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11-02-2013, 07:28 PM   #1
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Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art VS. Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX

Hi, I tried to search the forum before posting, but it seems not many people have compared the new Sigma 18-35mm Art to the best seller 17-50mm f2.8 EX yet.

I am using K5 with manual 28mm, 50mm and 135mm primes. So I need ahigh quality zoom with a wider end (less than 28mm), with auto focus to go with general (and some event) shooting in the near future.

When searching online, these two lenses have similar prices ($700-800). The 18-35 Art is a bit faster while the 17-50 EX has wider zoom range, so my questions are as follows:
  • Does 17mm differ a lot from 18mm at the wide end?
  • 35mm seems like an okay tele end to me (as I'm used to 50-55 normal primes on film bodies), any people strongly encouraging the 35-50 extra focal length? (I know this is down to personal preference, so please just share your own experience )
  • Is the technology (focusing, coating etc.) in 18-35 Art really advanced compared to the 17-50 EX, which was born 2-3 years ago? I asked this because I want the lens to have long-term usability.
Personally, I don't care much about weight, auto focus speed and HSM (though full time manual on 18-35 is a good feature for part-time manual shooter like me) But these features can be discussed too!

p/s: please share sample picture if you will!
p/p/s: I'm not considering the Pentax DA* 16-50 due to over-budget.

11-02-2013, 08:07 PM   #2
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The 18-35 isn't available for Pentax yet (that I know of). 17 vs 18 difference is pretty small. Some will say that it matters, but it's around 5%. Not much. Heck, when I shoot with my 15 vs 18, the difference is for sure noticeable, but I wouldn't call it dramatic, and that's 20%. A couple of steps makes up the difference. Yes, the foreground/background compression is different, but again it's just not that huge of a difference to totally change the tone of the shot.

Look at comparisons on Canon. It looks to me like the 18-35 is pretty special. Who knew that f1.8 at 20mm would look great? I think it does. Since you already have a 50, you have a nice kit in the 18-35 + 50mm + 135.

If you want to save a few bucks, the Tamron 17-50 is very well thought of, and usually comes out ahead of the Sigma 17-50 in direct comparisons.
11-02-2013, 08:51 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
he 18-35 isn't available for Pentax yet
I got confirmation from sigma saying that the 18-35mm was coming for pentax (in North America) in Feb 2014
I am actually waiting for this lens. I am looking for a sharp upgrade for my 18-55mm kit lens.
11-03-2013, 04:03 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jrcastillo Quote
I got confirmation from sigma saying that the 18-35mm was coming for pentax (in North America) in Feb 2014
I am actually waiting for this lens. I am looking for a sharp upgrade for my 18-55mm kit lens.
Yeah, I'm considering the 18-35 Art because forum users have been spreading the news that it is coming to Pentax mount. Hey that'd be a really sharp upgrade, literally.

QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
save a few bucks, the Tamron 17-50
Thanks Kozlok, I've been considering the Tamron too, but the forum review for this lens isn't too appealing and I'm not on that tight budget. $700-800 is still alright, but DA* 16-50 is too expensive (although WR is very attractive).

11-05-2013, 04:35 PM   #5
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Ignore the forum reviews the Tamron is a cracker of a lens, the Sigma is good but not as good as the Tamron esp in the corners it lags behind a bit, quite a bit actually and needs stopping down to get sharp. The Tammie straight off the bat is great bar the very extreme edges at f2.8, it's a sensational performance sorry to be overly enthusiastic but it spanks many OEM makers offerings (in terms of optics)
Not tried the 18-35mm it sounds interesting "if" you need f1.8 and that range

If you have a faster prime though I'm pretty sure a 17-50mm f2.8 is a better choice for most.
11-05-2013, 07:36 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mr Spocko Quote
If you have a faster prime though I'm pretty sure a 17-50mm f2.8 is a better choice for most.
I don't know about you, but my supply of f1.8 18mm lenses is pretty much zero. I've looked at some samples of the Canon version, and I have to say that a fast wide angle gives a unique rendering. I'm really thinking that the 18-35 and a fast 50 makes an ideal combo. I could probably sell my 30/1.4, DA40 and not buy the 21 and get the 18-35 for a net reduction in outlay.

If I were getting a 17-50, it'd be the Tamron for sure. My Tamron 70-200 is AMAZING.
11-06-2013, 02:24 AM   #7
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Just like many others i have had trouble deciding wether to get Sigma 17-50 or Pentax DA* 16-50...
I ended up getting both zooms during the black Friday deal last year.

After shooting both lenses for a year, i personally prefer the Sigma - faster AF, sharper wide open. While i do like the idea of f1.8 on Sigma 18-35, i shoot mostly indoor events and need greater DOF plus reach most of the time. For me, 17-50 is the winner.

If you need the best IQ, then you can't go wrong with Pentax prime...

All the best!
11-06-2013, 05:15 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
I don't know about you, but my supply of f1.8 18mm lenses is pretty much zero. I've looked at some samples of the Canon version, and I have to say that a fast wide angle gives a unique rendering. I'm really thinking that the 18-35 and a fast 50 makes an ideal combo. I could probably sell my 30/1.4, DA40 and not buy the 21 and get the 18-35 for a net reduction in outlay.

If I were getting a 17-50, it'd be the Tamron for sure. My Tamron 70-200 is AMAZING.
Well 50mm f1.8, other makers have a 35mm f1.8 (not sure why Pentax went f2.4)
I'm not sure how useful 18mm f1.8 is, but hey least they did something different I guess

11-08-2013, 04:33 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mr Spocko Quote
Ignore the forum reviews the Tamron is a cracker of a lens
Okay, I'll see if I can get a try on this lens. Thanks Spocko.

QuoteOriginally posted by Mr Spocko Quote
I'm not sure how useful 18mm f1.8 is, but hey least they did something different I guess
As for the 18-35 1.8 I probably wouldn't care so much of 18 f1.8, but this aperture value will be useful at the 35mm end.
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