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02-24-2011, 12:29 PM   #46
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DA 12-24 NO Contest! My favorite lens in my arsenal.

02-24-2011, 06:09 PM   #47
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Back to the OP's question!

I had the Sigma 10-20 f/3.5, and I think I was one of the first to buy it and post images here. Nice lens; compact, thick and well built like some have mentioned. But then I got the Pentax 12-24! The Pentax is much sharper, even when both are equally stopped down (which is what I use, since I shoot mainly landscapes on a tripod), and the 12-24 has less CA and none of the wide-end distortion. And by "sharper" I mean: resolution of fine details in all kinds of light, with crispy micro-contrast.

Had them both for a month debating the "this goes to 10mm" part, and sold the Sigma. I'm not a brand-whore by any means, but the 12-24 buries the f/3.5 Sigma. Apparently the older 10-20 (f/4-5.6) had far less CA and distortion, but was soft in the corners if not stopped down. That older Sigma might be the best option if you're on a budget, but if you're debating the 12-24 for the price of the f/3.5... no questions, go DA!

The only bad thing about the 12-24 is that it is honkin-big with the hood on! Makes my DA*50-135 look petite!

Last edited by panoguy; 02-24-2011 at 06:14 PM.
02-25-2011, 12:56 AM   #48
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QuoteQuote:
Panoguy: I'm not a brand-whore by any means, but the 12-24 buries the f/3.5 Sigma. Apparently the older 10-20 (f/4-5.6) had far less CA and distortion, but was soft in the corners if not stopped down.
--are you for real??? Both Sigmas have far better Ca control than the Da--you may not have been diagnosed with "brand-whorism," but surely exhibit fanboyism in clinical fashion.

1st the Da



Now the 1st Siggy 10-20 Version:



And finally, the 3,5 version you say you shot with:



As far as sharpness goes, the Da & Siggy are very close--look at the MTF charts, fanyboyism gets cured here. . The only place you find real fall off, is @ 10mm, wide open, on the original version. There is no need to be shooting F4, wide open in my experience anyway. If you mainly shoot landscapes, you mainly do not shoot wide open--right?

Yes, @ 10mm, there is a mustache distortion, but there is no 10mm for the Da/Tokina version of the lens, so Siggy wins here too.
02-25-2011, 06:51 AM   #49
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I would also suggest looking at the Sigma 8-16mm. A stellar lens.

Photozone.de gave it their rare "highly recommended" accolade.

02-25-2011, 10:46 AM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by Unsinkable II Quote
I would also suggest looking at the Sigma 8-16mm. A stellar lens.

Photozone.de gave it their rare "highly recommended" accolade.

I suggest the same.
02-25-2011, 03:55 PM - 1 Like   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
--are you for real??? Both Sigmas have far better Ca control than the Da--you may not have been diagnosed with "brand-whorism," but surely exhibit fanboyism in clinical fashion.
Have you read your posts vociferously defending your Sigma? Get a grip - their just lenses!

This is what I saw in my images when I compared the DA12-24 to the Sigma 10-20 f/3.5. Maybe my 12-24 is better than most, or my early production 10-20 was worse than most ( Sigma QC anyone?). What do you see in your photos with those same two lenses - a test chart?
02-25-2011, 05:22 PM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
The only bad thing about the 12-24 is that it is honkin-big with the hood on! Makes my DA*50-135 look petite!
is this really true? I've been considering the DA 12-24 and the size of it always makes me reconsider the DA 15 as an alternative. But, it makes the DA*50-135 look petite?? I haven't seen either lens in person but the 50-135 (with the hood) seems HUGE.
02-25-2011, 08:24 PM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by Antifreez Quote
is this really true? I've been considering the DA 12-24 and the size of it always makes me reconsider the DA 15 as an alternative. But, it makes the DA*50-135 look petite?? I haven't seen either lens in person but the 50-135 (with the hood) seems HUGE.
this was made inorder to avoid vignetting. remember that this is a 12mm lens, not a 15mm nor 50mm at the wide end. but anyway, it is just the extended filter ring and hood. you can always remove it if you want.

02-26-2011, 07:37 PM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by Antifreez Quote
is this really true? I've been considering the DA 12-24 and the size of it always makes me reconsider the DA 15 as an alternative
The size thing is all relative. The DA 12-24 the shortest of the Pentax's DA constant aperture zooms, and the second lightest. The hood is not so much big (it is dwarfed by the hood for the DA* 300) as it is wide. Of course the DA 15 is much smaller, but that is a very small lens, and any zoom compared to it is going to seem large next to it.

QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
The Pentax is much sharper, even when both are equally stopped down (which is what I use, since I shoot mainly landscapes on a tripod), and the 12-24 has less CA and none of the wide-end distortion. And by "sharper" I mean: resolution of fine details in all kinds of light, with crispy micro-contrast.
I can't say whether the DA 12-24 is "much" sharper or has less CA than the Sigma, but I absolutely agree about the resolution of fine details and the crispy micro-contrast. To that I would add the lens' stunning color rendition and clarity. Some lenses render detail more beautifully than others, independent of how they might score on resolution tests. The strength of DA 12-24 is precisely in those characteristics that can't be measured by the sort of tests. And so it's not surprising that Popular Photography, which tries to factor such "subjective" characteristic lens performance in their evaluations, choose the DA 12-24 as best in its class.

Undoubtedly the Sigma 10-20/3.5 is a fine lens in its own right and may be preferable to those who prefer 10mm on the wide end, who want a slightly faster aperture, or who are eager to save ~$50.
02-26-2011, 08:14 PM   #55
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I also found myself in a quandary deciding between the Sigma 10-20 and Pentax 12-24.

I eventually bought the Pentax 12-24...2 less mm than the Sigma , but as Popular Photography says about the Pentax 12-24...it's the best of it's class.

I've been very happy with it, really glad I bought this fine lens.
02-26-2011, 09:27 PM   #56
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QuoteQuote:
panoguy:This is what I saw in my images when I compared the DA12-24 to the Sigma 10-20 f/3.5. Maybe my 12-24 is better than most, or my early production 10-20 was worse than most ( Sigma QC anyone?). What do you see in your photos with those same two lenses - a test chart?
Exactly my point: what you see is not what you get--here are the words, instead of the numbers, by the good people @ Photozone:

CAs (color shadows at harsh contrast transitions) are the primary weakness of the Pentax lens (just like in the Tokina variant). At 12mm and 18mm CAs peak way beyond 2px on the average at the image borders. Stopping down helps to reduce the problem but it's still high at f/8. At 24mm the situation eases somewhat.

QuoteOriginally posted by civiletti Quote
I suggest the same.


QuoteQuote:
Unsinkable II I would also suggest looking at the Sigma 8-16mm. A stellar lens.

Photozone.de gave it their rare "highly recommended" accolade.
Yes, I almost fell over in the chair when reading the Photozone review for the 8-16mm Siggy--AMAZING. And Photozone takes all things into account when it rates lenses. This is strong language, from their "Verdict"


The Sigma AF 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM may be the new star in this lens segment. It's very sharp across the whole range straight from the max. aperture. Lateral CAs are also very well controlled. That's quite an achievement for such an extreme ultra-wide angle zoom lens! If you're into architecture photography you will notice some barrel distortions when using the 8mm setting but that's actually a general problem in this class and at 12mm it shows less distortions than the competition actually.
02-26-2011, 11:59 PM   #57
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I shoot mostly manual focus primes on a tripod. The Photozone tests and some others convinced me to get the 8-16 rather than the DA12-24 or any of the primes. I am still surprised by the level of detail resolved in close inspection, as well as well-controlled distortion for such wide angles. I was concerned about the bulbous, filter-prohibiting front element, but it has not been a problem. Except for the CA, which is manageable in post-production, the DA12-24 is also excellent. I am not familiar with the Sigma 10-20.
02-27-2011, 09:24 AM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by civiletti Quote
I shoot mostly manual focus primes on a tripod. The Photozone tests and some others convinced me to get the 8-16 rather than the DA12-24 or any of the primes. I am still surprised by the level of detail resolved in close inspection, as well as well-controlled distortion for such wide angles. I was concerned about the bulbous, filter-prohibiting front element, but it has not been a problem. Except for the CA, which is manageable in post-production, the DA12-24 is also excellent. I am not familiar with the Sigma 10-20.
Tom, since you have used both 8-16 and 12-24... for a landscape shot at 12-16mm, f8, from a tripod, which lens would you choose? Would you still use the same lens at f16? Many thanks for sharing your experience!
02-27-2011, 01:15 PM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by civiletti Quote
I shoot mostly manual focus primes on a tripod. The Photozone tests and some others convinced me to get the 8-16 rather than the DA12-24 or any of the primes. I am still surprised by the level of detail resolved in close inspection, as well as well-controlled distortion for such wide angles. I was concerned about the bulbous, filter-prohibiting front element, but it has not been a problem. Except for the CA, which is manageable in post-production, the DA12-24 is also excellent. I am not familiar with the Sigma 10-20.
I understand why you chose the 8-16: tests are the most convincing I have seen. The only reservations with the 8-16 is non-access to filters, & vignetting--otherwise, the lens is a dream. When I bought into UWA, there was only two choices: the 12-24 or the 10-20 f4-5.6. I spent 2 months researching each, examining as many shots as I could. In the end, for me, the Sigma was the better choice. I agree with you, the 12-24 is an excellent lens--I wouldn't argue against that.

The 12-24 handles vignetting better than Sigma UWAs. If someone said the numbers are meaningless, the 10-20 handles vignetting better than the Da, that is as silly as the aforementioned claim that 12-24 handles Ca better, despite the numbers. Some things are simply not subjective, not even if we want them to be.

In the end, the choice of one lens over another is a harmonious blend of several factors, like statistical evidence, rendering preferences, costs, focal range preferences, personal tastes, & build quality. The factors will be weighted & prioritized differently, according to each buyer's needs. Hence, one buyers' choice can only be seen as best for that buyer, not best for all.

We can offer accurate knowledge to the OP, along with our personal preferences--BUT, we must be clear to delineate between the two.
02-27-2011, 01:44 PM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
I understand why you chose the 8-16: tests are the most convincing I have seen. The only reservations with the 8-16 is non-access to filters, & vignetting--otherwise, the lens is a dream. When I bought into UWA, there was only two choices: the 12-24 or the 10-20 f4-5.6. I spent 2 months researching each, examining as many shots as I could. In the end, for me, the Sigma was the better choice. I agree with you, the 12-24 is an excellent lens--I wouldn't argue against that.

The 12-24 handles vignetting better than Sigma UWAs. If someone said the numbers are meaningless, the 10-20 handles vignetting better than the Da, that is as silly as the aforementioned claim that 12-24 handles Ca better, despite the numbers. Some things are simply not subjective, not even if we want them to be.

In the end, the choice of one lens over another is a harmonious blend of several factors, like statistical evidence, rendering preferences, costs, focal range preferences, personal tastes, & build quality. The factors will be weighted & prioritized differently, according to each buyer's needs. Hence, one buyers' choice can only be seen as best for that buyer, not best for all.

We can offer accurate knowledge to the OP, along with our personal preferences--BUT, we must be clear to delineate between the two.
I use the long end (24mm) of the 12-24mm more frequently than the wide end; therefore, I consider the 12-24mm more suitable for street photography and travelling better than the 10-20mm. Besides, the DA12-24mm is sharp wide open, corner to corner.
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