myself using the Pentax 16-45mm almost all the time. A fantastically useful and very high quality lens. It's even done low light work thanks to SR and adjustable ISO.

Which one do you think you will go for?
Best regards, John

ChrisA

Link Posted 07/11/2007 - 23:35
Mongoose wrote:
I'm not totally happy with my 80-320's long end performance, but I have my doubts that the Sigma or Tamron 70-300 4.5-5.6 lenses would actually be better

Is that the FA 80-320?

It turned out that the cosmetics of the one I bought a few days ago was not really consistent enough with the description in the listing, and after I'd taken a few careful shots with it I wasn't all that impressed with it optically either.

So just in case there was some underlying problem I felt that safe was better than sorry, and agreed a return with the seller.

However, I still need something in that range, and I'm considering the Tamron, which can be got new at about the 100 price point, I believe, or maybe a bit more.

I borrowed a friend's one for a few minutes a couple of weeks ago, and took some low-light, hand-held pictures with it at long focal lengths, with which I was quite pleased. Also, the AF was much faster and quieter than the FA80-320 I used.

I've also seen quite a few pictures taken with one by a friend on safari. He was completely new to SLR photography, used a K10D and the Tamron 70-300, with everything set to default. The results were pretty good, although not surprisingly there was quite a bit of purple fringing when there was a bright overexposed background.

My tentative, and admittedly rather unscientific conclusion is that for a hundred quid or thereabouts, the Tamron is quite a good choice.

I'm still very undecided though. A suspect 80-320, against a new Tamron, only for a few minutes each is hardly a fair comparison. And I'm not exactly a lens expert either.

That said, it took me all of about a minute to develop a very warm feeling towards my FA 28-200, which has proved to be extremely well-founded.

Flasharry

Link Posted 08/11/2007 - 08:41
If it's a wide angle you're looking for and have found that your Pentax 18-55 isn't really up to what you want at the wide end, then I doubt the Sigma 17-70 or any of the others you've mentioned are going to do much for you either. The Sigma 10-20mm would seem a more obvious choice especially as it will allow for some 'overlap' with your 18-55mm albeit small
Steve.

Ammonyte

Link Posted 08/11/2007 - 10:09
I've kept my 18-55 for "traveling light" (with the 50-200) and like John, use the 16-45mm most of the time. Occasionally I use my Sigma 12-24 (if I was buying now, I'd definitely go for the Sigma 10-20), and my telephoto of preference (& budget) is the Sigma 70-300 APO Macro. For real macro work I use the Tamron 90mm SP.

Hmmm, putting it like that I have a some lenses I rarely use. Can't bear to let them go, just in case...
Tim the Ammonyte
--------------
K10D & sundry toys
http://www.ammonyte.com/photos.html

Mannesty

Link Posted 08/11/2007 - 10:31
For a wide angle zoom, choose the Sigma 10-20mm or the Pentax DA 12-24mm if you want your straight lines straight('ish) as it has a rectilinear design. or the Pentax DA 10-17mm if you like the fisheye look (curvilinear) to your images.

Many here prefer the Sigma, primarily due to cost I think.
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream

Mongoose

Link Posted 08/11/2007 - 13:20
Flasharry wrote:
If it's a wide angle you're looking for and have found that your Pentax 18-55 isn't really up to what you want at the wide end, then I doubt the Sigma 17-70 or any of the others you've mentioned are going to do much for you either. The Sigma 10-20mm would seem a more obvious choice especially as it will allow for some 'overlap' with your 18-55mm albeit small

That's more or less what I was thinking, in my case most of the other lenses are likely to be "jack of all trades, master of none". Ultimately I probably will replace the 18-55 with a 16-45 or Sig 18-50 F2.8, but for the moment the 18-55 does what I ask it to so long as I keep it in moderate apertures and mid range focal lengths.

I'm leaning quite heavily towards the 10-20 at the moment. I'd love to follow the "Riley Rule" and get the DA 12-24, but it's just more money than I am likely to have available for several years (300 is a stretch). The DA10-17 would undoubtably be fun on occasions, but I can't see me getting 300 of use out of a fisheye.
you don't have to be mad to post here



but it does help

Clarky

Link Posted 08/11/2007 - 13:33
The 10-20 would be my pick and if you happen to be sent 2 of them by mistake let me know
Camera:|K-7|
Pentax Lenses:|DA12-24/f4 ED AL|DA35Ltd Macro|FA31Ltd|FA77Ltd|FA50/1.4|F70-210|FA20-35 f4/AL|A*200/f4 Macro ED|A50/1.7|A50 Macro f2.8|1.7xAF adapter|
Voigtlander|125/f2.5SL Macro APO Lanthar|
Sigma Lenses:|EX DG 100-300 f4|2X & 1.4X TC|
Flashes:|AF540FGZx2|RingFlash AF160FC|

niblue

Link Posted 08/11/2007 - 14:50
The Sigma 10-20 was the first APS-C lens I bought (other than the 18-55 that came in the kit) when I went digital and a couple of years on it's still the first lens I'd buy. Had the Pentax 12-24 not been twice the price I'd definitely have considered it however it's no better than the Sigma lens and therefore not (IMHO) worth any price premium over it.

The DA 16-45 F4 I also have and use a lot - it's my experience that it's massively better than the kit lens plus a more useful focal length range. It and the Sigma 10-20 are by far my most used lenses.

Of the others you mention:

Sigma 18-50 F2.8: The extra width of the Pentax 16-45 is worth more to me than the extra stop of this lens.

Sigma 17-70 F2.8-4: Sounds like a useful compromise lens and I've heard good things about it so probably worth a look.

It's also my experience that the Sigma 70-300 APO is a better lens optically and for flexibility than the 80-320. The 80-320 fetches more 2nd hand than the Sigma so personally I'd make the switch.

kcmadr

Link Posted 08/11/2007 - 15:53
I must throw in a word in defense of the FA 80-320mm. Up to 260mm, my results are fantastic at f5.6 and f8.0; beyond 260mm, a tad soft. but 95% of my images with this lens are at or below 260mm.

All this rememberig it is my opinion, my technique, my lens, and my camera (K10D of course).

beginner

Link Posted 08/11/2007 - 20:55
I bought the 16/45 three weeks ago and I've yet to reach the quality of the 18/55!..............I'm not a happy bunny,my shots aren't as sharp and I struggle with dof, I cant seem to get the front to back clarity that I can with the "KIT" lens...............Another thing with the 16/45 is the build quality!........at 16mm the front end wobbles like a mad thing!.....not a good advert for buying real Pentax glass..........................

Gwyn

Link Posted 08/11/2007 - 21:27
Anyone have experience of the Sigma 15-30? It seems a good price (€455) and is an EX lens.

niblue

Link Posted 08/11/2007 - 22:27
Gwyn wrote:
Anyone have experience of the Sigma 15-30? It seems a good price (455) and is an EX lens.

It's supposed to be a good lens although apparently it can be prone to flare due to the size and shape of the front element.

simonkit

Link Posted 08/11/2007 - 23:22
The sigma 17-70 & Pentax 16-45 are both good replacements for the kit lens, IQ wise nothing much to choose between them - I bought the Sigma for the additional focal range & am delighted with it.

I am also seriously adding the Sigma 10-20, the extra wide angle would be very useful.

simon
My website http://www.landscapephotographyuk.com

My Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/landscapephotographyuk

Find me on Google+ link

Mongoose

Link Posted 09/11/2007 - 13:03
Thank you all very much for your advice. Suffice to say, the next time I have 300 I shall be getting myself a Sigma 10-20.
Not today however.

While perusing the SRS website, I came upon a Tamron 300mm F2.8 for 350. At that price I could not resist and it is at this very moment mounted on my K10D and pointing out the window at a bird feeder.

I've taken a couple of test shots so far and all I can say is lenses this sharp should have a warning on them, I think I cut myself. At F2.8 it is slightly better than my 80-320 at F5.6. By F5.6 it is, to quote Red Dwarf, "sharper than a page of Oscar Wilde witticisms which have been rolled up into a point, dipped in lemon juice and jabbed into someones eye".

Now, if only I can aquire a 112mm lens cap......
you don't have to be mad to post here



but it does help
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