Replacing the kit lens: what's faster with more range?


Garnett

Link Posted 02/07/2013 - 20:14
I'm considering replacing the 18-55mm kit lens.

I would like something a bit faster with the potential for some portraiture. My wife wants something faster but would also like a bit more range. I've been looking at:-
- SMC Pentax-DA 17-70mm F4 AL [IF] SDM
- Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro HSM
- Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 IF EX DG HSM
- Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 AF XR Di LD Macro SP

To my mind the new Sigma 17-70mm seems like a decent option. I think I'd rather have the wider part of the zoom and give up on the extra speed of the constant f2.8 offerings

Has anyone compared 2 or more of the candidates?
~Pentax K-5, DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL WR, DA 35mm f/2.4 AL, DA 55-300mm f4.0-5.8 ED, FA 50mm f/1.4, M 50mm f/1.8 - flickr

Blythman

Link Posted 02/07/2013 - 20:18
The Tamron 17-50 f2.8 too short at the long end?
Alan


PPG
Flickr

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davidstorm

Link Posted 02/07/2013 - 20:44
The Pentax DA 17-70 is not faster (i.e. aperture), but it does have a constant F4 and is miles ahead of the 18-55 for image quality. It is great for portraiture and general use where image quality is a priority.

I don't think the F4 aperture is that much of an issue as you have a K-5, so you can push up the ISO if necessary.

It is a belter of a lens, the only downside to me is that it distorts quite heavily at wide angles, but this is easy to correct either in camera or afterwards, so it's not really a problem.

I would recommend this lens, but I haven't tried any of the others you have suggested. I noticed that the 17-70 can be bought for around 350 brand new if you shop around; at this price it is a steal.

Regards
David
Flickr

Nicola's Apartments, Kassiopi, Corfu

Some cameras, some lenses, some bits 'n' bobs

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Garnett

Link Posted 02/07/2013 - 20:46
Thanks Blythman. I really like the look of the Tamron, but yeah, I think my wife would miss the extra room at the top end.
~Pentax K-5, DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL WR, DA 35mm f/2.4 AL, DA 55-300mm f4.0-5.8 ED, FA 50mm f/1.4, M 50mm f/1.8 - flickr

johnriley

Link Posted 02/07/2013 - 20:49
How about the 18-135mm?
Best regards, John

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Defragged

Link Posted 02/07/2013 - 20:51
Or there is the slightly older but excellent Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4.5 DC Macro which can probably be had for less outlay..... or even the Sigma 18-125mm F3.8-5.6 DC HSM Lens which seems reasonably priced at 229.00 by SRS link Good hunting....
C.O.L.B.A.S victim
(Compulsive Obsessive Lens Buying Addiction Syndrome)

What you need are lenses, more lenses, bigger lenses, better lenses, faster lenses, and when you have these, your pictures will be perfect!

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Garnett

Link Posted 02/07/2013 - 20:55
David, thanks for your reply. My previous post must have crossed yours.

Looking at the Pentax Forums review it seems the newer Sigma might be a better choice...

One thing I like about it in the reviews is the faster AF and reduced hunting.

The faster speed at the wide end also appeals...
~Pentax K-5, DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL WR, DA 35mm f/2.4 AL, DA 55-300mm f4.0-5.8 ED, FA 50mm f/1.4, M 50mm f/1.8 - flickr

davidstorm

Link Posted 02/07/2013 - 21:07
My 17-70 doesn't hunt, I know some users have reported this, but it's a bit unclear why it happens; maybe issues with the electrical contacts if they're not clean? I have experienced some 'jiggling' of focus on the K-5 (not on the K-5IIs though), but images shot with the lens are invariably sharp and this includes a great many shot in very dim artificial light at weddings and receptions. I know a few people who have this lens too and they have not had any focus issues.

The AF is not lightning fast, but is perfectly adequate and I haven't really missed any shots because of it.

Hope this is useful.

Regards
David
Flickr

Nicola's Apartments, Kassiopi, Corfu

Some cameras, some lenses, some bits 'n' bobs

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Garnett

Link Posted 02/07/2013 - 21:12
Thanks John, Defragged.

The 18-125mm is tempting but all the all-in-one lenses seem to get criticised.

I really like my FA 50mm f/1.4 for the speed but I'd love to be able to zoom around a little.
~Pentax K-5, DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL WR, DA 35mm f/2.4 AL, DA 55-300mm f4.0-5.8 ED, FA 50mm f/1.4, M 50mm f/1.8 - flickr

Defragged

Link Posted 02/07/2013 - 21:23
LCE have a used Sigma 17-70 that might be worth a look at link....
C.O.L.B.A.S victim
(Compulsive Obsessive Lens Buying Addiction Syndrome)

What you need are lenses, more lenses, bigger lenses, better lenses, faster lenses, and when you have these, your pictures will be perfect!

Smeggypants

Link Posted 02/07/2013 - 21:55
Defragged wrote:
Or there is the slightly older but excellent Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4.5 DC Macro which can probably be had for less outlay.....

I have one. Love it. Great quality for the money. Love the close focus ability of it too
[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
Flash: AF-540FGZ, Vivitar 283

ilovesaabs

Link Posted 02/07/2013 - 22:34
no No no No No No No...

I have only one recommendation, if you're going to splash the cash - get the best - the DA*16-50.

Yes, it might have it's issues, my SDM did fail - but it came back from JPS absolutely perfect - so much that all my other mid-range zooms were sold and I'm just left with the DA*. It is such a solid performer.

When the lens was at JPS I nearly bought a DA17-70 from Jessops - AF on the copy I looked at failed out of the box...
AKA Welshwizard/PWynneJ
Assorted Pentax/Nikon/Mamiya stuff

judderman62

Link Posted 02/07/2013 - 22:58
70mm is no increase over 55mm... I zoomed the difference on my 55-300 when considering a 17-70 and it instantly made my mind up that I needed something longer.

I love my sigma 18-125, quick and quiet to focus too... don't stick a filter on it to protect the lens though - flares like crazy
- -
Mike

Pentax K5 / Pentax K5 11/ Pentax K200D / Canon Rebel T1 i / Canon 650D / Pentax MX-1 / Fuji XF1 /Fuji X 10 / Canon EOS-M / Canon G10/ Pentax Mz-7 x 2

davidstorm

Link Posted 02/07/2013 - 23:46
ilovesaabs wrote:
When the lens was at JPS I nearly bought a DA17-70 from Jessops - AF on the copy I looked at failed out of the box...

I think it's natural for us all to give our personal experiences but it can distort reality. I bet someone somewhere has experienced a failure of some equipment 'straight out of the box' whereas others have had years of trouble-free service. By all accounts the 17-70 had some issues when first launched, but these appear to have been well and truly sorted out.

For example, you are a Saab owner I presume? How many people would relate poor experiences with a Saab? I'm a former 9-3 owner and loved the car but I did have to have a few bits replaced!

Regards
David
Flickr

Nicola's Apartments, Kassiopi, Corfu

Some cameras, some lenses, some bits 'n' bobs

ilovesaabs

Link Posted 03/07/2013 - 10:39
davidstorm wrote:
ilovesaabs wrote:
When the lens was at JPS I nearly bought a DA17-70 from Jessops - AF on the copy I looked at failed out of the box...

I think it's natural for us all to give our personal experiences but it can distort reality. I bet someone somewhere has experienced a failure of some equipment 'straight out of the box' whereas others have had years of trouble-free service. By all accounts the 17-70 had some issues when first launched, but these appear to have been well and truly sorted out.

For example, you are a Saab owner I presume? How many people would relate poor experiences with a Saab? I'm a former 9-3 owner and loved the car but I did have to have a few bits replaced!

Regards
David

I've had 2 SDM failures on my DA* lenses but I was surprised to find a failure on a more recent product. I had a failure on my 60-250, which was thought to be immune from the problems, SRS were even surprised....but for what you pay for the 17-70 I think the 16-50 is worth the extra.

Yes, I do have a saab, on number 3 now. My 2nd was a 9-3 and I know of all the problems especially on the diseasels (a common diseasel problem) and broken springs (another common problem on newer cars), poor trim but mine was completely reliable. The 9-5 has issues with sludge,rectified for later models, I have a more recent top of the line variant which I wouldn't want to swap for anything else....

Call me, with my K-5 and 9-5 the ultimate materialistic Pentax and Saab fanboy
AKA Welshwizard/PWynneJ
Assorted Pentax/Nikon/Mamiya stuff
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