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07-05-2017, 03:27 AM   #1
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Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 APO EX or SMC Pentax FA* 80-200mm f2.8 ED ?

Which one actually performs better? And why? Your views are welcome. I have no experience with either of the lenses.

07-05-2017, 03:28 AM   #2
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For FF or APS-C use?

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07-05-2017, 04:41 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Just my two cents - check the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 as well. Not weather sealed but full-frame lens that is very sharp for the price. Noisy on autofocus but still very fast. Rock-solid lens for less than $800.

Fast Sports Zoom Lenses for Pentax Review - 70-200mm Sigma & Tamron | PentaxForums.com Reviews
07-05-2017, 05:29 AM - 1 Like   #4
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And look around for a Tammy 70~200. I nabbed a new one for under $600 from a Canadian dealer. Screw drive is noisier, maybe slower, but has generally been more reliable than lens-based AF

Also consider size & weight:

Pentax 70~200 = 203mm long, 1.75kg
Sigma 70~200 = 184mm long, 1.37kg
Tamron 70~200 = 194mm long, 1.15kg.

The Sigma wins on size, the Tamron wins on weight, by quite a bit over the Pentax.


Last edited by WPRESTO; 07-05-2017 at 05:40 AM.
07-05-2017, 08:28 AM   #5
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Size or not the D-FA is the one. If not the FA* is a very close second albeit not marked WR and has ScrewDrive AF. Anything else is a compromise.
07-05-2017, 01:20 PM   #6
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I have not tried the other but that Sigma is one of my top 3 lenses.
07-06-2017, 05:05 AM   #7
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If I can summarize or surmise from what's been posted:
1) there are advocates for all three 70~200mm lenses under consideration;
2) the Pentax probably has an edge in IQ, but it's probably extremely difficult to detect at typically used apertures (f5.6 to f11);
3) the Pentax is by a considerable amount the heaviest and most expensive lens;
4) the Tamron is the lightest and least expensive, but it is an old design with a possibly slower, definitely noisier AF, and the IQ may not be as good @ f2.8.

If you cannot abide the thought that there's a better lens (for IQ and AF performance) than the one you own, you should probably buy the Pentax.
If you can accept a lens that has excellent IQ from f4 onward, but may not be as good @ f2.8, has slower-noisier AF, and want to save $$, the Tamron is the best choice.
The Sigma might fall in-between, but I suspect it's performance is on a par with the Tamron with differences mostly residing on which individual copy of each lens you have (= one Sigma off-the-shelf will outperform one Tamron, Pick up two different copies and the Tamron will be better than the Sigma).
07-06-2017, 12:40 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by SunnyG. Quote
Which one actually performs better? And why? Your views are welcome. I have no experience with either of the lenses.
Do you really mean Sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX (with no DG, Macro, or HSM Designation) or do you mean the latest sigma product.

I own the sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX from the film era, and from all i have read and seen since that time, is that with the exception of the first 70-200 F2.8 EX DG lens which was optically the same except for rear element coarings, and the latest HSM II model all others were soft at 200mm

i cannot speak for the FA lens. except as others have noted it is a beast

07-06-2017, 04:40 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
For FF or APS-C use?
For both. I don't have an FF. BUT one-day I'll. Currently APS-C is the way to go

---------- Post added 07-06-17 at 04:47 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by claskowski Quote
Just my two cents - check the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 as well. Not weather sealed but full-frame lens that is very sharp for the price. Noisy on autofocus but still very fast. Rock-solid lens for less than $800.

Fast Sports Zoom Lenses for Pentax Review - 70-200mm Sigma & Tamron | PentaxForums.com Reviews
Well I will take your word on it. But does it renders colors as beautifully as the Pentax? Let's forget for a moment the size, the weight and the price. Which one delivers exceptional quality images?

---------- Post added 07-06-17 at 04:54 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
And look around for a Tammy 70~200. I nabbed a new one for under $600 from a Canadian dealer. Screw drive is noisier, maybe slower, but has generally been more reliable than lens-based AF

Also consider size & weight:

Pentax 70~200 = 203mm long, 1.75kg
Sigma 70~200 = 184mm long, 1.37kg
Tamron 70~200 = 194mm long, 1.15kg.

The Sigma wins on size, the Tamron wins on weight, by quite a bit over the Pentax.
Let's not dwell on specs. Performance wise, which one would you suggest. Btw I was talking about the 80-200mm FA*

---------- Post added 07-06-17 at 04:56 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Do you really mean Sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX (with no DG, Macro, or HSM Designation) or do you mean the latest sigma product.

I own the sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX from the film era, and from all i have read and seen since that time, is that with the exception of the first 70-200 F2.8 EX DG lens which was optically the same except for rear element coarings, and the latest HSM II model all others were soft at 200mm

i cannot speak for the FA lens. except as others have noted it is a beast
Is the DG macro version available in Pentax mount?

---------- Post added 07-06-17 at 04:58 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by shardulm Quote
Size or not the D-FA is the one. If not the FA* is a very close second albeit not marked WR and has ScrewDrive AF. Anything else is a compromise.
The D-FA is way more expensive. It's just insane. FA* is way more affordable

---------- Post added 07-06-17 at 05:00 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
If I can summarize or surmise from what's been posted:
1) there are advocates for all three 70~200mm lenses under consideration;
2) the Pentax probably has an edge in IQ, but it's probably extremely difficult to detect at typically used apertures (f5.6 to f11);
3) the Pentax is by a considerable amount the heaviest and most expensive lens;
4) the Tamron is the lightest and least expensive, but it is an old design with a possibly slower, definitely noisier AF, and the IQ may not be as good @ f2.8.

If you cannot abide the thought that there's a better lens (for IQ and AF performance) than the one you own, you should probably buy the Pentax.
If you can accept a lens that has excellent IQ from f4 onward, but may not be as good @ f2.8, has slower-noisier AF, and want to save $$, the Tamron is the best choice.
The Sigma might fall in-between, but I suspect it's performance is on a par with the Tamron with differences mostly residing on which individual copy of each lens you have (= one Sigma off-the-shelf will outperform one Tamron, Pick up two different copies and the Tamron will be better than the Sigma).
That's an excellent comparison! In what ways are the third party lens superior to Pentax lens?
07-06-2017, 06:43 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by SunnyG. Quote

Is the DG macro version available in Pentax mount?
I think the correct question is "was the DG Macro available in Pentax."

There was quite a delay between the discontinuation of the EX DG and the release of the EX DG macro in Pentax mount

This was about 2008 or there about, when I could easily sell my old EX for more than I paid for it, except there was nothing to replace it with. Search the forum and maybe you will find the threads about it being discontinued inpentax.

But I think it did come out, followed by at least one more release before the HSM and HSM 2. Perhaps someone can fill in the timeline, but being satisfied with the EX I have never concerned myself with replacing it even though it is 14 years old now
07-07-2017, 04:47 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I think the correct question is "was the DG Macro available in Pentax."

There was quite a delay between the discontinuation of the EX DG and the release of the EX DG macro in Pentax mount

This was about 2008 or there about, when I could easily sell my old EX for more than I paid for it, except there was nothing to replace it with. Search the forum and maybe you will find the threads about it being discontinued inpentax.

But I think it did come out, followed by at least one more release before the HSM and HSM 2. Perhaps someone can fill in the timeline, but being satisfied with the EX I have never concerned myself with replacing it even though it is 14 years old now
How does it compare optically to the Pentax? Is it's performance better than Pentax?
07-07-2017, 07:38 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by SunnyG. Quote
Well I will take your word on it. But does it renders colors as beautifully as the Pentax? Let's forget for a moment the size, the weight and the price. Which one delivers exceptional quality images?
The Tamron 70-200 does not quite render colors as beautifully as high-end Pentax glass. When I first contemplated acquiring a lens in this range, I seriously considered the old FA* 80-200. That lens renders beautifully for a zoom, with gorgeous, FA* colors. But in the end I bought the Tamron 70-200, partly for the lower price (it's a great value, if nothing else) and the lower weight (which can be more significant than many people assume). Undoubtedly, the Pentax options are, in number of subtle ways, "better." The new DFA* 70-200, in particular, appears, from what I've seen from it, absolutely outstanding --- quite possibly the best K-mount zoom lens that Pentax has ever made, with great sharpness, rendering, contrast, and color. But for some of us it's just too heavy. And the Tamron is no slouch, optically. A good copy is sharp wide open and tack sharp by f4. It features very good contrast, nice colors, and renders very well for a non-Pentax lens.

If price and weight are not considerations, I would give the edge to the Pentax options. But it's important to keep in mind that although the Pentax fast telephoto zooms are better than the Tamron, the differences are subtle, and it may take a sharp eye to even recognize them.

Here's a shot with the Tamron at 200mm, f4.5:

07-07-2017, 10:01 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by SunnyG. Quote
How does it compare optically to the Pentax? Is it's performance better than Pentax?
you need to go back to my original post, i have not used the pentax lens so i can make no claim, but the sigma is a good performer, at least good enough for a birder who usually corps 50% out of an APS-C format sensor
07-09-2017, 10:01 AM   #14
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I would prefer getting a new lens. The FA* will be old and probably well used. Sigma(?) and tamron can be had new and are more modern designs!
D-FA 70-200 is nice and heavier than any of the other lenses. Working with Pentax cameras, I prefer Pentax glass - D-FA is costly, but Sigma/Tamron fit in front of any other camera. The D-FA worked great on my K3 - one reason why I went with Pentax fullframe instead of going for the brand that offer lots of FF lenses. As far as my research went before the D-FA came out, go for the Tamron. Very decent feature set, very good quality for great price. Performs very well on APS-C and still fine on FF.
07-10-2017, 12:26 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by zapp Quote
I would prefer getting a new lens. The FA* will be old and probably well used. Sigma(?) and tamron can be had new and are more modern designs!
D-FA 70-200 is nice and heavier than any of the other lenses. Working with Pentax cameras, I prefer Pentax glass - D-FA is costly, but Sigma/Tamron fit in front of any other camera. The D-FA worked great on my K3 - one reason why I went with Pentax fullframe instead of going for the brand that offer lots of FF lenses. As far as my research went before the D-FA came out, go for the Tamron. Very decent feature set, very good quality for great price. Performs very well on APS-C and still fine on FF.
Well some Pentax glass can still be bought in mint condition. Although buying new is my one of my main priorities, but it's not my first. What I'm after is quality glass. Not to say that the glass makers we are talking about are bad, it's just that for the money I'm paying I want a little extra performance. Limit post processing to as little as possible. I don't know about you, but I would buy a mint Zeiss, or Pentax for the price of a new Tamron or sigma any day. But if there's a chance when I can get my hands on a Tamron or sigma at a very cheap price, I will do it.
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