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02-09-2012, 08:47 AM   #1
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OK help me out here... Wide angle issues.

Right now I'm looking to get rid of a kit lens and a the 18-135. I bought the 18-135 because I thought I was buying the Sigma 120-400, but the Sigma was way to soft in the long end.. I ended up forking out the extra money for the DA*60-250... and no one in their right mind would use the 18-135 over the focal length of 60mm with a DA* in that range.

I know when I ended up buying the Tamron 90 macro, I was looking at an FA 100 macro WR.. and ended up getting the Tamron second hand for a fraction the price. ANd as far as I can tell it's just as good a lens.

On another tack, I already own a 21 ltd and FA 50 1.7, so I don't have to have a zoom. Anything in the 28-35 range would fill the gap.

Top of my list would be the FA31 ltd... but I can't afford it, but waiting and getting it next year is still an option.

There are so many lenses that look interesting in this range, if anyone can help me weed a few out, that would be great.

Here's what a cursory glance says I should be looking at. I'm a bit partial to macro lenses so I put those two first.

I'd be interested in hearing from an IQ point of view if anyone has comments on any of these lenses, that might help me narrow the list. I know, I'm just being lazy here, but that's lot of lenses to look up and try and compare.

PENTAX DA 35MM F2.8 MACRO LIMITED

SIGMA 28MM/1.8 DG IF MACRO EX PENTAX


TAMRON 17-50MM DI-II F2.8 PENTAX

SIGMA OS 17-50MM EX DC F2.8 HSM PENTAX



SIGMA 30MM F1.4 EX DC PENTAX

PENTAX DA* 16-50MM F2.8 ED SDM LENS

02-09-2012, 09:22 AM   #2
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I have the DA*16-50 and it is my go to lens most of the time. But it has one major drawback and that is weight. Much as I would love to leave it on all the time I find myself using either the FA 28-70 f/4 or the F 35-70 instead when hiking because they weigh next to nothing. If the weight doesn't bother you it is an excellent lens. Although the reviews seem to indicate the Tamron and Sigma equivalents are also very good, and maybe better for less money.
02-09-2012, 09:44 AM   #3
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The problem I have with the DA* 16-50 is it is so close to the price of the coveted 31 Ltd... there are other issues, I'd have to find someone in Canada who actually has a 31 Ltd for sale, but , first decide what you want, then go looking for it.
02-09-2012, 09:45 AM   #4
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On APS-C, 28-31mm are 'normal', not wide. Probably your best sharp option would be the Tamron 17-50/2.8

02-09-2012, 09:54 AM   #5
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QuoteQuote:
On APS-C, 28-31mm are 'normal', not wide.
I knew that.... but the 31 is an FA not a DA and I have a Program Plus and a roll of film waiting for some new lenses to try out, so it's a wide..... smarty pants. At least last time I looked in the official "what kind of lens is it" directory, 35 was the longest focal length you could consider a wide on a 35mm film camera.

QuoteQuote:
Tamron 17-50/2.8
There's a Tammy I could get second hand for about the same money I could sell my 18-135 for... that's certainly intriguing.

I am really curious about the SIGMA 28MM/1.8 DG IF MACRO , 1.8 and macro are both good things.

Last edited by normhead; 02-09-2012 at 10:05 AM.
02-09-2012, 10:05 AM   #6
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The 28mm and 35mm macros are ideal for still-life, but not good for other macro work because of the limited working distance from the subject. How they'd perform otherwise I don't know.
02-09-2012, 10:22 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
The problem I have with the DA* 16-50 is it is so close to the price of the coveted 31 Ltd... there are other issues, I'd have to find someone in Canada who actually has a 31 Ltd for sale, but , first decide what you want, then go looking for it.
Aden has the 31 AFAIK norm and they would match prodigital2000 (Carmen's in St Catherines web store) so 1098 is the price

there's an FA 28 2.8 on Toronto CL for 180 if you are going to be in town
and a 16-50 for $950 ( a so so price IMO)

There was a 31 a couple of weeks back but it must have sold
02-09-2012, 10:29 AM - 1 Like   #8
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I think it depends what you want to do with it. I have the DA35 ltd, Sigma 30 and Tamron 17-50 and would recommend all 3(!)

- The DA35 ltd is excellent as a walkaround lens; I use it for lanscapes and for macro capabiltiy when travelling light. Very sharp and great colours. Not great for shallow DoF at only f/2.8 and bokeh isn't its strongest point.
- The Sigma 30/1.4 is really good for portraits and shallow DoF shots. Sharp in the centre of teh frame from wide open with very smooth bokeh. It's not as sharp at the edges as the DA35 ltd.
- The Tamron 17-50 lives on my camera a lot of the time. It's really good, with excellent IQ and very versatile, but not as good for portraits as the Sigma or as sharp across the frame as the DA35 ltd.

It's worth noting that none of the above are intended for full frame use, so may not be much use on your Program Plus. However, there is a FA35/2 which is no longer in production but is very highly rated that might be worth a look if you want full frame compatibility.

02-09-2012, 10:44 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I knew that.... but the 31 is an FA not a DA and I have a Program Plus and a roll of film waiting for some new lenses to try out, so it's a wide..... smarty pants. At least last time I looked in the official "what kind of lens is it" directory, 35 was the longest focal length you could consider a wide on a 35mm film camera.
Ah. Was no mention of FF cam in your post. Well then, anything goes! BTW I don't see 35mm as especially 'wide' on 135/FF, but that's just me. One of the Vivitar 24/2s maybe for MF, or the SMC Pentax-FA 20-35mm F4 AL for a small AF zoom. Match that with a SMC Pentax-F 35-70mm F3.5-4.5 and you've got it covered.
02-09-2012, 10:47 AM   #10
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QuoteQuote:
might be worth a look if you want full frame compatibility.
No the full frame thing was just for RICO, this roll of film I bought was the first in 8 years, and very likely the last.

QuoteQuote:
SMC Pentax-FA 20-35mm F4 AL
The wide apertures are very useful for auto-focus in sunsets and sunrise shots. Having worked a year with the DA*60-250.. I'm not likely to pick up another F4 or slower lens unless it's the new DA 560 5.6.

QuoteQuote:
Aden has the 31 AFAIK norm and they would match prodigital2000 (Carmen's in St Catherines web store) so 1098 is the price

there's an FA 28 2.8 on Toronto CL for 180 if you are going to be in town
and a 16-50 for $950 ( a so so price IMO)
Thanks for that Eddie, now where's my photo of the Ryerson Quad?

QuoteQuote:
I think it depends what you want to do with it. I have the DA35 ltd, Sigma 30 and Tamron 17-50 and would recommend all 3(!)
I work mostly in landscape... so while good corner to corner sharpness is good, colour and contrast are also important.

Thanks to all who have responded so far.... good stuff.
02-09-2012, 10:51 AM - 1 Like   #11
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the Sigma 17-50 is an incredible lens and I have decided it is my new walk-around lens. The IQ is excellent and the build quality of the EX lenses is fantastic. I hate paying for OS but it seems that Sigma is headed in that direction for all of it's lenses. Makes sense from a production perspective, but it is annoying to buy redundant stabilization.

It's fast focusing in good lighting, low light it struggles.

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02-09-2012, 10:51 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnX Quote
The 28mm and 35mm macros are ideal for still-life, but not good for other macro work because of the limited working distance from the subject. How they'd perform otherwise I don't know.
I'd agree with this. You have the Tamron 90 - a superb macro lens - to cover your macro fetish.

I have the Sigma 30/1.4 and it's a superb lens that covers many situations. I have the Tamron 17-50 too (great lens) but prefer to put the 15Ltd and Sigma 30 in my bag 19 times out of 20. You have the 21 and the 30 would go very nicely with that.
02-09-2012, 10:54 AM   #13
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expecially in your neck of the woods, the da 16-50 is an amazing lens... with the moisture and all... i think the weather sealing is worth the premium and other disadvantages.
02-09-2012, 10:58 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by sorted78 Quote
I think it depends what you want to do with it. I have the DA35 ltd, Sigma 30 and Tamron 17-50 and would recommend all 3(!)
With the exception of the Sigma, whose resolution does not seem to be uniform enough across the frame for my particular requirements,
I'd endorse these comments, as a regular user of the DA35 Ltd and Tammy 17-50/2.8.
02-09-2012, 11:09 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
With the exception of the Sigma, whose resolution does not seem to be uniform enough across the frame for my particular requirements
This is true (ultra sharp in the centre and quite a bit softer in the extreme borders) but it's not a landscape lens and I'd be pretty disappointed if my f1.4 shots came out with sharp corners
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