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03-14-2009, 02:41 PM   #1
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35/2 or 30/1.4 - which one would you get?

Hi all,

I have covered the entire 10 - 200 mm focal lenght with three zooms (10-17, 17-70, 70-200) and I'm quite happy with that setup. However, when I was shooting a funeral couple of weeks ago, I had serious trouble with 17-70 since it couldn't lock AF in a darkish church. So, I have happily allowed myself to buy another lens, a fast prime. The trouble is that I just can't make up my mind which one to get: Pentax 35/2 or Sigma 30/1.4 (that is the focal lenght I want - unfortunetlly I can't afford 31/1.8 at the moment). Sigma is a bit more expensive but I can get a good deal from my trusted dealer so there will be no price difference to base my decision on. In the user reviews, Sigma seems to have better grades than Pentax. On the other hand, Pentax is smaller and lighter, but also a tad slower. In Photozone.de, according to the MTF charts Pentax is a clear winner, especially in the corner sharpness. I had Sigma a short time with EOS 50D, and if i remember correctly, I wasn't quite happy with it . my copy was quite soft wide open but in those dharts it seems that Pentax is quite sharp wide open. My main use for this new lens would be dimly lit situations and walk-around when I wan't to push my composition skills by carrying just one lens. Suggestions, anyone?

Regards,

Jari

03-14-2009, 02:51 PM   #2
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While I have no experience with the Sigma, I own 35/2 and must say this is a stellar lens. I love it from the first moment i put it on my camera. It's very sharp and universal. Before, I used to carry just F50/1.4 but it gets very seldom used now cause I like the color rendering of 35/2 much better. You might also want to consider DA 35/2.8 Limited which is also a very famed lens, not so fast as your choices though.
03-14-2009, 03:02 PM   #3
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I'd be inclined to get the pentax 35/2.0 -- although if you really prefer the 30mm-ish focal length you could also consider the autofocus Sigma 28/1.8.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/37790-sigma-28...-35-f-2-a.html
03-14-2009, 03:12 PM   #4
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I have the 35 f2 and its a great lens. The focal length is just right for indoor photos especially in a restaurant setting where you don't want to flash.

the Sigma 30 f1.4 has a nice fast aperture and the field of view is a bit wider which I actually prefer. I tried this lens on a Nikon D90 and found the wide open shots to be a bit soft and hazy; it was no where near as sharp as the 35 f2. Then again, we're talking about a wider lens with an even wider aperture. The center performance is great, but the corners are pretty soft.

Get the 35 f2 if you can find it

03-14-2009, 03:36 PM   #5
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I realize that it wasn't tested on a Pentax, but photozone didn't think too highly of the Sigma. Note the border and extreme border IQ falloff. LINK
I don't base my lens purchases solely on Photozone, but their opinion does weigh heavily as their tests (for IQ) are objective and qualitative more than subjective like you get on some other review sites or other [un named] forums.

Last edited by Parallax; 03-14-2009 at 03:43 PM.
03-14-2009, 03:53 PM   #6
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Sigma AF 30mm f/1.4 EX DC (Pentax K) Review / Test Report

Heres the Pentax test
03-14-2009, 03:56 PM   #7
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Despite the fact that my old Sigma 30mm (now sold) is my favorite lens that I've owned so far... I'd say go with the pentax. It's approximately a stop slower but the image quality overall just looks spectacular...
03-14-2009, 04:00 PM   #8
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Please pardon my ignorance as I hope not to offend you with my question, but is it common in Finland to take pictures at funerals?

03-14-2009, 04:01 PM   #9
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What I find extremly "bizarre" with this test, is that on 31mm Limited and 35mm tests there are no extrem border results !

This lens is not so soft...



03-14-2009, 04:11 PM   #10
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Despite what everyone is saying, this is a matter of speed. If you NEED f/1.4, then there's only one lens you can buy. If you can make do with f/2, then you have a choice to make, and you should probably go the Pentax route.

As somebody who tends to shoot in unavailable light often, I make my lens choices based on speed, because if I need it, I NEED it.
03-14-2009, 04:14 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by beaumont Quote
Please pardon my ignorance as I hope not to offend you with my question, but is it common in Finland to take pictures at funerals?
Uhhhhhhhhhhhh....

Ditto.

You photographed a funeral?
03-15-2009, 12:23 AM   #12
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OK, it seems that Pentax is getting more votes... I am tempted to go for it, despite the fact that it [edited: it means Sigma] is wider and faster, but the IQ worries me. It is not very useful to have a faster lens if it needs to be stopped down a couple of stops to get usable IQ. Anyway, f2 is much faster than (17-70) f4, and I like the size of 35/2 and the fact that it is Pentax - even the built quality seems to be comparable even I highly appreciate Sigma's EX. Shops are not open until tomorrow, so I have some time to think but I think Pentax it is. Thanks all for your effort!

And then the cultural difference question: the question about shooting funerals isn't offending but a bit strange - I could have thought that it is common practice in all Western countries to take photographs at funerals. It wasn't a commercial shoot, of course, but a favour to the dead person's family. I knew the deceased also well. I have never heard that anyone would hire a photographer to the funeral, usually people are taking photos with compacts or camera phones for themselves. But, since I had the equipment and some know-how, I promised to the family that I'll take the pictures they wanted.

Many thanks all,

Jari
03-15-2009, 03:14 AM   #13
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Better wait for Pentax 31, f1:1,8.
High quality means wise investment. This will make you happy, starting from 1,8.
And choose the silver one.
03-15-2009, 03:58 AM   #14
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I used to have both lenses. Sold the FA 35mm to my friend, and kept the Sigma 30 1.4, as I find that 1.4 can be invalueable when you need it. Just make sure you test the Sigma first before you get it.
If you have K20, then using AF adjustment, you can ensure correct focus.

My first copy needed more than -10 to be tack sharp.. so I returned and the second copy needed to adjust to -7 for the lens to be tack sharp even wide open. The corner sharpness issues mentioned by many review sites are not a real problem to my photos so far.
03-15-2009, 08:43 AM   #15
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And then the cultural difference question: the question about shooting funerals isn't offending but a bit strange - I could have thought that it is common practice in all Western countries to take photographs at funerals. It wasn't a commercial shoot, of course, but a favour to the dead person's family. I knew the deceased also well. I have never heard that anyone would hire a photographer to the funeral, usually people are taking photos with compacts or camera phones for themselves. But, since I had the equipment and some know-how, I promised to the family that I'll take the pictures they wanted.

Many thanks all,

Jari[/QUOTE]
With regards to your comment "I could have thought that it is common practice in all Western countries to take photographs at funerals", you are absolutely correct. As mentioned Jari, I didn't mean to offend, just curious. In Canada, the only memory I have of a camera at a funeral was when the children (who had gathered from around the world) of the recently departed got together afterwards for a rare group shot. (Having said that, perhaps it's a common occurence in Canada too?...)

More importantly re the lens, I went for the 31ltd (even though it was a stretch financially) and I have never regretted it. Good luck with whatever you decide!
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