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07-17-2009, 09:48 PM   #1
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Sigma zoom confusion, please help

I have a Pentax K10D, have been looking at getting a medium wide to medium telephoto zoom range lens. I chose the (discontinued) Sigma 24-60mm f/2.8 EX DG. When it came it was great, apart from a front focusing issue, so I sent it back. Another supplier then offered the newer Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG MACRO for the same, very good price.

The newer Sigma has an extra 10mm, but is a bit bigger and heavier even though it has less elements than the older 24-60mm. Both have good reviews, but some ratings lean towards the 24-60mm. This is exaggerated in some places because the 'macro' (not true macro) version of the 24-70mm is lumped together with the older non-macro designated lens. I opted for the 24-70mm but now I'm having second thoughts about the size and flare issues. The 24-60mm is sometimes noted as being sharper, but again, I'm not sure that's compared to the newer 24-70mm macro. The 24-700 replaced the 24-60 and is usually quite a bit more expensive.

I don't know which has faster auto-focus, which is a factor for me (though I can't afford the SDM version of the 24-70).

I want the lens for general use and street photography.

It's not too late for me to change my purchase, any help is much appreciated.


Last edited by CWyatt; 07-17-2009 at 10:18 PM.
07-18-2009, 12:35 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by CWyatt Quote
I have a Pentax K10D, have been looking at getting a medium wide to medium telephoto zoom range lens. I chose the (discontinued) Sigma 24-60mm f/2.8 EX DG. When it came it was great, apart from a front focusing issue, so I sent it back. Another supplier then offered the newer Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG MACRO for the same, very good price.

The newer Sigma has an extra 10mm, but is a bit bigger and heavier even though it has less elements than the older 24-60mm. Both have good reviews, but some ratings lean towards the 24-60mm. This is exaggerated in some places because the 'macro' (not true macro) version of the 24-70mm is lumped together with the older non-macro designated lens. I opted for the 24-70mm but now I'm having second thoughts about the size and flare issues. The 24-60mm is sometimes noted as being sharper, but again, I'm not sure that's compared to the newer 24-70mm macro. The 24-700 replaced the 24-60 and is usually quite a bit more expensive.

I don't know which has faster auto-focus, which is a factor for me (though I can't afford the SDM version of the 24-70).

I want the lens for general use and street photography.

It's not too late for me to change my purchase, any help is much appreciated.
I have to say that the 24-60 f2.8 is the only Sigma I've had that was comparable to my Pentax lenses. The 18-50 2.8 and the 10-20 are decent lenses, but not comparable to their Pentax counterparts. The 24-60 is a sweet lens. That said, I also have to add that the 24-60 wasn't as accurate in focus as my Pentax lenses (any of them). I see little difference in AF performance between Sigma lenses, but I don't own any HSM units yet.
07-18-2009, 12:56 AM   #3
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Thanks Steve, when you say Pentax lenses do you mean the DA*? I'd be pretty happy with that, as the Sigmas are much better value here. Although they are not weather-sealed and have their quality control issues.
07-18-2009, 02:09 AM   #4
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Apart from it's size 24-70 is by many reviews excellent piece of glass.
But I never pulled the trigger on one (went primes instead) so what do I know.

07-18-2009, 03:24 AM   #5
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I HATED giving up my 24-60 when I sold it last week...I had a great copy for my 40D. I then used those funds to replace it after finding a nice deal on a Pentax mount version. It and my Sigma 100-300 f/4 were the ONLY reasons I almost did not move to Pentax.

I have several of the other Sigma f/2.8 lenses and none exceeded what the 24-60 gave me...fyi, I did not like the 24-70 Macro at all...the IQ was not even in the ballpark as the 24-60. Remember also, the 24-60 has something like a 14" MFD which is bascially as good a 'macro' ability as the 24-70 only I don't think the Sigma spin doctors caught on to that marketing gimmick at the time the lens was named.

I would say, if you have a copy of the 24-60 you are happy with, stick with it...I would post samples from the 24-60 but you already know what it is like...it really is a special lens.
07-18-2009, 03:35 AM   #6
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I thought I would add...since Sigma D/C'd the 24-60 there is a reason the price for existing new and used copies have almost doubled...it is a quality bit of glass.

One version I have not tried is the 24-70 HSM which has not be around too long. The HSM for me at that focal length is not worth the $650 premium over the price I paid for the NEW 24-60...I've owned several HSM lenses and they are quick, but they vary from lens model to lens model. I sense Sigma is still refining it to catch up with USM and whatever Nikon calls their AF system. Pentax is in the same boat with SDM. The 50-135 is slowish but at least it's quiet. I hear the 60-250 is much improved AF speed.

Face it any focus system is going to be faster than manual...I think we often attempt to lust for what is perceived as better by the marketing wonk's fancy verbiage. TO me the 24-60 has a reasonably quick focus. Not as fast as some yet faster than others.
07-18-2009, 02:01 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info, the HSM adds a lot to the price and I can't afford it anyway. I was more wondering if the 24-70 was a better deal as I can get it for the same price as the 24-60 (which isn't because the 24-60 has gone up, but rather the 24-70 was dropped), when it's usually quite a lot more.

Seems like the 24-70 is usually seen as good but I've hardly seen a bad word about the 24-60.
07-18-2009, 04:19 PM   #8
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the one and ONLY issue the 24-60 has, well, actually there are two...first is there was a time when they had a lot of front-focus issues, a few back-focus but mostly front-focus. Sigma was great and fixed them instantly for people. You do not even need to call if you have a service need with the lens, just fill out the form online, stick some example shots in the box with the printed form as well, pack it and send it off with the warranty card and copy of the receipt. And both the NY and AZ repair centers are super to talk with.

The second issue can be a bit of zoom creep. Mine had it, but only when the lens dangled on a neck strap when walking around. But the lens has a zoom lock so Sigma was aware ahead of time and put it there.

The 24-60 has pretty much as nice IQ as you can want from a zoom. There might be sharper, like the Canon 70-200 F4 IS, but you have to spend around a grand more for not that much improvement.

I will say that while the 24-70 is an adequate middle of the pack OK lens...the 24-60 is an outstanding and exceptional lens in terms of IQ that the 24-70 does not meet and is still more expensive. Remember too that the 24-70 came out after the 24-60 so the pricing reflects this, there is nothing significantly better in the Macro version. Both are EX builds so in the US they have the same 4yr warranty. And if you went with the 24-70 I know you would not hate it...BUT, if you don't I bet you will wonder what everyone is always talking about. (can ya tell what my preference would be? ) Oh, and the 24-70 uses 82mm filters vs the 77mm filters on the 24-60...that can mean a fair bit of price difference in any CPL's you might want...and I am not sure how many Pentax lenses would share an 82mm filter size.

If it helps, here is a gallery of shots I took with my Canon mount copy:

BreckLundin's Place

I have more and don't have any shots with my Pentax mount version as I picked the free shipping option and well, it will maybe be here by next Friday...hehehehe...I pressed the pay button before remembering to change to faster shipping, oh well...

PS: btw, I agree, no way the HSM is worth the $500-$700 premium...I mean that is the cost of some nice Limited glass!!

07-18-2009, 05:43 PM   #9
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If the 24-60mm did have some focusing issues it wouldn't be a major issue having it fixed by Sigma. It does sound like the 24-60mm might be the better buy despite it usually being a cheaper lens. Strange that the 24-60mm was discontinued in favour of the 24-70mm but that the older lens is often reported to have higher quality. The smaller size suits me too, and like you said the filter size makes cpl's cheaper and it matches many more zoom lenses. The 10mm loss is a shame but not major, if the quality of the 24-60mm is higher that would be my main concern.
07-18-2009, 05:45 PM   #10
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The new 24-70 HSM is an awesome lens by all accounts. Better than the canon 24-70/2.8L and $400 cheaper. you get more than just HSM for that premium.
07-18-2009, 06:13 PM   #11
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I've put in a price request for the HSM version. If it's much more I don't think I could justify the extra cost from a 24-60 if the quality is similar. Could put it towards a 10-20mm or 12-24mm instead.
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