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07-26-2011, 01:37 PM   #1
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Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM vs Pentax FA* 80-200mm F2.8?


Anyone had a chance to use both of these lenses and compare them? I know there is an article comparing these lenses on this site, but there isn't too much information about how they compare optically to the old FA*. I checked the user reviews and looks like no one has reviewed the new Sigma OS lens yet.

I'm especially curious about performance wide open on the short and long ends ...

I used to have the FA* 80-200mm and I loved it for shooting softball and indoor events. I'm pondering getting another lens sometime in the future since I do miss the focal length. If the Sigma is at least on par I'd rather get that since I can purchase it new with a warranty.

Any opinions?

07-26-2011, 01:42 PM   #2
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Read tthe in-depth comparative review:
Fast Sports Zoom Lenses for Pentax | Sigma 70-200mm vs. Tamron 70-200mm vs. Pentax FA* 80-200mm F2.8

Very informative.

Hope that the comment will help.
07-26-2011, 04:35 PM   #3
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Sigma 70-200mm OS reviews

Here's some reviews on the Sigma. They don't compare it against the Pentax 80-200mm, but they may help.
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Interchangeable Lens Review
Sigma 70-200 mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM review - Introduction -

I have the older non OS version, and I really like it (I also shoot softball, and ice hockey, with it). From what I've read, the new OS version is supposed to be a better lens than the older Sigma.

Until Pentax makes a newer 80-200mm f2.8, the Sigma is probably the best choice there is. And yes I know the 50-135mm is the 70-200mm equivalent, but it obviously does not have the same reach.
07-26-2011, 07:16 PM   #4
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I had the Sigma 70-200/2.8 HSM non-OS version. When comparing w/ my FA*80-200, the built quality is just miles apart. Focusing w/ the Sigma is very quiet and pretty fast, but it hunts a lot when using under low light, sometimes just gives up, while the FA*80-200 can manage to lock focus almost 100% times. I bought the Sigma to see if it could replace the heavier and older FA*80-200, but ended up I still keep the FA*80-200 and sold off the Sigma.

Optically I think FA*80-200 is slightly sharper too, at least my copy is.

I have similar experiences w/ the Sigma 24-70/2.8 HSM under low light too, but it's not hunting as badly as the 70-200 HSM. Optically I like the Sigma 24-70 HSM better 'cause it's very sharp even wide open, and seldom misfocus even under low light (assuming it's not hunting). That's why I'm keeping it. If Pentax comes out w/ a full frame dSLR, it'd be my most used lens

07-27-2011, 07:11 AM   #5
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I've never used, or have even seen, the Pentax 80-200, but I'm happy with the build quality of the Sigma 70-200 HSM non-OS, especially considering the price compared to the used Pentax lens (~$1,500 to $1,800).

I've also never experienced much in the way of AF hunting, but I'm not sure if you would consider a hockey arena low light or not. I have had some misfocused shots, but that is to be expected taking hockey pictures. I don't recall very many misfocused shots when taking softball pictures. Again, I've never used the Pentax, so I can't compare the two.

For what I need (amatuer/family photography), the Sigma is doing a fine job. However, I would buy a Pentax 70-200 f2.8 if they made one and sold it for what Canon sells their 70-200 f2.8 non-IS lens for (~$1,400).
07-27-2011, 07:41 AM   #6
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The yes-OS version of the lens is comparable optically to the FA*. I think that if I had the choice I'd pick it over the FA*, as it's a bit easier to hold and the AF is quieter.

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