Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EX vs Pentax FA 80-200mm f2.8


Link Posted 18/04/2008 - 14:10
Can anybody advise differences and /or advantages regarding these two?

I have owned the Sigma for about 6months but haven’t shot a huge amount with it. I also bought the Sigma EX 1.4x & 2x tele converters around the same time. The 70-200 seems sharp and contrasty and I like what I can produce with it, BUT (there’s always one of those nearby!) when used on my MZ-S I have come across 2 weaknesses.

Firstly and minor; close focus distance around 2metres.
Secondly; slow Auto Focus speed and hunting can be significant even in good light and significantly worse than my consumer grade 70-300 f4-5.6 Tamron. This became significantly apparent doing some wedding location shots recently, especially trying to catch some candid moments.

I may have the chance to score a good FA* 80-200mm f2.8 at a reasonable(?) price $A1800 ($US1700?).

1) What are the pros and cons regading these two?
2) Would the FA, Auto Focus be significantly quicker/better than the Sigma?
3) Would the teleconverters work as well on the FA?
4) Is the FA too heavy to handhold? – I can get away with it with the Sigma.
5) What sort of money could I ask for the Sigma?

Any other thoughts/comments appreciated.




Link Posted 18/04/2008 - 14:46
Which Sigma do you have? Is it a DG one?

I have the 70-200 2.8 EX non-DG and I love it, the fast 2.8 is a bonus..

I do not have a teleconverter, but the EX converters I believe are only compatible with the Sigma EX lenses, bnut that could be Sigma B/S

For extra reach I have the EX Sigma 100-300 f4, which I love even more....I might get a 1.4x tc for that as I have seen the results and they are great..

Now... the FA* 80-200, I really would love one of those but they are silly money and I think the quality is comparable with the Sigmas, usability is the same. For TC's I wouldn't be too sure what you could use.

Handling wise I think they would be comparable, AF speed is controlled by the AF system so I would not expect any difference, but accuracy on the Pentax may be better..

I think you would have no problems selling the Sigma as they and getting a good price.

I have the FA* 85, and sometimes frustrated when doing portraits on the K10D as I have to stand quite a long way back, even for focussing, but the IQ is absolutely outstanding...

Either way, if you get the FA* lens you win, if you don't and have to keep the Sigma, it's also a win situation....good luck!



Link Posted 19/04/2008 - 23:56
Thanks for your thoughts Pwynnej,

My lens does not have the DG or Macro designations.

I learnt on another forum that Sigma & Tamron have new versions nearly ready to send, for around US$700 & $800 - Adorama is taking advance orders. This will surely drive down the price of our version of the lens and maybe the FA but maybe not to the same extent.

If this is the case, I could end up spending a fair bit on the FA & loosing a fair amount by the time I did some comparisons and then tried to sell one of them.

So, looks like I need to learn to manual focus the Sigma when the subject is a bit dull. The AF is fine and quite quick when the subject is well lit. Interestingly of all my lenses (including Pentax and Tamron) this lens has the most trouble when the subject is dull - as I said, it's worse than my old Tamron 70-300mm 4-5.6! Generally it is when it gets close to focus that it takes it's time or it doesn't get there. Sometimes it seems to have no idea at all. Moving all the glass quickly is not the problem - Most times it moves it all quite quickly.

On the subject of close focussing, does anyone know if there are extension tubes available that have the AF drive pin for use with AF bodies and lenses????????????????????????????????????????????

Thanks again.

Daniel Bridge

Link Posted 20/04/2008 - 12:01
Is the lens actually sharp wide open? Just wondering if it has a de-centering defect that may make it a little soft until stopped down, and the camera might then struggle to obtain best focus with it?

K-3, a macro lens and a DA*300mm...


Link Posted 20/04/2008 - 13:40
Daniel, a good thought. I haven't shot anything wide open and haven't done any objective testing either. That's something I probably should do with all of my lenses.

Does anyone have any ideas on lens tests that I could perform?
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