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05-23-2009, 06:56 PM   #1
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Finally, Made My Ultra-Wide Decision

After many weeks of reading, and many more of saving, I finally arrived at a decision for my ultra-wide lens. Here are some of the reasons I chose the lens I did:

1) Could not get the lens I wanted: Wanted the Tokina 11-16mm f 2.8. I sent an e-mail to Tokina and asked if they might release this awesome lens in Pentax Mount--they did not even answer my e-mail. I have a vacation on the Applachian trail in early June, this ruled out Tamron's 10-24mm too.

2) What was said here was very influential: PentaxForums.com Third-Party Pentax Lens Review Database - 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM (AF Lens)

3) The Sigma 4-year Warranty

4) Excellent CA control

5) Review here: Sigma Lens: Zooms - Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM (Tested) - SLRgear.com!

6) Really wanted 10 & 11mm focal lengths

7) Lens is reportedly distortion free from 12-20mm

8) Only need the 10-16mm reach, since I'm happy with 17mm up on Tamron 17-50mm 2.8

9) Even though money was not a factor, $425.oo shipped to my door is hard to argue with

10) The beautiful shots all over the web: for example, Flickr: Phototraveler7's stuff tagged with sigma Full-size sample photos from Sigma 10-20mm F/4-5.6 Flickriver: Photoset 'Sigma 10 20' by Palometa Sigma 10-20 F4-5.6 EX DC 201-205 - Dyxum forums - Page 1

I've had the lens a couple of days and am honestly impressed. It is much better indoors than I thought it would be. As reported, distortion is controllable by carefully watching the viewfinder. I find the lens sharp enough, even wide open and @ 10mm, though it in no way is as sharp as my Tamron 17-50mm. On the other hand, the Sigma has more accurate colors and better contrast than the Tamron.

Also, the lens meters more accurately than anything I have used on my K20 for some reason. The AF is very quick and accurate. It comes with a hood & nice soft case. The lens exceeds my expectations. Nothing special, but here are my first shots with it--from our local Bike path. No PPing or cropping:


Last edited by Jewelltrail; 09-25-2009 at 09:09 AM.
05-23-2009, 08:47 PM   #2
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Looks like a winner! the last one is tad unsharp? maybe just the downscaling =)
05-23-2009, 09:09 PM   #3
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congrats Ernest, very nice lens indeed. Look forward to more of your images.

Daivd
05-23-2009, 09:16 PM   #4
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Nice lens JT!

The Sigma 10-20 was always on my wish list, please keep us (me) filled in on your results.

Ray

05-23-2009, 09:30 PM   #5
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QuoteQuote:
Andi Lo
Looks like a winner! the last one is tad unsharp? maybe just the downscaling =)
Thanks Andi. I agree with you--I believe the combination of 320 iso & underexposure is part of it, along with some wind. But this is wide open too, @ 20mm--I'll watch this combo for the future. I was using the underexposure to highlight the subject's brightness.

Here is the same shot, but more to the right, though not maximized to the right--it may look sharper? It is also @ f9

Last edited by Jewelltrail; 09-25-2009 at 09:09 AM.
05-23-2009, 09:31 PM   #6
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QuoteQuote:
IS050
congrats Ernest, very nice lens indeed. Look forward to more of your images.

Daivd
Thanks David--it is nice to have the support!
05-23-2009, 11:01 PM   #7
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The wide lens that I plan to buy doesn't exist yet: a prime, between 10 and 20mm, around f/2, with SDM/HSM--one that has ~0% distortion and doesn't suck wide open, i.e., a wide version of the new Sigma 50 or the new Pentax 55. The upcoming Sigma 10-20 f/3.5 HSM sounds interesting though. EDIT: Why didn't you wait for that one?
05-24-2009, 12:47 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by asdf Quote
The upcoming Sigma 10-20 f/3.5 HSM sounds interesting though. EDIT: Why didn't you wait for that one?
I was in doubt between the DA 12-24 and the Sigma 12-24.
Now I Hope the new version of Sigma can be better!

Thank you Jewelltrail for your feedback. The lens looks very good. It is strange, many enthusiastic opinions on the Sigma, but also some not as good.
While for the Pentax I found only positive opinions.

05-24-2009, 07:29 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by asdf Quote
The wide lens that I plan to buy doesn't exist yet: a prime, between 10 and 20mm, around f/2, with SDM/HSM--one that has ~0% distortion and doesn't suck wide open, i.e., a wide version of the new Sigma 50 or the new Pentax 55. The upcoming Sigma 10-20 f/3.5 HSM sounds interesting though. EDIT: Why didn't you wait for that one?
What about the Pentax FA 20mm F2.8? The only thing it doesn't have on your wish list is the SDM/HSM. It is a screw drive auto focus, but it's quite quick. F2.8 is not F2.0 but it is around F2.0. Close focus, tack sharp even wide open, and that wonderful Pentax bokeh.

NaCl(one of my favorites)H2O
05-24-2009, 07:33 AM   #10
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Nice shots JT and congrats on your new acquisition. May you have many happy years with it.

NaCl(it's always cool to see somebody struggle over a decision and be happy with the outcome)H2O
05-24-2009, 09:00 AM   #11
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Wide Open Shots

QuoteQuote:
Andi Lo Looks like a winner! the last one is tad unsharp? maybe just the downscaling =)
Andi, I believe I got a tad closer than the minimum focus distance for that shot. These are all wide open, at the 2 focal extremes no PPing or cropping, just resampled Raws:

Last edited by Jewelltrail; 09-25-2009 at 09:10 AM.
05-24-2009, 09:48 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by asdf Quote
The wide lens that I plan to buy doesn't exist yet: a prime, between 10 and 20mm, around f/2, with SDM/HSM--one that has ~0% distortion and doesn't suck wide open, i.e., a wide version of the new Sigma 50 or the new Pentax 55...
With a mass/size/price-shrinking field around it so it'll weigh 200 grams, take 49mm filters and cost $200. But I'd wait for a $120 used one if it was in a factory-sealed box.
05-24-2009, 11:04 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
With a mass/size/price-shrinking field around it so it'll weigh 200 grams, take 49mm filters and cost $200. But I'd wait for a $120 used one if it was in a factory-sealed box.
And it better be tack sharp at smaller apertures, say f/22, as well. I can't believe the incompetent Pentax engineers haven't even fixed the diffraction problems yet!
05-24-2009, 11:49 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
Andi, I believe I got a tad closer than the minimum focus distance for that shot. These are all wide open, at the 2 focal extremes no PPing or cropping, just resampled Raws:
Ah, that explains it. I thought it was still a tad unsharp even properly exposed...
05-24-2009, 12:26 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
What about the Pentax FA 20mm F2.8? The only thing it doesn't have on your wish list is the SDM/HSM. It is a screw drive auto focus, but it's quite quick. F2.8 is not F2.0 but it is around F2.0. Close focus, tack sharp even wide open, and that wonderful Pentax bokeh.

NaCl(one of my favorites)H2O
The 20mm is simply far from being a super-wide angle on a APS-C camera. The 10mm end of the Sigma (or any comparable other lens, even the 16mm end of the Pentax 16-50) is FAR wider.

Ben
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