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03-04-2016, 04:20 PM   #1
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Sigma 30mm F/1.4 and 18-35 f/1.8

Hello Pentax forum how are you ^_^ ?

I have been selling my old Canon gear for a while now and recently sold the last piece 17-40 f/4L (such a beast). And with that income i have been paying off debts and switching to Pentax slowly.

I am getting a Sigma 10-20 f/3.5 for my UWA work but i have been eyeing a fast, wide prime with it for some time. I do have a FA 50mm f/1.4 but its not wide enough for my needs. I was wondering if 30mm A values better than18-35, i read few reviews and i know they are more than apples and oranges. But is 30mm's performance good enough ? also i am reading both lenses AF is terrible. Price wise 30mm is 300 pounds vs 18-35 is 550 pounds and its almost double but bit sharper + having zoom worth it ?


I shoot weddings and portraits (mainly outdoors than studio) and some concert work.
My current Gear includes: K3, K5ii, K5iis - Pentax: FA 50 f/1.4, Tamron: 17-50 F2.8, 90mm f2.8, 70-200 f2.8


Thank you all for reading and giving their comments ^_^

03-04-2016, 05:10 PM   #2
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I had bad luck with the 18-35mm. Which is too bad because the focal length and aperture were just what I've always wanted. I just could not get consistent autofocus accuracy, even with the Sigma dock...which in itself is terribly tedious to use.
03-04-2016, 05:20 PM   #3
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if they both are terrible at AF, and I must choose one then 18-35 seems more logical. you do shoot outdoor so no needs for that f1.4. and you already have a 50mm 1.4, just need to step back a bit. save up them pounds for that 18-35, or go with something else if you want better AF.
03-04-2016, 05:42 PM   #4
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Have you considered the Pentax 35mm f2.4? Owner reviews here on PF indicate it's an excellent performer (9.2 out of 10 on sharpness) at a fraction the price of the Sigma lenses and you'd lose less than one f-stop. There's also the Pentax 31mm f1.8 which is about as good a lens as you can get, but it needs deep pockets. The 20~40 Pentax is also a fine performer, but you'd lose one to two stops (f2.8 to f4 when zoomed) compared to the Sigmas you're considering.

03-04-2016, 05:54 PM   #5
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I have two copies of Sigma 30mm f1.4, Pentax and Canon mounts. I shot a bit of wedding, indoor part with Canon and Sigma, no flash (pro's been using her flash). It's either me, or lenses, but on both cameras both copies hunt in low light, the result is inconsistent. I love that lens a lot, portraits are great, but for wedding indoors in low light I would not rely on it completely. Again, it's just my opinion. I feel more confident with F-50mm f1.7 lens, and it should be just right on K-1.
If you shoot weddings, how about switching to upcoming FF?
03-04-2016, 06:07 PM   #6
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AF with my Art 30 is actually pretty reliable if you only use center point or LIveView. Using center point didn't work with the 18-35 when Alex (Heie) tried it. AF with the 18-35 seems to be a roll of the dice - you either get one that works most of the time, or it never works. The Art 30 is very sharp in the center, less so in the corners (but not as much as the older 30 EX).

Another option would be the FA 35/2 (which the DA 35/2.4 was based on). The only problem is AF on both lenses is screwdrive only, which may be an issue, depending on your application.
03-04-2016, 08:54 PM   #7
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The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 is a good lens. I have never tried the 18-35 and won't, given its massive size. I've used the 30 at events and been pleased with the results. Focusing is tough with such a narrow depth of field at the widest apertures, auto or manual. So some shots miss, but that is true of all fast lenses.
03-04-2016, 09:10 PM   #8
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I would sell the 2 k5's and the 17-50. And just wait for the k-1 + 24-70 f/2.8. Then you'd have a 24-70, 70-200, a fast 50mm, the macro plus the k-3 for back up. Get a da 35 f/2.4 in the meantime while your building funds, its great on an apsc sensor for a light, casual use and ff compatible stopped down. The 18-35mm is a lovely lens, but due to its poor af, i wouldnt use it if my livelihood depended on it.


Last edited by AtitG; 03-04-2016 at 09:36 PM.
03-04-2016, 09:13 PM   #9
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You said you wanted something more on the wide side. Have you considered a used FA*24mm f2? 35mm equivalent is said to be the perfect focal lenght for weddings.

I do know a couple people who shoot weddings with the Sigma 18-35 and Pentax (both in Europe) so I guess if you put the time into trying different copies until you find one that is reliable it might be wort it.

Last edited by ChristianRock; 03-04-2016 at 09:19 PM.
03-04-2016, 09:59 PM   #10
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I've had awesome luck with my 18-35 f/1.8. I could recommend it.
03-04-2016, 10:21 PM   #11
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I have the old 30mm 1.4 EX, and I love it. For the price, it's impossible to beat.
03-05-2016, 01:01 AM   #12
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Another alternative would be the sigma 35mm f1.4. It's bigger and heavier but also the sharpest 35 you can get for Pentax

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03-05-2016, 01:58 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
I have the old 30mm 1.4 EX, and I love it. For the price, it's impossible to beat.
Yes, fully agree!
03-05-2016, 07:37 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Another alternative would be the sigma 35mm f1.4. It's bigger and heavier but also the sharpest 35 you can get for Pentax
Do you believe it is sharper than the DA 35 Macro Limited? The DA 35 Limited is what I think is one of my sharpest lenses, along with the DA 70 Limited and DFA 100 macro WR. I would wonder if there is a sharper lens than these and if I would see the difference on my 21 inch I Mac screen. I use these lenses on a K-3 and K-5 bodies.
03-05-2016, 07:43 AM - 1 Like   #15
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Wow so many replies! Thank you all for posting. To answer some of the recommendations :

1) I work together with my wife so we need 3 cameras (usually she takes 70-200 and k5 and i used to take canon 17-40 and 50 f1.4). And i live in Cyprus, so far only 2 other pentax users live here and K5ii is such a beast camera i would hate to sell it fraction of its value.

2) I might switch to fullframe eventually but definitely not in 2016 and not likely in 2017. (my business hasn't been doing great since i moved to cyprus but it might change).

3) DA35 f2.4 is a lovely lens but i think i need something bit more faster and professional. (brides always asks if i can make the background blury)

4) Sigma 35mm Art is an awesome performer, actually tried this one. But its even more expensive than 18-35 and quite a bit of its resolution wasted on apsc too. (i am planing to have kids in near future so saving for them is better than saving for 35mm art ^_^ )

5) Fa 31 ltd, refer to no:4

6) Looking some of the older FA lenses, that 35mm f/2 looks attractive. If somebody used both could give me some feedback it will be lovely. Whole reason of my being interested in 30mm f1.4 was its features as well as its price
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