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12-18-2017, 06:17 PM   #1
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How to solve K1/FF wide->short normal need (repeat question?)

I have seen and read similar threads, so forgive me if I'm redundant, but I haven't seen the exact requirement, or a suggestion that fits me in those, so I'll try a new thread. Feel free to point me to an answer otherwise! =)

When shooting in tight quarters with my K5, the DA12-24 has been a miracle in IQ vs zoomrange. Sure, a tad slow, but my copy has been all but a stack of primes. Now I got a K1 and want to maximize the sensor, so I want a similar, or even perhaps not as wide lens for FF (barely used 12mm, or 14). I thought I was prepared, but turns out I'm not quite after having tried my options so I need advice.

First what I want and what I miss:
- I have realized I very rarely go below 14 and could make by on 16mm apsc even, so a 24mm FF will be ok - I don't like the distortions that follow below (16mm apsc)
- Focal length of up 35mm is nice, but if longer, that would be great to reduce the need to swap lenses.
- I rarely used 20mm equiv, but would be a plus if I got it (instead of "just" 24)
- 28mm is too narrow
- I don't think I'm that sensitive to weight/size, so in theory the 24-70 could do it ...BUT

Entering pentax-land 10 years ago as a student on very limited budget, having time to swap and use old great manual primes with SR to get super IQ, was the main lure with pentax (their edges may not have been up to standard, but they were ff primes so on apsc it was great). Now I have more funds, and can sell some gear to get the 24-70...BUT being the first lens in that class that I'd buy (unless the 12-24 counts), I'm somewhat bummed that it doesn't seem to be quite up there on the top, "just" very high...edge sharpness is only "ok" from several reviews (beaten by the 28-105 at F4, but 28 is too long and F4 is ok but rather 2.8 if possible). I think I'd even be willing to pay 30-50% more for a *-endgame-lens of 24-70 if that existed...Now I'd get "just" good glass for more or less *-money (currently the 24-70 sells for $1k and 70-200* for 1.5k and that's a lot more glass metal and *-rating), which doesn't sit great with me going for the 24-70.

So what have I tried:
- Using the 12-24 in FF mode...sure at 24mm it more or less covers ff, but is only great in the 1:1 -part..the edges aren't great even at 24. Also having a bit more lenght when isolating subjects would be nice instead of cropping.
- I got the Tokina 20-35 F3.5-4.5. It's said to be even sharper than the 2.8 version, and well, its good for focal length and acceptable speed, but even if sharpness is barely ok, it has some kind of glow...not as good as the 12-24 and having to stop down to 5.6 or more to get there is taking it too far for me to be satisfied.
- I had the Sigma 24-70 F2.8 DG Macro (non-hsm) on the K5 a few years, but sold it due to not great wide open iq (even on aps-c).

What I have seen that might fit?:
The F20-35: Looks like nice range and so on, but ratings maybe don't place it far above the tokina...is it any better?
The F24-50: Nice range and supposed to have better newer ghostless coatings, but again, ratings are good, but is it the end-game I want?
Sigma 24-70 HSM? Supposed to be better than the one I had but good enough, or at least good enough for the price?

Other thoughts:
- Tamron 28-75, ok for the price, but 28 is too narrow
- 28-105 DFA seems nice, but 28mm would force me to swap lenses, so 24mm is max for me now, preferably 20
- The 15-30 is a little bit too short perhaps and a lot of money spent on the wrong end of the zoom for this case - I want to avoid swapping if possible when indoors, 35mm is min for the upper limit to have at least a shot at portrait-ish pics.

So to sum it up, I have the funds now if selling gear, which I think I have, but i don't have time to be swapping primes, and would like something that covers at least 24-35-ish and preferably 20-40 or more, F4 can be ok but 2.8 is better, WR is a plus of course, and must be AF. Is there anything for me? (if considering the DFA24-70 is a little bit to little for too much money or not quite endgame)?

(If that's relevant, I'd then reduce my gear to this lens, Tamron 70-200, F*300 4.5, A400 5.6, and probably not be able to part with the F50 1.7, but the idea is that I won't consider it worth swapping to the 50 if this lens, whatever is recommended, is on the camera)

Thanks!

12-18-2017, 06:46 PM - 1 Like   #2
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I've had the same challenge that you are currently facing. Given all the factors, I think the 24-70 is the best option. While the edges / corners could be better, it does fulfill quite a few other requirements and the current reduced price makes it more attractive than in the past. The focal range appears to be pretty perfect for you, it's WR, goes to 2.8, it's good at suppressing CAs, flares and ghosting. I primarily shoot and enlarge landscapes and I've not been bothered by any softness in the edges / corners so far. So the bottom line to me is that it's not perfect, but I can't find a better option. Good luck with your decision.
12-18-2017, 07:04 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Quit reading nitpicking reviews and just get the 24-70. It will be far better than your old manual glass. And in my opinion as good as the 12-24 in the real world.
12-18-2017, 07:17 PM   #4
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I know you mention the F20-35, but the FA 20-35/f4 is a cracking lens for the money, and perfect on FF, Back before I went digital and APS-C , on film, my trio was this FA20-35/f4, FA*85/f1.4 and FA*200/f2.8, diddnt need much more for normal shooting days out.

12-18-2017, 07:42 PM   #5
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If focal length is the only issue, you would like to replace your K-5 + [12-24mm lens] by the K-1+ [17-34mm lens], as a naive rule of thumb. [Of course the lens rendering is another issue.] The FA20-35mm mentioned by cmohr is possibly the closest equivalent, but I would follow jatrax and for the 24-70 which is a more modern lens, working well with the K-1, if you do not want to use primes.
My 5 cents...
12-18-2017, 07:53 PM   #6
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I did a lot of reading back when I was trying to find something similar to you. Unfortunately, with nobody making lenses for Pentax K mount anymore, your options are limited.

The DFA 24-70mm f/2.8, based on the Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 VC G1 lens, is a good lens by most reviews on other systems in terms of sharpness and other optical qualities. For Canon/Nikon/Sony, it is probably the second best third party lens, after the new Tamron G2 24-70mm/2.8. It does seem to be a little less sharp at 70mm compared to the "endgame" 24-70mm zooms, and also has a lot of distortion at 24mm, but otherwise very good.

The "endgame" 24-70mm standard zooms with the outstanding/extreme optical qualities (sharpness, low CA) you want are the first party zooms from Canon/Nikon/Sony. The Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 L II and Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 GM have the extreme sharpness and the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 E VR has the very even performance even out to the very edges. However, they aren't available for K mount (obviously). So if you want to go with these lenses, you'll have to switch to one of the other manufacturers. I won't comment too much on the merits of other camera systems since their mention seems to stoke controversy.

The A7RII and 24-70mm f/2.8 L II + MC-11 is a combination I've tried for my A7RII and liked, and right now can be found brand new for very reasonable prices if you know where to look. (altogether only a little more than a D850 or A7RIII). That offers you very high resolution on the camera, outstanding sharpness from the lens, good to very good AF that's a significant jump from the K-1, and IBIS to make up for the lack of lens IS.

The other option that for even higher performance is the Sigma 24-35mm f/2 Art. Again, not available for K mount.

The DFA 15-30mm f/2.8, also based on a Tamron design, is very sharp, has very low vignetting compared to other ultrawide zooms, and overall is optically excellent. It compares favorably with the best ultrawide f/2.8 zooms from Sony/Canon/Nikon and is on their level. It has pretty much become the only lens I use for my K-1 now. If you can live with it being a bit shorter than the 35mm you're looking for, you should absolutely go with this lens. I got mine new from an authorized retailer for $1140. The only downside is that the K-1 (not a light camera) + DFA 15-30mm is a very heavy combination. It was no fun carrying on hikes with a tripod.
12-18-2017, 09:57 PM   #7
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I think you should just get the 24-70, Igor.

I have the DA12-24, FA20-35 and Sigma DG 12-24, myself.

All nice, I probably prefer the DA12-24 from 17mm onwards.
12-18-2017, 10:39 PM   #8
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solution is sigma 21-35mm. FF lens, i personnaly make some tests and it's pretty damn good, very surprising piece of glass....

12-18-2017, 11:11 PM   #9
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K-1 + 20-40 lim perfect combination for street photography? - Page 2 - PentaxForums.com

Sigma 20-40 f2.8 is mentioned in that thread along with others mentioned above.
12-18-2017, 11:20 PM   #10
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Does it has to be zoom or you can get away with 2 primes (manual focus or auto focus) and a zoom lens... I meant 20mm and 24mm primes and get the zoom from 28mm. This is the compromise as you said you barely use 20mm width therefore you have it only for occasional use and you can get it later if you feel you need one and you have to swap only for tight places to 24mm.

You have there multiple choices for 24mm and for 20mm only two, Pentax FA 20mm (AF) and Samyang 20mm (MF).

There are Sigma's 20mm and 24mm, AF primes but not sure how they perform.

Personally if I were in your shoes I will get Pentax FA 24mm or Samyang 24mm (prefer Samyang, but MF) and maybe Tamron zoom 28-70mm.
12-19-2017, 01:27 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by RAART Quote
Does it has to be zoom or you can get away with 2 primes (manual focus or auto focus) and a zoom lens... I meant 20mm and 24mm primes and get the zoom from 28mm. This is the compromise as you said you barely use 20mm width therefore you have it only for occasional use and you can get it later if you feel you need one and you have to swap only for tight places to 24mm.

You have there multiple choices for 24mm and for 20mm only two, Pentax FA 20mm (AF) and Samyang 20mm (MF).

There are Sigma's 20mm and 24mm, AF primes but not sure how they perform.

Personally if I were in your shoes I will get Pentax FA 24mm or Samyang 24mm (prefer Samyang, but MF) and maybe Tamron zoom 28-70mm.
... there is also the smc Pentax-M 1:4 20mm and the smc Pentax-A 1:2.8 20 mm (similar construction as the FA 20, but with 5 blades, which is much nicer for stars). They work both very good and you will not miss AF on this range.
12-19-2017, 01:39 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Igor123 Quote
Sigma 24-70 HSM? Supposed to be better than the one I had but good enough, or at least good enough for the price?
I have the Sigma 24-70 F2.8 IF EX DG HSM, and am thoroughly pleased with it.
I find it quite sharp wide open.

Cheers,
Terry
12-19-2017, 01:49 AM   #13
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Original Poster
Thanks for all the great input! It seems that most say to get the 24-70 anyway. Maybe I will...just need to think or get used to the price/non-*-ratio first and maybe use the 12-24 and F50 in the meantime...unless I stumble upon a good offer for and try one of the F/FA zooms, of preferably if I find that sigma 20-40, looks better than many other final-pentaxavailable-gen-sigma-zooms.

A couple of thoughts regarding a few of the suggestions:
QuoteOriginally posted by cmohr Quote
I know you mention the F20-35, but the FA 20-35/f4 is a cracking lens for the money, and perfect on FF, Back before I went digital and APS-C , on film, my trio was this FA20-35/f4, FA*85/f1.4 and FA*200/f2.8, diddnt need much more for normal shooting days out.
Yes, the F/FA of this lens seem ok, and you mention film, which is always something but I hoped to see if someone can compare any of them to a more modern lens on digital, but thanks for the input! (Or did you use it on digital as well, and if so on what bodies?)

twomonger: Thanks for the info about solutions outside pentax, but at the moment I'm not very keen on switching or getting additional systems (for various reasons...I think I might have gone with pentax even if getting in from 0 today as well).

QuoteOriginally posted by Gedeon Quote
solution is sigma 21-35mm. FF lens, i personnaly make some tests and it's pretty damn good, very surprising piece of glass....
It's manual though? Or is there an AF version as well...didn't see it in the reviews section.

QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
K-1 + 20-40 lim perfect combination for street photography? - Page 2 - PentaxForums.com

Sigma 20-40 f2.8 is mentioned in that thread along with others mentioned above.
Oh my, I had missed this one, looks really promising by just reading about it but will need to research it more. Probably not a lot better than 24-70, if at all, but if less than half the price it might be a more agreeable compromise...seems rare though.

QuoteOriginally posted by RAART Quote
Does it has to be zoom or you can get away with 2 primes (manual focus or auto focus) and a zoom lens... I meant 20mm and 24mm primes and get the zoom from 28mm. This is the compromise as you said you barely use 20mm width therefore you have it only for occasional use and you can get it later if you feel you need one and you have to swap only for tight places to 24mm.

You have there multiple choices for 24mm and for 20mm only two, Pentax FA 20mm (AF) and Samyang 20mm (MF).

There are Sigma's 20mm and 24mm, AF primes but not sure how they perform.

Personally if I were in your shoes I will get Pentax FA 24mm or Samyang 24mm (prefer Samyang, but MF) and maybe Tamron zoom 28-70mm.
Thanks, but no, with small kids I don't have time to fiddle too much with switching lenses so the main goal is not having to switch in the 24-35mm range (so don't want to split it into 24+28-X, and preferably about 20-40 in the same lens). AF is also a requirement since they move arounbd quite a bit. IQ-wise, if I were single, or perhaps just without kids, I'd go more with primes as you say to get the most of each shot, but don't have that "luxury" now =)
12-19-2017, 04:33 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Igor123 Quote
It's manual though? Or is there an AF version as well...didn't see it in the reviews section.
yes the sigma 21-35mm is manual

an exemple from last hour, in front of my home

12-19-2017, 04:34 AM   #15
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I have no problem pixel peeping with my Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 HSM.
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