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04-27-2009, 08:51 PM   #1
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Pentax 12-24/Sigma 10-20/Tamron 10-24

Let me start by saying I know there is discussion of these lenses on this forum already, and I have read them, carefully. But they are not enough for me to make my final decision on what my ultra-wide zoom is going to be. In short, I need more help.

So, for those with patience and a genuine concern to educate a soon-to-be-owner of one of these lenses, I am asking for more help. A few things I should make clear.

--The widest I have shot thus far on my K20 is 17mm.
--I want the best lens of this group--cost of the lens not important
--It sounds like ultra-wide has its own quirky shooting to master
--I have no brand loyalty whatsoever
--I shoot a lot of landscapes, often in not so bright forests, but would not rule out shooting indoors with this lens
--I am, as implied by my introductory sentence, already aware of the basic offerings each lens brings to the table
--I am also aware of specs

I am mainly seeking those who have experience in ultra-wide shooting in general, and with any of these 3 lenses in particular. I understand there are many intangibles which go into making a lens a good one, and these can transcend reviews and specs. Sorry about this long-winded discussion, but I want to be as precise as possible so I can reap as much help as possible. I have been saving for this purchase for some time.

04-28-2009, 08:00 AM   #2
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I can personally recommend the Pentax 12-24mm/4. The distortion is well control and to my eye the color rendition is spot on. Really you can't go wrong with this lens. Can't say it's the "best" since I've not tested the other options you mention. From my reading, at least for the Pentax and Sigma wide angle zooms, there is a lot of debate. For me it was the constant aperture and range that sold me. 12-24 is about the range I work in for landscapes (I also use my Pentax 16-45/4) and it overlaps covers the lower 20mm range where my other primary lens, Tamron 28-75mm/2.8 leaves off.

I will offer one suggestion for you to make your decision. If you can't decide on a lens why not rent or borrow them for a few days. Play around with them and see which you like the best. From what I've heard they are all very close in quality of build and photo rendition.
04-28-2009, 11:44 AM   #3
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I tried a friends Sigma 10-20 the other day and was not as impressed as I am with my Pentax 12-24. Yes, there is a difference between 10mm and 12mm but I think the Pentax deals with distortion much better than the Sigma. As tybeck mentioned color rendition is spot on and the pentax has got better contrast to my mind. I'd say that purple fringing is a little worse between the two and flare resistance is slightly better with the Pentax, so I'd say that they even each other out in those departments. The thing I really love on the Pentax that doesn't exsist on the Sigma is being able to manually tweak focus with the pentax. I can't say how many times I wanted to "touch up" the focus a bit and was unable to easily with the Sigma. Even tho the Pentax cost me more than my friend paid for his Sigma, I think I got the better bargin. BTW I am NOT a 'buy Pentax' type person, I've got and use lenses from Pentax, Sigma, Tamron, Ricoh and Zenitar.

edit: Also check out the Tokina 12-24 review on DPR, I think it is close to identical to the Pentax 12-24

NaCl(not a contest in my mind)H2O

Last edited by NaClH2O; 04-28-2009 at 11:47 AM. Reason: remembered the tokina review
04-28-2009, 02:45 PM   #4
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The difference between 10mm and 12mm is one foot backward...

The 12-24 is really worth the price. The 10-17 too

04-28-2009, 02:49 PM   #5
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I agree with fs99 - while I have not tired the Sigma (other than in the Camera Shop when originally looking at them) or the Tamron - I love the Pentax DA 12-24 so much so that once I bought by DA* 16-50 - I sold the DA 12-24. What you say .....well three weeks later I bought another one . I also have the DA 10-17 and for cerrtain situations it can act as a nice wide angle without too much distortion.
04-28-2009, 03:15 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by daacon Quote
I agree with fs99 - while I have not tired the Sigma (other than in the Camera Shop when originally looking at them) or the Tamron - I love the Pentax DA 12-24 so much so that once I bought by DA* 16-50 - I sold the DA 12-24. What you say .....well three weeks later I bought another one . I also have the DA 10-17 and for cerrtain situations it can act as a nice wide angle without too much distortion.
The Pentax 12-24 out classes the new Limited 15mm.
04-28-2009, 07:06 PM   #7
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The 12-24 not only renders better than the 10-20, but out of the 3 lenses you are interested in, the 12-24 has by far the best build quality. It's mostly metal body makes the others look pretty fragile in comparison. One good bump and I had to send my 10-20 back to Sigma. The Sigma is a fun lens but I wish I had skipped it and bought the highly durable 12-24 to begin with. Best color too!
04-28-2009, 07:13 PM   #8
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QuoteQuote:
The difference between 10mm and 12mm is one foot backward...
Wrong.

QuoteQuote:
The 12-24 is really worth the price. The 10-17 too
Right.

04-28-2009, 09:56 PM   #9
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Wow, I must say I am surprised by what is a unanimous decision for the Da, based on these meaningful contributions above me. Though, in all fairness to the Tamron, its release in Pentax mount is scheduled for the end of May/early June (according to Tamron Rep I spoke with on phone). What has raised my interest in the Tamron, is it's purported to have an amazing resistance to flare--see full-size images here for example: Tamron SP 10-24 Di II Hands-on Review A Photographic Saga: Photography and Lifestyle - General Santos City. BTW, just checked this and learned full-size pics are currently not available--hmmmmmm.

However, given the credence I give to some of the posts here, I sense I'm on the verge of owning my first Da lens. Thank you, everyone, for taking the time to help me!
QuoteQuote:
SpecialK: Right
This is nice and reassuring--thanks.

QuoteQuote:
jeffkpotter The 12-24 not only renders better than the 10-20, but out of the 3 lenses you are interested in, the 12-24 has by far the best build quality. It's mostly metal body makes the others look pretty fragile in comparison
Build quality is important--thanks, I'd read that, but is is good to hear it from an actual owner.

QuoteQuote:
Benjikan: The Pentax 12-24 out classes the new Limited 15mm.
This has to be the most convincing statement I've read for the Da--any zoom outperforming a Pentax Prime must be a gem! Thank you Ben

QuoteQuote:
daacon I agree with fs99 - while I have not tired the Sigma (other than in the Camera Shop when originally looking at them) or the Tamron - I love the Pentax DA 12-24 so much so that once I bought by DA* 16-50 - I sold the DA 12-24. What you say .....well three weeks later I bought another one
Ben's case for the Da is potent, but your little story here is no slouch. Buying the Da 12-24, mostly for its 12 to 15mm reach says a lot about its performance to me. Thanks.

QuoteQuote:
Fs999: The 12-24 is really worth the price.
Nice, just what I want to hear---

QuoteQuote:
NaClH2O: BTW I am NOT a 'buy Pentax' type person, I've got and use lenses from Pentax, Sigma, Tamron, Ricoh and Zenitar.
Adding even more weight to this one-sided decision--thank you. and for the focus info which is very important to me as well.
QuoteQuote:
tybeck: I can personally recommend the Pentax 12-24mm/4. The distortion is well control and to my eye the color rendition is spot on. Really you can't go wrong with this lens.
A personal recommendation goes a long way for me, especially in a thread where all parties were invited to vote. Thanks
04-29-2009, 11:51 AM   #10
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Here is a sample of the 12-24 shot for West East Magazine..

"Chucky's in Love" photo - Benjamin Kanarek photos at pbase.com
Attached Images
 
04-29-2009, 12:37 PM   #11
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QuoteQuote:
benjikan Here is a sample of the 12-24 shot for West East Magazine..
Now that is an awesome shot, lighting used to perfection--bravo!
04-29-2009, 08:02 PM   #12
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You can see some of what the DA 12-24 can do directly into the sun on my Flickr site. Only one shot shows flare. I was pleasantly astounded!
04-29-2009, 11:23 PM   #13
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QuoteQuote:
You can see some of what the DA 12-24 can do directly into the sun on my Flickr site. Only one shot shows flare. I was pleasantly astounded!
Albert, I looked @ 4 pages @ Flickr and saw many nice photos, but nothing directly into the sun, or close to that, with the 12-24. Of course, I am not familiar with Flicker--what am I doing wrong?

The shots at Elk river are very nice, giving clear evidence of the 12-24's nice rendering. Thanks for the invite.
04-29-2009, 11:26 PM   #14
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Achilles' Heel=CA?

Not here, but outside the forum there are reports which make Ca on the Da into an issue--some people make it a big issue. This seems to be the only complaint brought to the table for this fine lens.

Anyone here care to comment?
04-30-2009, 08:56 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
Albert, I looked @ 4 pages @ Flickr and saw many nice photos, but nothing directly into the sun, or close to that, with the 12-24. Of course, I am not familiar with Flicker--what am I doing wrong?

The shots at Elk river are very nice, giving clear evidence of the 12-24's nice rendering. Thanks for the invite.
The Elk river shots are into the sun. If you look at the first vertical in the series, you can see the sun is right at the top of the frame. Go to the original size, and you can see some CA along the branches. The original size is a full size jpeg out of Lightroom with no Post Processing.

Last edited by Canada_Rockies; 04-30-2009 at 09:02 AM. Reason: Clarity
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