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03-14-2012, 06:37 AM   #1
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Best (sharpest) lens in the 18-70mm range for landscape/architecture?

I'm not liking the resolution counts for most of these lenses at 18mm....longer focal lengths 18-135 for example are ok in consideration. I'm just looking for extreme sharpness and the best edges at 18-50mm.....

I'm sure someone would know from experience here.....

03-14-2012, 06:52 AM   #2
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Are you looking specifically for a zoom?

The Sigma/Tamron 17-50mms are sharpest from 17-35mm, and drop a bit at the 50mm.
The Sigma 17-70 F2.8-F4 is quite good at 17mm-35mm, with good corners when stopped down. Nothing amazing though.
The Pentax 18-135mm is supposed to have great IQ, but I believe a complaint is that it has weak edges.

I don't think anyone expects a 18-70mm zoom that is amazing for landscape/architecture, especially if you try to compare to something like the DA 12-24mm.

I would suggest if you specifically want a wide angle for landscape/architecture, then you should look at the DA 12-24mm, the Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6, or the Tamron 10-24mm. Those will outdo the normal zooms when going wide angle.

Otherwise, the Tamron/Sigma 17-50s will be very good.
03-14-2012, 06:58 AM   #3
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get a prime if you want sharpness and resolution
03-14-2012, 07:01 AM   #4
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I recommend the 15mm Limited...................see the amazing thread for samples

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-clubs/86234-15mm-limited-controls-my-mind-club.html

03-14-2012, 07:35 AM   #5
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DA 15, DA 21, DA 35, DA 50 (when released) and DA 70 should cover the range pretty well! lol

Combined in size they are probably only slightly larger than a 17-70mm zoom too, quite a bit more costly though
03-14-2012, 08:02 AM   #6
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See, cost is my issue. I would love to add more primes to my stable, but for now I just need something to replace my kit lens and am trying to figure out my sharpest option. I do plan on getting the 12-24 though....I need something between 18-70 first though. The 28-135 looked really good, but if I look at the photos on this website, it appears pretty soft in the corners on the wide end. Interestingly the photozone sample looks a lot shaper....
03-14-2012, 08:10 AM   #7
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If you want something good between 18-70, again the 17-50s from Sigma and Tamron are great as sharp zooms. Especially because they are sharper on the 18-35mm side.

The Tamron 28-75 is also great all-rounder, and is about $300 bucks.

Primes will almost always trounce the zooms though, but you will lose the flexibility.
03-14-2012, 08:13 AM   #8
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The DA 16-45/4 is one I'm interested in - how does its sharpness compare with the other lenses mentioned?

03-14-2012, 08:45 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by paulh Quote
The DA 16-45/4 is one I'm interested in - how does its sharpness compare with the other lenses mentioned?
When I was doing my research into this range of lenses, the DA 16-45 was beaten in IQ by the Tamron 17-50 according to users on the internets. Since I can't find many testing data* between the 16-45 and the Sigma/Tamron 17-50s, I can only go by online testimonials. Most of the testimonials, however, stated that it was only a small margin that the DA 16-45 lost by, but the slower speed (1 stop) was the killer for them.

So, if you don't mind the slower 16-45, it's still very good.

*I use testing data comparisons from Lenstip, photozone, or The Digitial Picture ISO tests.
03-14-2012, 09:18 AM   #10
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Looking at the photozone results...all the wide to tele zooms are beat by the pentax 17-70 f4 at the widest. The sigma 17-70 looks like the optimized it for the tele end. It looks like they sacrificed center sharpness for better edge to edge coverage slightly as the 18-135 is sharper in the center. I think I am going to shoot for the pentax 17-70 next. All the other lenses are far too soft in the corners for my liking. This should keep me in ok shape until I can start saving for a 12-24 and boy did prices on that lens go up.
03-14-2012, 09:20 AM   #11
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I think I would prefer to stick to pentax glass. It has been very good to me so far, plus I love their coatings and color rendition. Even my kit lens surprises me when it comes to color and contrast. Much better than the old primes I also have shot with.

Edit: I'm also looking at the 15ltd, but one step at a time....
03-14-2012, 09:31 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by zosxavius Quote
See, cost is my issue. I would love to add more primes to my stable, but for now I just need something to replace my kit lens and am trying to figure out my sharpest option.
I would submit that unless you are making large wall posters, no other zoom would be enough of an improvement in sharpness alone to be worth the cost. Viewed at a size that actually fits on a computer monitor, or in a print that a basic home printer can produce (eg, up to 8.5x11"), you would not be able to reliably tell them any of the aforementioned lenses apart.

QuoteQuote:
I do plan on getting the 12-24 though....I need something between 18-70 first though. The 28-135 looked really good, but if I look at the photos on this website, it appears pretty soft in the corners on the wide end. Interestingly the photozone sample looks a lot shaper....
The chances that the difference you see are just sample variation are practically nil. You're comparing images of different scenes made on different cameras by different photographers with different aperture and shutter settings, some with tripod some without, some with filters and some without, processed by different software with different settings - there is virtually no chance that any sample variation between copies of the lens would be the main determining factor in such a comparison.
03-14-2012, 09:47 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
I would submit that unless you are making large wall posters, no other zoom would be enough of an improvement in sharpness alone to be worth the cost. Viewed at a size that actually fits on a computer monitor, or in a print that a basic home printer can produce (eg, up to 8.5x11"), you would not be able to reliably tell them any of the aforementioned lenses apart.
I definitely agree with Marc on this
03-14-2012, 09:50 AM   #14
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I agree as well. I am not interested in only 8x10s though. If I was, I would still be shooting with a bridge camera.......
03-14-2012, 10:06 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
When I was doing my research into this range of lenses, the DA 16-45 was beaten in IQ by the Tamron 17-50 according to users on the internets. Since I can't find many testing data* between the 16-45 and the Sigma/Tamron 17-50s, I can only go by online testimonials. Most of the testimonials, however, stated that it was only a small margin that the DA 16-45 lost by, but the slower speed (1 stop) was the killer for them.

So, if you don't mind the slower 16-45, it's still very good.

*I use testing data comparisons from Lenstip, photozone, or The Digitial Picture ISO tests.
Thanks for the info! Didn't mean to thread-jack, but thought this lens might deserve consideration, esp from a budget standpoint.
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