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08-05-2008, 11:16 AM   #1
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DA 70 vs. Sigma 70 macro, the best is?

Which would you pick in comparing the Pentax DA 70 f/2.4 and the Sigma 70 f/2.8 macro? Here is the data from the two most reliable (?) sources.

Pop Photography, 11x14" print size (@ f/4, 5.6, 8 and 11) and from Photozone.com their (resolution scores)

Sigma 70 Macro f/2.8
95.6 (2071)
95.8 (2064)
95.7 (2009)
95.1 (1862)

Pentax 70 f/2.4
94.2 (2201)
94.3 (2238)
94.3 (2107)
94.1 (____)


Even through photozone clearly has the Pentax lens with higher resolution, both are rated as recommended lenses; and while PopPhoto likes the Pentax, they really like the Sigma and call it practically "flawless." So, it looks like a pick 'em, but I'm wondering which subjectively delivers the kind of "feel" you're looking for?

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08-05-2008, 11:44 AM   #2
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Mostly depends what you want to use the lens for. I think the Sigma's focus range goes from like 3 feet to infinity (ie, you'll have super precise focusing up to around 3 feet and everything beyond that is 'inifinity'). It's got a focus limiter but it's still really slow to focus if it hunts. That said, it's amazingly sharp!

I don't have the Pentax 70mm nor have I used it. I do, however, have the 77mm and I tend to use that for portraits and only use the Sigma for closeups and macros.

Just this morning I printed some orchid closeups and was blown away by the details hiding in the photos (take with the Sigma). That might not be a good thing if you are going to be taking pictures of women over 30. :-)
08-05-2008, 12:34 PM   #3
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I have the DA70 and think it's excellent in the mid distances to infinity. But portrait range is where it naturally shines.

The DA70 is less happy going very close - first off, it doesn't focus very close, and second, the purple CA starts to show. My old Tamron SP 90 macro doesn't suffer from this CA, and of course is more optimized to close work. The focal lengths aren't the same and the Tammy doesn't auto focus... but I'm thinking I probably would have been better off with a Tamron AF 90, or the Sigma you mention, but that's because I like the option of getting really close at that focal length.


... returning to topic: Not to give the wrong idea, the DA70 has the 'feel' in spades, and instantly and with little effort on my part. I wouldn't really want to give up that rounded flavor... But the close focus thing, for my kind of walking around, is something I wish for.

Last edited by Nesster; 08-05-2008 at 01:22 PM.
08-05-2008, 01:01 PM   #4
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I don't have neither, but:
Sigma is macro. So as such will be better for close range, and obviously it will let you get much closer.
But for mid distances I expect DA70 to be better. Plus it's smaller, lighter, therefore much more portable. And if it's optical performance is anything like DA40, it's gotta be a great lens.
Personal opinion is, you can't go wrong with either...
good luck choosing

08-05-2008, 06:24 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input, I think I'm going to go with the Sigma,
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08-05-2008, 08:30 PM   #6
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one thing those pop charts do not tell you is handling, bokeh, contrast, colour. I have both lenses and they both have different uses. First if you need a short macro the 70mm is just to hard to beat, but after that the DA 70mm ltd just wins out overall.

The Da is much smaller, focuses that much faster, has nicer bokeh, nicer skin colour on people and better contrast. The DA 70 gets used by me alot more than the sigma but if I need to get in close the sigma is the way to go no doubt. BTW the sigma is really THAT LOW in focusing, I mean really slow, it's heavy and cumbersom, even with the battery grip on my K20D, plus it also hunts alot as all macros do, even with the focus limiter switch.

So if you need a macro and can only have 1 lens then go for the sigma, if your really not doing macros but need a general lens thats damn good ( purple ca aside ) then he Pentax wins.
08-05-2008, 09:07 PM   #7
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.

I've seen some stunning stuff from the DA 70ltd, but personally, I always lean towards close-focus or macro capabilty as a tie-breaker.







08-06-2008, 03:15 PM   #8
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that's what I was saying, IF DA70 is anything like DA40 in it's performance, it simply must be one great lens. And from the pics above it's clear it's at least as stellar performer as it's shorter brother

08-06-2008, 04:14 PM   #9
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If size isn't an issue for you then the Sigma is the choice.

Renders skin tones perfectly, pleasant fuzzy bokeh, quick focusing out doors, perfect focal length, macro function (macro's are amazing with this lens).

The f2.4 of the DA70 is actually 2.8. The DA70 focusses faster (it's a prime lens so it should), and it isn't nearly as big.

I have the Sigma 70 and was looking for a smaller lens in the same focal range to use for portraits. I found the DA70 to be almost identical in image with the Sigma, therefore my choice of the FA77 was clearly made.

c[_]
08-06-2008, 04:16 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
that's what I was saying, IF DA70 is anything like DA40 in it's performance, it simply must be one great lens. And from the pics above it's clear it's at least as stellar performer as it's shorter brother
Axl...I think I can speak for jsherman in that those images are from the Sigma 70 and not the DA70.

c[_]
08-06-2008, 05:00 PM   #11
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Well, the Sigma is a great lens, like most Sigma lenses I've owned. However, The DA70 is one of my favorite primes and my "go to" portrait lens. If I need a lens to cover the 60-100mm range I usually reach for the DA70 rather than one of my zooms or a longer prime.

The Sigma gives you macro capabilities and the DA70 is more of a "traditional" portrait lens. It really boils down to what kind of shooting you do and what you need.

With the crop factor of APS-C sensors, the DA70 is designed to be a modern day equivalent of the Pentax K 105mm portrait lens from the 35mm film era:

K 105/2.8

The Sigma 70 Macro is more like a modern day equivalent to the 100mm macro lenses from the 35mm film era:

FA 100/2.8 Macro
08-07-2008, 04:46 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by ll_coffee_lP Quote
Axl...I think I can speak for jsherman in that those images are from the Sigma 70 and not the DA70.

c[_]
woah,...
I misread the original thread, my apologies...
anyway, those shots are great, so as I said in my first post:
you can't go wrong with neither of them
Seriously, those pics are great...
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