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08-09-2009, 01:20 PM   #1
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SIGMA 70-200mm f/2.8 II EX DG APO Macro HSM Lens for PENTAX:To buy or not to buy?

I wanted to get a telephoto lens that I could use for indoor high school volleyball with my Pentax K20D camera. I am planning to purchase the lens this week. Initially I was going to get the Pentax SMC DA Series 50-135mm f/2.8 but after some reading and thinking I thought I might appreciate the extra reach of the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 II APO HSM lens.

As of late, however, I have discovered several people who have commented on poor performance at 2.8 and a high failure rate of the HSM motor on the Sigma. And also at least one person who sent back two lenses for some alleged actual glass defects. I know that Tamron makes a similar lens which from all accounts is optically better than the Sigma but the Tamron autofocus appears to be too slow for sports. In all fairness to Sigma I will say that most of the negative posts seem to be older as in the tail end of 2008 and some in the spring of this year. After that feedback, both positive and negative, seems to trail off for some reason.

So with volleyball season starting in 2 weeks and only enough $$$ to do this once I am looking for some opinions as to whether to should go for the Sigma or get the Pentax lens and live with a little less reach. Thanks!

08-09-2009, 01:34 PM   #2
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I believe that the tamron may be a better choice, IMO
08-09-2009, 01:48 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum,

I considered this lens as you are at the moment, but went with the Tamron for the following reasons:

- able to use Tamron's TC, which I have and have used for that extra reach (280mm with only 1 stop loss of light)
- advantage in optical quality on paper (which appears hard to tell in real life images)

So in practical terms, if 200mm is enough for you, you could really go either way and still get the results your after. What would suit you in this case would be the Sigma as its HSM is famed to operate very well (? faster than Tamron's AF, which was based on Canon's faster HSM speeds but with Pentax speeds are probably similar).

All the best in your decision!
08-09-2009, 02:13 PM   #4
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The Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 Is a hard lens to beat for IQ and I have never had a problem catching a shot. Alot depends how far away from the action you will be. You may want to consider Pentax SMC DA* 200mm f/2.8 ED [IF] If you know your going to be a distance and won't have to zoom just quick focus.

08-09-2009, 02:31 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fl_Gulfer Quote
The Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 Is a hard lens to beat for IQ and I have never had a problem catching a shot. Alot depends how far away from the action you will be. You may want to consider Pentax SMC DA* 200mm f/2.8 ED [IF] If you know your going to be a distance and won't have to zoom just quick focus.
I agree. Considering that people with FF think 70-200mm is enough, why not the 50-135mm?

A good way to see if you need the range is to rent both lenses for a few days and see which one you prefer. Honestly, there are times where I wish my 50-135mm was longer, yet we all have to make compromises b/c I prefer the 50-70mm range and the lightness (although it is still pretty heavy).

www.cameralensrentals.com
08-09-2009, 02:34 PM   #6
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But 135mm is still only 135mm, APS-C or not.
FF or not, a 200mm lens still gives 200mm in reach.
Put a 50-135 and a 70-200 on to see the difference...
Either get the 50-135 for the IQ and sit close to the action, or bite the bullet with one of the 70-200s that may not be as slick...
08-09-2009, 02:45 PM   #7
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Did you say volleyball? Here ya go Sigma 70-200 HSM II first shots
08-09-2009, 03:08 PM   #8
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I went for the Sigma rather than the Tamron because of the faster focussing and have had no problems with IQ.

08-09-2009, 08:22 PM   #9
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Love my Sigma 70-200mm. I know the 50-135mm has better image quality, but I would only consider getting that for the weathersealing mostly. I think I like the extra reach (even on APS-C).
08-10-2009, 01:00 AM   #10
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Have a look at this post
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/69125-pics-new-k20...70-200-ii.html
08-10-2009, 01:27 AM   #11
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Here's one by myself (with 100% crop)taken on my first day with the Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 II EX DG APO Macro HSM
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Last edited by mille19; 08-10-2009 at 01:35 AM.
08-10-2009, 01:40 AM   #12
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And another one a bit more recent. As you can probably tell I like this lens.
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08-10-2009, 01:50 AM   #13
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Brilliant results there.
You've put it to use to the fullest!
08-10-2009, 04:24 AM   #14
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To be honest, I think both are great lenses. Unless you're a pixel peeper you're not really going to notice the difference!

From what I've seen, Tamron has the slight upper hand in IQ, colour and contrast. I still bought the Sigma 70-200 EX II anyway - the faster/quieter AF suits me a bit better.

FWIW, I did have to send the Sigma back once. It developed some weird "spotting" on one of the inner front elements after only a few weeks. They had to replace the glass in Japan but now it's great
08-10-2009, 04:35 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by thelittlecar Quote
Initially I was going to get the Pentax SMC DA Series 50-135mm f/2.8 but after some reading and thinking I thought I might appreciate the extra reach of the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 II APO HSM lens.
I'm in the same boat as you. I'm considering going to see the F1 race in Singapore at the end of September, in which case i'll need something longer than the 17-70mm I have. I can get the Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 for 23% less than the Pentax 50-135mm f2.8, but since i'll be outdoors in the tropics, rain is a very real possibility and I might need that weather sealing!

My wallet is already crying at the prospect: buying either lens will almost double the cost of my trip (though the lens is a long term investment).
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