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View Poll Results: Is the Pentax 17-70 worth the extra cost over the price of a Sigma 17-70?
Yes 5354.08%
No 4545.92%
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02-07-2009, 08:29 PM   #1
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Sigma or Pentax 17-70?

I currently have the DA16-45 that covers this range, but I've found that in many cases, 45 simply isn't long enough for how I shoot. I used to have a Sigma 17-70 and was pretty happy with the focal range on it, so I know that will work for me. Now that we have a more expensive Pentax option, the question in my mind is whether or not the Pentax is worth the extra money ($150 or so). I've read the Photozone reviews, which indicate that the Pentax version is better, numbers-wise, but is it enough difference that I should plunk down the extra money?

BTW, I'm not that much into pixel peeping and don't plan on making huge poster-sized prints. I would be using this lens with both my K20 and K200 bodies.

Thanks!
Heather

02-07-2009, 08:53 PM   #2
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Consider also the filter diamater (67 for the pentax vs 72 for the sigma). The Pentax will require slightly cheaper filters. Also, the Pentax has a rubber ring on the mount that provides some sealing.

EDIT: You own DA 16-45 which has 67mm filter diameter: So you'll be able to reuse 16-45's filters on the 17-70. Perhaps, that $150 difference will shrink to approx. $0. EDIT2: Or perhaps, if you own two coated 67mm filters (say ~100 dollars each), the Sigma will actually cost you more! So if you already own (edit)several expensive(/edit) filters for the 16-45, the question is inappropriate.

Last edited by asdf; 02-07-2009 at 09:53 PM.
02-07-2009, 08:55 PM   #3
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I don't think the difference in IQ is very big, i.e. not noticeable under normal viewing conditions. What you pay for is quick-shift, SDM and the warm fuzzy feeling of having a Pentax lens, and you loose the close-up focusing of the Sigma. If that's worth it or not is really up to you to decide. I'm struggling with the same decision myself, actually, although I've also thrown weather-sealing and f/2.8 into the mix with the 16-50.
All the reports of failing SDM motors make me a bit skeptical about the new Pentax zooms, though, so maybe I'll just go with a couple primes instead... Decisions...
02-07-2009, 09:02 PM   #4
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Something to take into account is the quietness of the AF. I have the Sigma and it's fairly noisy, though I don't really mind (others might). Some have attested0 being quiet (see sig above!) for the pentax 17-70. The extra stops at the wide end are especially nice, I like my copy very much and wouldn't spend $150 upgrade myself. Others may disagree, of course

Apparently, they both weigh-in at about the same heft too.

02-07-2009, 09:10 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by systemA Quote
Something to take into account is the quietness of the AF. I have the Sigma and it's fairly noisy, though I don't really mind (others might). Some have attested0 being quiet (see sig above!) for the pentax 17-70. The extra stops at the wide end are especially nice, I like my copy very much and wouldn't spend $150 upgrade myself. Others may disagree, of course

Apparently, they both weigh-in at about the same heft too.
If you own two ~$100 67mm filters, the difference is $50 in Pentax's favor.
02-07-2009, 09:33 PM   #6
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I have a 67mm UV, cpl, and nd4 filters and I don't think I spent even $100 for all 3 (I shop around!). If I get rid of the 16-45, I could still get a fairly decent amount of money for my UV filter, as it's a Hoya ProDigital 1 filter.

One thing that I am taking into consideration is that I'm planning on attending an outdoor photography workshop in April. If I do decide to go with the DA17-70, then I'll have to wait until after the workshop, as I doubt that I'll be able to afford it beforehand. With the Sigma, I could either trade or sell the 16-45 and have enough or almost enough money to get the Sigma before the workshop.

Another thing that I'm considering is that I have 2 bodies, so if I'm carrying both, I could always mount the 16-45 on one body and a longer lens on the other (most likely the 55-300 if I just need length or DFA100 if I need more length and macro).

Heather
02-07-2009, 09:56 PM   #7
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Good luck with your econometric computations.
02-07-2009, 10:13 PM   #8
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Heather,

Have thought about keeping your DA16-45 and just adding a DA70 for the extra reach. You already have a DA21 and a FA43. So by adding a DA70 you will have a complete set of primes. You can travel light by taking one body with the DA16-45 and with the DA70 in you bag or pocket.

02-07-2009, 10:57 PM   #9
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If you can afford it, get the Pentax for these three letters - SMC. I've never used either 17-70, but it's been my general experience that Sigma lenses don't handle flare as well as Pentax lenses.

As an example I present two photos with the sun in a somewhat similar location, and sunlight directly striking the front element. Both flare of course, but I find the Pentax flare to not make a big deal about it where the Sigma often blows up.

Sigma 24-60mm f/2.8 EX DG... f/8


Pentax DA* 16-50... f/8

Based on B&H, $120 more for the Pentax and you get SMC, SDM, quick shift, a zoom ring and focus ring which turn the same way as your other Pentax lenses (that's nice), that little pop-out window in the hood for using a CPL... Yeah, it's worth it.

But, if you want the lens for the trip, and you can get the Sigma in time but not the Pentax, I'd say pick up a used copy of the Sigma - use it on your trip and then when you're ready to upgrade, you can sell it again for what you've got into it and there you go.
02-08-2009, 02:36 AM   #10
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go Pentax!
I've never used either of those 17-70 but:
SMC DOES MAKE DIFFERENCE!
But to be honest, I really like Stratario's proposition. Keep 16-45 (it's a great lens after all) and add DA70/2.4.
BR
02-08-2009, 02:55 AM   #11
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Personally I went for the Sigma even though I could have afforded the Pentax. The cost of the Pentax in the UK was around 150 ($220 ish) and none of the additional features such as SDM or weather sealing were that important to me and the fact that the Sigma is faster at the wider end was more important.

I would say that I don't like the feel of the manual focussing on the Sigma and I would have like the quick shift focus ring of the Pentax.

I'm sure you will be delighted with either lens as they are both highly thought of.

I'm surprised some people have mentioned SMC - I hadn't noticed any difference with my Pentax and Sigma lenses?
02-08-2009, 07:21 AM   #12
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I like that idea!

QuoteOriginally posted by Stratario Quote
Heather,

Have thought about keeping your DA16-45 and just adding a DA70 for the extra reach. You already have a DA21 and a FA43. So by adding a DA70 you will have a complete set of primes. You can travel light by taking one body with the DA16-45 and with the DA70 in you bag or pocket.
Off and on, I've thought about getting the DA70, anyhow, especially since Ned announced that the Limited lens case will be in stores soon (NED BUNNELL: DA Limited Lens Case). Since I've already got the 21 & 43, so all I would need to fill up the case is the 70--this adorable little case has gotten very expensive.

If I do decide to go this route, then I'll have to wait until at least summer to get one since that's probably the earliest I'd have the money. In the meantime, I have the F35-70, which could cover that end and is still compact.

Thanks for all the help so far.

Heather
02-09-2009, 12:01 PM   #13
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I will say, yes with the caveat that I don't have personal experience with the Sigma. I have been quite pleased so far with the DA17-70 and it appears to be at least as good as the DA16-45 in the overlapping range. I also consider the very mild amount of extra speed at the long end more valuable than the short end - this is where you would want it most for both DoF control for portraits and for camera shake reduction. So if I combine this with the 'net wisdom' that the DA16-45 is a smidge better than the Sigma 17-70 where they overlap, along with fast & quiet SDM focusing, along with 67mm filters (good for me as I have several lense taking 67mm and none taking 72) the DA17-70/4 looks like a winner. Additionallly, since nearly all my lenses are Pentax, the consistent direction of zoom and focus rings (Sigma are reversed) is a "good thing." Until now i've been preferring the FA24-90/3.5-4.5 because of its extra reach. Honestly though you should consider whether these very small differences are worth the time, expense, and trouble for you--its one thing to make the decision when you don't own any, its another if you're trading something you already own.
02-09-2009, 12:10 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by heliphoto Quote
If you can afford it, get the Pentax for these three letters - SMC. I've never used either 17-70, but it's been my general experience that Sigma lenses don't handle flare as well as Pentax lenses.

As an example I present two photos with the sun in a somewhat similar location, and sunlight directly striking the front element. Both flare of course, but I find the Pentax flare to not make a big deal about it where the Sigma often blows up.

Sigma 24-60mm f/2.8 EX DG... f/8


Pentax DA* 16-50... f/8

Based on B&H, $120 more for the Pentax and you get SMC, SDM, quick shift, a zoom ring and focus ring which turn the same way as your other Pentax lenses (that's nice), that little pop-out window in the hood for using a CPL... Yeah, it's worth it.

But, if you want the lens for the trip, and you can get the Sigma in time but not the Pentax, I'd say pick up a used copy of the Sigma - use it on your trip and then when you're ready to upgrade, you can sell it again for what you've got into it and there you go.

Heliphoto, on a side note, were those shots taken in Zion?


.
02-09-2009, 02:36 PM   #15
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Heather, you already have several lenses that cover short portrait / mild telephoto. You only have one that will do 16mm, and it's a good'un, especially at the wide end. I don't understand why you want another Sigma, which appears to be a slight backward step in IQ. The Pentax at least has SDM, which is a nice feature and well worth the extra $, IMO. But do you really need a replacement zoom? Maybe you do. Only you know how you use your camera and where you want your lens collection to end up.

In looking at your listed lenses, I don't see a hole I'd need to plug. What I would miss most if I had your kit instead of mine would be a good flash first of all, then a second body.

Last edited by audiobomber; 02-09-2009 at 02:58 PM.
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