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05-22-2008, 12:41 PM   #1
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Lens choice opinions

I have ended up with no less than 3 lenses that essentially cover the same focal length range:

Pentax DA 16-45 f4
Pentax DA* 16-50 f2.8
Sigma 18-50 f2.8 release 1(pre-macro)

I want to sell one to raise money for another purchase, and I'm having trouble deciding whether to let the DA 16-45 or the Sigma 18-50 go. The reason I'm not selling both is that, well my DA* 16-50 is awesome, but it's large and heavy. It's a lens that I take when I'm going out with the PURPOSE of photographing something. The other lenses are convenient to take along when I'm going out where I MIGHT want to photograph something and want to pack light.

Subjectively speaking it SEEMS that the DA 16-45 is a little bit sharper than the Sigma, but the Sigma 18-50 is a stop faster. The Sigma is heavier but it does seem to be built more solidly.

So I'm basically asking for opinions as to, if you had the choice to make, which lens would you hang onto, and which lens would you sell. I'm leaning toward keeping the Pentax DA 16-45, but it's not been as easy a decision to make as I thought it would be.

05-22-2008, 01:40 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by brothereye Quote
I have ended up with no less than 3 lenses that essentially cover the same focal length range:

Pentax DA 16-45 f4
Pentax DA* 16-50 f2.8
Sigma 18-50 f2.8 release 1(pre-macro)

I want to sell one to raise money for another purchase, and I'm having trouble deciding whether to let the DA 16-45 or the Sigma 18-50 go. The reason I'm not selling both is that, well my DA* 16-50 is awesome, but it's large and heavy. It's a lens that I take when I'm going out with the PURPOSE of photographing something. The other lenses are convenient to take along when I'm going out where I MIGHT want to photograph something and want to pack light.

Subjectively speaking it SEEMS that the DA 16-45 is a little bit sharper than the Sigma, but the Sigma 18-50 is a stop faster. The Sigma is heavier but it does seem to be built more solidly.

So I'm basically asking for opinions as to, if you had the choice to make, which lens would you hang onto, and which lens would you sell. I'm leaning toward keeping the Pentax DA 16-45, but it's not been as easy a decision to make as I thought it would be.
If it were my choice, I would keep the Pentax lens. As you can see from my signature, I use only Pentax glass, after several forays into non-Pentax purchases. I made this decision based on my results with Fujichrome 50 and 100, where I could see the difference in coating colours between the manufacturers, and the increased flare propensity with anything other that the SMC coating mix. I don't even bother looking at other brands now.
05-22-2008, 02:11 PM   #3
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"If it were my choice, I would keep the Pentax lens. "

I think I'm kind of leaning that way. I don't have many lenses, but I have usually been happier with first-source lenses from Pentax, even though I strongly suspect that the DA* is essentially a slightly customized Tokina, it still is a really good lens. (Or at least mine is.) But like I said it is a large and heavy lens for just wandering about with. If I could only have one lens in this range it would be my DA*, but luckily (or unluckily depending on your perspective since I know I would spend less on lenses) there isn't a law against buying more than one lens that duplicates the focal length range of a lens you already own.

I will still have two non-pentax lenses, a surprisingly good Sigma 70-300 and a surprisingly good Tamron 28-200(both were originally introduced for 35mm and work on my P3) that for now at least I plan to keep. If I was unhappy with either the Sigma 18-50 EX or the Pentax DA 16-45 it would be easier to make the decision, but I've been pleased with both so I thought I would solicit some opinions from the forum to see if I've missed something in my decision making.

Added: To clarify the "I don't have many lenses" bit, I have 6 zooms(three of which are listed here), and four primes, three of which are MF.

Last edited by brothereye; 05-22-2008 at 03:38 PM. Reason: Correction
05-22-2008, 02:37 PM   #4
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What I think is that you may ask yourself how is that you bought 3 lenses with similar focal range. You should go back to the day you decided to buy the second one and find what was missing on the first one, and then the day you bought the third one and what were you still looking for, and then you may find the answer...

Well, that looks like Jedi theory but you bought them for a reason, something that didnt convince you on the previous ones and then decide what it is more important for you. It is a dificult decision to take because all of them have different "feelings".

I have the DA 16-45 and it is ok for me, and if I ever repeated (and will again in the future) on this focal range it is because a prime lens and thats another story. If I were you I would keep DA* 16-50 and sell the other two.. but thats just my opinion.

05-22-2008, 03:34 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by cooldude14es Quote
What I think is that you may ask yourself how is that you bought 3 lenses with similar focal range. You should go back to the day you decided to buy the second one and find what was missing on the first one, and then the day you bought the third one and what were you still looking for, and then you may find the answer...

Well, that looks like Jedi theory but you bought them for a reason, something that didnt convince you on the previous ones and then decide what it is more important for you. It is a dificult decision to take because all of them have different "feelings".

I have the DA 16-45 and it is ok for me, and if I ever repeated (and will again in the future) on this focal range it is because a prime lens and thats another story. If I were you I would keep DA* 16-50 and sell the other two.. but thats just my opinion.
I'm sure it's partly attributable to some insidious addiction to buying lenses, part of which is probably rooted in the possibility that you might be able to find a "better" lens, however you define it.

I ended up with three mainly because the 16-45 seemed a better lens than the standard 18-55 kit lens (which in my opinion is already better than others in its class.) I bought the Sigma when I had the money since it was a stop faster and it was fairly affordable. And the DA* 16-50 is great and a stop faster AND is an SDM driven lens (that I can take advantage of on my K10D.) But like I said, there are times I want to travel light, so I don't want to take every lens or for that matter a fairly large and heavy lens sometimes, when I may not ever turn the camera on, so I would still like to have something that has lower "encumbrance impact" when I only MAY want to have a camera with me (in case I encounter a subject I want to photograph), though I might not necessarily be planning to use it, so I don't want to bother with anymore than the basics.
Which kind of helps answer the jedi question, I guess, since the Pentax DA 16-45 is a bit lighter than the Sigma.

BTW, I tried to form this reponse in reverse sentence Yoda speak, but it got to be too much work.
05-22-2008, 04:33 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by brothereye Quote

BTW, I tried to form this response in reverse sentence Yoda speak, but it got to be too much work.
According to my daughter (German Major), to speak in Yoda, take an American/English sentence, translate it into proper German, then translate the WORDS into English but speak them in the German order.

Works every time.
05-22-2008, 04:42 PM   #7
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I would keep the Pentax as well.

I don't own the Sigma, so I can't comment on it, but allow me to give my thoughts on the Pentax 16-45.

Every lens does not have to have an f2.8 maximum aperture to be considered a good lens. If you want or need f2.8 - fine, but for general outdoor shooting I find f4.0 to be more than adequate for most situations with the camera's sensitivity set @ 400. Then, when we move indoors and use flash, I think most of us shoot @ f5.6 or higher. F2.8 does give a brighter viewfinder, true, but I've had no problem focusing maually on the few occasions when I wanted to take a photo in a dimly lit situation.

If I'm reading between the lines correctly, I think you'd have more regrets selling the Pentax than the Sigma.

Good luck in your decision.

Mike
05-22-2008, 04:47 PM   #8
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Have you looked into the Sigma 17-70?

05-22-2008, 06:11 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by cooldude14es Quote
I have the DA 16-45 and it is ok for me, and if I ever repeated (and will again in the future) on this focal range it is because a prime lens and thats another story. If I were you I would keep DA* 16-50 and sell the other two.. but thats just my opinion.
Wow, we think alike, but you are in Barcelona and I am only in Limerick. So maybe you win this round. But I have already bought a prime in this range, the FA43mm, so maybe I win. Does sun and all-night partying trump several stops of light? We've got Guinness but you've got Manzanilla. Hmmm... there is the price of food. OK, you win.

QuoteOriginally posted by TourDeForce Quote
Have you looked into the Sigma 17-70?
Funniest comment of the day!
05-22-2008, 06:58 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by TourDeForce Quote
Have you looked into the Sigma 17-70?
Don't give me more options! That's what led me here to begin with!

I've read good things, but I'm already awash in good lenses of similar range. I don't need to try another one, that I would also probably like and then just complicate the matter even more...

I do think the Sigma will probably be the one that has to go, as nice as it is. I'm not making some kind of outrageous comment to its perfection, but for what it is and does, it's a pretty good lens. Though I've ended up with duplicates of it's range, I guess it's just difficult to let a good lens go, especially if you've had a bad one or two in the past, you come to appreciate good lenses. I suppose that could be generalized as well, since you could say the same thing about cameras or flashes or cars or....

As far as the extra stop goes, I agree with you Mike, usually it's not an issue and I wouldn't miss it most of the time. Of course except in the case when you need it. Usually not much else will do if you end up in a situation where you can't pop a flash on or use a tripod, and you're already sitting at 1600. This only happens sometimes if I'm photographing an indoor event as favor to someone, but like I said, I usually pack more gear when I'm planning to do something like this and the bit of extra weight and bulk of the DA * lens pretty much goes unnoticed among the other kit I'm toting.

Last edited by brothereye; 05-22-2008 at 07:11 PM.
05-22-2008, 07:30 PM   #11
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Sell the Sigma. The DA16-50 is most likely the better lens, presuming it doesn't have the decentering defect that the early released ones seemed prone to, and is as fast as the Sigma,
05-22-2008, 07:37 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Sell the Sigma. The DA16-50 is most likely the better lens, presuming it doesn't have the decentering defect that the early released ones seemed prone to, and is as fast as the Sigma,
As far as I can see, the DA* is definitely the better lens, of course it took a long time to save the cash up to get it.
05-23-2008, 12:29 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Wow, we think alike, but you are in Barcelona and I am only in Limerick. So maybe you win this round. But I have already bought a prime in this range, the FA43mm, so maybe I win. Does sun and all-night partying trump several stops of light? We've got Guinness but you've got Manzanilla. Hmmm... there is the price of food. OK, you win.

Well, I notice you have been around Spain maybe last summer?!?!

I also have a FA35 and F28 and considering to buy a DA40... so I can understand brothereye on his LBA.
05-23-2008, 12:52 AM   #14
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How about this? Sell all but the DA* and purchase 18-250 or a prime that would be the best focal length. Than you have the best lens for that range and a light walk around do it all lense as well.

Just a thought!
05-23-2008, 03:11 AM   #15
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Sell 16-45 and the Sigma and buy the 21 Ltd. for small lightweight high quality reasonable fast walk-around. I just LOVE that little wonderful lens (well, I don't have many others yet )
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