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05-17-2012, 09:00 AM   #1
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Too much time; now can't choose 1st zoom lens!

OK, so my Canon 7D and 24-70/2.8 L are almost sold - Yeah! But the time it's taken has proven bad (was my fault for not getting it on the open market quick enough)!

I'm migrating to Pentax for the first time and getting a K5; that much is certain. But the last few weeks I've been researching lenses and thought I was set!

I was set on DA* 16-50 + 70mm Ltd.

But now I've gone and looked into the FA* 28-70/2.8 and need convincing that I shouldn't go for that instead of teh 16-50, with either a DA21/3.2 or FA24/2 for the wide end!

Anyone here got a FA* 28-70/2.8 and can share their experiences with it as a general purpose zoom?

Thanks in advance.

05-17-2012, 09:20 AM   #2
rm2
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The 28-70 sounds like a very nice lens. One thing to consider is that it has a rotating front element which makes using a polarizer kind of hard. Other than that, if I had one, I would probably have it on my camera most of the time.
05-17-2012, 09:23 AM   #3
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@rm2: I'm not one for Circ-Pols tbh. But it's something I could live with if I got it. And agreed about being on the camera a lot. Thanks
05-17-2012, 09:35 AM   #4
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Pentax 18-250??

I really like my Pentax 18-250 so far...

05-17-2012, 09:36 AM   #5
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No experience of the lenses you're asking about, but I recently got the Sigma 24 - 70mm f2.8 DG macro and can't recommend it enough. Yes, it's big and heavy but the colours, contrast and sharpness it puts out blow my mind - admittedly, not the hardest thing to do... Some have complained about flairing when shooting toward the light, but I've found that stopping down a little cures that; last week I was shooting toward the sun on a very bright day at the beach and no flairing at all from f5.6, and despite being screw drive it's not too loud and it focuses faster than any of my other lenses. 84mm filter size might put some off, but you've said you're not too into filters so that shouldn't bother you. For the price, I think it'll be hard to beat. I did look at the Tamron 28 - 75 as well, but this one just seemed like a better lens to me.
05-17-2012, 09:39 AM   #6
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Are you buying new of 16-50?
The price almost doubled recently.
as far as value goes, I would recomend you buy other lens instead.
you could consider pentax 17-70 f4 or third party 17-50 f2.8.
05-17-2012, 09:55 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by rashdown_online Quote
I was set on DA* 16-50 + 70mm Ltd.

But now I've gone and looked into the FA* 28-70/2.8 and need convincing that I shouldn't go for that instead of teh 16-50, with either a DA21/3.2 or FA24/2 for the wide end!
The biggest difference in the lenses is the focal length. Only you can decide what focal length you want. At what focal lengths did you use your 24-70? If you were constantly at 24, or wanting wider, I think you would be ill-served by the 28-70. Also bear in mind that the 28-70 is a third heavier than the 16-50, if that matters.

Reviews are significantly better for the FA28-70 than for the 16-50.
SMC Pentax-FA* 28-70mm F2.8 AL Reviews - FA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
SMC Pentax-DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL [IF] SDM Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
05-17-2012, 10:12 AM   #8
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When I opted for a normal zoom I really considered where I spend most of my time. I rarely use my 15mm, but use my 43 and 70 often. Most of my work is portrait and events and I find 51-70 gets used much more often than the 16-27. Honestly it's wide enough for just about anything I need. I'm on vacation at the moment and yesterday we spent the entire day wine tasting and the 28-70 was the only lens I brought (appeasing the wife, otherwise I probably would have brought a little more...but I digress). It was wide enough for the landscapes I wanted and great for quick portraits as well. Also, the power zoom is strangely addicting and the auto focus is as fast as my primes...something I can't say about my DA* lenses.

I guess it's mainly about focal length, but it helped y decision knowing that it's full frame compatible for the future and that you don't have to worry about SDM.

Personally I really like how it pairs with the 50-135. The combination of the two are just great for most of my needs.

That's my two cents off the top of my head. If there's other things you want to know, feel free to ask. I'm sure there's lots more info I can provide if I really sit down and think about it!

05-17-2012, 10:21 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildweasel Quote
No experience of the lenses you're asking about, but I recently got the Sigma 24 - 70mm f2.8 DG macro and can't recommend it enough. Yes, it's big and heavy but the colours, contrast and sharpness it puts out blow my mind - admittedly, not the hardest thing to do... Some have complained about flairing when shooting toward the light, but I've found that stopping down a little cures that; last week I was shooting toward the sun on a very bright day at the beach and no flairing at all from f5.6, and despite being screw drive it's not too loud and it focuses faster than any of my other lenses. 84mm filter size might put some off, but you've said you're not too into filters so that shouldn't bother you. For the price, I think it'll be hard to beat. I did look at the Tamron 28 - 75 as well, but this one just seemed like a better lens to me.
+1 on the sigma excellent value lens, i have the original version, I would love to upgrade it to the HSM model though
05-17-2012, 10:26 AM   #10
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what do you shoot? i personally shoot with a tamron 17-50 and find that the range to be a lot more versatile than a 28-70 kind of lens. I use my 17-50 as a general purpose event lens as well as my "i need something wider than my DA*55mm" solution. i've shot the following 2.8 zooms and here's what i think about them:
sigma 28-70 - soft, poor contrast, decent build. dont go for this lens
sigma 24-70 non hsm - good center sharpness, okay corners, tons of flare, decent handling, but too long for my liking
sigma 18-50 - decently sharp, good range, tad too soft for my liking though. decent size and build
pentax 16-50 - sharp center, funky corners, gorgeous colors, gorgeous contrast, amazing build, hefty. If all i shot was JPEG, this would be my only lens
tamron 17-50 - sharpest of the bunch, built and handles exactly like the sigma 18-50. I miss the sealing, build, SOOC colors and contrast from the pentax, but the sharpness of this lens along with the cheaper price makes up for it
05-17-2012, 10:38 AM   #11
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I really like the DA*16-50 DA*50-135 combo, I appreciate the wider angle.
05-17-2012, 11:34 AM   #12
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The op really nailed one of the frequent unsolvable questions.

I do two kinds of things, landscapes that i try to sell and theatre plays for promos (volunteer work).

The DA*50-135 has been very valuable to me for both kinds of work, 3 years, totally reliable so far, optics stellar, stellar, stellar.

I bought the Tamron 28-75 for the theatre work and used it that way, a lot. When i needed something wide, i'd slap on the DA*21. But i always lost time between changing from the Tamron to the DA-21 and back - major pain in the ass when doing theatre work.

I finally bought the Pentax DA 17-70 F4. Now i have the ideal combination: the 17-70 for most of the time and the 50-135 if i really need the range, and lots of overlap in between. The 17-70 has the slightest softness at the 70 end, but more than fine enough for the play pics that i take. Immediately i noticed that the camera got out of the way as an obstruction between the scenes and me, i could just devote my energy to planning the pics and didn't have to worry about how to sub. a lens. Big help.

There are lots of used 17-70's running around, Sigmas and Pentax, and i often see used DA50-135's. I value the DA50-135 over any other lens i have, wouldn't be without it. If it broke, i'd get it fixed. The Tamron 28-75 f2.8 was fine and i used it a lot. Now i don't use it at all because the 17-70 took over. If i had a real low light problem, i would use the Tamron. Truth is that when it gets theatre low light, the f2.8 usually isn't enough so i ought to sell it and get something like the Sigma 30 f1.4 - lba again.

Hope you solve the problem that many of us have fallen short at. The roadmap speaks of a Pentax 16-85 - i have high hopes for that. Best wishes in your search.
05-17-2012, 12:37 PM   #13
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I own the 16-50. It is a very nice lens but I rarely use it. For me, almost everything in that range can be handled with a prime, e.g., the DA 40, which has the advantage of weighing a lot less than the two lenses you're considering and costing considerably less while being sharper. On the wide end, I find 16mm not wide enough. So my go-to kit in terms of lenses I frequently use and would certainly replace if broken consists of the Sigma 10-20, the DA 40, the DA* 50-135, the DA* 300, and the Sigma 500. There are lots of ways to skin this cat. As others have commented a lot depends on how and what you shoot. Best wishes,

Russ
05-17-2012, 12:59 PM   #14
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I don't see any reason not to get the FA 28-70/2.8 if you don't mind the fact that it doesn't go any wider than 28mm. The lens is however rather heavy (though not as heavy as the Canon 24-70), contains an all but useless powerzoom feature, and (as mentioned earlier) a rotating front element. According to an old Popular Photography tests, the FA 28-70/2.8 is not that great wide open, particuarly at 70mm. If f2.8 is important to you, you may be better off with DA 16-50 or one of the Sigma or Tamron f2.8 zooms.
05-17-2012, 02:34 PM   #15
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If WR is needed, I'd probably go DA*16-50, if that isn't needed, and you don't care as much about that f/2.8 I'd almost go for a DA 17-70, and if you want fast and sharp in a zoom, and dont need WR, but do like the wide end I'd go for the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8.
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