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09-06-2012, 08:56 PM   #1
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Pentax vs Sigma Colors

I know I think too much into this stuff.......

I recently aquired a Sigma 50-150 2.8 lens (yeah me!) and spent most of last weekend trying it out. I also took some pics of some cows in a field with both the Sigma lens and my DA 35 2.4.

When viewing the photos afterward, I noticed a big difference in the colors of the photos. Mostly the greens which the Pentax lens had much deeper where the Sigma were a lot more bland. I guess I better post a couple pics for an example:





Images are clickable for larger size.

These 2 shots were taken within 5 minutes of each other and lighting conditions did not change as it was heavily overcast and actually in a slight fog/cloud. They were taken in raw, and run through DxO with just standard settings with a jpeg output.

I was really amazed at the difference in the colors or rendering of the 2 images. I did find that I could tweak the Sigma image to mimic the Pentax one, but I don't want to go through that with every set of images I take with the Sigma lens.

I am quite happy with the lens, and had taken quite a few shots before these over the weekend and was very pleased with them. When I was at the field shooting, I needed a wider view so that is when I switched to the 35mm lens. When I viewed those pics afterward I was quite surprised with the difference.

Is this something typical of the rendering of a Sigma lens vs a Pentax lens?


Last edited by photolady95; 04-17-2016 at 01:21 AM.
09-06-2012, 08:59 PM   #2
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My Sigma 50 F1.4, Sigma 17-70 F2.8-4 and Tamron 70-200 F2.8 definitely shoot the scene cooler than my Pentax DA 35 F2.4 and my older 18-55 (but that one shot WAAAAAY warm).

Generally color rendition is similar - just the temperature is different. My DA 35 does do green a bit better, but it'll oversaturate the yellows more than my Sigma and Tamrons
09-06-2012, 10:02 PM   #3
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Hmmm...I only own one Sigma (50/2.8 EX DG Macro), but its color is distinctly on the warm side compared with my other lenses.


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09-06-2012, 10:41 PM   #4
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Have a few Sigmas (10-20/30/50/50-150 & 500) and they are all cooler than most Pentax lenses. Not an issue to set up a pre-set in the PP program you use and apply to all your Sigma lens shots at import. Sometimes I like the cooler temp

09-06-2012, 11:55 PM   #5
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Thanks all for setting me straight about the terminology - warmer and cooler make much more sense.

I will admit that the DA 35 did make the scene a bit "warmer" than actual, but closer to the real thing than the "cooler" Sigma.

Frogfish - that is exactly what I have done already - set up a preset for this lens under certain circumstances. And I agree with you in that in some cases the "cooler" effect of the Sigma is more pleasing.

I appreciate everyone's input - I can put this to rest and just be happy shooting with it!
09-07-2012, 02:12 AM - 3 Likes   #6
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Seems Sigma lenses produce cows whereas Pentax glass tends toward horses.
09-07-2012, 05:31 AM   #7
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Given the similar size of the cows/horses it's safe to assume that you were farther away for the Sigma shot than for the Pentax shot. If it was foggy, that can explain for the most part the "bland" look of the Sigma pictures.

I own one Sigma lens, the 17-70 (v1, I also tested extensively the v2) abd colours are not blander for these lenses. In fact, they are often warmer than with Pentax lenses, with a slight yellow cast. It's only visible when comparing similar pictures, however, and Limiteds also seem to have that warmer tone.
09-07-2012, 05:39 AM   #8
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The Sigma 10-20 I tried was also giving a reddish tint. And the colors of the Sigma Super Wide 24mm (which I sold) were bland in addition to being cooler. I could simply not make colors 'pop' in PP. No such problem with Pentax or Tamron lenses.

09-07-2012, 05:47 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
Given the similar size of the cows/horses it's safe to assume that you were farther away for the Sigma shot than for the Pentax shot. If it was foggy, that can explain for the most part the "bland" look of the Sigma pictures.
But the same difference may be seen with the two bushes
on the fence row towards the back of the shots,
just to the left of the middle pole.

This suggests that the difference is more
than just a question of the amount of fog in the way.
09-07-2012, 05:53 AM   #10
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Well I guess these images were kind of an extreme example. Like I said earlier, the colors or "warmth" of the lens seems just about right in any other shots I have taken:

Last edited by photolady95; 04-17-2016 at 01:22 AM.
09-07-2012, 06:02 AM   #11
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Judging by the shadows in the top right hand corner,
that shot was taken under sunnier conditions.
09-08-2012, 09:47 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
Thanks all for setting me straight about the terminology - warmer and cooler make much more sense.

I will admit that the DA 35 did make the scene a bit "warmer" than actual, but closer to the real thing than the "cooler" Sigma.

Frogfish - that is exactly what I have done already - set up a preset for this lens under certain circumstances. And I agree with you in that in some cases the "cooler" effect of the Sigma is more pleasing.

I appreciate everyone's input - I can put this to rest and just be happy shooting with it!
I recently acquired a Sigma 8-16mm and it definitely seems cooler in color than the two Pentax lenses I own, although it's just been a couple days and I'm just getting used to it.
09-09-2012, 10:09 AM   #13
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Cooler/Warmer, Blander/Richer. I prefer the latter in both instances. I'm not a journalist wanting to capture full accuracy; I just want good punch with, preferably, no PP. Some might gasp and think I'm being a fool, but I'd rather shoot.

I've been eyeing getting a Sigma 50-150, but that first image could have come out of a phone.
09-09-2012, 12:33 PM   #14
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Well don't let that image scare you off. I've been going over it for a couple days now, and it might very well have been a bit of operator error involved. Don't ask me why, but according to the EXIF I had exposure compensation dialed in at -.30eV. I had been doing a lot of experimenting with different lenses and scenes over that weekend, so I must have neglected to zero it out. Then, I took that cow shot while on the way to the store, and jumped out of the truck and started shooting. Now normally I am adamant about using a hood at all times, but I think I might have just left the hood in the reversed position on the lens - just popped of the lens cap and started shooting. I think those 2 issues are what is making the difference.

Here are a few shots from the day before with nothing special dialed in and I know I had the hood on:

Last edited by photolady95; 04-17-2016 at 01:22 AM.
09-09-2012, 08:03 PM   #15
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Much nicer!
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