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10-03-2008, 06:47 AM   #1
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What's the best of these 3 super-wides: Sigma 10-20, Pentax 14, or Pentax 12-24?

I'm going on vacation towards the end of the month and I want to rent a lens for some landscape shots at a state park. The super-wide I own I've never been happy with (it's one of those lenses I hate), but since I'm almost flat-broke, I can't afford to just simply buy a new wide-angle (unless it's super-cheap). So I want to rent one for my K20d, and the reviews I've been reading for all three make them sound almost equally-good. I'm going to be shooting all day into sunset, and then into the night for a laser-light show, so I'll need something that'll be a good all-around performer regardless of light levels. Can anyone point me in the right direction with these 3 lenses? I'm currently leaning towards the Pentax 14mm for it's speed, but I'm wondering if a little wider-angle would be better.

10-03-2008, 07:05 AM   #2
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I can't comment on the Sirma 10-20 or the Pentax 14. but I do have the Pentax 12-24 and I am very pleased with it. Before I bought it, I was very concerned about chromatic aberrations and purple fringing, but after a few shots, I discovered this is quite a great performer. Of course it has aberrations and a bit of purple fringing, but its too low to even pay attention to it. In short words, the only ones that would notice this are other photographers that dont look at your pictures.... for the image, but for its defects.. Do you get my point?

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10-03-2008, 07:34 AM   #3
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I like my 10-20...gives you nice wide angles and you get to play with perspective distortion (this part is a learning experience though) to get some interesting shots or you can push it up to 16mm to get rid of most of it.
None of the ultra wides are really fast enough for low light usage, so you'll need a tripod. They all need to be stopped down to f/11 or so for best performance...
10-03-2008, 10:32 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
None of the ultra wides are really fast enough for low light usage, so you'll need a tripod.
f/2.8 isn't fast enough for you?
I have the Sigma 14, which does pretty well in low light. Half second exposures at f/2.8 aren't terribly hard to handhold, provided you are able to steady yourself against something. It is a hefty lens though, so if you need light/protable don't go for it.

10-03-2008, 10:45 AM   #5
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if you get a fine copy of the sigma, that extra 2mm is noticeable. the "depth" you get from the distortion is unbelievable. things up close really feel/look in your face. i was very happy with mine when i was using a nikon system. build quality is very good, i love the feel of the focus and zoom rings, lovely damping.
10-03-2008, 11:32 AM   #6
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define "best"

the extra 2 mm of the sigma helps a lot.

I use mine on vacation and in interiors (cathedrals etc) when in europe. Lack of speed is not an issue with shake reduction. overall 12% of my shots in total, and 60% with this lens are at 10mm, I would miss it if I didn;t have it.

No one will argue the 14mm prime probably has the best image quality and faster, and that within it's range the 12-24 from pentax is also a very fine lens.

For vacations I find the zooms are more practical.
10-03-2008, 11:33 AM   #7
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I'm interested in a solid answer on these lens as well. So much so I've been thinking of renting them for a test session before I invest further. Nobody would practically need all three lens which is most likely why a "side-by-side" comparison hasn't surfaced. Anybody got any good criteria for testing wide-angle lens? Maybe I should start a seperate thread on this.
10-03-2008, 11:34 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
define "best"

the extra 2 mm of the sigma helps a lot.

I use mine on vacation and in interiors (cathedrals etc) when in europe. Lack of speed is not an issue with shake reduction. overall 12% of my shots in total, and 60% with this lens are at 10mm, I would miss it if I didn;t have it.

No one will argue the 14mm prime probably has the best image quality and faster, and that within it's range the 12-24 from pentax is also a very fine lens.

For vacations I find the zooms are more practical.
i would've liked the SR with the 10-20, i didn't have that with my nikon

10-03-2008, 11:41 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by tybeck Quote
I'm interested in a solid answer on these lens as well. So much so I've been thinking of renting them for a test session before I invest further. Nobody would practically need all three lens which is most likely why a "side-by-side" comparison hasn't surfaced. Anybody got any good criteria for testing wide-angle lens? Maybe I should start a seperate thread on this.
you can compare the technical stuff on photozone, i think they've got all of them the sigma i'm not so sure if they have a review on the pentax mount

thom hogan, a nikon guy, used the 10-20 instead of the 12-24 before he went full-frame even if the 12-24 was superior to the 10-20 in pretty much every way (optics/sharpness, build, af-speed). i asked him why and he said he loves that extra 2mm and when stopped down, the sigma is excellent.

since i used it mostly on landscapes and on a tripod, i stopped it down most of the time. even wide open i liked it for those casual wide-angle fun. love the HSM (don't know if the pentax has HSM), very fast (much faster than my 16-50 SDM), and very quiet.

so do you need the speed, extra 2mm, flexibility of the zoom vs. a prime? i also liked the sigma because it was a lot cheaper than the nikkor and has excellent support/warranty where i'm from.

hope that helps!
10-03-2008, 11:58 AM   #10
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Hmmm. I'm finding myself leaning towards the Siggy now. It'd be cheaper to rent than either of the others, too.
10-03-2008, 03:10 PM   #11
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I can't ultimately answer your question but I can say that now I have a good copy of the Sigma 10-20 it's an excellent lens, although personally I don't always like the 10mm "goldfish bowl" effect....

incidentally when I was purchasing it I spoke the a UK Pentax Dealer (SRSmicrosystems) who told me that the Sigma was better than the
Pentax 12-24 ???

simon
10-03-2008, 03:46 PM   #12
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I have the 10-20mm and although I cannot comment on the others as I don't have them, the 10-20 is excellent, and above all else, fun!

Any would be good to have.
10-03-2008, 03:57 PM   #13
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Had the DA14 but sold it in favor of the DA 1224 zoom. Tested both Sigma 1020 and DA1224 before I bought the DA1224 and I prefer the DA1224 better: smoother zoom and better MF feel, 24mm is more useful to me than 10mm, and I feel 20mm is too wide sometimes, 24mm is just nice. F4 constant aperture is nice bonus too.

The Sigma 1020 is an excellent lens too, I'm sure you can't go wrong w/ either one. But to me, I prefer the 1224 range w/ F4 constant aperture.
10-03-2008, 04:59 PM   #14
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I've got the DA 14 and it is an excellent lens; however, having played with my brothers 10-20 (on an Alpha 700), the increased amount of coverage would be nice.
10-03-2008, 06:08 PM   #15
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Both are good lenses, I chose the 12-24 - liked what I saw from the Sigma, but something about the colors of the 12-24 got me.

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