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07-30-2011, 11:14 AM   #1
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Pentax 12-24 vs Sigma 10-20

I searched for this comparison and I am sure it has been discussed but I could not find a thread. Anyway, do you guys think the extra cost of the Pentax 12-24 is justified over the Sigma 10-20? I mostly post my photos online and do not print. I take a lot of travel photography but I am not a professional. Sometimes I find I do not have enough wide angle when taking photos in urban settings. I wish the Tokina was made in a Pentax mount, that would be the easy choice.

07-30-2011, 11:55 AM   #2
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Go for the Sigma

QuoteOriginally posted by tkindred Quote
I searched for this comparison and I am sure it has been discussed but I could not find a thread. Anyway, do you guys think the extra cost of the Pentax 12-24 is justified over the Sigma 10-20? I mostly post my photos online and do not print. I take a lot of travel photography but I am not a professional. Sometimes I find I do not have enough wide angle when taking photos in urban settings. I wish the Tokina was made in a Pentax mount, that would be the easy choice.
I've been looking at both of these myself for the same reason. My money would go for the Sigma. Reading the reviews on the Sigma, I can see no reason why that even pro's would not use it.

There are a ton of reviews here on both of these lenses in the lens database to help you make up your mind.

Here for the Pentax 12-24 https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/SMC-Pentax-DA-12-24mm-F4-Zoom-Lens.html

And here for the Sigma https://www.pentaxforums.com/userreviews/Sigma-10-20mm-F4-5.6-EX-DC-HSM-AF-Lens-for-Pentax.html

On a side note, I see you from @ SF. I'm about 90 NE of SF and love shooting anywhere and everywhere @ SF.
07-30-2011, 11:57 AM   #3
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There are indeed a number of threads discussing these two lenses. Web sized images aren't very demanding of IQ but both of these lenses are of decent quality for print. There are a couple of versions of the 10-20 about, so check out the lens review database for the difference between these.

P 12-24 or S 10-20 - PentaxForums.com
Ultra Wide Angle lens- Which one ? - PentaxForums.com
Sigma 10-20 & Pentax 12-24 Side-by-Side? - PentaxForums.com
DA 12-24, Sigma 10-20, or DA 35?? - PentaxForums.com
Sigma 10-20 vs. Pentax 12-24 @ Night - PentaxForums.com
Sigma 10-20/3.5 EX HSM for Pentax - PentaxForums.com

and the list goes on...
There is also the Tamron 10-24 to make your choice harder...
07-30-2011, 12:11 PM   #4
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3 years ago I had the same delima. Tried both in the store - deceided on the Pentax 12-24 it just felt like a more quality lens. I have not regretted that choice. But as Asn mentioned there is a new player in town the Tammy - I really like Tamron lens (I have owned the 28-75 and 18-250 and was very happy with these).

07-30-2011, 01:15 PM   #5
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As mentioned, number of recent threads have asked about this. My usual response: The Pentax 12-24 is a solid performer. I've seen much love for the two Sigma versions; I've also read many reports of users returning 2-3-4 copies before getting a good one. And I've talked to pros who despise Sigma's QC problems. I bought the Tamron 10-24 because it was a deal, and mine is just fine. I also see reports of returning copies of it. So Pentax seems to have the best QC -- and you pay for it.

My recommendation: Whichever you buy, be sure the seller has a solid return policy.
07-30-2011, 01:15 PM   #6
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I'd also consider the 8-16mm Sigma which has got pretty good reviews. If you want to go wide, why not wider?
07-31-2011, 09:30 AM   #7
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I've wanted a UWA for a while and after much deliberation, went with Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6 a couple of months ago. That copy turned out to be quite soft so I returned it thinking I'd continue to look for a Pentax 12-24. But since Pentax 12-24s have been very hard to find these days, and are nearly 50% more expensive than Sigmas, I placed an order for another Sigma this morning after reading posts that some users have had to try 2 or 3 lenses before finding a good copy.

So here's hoping I'll get a better copy than the last time. However, I may still be tempted to grab the Pentax if I ever come across a semi-decent deal on one!
07-31-2011, 10:59 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by tkindred Quote
Anyway, do you guys think the extra cost of the Pentax 12-24 is justified over the Sigma 10-20?
Depends on what you're looking for in a lens. In terms of resolution, distortion, and CAs, while one lens may be a little better than the others, for all practical purposes, there's not much to choose between them on those grounds. The main differences are the focal lengths and color rendition. The DA 12-24 has outstanding micro-contrast, color rendition, and overall rendering, leading to images with intense, rich, deep blues and luscious dark greens. The Sigma is also very good, producing bright yellows, oranges, and rich browns.

The choice between these lens really comes down to which focal lengths one prefers (10 to 12 or 20 to 24?) and which color rendition scheme and overall rendering one finds most pleasing. If one finds 20 to 24 more useful than 10 to 12 and has a strong enough preference for the rendering and colors of the 12-24 to justify its greater cost, then that's the lens to get. Otherwise, the 10-20 is the better choice.

07-31-2011, 12:01 PM   #9
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I've had both and ended up selling the 10-20 and keeping the 12-24.

I agree with Greg above, both are great and very capable - for me it came down to preferring the 24mm over the 20mm as I often leave the house with just one lens and the 12-24 is a much more versatile range...for me
07-31-2011, 03:06 PM   #10
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I have the Pentax 12-24 and love it. But if I couldn't swing it, I'd have no trouble considering either the Sigma 10-20 or the Tamron 10-24. Never mind what the reviews say, none of these lenses is perfect, it simply depends on one's own personal preferences and tolerences. Plus, I've seen fabulous images from all three lenses. And Tamron's six-year U.S. warranty cannot be overlooked.
07-31-2011, 04:24 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by tkindred Quote
.... Sometimes I find I do not have enough wide angle when taking photos in urban settings. I wish the Tokina was made in a Pentax mount, that would be the easy choice.
Two items here to comment on...
  • Sometimes I find I do not have enough wide angle when taking photos in urban settings. - You can stitch images together if your lens is not wide enough. Just take adjacent images with about 20-30% overlap and then digitally stitch them together post processing with free utilities like Microsoft ICE Microsoft Research Image Composite Editor (ICE)
  • I wish the Tokina was made in a Pentax mount, that would be the easy choice. - Well the Pentax 12-24 and the Tokina 12-14 are one in the same lens. Tokina use to produce lenses for Pentax but since they cooperated on a number of lenses, Tokina stopped with supporting the Pentax K mount.
07-31-2011, 05:23 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
So Pentax seems to have the best QC -- and you pay for it.
No, you pay for a brand premium. For some people this seems to work. They feel they getting something extra for the higher price. However note that the same lens (the optical formula is the same, there are some difference in the build) is sold by Tokina for a lot less money. Last time I checked I think it was about 40% less.

I love Pentax, but you must be joking about superiour Pentax QC. A forum member went through five copies of the DA* 55/1.4 and still couldn't get one that didn't focus erratically. Decentering issues for the 16-50 and SDM problems in general are legion. Even the Ltds lenses sometimes come with screws not tightened correctly so that focus barrels fall off.

Yes, sometimes one has to return a Sigma lens because the copy isn't quite up to scratch. Just like with any other manufacturer.

To the OP, I'd go for one of the Sigma 10-20 (I chose the f/3.5 version) or -- if you like it even wider -- the truly excellent Sigma 8-16. Have a look at the Sigma 10-20 club and the Sigma 8-16 club threads. I'm sure the images posted there will convince you that these lenses deliver optically.
08-01-2011, 08:49 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
No, you pay for a brand premium. For some people this seems to work. They feel they getting something extra for the higher price. However note that the same lens (the optical formula is the same, there are some difference in the build) is sold by Tokina for a lot less money. Last time I checked I think it was about 40% less.
While the markup on Pentax lenses is probably greater than on Tokina lenses, it's unlikely that the price differential between the Pentax and Tokina versions of the 12-24 can be explained solely or even largely on the basis of "brand premium." That is a claim based entirely on speculation, and not very plausible speculation at that. Pentax and Tokina also both offer versions of a 10-17 fisheye zoom; yet the Tokina version often costs more than the Pentax version. Why, then, does Pentax charge an enormous brand premium (40%!) for the 12-24 and not for the 10-17?

It is far more plausible to assume that the Pentax version of the 12-24 cost more to produce. The Pentax version may use more expensive glass, and it almost certainly uses more expensive coatings. Coatings are important not only as a preventive against lens flare, but for the way they affect contrast and color rendition. Now it is precisely in terms of contrast and color rendition that the DA 12-24 distinguishes itself.
08-01-2011, 02:20 PM   #14
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Would have to agree with Greg on the 12-24: there's tangible IQ advantage of the 12-24, however that of the 10-20 is hardly inferior. This has little to do with QC, and the brand name isn't the only reason for higher cost.
08-01-2011, 03:34 PM   #15
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I own the DA12-24 & DA15, but if I couldnt afford both those I'd far prefer to have a 10-20 & DA15 than a brand new DA12-24. I know the dollars aren't quite the same though, but you get the idea.
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