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10-06-2011, 07:43 AM   #1
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Sigma wide angle zooms

I have a K20D and have good lens coverage on the tele side from the film days legacy. I am lacking in the wide area though. The widest being the 18 mm on 18-55 kit lens.The Pentax 12-24 mm is not available even used. After going through the lens reviews on the forum am considering to buy either the Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM or Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM. Both are slightly out of my price range, but what the hell you buy a lens only once! Both have very good reviews here on the Pentax forum. Though the later one seems to have a focal length bug for Pentax and can not take filters. Additionally, the first one is faster and is constant aperture. Of course inputs from someone who has used the lenses will be more helpful. need to decide in the next week or so.

There is also Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM lot cheaper :-) Any comments?

mj]

10-06-2011, 08:09 AM   #2
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I used to have the oldest Sigma 10-20/4-5.6 EX DC (non HSM, screw driven). Excellent lens that is reportedly better than the newer constatnt f3.5 version.

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10-06-2011, 08:25 AM   #3
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Every wide angle has its advantages and limitations, which is why I haven't bought mine yet. I can't decide. The 12-24s come up quite often on the marketplace of this forum, more often than sigmas do. You should be able to snag one from there if that's the one you want.
10-06-2011, 08:45 AM   #4
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I used to have the 10-20/3.5 and it was an excellent lens. It's also much more flare-resistant than the older version. In the end, though, I just never connected with it and ended up selling it in favor of the DA15, which I'm very happy with. I would absolutely buy the 8-16 over any of the other zooms. It's a wonderful performer and is a truly unique lens, a rarity these days. To me, the fact that FL's wider than 10mm don't register is a complete non-issue, though I do admit that the inability to take filters is a bummer.

10-06-2011, 10:36 AM   #5
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Web sites are full of praise for the older 10-20 f4.5 zoom, as someone mentioned here. I am perplexed how our Forum reports the f3.5 as being better. Google for Xavier who has lots of photo shot with this lens and a K20D. He gives detailed explanation of the photo situations.
But please don't buy used (pre-owned) unless you have tried it on your camera. Lots of them with centering defects, bad copies etc are floating around. And avoid the bogus Brooklyn stores.
You have cheaper options in Samyang and the Russian lens - not zoom and manual focus perhaps. But they are very sharp and better f values too.
Happy hunting & Good Luck Milind.
10-06-2011, 10:48 AM   #6
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I was amazed when I got the sigma 10-20 3.5, it is a superb lens and I hadn't shot with anythng wider than 18, but then I snagged a used da 12-24, did some comparison test shots with both. the 12-24 is a superior lens in terms of sharpness and contrast. Personally I also didn't much like the distortion at 10mm. 12mm is plenty wide for my taste. it just depends what you are using it for, since at screen size there's no diff. That being said, I think the bang-for-buck option is the older sigma 10-20, especially if you can find one used.
10-06-2011, 01:07 PM   #7
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Last Xmas I had funds for an ultrawide. I considered them all, and I chose... the Tamron 10-24. The US$100 discount helped, so it cost US$375 shipped. I *could* have bought a used older Sigma 10-20 for not much more. I *could* have bought a new Sigma or the DA12-24 for much more. Actually, the Pentax was a bit beyond budget, but I *could* have had it. What decided me?
  1. Cost. A few hundred bucks does make a difference.
  2. Warranty. Tamron's is rather longer than Pentax's.
  3. Range. 10-24 *IS* more usable than 10-20 or 12-24.
  4. Sigma QC. I've read of too many users who have returned multiple copies of the Sigmas before getting a good one. I thought, Why should I risk a lens with known issues?
  5. Cost. A few hundred bucks DOES make a difference.
I'm quite happy with my Tamron. Happy Sigma owners are quite happy with their Sigmas. Same for Pentax. Most lenses from all these makers are quite good. None of them are perfect. Every production-line lens has copy variations and every production line has QC issues. Pentax is probably more perfect than the others. Sigma reputedly has more QC issues than the others, according to pros and shop-owners I've talked to (who also criticize Tamron's build quality).

My recommendation: Whatever lens you buy, be sure the seller has a no-questions-asked full-refund return policy.

Last edited by RioRico; 10-06-2011 at 04:10 PM.
10-06-2011, 03:55 PM   #8
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I bought the older Sigma 10-20 from the forum marketplace and couldn't be happier. I originally had the DA 10-17 fish-eye but it didn't fit my shooting style.

Some Sigma 10-20 samples.

@10mm


@16mm


@16mm - slight crop


Tim

10-06-2011, 07:45 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
[*]Sigma QC. I've read of too many users who have returned multiple copies of the Sigmas before getting a good one. I thought, Why should I risk a lens with known issues?
You're worried about QC so you bought a lens made by the company which gave us the farcical SDM? :P

More seriously, while there might be lots of bad stories about the Sigma it's quite possible that this is the best selling APS-C ultrawide there is.

For what it's worth I'd add my two cents to the posters above: the Sigma 8-16 is a fine lens but has its drawbacks (less reach at the long end, and an inability to use filters due to the fisheye-like bulging front element). Of the two models of the 10-20, the older f4-5.6 version is actually sharper and has less distortion at 10mm.
10-07-2011, 01:42 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by MrCynical Quote
You're worried about QC so you bought a lens made by the company which gave us the farcical SDM? :P
SDM? Sorry, never touch the stuff. Beyond my budget.

QuoteQuote:
More seriously, while there might be lots of bad stories about the Sigma it's quite possible that this is the best selling APS-C ultrawide there is.
As I said, are many happy owners of all these. Once you get a good copy, all is well. But I *have* had conversations with folks who have many lenses in their hands, shooters and dealers, and they despise Sigma more than Tamron. Tamron for the build: cheesy but reliable. Sigma for the QC or lack thereof; dealers dislike shipping returned lenses back to the distributor, or discounting them.
10-07-2011, 11:36 AM   #11
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If you can afford the 8-16mm, get it. Wonderful lens!


10-07-2011, 11:46 AM   #12
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Civiletti Sir, that's the most beautiful image against a rock backdrop, but NOT the handiwork of the Sigma 8-16 alone. Artfully HDRd no? Yep it is a good lens, but difficult to handle at the wide extreme angle end unless you have mastered this genre of photography.
10-07-2011, 12:19 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by nanhi Quote
Civiletti Sir, that's the most beautiful image against a rock backdrop, but NOT the handiwork of the Sigma 8-16 alone. Artfully HDRd no? Yep it is a good lens, but difficult to handle at the wide extreme angle end unless you have mastered this genre of photography.
Thanks, Nanhi, but , no, it it is not HDR. Original is DNG from my K-5 at iso 80. It is processed in current build of LR with increased clarity, vibrance, and sharpness and decreased saturation. Below is another by the 8-16 that day - this is Short Sands Beach on the Oregon coast.

Working with an extreme wide angle is different, but if you have learned to see at other angles of view, you can learn to see at 8mm.

10-07-2011, 12:53 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by civiletti Quote
If you can afford the 8-16mm, get it. Wonderful lens!

What is your feeling about the filter issue with this lens? If that weren't an issue I'm pretty sure this would be my selection, but because of it I am still trying to decide between the 8-16, the 10-20 (1st version), the DA15 and the DA12-24.

Beautiful shots by the way! But what about when the sky comes into the shot?
10-07-2011, 01:00 PM   #15
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No pTTL on my Sigma zooms

I stay away from DA 12-24 because of SDM issue and end up with Sigma 10-20/3.5, which give me good coverage & exposure control in dark interior. However, both of my Sigma zooms (18-250 & 10-20) didn't work with pTTL on K-r, k-7 or K-5!
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