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04-14-2008, 12:43 PM   #1
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Same Lens... different makers... which to buy?

I am trying to decide between:

PENTAX D FA 50mm f/2.8 Macro

or

Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro

Can anyone comment on these two lenses?

Why one over the other?


The Sigma is approx: $225.00

The Pentax is approx: $360.00


We are talking about a $100+ difference between them. Is there that much of a difference in quality between the two?

D.

04-14-2008, 01:09 PM   #2
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the pentax has in several tests i have read been described as the "ultimate lens" in terms of resolution and distortion, but the Sigma have been getting very good reports as well.

I think the differences would be a more subjective matter of build quality and general rendering of out of focus areas and color. Try to find example pictures of both lenses and try them out at you local dealer if they have them. Then go with your gut feeling. If you can't tell the difference between the two, buy the cheapest.

Thats my advice in choosing betweed these lenses, because they are both very good glass.
04-14-2008, 01:26 PM   #3
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They say brand name lenses would be more valuable in the second hand market. But, you would not be selling a "keeper", whicever it is; would you?
04-14-2008, 04:25 PM   #4
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I don't buy my gear thinking of what it will be worth used.

However, I do live in the now and if I don't have to spend the extra hundred to get the same quality lens then I won't

On the flip, I don't mind spending the extra $100 if it means the shots are going to be amazingly better.

D.

04-14-2008, 04:50 PM   #5
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I'm with you on that one. Why spend $100 extra when you don't need to? Anyway, here are a couple of links to pbase.com with sample images from both lenses:

Pentax smc P-D FA 50mm f/2.8 Macro Lens Sample Photos and Specifications
Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro Lens Sample Photos and Specifications

They both look good to me.

HTH,
Heather
04-14-2008, 04:52 PM   #6
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Hey Heather,

Thanks very much for the links.

very valuable!

The Sigma is starting to look good to me.

(As you can tell from my Sig I am a fan already of Sigma lenses)

D.
04-14-2008, 04:54 PM   #7
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Call me stupid, but if all things are equal, I would buy the Pentax. My thinking is that the more Pentax sells the more money they have to work with to produce more and better stuff in the long run. I guess I am just a Pentax faithful.
04-14-2008, 04:56 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Buddha Jones Quote
Call me stupid, but if all things are equal, I would buy the Pentax. My thinking is that the more Pentax sells the more money they have to work with to produce more and better stuff in the long run. I guess I am just a Pentax faithful.
Ditto. I totally agree.

04-14-2008, 06:31 PM   #9
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D--

I think this might answer your question of whether to get the Sigma or Pentax:
Sigma 50 2.8 "ex" Mac F/pentax Af

$179--you can't beat it with a stick.

Heather
04-14-2008, 06:40 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Buddha Jones Quote
Call me stupid, but if all things are equal, I would buy the Pentax. My thinking is that the more Pentax sells the more money they have to work with to produce more and better stuff in the long run. I guess I am just a Pentax faithful.
You are certainly not alone on this one
04-14-2008, 08:25 PM   #11
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WOW! I really never thought of it that way.

You guys make a huge point. I see where you are coming from and it is definatly something to consider....


D.
04-14-2008, 08:45 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by hwblanks Quote
D--

I think this might answer your question of whether to get the Sigma or Pentax:
Sigma 50 2.8 "ex" Mac F/pentax Af

$179--you can't beat it with a stick.

Heather
Doesn't seem to be valid any longer... but thanks anyways..

It won't "add to cart"

D.
04-14-2008, 09:00 PM   #13
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Also, another point, Pentax coatings are excellent and (I believe) superior! I tend to take it for granted until I use another brand lens (new or old) and see more flare, not as rich and accurate colors, etc. To me, Pentax brand is worth the extra money.
04-14-2008, 10:48 PM   #14
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I own the Sigma. See my review in the 3rd-party database:

PentaxForums.com Third-Party Pentax Lens Review Database - 50mm F2.8 EX DG (AF Lens)

It is a decent lens, but not as sharp as I had expected based on the graphs on the Sigma Web site. Then there is the issue of working distance at 1:1. If I was to do it over, I would put out the extra cash for either the Pentax 50mm Macro or the Tamron 90mm or the Sigma 70mm with a strong preference going to the longer focal lengths. (From what I understand, the working distance on the Pentax 50mm is better than the Sigma's.)

Having led with the negative, I have to balance by saying that I have taken some really nice close-up, near-macro pictures with this lens. It is great for flower photography where you need better quality than a close-focus zoom, reasonable depth of field (that is where the 50mm part comes in), closer focus than a normal prime, and a relatively compact package. It is a constant component of my working kit and I don't anticipate parting with it in the near future.

Steve

BTW: If you decide on the Sigma, be sure to get the digital variant (DG). The non-DG versions are not recommended for digital due to excess light bouncing around the mirror box.

Last edited by stevebrot; 04-14-2008 at 11:18 PM.
04-14-2008, 11:26 PM   #15
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i can't speak to optical performance, but, although the Sigma macro lineup does have an excellent reputation, the Pentax is a bit smaller and lighter, and takes the 49mm filters that every good Pentax prime owner is already invested in. none of these physical differences are huge, but i find that my leading cause of missed shots is not having the equipment with me, and the leading cause of that is often the added urge to travel light. if you're at all like me in this respect, even the small portability advantage of the Pentax is worth taking seriously.
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