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05-12-2013, 08:07 PM   #1
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Sigma 8-16 f4.5-5.6 or Sigma 10-20 f3.5

Hello everybody! I'm writing here because I need to decide something about a new lens I want/need, I thought maybe you could help me with your opinions.

I love to travel and make landscapes/architecture photos of my trips (Flickr: CuchoGOL's Photostream).

Next sunday I'm going to a 2 weeks trip to East USA. San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon. For Grand Canyon I want an ultra-wide lens. I have DA15 f4 and I REALLY LOVE IT, most of my favorite pictures have been taken with it. But sometimes, it is not wide enought. So I'm looking for Sigma 8-16 f4.5-5.6 or Sigma 10-20 f3.5 (would be my first non-Pentax lens). Do you know any of those lenses? wishfully both? Do you know which is the best for my purpose? or for general purpose? I've read several reviews and there's too much different opinions, as always. But I've come to the conclusion that 8-16 have more PROs but also more CONs. And 10-20 have less PROs and also less CONs. So I'm really undecided yet and I need to buy it as soon as possible so I get the lens my first day in San Francisco (for Golden Gate bridge photos of course xD). I know ultra wide angle lenses have some troubles because of the extreme optics that make difficult to compare them with other FL lenses, but this is a fair comparison between 2 similar lenses, so it should be a "winner"... in terms of "better behavior".

Do you have any comments or opinion or recommendations? maybe another lens? Is 8mm too much, or totally worth it? anything would be helpfull. Thank you!! and have a great week.

PS: my other lenses are (maybe this is an important information): DA15f4, FA35f2, FA50f1.7, FA77f1.8, D-FA100f2.8, DA18-250 and DA55-300. My apologizes about my english xD it is not my native language.


Last edited by Cucho; 05-12-2013 at 08:09 PM. Reason: Clarification
05-12-2013, 08:15 PM   #2
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We have a 5-way review posted which talks about a bunch of lenses, but not the 8-16mm.

Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 vs F4.0-5.6 - The Bottom Line - PentaxForums.com

The 8-16mm was reviewed separately (earlier):

Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM - Review - PentaxForums.com

I'd say your best bet is probably the Sigma 10-20mm F3.5. The 8mm suffers from a great deal of vignetting and distortion...

Adam
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05-12-2013, 08:23 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
We have a 5-way review posted which talks about a bunch of lenses, but not the 8-16mm.

Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 vs F4.0-5.6 - The Bottom Line - PentaxForums.com

The 8-16mm was reviewed separately (earlier):

Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM - Review - PentaxForums.com

I'd say your best bet is probably the Sigma 10-20mm F3.5. The 8mm suffers from a great deal of vignetting and distortion...
Thanks Adam, I've read that. But I've seen some reviews on Youtube about this one and the owners loved it! there is a video recorded with 8-16 at 8mm with some straigh lines and another guy showing some sample photos on Lightroom, and they didn't look bad at all. And also, maybe at 10mm, Sigma 8-16 is good enought?????, so you have 2 extra milimeters just in case of need, that 10-20 don't have, not even with bad quality. Did you owned a 8-16? does it also suffers of vigneting and distortion at 10mm?

Last edited by Cucho; 05-12-2013 at 08:48 PM.
05-12-2013, 09:11 PM   #4
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if i were you, i would get the sigma 10-20 4-5.6. I have one of those and it is extremely sharp. Unless you absolutely need 3.5 (which I've read isnt that great anyway as the corners are pretty soft at 3.5). Also the 4-5.6 has much smaller filter size, which means you wouldnt break the bank for a quality UV/polarizer (even though polarizer at 10mm can be kind of tricky). Now, if you go for the 4-5.6 you would have some money left over and you should grab the Rokinon 8mm fisheye (can be found for roughly 200-250). I have one of those as well. Amazing little lens. Very sharp wide open and into the corners (unlike the 8-16 fisheye). At 8mm the depth of field is so large that you dont need to worry about manual focus. Wide and fisheye are different enough and I was able to justify owning both. This way you can have best of both worlds for about the same price

05-12-2013, 09:47 PM   #5
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I have 15 limited and the 10-20 4.0-5.6. The 10-20 is much less portable than the 15 limited, but it's a lot, lot wider - 110 degrees verses 90 degrees. I tend to use the 15 as an outdoors walk around wide angle and the 10-20 for indoors on a tripod for architecture interior shots. The reason is that the 15 limited handles bright sun and flare so well that you can actually shoot right into the sun. Both are pretty much equally sharp. I've travelled with the 10-20 and that was the reason i bought the 15... the 10-20 is a solid glass brick, feels really solid, great quality, but your arms and neck pay the price after a day of lugging it.
05-12-2013, 10:01 PM   #6
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I have not used the 10-20, but the 8-16 is one of my favorite lenses.

Depoe Bay, Oregon

05-12-2013, 10:27 PM   #7
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I can't speak for the 8-16 but I have the 10-20 f3.5 and I love it.
Its true that it is a bit soft in the corners at f3.5 (but usable for many applications IMO) but the corner softness is only at the wide end (10-12mm say). My copy 15-20mm its great wide open across the frame.

Anyway if you are interested in architecture you might prefer a lens that has less distortion? I would image a prime like DA15 (if that wide enough) might be of interest?
05-13-2013, 06:22 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by oxidized Quote
if i were you, i would get the sigma 10-20 4-5.6. I have one of those and it is extremely sharp. Unless you absolutely need 3.5 (which I've read isnt that great anyway as the corners are pretty soft at 3.5). Also the 4-5.6 has much smaller filter size, which means you wouldnt break the bank for a quality UV/polarizer (even though polarizer at 10mm can be kind of tricky). Now, if you go for the 4-5.6 you would have some money left over and you should grab the Rokinon 8mm fisheye (can be found for roughly 200-250). I have one of those as well. Amazing little lens. Very sharp wide open and into the corners (unlike the 8-16 fisheye). At 8mm the depth of field is so large that you dont need to worry about manual focus. Wide and fisheye are different enough and I was able to justify owning both. This way you can have best of both worlds for about the same price
Of course, I have a DA15 copy and I really love it, I would never sell it xD but I think for this trip, I need a wider lens. Thanks Jonathan!

05-13-2013, 08:13 AM - 1 Like   #9
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Exactly the same dilemma I was faced with some time back. I love my DA15/4 but never considered it wide enough for "general" wide angle purpose. 15mm is for me the equiv of my 24mm angle that I loved in my film days, but it's not *really* wide. Also, I don't like submitting any of the limiteds to the treatment my lenses get when I'm on longer trips in more hostile environments than my "limited" action radius (safe city/coutryside when photography is secondary goal and walking leisurely is priority vs the wild outdoors when photography is priority).

At first I wanted to get the Pentax mount version of the Tokina 11-16/2.8 which got excellent reviews stating it was the best wide angle zoom available. Unfortunately it never surfaced in Pentax mount... Unfortunately or fortunately maybe... because the Sigma 8-16 was launched a bit later (incl Pentax mount) and got even better reviews. Hence I got that lens and I love it. 8mm really makes an added value compared to 15mm, and its only going up to 16mm is OK to me as this matches up to my DA*16-50/2.8. It may be a bit soft in the corners at 8mm and there is indeed distortion and vignetting, but honestly it is not a fair comparison comparing its performance at 8mm with lenses that "only" go as wide as 10mm. At 10mm I believe the lens does perform better than the alternatives. Not a statement derived from personal experience, but from the "research" I did before I purchased it. Anyway, I like it's colour and contrast rendering very much.

As I said I haven't handled the other UWA zooms, but I find the Sigma 8-16 a very well built and nice handling zoom lens. If it hadn't been limited to APS-C it would have deserved Sigma's EX label IMHO. The hood is large, as is the lens cap, but that's needed for the protruding front element. Of course that may be an issue if you would like to use filters, but for me that's not important. Partly because of the build quality it *is* a very heavy lens, so that needs to be taken into account as well. Again, perfect for me, because the outdoors situations I use it in see me using large lenses anyway, and as such I will always have the grip on my K-5 which nicely balances this lens out. I do find it too heavy/large for comfortable use on a K-5 without grip, and in that configuration I prefer the DA15/4 and stitching images for wider (lacking a compact wider angle).

Anyway, that's assuming you *need* a wider lens. I initially got the Sigma because of the wide landscapes I expected to be photographing on a trip to Southern Argentina, but I ended up hardly ever using the 8-16 for those images. I did use the lens often enough, but not for the wide landscapes I expected I needed it. Wide landscapes also assume your getting *into* the landscape to do the wide field-of-view justice. Shooting from "standard" look-out points often doesn't get you close enough, which means those landscapes at 8mm or 10mm will look very flat, whereas they would be much better served at focal lengths around 24mm. It can be useful to browse flickr (or flickriver) for the subjects/locations you think of using it at to get an idea of the camera/focal length combinations used for some of the nicer images you identify. Some might even turn out having been shot at portrait focal lengths...

hth, Wim
05-14-2013, 12:31 PM   #10
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I use the DA 12-24 quite a bit, and I use the long end much more than I wish for a shorter end. Like the Rokinon 8mm fisheye, I'm sure I would find lots of things to do with the 8-16mm that are fun, but they would be almost as specialized as using the fisheye. I would definitely get a 10-20 before the 8-16, and I might still get the 12-24 before either of them. Perhaps it is from years of shooting with a 35mm on 135, but the 24mm FOV is one which I use frequently.
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