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09-30-2010, 05:30 AM   #1
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24-70mm Options

I am looking for something in this range, but it doesn't need to fit exactly. I am seriously considering the Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 IF EX DG HSM, but it is $900 and I have seen similar lenses for around $500. Examples of these are the Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 EX DG MACRO ($550), Sigma 28-70mm f2.8 EX DF Aspherical and the Sigma 28-70mm F2.8 EX DG ($380).

I know I am sticking to the Sigma EX line here because I would like to get glass I can keep for a while, and I am planning on this lens being heavily used so I want something that will last. I am open to other brands though if they are at least as reliable and durable.

I am really wondering if I can justify the $400 premium for the HSM in the first lens I mentioned. Are there other factors about that lens that make it so much more expensive?

Also which lens should I pick? I am willing to drop the $900 if it is really worth it, but if not, what are some more alternative options?

09-30-2010, 05:53 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by soppy Quote
I am looking for something in this range, but it doesn't need to fit exactly. I am seriously considering the Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 IF EX DG HSM, but it is $900 and I have seen similar lenses for around $500. Examples of these are the Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 EX DG MACRO ($550), Sigma 28-70mm f2.8 EX DF Aspherical and the Sigma 28-70mm F2.8 EX DG ($380).

I know I am sticking to the Sigma EX line here because I would like to get glass I can keep for a while, and I am planning on this lens being heavily used so I want something that will last. I am open to other brands though if they are at least as reliable and durable.

I am really wondering if I can justify the $400 premium for the HSM in the first lens I mentioned. Are there other factors about that lens that make it so much more expensive?

Also which lens should I pick? I am willing to drop the $900 if it is really worth it, but if not, what are some more alternative options?
I was in the same position a few years ago, looking then at the sigma APO 24-60 F2.8 EX DG the sigma APO 24-70F2.8 EX DG and the tamron 28-75F2.8 Xr Di

all were full frame (to use on both K10D and PZ1) what ssold me ultimately on the tamron was the filter size. at 67 mm it was the smallest, and I already had several graduated ND filters and polarizer, so this lens saved me $200 in filters. My next selection would have been the 24-60 only to have a 77mm filter which was comon with my 10-20 and 70-200F2.8, but SInce I did not have the other filters for those lenses, I woould have still been out a little. the 24-70 at the time used 82mm filters which had nothing in comon with any of my lenses and would have cost a fortune to get the graduated ND and polarizers.

Personally, I think mechanical build quality of the sigmas at the time is better than tamron, but I went tamron any way.

in this FL: you should also consider looking for a lens that can close focus and do 1:3 "macro"
09-30-2010, 06:20 AM   #3
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I would love to have something that can do close focus, but it isn't necessary. I have no filters I need to fit, though I plan on buying the Sigma 10-20mm 1:3.5 lens at some point so a similar filter size would be a plus. I can always use step up rings if I need to though, they are only $5 per ring and I'll just buy the bigger filter size.

Ultimately in filter prices, I am looking at a $20 difference per filter between the 77mm and the 82mm, so I don't really mind if I have to wait a while to buy some filters after I get the lens (aside from the standard protection filter that everyone should have that is).

I would like to have more on the top end than 60mm as well, simply because I find myself wanting more on my kit lens on the top end, and I don't see 5mm making much difference, so I would like it to go to 70mm.

Also what is the verdict on Pentax's own 17-70? It seems particularly slow at 1:4... Is there a reason why this would be a better option than the Sigmas?
09-30-2010, 06:40 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by soppy Quote
I would love to have something that can do close focus, but it isn't necessary. I have no filters I need to fit, though I plan on buying the Sigma 10-20mm 1:3.5 lens at some point so a similar filter size would be a plus. I can always use step up rings if I need to though, they are only $5 per ring and I'll just buy the bigger filter size.

Ultimately in filter prices, I am looking at a $20 difference per filter between the 77mm and the 82mm, so I don't really mind if I have to wait a while to buy some filters after I get the lens (aside from the standard protection filter that everyone should have that is).

I would like to have more on the top end than 60mm as well, simply because I find myself wanting more on my kit lens on the top end, and I don't see 5mm making much difference, so I would like it to go to 70mm.

Also what is the verdict on Pentax's own 17-70? It seems particularly slow at 1:4... Is there a reason why this would be a better option than the Sigmas?
For me, and I had a simple Idea when I put together my kit, I wanted to cover 10mm to 400mm with AF lenses, with as few lenses as possible, and as much of the range as possible at F2.8.

When I started shooting digital, I had the FA28-105, plus a lot of MF lenses, which I used on my PZ-1 and other film bodies, along with the AF adaptor, which I used mostly with my 70-210 Series 1 zoom.

My *istD came with the FA-J 18-35 lens, which was a start, but not nearly wide enough, but since I could use this lens on my PZ-1, and 18 oin film is wide, that was an ok solution. My first significant lens purchase was my sigma 70-200F2.8 plus a 1.4x TC. this got me to 300mm with the 70-200f2.8 range at f2.8

I then got a sigma 10-20, because I really wanted wide on digital, and when I got it, I stopped shooting film all together. the last zoom purchase was to fill the middle at F2.8 and that is where the tamron came in. It was the same filter size as the FAJ 18-35 and my series 1 lens for which I already had a lot of filters, so I went that direction,

In hindsight, the sigma 24-60 might have been a better option, and replace the 67mm filter set I had with 77mm. BUT as you point out getting to 70/75mm without going to the big zoom is a nice option. Not a big issue if you take all your lenses, but I have come to leaving the 70-200 at home unless shooting wildlife or sports, or perhaps indoor /stage performances, if I am far back. In that respect having overlap at the limits is better than gaps and cuts down on changing lenses.

09-30-2010, 07:19 AM   #5
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Your goal is actually very similar to mine. I wasn't to cover from 10 to at least 200 with constant f2.8 if possible. The top end of that wont be purchased for a while though because I am on a budget.

Had anybody used the $900 Sigma EX? I would really like to know why there is such a premium on that lens over the other ones that are so similar.

The only difference that I van make out is that it had hsm. Is that feature really make focusing that much quicker/quieter?
09-30-2010, 08:42 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by soppy Quote
Your goal is actually very similar to mine. I wasn't to cover from 10 to at least 200 with constant f2.8 if possible. The top end of that wont be purchased for a while though because I am on a budget.

Had anybody used the $900 Sigma EX? I would really like to know why there is such a premium on that lens over the other ones that are so similar.

The only difference that I van make out is that it had hsm. Is that feature really make focusing that much quicker/quieter?
there generally is a sigma non HSM of some form or another in the market place all the time in the $600 range

as to the difference in noise, I can't say, I don't own any HSM lenses and unless I brake something I can;t see replacing any of my zooms just for HSM. Maybe perhaps more speed in the new sigma 10-20 but even that is a pretty hard sell, conisdering I am please with what I have
09-30-2010, 03:11 PM - 1 Like   #7
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24-70mm non HSM

Purchased this lens used on eBay recently. If you look around and are patient, you can get a good deal (I've seen them at $350 used from dealers like KEH).

After a lot of research, seems like many prefer the Sigma 24-60 because it can be found extremely cheap (like $200 used from places like B&H or KEH when they come up used). Also, as others have mentioned, they are 77mm and much smaller/lighter than the 24-70.

The 24-70 is a beast. It's huge, and heavy. But I already had the Sigma 15-30 EX lens, which is virtually the same size/weight, so I can share filters.

Aside from the size/weight, I find it an excellent lens, extremely good focal length for shooting candids and portraits. Even though mine isn't the HSM version, image quality is great . . .
09-30-2010, 05:49 PM   #8
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I don't think I will mind the weight to be honest. I like to have lenses that feel like a tank in my hands. I have noticed on other forums people mentioning the zoom ring tends to get stuck at 24mm and slightly above? Have you had that experience with yours?

Also, now that I have testimony from someone who doesn't have the HSM, who does?

09-30-2010, 06:11 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by soppy Quote
I don't think I will mind the weight to be honest. I like to have lenses that feel like a tank in my hands. I have noticed on other forums people mentioning the zoom ring tends to get stuck at 24mm and slightly above? Have you had that experience with yours?

Also, now that I have testimony from someone who doesn't have the HSM, who does?
I have the non-HSM Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 EX DG MACRO and yes the zoom
ring's position/mechanism is not the greatest of designs, the zoom ring size
also is a little too small compared to the huge focus ring, and it does tend to
stick a bit to get moving above 24mm.

It's a big lens to lug around, filters are expensive but I do like it, the major drawback in my case is that 24mm is often 'just not wide enough' and requires
me to switch lenses to my DA 12-24mm at the worst possible moments...

Last edited by mlatour; 09-30-2010 at 06:53 PM.
09-30-2010, 06:16 PM   #10
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Well the other option would be to go with the regular Sigma 17-70mm, but that is at the cost of speed, build quality, and a not constant aperture. Would there be a noticeable loss in IQ or increase in distortion?
09-30-2010, 06:39 PM   #11
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Most of my photography is done during nightime conditions and F2.8 is a must.
For now I tend to favor using my Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC MACRO
to avoid the constant lens change. Of course some distortion is visible
around 18mm but is acceptable for my type of photography.
I always keep the 12-24mm close by just in case.

There's an upcoming camera show near here in a month or so,
if ever a used Sigma 17-70mm, 18-125mm or 18-200mm was
available there's a very good chance I would try to trade with the 24-70.

None of these have the IQ or speed of the 24-70mm but in my
opinion would make a good 'daytime' secondary lens in my kit.

Last edited by mlatour; 09-30-2010 at 06:55 PM.
09-30-2010, 06:54 PM   #12
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I've got the 24-70 DG Macro that I picked up on the marketplace here for about $350. It's certainly not wide enough for all applications, so I use my kit lens for its 18mm on occasion. It is big and heavy, but I don't mind really. Some say it is soft at 70mm and 2.8, but I found that I just needed to dial in -10 focus adjustment to perk it up a bit. The zoom ring is too small, but it's still totally useable. My zoom ring doesn't stick per se, but it definitely doesn't move with as light a touch as my 18-55 or 70-300.

I was very much considering the Tamron 28-75 but I wanted just a wee bit more on the wide end for indoor use and I found the Sigma at a good price. In a perfect world there would be an 18-70 2.8 .
09-30-2010, 06:59 PM   #13
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+1 mikem.. a Sigma 17-70mm F2.8 EX DC non-HSM would be my ideal lens!
09-30-2010, 07:06 PM   #14
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Owned the Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4.0 EX DC MACRO (not HS)
-very sharp even wide open
-great 'pseudo-macro' abilities, 1:2.3 IIRRC

Sold that and purchased the Sigma 24-60mm f/2.8 EX DG IF because I wanted constant f/2.8 and haven't looked back since. It only has a single extension when zooming in, which I prefer greatly to having two telescoping parts. Optics are comparable to 17-70mm in sharpness, and subjectively, I think the bokeh is more aesthetically pleasing. I did add the Sigma 10-20mm/4-4.5 to cover my short end.

I can recommend either

edit: there's also a 24-70mm (non HSM) on the marketplace

Last edited by systemA; 09-30-2010 at 07:11 PM.
09-30-2010, 09:19 PM   #15
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I bought Sigma EX 24-60/2.8 recently from a fellow forum member. I am happy I did. It is just wide enough for my own kind of shooting, small/light enough and sharp enough. I also have very good copy of Tamron 28-75/2.8.

Very short and very unscientific comparison (of the samples of both lenses that I have):

Sigma special
1. Sigma has slightly better build.
2. Sigma rings rotate the way opposite to that of Pentax.
3. Sigma has better OOF rendering.
4. Sigma has more relaxed or subdued color rendering.
5. Stopped down to f/3.5 and further Sigma is very sharp.
6. As per previous owner indication I had to dial in focus correction in my K-7.
7. Sigma has no aperture ring.

Tamron special
1. Tamron has smaller 67 mm filters
2. Tamron has closer close focusing (without having looked the specs up, I am thinking it goes to 1:2.5 or so mag factor).
3. Tamron has warmer and puncher colors.
4. Tamron is sharper wide open
5. Tamron rings rotate the right way.
6. Tamron has a good build but Sigma is more solid.
7. Tamron has aperture ring.

For more you can read that page on my blog that I linked above.

Last edited by Boris; 09-30-2010 at 09:29 PM.
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