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06-28-2015, 11:55 AM   #1
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walkabout zoom

Im off to Malaysia in a month and Im not feeling brave enough to just take a prime, so im in the market for a walkaround zoom.
I have 3 nights in Kuala Lumpur followed by 9 nights in Georgetown Penang

Budget doesn't really matter, Im having trouble deciding which one is the best one overall?

I can't decide between the lenses below, any insights or experience would be welcome

Sigma 17-50mm F2.8
Sigma 17-70 F2.8 - 4
Tamron 17-50 F2.8
Pentax DA 16-85

This is what I hate about gear shopping, once you start looking, there are too many roads, I have noticed that I can get a new A7 + kit zoom for 799 and that is also tempting me

Last edited by edgedemon; 06-28-2015 at 12:10 PM.
06-28-2015, 01:09 PM   #2

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I'd go with the Pentax 16 - 85 for the weather resistance!
06-28-2015, 01:22 PM   #3
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Im probably the only person here that doesn't care about WR, at least at the expense of overall picture quality :-)
06-28-2015, 01:33 PM   #4
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I believe they all have good image quality, but only from what I've seen online.

I'd say go for the 16-85 of range is more important, one of the f/2.8s if speed is more important. The Tamron makes the most noise of the lot, in case that matters to you.

06-28-2015, 01:56 PM   #5
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Bring a UWA lens, a macro lens and a telezoom lens to Penang. Great to have if you plan to visit the Butterfly garden or any of the temples there.
06-28-2015, 03:01 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by edgedemon Quote
Im probably the only person here that doesn't care about WR, at least at the expense of overall picture quality :-)
You might want to think about WR if you're going to be in Kuala Lumpur and Penang in July - occasional afternoon downpours are normal (from what I've read, never been there myself).
06-28-2015, 03:26 PM   #7
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Personally, I would pick the 16-85 because of the 16mm wide. The difference in field of view gets my vote. 16mm is a really, really useful angle, 17 and 18 not so much.
06-28-2015, 03:37 PM   #8
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I learned from travel in Thailand:
If you stay in a cold aircon hotel room, the lenses may experience (severe) condensation on the internal elements when you take them out of the cold room.

My lenses appear to have been undamaged but it took more than 1 hour for the lenses to clear in the mornings to be usable.

There may be a few ways to mitigate this, like keeping them sealed in ziplock bags till they warm up , or not taking them into the cold room.
Maybe someone who lives in the area can comment.

06-28-2015, 03:44 PM   #9
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I have both the Sigma 17-70 and the 17-50 2.8 hsm and can tell you the 17-50 is both sharper and faster focusing then the 17-70. The 17-70 is quite a bit cheaper and can focus in closer

Hope this helps

06-28-2015, 04:23 PM   #10
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My vote goes to the 16-85 for the increased range on both ends, and the WR. I know you said WR doesn't matter to you, but I've been caught in sudden rain too often to ignore the feature (two memorable occurrences come to mind - one in Paris and another at Loch Ness. No photos from either, as my cameras at the time were not sealed). Of course, if you think you'll need the wider aperture of the 2.8 lenses or the slightly closer focusing/pseudo-macro of the Sigma 17-70 then by all means go for one of those. All of the lenses you listed are quite capable.

06-28-2015, 05:08 PM   #11
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I've been to Georgetown 3 times in the last 4 years, go to the Sky Hotel (open lunchtime only) for the best BBQ Pork in Malaysia!

Anyway, to the topic at hand. I found my Sigma 8-16 invaluable for taking shots of the beautiful architecture in the historic quarter. (My DA15 wasn't wide enough in the narrow alleys.) It was also great in the Protestant cemetary. If these type of shots don't interest you then it's hard to go past the 16-85mm. Me, I'd take both
06-28-2015, 05:53 PM   #12
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I had the Tamron 17-50mm for a while...loved the IQ but i missed the reach.
I personally just bought the 16-85mm The clinchers were 16mm on the wide end and WR (which you mentioned that you don't care about). If i didnt care about WR i would look very hard at the Sigma 17-70mm.

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