Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
11-02-2011, 08:02 PM   #1
Senior Member




Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Dallas, TX
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 131
Low-cost Sigma Lenses: Stay away? Or go ahead?

I'm about to buy a Pentax K-r or K-x, and have been thinking about going body only, because I can find better deals, and buying lenses separately. That said, I'm wondering if any of the affordable (less than around $160) Sigma lenses on this site are worth the money? Photo 4 Less - Professional Photography Equipment, SLR Cameras, Lenses, Flashes

Most of them don't seem to be in the review database on this site (except the 70-300mm Macro), so I'm wondering if these would be a waste of money or if they're decent for the price? I don't want 'crap,' but I'm a graduate student right now and it simply doesn't make sense for me to buy a $500 lens right now.

That being said, I plan on buying a used, manual 50 or 55mm fast prime to play with, but also need something with quite a bit of reach for the track days and autocross events I photograph, and also something decent with AF for pet/people/everyday shooting. I really like playing with wide-angle shots and would like to start shooting macro, from what I've seen these lenses are more expensive and this is a low priority for me at the moment.

So, would any of these lenses be reasonable, given my limited budget and that I only shoot for fun? Or is there something else affordable that's a better bet that I'm missing? Or am I not allowed to shoot with a DSLR if I don't want to spend a whole paycheck on each lens?

11-02-2011, 08:30 PM   #2
Administrator
Site Webmaster
Adam's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 43,280
All the lenses are in our DBs- you can browse around here: Sigma Lenses for Pentax: Current Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

That page looks like it just a listing of all their sigma equipment - you should definitely have a look at the zoom list above.

Here are a few lenses that have received a lot of praise:
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical [IF] AF016P-700 B&H
Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM Zoom For Pentax 861109 B&H
Sigma 50-500mm F/4.5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM Lens for Pentax 738109
Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro AF Lens AF001P-700 B&H

A good telephoto is the DA L 55-300mm Pentax kit lens. You can also buy it separately as a DA lens (+quick-shift focusing, metal mount, hood). Here's our review of it:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/reviews/pentax-da-55-300mm/introduction.html

A good starter manual lens would be the M 50mm F1.4, 1.7, or Takumar 50mm. Check our marketplace for used offerings of those

Generally Sigma lenses are on par with those of Pentax- and Ironically, they have a bigger selection (37 current lenses).

Adam
PentaxForums.com Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography)



PentaxForums.com's high server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover those costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:

11-02-2011, 08:32 PM   #3
Site Supporter
SpecialK's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: So California
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 14,913
"Worth the money" is very subjective. I don't think they would be crap but you are not moving very much if any up the IQ/performance ladder from the Pentax 18-55 or 50-200.
11-02-2011, 09:02 PM   #4
Loyal Site Supporter
blackcloudbrew's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cotati, California USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,816
One of the first few lenses I got for my K10d was the Sigma 18-125 lens. It gave me nothing but excellent service and images. After I had flushed out my lens lineup with others like the DA 17-70, I found that the Sigma was just not getting enough use and I sold it on a whim. Still wish I had it. I think they make good stuff. I've read that they have QC problems but I've never seen this myself. My daughter has a Sigma 10-20 lens for her Canon and it's also an excellent lens.

Edit: In thinking more to your question. I realized that part of the answer is that what I've seen over and over is that with lenses you (generally) get what you pay for. I think that goes for Pentax, Tamron, Takumar, Tokina, and Sigma (and a number of other off brands) glass. Also I've bought from Photo4less and they are ok to deal with or at least that's been my experience. I think they are the same folks as Sigma4less.com


Last edited by blackcloudbrew; 11-02-2011 at 09:10 PM.
11-03-2011, 10:38 AM - 1 Like   #5
Veteran Member
nanhi's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Bangalore, India
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 440
Son, you are a Graduate student, and you should be OK investing on used lenses. Right now KEH has a Vivitar Series1 100-400 lens in Excellent+ condition for $ 160. Grab it. Will give you the reach you want. KEH also has a great Sigma APO 70-300 in excellent condition for $140.
Your idea of buying a Body only is financially very sound. Just buy a used FA 28-70 f4 lens - they are sharp - for general photography for a few $s. A fast prime like an FA 50/f1.4 will set you back by $ 250 - a lot of money for a student. So buy the cheaper manual focus "A" lens. I use a Yashica M42 50/1.7 cost $ 10 from a pawn broker, with the original Pentax K-mount adapter. Be careful as some M42 lenses can foul the mirror. NOW YOU ARE ON A BUDGET. And when you land a job don't forget to buy the Sigma 10-20 lens, $ 300 used, $ 460 new - vow what a lens. Happy shooting son.
11-03-2011, 02:09 PM   #6
Site Supporter
Clinton's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,826
You should consider the kit combo with the 55-300 first, but that vivitar mentioned above does sound like a steal.

Also you might think about an A 50:2 that can be had for around $30.

The A1.4 and the A1.2 will be a fair bit more.
11-03-2011, 04:27 PM   #7
Pentaxian
hoanpham's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Strand
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,366
stay away from the *gray* items if you are not in the US. they used to be cheaper, but those are selling with store guarantee rather than sigma/ international guarantee. quality control of sigma is not known to be the best, so use your return right to the full and do test the lens intensively.
11-03-2011, 09:23 PM   #8
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Buffalo/Rochester, NY
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,133
If you're going to go cheap, chances are you're better off sticking to Pentax for new lenses (very decent overall) or as Nanhi suggested, look for some quality used lenses which will likely beat out the IQ of the new cheapies.

11-03-2011, 10:16 PM   #9
Pentaxian
twitch's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 4,571
Usually the extra cost of buying the 18-55 lens with a body is next to nothing, and the 55-300 increment is much lower than buying it separately and is a great lens. I get where you are coming from thinking kit lenses aren't that great and you want to use your money elsewhere, but the reality of the deals available can make it a false economy.
11-04-2011, 01:12 AM   #10
Pentaxian
hoanpham's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Strand
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,366
kit lenses are good as long as you can use them within their limitations, and even better if you can use them at their bests.
11-04-2011, 01:28 AM   #11
Pentaxian
wolfiegirl's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Outside of Canberra, Australia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 4,073
QuoteOriginally posted by nanhi Quote
I use a Yashica M42 50/1.7 cost $ 10 from a pawn broker, with the original Pentax K-mount adapter.
whoa.... yashica to pentax adapter? where do i get that from??? waaaant!!!

I started off with a sigma 18-55 and it has served me well despite the poor rating in the database. I've found I've gotten a lot of good pictures out of it. That being said, I'm no pro! and was simply using it for happy snaps in and around the house and on trips, as well as to 'pretend i'm arty.' Since learning a bit more about manual photography I've taken to dropping the aperture a little (via the Av dial) and I've found the colours come out much richer than before.

If you really on a tight budget I don't think that sigma is necessarily a bad choice.
11-04-2011, 01:52 AM   #12
Veteran Member
Don From The Radio's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Delaware
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 344
QuoteOriginally posted by wolfiegirl Quote
whoa.... yashica to pentax adapter? where do i get that from??? waaaant!!!
I'm pretty sure it's a standard M42 screw mount. The normal adapter works for that.
11-04-2011, 01:56 AM   #13
Veteran Member
VisualDarkness's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 4,441
QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
Usually the extra cost of buying the 18-55 lens with a body is next to nothing, and the 55-300 increment is much lower than buying it separately and is a great lens. I get where you are coming from thinking kit lenses aren't that great and you want to use your money elsewhere, but the reality of the deals available can make it a false economy.
At least here in Sweden the kit 18-55 costs a nearly nothing to buy as a kit but fetch about 100 on the used market. So you will go plus if you get the lens just to sell it as new, good investment.
11-04-2011, 09:07 AM   #14
Senior Member




Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Dallas, TX
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 131
Original Poster
First off, thank you everyone for the helpful replies!

I ended up purchasing the K-x bundled with an 18-55 kit lens, wireless remote, and 8GB SD card yesterday - I can't wait til it gets here!

As far as buying body only, I was only considering it because I thought I had the opportunity to purchase it for around $300, which I thought was better than the prices of the bundles I could find at the time, but anyway, it fell through. I don't necessarily have a problem with the kit lenses, since they're probably capable of more than I am at this point, and that's all I've had on my Olympus (the 14-42mm and 40-150mm kit lenses), though the reason I never branched out from those was mostly because of the high cost and smaller market for upgrade lenses for that camera. I just like having choices to play with, and was wondering if there were any 'hidden gems' in the lower priced photo4less.com lenses.

As far as keh.com - wow! What a site! It's pretty overwhelming to browse, since there are so many choices, but the prices are definitely right for the most part. I'm having trouble figuring out what lenses will autofocus on my camera, though. I found this chart that covers Pentax lenses (The Pentax Camera Lens Compatibility Chart) but how do I know what Sigma/Tamron/Vivitar/etc. will mount and autofocus when looking at keh.com? Will the Vivitar 100-400 mentioned above autofocus, and is that a recommended/quality lens in general, or was it just recommended because of the 'reach' I need?

Looks like I have a lot of review-reading ahead of me to sort out what I might want or need from keh..
11-04-2011, 10:29 AM   #15
Senior Member




Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Dallas, TX
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 131
Original Poster
I have another lens related question after quickly looking through the used lenses on keh.com:

Would a 'super-wide' rated lens like this 18-35mm from Pentax (Pentax Digital 18-35 F4-5.6 SMC FAJ AL (67) WITH HOOD, CAPS, DIGITAL SLR ZOOM SUPER WIDE ANGLE LENS - KEH.com) offer any benefit or wider perspective than the 18-55mm kit lens? I like playing with the super-wide angle of my GoPro, but want the flexibility of my 'real' camera, and maybe a less severe fisheye-look, but can't seem to find anything affordable with a focal length <18mm. There's also this Tokina 20-35 that's supposedly 'super-wide' (http://www.keh.com/camera/Pentax-Autofocus-Non-Mfg-Zoom-Lenses/1/sku-AP09999004799N?r=FE) - is this designation just a carryover from the full-frame focal length being 'super-wide'?
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
k-mount, lens, lenses, macro, money, pentax lens, sigma, site, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Low cost fisheye GabrielFFontes Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 6 10-21-2011 04:05 AM
Another 85mm f2 - ultra low cost yusuf Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 41 03-29-2011 01:45 PM
Which is BEST Low-Cost Pentax DSLR UNDER $300 Used? PentaxForums-User Pentax DSLR Discussion 51 04-10-2010 07:54 PM
Low cost flash sync cord? Nesster Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 11 01-07-2010 05:08 AM
low cost macro photography marcusyoung Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 9 12-08-2009 01:34 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:53 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top